Rental Property Management - Ten Questions
By Steve Gillman - 2006
Why should you hire rental property management? Maybe because
doing everything yourself is the surest way to make your real
estate investment experience a bitter one. Also, you'll have
more time to find the next deal when there is someone taking
care of the details for you. So hire a good property manager,
but first ask them the following questions.
1. How much is your fee? Fees around the country vary from
as low as 4% of gross rents for larger properties, to as high
as 12% for single family homes. Be sure the fees are clearly
stated and understood.
2. What properties do you manage? It's always best if they
handle rental properties similar to yours. It's also helpful
to drive by their properties to see how they are maintained.
3. Who will handle the property? It's best if one person handles
your buildings. They should also have enough experience. Be sure
to get their name.
4. What extra charges are there? Are showings extra? Do evictions
cost more than the legal fees? Are there any other extras?
5. How are fees collected and when? Will you be billed, or
will fees be deducted from your account directly? Monthly or
6. What type of advertising do you use? How do they advertise
the rental units and what does it typically cost you?
7. How much cost and time to prepare units? What's the typical
cleaning fee on a vacant unit, and how long will it normally
be before it's rented out again?
8. What requires owner approval? What dollar amount needs
your authorization, and is this negotiable?
9. Your hours of operation? What are their business hours,
and who takes weekend and holiday calls?
10. What kind of accounting? What reports will they send?
How often? How are accounts initially set up?
You'll have other questions as well, based on your particular
needs and the particular property. Ask everything you can think
of up front, and you'll have fewer misunderstandings. With good
rental property management, real estate investing can be a lot