It is important to be knowledgeable about who the property manager firm consists of. Here are some important questions to review with the property management firms you interview:
How many people do they have on staff?
There are pros and cons to larger companies and smaller companies.
More specialized staff
In-house maintenance crew
Negotiate better vendor contracts and advertising rates
Have a significant investment in enterprise level software that helps the perform property management functions and more general tasks
More staff on back-up
Shorter chain of command resulting in quicker responses
More pricing leverage
Reputation and personal identity tied to the firm has a positive motivating factor to provide good service
What is their staff turnover rate?
Compare this number to other property management companies in the area because the industry has a higher average turnover rate. However, a high turnover rate is not a good sign. You want the people you are working with to stay consistent. A high turnover rate could be a sign of poor management or financial instability.
Who is the specific PM that will handle the property?
Meet the specific property managers who will be on your properties and consider the following:
Do they make a good first impression? Do they dress and act professionally and seem knowledgeable about their profession?
How long have they been working as an actual property manager on your type of property?
How long have they been with this company and where and for how long were they with the company before that?
How is their compensation package structured?
Who would you be dealing with if that person is sick or on leave?
What are their office hours, do they close on weekends?
Property managers should be willing to work 24/7/365.
Who handles after hours, weekends, and holiday calls?
This should be someone who is qualified to competently address owner and tenant concerns quickly and immediately. This includes calls and requests at odd hours.
How quickly do they respond to tenant and owner calls?
You want a property management firm that is easy to get a hold of. This only shows how they will perform and react in the actual workforce.