Looking for a Property Manager? 7 Property Manager Interview Questions

property manager interview questions

Owning and renting out a property is more than a handful. This is especially true when you begin to manage multiple properties. It’s often easier to just give the responsibilities to a property manager and let them handle it.

It’s a great idea, but you’re giving that person a lot of responsibility. You’ll have to interview heavily and make the decision carefully. We’ve compiled a list of property manager interview questions to ask when the interview comes around.

Of course, you’ll need to suit your questions to your own needs, but these ones should serve as a good template for you to start with.

Property Manager Interview Questions

Hopefully, these questions will give you a good place to start. We’re going to cover the essentials, but remember that you should tailor your interview to your needs.

1. “Are You a Licensed Property Manager?”

This is a biggie. Well, it’s important if your state requires landlords to be licensed. If not, though, it is still better to go with those applicants who have the certification.

This simply shows that the person is dedicated to their work and has put an investment into their profession. They’re not just going to show up and have no idea what they’re doing.

2. “Have You Managed Properties Before?”

You’ll want someone that has managed properties similar to your own. For example, you wouldn’t want a motel manager to oversee your multimillion dollar resort. In the same way, someone who hasn’t managed many properties at once might not be able to balance the requirements of managing your property.

3. “How Do You Engage With Tenants?”

This is also an essential aspect of your interview. You don’t want to hire someone who will take the responsibility and use it to take out anger on tenants. This is, unfortunately, a reality in many places.

You want someone who will care about the well-being of your tenants. If they have questions, your property manager should be happy to answer them. You want to hire someone that will make your tenants feel comfortable and reasonable.

4. “What Kind of Fee Structure Are You Used to?”

Landlords are paid in salary, by the hour, or at a percentage of the properties being managed. Make sure to make this clear when you start working with your property manager.

They might be used to a method that is more reasonable than your own, or vice versa. Keep an open mind and see what works.

5. “How is Your Written Communication?”

Much modern communication is done via email and text. Written letters are also used by landlords. Make sure that your property manager knows how to write in the proper tone.

The same message can be written in many different tones, totally changing the way it’s perceived. You tenants will respect your property more if communication is going well.

6. “How Do You Screen Tenants?”

Make sure that applicants understand the state’s laws and regulations regarding background checks and screenings. Try to find someone who has a clean-cut approach to screening tenants.

In other words, everything must go by the books.

7. Do You Like This Person?

This is more of a question for you. You’ll be dealing with this person every day for a number of years. It’s essential that the personal connection is there.

At the very least, ask yourself if this person is someone you’d trust to handle your properties. If not, move on to the next applicant.

Learn More About Property Management

Whether you’re looking to do more research for your property manager interview questions or you’re trying to become a manager yourself, there’s no harm in doing a little research.

If you’re interested in learning more, visit our site to find the information you need.

5 Property Management Responsibilities That Can’t Be Ignored

property management responsibilities

More than a third of U.S. households were renters in 2016. Even up to now, 77 of the 100 biggest cities in the country still see a rise in rents, both in rates and number of tenants.

No wonder then that renters shelled out a whopping $485.6 billion in 2017!

As a property owner, this should be enough to make you want to rent out your property. But what if the property you want to rent is too far from you? Or you have a lot of properties and can’t deal with them all by yourself?

This is where property management responsibilities come into play.

You may have heard of property managers as rent collectors or tenant managers. But their duties go beyond that.

So, before you hire a rental property manager, it’s best you know what these are. We’ve rounded up five of the most important.

1. Setting the Right Rental Rate

Collecting rent, check. Determining the right rental rate – that’s a given.

That’s right. The duties of a property manager extend to setting and adjusting rental rates.

Remember, cities across the nation have a varying cost of living. That includes housing, which includes rental rates.

As such, you can’t charge the average $3,000 they do for a one-bedroom unit in NYC for a similar one in Kansas City. If you do, you’ll scare away most, if not all potential tenants.

That’s why the duties of a property manager include setting the right rental rate. They know the market of your property’s location inside out. They know how much comparable properties nearby cost.

They then use this to come up with an attractive rental price that will still make you profits.

2. Making Appropriate Rental Rate Adjustments

If rent went up in 77 large cities, the opposite happened to seven of the 25 biggest ones. Baltimore, Chicago, and Pittsburgh are to name a few.

Your property needs to stay competitive, so you need to adjust according to these changes. A property manager takes responsibility for this.

Don’t worry though. If rental rates go up, then your manager can also make the appropriate increase to your rental rate.

