It is important for a property management company to attract the right tenants and keep them. Review and discuss these issues with any prospective property manager.
• Where do they advertise their rental listings?
Listings may be on numerous paid and free websites and offline channels such as print classifieds, signs, MLS, fliers, and 24-hour hotlines.
• How compelling and informative are their rental ads?
Good ads will stand out from competition. Property management companies should know how to optimize their advertisements for maximum impact. The ads should include all the information required to answer people’s questions, but they should also incorporate good copy-writing that engages the reader on an emotional level beyond bland facts.
• What is their current vacancy rate?
Property managers should be able to get and keep their tenants.
• How long does it usually take them to fill vacancies on average?
This should be no longer than a month.
• Do they know what their cost per lead is?
If they can readily provide an answer, you know you’re dealing with a manager who closely tracks the impact of their marketing and advertising dollars.
• Who fields inbound leads resulting from rental ads?
The system is only as good as the weakest link in the chain.
• How quickly do they return prospective tenants calls and emails?
The shorter the better.
• What do they do to prepare the home for showings? Do they take steps to ensure optimal presentation both inside and outside?
You property manager should be prepared and paying attention to details that matter because showings are where the decisions are made.
• Will they show a unit if it is occupied?
This is advisable so long as the current tenant is informed, the unit is presentable, and the necessary precautions are taken to minimize the intrusion and disturbance.
• Who shows the units, do they allow unsupervised showings from a lock box?
It is important for property managers to be present so that they can answer questions and sell the benefits of the property. Using a lock box for showings increases the possibility of vandalism, theft, and rental fraud when tenants are in a property unsupervised.
• How many times will they show the unit during the week and the weekend?
Property managers should be willing to put in the time necessary to maximize the number of showings for a property.
• What kind of a tenant retention program do they have in place?
Increasing the average tenancy periods will be a large boost to your business. This ensures a steady income stream because of fewer turnovers and lower tenant placement costs. This may also mean more responsible and well-behaved tenants.
A good retention program involves providing quick responses to tenant needs, establishing regular contact to assess needs, asking for feedback, providing appropriate financial incentives, giving notice that rent increases are coming, and being willing to explain rent increases.