Congratulations! You finally have some property you can call your own. You don’t have to deal with realtors, landlords, or anyone that can ask you to pay rent. Now you’re probably wondering what to do with the property. Answer: hire a property management company. In other words, welcome to real estate. It’s overwhelming to deal with it on your own, so most people in this situation hire real estate agents and companies to help them deal with the property. So how do you choose who to hire? Below are some of the top questions to ask property management companies
1. What types of properties do you manage?
This question in itself will help you determine whether or not you’re going to spend more than five minutes with the manager with who you are speaking. If they don’t ordinarily deal with your type of property, be it land or buildings, chances are you don’t want to hire them. There's a wide variety of property to work with, so it’s important to find someone who has experience with your specific type.
2. How long have you been a property manager?
Experience in property management is certainly something you do not want to look over. You want someone you can trust to manage your property well. While you might want to give a newcomer a chance, you're more likely to choose a 20-year veteran in the real estate business to manage your property than someone that only recently started in the industry and has limited experience.
3. How many properties do you manage?
This is a loaded question. Someone can boast that they’ve been in the real estate business for 40 years, but it won’t mean much if they've only worked with a handful of properties. A property manager's experience is going to determine the return on investment for your property. If you want a high return, then find the best resume out there.
4. How many property managers are employed with your company?
A company says a lot about its employees. Much like anyone who’s had a job, the company someone works for can determine whether or not they get hired, especially for property managers. You want a company that is not only reliable but has the experience, reviews, and highly-qualified employees to showcase their expertise.
5. How much do you charge?
Remember that investments are all about the benefits you get out of them. If you invest money into a company, you’ll want a return on that investment. Property management is no different. When you’re looking for the right property manager, you want to find the people that will provide you with the most value and do the best job for the best price.
6. Do you charge additional fees?
Many managers will charge you fees for certain actions. Some will charge you for finding tenants, and some will even charge you when your property is vacant. Just like you, managers are out to make money. Since all companies and property managers are different, it's best to confirm any additional fees that may pop up before signing on the dotted line.
7. What are your guarantees?
Think of guarantees as a sort of security deposit. It’s important to know that you are protected when it comes to your contract and your property. Tenants can suddenly opt out of their contract, payments can be made late, the list goes on. So the biggest question is how you’re protected against anything that goes wrong. If you're even slightly unsure, make sure to ask and to get things in writing.
8. How do I sell my property?
If in the future you decide to sell your property, you want to be able to do so with the least amount of hassle. Certain property management companies will prefer that you sell the property under their name, whereas others won't care. This is something you’d want to work out before contracts are drawn up to limit surprises when the day comes that you want to sell your property.
9. What are your procedures regarding repairs?
It’s important that your property not only makes you money, but it also shouldn’t be taking away your money. It’s not surprising to see a few problems come up with your property, especially over time and with tenants, so understand what the property manager or company will provide regarding repairs.
Having your own property can certainly be exciting, especially if you're using it as an investment opportunity. Real estate can be tumultuous, so it's imperative to find a property manager and property management company that will provide you with the greatest amount of value. Remember, ask as many questions you can when hiring a property management company, they'll help you find the perfect fit.