How to Interview Your Property Management Company?

Property Management Services in Los AngelesWhether you have one unit or have recently acquired a whole apartment building, finding the right property management company is essential to your future success. Sitting down for a one-on-one meeting with prospective companies is the best way to find out if the business relationship will be a success.

Don’t go into this meeting without a plan. Follow this guide on how to interview your property management company:

  • Availability to You and Tenants
    Surprisingly, a large portion of management companies make themselves scarce once a contract is signed and the rent checks start coming in. Such behavior leads to mistrust among everyone and unhappy tenants.

    Make sure the company has a physical office space that is within driving distance of your rental income property and that they maintain normal business hours. If one of your tenants experiences a maintenance issue, someone should be on-hand to answer the call 24 hours a day.

  • Number of Rental Units They Manage

    While it might be okay to do business with a company that is newer and only has a handful of units in their portfolio, you want to do some due diligence first.

    Ask them what the vacancy rate is and how long they’ve managed the units. If the vacancy rate is high and you sense a low client retention rate, it’s time to look elsewhere.

    Working with a management company that has several hundred units on their list can be a recipe for disaster as well. Working with such a large company means sacrificing in customer service.

    There isn’t one magic number of managed units to look for. The amount of units combined with staff on hand to deal with the workload will give you an idea of the level of customer service you’ll receive.

  • Experience

    How long as the company been in business? If it’s a new company, make sure to ask for client references. Ask about any formal training they’ve had in real estate and if any formal training is given to employees when hired.

    Being efficient with managing properties is a key to their success. Your chosen company should have experience with using property management software and automated systems that will help make your experience as their client easy and stress-free.

  • Tenant Screening

    One of the biggest issues that you’ll need to face as a rental property owner is tenant screening.

    The basics of their screening process should include a criminal background check, credit check, eviction check and employment check. Are there minimal requirements in place to weed out potential problem tenants? While you can’t always expect tenants to have perfect credit scores, any evictions, major criminal offenses or a total lack of on time payments could result in trouble down the road.

    Minimum income requirements are also important. Depending on the rate, a good income requirement is usually three times the monthly rent.

  • Difficult Tenants

    Bad apples are everywhere. In the property management business, dealing with problem tenants is unavoidable, even when the best screening procedures are put in place.

    Gauging how difficult tenants are dealt with is easy if you ask the right questions. Some of those are:

    • Do you work with any legal services?
    • What is your eviction rate when compared to total amount of past tenants?
    • What does your pre-eviction process look like?
    • Please walk me through a time when you had to deal with a trouble tenant and what steps were taken.
  • Property Walk Through

    Finally, ask the property management company to take you on a property walk through. This can be a quick five or ten minute trip, but it is essential to determine how well they maintain their properties.

If you would like to discuss how our property management team can manage your property for you, please contact us at (310) 945-5155 or send us a message online by clicking here.