Questions To Ask a Property Management Company

You need a property management company....
but you must 1st ask the right questions!

  1. Reviews. As about where you can find their Property Management Company Reviews. You may see good and bad reviews from other property owners and tenants and it should give a real insight into the company direct from others.
  2. How many years of experience do you have? I advise hiring a property company that has been operating for no less than five years. Property management is hard! There's a lot to effectively managing a rental property. I value the time I spent at Temple University learning my craft; but hands-on on practice has been equally important.
  3. What has changed in your property management business model the last 6 months? This will give you an good very idea of the company's responsiveness to industry changes, including technological evolution. Ask me what has changed with my property management company in the past month and I will tell you a lot. Nothing stays the same. Its either getting better or its getting worse. Do you want your rental property to get better or worse over the next 6 months?
  4. Which services pertaining to property management do you presently provide? The majority of property managers have limited services. For one, there are many companies that aren't actually licensed to be a property management company. I now its odd; but many people that offer the service don't even realize it requires a license by state law. Two, property management is often a secondary thing for some companies. They are adding on the care of your property as some extra income and that's crazy to me. Make sure that the property manager you are paying is actually a property manager. And that this is their business. That owning a property management company is what they want to be when they grow up. Get details of what services are offered.
  5. How many rental properties are presently managed by your company? This will assist you in measuring the size and expertise of your organization. Ensure that the organization isn’t stretched extremely thin based on their staff size. The better established property management companies will often limit themselves within a range, and type of property.
  6. Are there other rental properties you manage in my neighborhood? You want to ensure that your property management company knowns the Philadelphia markets, including each neighborhood's  nuances. I don't allow my company to take rentals in just any Philadelphia neighborhood. Just one reason is I need to know I have the contractors that will serve my landlords well there.
  7. Which neighborhoods are serviced by your company? In a case whereby you own or are thinking about investing in properties, particularly in different Philadelphia neighborhoods, you will need a manager who isn't just in your current area; but where you might buy a property in the future.
  8. Which property types do you manage? Managing single family homes (SFH) will have a completely unique approach compared to an a manager who manages retail or commercial properties. Does the property manager understand condos? That's important! Find find a property management company knows your market niche.
  9. In what way are your rental rates set? An established property management company will have access to running a rental market analysis that gives information regarding rental rates on the basis of some variables, such as the unit size, local neighborhood markets, the amenities provided by you, and more.
  10. What’s your strategy for rapidly filling up vacant units, without having to sacrifice tenant quality? This offers an understanding into the strategies the property manager will use in their leasing. As a landlord, rental marketing is important as vacancy is a huge loss.
  11. What do Fair Housing Laws mean to you? A professional property manager has to be well exercised on in all state, local, and fair housing related laws.
  12. Are there any specialized roles your team members have, or are they just generalists? You will find it necessary to be aware of whether an individual is in charge of overseeing your rental, or maybe the organization involves the collective effort of every team member to service delivery (an individual who have to market the unit, while another is in charge of maintenance and repairs, or another is an accounting specialist, and more).
  13. Which insurance type do you use? Search for organizations that carry a minimum of a $1 million overall liability policy, and even omissions and errors policy.
  14. How much are your monthly management fees? The management fees typically run around 8 and 12 percent of the total monthly revenues, but can possibly vary based on the services provided.
  15. Do you accept management fees when there is a vacancy to a unit? If yes, avoid them. Property managers have to incentivize to lease units rapidly – and forgoing part of their fee for a short time is typically the standard of the industry.
  16. Is it possible for my contract to be cancelled without any penalty in the event that I’m unsatisfied? Stay away from property management companies that attempt to tie you into a contract. Legally you should be free to switch management organizations but many companies try to say otherwise.
  17. What other miscellaneous fees can I expect? A many property management companies charge additional fees for turning over units, evicting tenants, and marketing units, etc.
  18. What procedure do you follow to qualify tenants? Try to understand whether the property manager makes use of employment, landlord reference, and background checks as one of their screening procedures.
  19. What is the average rate of rental vacancy among the properties under your care? Take into consideration whether the rental vacancy rate is either below or above what is obtainable in the Philadelphia average.
  20. What is the duration of vacancy for units after turnover? Search for managers that will have units that are rent-ready and even leased up again in about 30 days, which have to offer them adequate time to have the unit refreshed and carry out any repairs.
  21. What process do you take to handle tenant service requests? It is essential for you to know the process for tenants to inform the PM about the service requests, and even the part you will play in the process. Will you eventually settle on making maintenance and repairs? Will authorization be required for any expenses beyond a specific amount? Search for an company with a well-planned-out process.
  22. How regularly will you give me updates regarding my rental property investment? It is essential to get information regarding your property as regularly as you desire. More modern and expensive PM organizations will even leverage technology (for instance online landlord dashboards) to offer you real-time information regarding your rental(s).
  23. What method of communication would you prefer? If you are an individual who demands speaking over the telephone, however this property manager wants communication via email or text, then this is absolutely a mismatch. Search for organizations that are ready to communicate via different media – not simply with you, but with vendors and residents, as well.
  24. Is there any pre-existing relationships you have with your local vendors? Get to know the individual the property manager tries to subcontract with, and maybe any discounts can be accessible through such relationships.
  25. Can I consult you for investment advice or assistance on growing my portfolio? Highly advanced property management organizations will be capable of assisting you in identifying market opportunities – maybe through the sale or purchase of the assets – and assist you to place your assets in a position whereby your return on investment can be maximized.
  26. Personally, do you appreciate investing in real estate? If yes, this is a good indication – this shows that there is an investor’s mindset for the property manager and will possibly watch over your property just like they watch over theirs.

Based on your particular conditions, you will most likely have different questions to ask from potential property managers; however this 26 questions to inquire from a property manager in an interview is a good stepping stone.

You must probably know this fact, but regularly make sure to have a meeting with the property managers physically prior to deciding to employ them. This will help you understand the individual.

For example:

  • How punctual was he? Does he appear organized?
  • Do you observe transparency in his information sharing with you?

It’s not difficult to hide under a guise over the phone or online; facial conversations reveal a lot more.

Looking for a Philadelphia Rental Property Management Company? Call & Interview Us Today!


Joe White

Joe White is a Philadelphia Property Manager and Real Estate Broker. He is the owner of Grow Property Management and has been involved in the management, sales and purchases of Philadelphia area rental investment properties since 2008. He is an author and works as a real estate investment consultant and construction manager.

View all posts by Joe White

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