A property manager is a quintessential requisite. Your profits and losses, whether your property is well maintained or not, if you get good tenants and how long your property remains vacant when one tenant moves out, are just some of the many consequences that will depend entirely on your property manager. It is thus imperative to hire the best property manager you can. Here are some important questions you should ask your property manager before you even consider hiring the firm.
• What experience do you have? There is no degree that property managers require but any relevant experience is deemed desirable. Those who have been in the business for ten years or longer and have handled numerous properties will know the ins and outs of the property management business.
• What kind of expertise do you have? Experience is one aspect. Expertise is another and it is not the same. Expertise pertains to the type of property the manager specialises in. You also need to know what their fortes are. For instance, someone may have been a real estate agent and may be very good at getting new tenants in very little time. Some may have exposure in architecture or construction and that will help in maintenance of the property. Likewise, any kind of expertise that helps in managing a property, including tax planning, rent collection, marketing the property and ensuring its upkeep should be focused on.
• Check out how many properties the manager is attending to right now. Find out if he or she has enough manpower and resources at his or her disposal. Some people outsource the job, hire subcontractors or take too much on their plate. Do not hire such property managers. The scope of services will also dictate how many properties the manager can take up at a given time. Those who only collect rent and get tenants will be able to manage more properties than those who manage the property perennially and attend to all its needs.
• Ask what the screening process is, how are tenants found and their profiles assessed, how are tenants dealt with normally and in tricky situations, what kind of legal experience the manager has to avert lawsuits or potential legal problems and if the manager has enough knowledge to ensure that your property is evaluated at the right price, rented out according to prevailing market conditions and that efforts are made to maximise your profit.