Questions To Ask Your Property Manager
Hiring the right management company is extremely important. In most cases your investment property is the single biggest investment you have made. The wrong management company can cost you thousands of dollars by putting in the wrong tenant or by not hiring the right maintenance company. Even worse, hiring the wrong management company can have you sued by not knowing the law!
Before you call on a property manager, determine if they have a professional website. Image and professionalism matter.
If the property management company does not respond to you quickly when you are a prospective client, it is a sign that their communication will be awful when you become a client. It is also a sign that they do not communicate well with their residents. Communication in this business is extremely important.
This is important because this determines who is running their property management company like a business and who is doing it part-time to make some extra money while they are being a realtor buying and selling homes. You want a professional management company that specializes in property management.
At Your Dream Real Estate we are not just licensed real estate agents, we are members of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM).
Do you want to work with someone who does not know what it is like to be an investor? You want to work with someone who understands investing and has built their company with the investor in mind, not themselves. Most management companies are built by agents not investors.
The owners of Your Dream Real Estate have owned 40+ homes in the greater Houston area.
Some management companies may charge a lower management fee but they charge a setup fee, they upcharge on maintenance, charge for sending you money, going to the house, etc. Make sure you understand all of the charges.
Your Dream Real Estate charges the owner a management fee, leasing fee and lease renewal fee. Your Dream Real Estate does not charge for sending money, does not charge for administration fees such as sending letters, going to the property, etc.
What is the company guarantee? What happens if they do not live up to the guarantee?
At Your Dream Real Estate we have No hidden surcharges. Any and all fees that Your Dream Real Estate will charge is clearly stated in our management agreement and discussed prior to any signing of our agreement.
All correspondence response in 1 business day. Your Dream Real Estate staff will always attempt to contact the owner or resident within 1 business day after message has been received.
100% of property bills reviewed and confirmed. All invoices or bills will be reviewed by appropriate staff personnel to verify price structure is as agreed upon prior to owner viewing bill.
Delinquent tenants evicted; court costs prepaid. All delinquent tenants will be sent proper eviction notification as per Texas Property Code and laws followed to remove tenant through the court system. All costs are pre-paid by Your Dream Real Estate.
Minor maintenance costs are pre-paid. Any minor maintenance cost will be pre-paid, after the owner approves the cost of the repair, prior to any work being started.
24 hour maintenance request’s. All tenants are able to place a maintenance service request via our Toll Free Maintenance Hotline System, plus be able to reach someone 24 hours a day in event of an emergency. Tenants also have access to our online system via their Web Portal.
Money wired to your account on time – every time. At Your Dream Real Estate expense, we provide wire transfers directly into your bank account.
Most management companies send owner payments starting at the 10th of the month, some at the 15th. Most only send one payment per month, meaning if you had a partial payment of rent after the 10th you would not receive that partial payment until the next month.
At Your Dream Real Estate we start paying owners on the 5th of the month. We pay everyday between the 5th and the 10th. We then pay on the 15th, 20th and 25th of the month. We send an owner report with each payment.
Technology is very important. Property managers that do not invest in technology have a more difficult time keeping a good account of their records, including payments from tenants and payments to owners, do not respond to owner and tenant questions in a timely fashion, and do not have invoices available for the owner.
Your Dream Real Estate has both an owner and resident portal. Payments can be distributed and can be taken in through the portal. All documents are uploaded to the portal. Access to reports and work orders are through the portal and conversation’s with our property management team is made through the portal.
Does the management company show before and after photos on all work orders and make readies? Does the owner have access to the utility bills, work orders, home depot invoices and maintenance invoices?
At Your Dream Real Estate, our internal maintenance and our main business partners have been trained to take before and after photos on all work orders. Your Dream Real Estate has a full time employee that takes move-in move-out photos and videos on all properties. Your Dream Real Estate sends the photos and videos through YouTube and Dropbox to our owners for review. Your Dream Real Estate uploads all invoices to the work order. Your Dream Real Estate uploads all home depot bills and utility bills to the owner portal.
Just a few key indicators that any management company should track:
- How much does a typical work order cost?
- How much does a typical make ready cost?
- What is their vacancy rate?
- What is their collection rate?
- What is their eviction rate?
- What are their average days on the market?
At Your Dream Real Estate we are constantly monitoring our numbers and finding ways to improve them.
Ask about the marketing strategy and what they do to ensure your home is leased quickly.
Your Dream Real Estate has found that the Internet receives tremendous exposure.
MLS Listing – We have found that the Multiple Listing Service is the best way to advertise the property. Over 23,000 agents use this service and over 50,000 people access the site daily. Your Dream Real Estate uses power phrases of descriptive words, wide-angle pictures and video when listing a property. Your Dream Real Estate is one of the few agents who upload video for rentals. The latest data from Internet marketing shows more people are looking at video.
Craigslist – Your Dream Real Estate uploads your property to craigslist daily so that it goes back to the top of the list.
Your Dream Real Estate Website – We upload the property to our website. Our website spiders out to 100s of websites including popular ones like Trulia and Zillow.
Signage – Your Dream Real Estate displays “For Rent” signs prominently. Signs promote calls.
Your Dream Real Estate will display bandit signs throughout the area if a property is having problems renting. Bandit signs are only displaced in lower income areas as higher income areas will take down the signs and fine us. There is a charge for this service. Service is for 10 signs, this includes material and labor.
Newspapers and Publications – Your Dream Real Estate will put an ad in the Green sheet for properties that are below $1,000 in rent and having a hard time renting. This is an additional cost to the property owner. Your Dream Real Estate has found this will generate a lot of phone calls, but very little good leads. Your Dream Real Estate uses this as a last resort.
Your property management company should have the following insurance, Error and Omission Insurance (E&O), General Liability Insurance (minimum of $1,000,000 policy) and Workers Compensation (real important for management companies with on staff maintenance).
Your Dream Real Estate carries all needed insurances.
In conclusion, hiring the right property manager is paramount to your success. The right property manager will save you time and money. The few dollars per day to hire a professional manager will ensure you do not make a mistake with paperwork or putting in the wrong tenant. They will save you money on maintenance with volume discounts and will save you money on rent by setting the rent correctly and marketing the property efficiently. They will hold more of the security deposit from a resident because of good record keeping, which is more money in the owner’s pocket. They will keep great records to give to your accountant. They can save you money on your insurance. Most importantly, the right property manager will keep you out of the court system.
Good luck in finding the right partner. We hope that you would consider Your Dream Real Estate Property Management.