So you’re looking to hire a Sacramento property manager to alleviate all those headaches and hard work? Congratulations! Hiring a qualified and experienced property manager to help you get the most out of each and every one of your investments is one of the best decisions you could ever make for your portfolio. However, should you hire the wrong property manager for the job you may end up filled with nothing but regret. We would certainly hate to see that happen so we have prepared for this list of eight interview questions to arm yourself with in your search for your Sacramento property manager.
1. What Is Your Fee Structure?
Okay, so let’s be honest, although the fees that you paid to a quality property manager are more of an investment that brings tremendous returns the fees still matter. In fact, the idea of paying someone to manage a property is one of the largest reservations that property owners have prior to hiring a property manager. Sound familiar? You’re not alone! But it’s important to understand more than just what the fee is. You also need to understand what those fees include and how they compare to the competition.
2. What Experience And Licences Do You Have?
Although anyone can attempt to be a property manager and slap that title on themselves, it is important that you only hire a property manager that is a licensed broker and therefore legally held accountable for their actions. Furthermore, it is not in your best interest to hire a newbie property manager or one that is looking to cut their teeth on you and your portfolio. In a market like Sacramento, it is extremely important that you only align yourself with a property manager that is both licensed and has at least 5 to 10 years of property management experience with volume under their belt.
3. How Many Sacramento Properties Do You Currently Manage?
This can be a tricky one for both owners and property managers. The fact of the matter is that you ultimately want to ensure that your property is being trusted in capable hands. The problem is that simply comparing property managers on how many properties they manage is not adequate enough. It’s not about how many properties they currently manage as much as it is about how well they manage them. Contrary to popular belief you may have better luck hiring a Sacramento property manager with 300 properties under their management versus one with only three, because the larger company will have better tools and systems to streamline operations. Of course, you can never say “always” or “never” in property management, so it’s important that you ask follow-up questions about how each property manager handles their book of business.
4. How Is Rent Collected?
Obviously you’re also going to want to know how rent is collected, when rent is collected, and when you can expect your slice of the pie to hit your bank account. Believe it or not, not every property manager handles the rent collection process the same way other than the legal obligations that they are held to. For example, you may have one property manager that has a policy of rent being due on the first but will not execute the automatic withdrawals on tenants until the 5th of the month which means you might not see your money for days after that. On that note, not every property manager will accept the same forms of payment for rent. For example, while one property manager may require that tenants sign-up for an ACH automatic withdrawal from their bank account every month while others may be willing to accept cash, checks, money orders etc. It’s important that you understand how each property manager collects rent and when you can expect to see those collections every month before you pull the trigger.
5. How Will My Property Be Marketed?
What are the most valuable services that any property manager can offer to owners is the professional and strategic marketing of their properties. However, not all property managers handle the marketing of properties in the same way at all. It is important that you understand what types of marketing work for the properties that you have in the current conditions of the Sacramento market. For example, newspaper ads and old-fashioned classifieds are no longer the best possible way to attract quality tenants in this climate. Therefore, if you have a property manager pitching their marketing expertise but they focus on these outdated styles of marketing you will know that they are not providing you with the value that you deserve.
6. Do You Screen Tenants?
It is very rare that you will find any property management company in Sacramento or elsewhere that does not have some type of screening system in place for potential tenants. That being said, not every property manager is as thorough or as strict in their policies based on individual preferences and experiences. It may sound or seem as though you don’t want a property manager that will be overly strict but on the contrary these are the professionals that are operating in the best interest of both of you and their own company. Trust us when we tell you it is far better to hold out a tad longer for the right tenant than it is to jump at one that can’t prove they’re worthy to occupy your property.
7. Who Handles Maintenance?
Maintenance is another one of the primary reasons that property owners turn to property managers for help. Yet this is another area in which property managers differ a great deal. You should be thorough in questioning each potential Sacramento property manager about how they handle maintenance requests, what their process looks like, how they will communicate them back-and-forth between you and the tenant, and how they handle documentation. For example, should an Alpha Property Management tenant need a non-emergency repair, they can easily log into their tenant portal right here on our website and submit a request. From there, the request is automatically routed to the proper subcontractors and the owners are notified of the request for approval. Everything throughout the process is streamlined for efficiency and documented entirely to protect the owner legally and financially.
8. Do You Offer Financial Reporting & Coaching?
Finally, we want to empower you to understand the importance of the big picture of real estate investing and property management. Unless you already work closely with a wealth advisor and have a higher than average aptitude to managing all of your financial investments and portfolio, it is important that you align yourself with a property manager that can. You want someone that can work with you on a portfolio as small as a single property and help you to leverage it into what you envision for your future. As a bare minimum requirement, your Sacramento property manager should be able to provide you with correct, regular, and complete financial reporting on your properties. If they cannot do so they simply are not worth their salt to you as a property manager.
Looking For The Best Sacramento Property Manager?
As we have said time and time again not all property managers are created equally and not all owners are best suited to work with a property management company. However, if you are in search of a Sacramento property manager that can bring experience, a holistic approach, and perspective to your real estate portfolio then don’t hesitate to give us a call.