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Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Property Manager

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Property Manager

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Property Manager

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Property Manager

Property management is a complicated, fast-paced business, so it’s important to find the right property manager for you and your rental. Some qualities to look for in a potential property manager may be:

  • A positive attitude
  • Communicative
  • Detail oriented
  • Organized
  • Honest
  • Passionate about real estate

There’s more to being a successful manager than these traits, but these should give you an idea of the person you should be looking for to fill the job. The property manager you should be looking for is a professional who strives to keep your rental property occupied, well maintained, and your tenant(s) content. But the question is, how do you find a quality property manager? Just like with any other job opening, it’s important to give each candidate a proper interview.

What Questions Should I Ask Potential Property Managers?

As a landlord, you want to find a property manager that you trust, so we’ve gathered the top 20 questions to ask each candidate during an interview that we hope will guide you to the right choice.

  1. What services do you offer your clients? The goal is to find a property management company that can market, lease, and manage your property. It’s important to make sure this company can provide top-notch maintenance, conduct inspections, and administer in-depth background checks.
  2. How many rental units do you manage? Too few rental units may mean that this candidate is either inexperienced or has lost clients due to poor service. Too many rental units could suggest that you will not be given the best service from this candidate. The number you’re comfortable with is, of course, up to you.
  3. What experience does your company owner have in managing rentals? If the company owner has never managed a rental, it’s possible that their company will lack the ability to effectively help you with your investment property.
  4. How do you determine the rent for each property? The right property manager should be able to complete a comparable market analysis of all other available listings near your property in order to determine how much to charge for rent, with the addition of factoring in the unique aspects of your rental property, like a pool or an upgraded kitchen.
  5. Are you an active real estate investor? The company’s leadership should be investing in the real estate market themselves. If they do not understand investment in your market, then they may not be able to give you the service you require.
  6. Can I cancel my management contract? To avoid getting stuck in a contract, be sure to ask what conditions will be necessary to cancel your management contract. If a company is offering you an inescapable contract, you should begin to look elsewhere. Always have an attorney look over a contract with a potential property manager before you sign.
  7. What are the management fees? It’s important to understand your average monthly fee. Some companies may offer a flat rate, and others will offer a rate based on the rent amount.
  8. Do I still pay when the property is vacant? If you’re dealing with a flat rate, then you will likely still be charged even when your unit is vacant. If this doesn’t work for you, let your candidate(s) know.
  9. Are there any miscellaneous fees? If the deal is too good to be true, then it may be just that. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’ve signed with a company just for them to charge you extra fees along the way.
  10. If I want to list my property, do I have to sell it with you? Some property managers may ask you to sign a contract that requires you to sell the property with them should you decide to list it. However, the kind of company you’re looking for should not require this, but rather offer their brokerage services to you instead.
  11. Do you offer direct deposit for your owners? If you prefer to get payment by check, then that’s perfectly fine. However, if you’d like the option to have payment directly deposited in your account, be sure to ask the candidate about this option.
  12. How do you collect rent from tenants? Many property managers allow tenants to pay by check, money order, or online. If you have a preference, be sure to make that clear with the candidate and ask how they choose to collect rent.
  13. Do you conduct property inspections? Most property managers do conduct inspections and require a small fee. It ensures that management will catch problems before they turn into major issues.
  14. Do you offer eviction warranty (screening guarantee)? Should you need to evict a tenant, some companies will offer eviction warranty for a small fee that will give you great coverage.
  15. How do you market properties? You want to find a property manager who advertises properties through a variety of channels to give your rental the best possible chance of staying occupied, as well as someone who can write an excellent property description that captures the value of your rental.
  16. How long are your properties typically vacant? The average vacancy time after a property is ready to be rented should be about two to four weeks. Any longer than this suggests the property manager may be struggling to find tenants.
  17. What are your income and screening requirements for applicants? It’s important for you and your property manager to agree on the standards necessary to rent your property. For instance, many landlords and property managers agree that the tenant(s) must make three-times the rent for their application to be approved, among other reasonable requirements. Look for a property manager who will ask the right questions during the screening process.
  18. Do I have any control over the lease agreement? You want to have some input about the lease agreement if there are certain rules or regulations that are important to you. But remember that the right property manager should be able to provide a lease that’s tailored to you and your property.
  19. Do you charge for maintenance and repairs? Ask the property manager if they charge a fee to the landlord any time that they do maintenance. This will all depend upon your contract, of course. If you can, negotiate that maintenance fees are to be included in your monthly payments so that you don’t end up paying extra for every maintenance request.
  20. Will I get updates on my properties? Your properties are your investment, so you’ll want proper updates on them to see if there have been changes in the market, to the quality of your rental, or in tenancy.

