When you’re hiring a Visalia property management company, you should prepare to ask a lot of questions. You’ll want to know who they are, how they do business, and what kind of services and value they can provide for your real estate investments.
We’re looking at the top 10 questions you should always ask, and we’re letting you know what’s important in their answers.
1. Do you have local experience?
You want to work with an experienced Visalia property management company, but more importantly – you want to work with a team that has local experience. Find out how they stay up to date on local market rents, local laws, and tenant trends.
2. What is your process for screening?
Every property manager will insist they do rigorous tenant screening. Ask for specifics. Look at their rental criteria. Find out how they decide who to place. You want to know they’re checking and verifying financial histories and looking for past evictions. Rental references are also important.
3. How is rent collected and paid?
Rent collection is an important part of property management. You should hear that they have a consistent rent collection process, which is in the lease agreement and explained to the tenants before they move in. There should be late fees and other accountability tools to ensure you get paid on time every month. Online rent collection capabilities is also critical.
4. What is the maintenance process and who are your vendors?
Some management companies have their own vendors and others use outside vendors. Find out how the property manager handles repair requests and whether they are available 24 hours a day to respond to emergencies. You want to see a record of responsive maintenance and preventative attention.
5. How do you stay up to date on California’s rental laws?
There’s a lot of risks involved in renting out properties in California, thanks to a list of laws that cover everything from fair housing to security deposits to evictions to rent control. You want a property manager who attends classes and conferences and is involved in professional associations so nothing gets missed that will put you in danger of making expensive legal mistakes.
6. How do you handle the accounting associated with my property?
A full-service Visalia property management company should be able to keep careful accounting records. You should receive detailed statements that outline the income and expenses related to your investments. Make sure you can access this information online through a portal or a software system. You’ll still want to consult with your CPA or tax attorney, but basic rental property accounting should be included in the services a management company provides.
7. How do you invest in technology?
Every good Visalia property management company invests in technology because it makes managing your home more efficient and transparent. Ask how it impacts maintenance, marketing, leasing, and financial statements.
8. What has surprised you about the Visalia rental market?
Local market knowledge is essential. If your potential property manager can’t speak intelligently about marketing inventory, rental values, and the latest upgrades and updates that are in demand from the best tenants, you might not be working with someone who has the expertise you need.
9. What sets you apart from other Visalia, CA property managers?
Every property manager you talk to will tell you about their extensive screening process and their on-time rental collections. Find out what makes them different. How do they manage your property differently, and what do they offer that other companies can’t? That’s where the real value can be found.
10. How are your leasing and management fees structured?
You’ll need to eventually ask about property management fees. Save it for the end, though, when you’re sure this is a company you’d like to do business with.
We’d be happy to answer all of these questions for you, and many more. When you’re looking for high-quality property management in Visalia, Hanford, Tulare, and the surrounding areas, please contact us at Equity Group.