Perhaps one of the most complex tasks that you can take on for yourself is finding the right property management company for your community. While there may be all kinds of real estate management companies that you can choose from, a majority of them are similar in nature when you first look at them.
Here are ten different questions that you should consider asking whenever you consult with a homeowner or property management company regarding making a final decision.
How Long Have You Been in the Business of Managing Properties?
Many companies come and go when it comes to managing properties, which can leave both you and your board in a real bind. The best way to ensure that your property management company lasts for a long time is to find a property management company that has been in business for a long time. Additionally, a company that has been in business for a long time will be extremely helpful if your company needs advice regarding accounting, legal, and other factors. Perhaps the biggest benefit, however, is that a company who has been in business for some time is that there’s no problem they haven’t encountered before, meaning they can solve virtually any issue.
How Many Total Properties Do You Manage?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question; however, a lower property ratio means that a property manager will have more time to address your needs and will be able to provide the best service possible. There are a lot of residents who equate company size with dedicated service, and while many think that people would be served better by much smaller businesses, this is hardly ever the case because of the fact that smaller-sized companies could end up being stretched thin since there’s always one manager working multiple properties with virtually no support allowing them to take any time off. Larger companies, however, have more resources and experience that enable them to offer better service.
Will There be Easy Access to the Management Team?
It’s imperative to be able to get in touch with someone who can answer a question or solve a problem that you may have. A good property management company should be able to provide you with multiple forms of contact. You should also look for companies who have invested in property management software, which will allow for more direct communication with the management team. This software will also allow for much more efficient forms of communication.
Do You Have Any References?
Any reputable property management company, say, Phoenix Property Management in Mesa, Arizona by Red Hawk, for example, will be able to provide references, as well as customer testimonials and reviews, upon request. Take the time to pay attention to any special reviews and services that you feel are the most important, as well as properties that are similar to yours.
What Are the Full Terms of the Contract?
Any full-term contract will be anywhere from one to two years in length, and a residential management company may also have penalties and fees that come with terminating the contract early. This is something that you will need to find out about as soon as possible if it’s true; however, there may also be benefits for renewing the contract as well.
What Types of Services are Included?
While an organization may tend to call itself a full-service management company, this can mean a lot of different things in the industry. Exactly what types of services are included? This is something that you will need to find out about before you sign any contract. Additionally, determine if the price included is all-inclusive or if there are any further fees. You will also need to find out about any other resources that are available to support your manager, which include human resources, legal, etc.
How Will a Property Manager for My Community be Chosen?
“Every HOA is different.” Says Red Hawk. “All property management companies should have a detailed process to determine whether a certain individual has the right qualifications to serve as a property manager to be able to provide the best possible service. For example, if the majority of your community’s residents speak a different language, the right property manager should be fluent in that same language so that they can effectively communicate all of their needs.”
What Qualifications do Property Managers Have?
Any property manager should have all of the right qualifications and training to handle any situation that comes up. Always look for a company that offers nothing but the most experienced managers, as well as managers that provide both board member training and associate education programs. Additionally, since the regulations and laws are always changing, you will need to ensure that your property manager is always up to date on everything.
How Do You Handle Any Maintenance Issues that Come Up?
Any reputable management company will have established guidelines that will define exactly how they respond to issues involving maintenance and other emergencies, especially when they’re least expected. Determine whether or not a management company has its own maintenance crew, as well as if they work with preferred vendors. The best company will always work to save your community money and provide you with the most cost-effective solutions involving maintenance.
How Often Will I Hear From You?
Always look for a company that establishes a regular communication schedule, which includes monthly statements and reports. Furthermore, always try to attend regular board meetings, as this will help you provide better service and manage your property well. Furthermore, a reputable company should be available on a 24/7 basis if you need to have any questions answered. Additionally, you should look for an HOA management company that offers a 24-hour customer care center. This will answer resident questions while, at the same time, allowing you to manage your property freely.