It’s important to ask any and all questions you have when hiring a property manager. You want to find the best candidate for you and your rental, and with these questions, we’re hopeful that you’ll do just that.

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By doing our due diligence with our clients, tenants, and vendors we create a service that exceeds expectations and generates positive referrals. Click HERE to learn more and how one of our property management professionals can help you!

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10 qualities property managers’ need

10 qualities property managers’ need

10 qualities property managers’ need

10 Qualities Property Managers’ Need

The idea of hiring a property manager makes some people hesitant. Will someone care for your property the same way you do? Choosing a new team member can be a difficult task for even established property management companies. Bad hires can disrupt a company tremendously.

It’s nearly impossible to guarantee that someone will be a good fit for your company or property. That said, in our experience, it is possible to screen for a number of important characteristics that great property managers often have.

So, without further ado, here are 10 qualities of a good property manager—whether you’re a property owner or a growing property management company.

#1: Experience

This one is a given. When interviewing a prospective property manager, ask a series of probing questions. How many properties have they managed previously? Do they have any experience turning around troubled properties? A good property manager will also have thorough knowledge of local real estate laws, regulations, and standard operating procedures.

#2: An Investor Mindset

To the point at the beginning of this article—you want to be sure that a property manager is going to care for your property as if it were his or her own. The best way to do that is to have an investor mindset. Even novice property managers should have a basic understanding of the difference between internal rate of return (IRR) and net present value (NPV). They should be able to calculate cap rates and cash-on-cash returns.

Having an investor mindset helps property managers to see the “big picture” and equips them to make important business decisions, like when to offer rent concessions and what to spend money on. A candidate who lacks knowledge of these concepts shouldn’t automatically be disqualified, but you’ll want to be sure that they show a willingness to learn more about real estate investing.

#3: Patience

Property management can be stressful at times. A successful property manager needs to have an innate ability to be patient—with contractors who are behind schedule; with unruly tenants; with investors who can sometimes have unrealistic expectations.

When interviewing a potential property manager, look for someone who seems willing to listen. Look for someone who has great customer service skills. Gauge whether a person will be able to handle complaints and stressful situations with grace. If a candidate does not have direct property management experience, be sure they have some sales or customer service experience.

#4: Aggressiveness

This might seem counterintuitive, given #3 above, but successful property management is really a balancing act. Most of the time, property managers will need to be patient—but on rare occasions, a property manager will need to be aggressive. He will need to track down rent late payments. She will need to hold a contractor’s feet to the fire. The ability to be aggressive, when necessary, is a quality to look for in a potential property manager.

#5: Professionalism

The ability to be patient at times and aggressive at others requires a property manager with the upmost professionalism. A candidate must be able to get along well with residents, contractors, and others in a kind but firm manner—especially when dealing with sensitive business matters. We always look for someone who speaks professionally, treats others with respect, and dresses for success.

#6: Strong Communication Skills

A strong property manager should have exceptional communication skills, both written and oral. They should be able to convey to you (and residents) what’s happening at the property at any given point in time. Clear, precise communication helps to reduce the incidence of disputes and ensures that your team (and the properties under your purview) runs like a well-oiled machine.

#7: Organization

Property management has so many moving parts. A property manager could be leasing one unit, renewing leases for another, renovating another, and managing eviction proceedings for yet another. In order to stay on top of all of these details, a property manager must have exceptional organizational skills. When interviewing candidates, ask how they stay organized on the busiest of days. Their response will give you insight into how they manage multiple competing tasks at once.

