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Invest Pro Properties Inc.

13 Hard-Hitting Questions to Ask a Property Manager

Owning a rental property in Jupiter, FL is a big deal. It’s a beautiful place that people love to flock to for retirement and there’s no shortage of things to do. However, self-managing an investment property is a lot of work. And honestly, having to put all your time and effort into a rental property is not something many people look forward to doing.

If you’re still wanting to enjoy your Jupiter, FL rental property, but don’t want the hassle of managing it, there is a solution. You should look into hiring an experienced property manager to help. That said, southern Florida ranks eighth in the country when it comes to the number of property managers in a metro area. This makes choosing the right property management company difficult to do.

For help in making a final decision, check out these top questions to ask a property manager before handing over your rental property.

Top Questions to Ask A Property Manager in Jupiter, FL

1. What Services Do You Provide?

When it comes to ‘property management services,’ there’s no guaranteed list of services you’ll get with any one property manager.  This is why it’s crucial to ask right away what services you’ll receive as part of your contract.

The last thing you want to do is hire a property manager thinking they’ll service your every need, only to find out certain tasks aren’t covered by the monthly management fee. The goal is to hire a property management company that can market, lease, and manage your property. This includes things like producing high-quality ads for vacancies, conducting quick and thorough tenant screening, and offering 24/7 maintenance and repairs.

2. How Long Have You Been in Business?

Having a successful track record is something all property management companies strive for. Unfortunately, newer companies have a tough time proving they’re the right fit for potential customers.

We suggest that you ask a property manager how long they’ve been in business before hiring them. Experience is vital to managing a rental property the right way. Risking your investment property and your annual revenue on a new property manager might not be the best option.

3. Are You Licensed and Insured?

To avoid legal trouble, you should always make sure the company you want managing your rental property is licensed and insured. Also, you should see whether the property manager is an active real estate investor. If your property manager doesn’t have current experience in the housing market, you might not get the service you deserve. Not to mention, it could affect how much you earn each year from your tenants.

4. How Many Properties Are You Managing?

Find out how many properties the property management company is currently managing. Being a busy company is a sign of success. But, being stretched too thin will hurt your chances of generating a profit.

Don’t forget to ask what types of properties are being managed. You’ll want to make sure your property manager has experience managing the type of rental you own.

5. What Are the Property Management Fees?

If you’re ready to hire a property manager to help, you’re going to have to invest some money. That said, wasting money is senseless. Make sure to find out the fee structure of the company you want to use. Some property management companies charge a flat fee and pride themselves in not charging hidden setup, vacancy, or termination fees. Others nickel and dime their clients to make a profit off their rental properties.

6. How Do You Determine Rent Rates?

One of the most important questions to ask a property manager is how rent rates are determined. If your property is priced too low, you run the risk of losing money and attracting the wrong kind of tenants. But, if your rental is priced too high, prospective tenants will go to the competition, leaving your property vacant.

A well-established property management company will base rent rates on factors such as the local market, the value of your property, and the amenities you provide.

7. Do You Understand Fair Housing Laws?

Landlord-tenant laws are something all landlords must know about. The same rings true for property managers. No court is going to side with you if you or your property manager violate someone’s rights and claim ignorance. An experienced property manager will know all local, state, and federal fair housing laws.

8. How Do You Handle Tenant Communication

Tenants don’t like feeling like they can’t get in touch with the property manager when needed. Yet, oftentimes tenants are faced with answering machines, unanswered emails, and the frustration of not feeling heard.

To make sure your tenants receive the best customer service possible, hire a property manager that prioritizes communication. This means having a full staff to answer calls during office hours. It also includes an after-hours hotline, a tenant portal, and a working email that is routinely checked.

9. What Does Your Tenant Screening Process Look Like?

Finding high-quality tenants for your rental may have been difficult for you as a self-managing landlord. Luckily, with the right property manager, you’ll have good tenants in your property that pay their rent on time and care for your property.

Make sure to ask the property manager about the process they have in place for screening tenants. Remember, any good property manager will check things like employment, income, credit history, criminal records, previous evictions, and references.

10. What is the Average Vacancy Rate for Properties You Manage?

Vacancies are not something any property owner can avoid. However, by using a reputable property manager, you can lessen the impact of inevitable vacancies.

A good property manager will have a decent idea about ideal turnover times. If your property is rent ready and you’re open to the rent rates your property manager suggests, you can expect your vacancy to lease within a few weeks or less. Anything beyond that is too long.

11. How Do You Collect Rent?

The only way you’re going to get paid is if your property manager collects rent from your tenant. Making rent collection as easy on your tenants as possible is just one way to ensure you get paid. Your property management company should offer tenants a variety of ways to pay rent.

The best way to collect rent is online. Online rent collection is easy to track, convenient for tenants, and makes depositing your money easy.

12. Do You Offer Any Guarantees?

Most property management companies will offer standard guarantees. However, if you find a property manager that offers ‘above and beyond’ guarantees, you might want to put them at the top of your list.

Here are some of the most unique guarantees a property management company can offer:

  • Results Only Guarantee: you don’t pay a dime until a highly qualified tenant is in your rental property.
  • Tenant Performance Guarantee: if your current tenant defaults on their lease in the first six months, a new tenant will be placed in your property for free.
  • Happy Client Guarantee: you can cancel your services at any time without penalty.
  • Pet Damage Guarantee: covers up to $2,000 of damage beyond the security deposit at no extra cost to you.
  • 28 Day Placement Guarantee: if your property isn’t leased within 28 days, you’ll receive two free months of property management services.

13. How Often Do You Conduct Property Inspections?

Your property manager should inspect your property on a regular basis. By doing this, minor repairs are handled before they become costly. Also, routine inspections give your property manager a chance to check in with your tenants. If your tenants are happy, they’re more likely to sign a lease renewal at the end of their tenancy. This is a win-win for your tenants and you.

Final Thoughts

Do you need help managing your rental property? If so, contact us today and see how we can take the stress of managing a rental property off your hands.

At InvestPro Properties, we are investors ourselves and know what it takes to manage rental properties at the highest ROI possible. Thanks to things such as aggressive marketing, guaranteed tenant placement, and transparent management fees you can trust, we’re convinced we are the property management company for your needs.