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REAL ESTATE Ideas for finding the best management company?

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JesseO

Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
548
31
33
Phoenix, AZ
I'm looking for the best management company I can get. What sort of questions should I ask? How many properties should they already be managing? Thanks =)
 

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yveskleinsky

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jul 26, 2007
2,233
497
192
42
The questions that you ask would be based on the types of properties that you want them to manage. If you were to go with SFH, I would say ask them:
1. What is their fee?
2. What does that include?
3. Can you get some references?
4. Do they value communication? ...and if so, can they give you an example of good communication?
5. What types of SFH do they normally rent?
6. What is their vacancy rate?
7. Where do they advertise?
8. What is their turnover rate (staff as well as tenants)?
9. Do they screen tenants, and if so who pays for it?
10. What type of screening do they do- and will you be able to see credit reports, etc if you are paying for it? (Lots of PM companies charge either the owner or renter for this, and just pocket the fee.)
11. Are you listed with the BBB?
12. How long have you been in business?
13. How many properties do you manage?
14. How many properties do you want to manage?
15. How many managers do you have?

...If you find a company that you like, get the email of thier PM and then email him/her. See what the response time is to your email and how helpful they are.

Those are just some basic questions. You really want someone who loves problem solving for other people and who acts with integrity- bottom line.
 

Yankees338

Bronze Contributor
Jul 24, 2007
1,829
136
81
28
NJ/MD
The questions that you ask would be based on the types of properties that you want them to manage. If you were to go with SFH, I would say ask them:
1. What is their fee?
2. What does that include?
3. Can you get some references?
4. Do they value communication? ...and if so, can they give you an example of good communication?
5. What types of SFH do they normally rent?
6. What is their vacancy rate?
7. Where do they advertise?
8. What is their turnover rate (staff as well as tenants)?
9. Do they screen tenants, and if so who pays for it?
10. What type of screening do they do- and will you be able to see credit reports, etc if you are paying for it? (Lots of PM companies charge either the owner or renter for this, and just pocket the fee.)
11. Are you listed with the BBB?
12. How long have you been in business?
13. How many properties do you manage?
14. How many properties do you want to manage?
15. How many managers do you have?

...If you find a company that you like, get the email of thier PM and then email him/her. See what the response time is to your email and how helpful they are.

Those are just some basic questions. You really want someone who loves problem solving for other people and who acts with integrity- bottom line.
Good info, but I think the question was for a commercial property (just judging by the fact that I think Jesse owns a multifamily complex, and it's in the RE (Commercial) section). Rep+++ for the good info, though!

One thing I'd ask for are references of other properties that they manage that you can take a look at. That would also give you an opportunity to contact a property owner that they work for who can hopefully provide you with some insight about how the management company is.
 

GoldenEggs

Contributor
Sep 4, 2007
321
38
25
Silicon Valley, CA
There are some of the questions that we asked when interviewing a new property management company. (We went with the current property management company that was managing our apartment when we purchased it. Didn't work out so we went looking for another one.)

General Questions
How many vacancies do you have right now? Out of how many total units that you manage?
What is the average length of time it takes to fill a vacancy?
Is that average time getting longer or shorter?
How do you market your rental units?
What examples of asset improvement have you achieved on other properties?
Do you have experience in this particular market and with this type of rental property?
What is your fee structure?
What type of software do you use? Why did you pick it over the other ones available?
How will I get reports?
How much notice will you give before terminating a contract?
How you do you plan to reduce expenditures?

Tenant Questions
What does your lease look like?
What is your late rent policy?
What other rules do you set for tenants?
What percentage of tenants do you have to evict?
How does the eviction process work here?
How do your tenants contact you?
Do you require an exclusive arrangement for marketing to new tenants?
What factors would make you reject a prospect?
Would you accept a tenant who met your qualifications in some areas, but not others?
Which qualifications are most important to you?
What screening methods do you use?

Maintenance Questions
Which kinds of maintenance jobs are handled in-house?
Which ones do you use an outside handyman for?
Which ones do you use professional contractors for?
How many quotes do you get for jobs?
How expensive does a job have to be for you to contact me before doing it?
What are your rules for contractors being inside occupied rental units?
Who are your preferred contractors?


Experience Questions
How long have you been a property manager?
How long have you been a manager in this area?
Can I see some of the other properties you manage?
Do you personally invest in real estate in this area?
 
OP
OP
JesseO

JesseO

Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
548
31
33
Phoenix, AZ
Thank you all for the input =) Yes, I was talking about multifamily, but much of Yves' principles were dead on, I think. Thanks all, once again. Rep +
 

badtzuman

New Contributor
Nov 28, 2007
6
4
19
Mountain View, CA
As I was in the same situation as GoldenEggs, having to replace the orig Prop Mgmt, I would find a local Apt Association, and ask them the top 5 Prop Mgmt recommendation they could give. Along with questions from GoldenEggs and yveskleinsky above, go to All or as many properties that each of these companies manage. What is their condition? Is there trash, graffiti? Basically, does it LOOK like its being paid attention to.

Visit without the Prop Mgmt rep and knock on a door. Find someone who can tell you how the Prop Mgmt Managers and Maintenance are doing. You could get a little history lesson on the Prop Mgmt. Are they responsive? Do they fix things properly or do they always have to come back because of shoddy work.

Talk to people long enough and you could be in for a treat on what the real opinion is about your street/neighborhood, good and bad trends, and most of all the real condition of your building.

Hopefully you have done this BEFORE you signed a contract.






Just for the record,
 

hakrjak

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Sep 15, 2007
1,978
140
88
Colorado Springs
I'd say a minimum of 100-200 properties would be ideal if you're looking for a professional PM that has experience and ties to the community. When they have a bunch of properties, there is always more of a chance that if someone doesn't like something they are showing they can say, "Well I've got 5 more properties for you to look at!" and one of them will be yours. Greatly reduces the advertising costs by having this word of mouth in addition to the print & online ads they can run for you.

Cheers,

- Hakrjak
 

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