Eight Questions to Ask a New Property Management Company by Dave Sweyer


If you have decided to have rental properties in your investment portfolio, one of the first decisions you will need to make is to hire a property management company and, if so, which one?

Like the properties themselves, no two property management companies are the same. Some only manage residential properties, while others specialize in commercial leasing such as retail, office and industrial space. Therefore, their management styles, experience and the size of their operations will vary.

So how do you find the right property management company to manage your investments?

First of all, do your research. Searching online for property management companies in your area will yield several results. While we don’t suggest judging a book by its cover, having a business online presence will give you insight into its structure, size, experience, and level of professionalism.

Second, remember that you are hiring a property management company to work for you. Treat it as you would any other hiring situation. Interview multiple companies and ask questions until you’re confident you’ve found the right property management company for you.

Here are eight questions to ask potential property management companies to manage your rental properties.

WHAT IS YOUR LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE?
While everyone has to start somewhere, you probably don’t want an inexperienced property manager to manage your properties. The right property management company will have several years of experience and have covered almost every aspect of the property management world including tenant turnover, maintenance issues, evictions, changes in laws and regulations, between others.

HOW MANY AND WHAT TYPES OF PROPERTIES DO YOU MANAGE?
Property management companies come in all shapes and sizes. Some manage a relatively small number of properties, while others have strong management portfolios that include single-family residential, multi-family residential and commercial properties. You’ll want to make sure that a property management company specializes in your type of property, and then consider several property management companies to help you decide what size of business is best for your needs. You may feel more comfortable with a smaller operation, or perhaps a larger outfit with a sturdy and varied wallet fits your needs better.

HOW MANY PEOPLE WORK FOR YOUR COMPANY?
It can be easy for a business to exceed its capabilities as it has to manage more and more properties. For example, an independent property manager probably shouldn’t manage dozens of properties on their own, but a business managing 50 properties shouldn’t employ dozens of people. The number and specialty of people employed by a property management company should allow each property manager to have a reasonable number of properties that he oversees. Depending on the size of the operation, a business may also employ full-time maintenance and accounting staff. Ask these questions of the companies you are considering managing your properties to assess if they are sufficiently staffed to meet your expectations.

WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?
A property management company with the right experience and expertise will also have satisfied customers. Chances are, you know someone or people who have investment property in their portfolio, so ask people you know for good old-fashioned references. Plus, good references and more recent testimonials on Google and company websites will give you a good indication of the suitability of a property management company.

TERMS OF THE CONTRACT
As with any legal agreement, make sure you know the terms of the contract you will be signing with a property management company. Some contracts may seem like virtually unavoidable, while others may not cover enough ground. Always remember that the property management company is working for you, the owner, and, if you are unclear or uncomfortable with the terms of the contract, ask questions, seek clarification and make any changes beforehand. designate.

WHAT IS YOUR RENEWAL RATE?
Any property management company with experience, expertise and doing a good job will have a high renewal rate that they will proudly boast about as it is a sign of their success. The renewal rate of a business shows its capacity and track record for tenant satisfaction.

ARE THERE ANY FEES WHEN THE PROPERTIES ARE VACANT?
You’ll want to know if your property management company charges a fee during vacancy periods. Make sure you know if the fees you’re paying are fixed or based on a percentage rent, so you know what to expect during periods of vacancy.

HOW ARE MAINTENANCE ISSUES HANDLED?
Whether a business employs maintenance staff or uses a network of contractors, maintenance costs can greatly affect your bottom line. Some property managers charge a mark-up fee for their work in organizing the maintenance of the property. Make sure you know how the company you employ handles maintenance issues before entering into a deal.

As a leading property management company in the Cape Fear area, Sweyer Property Management certainly recommends that property owners strongly consider working with a trusted and experienced property management company. Whether you ask us the above questions or another company, we want to make sure that property owners and investors understand the relationship they form when they choose to work with a property management company.

If you own investment property and are not using a professional management company, we hope you consider doing so. Sweyer Property Management experts will be happy to provide you with you with a free rental analysis or, if you prefer, give us a call at 910-256-3031.


Sweyer Property Management is a professional, full-service property management company specializing in all aspects of rental management. If you are an investor or owner who would like to learn more about our services and what a professional property manager can do for you, contact us today at 910.256.3031 or via our website. Sweyer Property Management has shown continued growth in the Wilmington, Leland and Hampstead areas while maintaining excellent Google+ note for customer service.

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