Choosing the right property management company is an important decision. Whether you are an owner of a new investment property or an experienced investor, these are four important questions to ask:
1. 1. What is in your contract?
Common questions to ask: How long are you committed to the service and what is the cancellation fee should you choose to end the agreement? Does the contract automatically renew? If you want to cancel, do you still have to pay management fees if the tenant remains at the property?
2. 2. How is your company set up?
Portfolio Style: Do you have one property manager in charge of marketing the property, advertising the property, showing the property, vetting applications, approving tenants, signing leases, performing move in inspections, managing the tenants, managing maintenance, owner/client relationships, completing interim inspections, sending lease renewals, handling notices to vacate, performing move out inspections and finally completing security deposit settlement statements?
Department Style: Is each property management function handled by a specific department? For instance, Client Services handles applicants and tenants, as well as owner/client relationships. Operations department handles marketing and advertising of properties, signing and renewing lease agreements and notices to vacate. Most importantly, Maintenance & Inspections Department manages maintenance and move in inspections as well as move out, interim inspections and final settlement statements.
3. 3. How do you screen applicants and manage tenants?
Is the process outsourced or is it handled in-house? What factors are considered before approving a tenant? Is there a policy in place to ensure that the highest risk tenants are not approved? Do you have the ability, through your accounting software, to report to the ‘big three’ credit bureau agencies automatically in case of default or damages owed?
4. 4. How do you report back on a property inspection?
When an interim or move out inspection is performed what is provided to the owner/client in terms of a report? Does it include date stamped pictures if the owner/client requests it? Does the report include areas of concerns as it relates to deferred maintenance with an action to handle the maintenance issue? Does it include information informing the owner/client about the upcoming need for cosmetic updates, so the owner can start to prepare for possible future cost?Choosing the wrong management company jeopardizes your investment. At Verandah Properties, we are passionate about our industry and can help you navigate the decision process. Contact us today for a private consultation.