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Less Than 1% Eviction Rate
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9 Questions You Should Ask When Interviewing a Property Manager

Are you tired of handling your day-to-day landlord responsibilities on your own? If so, you’re likely considering hiring a property manager to help make your rental property business less demanding. However, if you choose the wrong property manager, your decision could backfire, making your job as a landlord even more stressful. That’s why it’s important to know what to ask when interviewing a property manager. 

Questions Landlords Should Ask When Interviewing a Property Manager

If you find it’s time to get help managing your properties, you’ll want to start looking into Northern Virginia property management. That said, the first step is interviewing potential candidates. So, ask every property manager you interview the following questions so you can correctly determine whether or not they are equipped to take over your responsibilities in a way that will allow you to get the best return on your investment.

  1. Questions Landlords Should Ask When Interviewing a Property ManagerDo You Have Local Experience?
  2. What Services and Terms Do You Offer?
  3. How Long Have You Been a Property Manager?
  4. Can I See Sample Documents?
  5. How Will You Advertise My Property?
  6. What Is Your Tenant Screening Process?
  7. What Percentage of Tenants You Place Get Evicted?
  8. What Are Your Fees?
  9. Do You Have Any Special Guarantees?

Do You Have Local Experience?

This question is necessary because working with a local property manager can make a huge difference in the results they are able to achieve for your rental property business. That’s because property managers with lots of insight into the local market know about:

  • Local attractions that appeal to tenants
  • Local rent rates and property values
  • Local laws and regulations

If you’re a landlord in Northern Virginia, be sure your property manager has experience handling properties in the specific county where your property is located. Since tenants living in rural areas have different needs and wants than tenants living in more urban areas, this is a key step to successfully placing high-quality tenants in your properties.

What Services and Terms Do You Offer?

When interviewing a property manager to take over your unwanted landlord responsibilities, you need to ensure they can handle all those responsibilities for you. Here are some of the property management services you may want to ask about:

  • Leasing/Marketing
  • Tenant Screening
  • Maintenance
  • Rent Collection
  • Evictions
  • Rental Registration
  • Inspections

Of course, if you have concerns specific to your rental property business, ask about those as well. Also, make sure you ask the property manager’s terms and conditions so you know exactly what the property manager expects from you as well as what you can expect from them.

How Long Have You Been a Property Manager?

When you choose a property manager, you want to work with someone you can trust to get the job done right. To make sure the property manager you’re considering is capable of doing so, ask them how long they’ve been in business and determine whether or not they have a long track record of successfully managing properties.

You’ll also want to do some investigating of your own, so visit the property manager’s website and look for testimonials from past landlords. If you see lots of positive feedback there, you can feel more confident about the property manager’s abilities.

Can I See Sample Documents?

You need to look over a few important documents because they set the parameters for your experience working with the property manager–a sample lease and management agreement. 

The lease is what your property manager will provide to your tenants, and the management agreement is what the property manager will give you to define your business relationship.

Read over both documents carefully and create a list of questions to ask about each. If you don’t, you could end up in conflict with the property manager later on due to a misunderstanding about either document.

How Will You Advertise My Property?

As you probably already know, your marketing efforts as a landlord can make or break your rental property business. That’s why, when you hand those marketing tasks over to a property manager, you must ensure they know how to market your properties effectively. While interviewing a property manager, here are some questions you can ask to determine whether or not they are well-equipped to do so:

  • What would your timeline be for marketing my property?
  • What advertising methods will you use to find high-quality tenants for my property?
  • What metrics do you use to determine the success of your marketing efforts?
  • Can I, the landlord, find tenants myself? If so, what are the main marketing strategies you recommend?

Once you hear the property manager’s answers to these questions, you should have a better idea of how they will use marketing to boost your rental property business’s profitability.

What Is Your Tenant Screening Process?

The right tenant will treat your property with respect, consistently pay rent on time, and make your job as a landlord easy. On the other hand, a difficult tenant may damage your property, neglect to pay rent, and overwhelm you with unnecessary responsibilities. So it’s easy to see how a bad tenant screening process could negatively affect your rental property business.

That’s why you should always ensure the property manager you’re considering has a thorough tenant screening process. They should screen for:

  • Prior evictions
  • Judgments
  • Liens
  • Bankruptcies
  • Criminal history and terrorist activity
  • Sex offender registry
  • Creditworthiness

Also, make sure the property manager verifies the tenant’s income, checks their references, and follows the necessary federal and state legislation to ensure your rental property business is compliant.

What Percentage of Tenants You Place Get Evicted?

Any property manager can say that their tenant screening process is effective, but the only way to know for sure is to ask how many of the tenants they place get evicted. Ideally, you should look for a property manager with evictions of less than 10%. The lower the percentage, the more confident you can feel that you won’t end up dealing with the costly eviction process.

What Are Your Fees?

Like many other things, you often get what you pay for when you hire a property manager. So, don’t expect to find one for cheap—just look for one with reasonable rates within your budget.

If you’re near Baltimore, Philadelphia, Northern Virginia, or Washington, DC, consider Bay Property Management Group. We are experienced and responsive and have an affordable monthly management fee, making us one of the best property management groups in the Baltimore and Washington metro area.

Do You Have Any Special Guarantees?

Some property management companies may offer special guarantees to provide you with additional peace of mind about working with them. For example, some companies offer a 12-month warranty. In other words, if they place a tenant in your property and they are evicted within the first year, we release the property to you for free. 

Find a Property Manager That Works For You

Interviewing a property manager is the first step in finding someone to help manage your rental business. However, keep in mind that this list of questions isn’t comprehensive. Think about your business goals and how a property manager can help you meet those goals, and come up with your own additional questions based on what you need.

Need More Advice? contact us today!

Bay Property Management Group is an excellent option for landlords looking for comprehensive rental property management. If you’re interested in learning more about how property management services could benefit your rental property business, contact us today.