Do you own property in Chattanooga? Are you interested in renting it out, but need someone to help manage the marketing, tenant screening, maintenance, rent collection, etc… Whether you are providing the perfect apartment, an amazing condo, or a wonderful house for a family… there are several questions you need to ask before signing an agreement with a Property Manager! Never let the thought of simply having a local property management company be enough to win you over.
Whether you are planning to lease your property for months or years, it’s critical for you to ensure you have all of the right services available to you. Not all property management companies or property managers are equal. So, it is critical that you have all the information you need BEFORE handing over your keys! The additional information may be the thing that helps you make a final decision about whether or not this is the right Property Manager for you.
We are here to help you all along the way. There are some specific things you should be able to find out pretty easily. We have a roadmap for getting the answers you need!
Here are 5 Questions to Ask Your Potential Property Manager:
1. Are You Licensed?
This is actually a pretty important one that gets overlooked. Most states (if not all of them) require that property managers are run by a licensed real estate broker. A real estate broker (broker) is someone who is trained and licensed to act as an intermediary between two parties (buyers and seller, property owners and renters, leaser and agent, etc…). The reason a broker is required for Property Management is simple. There are many laws that can be run afoul of and brokers are aware of them. An unlicensed person may not be and that means the liability for their decisions may fall back on your shoulders.
2. Who Will Actually Be Managing My Property?
Just because a Property Manager is required to have a licensed broker does not mean the broker will be the active manager for your portfolio. You want to meet with the person you will actually be working with and see if you are a good fit for each personality wise. This is just as important as any business process.
3. What Kind of Software Do You Run?
As an owner, you may want to familiarize yourself with some of the more popular platforms and the pros and cons of each. You want to make sure you have real time access to your Income/Expense Statements, rent rolls, and other important documents and reports. You should require the Property Manager provide you secure, online access through a web portal specifically designed with property owners in mind.
4. How is Leasing Handled?
This can actually be broken up even further to see how the Property Manager screens prospects. What questions do they ask? Do they check credit? How about criminal history? Does the Property Manager give out the lock box codes, or does someone actually meet the prospect at the property during the showing? Ask what they charge for leasing and ask what their liability is if the rental goes bad inside the first 6-12 months of putting a lease in place.
5. How Is Maintenance Handled?
From the resident/tenant perspective this is a very important question. Happy residents are more inclined to take better care of your property and, even better, they become great tenants who will stay in your property for as long as possible. So, how a Property Manager receives and responds to maintenance requests is critical. Companies that are able to respond quickly, efficiently, and professionally often keep their tenants in place longer which means more income and less expense to you as the owner.
We hope this roadmap is a great start for helping you evaluate your next Property Manager. Remember, we are always here to answer any of your questions.