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40 Questions To Ask BEFORE Hiring A Property Management Company

What would you say are the most important things you provide your clients?

  1. The most thorough tenant screening available.
    This is one of the most important aspects of our business. We take it very seriously when we hand over keys to a clients’ property. We have a 99% success rate on tenant placement.
  2. Single point of contact for owners
    Each owner has their own Portfolio manager that handles all communication with owners to save clients time and frustration of dealing with different departments, and to ensure that our clients get timely responses.
  3. Our Technology
    We have the most up to date technology available for our industry.

How long have you been in the property management business?

19 years.

How many branch offices do you have?

Our corporate office is in Schenectady NY, we have branch offices in Albany NY, Troy NY, and Buffalo NY.

Do you have local staff for each branch office?

Yes, we have local licensed leasing agents, local maintenance departments, and a branch manager for each office.

What kind of insurance does your company have?

$1,000,000.00 liability policy, and workers compensation on all employees.
(Some companies do not have both liability and workers compensation get proof in writing that they have both workers compensation and general liability insurance.)

Does your firm have a Real Estate Broker’s License?

Yes, Required for anyone that manages for more than one client.

How many units do you manage?

Approximately 500

What is the market value of the portfolio you manage?

Approximately $40 million

How many employees do you currently have?

20

Do you have a team approach to management?

Yes Portfolio Manager, Property Managers, Comptroller, Collection Manager, Leasing Staff, and Maintenance Department.

Can I only pay for the services I need?

Yes, full management, maintenance only, leasing only, or evictions only. If you need another service, please contact our office and we will be happy to discuss it with you.

Do you have a finance department?

Yes, we have a Collections Manager and a Controller to ensure that rent is paid timely and all owners proceeds are funded on time.

Do you just manage, or do you sell too?

Our sister company Expert Realty Advisors LLC. is a full service real estate brokerage.

What rental price do you recommend?

We always want to rent each unit at market price. This way you don’t have to increase your rent every year.

How long do you think you will take to lease my apartment?

Vacancies are a loss of revenues, so our goal is to rent it ASAP, our average days on the market are 30 Days.

How quickly do you schedule showings/return calls?

Our leasing staff is paid on commission, so they return emails and calls promptly and someone is always available 7 days a week.

What is your lease renewal policy?

120 Days before the lease expires we send out a renewal, if we do not receive it back within 30 days we contact the tenant to find out if they are renewing or planning on moving. If they are moving, we start showing the property in their last 45 days.

How much move-out notice do you require?

60 Days

Who holds the security deposit?

All security deposits are credited to the owners account and held by the owners.

Do you provide a copy of the lease to the landlord?

All documents will be in your owner portal which you can log into and view at any time by going to our website.

What is the length of your lease?

In most cases it’s a year lease, but we discuss this with the owner, because each owner has different circumstances.

Do you lease to DSS?

We typically do not rent to DSS because it is a month by month program that can change anytime. We will manage tenants that are already in the property if they are on DSS when we take over management.

How do you handle rent ready repairs?

When your tenant moves out, our maintenance supervisor will inspect the property, and put together a list of items that need to be done in order to re-rent. Your portfolio manager will email the information plus pictures, and call you to go over it.

Do you lease to section 8?

Some properties do great with section 8 and others don’t. We will be happy to go over this with you and answer any questions you have with section 8 and your particular situation.

Do I still need to have communication with my tenants?

Starting on day one we will take care of all communication with your tenants. YOU WILL LOVE THIS!

How does your firm screen tenants?

This is the most important aspect of our business. We take it very seriously when we hand over keys to a client’s property. We have the most thorough tenant screening available which includes:

  • Verification of employment
  • Verification of rent for the last three years
  • National eviction search
  • Background check
  • Credit check
  • Inspection of current residence
  • Most recent utility bill
  • Current landlord verification through tax records and asking questions they would only know.

What are your minimum requirements for leasing?

  • Required Income – 2.5x the rent (minimum income requirement.)
    Example: $800 monthly rent, need $2000 Gross month income
  • Required Information – Government issued ID, 2 most recent pay stubs (or 2 years tax returns & 6 months bank statements if self-employed), pet photo taken with applicant (if applicable). Landlord contact info for last 3 years.
  • Is your leasing department available on weekends and after hours?

    Our leasing department is available seven days a week and we set up after hour appointments for potential tenants.

    How do you handle past due rent?

    We send all tenants a 3 day on the 6th of the month. Our Finance Department makes collection calls two times a day, in the morning and again in the evening. Our last
    resort is to evict the tenant and regain possession of the property and obtain judgment.

    What do you advertise to find prospective tenants?

    In this day in age 99.9% of your tenants will find your property online. So the photography has to be excellent. We advertise on 100 sites such as (Zillow, Trulia, 518renter.com, apartments.com, and many more!) We receive over 150 inquiries a day from potential tenants.

    How many tenants did you have to evict last year?

    We evict less than 1% of the tenants we place. So on average we are evicting less than a handful monthly.

    What is your turn around time on phone calls and emails from owners?

    This is the biggest complaint in the real estate business! In most cases your portfolio manager will return your call/email the same day. Because of different time zones sometimes you will receive your call/email the next business day.

    How do you handle communication with owners?

    We take communication with our clients very seriously. We have clients throughout the world and we communicate with them on their preferred choice of communication. (Email, Phone, Text, or Skype)

    How do you handle communications when I have a vacancy?

    Every Monday we send you a report that shows all interests in your property, including showings and applications that are pending.

    How do you handle after hour emergencies?

    We have a 24/7 call center to answer all emergency calls and dispatch the appropriate maintenance technician to the job.

    Do you troubleshoot with the tenants when they call for emergencies?

    We use a call center that only works with property management companies and they are trained to walk the tenants through minor repairs. An example of this is when a tenant calls about a breaker tripping.

    What do you consider emergencies?

    Anything that would compromise the safety of the tenant or cause damage to the property.

    How is your company with technology?

    Award winning property management software. Tenant payments can be paid by auto debit to ensure timely rent payments. Ipads are used by outside staff for scheduling, inspections, pictures, and communications. Owner’s funds can be direct deposited into their account of choice.

    What is the length of your management contract?

    One year with a 90 day cancellation clause.

    How fast can you start managing my property?

    In most cases, as soon as you sign our agreement.