Quite a bit of research, due diligence, and interviewing are necessary when you’re looking for a Long Beach property management company to lease, manage, and maintain your investment properties. We know this process can be overwhelming, but it’s worth your time and effort. You want to be sure you’re choosing the best property management partner.
Here are 10 questions you should always ask as part of the hiring process.
1. What type of Long Beach property management experience do you have?
You’re relying on your property manager’s expertise and resources, so you want to see a documented history of helping owners like you in the Long Beach rental market.
It’s more than years of experience. Local experience matters just as much and you also need to know what kind of experience the management company has. Talk about the types of rental homes they manage, and make sure their expertise aligns with your investment portfolio.
2. Is communication a priority?
Communication is essential. Maybe you’ll hear from your property managers regularly or perhaps they only get in touch when something is wrong. Ask if there’s an online portal and if you can reach out to them by phone, text, or email.
Discuss how much input you’ll have in decision-making and whether you’ll be contacted for every minor question. Talk about their communication process with tenants and vendors.
3. How do you handle maintenance at my rental property?
Ask about the maintenance process for routine as well as emergency repairs. You’ll want to know if your tenants can reach someone 24 hours a day. You’ll also want to know who they use for these repairs. Do they have an in-house maintenance staff or an outside vendor list? Are those vendors licensed and insured?
4. How do you develop and maintain positive tenant relationships?
You’ll want to understand how your property managers treat your tenants. Look for good customer service. Tenant retention should be a priority so your rental income is consistent and you aren’t spending thousands of dollars on turnover costs every year. Ask how they handle problem tenants. Find out what they do if a tenant stops paying rent or needs to be evicted.
5. What is your average vacancy rate?
Always ask about marketing strategies, showings, and tenant screening. Vacancy is expensive, and you don’t want your rental home sitting unoccupied for too long. A good property manager will know their vacancy rate and how it compares to the general market.
6. Do you invest in technology?
Technology and automation also has a larger role than ever in the effective leasing, management, and maintenance of your investment property. You should be able to view information such as inspection reports and maintenance invoices online. Your tenants should be able to pay rent online. Marketing, leasing, and showings can all go more smoothly when your property manager can access the appropriate technology.
7. How do your Long Beach property management fees work?
Ask to see a sample management agreement and always talk about fees for leasing as well as monthly property management fees. Ask if there are any additional charges for things like reporting, lease renewals, or rental property inspections. Transparency is an important part of trust.
8. Will you provide accounting statements and financial reports?
You want an online portal where you can see rent payments and invoices at any point. A monthly statement with your rent payment is great, but most management companies have a sophisticated online system that gives owners total access to their income and expenses summaries.
9. Can you provide references?
Reading reviews and testimonials is great, but talking to current and former rental property owners can help you better understand the way a property manager does business. If they hesitate to let you talk to people they’ve worked with in the past, this should be a red flag.
10. How are you different from other management companies?
This is perhaps the most important question you can ask. You always want to know what sets one company apart from others. Pay attention to this answer so you know how the management company sees itself and how it compares to the competition.
These aren’t the only questions you’ll ask, but when you’re talking to an open and responsive management company, these questions will lead to other discussions about how they manage rental properties like your own. If you’d like some help looking for Long Beach property management, please contact us at HCM Property Management.