9 Questions to Ask a Property Management Company Before Hiring Them

The Joseph Group May 2022

Ian Joseph

“Clients first!” – is a huge part of the DNA that Ian Joseph and his Team have established at The Joseph Group. This motto helps them focus on striving for the highest level of customer experience, for their clients (landlords) and customers (tenants). In fact, Ian strongly believes that in life, family and business, you must strive to give more than you receive. “You can have everything in life you want if you help enough other people get what they want." - Zig Ziglar

​​When looking for a property manager, it is essential to ask the right questions before hiring one. This will help you determine if the company is a good fit for your needs. Property management fees are inevitable, but they are also a wise investment, so it is vital to ensure the firm you partner with is the absolute best for your needs. Otherwise, you may find yourself losing time and money while not getting the services you need.

As a leading Edmonds property management company, we are often asked what questions investors should ask when interviewing potential property managers. It is an excellent question and one we are happy to answer. Here are the nine key questions you should ask any property manager before hiring them.

1. What Services Do You Offer?

Not all property management companies offer the same services. Some may only handle basic tasks such as rent collection and leasing, while others also provide marketing, accounting, maintenance, and legal services. 

Depending on your needs, goals, and the type of property you own, you will need to decide which services are most important to you. Be sure your property manager delivers the services you need. 

2. What Are Your Management Fees?

Property management fees can vary widely, so knowing what you are expected to pay is vital before partnering with an agency. It’s important to understand their pricing structure from the start.

Agent showing project of the house on the laptop to the young couple

Depending on the services you need, most companies charge a percentage of the monthly rent. Additionally, find out if there are any other fees you will be responsible for, such as marketing or accounting fees. Try to get a breakdown of all fees you will (and may) be charged to avoid surprises down the road.

3. How Do You Screen Potential Tenants?

Your property manager will be responsible for screening potential tenants. The screening process should include running a credit check, verifying employment, and checking references. 

Ask your property manager how they find and place excellent renters to ensure that you are comfortable with their process. It can help to know the basics of screening tenants, so you have a basis for comparing companies when reviewing screening practices. 

4. What’s Your Approach to Setting Rental Rates?

A reliable property manager should understand the local market and typical rental rates for properties similar to yours. Ensuring that your rental rates are in line with the market will help you attract tenants and avoid vacancies—increasing your rental income and, ultimately, your ROI.

5. How Often Do You Communicate With Property Owners?

It is essential to know how often you can expect to hear from your property manager. Some companies may only provide updates every quarter, while others will send monthly or even weekly reports. The right property managers will work with you to stay in touch as often (or as little) as you like. 

6. How Do You Handle Bad Tenants?

Knowing how to keep a tenant happy is essential for your success as a rental property owner. No one wants to deal with the hazards a bad tenant can have on rental income, but it is essential to know how your property manager will handle them if they do occur.

Ask about their process for evicting a tenant. Also, talk with them about the steps that they take to avoid bad tenants, evictions, and future problems. Excellent rental managers should understand the legal process to remove a renter, but they should also prioritize strategies that reduce the need for evictions. 

7. How Do You Collect the Rent?

The best Edmonds property manager should have a reliable system in place for collecting rent on time every month. Some property management services include a convenient online portal where residents can pay their rent. This can make things much easier for both you and your tenants. 

construction manager with kay in hands

When learning about rent collection methods, be sure to ask how they handle late payments and what steps they take to ensure that the rent is paid on time.

8. What Are Your Maintenance Policies?

Your property manager should have a process in place for handling maintenance requests and keeping up with seasonal maintenance for rental properties. Property owners should be able to trust that their management team handles maintenance requests promptly and with quality fixes (while maintaining a budget). 

Additionally, you want to know that your property manager has a good relationship with local vendors and contractors to get the best possible price on repairs.

9. How Do You Market Properties?

A good property manager will have a solid action plan for getting your property in front of as many potential tenants as possible. Look for companies that deliver effective marketing and advertising on major rental listing websites as well as social media platforms.

Hire the Best Property Management Services in Edmonds

Are you looking for the best Edmonds property management company? Our team can answer all of these questions (and many more) if we have the opportunity to speak with you about your property management needs. 

The Joseph Group provides full-service property management to take care of your rental properties and renters. From marketing and advertising to screening tenants and handling maintenance, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today to learn more about our services!

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