#8: Tech-Savviness

The property management industry is evolving at rapid speed. New technologies are being introduced all of the time, from software applications to hardware that enables landlords to conduct self-showings. It’s important that candidates are comfortable using technology because sooner or later, your business will want to jump on the #proptech bandwagon to stay competitive with your peers.

#9: Flexibility

Inevitably, things go wrong. A tenant might go off the grid and stop paying rent. The landscaping company might forget to do the year-end cleanup. A landlord might forget to send you certain paperwork. In the property management industry, someone’s ability to manage through problems is critical.

One quality we look for in a property management candidate is their ability to be flexible. This is a tough quality to screen for, so you might have to get creative. Consider rescheduling the interview on short notice, or “get stuck in traffic” and show up to the interview 15 minutes late. See how the person responds to the change. Do they seem agitated? Understanding? These little tests can be really insightful when interviewing prospective property managers.

#10: Ingenuity

There’s no blueprint for property management. Each property is different. Every investor’s goals are slightly different. Sometimes, it takes a little ingenuity to manage a property successfully. Look for someone who seems willing to think outside the box.

Ready to make a Move?

Bardell Real Estate are the experts in helping you with your selling, buying or renting needs near Orlando, Florida. Make your Disney area experience a forever memorable one. Call us now to speak to a real estate agent.


Rental Move-In Checklist

Rental Move-In Checklist

Rental Move-In Checklist

Rental Move-In Checklist sign
Any relocation process can get a bit overwhelming at times, however, a step in your rental move-in process that shouldn’t be overlooked is filling out a checklist detailing the condition of your rental property. Not only do you need to make certain that the rental is handed to you in a habitable condition, but if there are any serious faults in the property violating health and safety codes, you are able to withhold making your rent payment until repairs are made by the landlord. While some repairs are up to the landlord to take care of, some may also be the responsibility of the tenant, thus making it important to review your lease for those details.
A rental move-in checklist will ultimately make the move-out process and security deposit return easier. Here are ten things that should be on your checklist:
Take photos of any noticeable damages or pests, and document the condition of the unit
Is the smoke detector working?
Are the provided appliances working?
▢ Do the toilets flush?
Do the faucets work, is the water pressure good, and do the drains properly drain?
Do all door and window locks work?
Can all windows open and close properly?
Do heating/air systems work?
Check power outlets
Check your internet or WIFI signal throughout the unit.
Interested in renting a home in Central Florida? Learn more about renting through our brokerage, Bardell Real Estate, and our tenant services click here or contact us to speak with a Central Florida property manager.

Ready to make a Move?

Bardell Real Estate are the experts in helping you with your selling, buying or renting needs near Orlando, Florida. Make your Disney area experience a forever memorable one. Call us now to speak to a real estate agent.

What surprised you about working at Bardell Real Estate?

What surprised you about working at Bardell Real Estate?

Get to know Lucy

What do you do at Bardell Real Estate and in what circumstances would I come to you for something? Property Manager-A to Z info on listing your home with Bardell

What’s one thing that surprised you about working at Bardell Real Estate?  The atmosphere feels like I have worked here for a long time, all employees are friendly and welcoming which is also how the customer is treated (like family)

What advice would you give to your teenage self? Party more, stay out late and have more boyfriends

Get to know Mirna

What do you do at Bardell Real Estate and in what circumstances would I come to you for something? Any questions related to property management whether you are renting or looking to place your property in the rental market. And if you have any travel questions and how to maximize your miles and points to have the most Epic vacation of your lifetime. 😎

What’s one thing that surprised you about working at Bardell Real Estate? The working environment is very welcome and you feel you are working with family.

What advice would you give to your teenage self? Have fun, don’t sweat the little stuff and dream big.

Property Management Uses Tech to Help Landlords, Tenants

Orlando Property Management Uses Tech!Property Management Uses Tech to Help Landlords, Tenants

ORLANDO, Fla. – Aug. 6, 2018 – When a tenant moved out of the College Park home Ruth Zimmermann grew up in, the Los Angeles woman decided it was time to hire a Property Management Professional.

