How long have you been using the property management company to manage your investment?
A full agreement term is generally most desirable, as the investor would have experienced the cycle associated with the letting, managing, maintaining and reletting of the investment. Realistically between 6 and 12 months would be ideal. If the property management has been in place for a period of years, find out if service levels have remained consistent.
Have you encountered any issues with the property management company?
More often than not, some form of disagreement or issue has occured, the important thing to establish is how the agency dealt with the issue and whether the results were satisfactory. Also find out how long it took for any issues to be resolved - the reality being the quicker an issue is sorted out, the better.
What motivated your choice when selecting this property management company?
Responses involving professionalism and responsiveness are desireable. This indicates that the property management department is well structured and processes are completed fast. Procrastination within an agency will cause problems over the duration of an agreement - unfortunately this is often felt most by the tenants, but can hit your hip pocket as the property investor if it's delayed action on a maintenance request or the like. Price or cost should never be a priority when it comes to selecting a property manager.
Did the property management company select appropriate tenants?
Responses that involove constant rental arrears or regular maintenance issues should set off red flags. Naturally, maintenance issues will arise, however if it is beyond the expected maintenace of the property type - tenants may be seen as difficult or problematic. The same applies with rental arrears, where the arrears are occuring to regularly with poor excuses or often unexplained.
How often do you hear from the property management company?
This can be tricky, as all property investors want to know the status of their investment property, but don't necessarily want constant contact from their agency. A good gauge of this is to establish that key communications are being made, as an example reports and contact after routine property inspections, contact after arrears and contact after substantial maintenance has occured.
Would you recommend the property management company to manage my investment?
A response that is hesitative will indicate potential underlying issues. Sometimes property investors are embarassed about issues or agency selection. With this question, more is often said using body language than verbal responses.
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