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What are critical questions to ask when choosing a property manager?

Posted by joe.watkins on November 20, 2011
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Has your property manager ever owned rental properties?

A property manager that does not own rental property himself/herself does not understand the financial impact of the decisions they make regarding your investment home. Whether your property is vacant, or your tenant has excessive maintenance calls, a property manager cannot begin to understand the right decisions to make if they have never owned rental property themselves.

How long has your manager been managing and leasing properties?

Experience is very important when choosing your property manager. Many property managers are real estate agents who can no longer sell enough to make a living, so they also manage properties. This is not advantageous. Others are not even in the real estate industry. References may help you in this regard.

Is property management his or her full-time career? Is your manager licensed?

Make sure your property manager is a full-time licensed real estate agency or property manager that does property management for a living. There are many people representing themselves as property managers without a broker or license. This is dangerous as they do not operate within the law. The tenants’ monies are not safe without a broker’s escrow account.

What is the average turnover of a property with your management company?

Turnover is the most costly factor in owning a rental home. It is very important your property manager understands this and does everything within his or her power to keep tenants in properties. However, most companies are not motivated to do so. Why? They are more incentivized to let tenant move out so they can perform a rent-ready and collect a tenant placement fee by filling the vacancy.

Can you give me 3 references that can speak to your performance?

You can learn a lot from current property owners. Make sure the 3 referrals you get are not related to the property manager and have been under management for at lease 1 year.

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