Many property owners and hedge funds investing in real estate decide to work with a property management company after purchasing a multi-unit apartment complex; however, an experienced property management partner can also provide support for landlords who rent out single-family homes, duplexes, and triplexes.
When identifying the best property management companies in an area, there are some simple questions you can ask to ensure that the property management company has experience and hires experienced personnel to act as your rental property manager.
Here are some questions you may wish to ask of prospective rental property management companies.
What’s the history of the property management company?
A long history of experience ensures property management companies have the staff and knowledge available to provide excellent service; however, experience isn’t the only indication of a good company. Additionally, the number of years a company has operated may come in second place to the type of clients the company has routinely assisted.
For example, some property managers provide experienced support for large apartment complexes, and others specialize in assisting single-family home property owners who are renting their property for the first time. Additionally, some companies also provide ancillary services like eviction services, which could prove convenient for a property owner.
Does the company have experience with a particular type of property?
If you own a four-unit property, you’ll want to know how much experience the company has in managing small properties. You may wish to ask additional questions about the company’s experience. For example, you may receive a “yes” answer to the question, “do you have experience managing small apartment buildings,” but a follow-up question might be, “how many small apartment buildings have you managed?”
A company with several years of experience managing rental properties should be able to point to several clients who have owned properties similar to your property. A relatively new company may offer a much smaller number of managed properties, but it’s still smart to find a property management company with at least a few clients with similar needs to your requirements.
Is the company licensed (if necessary), insured, or certified?
In Texas, a property management company must possess a real estate license when engaging in certain activities. For example, a property manager responsible for accepting or depositing rent from the tenant of a single-family residential property needs to possess a broker’s license. All employees of a residential property management company don’t need licenses, however, so some employees of the company might be exempt from needing a license.
You may also wish to ask about the company’s membership in any professional organizations, as well as certification in various areas. Membership in trade organizations, as well as certifications, ensure employees remain educated on essential facets of property rental management operations.
Is the company knowledgeable about legal issues surrounding property management?
Over the course of a company’s management of your property, the time may come when the property manager must perform an eviction. In Texas, certain municipalities within the state, and federal law guide the processes that must occur during an eviction. It’s essential to ensure your property manager has experience with eviction services and is also aware of the laws that guide it.
Some specific questions you may wish to add when asking about legal issues include:
- Is the company aware of HUD rules?
- Has the company conducted evictions?
- Is the company knowledgeable about state housing laws?
- Can the company advise on local laws (like smoke detectors)?
You may wish to create a list of items to discuss with your future rental property management company before you arrive at their office to talk about their services or before you make a call to the company.
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