5 Questions To Ask A Property Manager Before Hiring Them

Hey, what’s up, everybody? Matthew Whitaker answering some more questions that owners ask. Today’s question is, “5 Questions To Ask A Property Manager Before Hiring Them.”

So, let’s talk about it.

First Question I Would Ask Them Is, “how Many Homes Do You Manage?”

And, I often joke, this is a question that every one of us property managers will lie about. So, take that with a grain of salt.

Maybe you can need to discount it by a few, but it’s important that you know how many properties that this property manager manages.

Do they manage a few properties?

Are they kind of a boutique property manager or are they a big property manager that manages a number of properties?

If they’re a boutique property manager, you’re probably going to be able to get the owner’s cell phone.

Call Them Nights And Weekends! (5 Questions To Ask A Property Manager Before Hiring Them)

You’ll be able to call them nights and weekends and get them on the phone.

It does have some advantages to going with a boutique property manager.

The challenge is what happens when that person’s on vacation? What happens when that person’s asleep?

I don’t know if they have necessarily systems and processes in place to handle those types of things.

Big property managers, there are some benefits and some things that are challenges with big property managers.

24/7 Type Work!

They have systems and processes in place to handle nights and weekends, 24/7 type work.

You’ll have a consistent level of service because they’re creating these systems and processes.

I guess, the challenge would be maybe it’s a little bit less personal than the boutique property manager.

But you need to decide, hey, do I want a big property manager, consistent level of service or a boutique property manager that have the name, cellphone number of the owner.

So, that’s something to think about. How many properties do you manage?

Next Thing I Would Ask Is, “how Do You Determine The Rent Amount?” (5 Questions To Ask A Property Manager Before Hiring Them)

So, one of the things, the Zestimate, a lot of people go straight to Zestimate, those are the types of things that everybody has access to.

But what other types of things does a property manager have access to?

Well, we have what’s called a Rent Range report, which we will load all the data in about your home.

And then it spits out an idea of what your house is going to rent for and then, it also spits out what is basically a consistency score, a variability score.

The Other Thing That We Use To Rent Homes Is All Of Our Portfolio.

So, if you have a home in a certain zip code, we should have a number of homes in that same zip code that would allow you to like leverage our information to know exactly what your home’s going to rent for.

And then obviously, one of the things I like to do is to go online and see what’s available in the area because renting is very much a snapshot in time.

So, going with a property manager and then knowing how to price a home is super important.

The Last Thing You Want To Do, Which Is Obvious, Is Under price A Home.

One Of The Other Worst Things You Can Do Is Overprice A Home.

So, just sitting out on the market and not receiving rent, I mean, each month in rent is super, super important.

The third thing I would ask is, “Do you conduct property assessments?”

Some people call it inspections.

That’s kind of a dirty word in our business, but do you go out to the property on a regular basis?

That’s The Whole Idea. (5 Questions To Ask A Property Manager Before Hiring Them)

Are they going to go out biannually, annually and are they going to go out every quarter?

One of the things we do is we have a report that we put together and it includes pictures and ideas of what’s maybe deferred maintenance and we’ve caught some serious issues while we’re out at these homes.

Things tenants may not see that may be a threat to health and safety.

Take A Look At!

So, very important for you to take a look at how many times they’re consistently going.

I call this proactive management of the house.

People need to be going out to these homes on a regular basis, I think maybe biannually at least to take a look at the homes.

The Next Thing Is, “do You Offer Any Guarantees?”

So, how is the property manager aligning your incentives with their incentives?

I think for a relationship to work really well, both of us need to be very much aligned.

And so, what are the guarantees that they’re offering you?

Like, one of the things we offer is a 21-day lease guarantee, which means, we will rent your property in 21 days or you get two months free.

It incentives us as if we weren’t already incentive enough with the leasing fee.

To Get The Money Rolling In!

But to get the money rolling in, it incentives us to lease that home for you as quickly as possible.

So, it keeps us very focused, keeps us actively out there.

What guarantees, how is the property manager aligning their incentives with your incentives, which is to bring in the most money.

And Then The Last Thing Is, “how Does Maintenance Work?” (5 Questions To Ask A Property Manager Before Hiring Them)

So, this is a very you know, you’re gonna spend a lot of money in maintenance over the course of the lifetime of a rental home.

The older your home is, the more money you’ll spend on maintenance.

The newer your home, obviously, the less money you’ll spend on maintenance. But nonetheless, money is definitely going to be spent on maintenance.

One of the things that’s interesting about rental homes is the money you spend on maintenance on rental homes is very much in front of you.

We Would Actually Tell You!

Because if you were a client of ours, we would actually tell you you know, on a monthly and an annual basis how much you spent on maintenance.

You don’t realize how much you’re spending on maintenance on your own personal home because you’re paying it out of your pocket and nobody’s highlighting it.

But you need to make sure you understand what the property manager does for all this maintenance.

  • And how they handle or they’re handling 24/7 work orders?
  • Are they going out on nights and weekends?
  • How does a tenant submit a work order?
  • Can they submit it online?

Is It Subcontracted?

Is that maintenance handled in-house with team members with that property management company or is it subcontracted out to third-party?

So, very important to know how maintenance gets handled.

Thanks so much for watching.

I hope this was helpful.

My name’s Matthew Whitaker, and this was five questions I would ask a property manager before signing a management agreement.