Attracting the right tenants and keeping them is one of the fundamental most important aspects of property management. Tenant screening and tenant retention are some of the most valuable services that a property management company can provide to property owners. For this reason, it is essential to make sure you will be getting your money’s worth by examining their process for every task.
Below is a list of issues to review and questions to ask the property management firms you will interview about how they both attract and keep your target tenants:
Where Do They Advertise Their Rental Listings?
Exposure is essential to find the right tenants. If your property management company is not billing you for each advertisement you place, the more locations you put advertisements, the better. It is wise to expect your listings to be on many free and paid websites. It is also wise for your property management company to use offline channels including:
- Print Classifieds
- 24-Hour Hotline where tenants can hear information about the property
What Kinds of Advertisements Have They Prepared for Other Clients?
Any management company can list basic information on multiple websites. However, to attract the right tenants, you will need to hire a property management company that understands how to optimize their advertisements to reach your target group of prospective tenants. The advertisements should include all relevant information required to answer prospective tenant’s questions, and they should also have good copywriting that is attractive to tenants. By having the right kinds of advertisements, the property will attract more viewers and will be leased quickly.
What Is Their Current Vacancy Rate?
Take a close look at what the property management company’s current vacancy rate is. If they are not able to keep other individual’s properties rented, then there is no reason to think yours will be any different.
How Long Does It Typically Take Them to Fill Vacancies on Average?
If they tell you longer than one month, then you should be looking for other property management companies. Be sure to prepare yourself for delays with any company; however, one month should be your goal to rent the unit.
Do They Know What Their Cost Per Lead Is?
If the property management company knows the answer to this, it means they are tracking and using their advertising budget effectively. This number becomes even more important if they are billing you for any portion of the advertising bill.
Who Fields Inbound Leads Resulting from Rental Advertisements?
Your property management company must be generating advertising content that is attracting the right kind of tenant. If they are attracting unqualified tenants, then their previous efforts were wasted.
How Quickly Do They Return Prospective Tenants Calls and Emails?
Property management companies must return prospective tenants’ calls and emails as soon as possible. The property management company should be rapidly responding to leads and clearing up any doubts they have about the property. If a property management company is less experienced in sales, it could leave to longer vacancy periods. To test them, reach out to one of their advertisements and see how long it takes them to get back to you. If they pass your test, they could potentially be an ideal property management company to work with.
What Do They Do to Prepare the Home for Showings? Do They Take Any Steps to Ensure Optimal Presentation Both Inside and Outside?
Showings are where the final decision is made in most cases. You want your property management company to be on point with paying attention to the details that matter.
Will They Show a Unit if it Is Occupied?
It is a wonderful idea to show a unit that is occupied to have a shorter period of vacancy. The key is to notify the current occupant to minimize intrusion and disturbance. If the unit is ready to be shown, advertisements should be put up before the move out date to ensure a quick transition.
Who Shows the Units, Do they Allow Unsupervised Showings from a Lock Box?
Successful showings require the manager to be organized and ready to secure the next tenant. Prospective tenants will have many questions about the property, lease, neighborhood, and more. You will want to hire a manager that will be able to answer their question and sell the benefits of leasing the property. Using a lockbox for showings takes away the personal touch required to close sales and makes vandalism possible. It is best to avoid lock boxes and to stick to traditional showing techniques.
How Many Times Will They Show the Unit During the Week and the Weekend?
Watch out for property managers who do not show your property as much as possible. You want your property manager to be flexible with the schedules of prospective tenants. By finding the right property manager, you will be able to secure a tenant quickly.
What Kind of a Tenant Retention Program Do They Have in Place?
Increasing the average tenancy duration will increase your profits. When interviewing prospective property management companies, pay attention to how property management companies answer the question related to their tenant retention program. It will be clear based on their answer whether tenant retention is a priority or not. A good tenant retention program involves providing quick responses to tenant needs, providing financial incentives, regular contact and asking for feedback, and giving notice if rent increases are occurring. Make sure the property manager goes the extra mile to ensure tenants want to stay because that will increase the value of their service.
Even though finding applicants can be easy, finding the right applicants is not. For this reason, it is important to understand what your property management company does for tenant screening. To learn more, review the next section of our guide related to tenant screening and what your property management company should be offering.