Renting out a property can help you to achieve your dream of earning a passive income — but it’s also a ton of work.
You need to market to and interview tenants, collect rent every month, handle maintenance tasks and issues, and, unfortunately, even mitigate conflicts with difficult renters.
In addition to everything else you have to handle with your own home and family, do you really have the time and experience to manage the needs and expectations of several different tenants?
Whether you’re getting ready to rent out a home for the first time, or if you’ve been renting out your property but feel completely exhausted by the countless duties, you’ve likely considered hiring a property manager.
To protect your investment and keep your tenants happy, you need to do your due diligence to make certain that you find a property manager that will go above and beyond.
Read on to learn a few of the most important questions to ask a property manager you’re considering working with.
1. What Experience and Qualifications Do You Have?
When you’re hiring a property manager, the first thing you need to do is ask about their qualifications and experience.
Ask about the number of properties they currently manage, the neighborhoods that they work within the most, their experience within real estate investing, and any licenses and certifications they currently hold.
Now is also the time to ask for and get in touch with past or current clients to learn more about the quality of service the property management company provides.
Ask these references if maintenance was completed in a timely manner, the quality of the tenants they were able to find, how long a property stood empty before it was rented out, and anything else you’d like to know.
Additionally, we suggest that you read some online testimonials and reviews to get even more perspectives on whether you’ve found a good property management company.
While one bad review isn’t anything to worry about, if the page is filled with nothing but complaints, that tells you everything you need to know.
2. How Do You Screen My Potential Tenants?
Another one of the essential property manager interview questions you should ask is about the tenant screening process.
How the company will market your property, find potential tenants, and most of all, screen them to ensure that you’re putting your home in the right hands.
A quality company will advertise your listing on a variety of different platforms, and they will have a representative present at all of the showings.
Then, ask about the way they handle tenant screening. The top property management companies will not only meet with and interview all potential tenants, but they’ll also run background checks, credit checks, confirm employment, speak with past landlords, and examine their financial records.
All of these records will help you to feel secure that the tenants will be able to make their rent payments every month.
Additionally, the management company should handle the leasing materials, negotiate the right rent price and terms, and ensure that the tenant has renter’s insurance.
This will help you to avoid being the victim of horrible and stressful tenant scams.
3. Will You Handle Collecting Rent?
Next, when you’re ready to find a property manager, you also need to ask about the ways in which they’ll collect rent from your tenants.
For example, does the company require tenants to use an online portal, or do they need a check to be mailed to them? What date is the rent due, and what happens if a tenant is late on their payment?
You should also ask when you’ll receive the rental payment once they’ve collected it, and how long the payments generally take to appear in your account.
4. What Kind of Maintenance Services Do You Handle?
Even in the most well-kept buildings, things will go wrong from time to time.
When a maintenance issue occurs, you need to get the problem fixed as soon as possible — especially since, under Colorado state law, a tenant may be able to withhold the rent payment if serious issues are not repaired in a timely manner.
Look for property management companies that are on-call 24/7 for emergencies, and that you’ll receive a notification when a job is called in. Ask whether you as the property owner or the tenant will be responsible for payment for larger repair/maintenance jobs.
Ask where the company gets the contractors they work with, and what kind of smaller on-going maintenance is available.
5. What Happens If I Need to Evict a Tenant?
Evicting a tenant is always problematic — and it’s certainly an area where you’ll need to tread lightly.
The good news is that tenant eviction is relatively rare, so you may never have to deal with this issue. But if you do, hiring a property manager who will handle things for you is an enormous relief.
When interviewing potential companies, ask if they’ll deliver a notice, schedule a writ and a meeting with the county sheriff, give you the documentation that you need to have, and even represent you in a court of law if it comes to that.
Especially if you suspect a tenant could be dangerous or involved in illegal activity, it’s always nice to have someone else intervene on your behalf.
Is Hiring a Property Manager the Right Move for You?
Now that you know the most important questions you need to ask when hiring a property manager, it’s time for you to begin your search.
At Bergan & Company Management, we have the expertise, connections, and above all, the experience and reputation that you can count on to provide you with the best possible service.
We also offer different fee structures so that you can find a plan that works well for you.
Curious to learn more about what we can do?
We invite you to get in touch with us to get a rental evaluation, understand our services, and much more. We look forward to helping you make the most of your investment.
Further Reading from Bergan & Company