Hiring a Charlotte property manager is an excellent way to have a better and more profitable investment experience. However, you want to be sure you’re hiring the right property manager for you and your investments.
While you’ll want to do plenty of your own research and due diligence, you can start off by asking these 10 questions during an interview or an introduction.
1. What Kind of Experience Do You Have?
You want to work with an experienced property management company, but don’t be too impressed by the number of years they’ve been in business. Get to know what kind of experience that entails. Has it all been in Charlotte? Has it been with the types of property you own? You want to be sure that your new property management company has experience with the kind of investment property you have.
2. How and When Will You Communicate?
Communication is a critical component in any successful rental experience. You’ll want to know if you can expect to hear from your property manager routinely or if you’ll only get a call or a message when there’s a problem or a decision to be made.
With communication comes technology. Your property management company should utilize technology and automate whatever can be automated. This supports efficiency, transparency, and consistency. A modern, adaptable property management company will use technology for things like marketing, screening, lease executions, and renewal notices. Technology can support better tenant and vendor communication.
3. What’s Included in the Leasing Process?
Before a company can manage your home, they’ll need to lease it. Ask about the leasing process, including marketing strategies and online advertising. Find out what kind of data is used to price your property and how the showings will work. You’ll also want to ask about the screening process and how they know they’re choosing high quality, reliable tenants.
4. How Do You Protect the Condition of my Investment Home?
Inspections and maintenance are required to protect the condition of your investment.
A good management company will do thorough inspections before a tenant moves in and after a tenant moves out. Everything should be documented with photos, notes, and even videos. If there are inspections while a tenant is in place, ask how those are handled and whether you can expect to see inspection reports.
Choose a property manager who is available 24 hours a day in case there’s a maintenance emergency at your property. You also want to know how routine maintenance is handled, and whether there’s a plan for preventative maintenance. Ask about vendors and if they’re licensed and insured.
5. Can I Expect Financial Reports?
Accurate and detailed financial reporting should be provided to you on a monthly basis. A careful accounting of all the income and expenses associated with your property must be provided by your property manager, and you should also ask about any additional reports you can expect throughout the year.
6. What are Your Fees and are They Competitive?
Measure fees against service and value. If a company’s costs seem excessively high or surprisingly low, you’ll want to find out why. When you’re comparing fees, make sure you compare services as well. A very low management fee might sound enticing, but if you have to pay extra for all the things that would normally be included, you’re not saving much money.
7. Are Your Fees Transparent?
Check a property management company’s website and see if they publicize their fees. If they don’t, ask for a schedule of leasing fees, management fees, and any extra fees for things like accounting, lease renewals, documents, technology, or inspections. It’s important that you’re not surprised by hidden fees after you start working with a management company.
8. How Long Does it Take to Turnover my Property?
Turnovers can be expensive. When your property is vacant between tenants, you’re not earning any rental income. Ask about the average turnover time and cost.
9. What is Your Vacancy Rate?
Just like turnover, vacancy eats into your cash flow and your ROI. Find out how long it will take to rent your property out to a good tenant.
10. Do your Provide Online Payments?
The key to on-time rental payments is often providing easy and flexible options for tenants to pay. You’ll want to know if tenants have the option to pay their rent online. Find out if you can expect direct deposits into your account or if you’ll have to wait for a check to be mailed.
These are only 10 questions to get you started. There are dozens of others you should ask. If you’d like to talk about how to evaluate potential Charlotte property management companies, contact us at Southern Living Property Management & Investments. We are a Charlotte property management company serving single-family & multifamily owners throughout the Queen City metropolitan area and in South Carolina cities in York and Lancaster Counties, including Rock Hill, Indian Land and Fort Mill.