Best Questions to Ask a Property Manager Before Hiring

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Do you need to find a property manager for your Florida investment property?

Keep in mind that not all managers are made equal.

Some focus on specific property types, whereas others welcome any property out there.

Picking the best property manager for your rental property’s needs starts by asking yourself the right questions. This way, you’ll learn about the candidates and see how they stack up against each other.

In the following paragraphs, we’ll go over the best questions you can ask from a property manager. Just take note and hire the most successful candidate!

Question #1: Do you have a license for property management?

This question helps you to avoid people who call themselves property managers without the right level of experience or knowledge in the field.

Though  there is no specific “property manager” license in Florida, they must have at least obtained a real estate sales associate license.

They must also be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED to obtain licensing in Florida.

Candidates that are all talk with no official credit to their name should raise a red flag when you’re looking into hiring a manager.

Check if your state has any specific state licenses for property managers if you are looking outside of the sunshine state.

Question #2: How many and what types of properties do you manage?

You want to know the potential manager’s business size and average workload. Every property needs enough attention. Be cautious when the manager claims to hold responsibility for over 120 properties. Not many people can retain high quality in such a situation.

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The type of properties is important as well. You need to make sure the manager knows their way around the particular property type you own.

For example, the management of multi-unit buildings differs from duplexes. When you hire a specialized manager instead of a knowledgeable generalist, make sure they specialize in your property.

Question #3: Could you provide some references?

References are the best for marketing. In some cases, they are great warning systems as well. If your candidate has enough experience, finding references shouldn’t pose any trouble for them. While you might prefer other clients as references, the people could represent the following parties too:

  • Attorneys
  • Mortgage brokers
  • Real estate agents
  • Sub-contractors

Question #4: What kind of services are on the table?

Property managers differ in their direct involvement. Some of them deal only with lease and management activities. For marketing services, they could recommend a different company or a sub-contractor.

Try to find managers or teams that bring you the most value in terms of offered services. There’s one thing to watch out for, though. When a property manager claims to do everything, you need to make sure their actions back up the talk.

Question #5: How do you charge for the work?

Usually, a manager’s fee ties to the property’s rental income. However, there are plenty of companies or individuals that charge for different activities.

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If you don’t clarify the fee structure beforehand, you might get a worrying surprise. Maintenance, filling the vacancies, evictions, and other duties could serve as costly extras.

Make sure to understand all aspects regarding the fees before signing anything.

Question #6: How do you screen the tenants?

Tenants come and go. You want to make sure the new ones pay rent on time and respect the property. Checking their background is essential.

The screening process has various depths. The future manager could just run a credit check. Others, though, would have a talk with their previous landlords and verify the employment history. Or take even more precautionary steps.

Question #7: Who maintains the property?

Maintenance helps to keep your rental property’s value. Try to understand how the company conducts maintenance instead of just letting them do their thing.

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There’s a variety of approaches. The specific way depends on the property manager’s size and resources. Typically, a sub-contractor or their own team maintains the property. It could be the manager as well! You never know, so it’s time to find out.

Question #8: How do you collect the rent?

No rent, no profits. It’s crucial to understand the working of rent collection. There’s more than one way:

A) The tenants might have to mail it

B) The manager or an assistant might pick the rent up

C) Maybe, instead, they use an online payment system and the rent collection ties to the lease terms topic.

Clarify all the information regarding late fees and eviction processes. Even if the topic feels too early to talk about, you are better off making sure your manager has everything covered.

Question #9: What is your report policy?

Reports are a fundamental part of property management and it is not necessary to understand all the implications of the provided financial data.

Try to determine whether the candidate knows how to interpret and explain all the data points in a clear way. Ask additional questions. Ask for a sample report and go over all the details. Doing this helps you understand the future reports better.

Question #10: How does the management agreement work?

Never sign any papers before understanding the agreement. There are quite a few important points to make clear:

  • What is the exact length of the term?
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  • What are the terms for terminating the contract in case of dissatisfaction?
  • How can you renew the agreement?

Before accepting any terms, let your attorney check the agreement.

What are the best questions to ask a property manager?

As a first step, understand their background, licenses, credentials, and references.

After making sure they are a trustworthy potential partner, gather all the information you can. Doing so allows you to see if their services are the right match for your property.

Rent collection, maintenance, and tenant screening are all important aspects. They need attention and prior experience.

The next step is to deconstruct the details concerning your partnership: management fees, contract terms, and so on.

The interviewing process may benefit you in more ways than just finding the right manager. You might discover new sides to property investment that you weren’t aware of in the past, leading to new opportunities.