Property management is a very important key to the success in property performance. The average investor lives where they want but invests where the numbers make sense. With this said many investors live in states other than where their investment properties are located. You have to develop and good working relationship with your property manager that includes trust.  One key thing to remember is that what works in your market may not always work in the market you invest in.

Searching for a good property manager is difficult but below are a few questions that will help you have a better understanding of how they operate, which will help you decide if this is a company you want to work with. One key thing to remember is that what works in your market may not always work in the market you invest in.

Questions to ask:

Can you tell me about your local Real Estate investment market?
You want a property manager that stays current on the ever changing real estate in the local area. What is driving people to the area and who is renting.

How long has your property management company been in business?
It’s important to know that the manager has experienced many different changes such as a market downturn and even a booming economy.

How many doors do you currently manage?
You want to make sure that they have adequate staff to handle the number of doors they manage.

Can you explain the dynamics of your management process?
It’s important to understand their structure and how they handle collections, evictions, lease renewals, leasing and marketing and maintenance. I would also ask how many team members they employ.

How do you report to the investor on items such as Maintenance, property condition, lease renewals, collections, vacancy, evictions and Make Ready?
What you are really looking for is what kind of systems do they currently have in place and how do they report it to you. Which items require your approval?

How do you qualify a prospective tenant?
You want to know how they determine who will be placed in your property and how the qualify them. It’s important to know what company guidelines are. You may also want to know if you will be involved in the process. Some investors want to be hands on. Make sure if you are that this fits into their process and procedures.

What is your definition of a unit that is ready for Rent?
Make sure that you are both on the same page. Being able to achieve higher rents may be determined on the condition of the property.

What is your current Occupancy and how many properties do you rent a month?
The number of properties renting each month will help determine if their turnover is high. Turnover is the most costly expense.

What steps do you take to promote longer tenancy?
Are there incentives to keep the tenants longer, Are there any programs to promote longer stays.

How often do you visit your properties?
It’s important to know how often they visit the properties and how they handle issues they discover on their visit. Ask them how often they complete interior inspections as well.

These 10 questions will give you a good idea of how the management company operates and should help your decision to hire this management company. Not all management companies are alike and the one that provides the better service and has great knowledge of the business as well as the market place would be your best choice.