“You don’t know what you’re going to get,” Zimmermann said.

Technology is making it easier for owners to keep tabs on their properties as little or as much as they want, whether working with a management company that’s written its own app or a traditional company using common software.

Zimmermann uses Great Jones, a Fort Myers company that manages about 80 homes in Central Florida – and, like competitor Realty Medics, created its own software.

“They’re good at details and communicate with you frequently,” said Zimmermann, who also found the company to be the most plain-spoken of the ones she looked into.

Self-managing a property can work, said David Ritland of Orlando, who does that with a home he owns close to where he lives. But he turned to Realty Medics to manage a property in Deltona.

‘Farther out, when it’s going to cost me two hours round-trip to go to a site, that’s very much so worth the monthly fee to get the property managed,” said Ritland, an engineer at Siemens. Ritland said using a property manager also enables him to consider buying profitable properties that might otherwise be too distant to manage.

“The tenant has a portal they can log into, they can say, ‘Oh, something’s wrong with the microwave,’ ” Ritland said. “The next day I’m getting an email from property management and they’re saying, ‘Hey, we’ve got this idea, can we send somebody out to take a look?'”

Software such as Appfolio can be purchased by traditional property managers looking to eliminate pen-and-paper ledgers or handwritten tenant applications on clipboards.

“It takes a tenant 15 to 20 minutes to fill out an application, and it takes us less than a minute for the initial screening,” said Raul Veitia of Belmont Management Group in Winter Park and a former officer with the local chapter of National Association of Residential Property Managers.

It also enables tenants who want to pay in cash to go to a convenience store and show a code in their cellphone that can be scanned by a cashier and enable the payment to post immediately.

David Diaz, head of operations at Florida-based property management company Great Jones, talks about some useful tips for people who are thinking about being a landlord of a rental property for the first time.

“Appfolio basically can act as your accounting software, marketing software, inspections for the property have templates, and it generates reports for owners,” he said, including year-end forms such as a 1099 for taxes.

Property management is a fragmented industry because it’s localized, said Ben Sencenbaugh, president of Realty Medics, which built its own software after he joined the Orlando-based company about five years ago. It’s grown from 200 managed properties to about 900 in that time, he said.

“To get to 300 or 400 was unimaginable a couple of years ago,” said Sencenbaugh, an Embry-Riddle graduate. “We built our platform so the staff has visibility of what needs to be done – we have dashboards up on the walls in the office to show things that are overdue, things we need to attend to, high-priority items.”

Great Jones head of operations David Diaz, a UCF graduate, worked previously at Waypoint – a company that works with real estate investment trusts and manage thousands of properties. That enables such companies to keep costs low by negotiating lower expenses for repairs or buying in bulk for parts and materials or for appliances and air conditioners.

That’s part of Great Jones’ model as well as it manages about 80 properties in Central Florida and about 200 statewide.

“Property management, for whatever reason, has been a slow-to-evolve industry,” he said. “… We want to provide that same economic advantage of scale.”

Diaz, Sencenbaugh and Veitia all stressed that no software can replace personal attention for either tenants or owners. That keeps properties well managed and keeps management companies growing – as word of mouth remains the most important factor to bringing in clients.

All three companies say their business mostly involves landlords with five or fewer properties.

“It’s really about the trust factor, then having people review it and tell their friends,” Sencenbaugh said.

© 2018 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.), Bill Zimmerman. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

This is an important read when it comes to why homeowners should hire Real Estate Agents to care for their Property Management needs. At Bardell Real Estate, we offer top notch service for Property Management. Our owners and tenants have access to their online portal to effectively communicate with Property Managers, Admins and Vendors. The portal also give the tenants a great place to pay their rent, easily, and input work orders for their rental. Are you interested in receiving a Free Rental Analysis on your Orlando Vacation Home? Short term rental often offers a different spectrum from Long Term, maybe it’s time to try it out. Contact us today to obtain your FREE RENTAL ANALYSIS.