Considering a turnkey company, about to call a reference--questions to ask?

3 Replies

Hi All,

I'm looking at expanding my rental portfolio, and found a local turnkey company. I'm trying to do my "due diligence" and asked for some references. I've never worked with a turnkey company (or a property management company) and am trying to come up with a list of questions to ask references. Here's what I've come up with so far--am I missing any questions I should be asking them?

  1. How long have you worked with this management company?
  2. How many units did you have when you started out with them? How many units do you have now?
  3. Have you ever had to go through an eviction with a tenant they placed? If so, how many times, and how difficult/costly was the process?
  4. How many times have you had to become involved on an issue with one of the rental units they manage? How much time do you have to involve yourself in the day-to-day management of the properties?
  5. Do you plan on holding the properties they brought you and are currently managing for you? Why or why not?
  6. Do you plan on purchasing more properties through this company? Why or why not?

What else should I ask?

Also, any other general advice on things to watch out for with a turnkey company, and/or a property management company? This will be both my first turnkey purchase, and my first property that I am not managing myself. My plan is to stop, eventually, managing any rental properties myself, and I want to make sure I start this process off on the right foot.

Thanks for any suggestions!

  -Josh

I like your eviction question. Personally, I would ask more about the tenants they place. How effective is their screening in finding good tenants, how long do the tenants that they place stay, etc.

This question may be a little slanted, but seems like it could be effective here: Can you think of a specific situation that the TK company could've handled better while you were working with them?

@Joshua Beall

The only potential hiccup I see in your screening process is that the references screened are being provided by the turn key company. While it is possible that you do get some valuable feedback, its unlikely that they are going to provide you with any references that give anything but a rosy picture of how great things are. It is like the testimonials from the late night Guru courses - they don't pick people who have had average or poor results.

If you can get a list of past properties they've worked on, you should be able to get contact information from the county assessor's website. Might be a more effective way to get an honest reference.

-Christopher