The Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Property Manager

4 Areas to Focus On

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Interview Questions for Property Management. Joshua Hodge Photography/E+/Getty Images

If you want to hire a property manager for your rental, the questions you ask during the interview are incredibly important. These questions will help you determine their actual skills and knowledge and whether they are the right fit for you and your rental property. The four areas you should focus on include their experience, their educational background, their knowledge of legal issues and their actual results as a property manager.

 

Interview Questions About Property Managers Experience:

These types of questions will give you information about the property managers background. You will learn if their experience is the right fit for your needs as an investor.

  • How long have you been a property manager/management company?

 

 

  • Have you had experience dealing with *insert the type of property you own*?- If you own a 10 unit building and the manager has only had experience with single families, they may be too inexperienced for your specific needs.

 

  • How many properties are you currently managing?- You don’t want your property to get lost in the shuffle.

 

  • Do you have the time and resources to successfully add my property(ies) to your workload?

Interview Questions About Education:

Questions about college degrees and higher education learning are important, but your focus here is to learn about their education as a property manager.

You want to know if they have acquired the knowledge and training necessary to obtain the proper certification.

  • Do you have your real estate broker’s or property management license?– Most states require property managers to have a license so they can show apartments.

 

  • Do you have any type of certification?- Trade organizations such as IREM, NAA, NARPM and CAI offer education and training courses and provide certification after completion.

    Interview Questions About Knowledge of Landlord-Tenant Law:

    A property manager with an extensive knowledge of landlord tenant law is non-negotiable. Since they are representing you, any missteps could result in lawsuits against you and your property.

    • Do you understand the city, state and federal laws for property management and dealing with tenants?

     

    • Do you know the steps to properly evict a tenant?

     

    • What are the safety codes for my type of property(ies)?- How many smoke detectors are needed? Do they have to be hard wired? Do you need window guards on second floor windows?

     

     

     

    • How to terminate a lease?

    Interview Questions About Filling Vacancies/Retaining Tenants:

    These questions will give you an idea if they are any good at their job. If the property manager has a high tenant turnover rate or a tough time filling vacancies, they are probably not the right person for the job.

    • How long does it take you to fill a vacancy?- If it takes them longer than a month, what are you paying them for? Are they available to show apartments seven days a week? At what times? Where do they advertise to find tenants?

       

      • What is the average length of tenancy?- If they get tenants to sign long leases and actually stay for the duration of the lease, this will cut down on costs to fill vacancies -- including advertising costs, apartment turnover costs, and lost rent.

       

      • How many tenants have you evicted over the past year?- This can help you determine if they are properly screening tenants. What is their process for screening tenants?

       

      • How do you set the right rent for the property?– How many comparable properties do they look at? How often do they adjust the rent?

       

      • How do you collect rent each month?- Do they allow tenants to use direct deposit? Do they only accept money orders or certified checks? Is there a set day each month? Is there a grace period? Do they enforce late fees?

       

      Next: Questions to Ask a Prospective Property Manager - Part II

      Back to: The Complete Guide to Property Managers