20 Interview Questions to Ask a Property Management Company
So, the Homeowners Association (HOA) decided it’s time to hire a property manager and you don’t know where to start. A good place to start is by asking the right questions in an interview. Here are 20 questions to ask a property management company:
1. How long have you been in operation?
Knowing how long a property management company has been in business gives you an idea of their experience level. Even though your decision will not be based solely on the years they’ve been in business, this may give you more confidence in your decision.
2. What are your core values/mission as a company?
This is an important question to ask and often overlooked. Their answer will give you a general idea of what they are going to be like as a partner.
3. What services do you offer?
Property management companies offer different services. Be sure that the list of companies you’re interviewing offers a suite of services that meets your needs.
4. What type of properties do you manage?
Knowing what properties the company manages will help you determine their skill set and expertise.
5. How many homeowners associations do you currently manage?
This will help you to gauge if the company is stretched too thin given the size of their staff. You want to be sure that your community receives the personal attention you need.
6. Who would be our property manager? What kind of experience do they have?
Most times a specific property manager will be assigned to your association. You’ll also want to know if your property manager carries the necessary licenses required by states.
7. Are you licensed and insured?
First, you’ll need to check if your state requires the property management company to be licensed and insured. Either way, this is something you’ll want to know.
8. What do you charge for your services?
Fee structures will vary from company to company. Find out the comprehensive list of charges so you don’t find any surprises later on. Some of the fees you’ll be charged are:
- Set-up Fees (charge to take over day-to-day management of the HOA)
- Continuing Fees (monthly management fee)
- Exit Fees (charge incurred when the HOA leaves for another company)
- Miscellaneous Fees (extra charge for marketing, and etc.)
9. How are finances handled?
Managing finances is one of the most complicated responsibilities an HOA will face. This is why they often turn to a property management company to help them. So, it’ll be critical to find out how they’ll handle the community’s finances.
10. Who are your vendors?
When things need to get fixed, it’s important to do it as quickly as possible. If the property management company has a list of trusted vendors for your community, it’ll save you time and money!
11. Are you up to date on HOA laws?
Because state, federal, and local laws are always changing, you want to make sure that the company you hire is up to date on these regulations.
12. What’s your process for handling service requests?
Find out how the company tracks and manages service requests and your role in the process. Look for a company with a well-thought-out process.
13. How will you respond to emergencies?
Emergencies are bound to happen, especially when it comes to an HOA. Ask them if they have a plan in place in case of emergency and what they would do if disaster strikes.
14. What is your response time?
In the case of emergencies, you don’t want a property management company that takes longer than 24 hours to respond. Response times can vary based on service level and emergency vs non-urgent request.
15. How often will you conduct community inspections?
Inspections should be done regularly. Find out how many times they’ll come to inspect for HOA violations before you choose a company.
16. How often will you provide the HOA with updates?
Communication is key to a community being run smoothly.
17. What is your preferred method of communication?
Look for a company that is willing to communicate with you, residents, and vendors through various media – phone, text, or email.
18. What sets you apart from other property management companies?
With so many companies to choose from, what sets this one apart? What can they offer you that the other companies can’t? This will help you narrow down your decision.
19. How will you add value to our community?
Make sure that the management company’s specialty aligns with the needs of the community. For example, if one of the community’s special amenities is a park, verify the company is familiar and experienced with dealing with maintaining a park.
20. Do you have any references?
Be sure to ask for a list of references. There’s no better way to find out if the company is going to fulfill the needs of the community than word of mouth.
You’ll probably have more questions to ask, but this list is a good starting point. By asking all the right questions, you can find the perfect company. Once you hire a property manager, it’ll be one of the best decisions your HOA makes.
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Chris Westerlund and West Property Management were great. Being a realtor, I deal with a lot of property management companies. I reached out to Chris about obtaining HOA resale documents. He was instrumental in getting the documents delivered to me that same day when we needed them in a rush. In addition, he used his resources to find the contact information for the company we had been trying to find for a couple of weeks. I'd highly recommend anyone/business looking for property management services to reach out to Chris and West Property Management!