Working with a property manager benefits owners by eliminating the time consuming processes and stressful jobs related to managing rental properties – 4AM phone calls about a backed up toilet anyone?
While this may be obvious to every property manager who has experience in the rental industry, an owner still needs reassurance that their investment properties are generating income and are properly maintained. In order to attract more clients, a property manager needs to be confident and transparent about how his services will turn a rental property into a lucrative investment.
Here are common questions asked by rental owners that every property manager needs to be able to answer honestly and confidently. While these policies may be outlined in your management agreement, you should be prepared to provide answers to common owner questions in an easy to understand format. You may consider creating a Frequently Asked Question section on your website or business’s marketing materials.
By being upfront and clear with confident answers to important owner questions, you provide the foundation of trust necessary to start a conversation and establish a relationship with potential owners.
Owners want to know… about money
Like any business transactions the cost of your property management services will play a role influencing an owner’s decision to work with you. Owners want to know how much you charge for your management services, what your fee structure is and when they will receive their rental income from you. Don’t try to be elusive about your fee structure, honest answers about the cost of services create good expectations and build loyalty into the relationship with your clients.
Common owner questions about money include:
- What is your management fee structure?
- Are fees charged when the unit is not rented?
- When are monthly funds distributed?
- How are owner statements provided?
Owners want to know … about rent?
Potential rental income serves as the incentive for owning investment properties. So, naturally owners want to know everything about their property’s rent, including how much to charge, how rent gets collected and what happens when tenants don’t pay. Your management team is an invaluable resource to your clients for pricing their property appropriately and performing the steps necessary to get rent into the owner’s hands.
Common owner questions about rent include:
- How do I determine the rental amount?
- What happens if rent is late?
- What happens if a tenant doesn’t pay rent?
- Do you collect first and last month’s rent and security deposit up front?
Owners want to know … about vacancies.
A vacant property means zero income from the owner’s investment. Your owners need to be reassured that you are doing your best effort to ensure that a property does not sit vacant for an extended period of time. You need to provide answers that your services are attracting tenants that will pay rent on time. The best management team will explain to potential clients your plan for marketing vacancies and mitigating turnover.
Common owner questions about vacancies include:
- How do you market the property?
- How long will it take to rent?
- What is the average length of tenancy?
- What happens if a tenant breaks their lease?
Owners want to know … about their property?
One of the benefits of working with a property manager means maintenance can be deferred to a professional who coordinates with vendors and manages emergency calls. Maintenance management is an excellent sales tool for property managers who can explain how an owner’s investment is protected, maintained and repaired under your services without an owner having to worry about it.
Common owner questions about their property include:
- How often are inspections conducted?
- What needs to be done to prepare a property for rent?
- Am I allowed to visit?
- How are repairs handled?
- Who handles emergencies?
- How am I protected if the resident damages the property?
- What type of property Insurance do I need?
Owners want to know… about their tenants?
Owning rental property requires a certain amount of trust to let a stranger live in one of your most important (and expensive) assets. Understandably, an owner will want to know how your management team finds quality tenants that will take care of the property as if were their own. Once a good tenant is found, what will the management team to do try and retain the tenant so the owner can feel confident that their property is inhabited by a great resident. Explain to owners your tenant screening process and be prepared to provide answers about Fair Housing Regulations.
Common owner questions about tenants include:
- How do you find and keep good tenants?
- What are the policies regarding pets?
- Do you allow smokers at your properties?
- Is it possible to refuse to rent to families with children?
- Am I allowed to contact the tenant or visit the property?
- Does the tenant know who I am or will he be able contact me?
By providing answers to common questions from rental owners, you create a sense of value to your potential clients. Be specific with statics and market data for your region to demonstrate your expertise in the industry. You don’t want to come across as unapproachable with too much “industry speak” but explaining the benefits of your management services with facts will build trust with your potential clients.
What are other questions you’ve heard from potential rental owners who are considering working with a property manager? Let us know in the comments!