Finding the best property manager can be a daunting task, especially if you have never let a property before. It is not a decision that you can rush into without much consideration on the credentials of a prospective property management company. That is why it is very critical to ask the right questions before hiring. The questions will place you in a better position establish their skills and knowledge and, most importantly, which company is a good fit for you and your property. Here are the most critical areas to focus on and the questions to ask a property management company.
Naturally, most people would prefer a property management company in Denver that has a positive reputation on the market. So, your questions would, therefore, gravitate towards getting to know more about the level of experience and the track record of a potential property manager. The main experience related questions to ask a property management company are:
- How long have you been managing properties? It is not a surprise that property management companies come and go, so a company that can demonstrate longevity could be an indication that it is dedicated to the business. This could also give you an idea if a company has experience dealing with several needs such as property maintenance, accounting, legal, etc.
- What type of property have you managed? Or, have you had experience managing single families units? If you own several single families, your best fit would be a company with hands on experience on that type of property.
- How many properties are you currently managing? While having experience in managing your type of property is paramount, you wouldn’t want to select a company which is already overloaded. Chances are your property will be lost in the shuffle. If the company is already managing several properties, you need to assess if it has the time and other resources to add your property to their portfolio and give it the necessary attention. A company with lower properties to manager ratio is ideal because it will have more time to attend to your needs.
Qualification and knowledge on Landlord-Tenant law
Advance education is essential, your main here is to ascertain if a property manager has a relevant property management qualification. Your questions should get you answers on whether a potential company has proper certification and if so, does the company have a property management license? This is a requirement by the state before any property manager in Denver is allowed to show the property to tenants. A property manager who is committed to the business will most likely have certification from trade organizations such as NARPM, IREM, CAI, and NAA.
Other than qualifications, you also need to determine if a company has the requisite knowledge on landlord-tenant laws. Since the property manager is your approved landlord, any missteps in the course of our relations might expose you to legal risks. So, you need to have a set of hard questions to ask a property management company on this aspect.
What is your understanding the state and federal laws for property management and federal housing laws?
- Are you well versed with the steps about evicting a tenant?
- What safety measures should I have in my property type?
- Do you know what to cover in a pet policy and which kind of dogs are treated dangerous?
- Do you know the laws on collecting or storing security deposits?
Management of tenants & rent collection
The right property manager should help you get the best out of your property by acting in your best interest in running the day to day activities. In that case, there are several issues that you need clarification on. The best questions to ask a property management company about how it manages tenants include:
- How do you screen tenants? Property managers in Denver should do the best to get the best possible tenants by assessing potential tenants for their suitability. So, a prospective property management company should have a system for assessing tenants on matters such as past history, creditworthiness, employment or income.
- How many tenants have you evicted in the past one year? And, what about the length of tenancy? These questions are critical in establishing whether a property manager is properly screening tenants and engaging them on a long-term lease. High tenant turnover will hurt the business since it could mean lost rent or extra advertising costs.
- How many tenants in your accounts have arrears, and how do you handle tenants who delay in rent payment? Since rent is the lifeblood of your property investment, you need to know if a prospective property management company has measures to ensure that tenants pay on time and how to collects rent on your behalf. It should also have a clear outline on how to recover arrears. Some companies have a grace period for late payment while others enforce late payment fees. You should also establish if a company has a policy in place guiding the collection of debt from delinquent tenants. A property manager who submits outstanding balance to debt recovery agencies, on your behalf, is a good fit. The main aim is to get a property manager that will ensure money flow into the account without a high tenant turnover.
- What criteria do you use to set the rent or adjust rent for my property? This is another question that will let you know which property managers have done some homework by looking at several comparable properties or which ones understand the market trends.
- What method do you use to market my property and when do you advertise? It is more cost effective to hire a company which in has knowledge on different innovative marketing strategies such as social media and other online marketing techniques. A company who can combine several methods at discounted cost is also ideal. You can also establish how long the company takes to fill a vacancy. So, if it takes more than a month would you still need to pay? The best company is the one who is available most of the time to show the property to tenants.
Actually, there are a lot of questions to ask a property management company, but the above are the most important in assessing the credential of a potential property manager. The best property manager is the one who goes an extra mile to ensure the best return on your investment. Be sure to examine their fees, management contract, and lease agreement to ensure that you are protected.