How to select the right Property Manager for your property

How to select the right Property Manager for your property

Finding the right Property Management Company for you and your home can be a challenging task, to make it a little easier for you, below are some questions you can ask when selecting a Property Manager for your home:

How will you market our property to prospective residents? ~ Look at examples of other available homes to see the quality of the images and if they use video tours
Please check out any of our currently available homes to see how we present available properties, the quality and number of images, use of video tours and how easy it is to schedule a showing.
Can prospective residents schedule a showing online? ~ This is becoming more and more important for prospective tenants
The ability for prospective residents to be able to schedule showings at their convenience when they see the listing is fundamental to capturing the attention and information of prospects and also makes it easy for them to take the next steps. Utilizing an integrated online scheduling software which  captures the information of prospective residents and allows them to schedule a personal showing directly from their phones 24/7 a key feature for APS
What is your resident screening process and what background checks do you conduct? ~ Doing through background checks and finding suitable residents for your property can make the difference between a great rental experience and a terrible one
Completing detailed background checks if fundamental in securing suitably qualified resident for your home, so always check on what background reports are completed and on whom
Once an application is received, how quickly will it be processed? ~ Prospective residents often apply for multiple properties, so a fast turnaround time, is important
Time is of the essence for Prospective residents, whom often apply for multiple properties and are often anxious to find a suitable home, so whilst one should never skip any of the application steps, having the rental application process online and processing the applications 7 Days a week is fundamental to a good leasing process 
What is your current average occupancy rate? ~ Good occupancy is the key to a successful rental property
Occupancy is the key to the financial success of your rental property, so always ask what the companies exact occupancy rate is, the higher the occupancy, obviously the better and if they don’t know the answer then that is a red flag 
Do you utilize Code box technology to enable prospective residents the option to schedule secure self-showings for vacant properties? ~ Utilizing electronic code box technology works well for vacant homes especially for short notice inquires
New Code Box technology, allows prospective residents to access and tour vacant properties 7 Days a week with just a few moments notice to verify their identity. This works really well for applicants that see the For Rent signs or are already in the neighborhood searching for a home and for prospects who have very limited availability to see available properties. It is not suitable for any occupied homes.
How long have you been in business? ~ Longevity and experience in property management is an important factor to consider when selecting a manager
Experiance in Residental Property management is important so when selecting a management company always ask how long they have been in business and if Property Management is their primary focus. Also, note that managing you’re own rental properties is a different skill set to managing other peoples 
How many properties do you currently actively under their management and do you manage any other properties in the neighborhood? ~ The portfolio size is relevant as it can determine how focused they are on property management and having other homes in your community is always a plus
Bigger does not necessarily mean better, however it is a good gauge as to how committed to and how successful at property management a company is
How do you handle maintenance requests? Do you have a dedicated maintenance coordinator and an in-house maintenance person/team? ~ How maintenance requests are handled is a crucial aspect of Property management and requires a very different skill set to that of listing your property and finding new residents.
Other questions to ask are:

  • Do you have a dedicated maintenance person/department?
  • Do you have an in-house maintenance person/team? If so, how are they billed?
How often to do you complete internal property walkthroughs and is there an additional fee for these? ~ Checking on your property during a tenancy is a good way to keep ahead of any potential issues
Checking on your property during a tenancy is important to keep on top of any potential issues and also to help identify any preventative maintenance items. We believe that a reasonable amount of property walkthroughs is up to 2 per year and these should be included as part of the standard management services 
How do you handle City of Annapolis rental license and Inspections?
All Rental Properties within the City limits of Annapolis are required to hold a valid Rental Licence and are required to be inspected by a city inspector annually.  As part of our management services, we handle the entire process of applying for the City rental license on your behalf, coordinate the scheduling of the inspection and accompanying the inspector on the inspection. There are no additional fees for this service, but this a $100 annual fee due to the city.
How do you handle Utility bills?

