Updated: Jan 16
We all know the common questions to ask a prospective property management company like: How much do you charge? What services are inlcluded? But, let's go over some uncommon ones that will help you make a better decision.
Do you track your numbers?
We all know the saying: "You can't improve what you don't measure." This is also true in the property management industry. It's important to know whether or not a prospective company tracks their numbers. If not, how can they improve vacancy rates, or know how long it takes to complete maintenance, or any other area of the business for that matter. A few of my favorites to ask: What are your days on market? This will tell you how well they market their properties. Vacancy rate is the number one killer when it comes to return on investment. What is your average time to get a property ready? This let's us know how quickly they can turn a unit and get it back on the market. Again, this factors into vacancy times. What are your delinquency rates? This let's us know how well they screen and if their residents pay on time.
What style management company are you?
There are three ways to manage properties. Departmental, Portfolio, and a hybrid of both. Departmental means it's a team of people managing all the doors together, but each individual team member is responsible for a section of the business IE accounting, leasing, maintenance, etc. Portfolio means that each team member does all the departments, but only for a portion of the doors in the whole portfolio. Hybrid is a mix of both. We like departmental. Our team is trained and specialized in their specific role, and we make sure they are in a position where they like what they do! With portfolio, they might be great at numbers, but not at sales. Meaning your statements will be accurate, but the property will sit longer.
Do you have investment properties yourself?
Some may see this as a conflict of interest because some may feel the property manager puts priority on their properties, but if the company has good systems this shouldn't be an issue at all. This is important though because this means they know what it means to have an investment that performs and what all goes into it. They're also always looking for ways to improve their investments which in turn can be implemented for the other properties they manage. Their own personal experience goes a long way.