Hiring a property management company can take away the pressure, stress, and risks associated with your investment property. Property managers take care of everything for you, including finding tenants and handling any maintenance issues. However, you want to ensure that you hire a competent property manager with the best capabilities; otherwise, you may find yourself with even more headaches than if you were to manage your property yourself. When assessing different property management companies, be sure to ask these questions to help you properly assess their capabilities.
What is Their Experience?
Experience is going to be one of the most telltale signs of a capable property manager. Therefore, when you question potential managers, ask about their experience. You do not just want to learn about the number of years they have been in business, although this is important to take into consideration. Remember to also ask questions such as what type of properties they typically manage. You want to find someone who is familiar with the type of rental property you have, whether it is a single family home or apartment. You do not have to just trust their word, either. Do not be afraid to ask for testimonials or references from current and previous clients so you can ask about their experience directly with their clients. You should also review their current properties to see how they are advertised, as well as how well they are doing, including the number of vacancies.
It is also really important that they are property investors themselves. Otherwise they just don’t understand where you are coming from. I have found that an investor will naturally try to save you money on maintenance and they know how important it is to minimise vacancy periods. It is a mindset that is worth finding.
How Does the Company Work?
If you work with a property management company, then you will want to ask questions about how the company works. You should learn how many people are on staff and how they assign the workload. You will want to know whether or not you will have just one property manager overseeing everything or whether your property will be under the purview of a team.
Often if the prospective landlord meetings and the leasing is done by the one property manager, it can leave them over stretched and not willing to do after hours meetings & viewings. Rental viewings must be done after hours to attract tenants because most can’t come during the day. Another important question to ask is about how they search for prospective tenants, as well as how they handle both routine and emergency maintenance.
Another good sign that they believe in their service is the presence of guarantees. They should have some real consequences to them and not just be shallow promises. We guarantee proactive communication with same day call or email back, or we pay you $100. It keeps our team on the ball.
The final stage in assessing a property manager’s capabilities will come from an in-person interview, although you may end up combining an interview with your preliminary research. This is the perfect opportunity to go into further detail on their management techniques. You can ask detailed questions about how they would manage your property, including how they would advertise for and screen prospective tenants. This is also the time to ask about any red flags that may have come up when you researched the company, such as any negative online reviews or sub-standard advertising.
You should consider your meeting a job interview and decide during this time whether or not they seem fully capable of handling the management of your property. An interview will also give you insight into whether their work ethic and personality compliments your own, meaning you will be able to work and communicate well together.
Your Perth property manager will be your partner in ensuring your property is handled appropriately, so it is essential you find someone capable that you will be able to trust. Taking the time to ask detailed questions to assess their capabilities will ensure you find the perfect match.
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