When landlords interview property management companies, there are many different questions that need to be asked in order to understand the services that are available. The first thing many property owners will ask is: what do you charge? While this is important, it is actually more important to find out what a property management company does. You have to ask what the monthly management fee is, and if there are additional fees, but make sure you understand what you are getting for that cost.
Ask how long the property management company has been in business, and how many properties they currently manage. Find out if the property management company is a member of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). This is a national and highly respected organization that provides property managers with resources and ethical requirements. Ask property managers how they find residents and how they market properties. Ask where they advertise, how they show properties, if yard signs are used and if there will be a lock box on your door. Ask about whether the property will be available on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and what kind of online services are used. You will always expect a property management company to advertise your property on their own website, but find out what other websites are used for marketing and advertising.
It is important to ask what kind of lease is going to be drawn up for your property. You will also need to know everything they plan to do about rental inspections; there should be a move in and a move out inspection as well as a annual inspection. Find out if the property manager will occasionally drive by the property to get a look at things. Ask what the property manager will do to take care of the property during the year, and how an emergency might be handled. Ask about routine maintenance and major repairs. You will need to know how those are handled.
Always ask about how the owner disbursements are handled. You will need to know if your rent can be direct deposited into your account, and if you will receive a monthly statement. Many property management companies will provide statements online. Find out what the company does at the end of the year, when you need information for your taxes – will there be a 1099 and a year-end summary? These are the questions you should be asking, which are equally as important, or even more important, than asking about what a property management company charges. If you have any questions about what should be included in managing a property, please contact us at PURE Property Management.