Property Management

10 Crucial Questions to Ask When Looking for the Perfect Rental Property Manager

Hiring a property manager has heaps of benefits that will save you a lot of stress and time and help you put some extra money in your pocket. However, finding the perfect property manager can be a challenge. Here are 10 crucial questions to ask when interviewing property management companies to make sure you find a winner.

1. How many rental units do you manage?

Too few rental units may mean that the company is either inexperienced or has lost some clients due to poor service. On the other hand, too many rental units could suggest that your property may not get enough attention and the best possible service. The number you think is reasonable is of course, up to you, but the answer will give you a good idea about how serious the company is.

2. Do you know the neighborhood and have other buildings nearby?

Each neighborhood is different and has its own challenges to tackle. Is security an issue, does the weather cause any special problems, is there public transport nearby? Going through these details may help your property management company do their job more effectively.

3. Do you have previous experience with this type of building?

Every building is unique and presents one-of-a-kind challenges. Whether you’re talking about a three-flat or a condo high-rise, if your property manager has prior experience with a similar building style, you’ll know your property will definitely be in good hands.

4. How do you determine the rent for each property?

A professional property manager should be able to complete a comparable market analysis of all other available listings near your property, as well as take the unique aspects of your rental – any recent renovations or unique features – into consideration to determine how much to charge for rent. They should help you maximize your profit while also ensuring that somebody will be happy to pay that certain amount.

5. What are the management fees and/or pricing options when the property is being rented?

It’s important to understand your average monthly fee and any additional costs you may have to expect. Some companies may offer a flat rate while others work with a rate based on the rent amount. Make sure you know how much hiring a property manager will cost you so you can compare it to how much time and hassle you can save on not having to micromanage your property all by yourself.

6. How long are your properties typically vacant?

You’ll want your property to be rented out as soon as possible, but take the time needed for marketing, advertising and showing tenants around into consideration. The average vacancy time after a property is ready to be rented should be about two to four weeks.

7. What is your average response time for repairs, both emergency and non-emergency?

At every property, things do happen, and you want to make sure your tenant is comfortable, so they are happy to stay long-term. For emergencies, the answer should be under four hours. For non-emergencies, the answer will be telling since the quicker the response time, the better the company is. Asking this question may also give you an idea of what kind of relationships the company has with tradesmen.

8. How often will I get updates on my properties?

Your property is your investment, so you’ll want proper updates on any issues, repairs, replacements or even changes in the market. The answer to this question will be telling and you’ll know what your relationship with the property manager would look like in the future.

9. How do you handle issues with tenants?

The last thing you want is a bad tenant. There are various ways in which they can make your life difficult and cost you money. With the property management company choosing the tenant, the chance of getting a bad one will be minimized, but small issues can occur anytime. Ask them if they had any issues in the past and how they handled them. This question will tell you about how the company interacts with tenants, and how well they’re able to manage potential human problems that arise in the building.

10. Why should I let you take care of my building?

Lastly, if you’d like to learn what the company thinks their biggest strengths are, this will give them a chance to list other reasons that they deserve your business that you may not be aware of.

These ten questions can help you make sure you hire a good property manager. Be sure to ask them of all potential candidates you’re considering.

If you’re in Chicago, chances are you’ve passed a Hales-managed building. We’ve managed more than 200 buildings since 2003. At Hales, we provide outstanding services, and it is our mission to proactively manage buildings and maintenance for happy tenants and increased property values. We believe in building genuine relationships with our customers to help you make the most of your investment, and we take care of your property as if it was our own.

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