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10 Questions to Ask when Interviewing a Property Management Company in Southern CA

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September 11, 2020Propety Management

When you’re looking for Riverside or San Diego property management, it’s important to find a reputable and reliable leader in the industry with intimate knowledge of your market. The first step is to conduct a bit of online research. You can read customer reviews and get a sense of how they do business. Once you find a few companies that you like, schedule some interviews.

During your interview, you’ll want to talk about a number of things. These 10 questions are a great starting point.

  • How long have you been managing residential rental properties?Experience is important, and you want to know how long a company has been in business. But, more important than their years of experience is the type of experience they have.  Do they have experience managing properties like yours? Do they specialize in investment properties? Do they own any themselves?
  • How will we communicate?Communication is critical and with technology, it’s easier than ever today. There’s no excuse for a property manager not being available to you. But, it’s important to set expectations early. Find out how frequently they’ll communicate and which platforms they’ll use. Will they call or text or send an email? You’re looking for responsiveness and accessibility.
  • How do you market my vacant home?Avoiding vacancy is important, and you want to be sure your home is going to be rented quickly to excellent residents and for the most money possible. Find out how they advertise vacant homes, and which online rental sites are used to list your property.
  • How do you screen tenants?Discuss the tenant screening process and the application procedures that the management company follows. It’s important that prospective tenants are being screened thoroughly and consistently. You also want to make sure your property management company knows and complies with all fair housing laws.
  • How do you stay current on laws and best practices?This is an important question because the laws are always changing, especially in California. You want to be sure the management company you hire will keep you out of trouble. Find out if they can speak knowledgeably about the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 and if they can tell you how rent control applies to your specific rental properties.
  • What’s your process for maintaining my home?Some management companies have in-house maintenance personnel and others outsource the work to local vendors and contractors. There’s no one way to do it, just make sure you understand the maintenance process. Ask if they are available 24 hours a day to respond to repairs and how long it typically takes to complete a minor repair or a major project.

    Always ask if there’s an upcharge for maintenance. This isn’t always transparent or volunteered.

  • What is your rent collection policy?You want to know how rent is collected, and perhaps even more importantly – you want to know when and how it’s paid to you. Most management companies will pay via direct deposit so you’re not stuck waiting for a check. Ask about late fees and other consequences for late rental payments.
  • Can I view my account online?Technology is an important way to deliver property management services efficiently and effectively. You want a management company that’s willing to invest in technology and provide things like online owner portals, where you can log in and see rental payments, maintenance requests, and outstanding invoices. You should be able to access accounting statements and financial reports whenever you need them.
  • How do you handle nonpayment of rent?A lot of landlords worry about eviction. Your property manager should have experience filing evictions, and you should feel comfortable that if your tenant stops paying, he or she will be removed and replaced with a tenant who follows the terms of the lease.
  • How are you different from other management companies? You always want to know what sets one company apart from others. Pay attention to this answer so you know how the management company sees itself and how it compares to the competition.

contactWe’d love to answer some of these questions for you ourselves. Please contact us at RentSimpli to find out what it would be like to work with our talented Riverside and San Diego property management teams.



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