Are you ready to get some help managing your Phoenix rental property?
Owning an investment property is a lot of work when you’re doing it all yourself. Unless you’re okay with spending all your time and effort managing it, it might be time to look for a property management company who can take that burden off your shoulders.
That said, don’t just hire the first local property management company you come across. Instead, do your research and compile a list of questions to ask a prospective property manager before making a final decision.
To help you get started, we’ve rounded up a list of the 15 most important questions to ask, so you can make an informed decision.
Top Questions to Ask A Property Manager
1. What Services Do You Provide?
One of the first questions you’ll want to ask a property manager is about the type of services they provide because it varies from one company to the next. You don’t want to hire a property manager thinking they’re going to handle maintenance and repairs, only to find out that you are the one in charge of that.
2. Are You Licensed and Insured?
You never want to hire a property management company that is not licensed and insured. If there were ever a landlord-tenant dispute, you could find yourself in legal hot water if your property manager isn’t licensed. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure your property manager has liability insurance.
3. How Long Have You Been in Business?
Establishing a reputation in a competitive city like Phoenix takes time. While you don’t necessarily have to hire a company that’s been around for ages, it doesn’t hurt. The longer a company has been in business, the more knowledge and experience they have. This will help you become a successful landlord.
4. What Are the Property Management Fees?
Investing in a property management company to help with your rental is going to cost money. However, for the right price, the services they offer can be worth its weight in gold.
Make sure to ask about the company’s fee structure before signing a contract to work with them. Also make sure the services provided fall under the plan you want to invest in. Hidden fees can wreak havoc on your bottom line.
5. What Type of Properties Do You Manage?
Knowing which type of properties your property manager has experience managing is helpful. If you’re looking to boost your ROI and secure long-term tenants, you’ll need a manager that knows how to manage the type of property you have. Some examples include single-family, multi-family, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, commercial buildings, and more.
6. How Many Properties Are You Managing?
Another factor to consider is how many properties the company currently manages. While managing a lot of rentals can be a sign of success, there is always a chance the company could be overextended. If this is the case, you may be neglected and not receive the level of service you expect.
7. How Do You Collect Rent?
56.9% of renters claim that online payments are important to them. Because of this, one of the questions to ask a property manager you’re considering should be about rent collection.
There are many ways to collect rent. While your property manager can offer many payment options, online payments are usually the best. They are convenient for both you and your tenants, offer seamless records, and help you get paid each month.
8. How Do You Determine Rent Rates?
Along with how rent is collected, another question to ask a potential property manager is how rent rates are determined. After all, if your property is priced too low, you’ll lose out on money every single month. However, if your property is priced too high, you run the risk of an extended vacancy. Finding the sweet spot with the help of a property manager gives you the revenue you deserve and satisfies your tenants too.
9. What is the Average Vacancy Rate for Properties You Manage?
Vacant rental properties are something all landlords deal with from time to time. That said, with an experienced property manager on your side, your vacancy won’t last long.
Ask your prospective property manager about the average vacancy rate on the properties they manage. If you use a reputable company like Real Property Management Phoenix Valley, you can expect an average vacancy of only 12 days, which is a very quick turnaround.
10. Do You Understand Fair Housing Laws?
Property managers are responsible for knowing all landlord-tenant laws. This includes laws at the federal, state, and local levels. Not to mention, any changes that are made to the laws must be followed at all times. Make sure to ask the property management company you’re interviewing about their level of understanding when it comes to things such as Fair Housing laws.
11. How Do You Handle Communication?
Before you hire a property manager to help you with your rental property, be sure to ask about communication. Tenants don’t like the feeling of never being able to get in touch with their property manager. And property owners like yourself don’t like being out of the loop when it comes to their investment property.
Any good property manager has designated business hours and an after-hours emergency hotline. Plus, they will likely have a way for both tenants and property owners to get in touch online using their respective portals.
12. How Do You Approach Tenant Screening?
The key to being a successful landlord has a lot to do with the type of tenants you place in your rental. Sure, high rent rates and a solid property help too. But if you can’t keep a good tenant leasing from you all the time, you’re bound to take a hit financially.
One of the best questions to ask a property manager during an interview deals with tenant screening. Your property manager needs to follow all landlord-tenant laws when it comes to tenant screening. However, they also need to seek out candidates that will pay their rent on time and care for your property the way you want them to. Lastly, with a good tenant screening process in place, you can secure long-term residents.
This means that during tenant screening, your property manager needs to check employment, income, credit history, criminal records, previous evictions, and references.
13. Do You Require Renter’s Insurance?
We recommend that tenants be required to always have renter’s insurance. Of course, your homeowner’s insurance will cover structural damage to your property. However, renter’s insurance will help cover your tenant’s personal belongings and damage they cause due to negligence. It will also help cover medical costs should anyone be injured while visiting your property.
14. Do You Offer Any Guarantees?
Many well-established property management companies offer guarantees to secure your business. They want you to trust them and are willing to put themselves on the line to prove their worth to you.
One of the most common guarantees deals with tenant placement. At Real Property Management, if the tenant we place gets evicted within the first 12 months of leasing your property, we will place a new tenant in your rental for free.
15. How Often Do You Conduct Property Inspections?
Property inspections are a good way for your property manager to check in with your tenants. It also gives the property manager a chance to make sure your property is in good condition. You’ll want to ask about how often property inspections are performed before hiring a property manager. After all, it’s your property manager’s job to make sure your tenants are happy and have zero tenant complaints. It’s also their job to make sure your rental is in good shape.
Looking for a qualified property management company in the Phoenix metro area? Then contact us today and see how we can take the burden of managing a rental property off your hands.
At Real Property Management Phoenix Valley, we know what it takes to be the best property management company for savvy property owners like yourself.
Whether you’re unhappy with the property manager you have now or are looking to stop self-managing and gain back your time, we’ve got what you need. From strict tenant screening, detailed property inspections, and efficient property maintenance to quick vacancy turnarounds, we are the full-service property managers you need to succeed as a hands-off property owner.