FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR MANAGEMENT COMPANIES
Compliments of Perfect Fit!
These are real questions from real owners PLUS questions that only someone in the business will know to ask. Use these questions to interview other companies to make an "apples to apples" comparison. This is serious business. You should know how it works. Just skip around to the questions that apply to you.
How long will it take to find a suitable occupant? Pristine properties renting for $50 - $75 less per month than the market rate, will rent in 2-3 weeks which is MUCH faster than those advertised for more. If the home's condition is questionable, or if the rent is too high, the phone will not ring and your advertising dollars will be wasted. Tenants begin to shop rentals 4 to 6 weeks in advance of their current lease so you should budget to cover your mortgage for at least two months after you hire a manager.
How do I get my place rented fast? Two things guarantee your rental will sit vacant for months:
Note: and furnished homes tend to stay on the market longer.
- The rent is too high. How do you know? If your manager IS NOT getting five or more inquiries per week on the home, the rent is too high. It only takes about 10 days for this to become obvious.
- If the home is getting shown but no applications are coming in, then the condition, the surroundings or the floor plan are usually to blame. Fix, clean or de-clutter the home per professional advice and/or lower the rent by $55- $75 for every week you don't get an app.
Tenants prefer to view totally vacant homes. Unlike buyers, tenants want to see SPACE for their
stuff and they want to see it exactly they way they will get it. They will not come back for showing. By the time you move your stuff out, they will have signed a lease somewhere else that was really "Ready to Rent." This doesn't mean we won't market a furnished home. We just want you to know that an occupied home takes longer to lease.
I'm too busy. Can you help me get the house ready to rent? We can do this for you even if you don't need us to manage the property. If you choose us for yearly management, we don't charge for inspecting the home, photographing problems areas and collecting bids from qualified contractors for you once you've signed a contract. However, we do charge 10% if the contractors bottom line for project management of small jobs like painting, carpet installations, flooring restorations, handy work, exterior and yard clean-up. We keep in close contact with you during the project and provide you with before and after pictures so you know exactly what is going on.
How much renovation must I do for a tenant? Regardless of age, size or architecture, remember the following:
-No dirt or stains inside of or on top of anything ANYWHERE. (Carpet stains kill the deal.)
-No odor. "If we can smell it, we can't sell it."
-Update as many fixtures as you can (lights, faucets, knobs). Install bright light bulbs - 60 watts or better.
-Be sure not a single thing is in disrepair.
-And check window and doors for energy efficiency. Tenants will run from high utility bills.
-Pressure wash where needed including the garage.
-The front and back yards should be mowed, and free of unused items that children can get into or fall over.
-Empty and sweep all storage areas. Good storage space is a strong, strong, strong, selling point.
Do you charge the first month's rent to find a tenant for me? No. As you shop around you will see that many firms will require your first month's rent to secure a tenant for you. Perfect Fit home Rentals will not. We only charge 50% of the first month's rent to market the home on multiple renter pay sites, Craig's and other free sites, and to show the home. No need to write a check. The fee is deducted from the first month's rent.
Why do some companies charge 10% when other companies charge 7, or 8%?
Some management companies offer a variety of fees that correspond with a particular level of service. The monthly percentage is insignificant compared to the other fees for specific services that you will be charged throughout the relationship. Ask each company about 4 fees: Leasing fee, renewal fee, fee, monthly management fee, existing tenant intake fee (cost to process and owner-obtained tenant). Click here to see a cost comparison made easy. Cost comparison.
How much maintenance is included in the 10% monthly management fee? Repairs are done at the expense of the owner. Supervision and coordination of maintenance tasks after move-in are included but the actual cost of labor and materials belong to the owner of the property.
Do you have an in-house maintenance department? No. We like to use small independent contractors who are well credentialed and whose prices are low because they don't have big overhead. At PFHR, what the vendor charges us is exactly what we charge to . No .
Are property showings escorted or does the company use a key check-out system? At PERFECT FIT HOME RENTALS, a manager or licensed sales agent will personally show your home to the tenant prospect.
Will the tenant be able to contact me? No. It's counterproductive. The manager serves as a buffer between you and the tenant. If the tenant calling you, the manager's ability to perform is being hampered. The contract and the lease will stipulate that all communications with the tenant with the management company.
What are the rates for investors? Depends on the rent and condition. Negotiable for multiple properties.
How far is the manager from the rental home? You don’t want your manager to be 20 miles from your property. A manager in close proximity will probably show your home more often and can get there quickly in an emergency.
Does the management company require written proof that your HOA is allowing you to lease the rental? If you don't know, find out. If it doesn't matter to them, get it in writing! Imagine moving in a person who is denied access to amenities or is harassed by neighbors. Get ready for a trip to the courthouse!
Can I deduct property management fees from my taxes? Yes, just like you can deduct your mortgage interest, property taxes and the cost of repairs. Management fees are considered "expenses." (Consult your tax adviser).
If a repair is very expensive, will I have the opportunity to get an estimate from someone else? Yes. We usually ask the owner to establish a repair limit of $250 (which can be modified). This is to keep us from pestering you with minor repairs such as a jiggly door handle. But if the repair is more significant and threatens to approach or exceed that limit, PERFECT FIT will alert you and get your approval in writing before anything is done. If you prefer to use your own services before occupancy, that is perfectly acceptable. However, once the new tenant occupies, we must have proof that the repair service is licensed and insured to minimize our liability on a property we are responsible for.
If I allow pets, how will the manager know if the pet really meets requirements? PERFECT FIT managers either meet the pet or get a good photo for the file. The tenant may list a Toy Poodle on the when it a large Doberman. Confirming the pet in advance minimizes difficulties with neighbors and fines from HOAs. We will not knowingly lease a home to an owner of an aggressive breed - even if it is tame.
Do you keep the tenant's pet fee? No. gets the pet fee of $200 at the end of the lease. It's non-refundable and helps ease the cost of cleaning.
Will you sell my home when I am ready to sell? Sure. We'd be happy to get it sold!
What does it take to get started? Some companies require upfront payment of the leasing fee. All we need is a complete file on you that contains the contract, proof of ownership, details about the property, etc.
Ready to get started? Just call us at 770-616-6935.