Professional certifications means that the recipient has invested a considerable amount of time and money acquiring the skills required to be an expert in their field. This also shows how seriously the company takes their work.
• Does the management team dress and act professionally?
Interviewed companies should be on their best behavior during the interview process. This is a strong indication on how they will be acting in the workforce and with future tenants.
• How long has the company been in operation? Under this name or under a different name?
Five years of experience or more is preferred. Beware of a company that has changed its name to avoid a bad past.
• Have they been doing property management that whole time? Have they been managing the type of property you own that whole time?
Beware of people who decide to become property managers overnight even though they are unqualified.
• How knowledgeable are they?
If they appear to not have the time to answer your questions in the interview process, move on. They either genuinely don’t have time for their clients, or this is a front to mask their lack of knowledge. Try offering them some hypothetical scenarios to see if they offer you solid answers or dance around the question. If they offer quick and clear answers it is a positive sign.
• Are they licensed to practice property management?
It is important to check the laws in your state to verify that you don’t hire a company that is practicing property management illegally. Also ensure they have a current errors and omissions insurance policy.
• What certifications does the company and its employees have? Do they participate in continuing education?
• How many types of properties do they manage? Do they have a specialty?
Generally speaking it is a good thing if they focus on specializing in one area.
• Do they manage properties locally, regionally, or nationally?
Only managing properties locally is best because it allows for a more singular focus and increases the attention of management and their ability to meet the needs and be available as the decision makers in the company.
• Do they manage any section 8 properties?
These kinds of properties come with their unique challenges and require specific knowledge to manage. If you own, or think you may consider purchasing section 8 properties in the future, it is in your best interest to look for a company that has experience in this area.
• How long is their average client relationship?
Longevity is a good sign.
• Ask for the addresses of some of their properties so you can do a drive by and if possible get a walk through?
Try to talk to tenants and assess their level of satisfaction with the management company.
• Where is their office located? How far is it from your rental property?
You don’t want them to be far away because your property will not receive the attention it deserves. A maximum of twenty five minute drive is ideal.