15 Must-Ask Questions Before Hiring a Property Management Company: Your Guide to Finding the Best Fit
Owning a rental property in the Greater Nashville Area can be a lucrative investment. However, it can also be a lot of work. This is where property management companies come in. They can handle everything from tenant screening to rent collection, freeing up your time and making your life easier. But not all property management companies are created equal, and it’s essential to do your due diligence before hiring one.
Here are some questions you should ask a property management company before hiring them.
1. What is your experience managing properties?
Experience is key when it comes to property management. You want to ensure the company you hire has a proven track record of success. Ask them how long they’ve been in business and how many properties they currently manage. You can also ask for references from other property owners who have worked with the company.
2. What services do you offer?
Property management companies offer a wide range of services, from marketing and tenant screening to rent collection and maintenance. Make sure the company you hire offers the services you need. Ask them to provide a detailed list of their services and how they will handle any issues that may arise.
3. What are your fees?
Property management fees can vary widely depending on the company and the services they offer. For example, some companies charge a flat fee, while others charge a percentage of the rent. Ensure you understand how the company’s costs are structured and what you will pay for. It’s also a good idea to ask if you should be aware of any additional fees or charges.
4. How do you handle maintenance and repairs?
One of property owners’ biggest headaches is maintenance and repairs. Ensure the property management company you hire has a plan for handling these issues. Ask them how they take maintenance requests, how quickly they respond to issues, and what kind of vendors they work with. You may also want to ask if they have an emergency response plan for after-hours problems.
5. How do you handle tenant screening?
Tenant screening is a critical part of the rental process. You want to make sure the tenants who rent your property are responsible, reliable, and able to pay rent on time. Ask the property management company what screening process they use and what criteria they look for in potential tenants. You may also want to ask if they conduct background and credit checks.
6. What is your communication process?
Communication is vital when it comes to managing rental properties. You want to make sure you are kept in the loop about any issues that arise with your property. Ask the property management company how they communicate with property owners and how often you expect to hear from them. Also, ask if they provide regular reports on the status of your property.
7. How do you handle rent collection?
Rent collection can be a tricky business. First, make sure the property management company you hire has a system for collecting rent and dealing with late payments. Then, ask them how they handle delinquent tenants and what steps they take to ensure rent is paid on time.
8. What is your eviction process?
Evictions are a worst-case scenario, but they do happen. Make sure the property management company you hire has a plan for dealing with evictions. Ask them about their process for handling delinquent tenants and how they work with landlords to resolve issues.
9. How do you handle security deposits?
Security deposits are a critical part of the rental process. Ensure the property management company you hire has a system for handling security deposits. Ask them how they handle disputes over security deposit refunds and what documentation they provide to tenants.
10. What is your philosophy on customer service?
Customer service is essential in any business, and property management is no exception. Ask the property management company what their philosophy is when it comes to customer service. Do they prioritize tenant satisfaction? How do they handle complaints or issues that arise? You want to make sure the company you hire has a customer-centric approach that puts the needs of tenants and property owners first.
11. Do you have insurance?
Property management companies should have liability insurance to protect themselves and their clients in case of accidents or damages. Ask the company if they have liability insurance and what coverage it provides. You may also want to ask if they have errors and omissions insurance, which can protect you if the company makes a mistake that causes financial harm.
12. What kind of technology do you use?
Technology can make a big difference in property management. Ask the company what technology they use to manage properties and communicate with tenants and owners. For example, do they have an online portal for tenants to pay rent and submit maintenance requests? Do they use software to track lease agreements and other important documents?
13. How do you handle turnover?
Tenant turnover is a fact of life in rental properties. Ask the property management company what their process is for handling turnover. Do they have a plan to quickly advertise and market the property to potential tenants? How do they conduct move-in and move-out inspections, security deposits, and cleaning and maintenance between tenants?
14. Can you provide examples of successful tenant relationships?
Ask the property management company to provide examples of successful tenant relationships they have built. For example, how do they handle tenant concerns and complaints? Have they ever had to evict a tenant, and how did they handle the process? You want to ensure the company you hire has a good track record of building positive relationships with tenants.
15. How do you stay up-to-date with local and state laws?
Property management is a heavily regulated industry, with laws and regulations varying by state and municipality. Ask the company how they stay up-to-date with local and state laws and regulations. For example, do they have a system for tracking law changes and updating lease agreements and other documents? You want to make sure the company you hire is knowledgeable and up-to-date on all relevant laws and regulations.
Hiring a property management company can be a great way to relieve the stress of owning a rental property. But it’s important to do your due diligence and ask the right questions before deciding. By asking these 15 questions, you can ensure you find a property management company that meets your needs and has a proven track record of success.
If you’re a property owner in the Greater Nashville Area and looking for a reliable property management company to manage your properties, consider DeSelms Property Management. We are happy to answer all your questions. Our experienced team of professionals has a proven track record of success in managing rental properties and providing exceptional customer service to property owners and tenants.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you maximize your rental income and minimize your stress as a property owner.