When you set out to become a Phoenix landlord it’s likely you didn’t realize just how much work was involved. From tenant screenings to rent collections, property inspections to tenant complaints, self-managing a rental is a lot of work.
That said, there is a solution.
If you’re ready to take control of your time and let a professional handle your rental property, it’s time you consider hiring a local property management company to help. But before you do that, take a look at the top questions to ask a property manager while interviewing for the perfect fit.
Top Questions to Ask a Property Manager
1. What Services Do You Provide?
Not all property management companies are the same. Though many claim to be full-service property managers, the truth is, the types of services provided range from a whole lot to nothing at all. To make sure you don’t get stuck having to deal with an issue you thought your property manager was responsible for, make sure to ask about the services you’ll receive as a client.
2. Are You Licensed and Insured
Property managers in Phoenix must be licensed and insured. This helps protect you and your asset should a landlord-tenant dispute arise. If you find out too late that your property manager isn’t licensed to work in Arizona or has no insurance coverage, you’re going to find yourself in a lot of legal hot water.
3. How Long Have You Been in Business?
One of the best questions to ask a property manager during an interview is how long they’ve been in business. New companies are fresh and ready to take on the world. But a well-established property management company will have the experience needed to do the best job.
4. How Many Properties Are You Managing?
A busy property management company does not always mean it’s the best. After all, even the best of businesses can become overworked and understaffed. You want your Phoenix property to be cared for as though you were doing it yourself.
If the property manager you hire is handling too many rentals at once, your property – and tenants – will suffer at some point. To avoid this, find the perfect balance between having a lot of experience and having a reasonable workload when it comes to choosing a property manager.
5. What Types of Properties Do You Manage?
Another question to ask a property manager you’re thinking about hiring deals with the types of properties they manage. If you own a residential rental property in Phoenix, you don’t want to hire a property manager that handles commercial businesses. At least not if you want to secure long-term tenants, increase your ROI, and trust that your rental is in good hands.
6. What Are the Property Management Fees?
Before you hand over all your hard-earned cash, a good question to ask a property manager in Phoenix is how much these services are going to cost you. While property management services are worth the added cost and extra security, you don’t want to get ripped off.
Worse yet, you don’t want to pay a hefty monthly fee only to find out the services you really wanted your property manager to handle aren’t covered.
7. How Do You Set the Rent Rates?
As Phoenix remains popular and continues to grow, it’s important your property manager understand the current housing market. In addition, they should know what similar properties are leasing for. While you want to earn a profit and attract the right tenant pool willing and able to pay for your investment, you don’t want to force tenants into other homes because they’re cheaper to lease. The right property manager for you will know how to set the rent so that both you and your tenants are happy.
8. How Do You Collect Rent Each Month?
Setting the rent rate is one thing. Getting paid each month by your tenants is another thing. A good property manager will be able to tell you how rent is securely collected each month. And since 56.9% of all renters want to be able to pay their rent online, you might ask whether this option is available or not. After all, the way you earn money as a landlord each month is by collecting the rent from your tenants. The easier this process is on everyone involved, the better.
9. What is Your Current Vacancy Rate?
Vacancies are inevitable when you’re a landlord. However, working with a property management company that strives to keep vacancy rates low will help you avoid the financial losses that come with vacancies. It’s best to ask the property manager what their average vacancy rate is. Companies like Real Property Management Phoenix boast an impressive 1% vacancy rate and do everything in their power to secure their clients long-term tenants.
10. What Do You Know About Fair Housing Laws?
It’s important that the property manager you hire know and follow all federal, state, and local housing laws. This is especially true if you plan on handing over all your rental’s responsibilities like tenant placement.
The Fair Housing Laws in the United States protect people from discrimination while trying to secure housing. If these laws are violated, your property manager – and you – will find yourself in legal trouble. So, ask your potential property manager what they know before hiring them.
11. Do You Have a Tenant Screening Process?
Any good property management company in Phoenix will have a streamlined and consistent tenant screening process they follow when placing new tenants in a rental. This includes processing applications and checking employment, income, references, credit history, criminal backgrounds, and previous evictions. It can also include things like marketing your rental, showing the property, and processing the applications.
The more thoroughly your property manager screens prospective tenants, the higher the chance you have of placing a good tenant in your rental that wants to stay long-term.
12. How Can My Tenants Communicate With You?
In 2021, 13.7% of rental property owners cited communication as a major source of stress. This is up 7% from 2019 and continues to climb. In other words, landlords want to know how they and their tenants can get in touch with property managers when they have a question, concern, or emergency.
Asking your potential property manager about their means of communication is a must. Make sure to learn about office hours, emergency hotlines, online contact forms, and more. The last thing you want is an upset tenant that can’t reach your property manager.
13. What Guarantees Do You Offer?
Sometimes a property management company will offer property owners guarantees when they agree to hire them to help manage their rentals. This proves to you that the company knows what they’re doing and are willing to put themselves on the line to show you just that.
One of the most common guarantees is the quality tenant guarantee. It states that the tenant placed in your rental will stay for the first 12 months without being evicted. If your property manager has to evict your tenant, they will waive the tenant placement fee.
14. Do You Require Renter’s Insurance?
All landlords should require their tenants to have renter’s insurance. Although your homeowner’s insurance will cover things like the structure of your investment property, renter’s insurance takes things a step further. For instance, renter’s insurance will cover the cost of your tenant’s personal belongings, temporary housing, and damage they cause to your property. It will also help cover any medical costs should someone be injured while visiting your rental.
If you’re going to use a property manager to help with your rental, make sure they require this type of insurance. It will help you in the case of an emergency.
15. Do You Conduct Property Inspections?
One of the last questions to ask a property manager during an interview revolves around property inspections. Sure, there is always a move-in and out inspection that documents the condition of your rental before and after a tenancy. However, it’s during the tenancy, while your tenants are living in the rental, that is the most important.
When your property manager performs routine inspections, minor repairs can be made to prevent costly repairs in the future. Plus, it gives the manager a good way to check on the satisfaction of the tenant. If there’s an issue, it can be resolved and hopefully lead to a lease renewal.
Are you in need of a qualified property management company in Phoenix? Then contact us today and see how we can help you manage your investment property.
At Real Property Management Phoenix Valley, we know that managing a rental property is a lot of work for owners. That’s why we step in and take the load off of you. From property inspections to rent collection, tenant screening to recordkeeping, we’ve got all your rental property needs handled. As your go-to full-service property management company, we know we’ll check every box you need in a reliable property management company.