What Should I Look for in a Property Management Company?
Choosing the Right Property ManagerDo You Know What Questions to Ask to Be Sure You Don’t Hire the Wrong Property Manager for Your Community?
Changing your property manager is a time consuming process – and can be agonizing! Since most communities don’t change their property manager very often, it’s likely that no one on the Board of Directors has done this before and knows what to look for in a new management company.
And, if you select the wrong firm for your building or community, then you’ll have to start the process all over again.
22 Key Questions to Ask Every Property Management Company
I have developed this list of questions to assist Board Members in hiring the right property management company for their community. Ask everyone you are considering these questions, and demand that they provide evidence to support their answers. Quality management companies will be happy to provide this information to you.
Using this method, you’ll be able to narrow your list of candidates to a small number, and then interview these to select the one that is the best fit for you. If we are on your short list of property managers to interview, then I will gladly help you develop an even more complete list of questions that will address specific needs of your property or community.
Questions About Communication
- Are all incoming calls answered by a live person?
- Are all after-hours messages and emails answered by 10:30am the following business day?
- Do you provide me with my property manager’s mobile phone number for after-hours emergencies?
- Will you assign a single point of contact to coordinate all services for us?
Questions About Board Support
- Do you provide easy to understand financial reports each month with comparisons to budget?
- Do you scan all paid invoices for easy storage and access?
- Do you advise the Board on financial and operational benchmarks?
- Do you provide guidance to the Board on operating and reserve budgets?
- Do you provide the Board a monthly work order status report with estimated completion dates for open orders?
- Do you provide a detailed management proposal that specifies what we will get for the fee we pay?
- Do you have a written easy-to-use transition checklist that insures a smooth transition to your service platform?
Questions About Service and Operations
- Do your property managers make frequent site visits to maintain property knowledge?
- Do you have a degreed engineer on staff to prepare bid specifications, project specifications and provide construction management services?
- Is the engineer available to visit our site during construction projects, track progress toward milestones, and act as a liaison between the contractors and the community?
- Do you have a performance and evaluation standard for all service providers, vendors and suppliers?
- Do you have strict written policies that prohibit the use of alcohol and drugs by your employees and all service providers?
- Do you have a recommended vendor/supplier list for property maintenance services based solely on performance?
- Do you charge a fee to vendors and/or suppliers to be on your preferred or recommended list?
- Do you charge for items like routine copies, office supplies, etc?
Questions About Company Reputation and Stability
- Will you provide us with association/owner references that we can call?
- Does your company promote the professionalism of your employees by sponsoring them to earn professional designations within the industry?
- Have you ever filed for bankruptcy for this or any other company you have owned or managed?
Looking for the best property managers near you? Our service area includes the following New Jersey counties: Bergen, Burlington, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Ocean, Somerset, Sussex, Warren, Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem, and Union County.