Always keep in mind that there are laws surrounding these changes. Unless you’re an experienced property manager yourself, you may not know what these are. As such, it’s best you let the pros handle these adjustments.

3. Dealing with Move Outs

Let’s face it. Not all renters stay renters throughout their lifetime. That means your tenant may also move out in the future.

So, who’s responsible for handling such instances? Your property manager.

Your manager will first inspect the unit to make sure no tenant-caused damages exist. He/she will also determine how much of the security deposit to give back the tenant. After the move-out, he/she will clean the unit, have existing damages repaired, and look for a new renter.

4. Maintain Your Property

Maintaining your property is important whether it’s still in the market or already has occupants.

Your manager will either do this on his/her own or hire another professional. Such tasks include pest extermination, trash removal, and checking for plumbing or roof leaks among many others.

5. Have Repairs Done ASAP

All those potential calls at 3 AM from tenants with leaking roofs or plumbing pipes? These will go to your property manager. It’s their responsibility to address property damages and problems, after all.

They can either do the repairs on their own or hire a professional to do it. This is a cinch for the most reliable property managers since they have connections to other service providers. These include plumbers, electricians, as well as HVAC and roof contractors.

Outsource these Property Management Responsibilities to a Pro

Keep in mind that in the U.S., tenancy turnover rate averages at 50%. Although it’s not always due to tenant-landlord disputes, you still want to bring that rate down as much as possible. That’s why you should consider letting an expert carry out all these property management responsibilities.

With a dependable and experienced property manager, you can rest assured your tenants will remain happy. Because they’re happy, they’ll have fewer, even no reason to move out.

Ready to make your property even more attractive to renters? If so, then let us help! Connect with us now and we’ll be more than happy to address your landlord concerns.

How to Estimate Your Rental Property Expenses

rental property expenses

Are you thinking about getting into the rental business? Do you see people you know making money just by renting out a few properties?

Go into property management with the intention of making a profit. It is important to keep your emotions out of the decision-making regarding the purchase of an investment property.

Sometimes it looks like a really easy way to make money. And it can be if it is done right.

If you are considering buying rental properties, the first thing you need to consider is the expenses beyond the mortgage. Let’s take a look at how to estimate your rental property expenses.

How to Estimate Your Rental Property Expenses

Before purchasing any rental property, you have to estimate your expenses. Even if you own several properties, you can’t expect the costs to be the same across the board.

Differing locations incur different costs with regard to taxes, insurance, repair costs, etc., especially when looking at vacation rentals vs. straight year leases.

Expected Expenses Beyond the Mortgage

  • Maintenance Costs
  • Home Owners’ Association Fees
  • Insurance
  • Property Taxes
  • Property Management Fees
  • Other Expenses

Let’s take a look at each one of these.

Maintenance Costs

Maintenance costs include necessary repairs, cleaning, and yard maintenance. Repair costs are difficult to calculate because they are unpredictable.

One month you may have to replace a refrigerator. The next month you may have no repairs.

Your estimated repair budget will be around 1-5% of the property’s value.

Home Owners’ Association Fees

HOA fees will be disclosed in the property listing. What’s important to remember though, is these are likely to increase over time.

You would be wise to look at the pattern and frequency of changes in HOA fees in the past so you can plan for that.

Insurance

Your insurance agent can give you an idea of what the homeowners’ insurance will be on a particular property.

Depending on the location of the property, additional insurance may be necessary. Flood and earthquake coverage are two such examples.

Property Taxes

A property listing will usually include the property taxes that the current homeowner is paying.

That doesn’t always mean that is what you will pay. Check with the county assessor’s office to get the exact amount.

Property Management Fees

Whether you hire a management company or decide to manage it yourself, there are costs associated with managing a rental property.

Typically management companies will charge a percentage of the monthly rent payment and a fee every time they rent each unit.

You can be safe in calculating the annual fees to be 1-2% more than what they take from the monthly rent cost.

Other Expenses

These expenses include garbage, electricity, special assessments (typical with condos or other planned HOA communities), and vacancy.

Quick Calculation of Rental Property Expenses

One general rule rental property owners use is that rental property expenses will be half of what you collect in rent each month. That 50% does NOT include your mortgage payment.

If you want to be successful in investing in rental properties, you need to accurately calculate these expenses. Contact us to help.

Basics of Property Management Law Every Manager Needs to Know

property management law

Being a landlord seems like a pretty straightforward job. While there are a lot of perks to being a property manager, there are some things that you need to know if you don’t want to lose your position.

