Property managers are a great solution for new landlords, mainly for those who have neither the skill nor the time to manage their property. However, finding the right manager can be quite challenging especially if you have no previous experience in the field.
However, by understanding exactly what you need and asking the right questions, you can simplify this process. In this article, we will go through a few steps that will help you decide whether you need professional property management and how to find the right person for the job.
What is the role of the property manager
The list of responsibilities of your manager largely depends on your desires. Generally, their primary task is to find tenants for your property. However, they will commonly also take care of everyday maintenance and rent collecting. You should decide if you will need part-time or full-time help and whether you will hire the manager as an employee or an individual contractor. All of these factors depend on the number of the properties you need to be managed as well as the scope of the job.
Finding a property management officer
Firstly, you can use the traditional method of talking with other property owners. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to find the best people to hire. Mainly because you can find out all the information through a casual chat, which may give you the accurate insights. You could also ask some rental agencies, but note that they may be biased. A good solution would be to ask several sources because that will allow you to get the full picture of both, the good and the bad sides, of your potential manager.
Secondly, you can also search online. The internet may be a bit less reliable as reviews can be easily faked. However, if you go through trustworthy directories, you should get only the most accurate information. Lastly, before you make the final call, check if the person you chose has any real customer reviews on their property management work on pages like Yelp or Facebook.
Although your requirements for a person who will manage your property may vary, there are few things you should include in your research.
● Experience: For many, this is the most critical factor that will determine whether they will employ a property manager or not.
● Qualifications: This factor includes both education and the presence of required licenses for legal work.
● Financial history: If your manager will handle your rents, make sure you make a background check. Note that you must have their written consent if you plan to do that. The examination should include both their credit and criminal records.
Interview questions when hiring a property management officer
You should call at least several applicants to an interview. That will enable you to compare their strength and weaknesses and to see which one of them is the right fit for your property. Here are a few sample questions you could include in your interview:
● How do you choose the right tenant?
● How long does it usually take you to find them?
● Do you currently manage any other properties and how many?
● Do you have any staff and what are their credentials?
● How do you handle maintenance related requests?
● What are your steps when a tenant is late with their rent?
● How would you handle evictions and do you have any experience in that field?
● What are your rates?
If a property manager is a professional, he shouldn’t have any problems with answering these questions. An interview is also an excellent way to check the applicant’s communication skills, as they will do most of the correspondence with your tenants.
Check their property management agreement
A management agreement will ensure that both you and your property manager agree on all terms of the contract. It should consist of the manager's duties and services, fees, your responsibilities and a termination clause.
Whether you have only one property or several, having a good property management officer will take a lot of weight from your hands. However, before you enter any contract make sure you do your due diligence and check their references, licenses and any relevant records that may affect their work.
Also, see how you connect personally during the interview because it will be much easier to collaborate with a person with whom you share the mutual respect, and who is quick to address all of your concerns and questions.