All right, let’s jump into it right off the bat.
Now, one of the things you need to know about all us property managers is we all lie about the answer to this question because we all want to be bigger than we really are.
But the truth is you do need to be asking the question even if you know we’re going to lie a little bit.
And so one of the things it’s going to tell you is what type of property manager they are.
Typically, property managers that are 400 and below are more your boutique property manager, meaning it’s probably 1 person or 2 people.
Or so but you’re going to get a very small, very kinda niche customer service, meaning you may have that person’s cellphone number.
They’re going to be doing all the inspections. They’re going to be doing all of the work.
You know, one of the challenges with that is they’re not…if they go on vacation, your property management goes on vacation.
Now of course they probably have some systems and processes to handle.
But that’s one of the issues when dealing with kind of your small boutique property manager.
Now anything above 400, you’re starting to get into more of a professional, maybe more of a corporate property management structure.
And the whole idea of that is that they do have to operate on systems and processes and it’s not all about the owner.
It’s really more about how effective are their systems and processes.
Now the knock against the bigger property management company is maybe it’s less personal.
So you need to know when you’re talking to somebody if you want a big property management company that has maybe more consistent level of service.
Or you want a boutique level property management where you might have cellphone numbers and that owner’s name and number.
The Second Thing Is You Need To Know How To Determine The Rental Amount.(5 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring Your Denver Property Manager)
How do these people…how is this property manager going to determine what your home’s going to rent for?
The last thing you want them doing is just throwing a number out there and under-renting your home.
And you also don’t want them over-renting, trying to over-rent the home.
Because over-renting the home can be just as bad, meaning they won’t…The house won’t rent because they’re asking too much money for it.
You know, one of the things we do is we have what’s called a rent range report.
Obviously areas like Zillow, there’s Zestimate and of course our portfolio of homes that we have and experience like empirical evidence renting these homes.
And so we’ll go in and figure out from three or four different sources what we believe that a house will rent for.
One of the great things about renting houses is it’s very much a snapshot in time.
So if your property manager doesn’t have recent data, it’s not like the sales business where historical information matters.
It is very much a snapshot in time because renters’ bar to renting is very, very low, meaning it’s not like a sales…
Sale where they’ll…they may look for months and months and months and finally buy.
Renters are out there and are acting and snapping up things fast.
The Third Thing Is Do They Conduct Property Inspections Or Reviews.(5 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring Your Denver Property Manager)
Do they go out to the home?
Are they filling out forms and sending you pictures?
You’ll really want to know if somebody’s a reactive property manager or a proactive property manager.
A reactive property manager sits on their rear ends and waits for the phone to ring.
A proactive property manager is consistently going out to your home.
Now we have certain inspections that we do. We have once a quarter or once every two…or excuse me.
Once every six months. But you’ll wanna definitely make sure that your property manager is consistently seeing the outside and the inside of the home.
We call this putting your money where your mouth is.
And you would want property manager that…as closely as possible…
We can’t align our incentives perfectly but you absolutely want to make sure that your property management company’s incentives are as closely aligned as…to you making money as possible.
And so we have a guarantee that basically says, “Hey. If we fix something…” It’s called our maintenance guarantee. ”
If we fix something and it breaks, then we’re going to fix it at a cost to us, not a cost to you.”
Or we have our 21 day lease guarantee which basically says, “If we don’t rent your home in 21 days, then we’re going to give you 2 months of management free.”
For us to rent your home fast helps us too because we want to start collecting the money on the monthly rent just like you do.
So we’re trying to align our incentives and say,
“Hey. If you have the pain of not leasing your homes for 21 days, we’re going to feel some pain too.”
So that’s it.
I would ask them about the guarantees.
So maintenance is an important subject.
And because you’re going to have ongoing maintenance of your home.
I mean, it’s just inevitable.
Even if you have a brand-new home or almost brand-new home, there’s going to be some small maintenance items.
the older the house is, the more maintenance, the newer the house is, the less maintenance but one thing’s for sure.
We’re all going to have maintenance on these homes.
And so you’re going to want to understand their process and they are taking calls 24 hours a day?
Are they dispatching their own maintenance people that work for them?
Are they dispatching third-party vendors? How is that going to work?
Do you have…is there a certain point they can move up to and work up to before they have to call you?
So the way we do it is we have a $500 limit which basically says, “We’re going to handle everything under $500 with our own maintenance team.”
So we have our own W-2 employees that are working for our company, go out and do about 80% to 90% of all of our work orders.
And they’re going to work up to $500 and if it ever…or if they project that it’s going to go over $500 or it is going to go over $500.
They’re going to stop and they’re going to give you an estimate of what it’s going to take to finish that maintenance work order.
So that’s it.
That’s five things I would ask a property manager since I’m a property manager.
I would ask another property manager if I was out shopping for property managers.
Hope that was helpful.
I’m Matthew Whitaker with evernest.
Matthew is the CEO of Evernest. He is a student of the book Good to Great and is passionate about building the best property management company on the planet (and maybe even the universe if Elon Musk will hurry up). You can usually find Matthew at the baseball field with his son, at a dance recital with his daughter, or at his favorite restaurant with his wife, when he’s not in the office. And if you can’t find him in any of those places, it probably means he’s traveling.