As a rental property owner, you need to screen a property manager in a way that’s similar to how you screen your tenants. When you’re looking to hire a professional property management company, there are a few specific things to ask.
Reputation and Experience
Is it an established company? How long have they been in business? This is important because companies that have been in business longer have strong ties to the community. They also have more experience. They will have dealt with more issues in property management, and there are a ton.
Is the company you’re interviewing affiliated with professional organizations? There are many different affiliations that a property management company can choose to have. They can belong to the California Association of Realtors, the North San Diego County Association of Realtors, and all of these sub Realtor affiliations. There are also affiliations with groups specific to property management such as the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). Find out if your management company is a member of the local chamber of commerce. This matters because people who belong to these associations are held to a higher standard.
Ask about the fee structure. What do they charge for in addition to the leasing fee and management fee? Do they charge a mark-up on maintenance, and do they charge a management fee when the property is vacant? Find out if there is an initial fee for preparing the property for the market. You need to know what other fees are involved in the management of your home. Whichever management company you
decide to hire; you’ll have to sign a property management agreement. Read every line, and make sure you understand what you’ll be charged for. You want to understand what the management company expects from you.