Whether you’re looking for a property manager for your new property investment, or are thinking of switching to a different property manager, knowing the right questions to ask can be critical to finding the right company for you. A good property company will represent your interests, as well as look after the day to day management of the property, leaving you to enjoy the ongoing stream of income. Let’s look at 3 of the most important questions you should ask before choosing a property management company for your investment.
1. What Range Of Services Do You Offer?
You should never assume that all property companies are the same, and that they will all offer similar services for property owners. For example, some property management companies will find you a tenant and provide rent collection services, but little else. This is fine for landlords who wish to take a more hands on approach to their property, and who wants to be responsible for ongoing maintenance, repairs and issues such as increases in rent. For landlords who wish to outsource these time-consuming and challenging tasks, they should find a “full service” property management company that provides a tenant search and selection process, looks after all repairs and ongoing maintenance, does regular inspections and will give you ongoing advice on issues such as rent increases.
2. How Do You Communicate With Landlords?
The type and frequency of communication your property management company provides is important because you want to find a good balance between being kept informed without being bothered every week with minor issues. Asking your property company up front to provide examples of the type of communication they give to landlords is a good way to see the quality and schedule of their material. It is also a good idea to ask about how they conduct the regular property inspections – do they, for example, provide the landlord with photos of the property after such inspections?
As well as the information on regular property inspections, you might want to receive a regular update on your property (perhaps quarterly), and you may also wish to be kept informed of market trends and news via email updates. Many property management companies such as Ironfish provide this type of ongoing communication for property investors.
3. Do You Have A Dedicated Local Team?
It is obviously preferable to choose a property management team that knows and understands the area where your property investment is located. They are more likely to understand the market, as well as details such as the type of tenant who would be attracted to your property. They will also have a good idea of average rental prices for your investment.
Not all property management companies will have a team based in the area of your property investment. Sometimes this can work, especially if they have outsourced the management of properties to a specialist company. The important thing is to ask your property management company to give you details about who will be looking after your property, their experience and their local knowledge.