Hi, this is Tanya with Envy Property Management. In today’s video, we’re going to talk about things you should look for and questions you should ask when shopping property management companies. Not all management companies are created equal and it is your job to do your due diligence and ensure you find a company that’s going to be a good fit with your goals. 

I would first suggest to make sure you have a list of your goals and expectations prior to making any phone calls, that way you know if the property management company you’re researching could be a good strategic partner for you. If they don’t match the majority of the items on your list, maybe it’s someone that you don’t want to work with and you simply move on. 

So what are some things to consider when making your decision? We’ve come up with our top 10 questions that you should be asking during your interviews with potential property management companies:

1:  Does This Company Have a Professional Website?

The first thing most people do when researching service-related businesses is to check out their website. Before you pick up the phone, check out their website. Is it professional? Is it easy to follow? Are their vacancies easy to find? Are they transparent with their fees and services? Is the company credible? These types of things are important and they matter when making this decision. 

2:  Do They Have Any Online Reviews?  

Do a quick google search of the property management companies name and see what type of online reviews they have. Make sure you are doing your part and read through both the good and bad reviews. If there are bad reviews, read through them. Why did they get a bad review?  Is it an angry tenant who had to be evicted? Does the company respond to their reviews? Not all bad reviews are a direct reflection of the business, more importantly, is the responsiveness of the business and how they handle a bad review. 

3:  How Quickly do They Respond to Your Phone Call, Inquiry or Email? 

If the property management company does not respond to you quickly when you are a prospective client, it’s a sign that their communication will be similar or even worse when you do become a client. It’s also a sign that they do not communicate well with their residents. Communication in this business is extremely important and you want to make sure you hire a company that communicates quickly and effectively.

4:  How Many Properties Does the Owner of the Business Actually Own?

Do the management company owners or employees actually own their own investment properties and are they managed by that company? Some clients may want to hire a business that understands their perspective as a real estate investor. 

5: Are They Licensed and Insured?

Make sure they have the required insurance to be managing your investment. Property management companies are dealing with tenants, clients, vendors, and others and you want to confirm they have the insurance coverage to do so. You also want to verify they are properly licensed with a Broker and that the property managers are licensed realtors. 

6: Do They Have Legal Counsel on Retainer?

The laws and regulations surrounding property management are a constantly changing and fluid world. You want to ensure they have proper legal counsel on retainer and that they are regularly updated with legal changes in the industry.

7:  How do They Handle Maintenance Emergencies?

Do they have an after-hours emergency line and staff? What is considered an emergency? And how quickly do they respond to emergencies?

8:  Do They Charge a Surcharge on Maintenance?

When using outside vendors do they have an additional surcharge? Another question to consider is if you have your own handyman you want to use on maintenance, can you use them or is there a liability issue with that?

9: What Happens When a Property Becomes Vacant?

How long is their typical turnaround when a property becomes vacant? Do they have processes in place to get it re-leased? Do they offer incentives rather than waiting and letting it sit on the market? Ask what their average days on market are for their vacant properties. As an investor, you want to make sure your property is staying occupied as much as possible and rented quickly when there is a vacancy. Although the market will ultimately dictate how long a property will be vacant for, it is critical that your property manager keeps up to date with the market, keeps you informed of market changes, and offers suggestions for getting your property rented quickly and with as little delay as possible. 

10:  What Are Their Set-up Fees and How Transparent Are They With Their Fees?

Find out what fees you will be subject to above and beyond your monthly management fee. Is there a fee for periodic inspections? What fees can you expect when signing up with them? Are there any fees during a tenant turnaround or lease renewal?

I hope these top 10 questions to ask your prospective management company were helpful in assisting you with your property management company research. Thanks for watching, make sure you subscribe to receive more valuable information about your investment properties. If you have any questions about property management or what we can do to help you increase your return on investment, please call us at 801-337-4337, or visit our website at envypm.com.