When we talk to landlords and investors who are thinking about hiring a professional property manager, they are usually excited to ask how much we charge and how much we think their property will rent for. These are important questions, and if you have ever asked those same things, we understand. However, when you’re interviewing property managers to potentially take care of your home, make sure you’re asking a number of critical questions. You want to understand how the property manager works and what they’ll do that other companies won’t.
Today, we’re sharing just a few common questions you should always ask a property management company in Tampa before you hire them.
What is Your Leasing Process?
You’ll need to understand a management company’s process for finding and screening a good tenant. Ask about marketing and advertising. Hopefully, they advertise online and use an advanced property management software system to syndicate your listing to hundreds of rental websites. Find out what they do to screen tenants. Your property manager should check credit and criminal histories, look for past evictions, talk to former landlords, and verify employment and income. You should ask where they get their lease, how they collect security deposits, and what they do to document the condition of your home before a tenant moves in.
How Do You Handle Maintenance?
There should be a process for routine maintenance as well as emergency maintenance. Make sure your property manager has someone who can answer the phone 24 hours a day. Ask whether the management company has in-house maintenance staff or if they use outside vendors. Find out if those vendors are licensed and insured, and whether they offer any volume discounts to the management company. Find out if you’ll be charged extra for maintenance coordination, or if it’s included in your management fee. You want to make sure your property manager has a plan in place to keep your property well-maintained.
What Kind of Accounting Reports Can I Expect?
You should ask when your rent will be paid, and you should also ask if you can expect an accounting statement at that time. At the very least, you should receive a statement that shows all the income and expenses associated with your property for that period. A good property management company will provide an online portal, where you can see all of your invoices, rental payments, and other important information.
How Will You Communicate with Me?
Communication between property owners and property managers is critical. Find out how often the management company communicates with you, and how they do it. Will you receive phone calls, emails, text messages? Find out how you’re updated when there’s a vacancy or work being done at your home. A lack of communication is a big problem, so you want to be sure your management company communicates well with you and your tenants.
How Do You Protect My Investment Property?
You need to be sure the management company you choose can protect your property and your bottom line. Ask how the property managers stay up to date on landlord and tenant law and whether inspections are conducted during the tenancy. Find out how tenant issues and disputes are documented and what the property manager will do if rent is late or doesn’t get paid.
There are so many more questions you should ask your Tampa property manager. Contact us at Real Property Management Leaders, and we’d be happy to share more information.
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