When you’re choosing an Oakland property manager or getting acquainted with the systems and processes of a new management company, there are a few questions that you should ask as soon as possible. These things are inherently important to your ROI and your success as an investor.
How Will We Communicate?
Thanks to technology, we have a number of ways to communicate with each other today. We can make phone calls, send emails, type out a text message or @ someone on social media.
Make sure you understand how your property manager prefers to communicate, and discuss whether it meshes with the way you prefer to communicate. If you’re an out of state investor in another time zone, online communication might be best. If you like the in-person meetings and phone calls, make sure your property manager is prepared for that.
Discuss your expectations. Communication is an important part of your relationship, and you need to know how often you’ll hear from your property manager and in what format you can expect to have information shared and questions answered.
How Do You Keep up with Legal Changes?
Landlord and tenant law in California has always been complicated, and it’s still getting more complex. Hot topics today are rent control, just cause evictions, disparate impact, and emotional support animals. To protect your investment, a property manager needs to understand the law and have a plan for staying up to date with changes in the law. Even nuanced shifts are important. One mistake can cost thousands of dollars. Find out if they work with a legal team and how they keep up.
What’s Your Rent Collection Policy?
You need to know how rent will be collected and how it will be paid to you. Find out when rent is due, how tenants are expected to pay the rent, and whether there is a grace period or any late fees when rent doesn’t come in on time. You also want to ask when you can expect to be paid. You’ll need to know if your payment will be deposited directly into your account or if you can expect to receive a check in the mail.
It’s also important that you receive a statement every month, either online or in the mail. You want to be sure you’ll understand the income and expenses associated with your rental property.
How Do you Handle Maintenance?
Find out how your Oakland property manager handles routine and emergency maintenance. Are you going to be asked permission every time a $75 fix for a garbage disposal is requested? Or, will you only be bothered for repairs that are more than $300 or $500? You need to understand the parameters. Ask about the vendors your property management works with and how quickly they respond to small repairs. You’ll need to know if they’re available 24 hours a day.
What Kind of Data do you Use to Price my Property?
Properly pricing your rental property will result in a placing a great tenant quickly. A property that’s priced under market will cost you money, and a property that’s over-priced will probably cost you even more money in vacancy. You need to know your property manager is using good data and reliable information to price your home, and not just picking a number out of the sky.
We can think of at least another 20 questions you should ask your property manager before you start working together. Contact us at Vision Property Management, and we’ll tell you about the other things you should consider when you’re looking for Oakland property management.