Questions to ask a property management company

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Can I get some great questions to ask potential property managers? I have a client who is shopping around, and I want to empower him with questions that will help bring out their "true colors".... Preferably something a little more basic than "what do you charge?" and "what do you do if...?"

No dumb answers, please chime in :)

1. How many properties do you currently manage?

2. How many PM's do you have? You want to have 1 PM for about 50 properties.

3. How long do your tenants stay in their properties, on average.  You want this to be over 1 year.

4. What is your current vacancy rate?

5. How long does it take to rent a property out?

6. Do you charge fees when the property is vacant. 


Heres a copy of a blog I wrote on hiring a PM:

Hiring a property manager is an important decision, and can be an asset for a property investor, but can also be a detriment if not chosen carefully and without some due diligence. Here are 10 tips on hiring a professional property manager:

1. Make sure that your property manager is a licensed Realtor or Broker, look them up on DBPR, the department of business & professional regulation.

2. Make sure their office is relatively close to your rental property. The farther it is, the harder it is to manage, show, find tenants, get vendors and inspect

3. Look at the experience of the Property Manager. They may not know the Fair Housing laws, take too long to fill the vacancy, have licensed vendors. How many units do they manage, or are they just doing this “on the side” for extra income.

4. What is their policy for dealing with evictions?

5. Are you willing to give up control? Most Professional Property Managers do everything; collect rent, schedule maintenance, pay taxes, pay mortgages & HOA dues, process security deposit claims, marketing , leasing , on call 24/7, handle landlord-tenant conflict. Its exhausting…..

6. Examine their management agreement, check to see if there is an out clause if you are dissatisfied, make sure it spells out the responsibilities of the owner and the property manager

7. What type of fees do they charge? Most companies will charge a management fee, leasing or placement fee and renewal fee. Ask if there are any any additional fees for maintenance, advertising, evictions, etc... and make sure they are outlined in the agreement. Do your homework, don't be fooled by low or flat management fees.

8. When and how will you receive your money each month? Will I receive a monthly statement?

9. Do they perform property inspections? What kind and how often?

10. How do they handle maintenance complaints or emergencies from tenants?

Property managers are great as a third party buffer or middle man, this is a business to us, it's not personal. Tenants understand they are dealing with a professional.

1) Ask them to explain the city, state, and federal laws for dealing with tenants.

2) What are the steps for evicting a tenant?

3) What are the rules for collecting and storing security deposits?

4) Are you available to show units seven days a week? Obviously you want maximum flexibility.

5) What type of extra fees do you charge? (advertising, evictions, tenant placement)

6) Do you provide an itemized list of all expenses for maintenance requirements?

7) Who are the contractors that you will contact in the case of certain maintenance emergencies? You should follow up and do research on each contractor yourself.

Good luck to you and your client!

Also, @Chris Clothier wrote a solid article detailing many good questions to ask potential property management companies.

Hi @Robert Lorenz   I'm not able to upload but if you look in the file section there is a detailed list with questions for PM.

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