4 Key Questions to Ask Your Potential Property Manager
If you’re hiring a property manager, you’re hiring a partner in your investment. At least, that’s what the relationship should be based on: partnership. You didn’t buy an investment property because you wanted a headache. You bought it to grow your portfolio—to increase your income. It makes sense that the company or individual you hire to protect that investment has your best interests in mind. After all, that will only benefit their business into the future, as well.
How do you know if you’re hiring a true partner in your investment? We’ve talked before about the ideal team but it’s also beneficial to ask specific questions that reveal if potential team members are an ideal fit. Start with these, when vetting property managers:
- What kind of properties do you specialize in?
A property manager can be highly skilled at what they do, but if their focus isn’t on the kind of properties you invest in, they may be missing critical insight and resources for appropriately managing your property. Make sure they’re tapped into YOUR market. A manager with commercial expertise won’t necessarily know about the nuances of interacting with residential tenants . . .
- Where are the majority of your properties located?
It’s true, successful property managers often have a client portfolio that spans an entire region—and that’s great. But, the point of this question is to ensure that a property manager knows your region of interest well, and has insight into regions or neighborhoods that fit into your long-term plan. Remember, this is about partnership; if a property manager has their finger on the pulse of neighborhood you’d like to invest in, they can be an added set of eyes and ears for potential opportunities.
- What is your communication strategy?
A property manager who can’t effectively keep you in the loop or be proactive about communication could be a risk to your investment. Not only should your property manager have a communication style that meets yours, but they should also provide you with updates and answers in a timely fashion. You shouldn’t ever be left wondering about what is happening with your property.
- Can you provide me with a transparent fee breakdown?
Everyone wants to know exactly where his or her money is going. This is particularly important when you are planning and pursuing your real estate investments. A solid property management company is going to tell you, up front, what they charge for and when those charges are applied. Those fees play an important role in your forecasting strategy, and as your property investment partner, a manager knows how important it is that they are as accurate and transparent as possible. Don’t waste your time with managers who can’t provide you with easily understood timely fee information.
Of course, there are other important questions to ask a potential property manager, but remember, each question should be rooted in the idea that trust and expertise are what build effective investment partnerships.