We handle the management all your properties utility bills as part of our inclusive management services

For electric and gas utility bills we switch your account to a landlord account by completing the BGE Automatic Name Change Agreement form.  This will allow tenants to put the service in their name for the time they occupy and will then default back into your name when they vacate, without interruption in service. It is important to note that you should NOT disconnect the service when you vacate the property, as the ANC form only takes effect one and resident has occupied the property

For water and waste bills, these bills should remain in your name and change the mailing address to APS.  When a bill is delivered to us, we then Scan it and either add the appropriate portion of the bill to the tenant’s ledger or forward it on to them electronically for them to pay directly

For all internet/TV/phone service, you can everything and returning any equipment to the provider.  Residents can then set up their own accounts

How do you handle HOA payments and violations?
If your property is part of an HOA and your monthly payments are set up as a direct debit to the Management company we suggest leaving them that way, but if you are using the monthly coupons and paying your fees monthly your property manager should handle that for you
Whom will be my primary point of contact once the lease is signed? - This is important you want to know whom you will be working with for not just the leasing of your home but also ongoing management once the residents take occupancy
The Leasing, Property Management. Maintenance and Financial Book Keeping for your property require significantly different skill sets but to maintain and an easy line of communication and a single point of contact for our property owners every property has a Senior Property Manager who has overall responsibility for your home. Their primary role is to handle all leasing issues, communications, and move-in/move-out condition reports; they are supported by a Sales Director and leasing team to help source suitable residents and an Operations team to handle the maintenance and financial aspects of your property. APS Team Profiles
Where is your office located?
The closer the offic is to property in the portfolio the easier it if to that property manager to manage that property. Our general rule of thumb is that we should only manage homes that are within a 20 to a maximum of a 30-minute drive of the office. Our office is conveniently located at 914 Forest Drive Annapolis 
What happens if my tenant has an emergency maintenance situation outside of regular business hours? ~ Rarely do maintenance issues occur at a convenient time
Maintenace failures rarely seem to happen at a convenient time so it is important for a Property Manager to have a good system and process for how to handle maintenance requests and emergency situations outside of regular office hours. For non-emergency maintenance requests, we encourage all our residents to log any requests through their online portal, which we monitor 7 Days a week. We also have an in-house 24-hour emergency number and one of our Senior managers is always on call

What is your delinquency rate? ~ E.g. How many of the properties under management have an outstanding rent balance - This will show how well how good their tenant selection process is and how well they know the current status of their portfolio
Delinquency rate, occupancy rate and the frequency/number of evictions are the three most important statistics questions you should ask about. One of the worst things you can have as a landlord is a tenant living in your home and not pay ing rent, so be sure to ask about the delinquency rate and specifically any delinquency that is greater than 30 days
How many evictions have you handled in the past 12 months? ~ Evictions are costly, stressful and time-consuming, so whilst having experience in the eviction process is good, having to complete them can be a tell-tale sign of how good their tenant screen process is
Having to evict a tenant is really the worst case scenario as that generally means they are more than one behind on rent payments, there is likely to be damage to property  and on top of that as the landlord you have incurred both legal costs and the costs to move their possessions out of your property. 
If rent is not paid or the property is vacant do you still charge a management fee? ~ Always a good question to ask, to make sure that the property manager has the same financial plan as you
An important questions to ask as some property managers charge a management fee even if the tenant doesn’t pay their rent and other even charge a fee when the property is vacant 
What is included in your management fee and what additional fees are there? ~Always review all the fees, as those with what at first seems to be lower monthly or flat rate fee often cost you more in add on or leasing fees
Additional fees can include: Leasing fee,

What commitments do I have if I want to sell the property or if the tenant ends up purchasing the home? ~ Important to ask, as it is not always front of mind when looking to rent, but be sure that you are not committing to having to use a specific realtor or commissions when the time does come to sell
Important to ask, as it is not always in front of mind when looking to rent, but be sure that you are not committing to having to use a specific realtor or commissions when the time does come to sell
How do you document the property condition at the time of move in / move out? ~ Advances in technology have really helped how you can document the condition of a property at the time of move in and move out, but there is no set method, so always check on the process uses to document the condition of a property at time of move in and move out
Advances in technology have really helped how you can document the condition of a property at the time of move in and move out, but there is no set method, so always check on the process uses to document the condition of a property at time of move in and move out
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Annapolis Property Services
914 Forest Drive, Suite 101 Annapolis MD 21403
(410) 695-6151 Start Price $1500
Annapolis Property Services
914 Forest Drive, Suite 101 Annapolis MD 21403
(410) 695-6151

Annapolis Property Services LLC. | 914 Forest Drive,Suite 101, Annapolis MD 21403
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