This is a guest post by Alexander Hassoulas. Many of my clients ask for recommendations regarding property managers, whether they are purchasing long term or short term rental properties. I constantly check with past clients to see how their property managers are working out and update my list. If you are interested in my recommendations for Park City Property Management Companies, click here.
An now, here is Alex…
Hiring a property manager can save you a lot of time and heartache. A good property manager will handle all the time-consuming and complicated work that comes with being an income property owner. Likewise, a property manager can also help with the day-to-day obligations related to managing an investment property. For example, one of the property manager’s jobs is to ensure you are meeting the legal compliance and requirements associated with the county and state where your property is located. In addition, the property manager will ensure tenants are properly screened and familiar with their obligations, such as not altering the property and paying the rent on time.
Sometimes finding a reliable and affordable property manager can be a difficult task. Below are questions to ask potential property managers to ensure they understand their responsibilities and they are a good fit with your personality.
What to Ask Potential Property Manager
1. How Long Have You Been in This Business?
You want a property manager that has the experience and expertise when it comes to managing a property. A reputable property manager will be familiar with the various Home Owners’ Associations, parking restrictions, and values of rental properties in your neighborhood.
2. How Many Properties and What Kind Do You Specialize In?
In Park City, most property managers either specialize in long term rental properties or vacation rental properties. Some go further and specialize in particular neighborhoods, subdivisions or condominium projects. Check the listings of the companies you’re looking at and make sure they are compatible with your needs. Check reviews on Yelp and social media to see if property owners and/or renters are satisfied with the company.
3. Can You Show Me a Sample of Your Lease?
See to it that you get a sample lease from the property manager you are considering hiring. Find out if the lease was drafted by an attorney or real estate association to ensure there are sufficient landlord protections.
4. How Do You Select a Good Tenant?
As the property management company about the specific process they use to screen tenants. Most companies pay attention to the employment and income, as well as the credit report. Aside from that, don’t forget to ask these questions as well:
- How long does it take for you to process the application forms?
- Can you give me an overview of the income qualification ratios?
Do you have a philosophy regarding tenants with pets? Can you tell me more about it? You should have the final say in whether or not you will rent to tenants with pets. Make sure the lease has an adequate pet security deposit.
5. How Many Formal Inspections Should I Expect Each Year?
A good property manager should offer a report right after each inspection. Ideally, there should be one or two inspections per year. Good tenants should not be bothered with too many inspections (checklist). On the other hand, if there is reason to believe additional inspections are warranted, the company should be willing to do them. For vacation rental companies, there should be a checklist after each inspection to ensure renters are charged for missing or damaged items before the next renters check in.
6. How Will You Market My Property?
An experienced property manager will have resources at their disposal to market your property. Find out which online, social media and print advertising channels they will be using. Check to see how they market their other properties.
The process of finding the right property manager is similar to hiring an employee, screening a tenant, or selecting daycare for your child. It requires serious research and consideration. Do you have a property management company who you love and recommend? If so, show them some love and please post in the comments!
The biggest problem for me has been how the property manager takes care of the property. Does he have trusted tradesmen who are able to make required repairs? Also, because my income property is a vacation rental, it is furnished. The property manager needs to inspect the home after a tenant vacates to see if any items are missing.
Thank you for your comment. The points you make are important ones.
My husband and I are looking to find a property manager that can help us take care of and manage our beach home that we are looking to rent. We want to make sure we choose someone reliable that we can count on to take properly take care of the tenants and property. Like you said, we should ask potential managers how many formal inspections we should expect each year and ideally find someone that offers one or two inspections per year.
It’s easy to advice someone to find the right property manager who will take care of your property. But the difficult one is to advice the specific detail of what questions to ask them. That’s why, I’ll give five stars to this article. The main problem was well discussed.
Thanks for your comment!
Here’s a few more:
1) Do you monitor guest reviews? There’s only one right answer: yes. You can also ask if they respond to guest reviews.
2) What is the biggest issue you have with managing all of your properties? The only wrong answer is if they say none. There is always room for improvement. This answer should be rather thoughtful and quickly determined. They shouldn’t be trying to sell you. Instead, they should be trying to ensure you’re a good fit for them. If you sense they’re hiding information, kindly let them know that you’re both trying to decide if this is a good fit.
3) What percentage of their existing hosts are Superhosts? It’s hard to achieve Superhost status. The reason you ask this is to see if they start defending why they are not. It’s ok to not be a Superhost, but if they place the blame on others, etc. then you probably want to avoid this company.
4) How do you handle early check-in and late check-out requests? They should be able to accommodate this when possible, most of the time.
Great content. Definitely helpful thanks for sharing.
This is a very interesting article, it’s worth sharing with others. Keep it up.
A very informative and a helpful article. Thank you for sharing. Helped alot.
I have a few rental properties that are becoming pretty difficult to take care of. It makes sense that I would want to get a property management company to help out with this. It would be so nice to have someone who can help me out with this.