In the process of choosing a San Jose property management company, a good landlord will conduct a bit of research and ask a few questions. You’ll want to make sure you’re working with a company that has an outstanding reputation for customer service and exceptional management.
Some of the typical first questions are: how much do you cost? And, how much can I earn on my property?
These are fair and necessary questions. However, if you really want to understand what you’ll be earning and spending, you have to ask a few additional questions. You want to know about vacancy rates and tenant retention rates. Find out how tenants are screened and placed.
These five common questions will typically lead to additional questions and answers, which can give you a good idea about how the company works and whether they’ll be able to meet your needs.
1. What are your Communication Policies?
Find out how your property manager plans to communicate, and make sure it matches your own expectations. Some owners want to hear from their property manager as often as possible. Others don’t want to hear from them at all unless something is wrong. If you’re an out of state investor in another time zone, online communication might be best, and you’ll want to make sure you can email and check on your property’s performance digitally. If you like the in-person meetings and phone calls, make sure your property manager is prepared for that.
It’s also important that your property managers are responsive when it comes to communicating with tenants. If there’s emergency maintenance needed or rent is going to be late, your tenants will need to contact your property manager right away.
2. What kind of Property Management Experience do you Have?
Experience is important when you’re looking for professional San Jose property management. You want to work with a company that knows the local San Jose and Silicon Valley rental market and understands the real estate trends and tenant demands. You also want a team of property managers who understand your particular property. If you own a duplex, for example, or several units in an apartment building, working with a company that specializes in single-family homes doesn’t make much sense. Evaluate years of experience and also type of experience.
3. What do Eviction Laws Mean for My Property?
No one likes to think about evictions, but you need to know what your property manager’s plan is for removing tenants who aren’t paying rent or following the terms of the lease. This has become especially important recently, with an eviction moratorium still in place due to COVID-19. Understanding how your property manager collects rent will be an important part of choosing a good company. Talk about just cause evictions outside of the pandemic, and how evictions in general are prevented.
The eviction process in California is complicated, so you’ll need someone who understands the requirements and the courts. Remember, it’s a good idea to work with a property manager who knows how to evict, but you don’t want to choose a company with a high eviction rate. That might indicate that they don’t have a great screening process.
4. How is Maintenance Handled?
Some management companies have their own vendors and others use outside vendors. Find out how the property manager handles repair requests and whether they are available 24 hours a day to respond to emergencies. You’ll want to know there’s a plan in place for emergencies as well as routine maintenance and even preventative maintenance. Find out how the company keeps your repairs cost-effective while protecting the condition of your investment property.
5. How do you Leverage Technology?
You need a management company that utilizes technology. It supports effective and automated processes. You specifically want to know if tenants can pay rent online and if you’ll be paid electronically. You’ll want to know if you receive a statement and if your rental listing will be syndicated to popular rental sites when the home is being marketed. Ask how technology and portals facilitate better communication and track maintenance.
These are five good starting questions when you’re talking to a San Jose property management company. We have answers for these and other questions. Contact us at 408-272-4100 or info@abornproperties.