Request more info or a showing

7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Local Property Management Company

You know how hard it is to maintain a Vancouver rental property when you're already juggling other responsibilities. Hiring a property manager can make a lot of sense. But you want to be confident you can trust them before giving them your business.Fortunately, you've come to the right place. Keep reading to learn seven questions to ask before hiring a local property management company!

1. What Is Your Experience Like?

When you're literally handing someone the keys to your property, you need to be sure they know what they're doing. It pays to hire a property manager with an active portfolio of properties and a track record of success. Steer clear of new managers who haven't established themselves or shown evidence that they can fill vacant properties.You want to see evidence that a potential manager has experience with different types of properties, too, including the one you own. If you have a duplex, for instance, you may not want a property manager whose only experience is with larger multi-unit apartments. Ask a potential manager how they would handle overseeing your property as well as what strategies they would use to keep it leased.

2. What Are Your Service Offerings?

With an investment property, you must ensure it's well-maintained to attract residents. You also need to ensure there's an easy way to collect rent or handle maintenance. Consequently, you need to hire a property manager willing to provide these services.Look for potential property managers with strong communication skills and warmth, too. You want to feel confident that they will treat renters with respect. They also need to be clear and detailed.Some property managers will do tenant screening and help with financial reports. Others will go above and beyond to help guests book a rental for a vacation. Make a list of your priorities before interviewing a manager and check to see if they will handle each one.

3. How Many Employees Do You Have?

Knowing how many employees a property management company has can shed light on the quality of service. An understaffed company may not give your property the attention it deserves. And you can pay the price in the form of poor upkeep and vacant apartments.Confirm that you will have an employee or team assigned to your property. Ask if someone will be staffing an office or front desk for multi-unit properties. Ask how quickly they'll respond to maintenance requests and other resident inquiries.

4. What Does a Contract Include?

Be clear on the terms of what you're signing before putting your name on a contract. For instance, you'll want to know about the fee structure and have everything outlined in the contract. You don't want to be blindsided by unexpected fees that cut into your bottom line.In general, you'll need to count on fees that can be up to 50% of the total income for a rental. Some places may charge lower percentages. But in any case, you'll want to price your listing accordingly.You'll want to know how factors like maintenance are handled. For instance, do they have their own team of people or do they hire that out? And do they offer 24-hour assistance for maintenance needs?Look for hidden fees that are separate from the commission. These can include cleaning or maintenance fees. Ask if there are any discounts available if you hire the property manager to look over a few different properties.

5. How Do You Approach Marketing?

With British Columbia's population up by 3% and still climbing, rentals are in demand. But you can't get complacent when it comes to advertising your rental. Especially as a property investor, you need to avoid vacancies to get a good return on your investment.That's why you need a property management company with a consistent and strategic approach to marketing. They should have online platforms they use to list properties, and they should use good photographs, drone videos, and prose to highlight what they offer.Ask for specifics about what a property manager would do. Do they have a social media presence and do they publish listings on their website?Ask to see examples of marketing strategies for other properties in the company's portfolio. They should be willing to share what they do - and how they troubleshoot when a property doesn't get filled.

6. What Informs Your Pricing Strategy?

When hiring property management services, ask about their pricing strategy. Factors like the time of year or location of the property will impact the price. Additionally, the level of demand and prices of comparable Vancouver properties should be considered.Before making a hire, ask what factors the property manager uses. Ask how they handle seasonal fluctuations in demand. And ask to see evidence that their approaches to pricing have resulted in lease renewals.You don't want someone to overprice your property. Then you won't get any interest. But you don't want to underprice it, either.

7. Can You Provide References?

Finally, you'll want to ask for a few references you can contact. References can be other property owners in the area. Individuals currently working with the potential manager are best.You'll want to see that the property management company has a professional website. They should outline their services and highlight their team of employees.For added insights, you can search online for reviews. With a search engine, you'll gain access to less biased reviews since they won't be curated on the company's website. Take your business elsewhere if you see many repeated red flags and low ratings.

Hire the Right Local Property Management Company

A good local property management company can help keep your rental occupied and in demand. Hire a manager with a successful portfolio of properties and strong recommendations. Make sure they will provide the services you need and work hard to market your property in a competitive market.At Axford Property Management, we help Vancouver residents manage and expand their rental property portfolio. Whether you need management or ROI assistance, we have the expertise you need to make the best decisions. Contact us today to learn more!