What you need to ask a property manager/ management firm before hiring
By Sadiya Anjum
If you are considering hiring a property manager, you have made the right decision. A property manager will handle most responsibilities related to your rental property and get you the best results possible. But take your time in finding the right person/firm to do this for you. Ideally your property manager will be a buffer between you and your tenant so you need to find someone who understands your situation and your priorities, and conveys them across to the tenant.
You can either hire independent property managers who tend to usually cover a wide range of responsibilities and will probably be easier to deal with, or you can associate yourself with a property management firm. In both cases, move cautiously before you hiring because they know how to market themselves. Try and get as many details as you can before taking one aboard.
Your first thought is the right one – how much will it cost you? Find out how much the actual charge is. It is usually a percentage (between 4-12%) they charge from the gross rent collected each month. Apart from this, they may charge you extra for drawing up a lease, handling situations like eviction etc. You need to find out what they charge extra for and exactly how much for each of these jobs.
After figuring out the amount, next on the list is how the payment will take place – bill or direct deduction from your account. Will this occur on a monthly or quaterly basis?
In case of a property management firm, find out who exactly will handle your property. Three different people juggling your property is ill-advised. Get one person to do it and get in touch with him.
Find out what other properties they manage. These should preferably be similar to your property. Run a check on these properties to gain insight on how well they are being handled and maintained.
Know their working hours so you know when the business will happen and what provisions they have for weekend calls.
Marketing and advertising is the key to a successful business. Learn how they go about it, which media they utilize and how much this will cost you. Go through some of their ads to get a better idea.
Next point you need to know is the preparation of a unit before renting it out. How long will they take to get it cleaned and what will they charge you for it.
Ask them about the issues that you will need to deal with – the aspects that will need owner approval before they are carried out.
All property management firms will provide accounts. Find out how they set up their accounts and which reports you will receive.
You can add some more of your own questions to the above that are specific to your property needs. Only if this basic information you obtain from them satisfies you, should you go ahead and hire them.
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