It’s essential that you understand property management law and all that goes with it. Make legal mistakes and you could be out of a job. We’ve compiled a list of some of the basic things that all property managers need to know about property management law.

Follow the crash course below to get yourself prepared to be a great landlord.

Understanding Property Management Law

Each state has a different set of rules and obligations for property managers to follow. Research your state’s laws before you do anything else.

Find out if you need to have a license. Most states require that property managers have a license. Obtaining a property management license requires that you pass a course and examination.

The course will also involve a background check. States will vary on how they approach different criminal records, but felonies that could reflect a poor future relationship to tenants might disqualify you from passing. Beyond the class, most states require that you continue to take courses as they come up.

This is a measure that ensures your understanding of modern property management laws. Finally, becoming a licensed property manager implies that you owe a duty to your communities and tenants. You are under a sort of oath not to act dishonestly or do anything that will put your tenants at a disadvantage.

Association and Condo Laws

On top of the state laws, your homeowners’ associations and condominiums will have laws of their own. These organizations, should you join them, will require fees and financial statements.

The benefits of the associations typically outweigh the restrictions that they put on property managers.

The Importance of Property Management Law

You may think that the laws around property management aren’t applicable in all cases. Many landlords in college and low-income areas treat their properties like their own domains. While you may not get caught every time, the moral and legal consequences of disregarding the law are significant.

Take eviction notices, for example. Your tenant has not paid in three months and you need them to move out. While it may seem alright to send an eviction notice with an immediate move out time, this might actually put you in legal trouble.

It’s always recommended that you take a look at your state’s laws before making any contact of this kind. Any measure that changes your tenant’s comfortability and expectations about the home should be taken carefully. The laws are in place to keep tenants happy and safe, rights intact, in their own homes.

Want to Learn More?

Are you interested in becoming a property manager? Have questions about property management law? In either case, we’ve got you covered.

If you’re looking to get more information on property management or anything that goes with it, contact us for more information.

5 Tips on Taking the Best Real Estate Pictures

real estate pictures

What’s the best and easiest way to make a great impression on home buyers?

The best quality photos will entice a potential buyer, urging them to take a tour of a home or apartment complex. The home buying process is going digital, making home photos the main source of decision-making.

Ideally, you hire a professional photographer. But is this out of your budget? It’s time to grab your camera and snap some great shots. But it’s difficult for an amateur knowing what makes a great home photo.

If you need to take real estate pictures, use these 5 tips to drive lookers into buyers.

1. Invest in a Great Camera

Sorry, but your iPhone won’t work. You have to set aside a few hundred bucks and buy a nice DSLR. But don’t worry, the equipment doesn’t have to be too fancy.

In good lighting, an entry-level DSLR produces amazing pictures with minimal editing required. Their results are comparable to the professional cameras the major photographers use.

2. Stage the House

The same way you stage an open house, you need to stage a house for pictures.

You don’t want dust or insects coming up in the pictures. Give the house a thorough cleaning and remove any straggling furniture pieces or objects.

Ideally, you want the house to be fully cleared out. Home buyers want to see space and any areas where they can customize. But if the house is furnished, make sure it’s still open-spaced.

Remove blankets, knick-knacks, and other distracting items.

3. Use Natural Lighting

Sunlight is key when achieving great photos. Natural lighting brings up the best qualities in an image without making an image look too fake or edited. But how do you achieve natural lighting when you’re shooting inside a house?

Open up the blinds or open the windows and doors. Find an area where the light hits an angle but not too much — you need contrast for a picture to look amazing.

Make sure your lens is wide open so more light comes in. Take your camera off of zoom so you can capture the full range of a room.

4. Angles Matter

In an image, you should always make sure the lighting is perfect and you capture the full scope of a room. But the exact angle is also important. From the doorway to each corner, the angle should capture the best aspects of a room.

It’s impossible to describe the perfect angle. Your best bet is taking multiple shots, standing in different areas. Find the picture that captures an image fully but doesn’t make the room look too small.

5. The Photos Should Be as Realistic as Possible

You want to promote a picture-perfect house, but it’s best to be realistic.

You don’t want to make a small bathroom look large or make it look like the master bedroom has a walk-in closet when it doesn’t. Capture the best aspects of a room while not trying to add a fake flair or manipulate the image.

The Best Real Estate Pictures Will Draw In a Buyer

Today, more homebuyers are trusting the images posted on real estate ads. If you can’t hire a photographer, you need to take your own real estate pictures.

Learn the right photography tricks without making your pictures too flashy.

Choose the photos that best represent the house.

Do you need a real estate agent? View our services.