10 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring A Property Manager
1. Are you licensed in Colorado to manage property?
Managing property requires a very specialized skill set and very few people have these skills
without additional training and practical experience. For these reasons the Colorado
Department of Regulatory Agencies requires that all individuals practicing property
management not only have a Colorado Real Estate license but also take additional classes
teaching the fundamentals of property management.
2. How long has your
company been in the
Properly managing a property requires
more than just fundamental training,
it requires a considerable amount of
practical experience. You wouldn’t
trust your life to a surgeon doing their
first surgery so why trust your
livelihood to a property manager
taking on their first property to
This question is a double edged sword … too few properties
may mean too little experience and too many may mean the
property manager may not have time to devote to your
property. Certainly quantity doesn’t trump quality but too
few employees and too many properties is an unsettling
proposition. