EOTM Press Room

Things to Consider when Interviewing Property Management Companies

In Uncategorized on June 3, 2009 at 2:54 am

Lately, we have been getting a sleu of new requests for our property management services here in Atlanta from Homeowners/Investors wanting to know what they should look for when picking a property manager. Its a great question, and I’ll try to cover a few important points. I’m going to ask more questions then I’ll answer, but these are questions you’ll want to keep in mind when interviewing managers.

1 – Cost: Managers generally charge a monthly fee to watch and maintain your property. Those fees can range from as low as 5% or so, to upwards of 20%. Obviously, you should look for a company that charges less and provides more services.

2 – Communication: For me, communication any company rendering services to the public is of the utmost importance. I need someone who uses email, and is responsive to both the telephone and email. If I don’t get a response back in a timely manner, it is time to walk. In addition, you need someone who can deal with you and your idiosynchricies. Some of us are needier then others. You want to let companies know up front where you stand, and make sure they’re willing to be flexible for you.

3 – Termination of your Agreement: In the event that your “relationship” does not work out, you want to know up front what exactly it will take to terminate your agreement. Is there a charge for breaking your contract? Penalties?

4 – Repairs and Maintenance: Does the company have their own maintenance crew, or do they contract out to a handyman? How much do they bill out at? Can they handle all kinds of repairs? What happens if they can’t do something? Do they have other contractors that they work with?

In addition, you probably want to have a maximum that the company can spend without contacting you. Generally, most will allow managers to do what they need to as long as it is for something under $200. You should confirm any expenses over that.

If you are a bit more of a control person, you can also request invoices/reciepts for expenses.

5 – Monthly Statements: Does the company send out monthly or quarterly statements. You should not deal with anyone that does not provide monthly income/expense statements.

6 – Evictions: How does the company handle evictions? What are the costs to evict?

7 – Yard Work: How much do they bill yard work out at? Landscaping? Do they handle snow removal? Mow lawns? How much does each cost?

8 – Reserves: What kind of reserve does the company require? The reserves are used in case anything comes up. Most managers will require a certain amount.

9 – Accounting: When will the manager mail your check to you? Beginning of the month? State laws usually dictate accounting rules for managers, but you wo want to know all of this up front. Tenant Deposits: How do they handle deposits? Are they comingled, or simply put together with all other income for your account?

10 – Vacancies: I’ve actually interviewed companies that will charge you 1/2 a month’s rent to one full month once vacany is filled. This is standard.

11 – Advertising: Where do they advertise properties? Are for rent signs put on the property’s lawn? Do they advertise in the paper? Online? There are quite a few effective places to advertise properties for free, online. Do they use these? In addition, you want your property advertised effectively. Do they have the basic HTML skills to add images to their for rent ads online? This makes a huge difference, trust me.

12 – Section 8 or Tax Credit: Do they have experience dealing with section 8 properties / tenants? Do they know what is entailed with such properties?

I also like to know how many properties they manage, how many managers work at the company, what specific areas they focus on, how long they have been in the business, and other questions about their experience. This should be a good start to get you going. Feel free to check out our site to learn about our services and fees. We currently manage properties in Atlanta and surrounding Cities.

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