As one of the primary property managers in Bradenton, we at Rent It Network know the business inside and out. If you are an investor looking to hire a property manager, you need clarity on what exactly a property manager does and what questions to ask when deciding who to hire. There are many components that go into property management; below we listed some of the most important factors to discuss when interviewing a property manager.
How Do You Handle Leasing?
Leasing is the backbone of property management; without tenants, there is no business in property investment. To get a feel for how the property manager looks for prospects, ask this:
How many leads do you get monthly for your vacancies and how do you follow up on them?
Most property managers will not only not know but will not have a follow-up system in place. At Rent It Network, our clients get a dedicated leasing specialist who is committed to renting out your Bradenton property as fast as possible. As a follow-up, you’ll also want to ask the following question:
Who shows my vacancies?
You will most likely hear three different answers on this one. The first is a self-showing lockbox (yikes), the second is agents that do not even work for their company, and the third is the agent themselves. To get a better feel, we challenge every owner to schedule a showing as a potential tenant would and see what the experience is like. This is important; if your tenant has a bad experience scheduling a showing, they are very unlikely to proceed.
What Is Your Application Processing System?
Once the property manager has a tenant ready to sign, they need to have a firm system in place for application processing. Below are the questions we recommend asking to get a good understanding of their process.
What is your application screening software/process?
Make sure that the property manager has a reputable system in place, they are getting prior rental verification and verifying employment.
Tell me about your actual lease?
Word it like this for two reasons. See if the person selling you can tell you anything about it. Most standard leases printed from the internet or provided by one of those self-service (SaaS) companies are not going to be very comprehensive. You want a manager who is willing to take the time and make sure leases are tailored to your Bradenton property and needs.
Are Inspections Important To You?
It’s very important to inspect rentals before trying to market them; any property manager who doesn’t do this as due diligence isn’t doing their job fully. Try to gauge if they do inspections and how thorough they are. Check out this article on how to perform a rental property inspection and use this as a guide for asking detailed questions.
Tell me about your move in inspections?
Most companies are going to dodge this question. Any reputable company is going to perform an inspection of the property to include photos and video. Both you and the tenant should get a copy of this as.
How Do You Communicate?
The tenant, owner, and property manager all need to be on the same page and aware of what is going on. Clear lines of communication are important to keep the tenant happy, the property occupied, and to stay ahead of any issues.
How do you communicate with your owners and residents?
This sounds like a simple question, but you need to make sure that the property manager has a good system in place. Most companies will not clearly answer this and you will want to pass. An industry leader will not only know the answer to this but be excited to answer it.
What Does Your Data Look Like?
Usually, the first question every landlord wants to know is how much is this going to cost me? We understand this is important but save this question for last after you have a good idea of how well the property manager fits your needs. There can be a difference between value and price.
Below are some key data points that many Bradenton property managers skip over. We find these are very good indicators of the processes the property manager has in place for the success of your property.
- Renewal Rate – what percentage of their tenants renew year over year (also, do they charge a renewal fee).
- How long will it take to rent a home (days on market)? This should be for a good tenant, not just any tenant.
- What data do you use to price your vacancies? Any property manager should give you at least three sources to price vacancies.
- The most important data piece you don’t even have to ask for: HOW FAST DID THEY RETURN YOUR CALL?
This is only a small portion of the conversations that should occur while shopping for a property manager in Bradenton. Start with reviews, then go from there. Do not make a choice solely on price. As with most things, there are going to be cheaper options. Keep in mind you are trusting a company (not a person) to effectively manage a very expensive asset.
If you have questions on how you should interview a property manager or would like to interview our team then contact us today.