Renting an apartment or several apartments may sound like an easy way to earn money. But owners know just how difficult it is to find a reliable tenant. A tenant who pays rent on time and takes care of the apartment. It takes time, patience, skills, and a lot of background checking to find tenants that will happily live in your apartment. Hiring a property manager can save you a lot of time and nerves, but only if a property manager knows what he is doing. You can enjoy many benefits of an apartment management company. But, before hiring a property manager that will make renting easy and fun for you, you will need to ask them the right questions. Here are some of the most important questions to ask before hiring a property manager.
Are you licensed and what credentials do you have?
Hiring a property manager or company that has credentials with a reputable organization is a great way to rent stress-free. If they have credentials with the following organizations, you can rest assured that your rental units will be in safe hands.
- Real Property Administrator
- Accredited Management Organization
- Certified Property Manager
- Service Organization Control
- Systems Maintenance Administrator
To get credentials with these organizations, one must have at least three years of experience and go through different courses.
How long have you been in the business?
This question is very important especially if you have several units to rent. You are looking for someone who has at least 3-5 years of experience. A stable, reliable, and experienced property manager will be able to handle evictions and problematic tenants. And the more experience they have, the better tenants they will choose, thus avoiding problems in general.
Do you manage my type of property?
A property manager can be experienced but for a different types of properties. Namely, renting commercial properties is not the same as renting to a family, for example. You need a different set of skills. This is why it is of utmost importance that a property manager you hire is familiar with your type of property.
What kind of fees do you charge?
Before you sign a contract with your property manager, make sure to know exactly what are the fees and how much they charge you for it. The fees are usually calculated in one of three ways:
- Percentage of gross receipts – Expenses, services that tenants need that are above the building standard, charges that the tenants have belonged to these fees. Typically, they are anywhere between 2 and 4 percent.
- Flat fee – If your apartment is vacant, you would still need to pay for the services of a property manager. If the company offers only this option, you should look for another one, as it is their job to find a reliable tenant for your unit.
- Hybrid fee – This is a mix of the previous two types of fees. Sometimes it is not possible to predict the percentage of gross receipts, so the fee is whichever of the previous two is greater at the end of the month.
Make sure that you are not charged a fee for evictions, vacancy, maintenance, etc. Or if you are being charged, it should at least be at a reasonable price.
How fast can you respond if I have any concerns?
If you need to hear back from your property manager, the last thing you want is to wait two or three weeks. A professional property manager should respond within a day. This is a great indicator that the tenants will also be able to reach the property manager promptly, leading to greater satisfaction. The response should not only be prompt, but it should be effective as well.
How many properties are you renting at the moment?
A property manager can manage quite a lot of properties a month. If they handle less than 10 properties, this should raise some red flags, as the number is too low. On the other hand, if they have more than a few hundred properties, you might not get the efficacy you need. You want a manager that is capable of handling a lot of properties while remaining professional and efficient.
How do you determine the rent price?
Setting up the right rent for your unit is vital. If the price is lower than it should be, you will be losing money every month. On the other hand, if the price is higher than it should be, you will be looking at a vacant unit. This will also cost you money. Rent price depends on many factors, such as the location, proximity to amenities, condition of the house, neighborhood, and much more. This is one of the questions to ask before hiring a property manager as it will tell you whether the manager has what it takes.
How do you collect rent?
What’s your way to collect rent from tenants? This is a straightforward question to which your potential property manager should be ready to answer. There are several different ways in which rent can be collected. Via mail, check direct deposit, in person, Pay Pal, etc. More than one way can be available to tenants for collecting rent, but this should be clearly stated in the lease. The due date, method of payment, and rent amount must be written in the lease.
How do you choose tenants?
Choosing the right tenant for your home is a lot of hard work. Screening tenants is a process that needs to be done right. Your property manager must know whether the candidate has been evicted, what is their criminal record, credit score, why they left previous units, etc. Property managers have tools and a system set up to check all the important information. Your property manager must answer this question thoroughly and carefully, as finding the right tenant(s) is the final goal.
Do you have any references?
Before hiring a property manager, ask for references. Ideally, references would be from people in your neighborhood renting units similar to yours. This will show that the property manager has the experience and is successful in renting units of similar condition, type, and location, which is exactly what you need. Don`t hesitate to reach those people via phone to find out more about the manager`s skills. Your goal is to find the right New York property management services to rent your unit stress-free.