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How to Choose a Property Management Group: Part 2

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The rental experts at Lovely are back with everything you need to know about choosing a property management group. In case you missed Part 1 of this two part series on the HuffPost blog, you can find it here.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING A PROPERTY MANAGEMENT GROUP

Once you decide to use a property manager, you are faced with the challenge of knowing the right questions to ask when evaluating the firm. When meeting with the PM, it is good to have a mental checklist and prioritize specific attributes you are looking for so you can compare the quality of services being offered.

Cost: When you meet with a property management group, you should thoroughly understand their pricing structure. Evaluate what the company offers and try to get the best value for your money. Important questions to ask:

  • What is included in the fee (typically 5-12% of monthly rental income depending on services offered)?
  • Are services besides basic management, such as listing a unit, travel to and from the property, etc. included in the base fee? Is the property manager paid when the unit is vacant?

Processes for Repairs and Emergencies: A major value in hiring a property manager is to handle maintenance requests and emergencies. Questions to consider:

  • Does the PM have their own maintenance team? Do they contract out? Are you charged extra when tenants have maintenance issues?
  • How does the PM handle after-hour emergencies? Is there a 24-hour staff member on call?

Rent Collection: Find out how the property manager collects rent by asking the following questions:

  • What is the current process for collecting rent from tenants? Does the PM use an automated electronic payments system like Pay with Lovely? Paper checks?
  • What is the time between rent collection and deposit into landlord's bank account?

Listing Your Units and Finding the Best Tenants: You want to ensure that the property management group not only provides maximum exposure for your units, but also finds quality renters for the property. Questions to ask:

  • Where does the PM advertise? Are they up to speed with the apartment search platforms that quality renters are using to find their next home? Do they have an advertising presence on mobile?
  • How does the PM show properties? Open houses? Scheduled appointments? Do they accommodate prospective renters with unconventional working hours to show the unit early or late?
  • What is the process for screening tenants? Are there additional fees associated with conducting tenant credit checks?
  • What are the priority criteria for choosing a new tenant and extending an offer?