When looking for a property management company for your investment property, make sure you meet up with the team face to face. Personal instinct will go a long way towards picking people you trust to look after your investment.
Face to face is also the best way to ask questions. To follow are some basic questions which will help you to make your decision, while covering all the important bases.
- Monthly Cost: Most managers charge a monthly fee to maintain, watch and care for your property. Fee’s can vary widely, and you shouldn’t base your decision solely on the answer to this question, however it is imperative to know as a component to your ROI.
- Vacancies and Leasing Fee: Most managers charge a fee for procuring a tenant for a vacant property. This fee offsets the managers costs for advertising, showing the property and the time spent with paperwork.
- Contact Information: This is a big issue for most, as reaching your manager, if necessary, is essential. You should be given an office number, mobile number and email addresses. Confirm that they are approachable after hours in case of emergency.
- Accounting: State laws dictate the rules of procedure for mailing checks to you and how security deposits are handled. Verify that the company is licensed and fully compliant with your state association. Check with reporting bureau’s to see if any complaints have been filed against the management company and the status of resolution. Get a commitment in writing about the mailing schedule for rent checks and monthly expense statements before you sign.
- Repairs and Maintenance: Determine who handles maintenance and repairs for your property. You will also need to know how the repair charges will be based. Is there a dollar value your managers will make repairs up to without contacting you beforehand. This is up to you, but note that you can set a maximum with your manager.
- You’re Fired: What is the termination policy, in case you discover that the relationship isn’t working out? Find out what it will take to terminate, before the trouble starts. Some companies charge a fee for early termination of the management agreement.
- Statements: Does the company provide monthly or quarterly accounting statements? What information is provided, how often and by which means.
- Inspections: How often does the property manager inspect your property. Do they do a physical check or a drive-by. Is there a procedure for a property check, are staff trained on what to look for, do you see a report of the inspection?
- Advertising: You want your property advertised. Ask where they advertise the property? They should have a good website with a lot of photo’s of the property, upload your listing to free rental websites and make use of local classifieds.
- Evictions: Sad, but something landlords have to address upfront. Does the company handle all evictions? They should. If so, what are the costs to evict a tenant?
More frequently asked questions answered on our site at True Property Management (Vic) Pty.
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