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Good property managers can be difficult to find. There are countless options to choose from ranging from large companies, to realtors, to friends with a keen eye for property. With so many choices, it can seem daunting to find someone to manage your investment properties.
In order to find a property manager who suits your needs, you need to think about your own needs first. What kind of property is it? How do you want the property cared for? How much can you afford to spend on property management? All of these questions will help you determine what you should be looking for, but how do you find out which property management option will satisfy your needs?
Here are five key questions you should ask a potential property manager before hiring them.
But first, if you want to free funds in your real estate budget to hire a property manager today, click the link below to book a free strategy call with our team at LendCity today.
Do They Have an “Owner’s Manual?”
Before you look into anything else, ask them if they have a property owner’s manual to explain how they plan to operate and what you can expect from them. As well, they may have expectations for you as the property owner in order for them to work with you. It is crucial that both parties are on the same page when it comes to doing business.
If the information they give you is ambiguous and unclear, do not make assumptions about what they mean. You have to make sure they clarify it before beginning business, or else when a problem arises, you will find yourself in the dark and unsure how to proceed with the manager. (Or worse, you could find yourself without a property manager on short notice.)
If the terms offered by a property manager do not work for you, be sure to negotiate new terms or look elsewhere. You should never feel the need to compromise when it comes to protecting your investment.
What Will You Do to Inspect the Property?
A good property manager will always have a strong approach when inspecting a property. They will know what they are looking for to identify any problems with the property and any noticeable areas that could use some improvement. They should also have a plan to properly organize all of this information for future reference.
Some things you should look for in their approach is
- Do they take pictures?
- Do they keep track of serial numbers for hot water tanks?
- Do they check all the keys?
- Do they take notes of the property’s condition?
- Do they keep track of the property’s heating/cooling systems?
- Do they check the condition of the windows/doors/roofs?
As well, a good property manager will have a varied approach for inspecting a property for the first time, while it is occupied, and following a recent vacancy. You have to ensure that the person you hire will be thorough while the unit is both occupied and unoccupied, without worrying about them disrupting your tenants.
Discover Residential Property Management With This Step By Step Guide
How do They Work with Tenants?
A good property manager is someone your tenants will come to know and trust. They need to be able to communicate with new tenants (and pre-existing tenant) all of the expectations for the property, as well as how and when they plan to come inspect the property.
A property manager should also be accessible. If a tenant has a sudden concern or notices a problem with the property, you need to be able to count on them to hear and respond to their concern quickly and efficiently. Otherwise, you may lose out on great tenants who feel like they are not being cared for. Additionally, concerns like a small water leak could eventually result in serious water damage and if your property manager ignores the concern from your tenant, it can end up costing you more money in the long run.
How do They Work with Property Owners?
Ideally, your property manager is going to be working with you for a long time and you need to know you can count on them to communicate with you frequently and effectively.
Setting plans and guidelines for how frequently you will discuss financials and other details is crucial. As well, you should have guidelines set in place for the times you will be available to receive phone calls, after all you are usually hiring a property manager because you do not have the time to constantly check on your investments. (And nobody wants a 2a.m. phone call if it is not an emergency.)
As well, different property owners want different amounts of information. Some people like to know every single detail about their property at all times. While others believe no news is good news and do not want to be bothered unless there is a problem that they have to address themselves.
As well, many larger companies take a hands-off approach with the property owners in favour of web-based programs.
What Software do They Use? What do They Have for Property Owners?
Larger management firms usually use web-based software to collect and organize all of the information about the properties they care for. Be sure to ask them about it and find out how you can access the date you need for your properties.
In some cases, you may find yourself checking the management software more often than you are speaking to the manager themselves, so you need to understand it thoroughly. If you do not understand the program, do not be afraid to ask the manager to explain it to you. After all, the software is meant to make the process easier to understand, not harder.
Before you worry about finding someone to manage your investment property, you have to know exactly what you can afford. To figure out what you can afford to spend on a property and secure the lowest available interest rates, you need a pre-approval from an experienced lender. To get the pre-approval process started today, contact us at LendCity Mortgages at (519)-960-0370 or visit us today at LendCity.ca Alternatively, click the link below to book a free strategy call with our team today.