Our topic today is picking a property management company and what you should be asking professional managers during the interview process. This is probably one of the most important decisions you can make. It’s even more important than picking tenants because the management company will ultimately be responsible for finding you a great tenant.
We believe 33rd Company® is one of the finest property management companies nationwide, and we want to tell you what kinds of questions you should ask when you’re picking a manager for your rental property.
Who Signs the Lease?
The first question to bring up is about the lease and the party responsible for signing it. This is a fundamental decision when looking for a property manager. At 33rd Company®, we actually sign the lease on behalf of the owner. This is important in limiting your liability and risk. When your name is there, you can be named as a party in the lawsuit. When you’re an independent landlord working with a property manager, the last thing you should have to worry about is a summons to court for a HUD complaint or a security deposit issue. Ask a potential property manager about who signs the lease with the tenant.
Remember that Realtors are not property managers. A lot of times Realtors just facilitate the rental. They don’t do a thorough job of screening and they have no experience in management. They don’t know how to incorporate income thresholds or guidelines for screening. When you work with a Realtor instead of a property manager, you’re taking full liability and responsibility for that lease and the tenant.
What Certifications do you Have?
Certifications are important for management companies and you want a property manager that has them. Find out if the property manager is a member of national associations. The most important associations are the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) and the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM). These are just two of the national organizations your management company should belong to and be certified by.
How do you Communicate?
Always ask about a property manager’s communication methods. You will want to know what kind of online portals they use and what kind of communication system they have. Ask if they’ll contact you regularly and if you get weekly statistics to explain the performance of your rental. You want a company that is proactive in finding responsible tenants and making sure your leasing experience is a successful one.
If you have any questions or you’d like to interview us for your property management needs, please contact us at 33rd Company, and we’d be happy to talk with you.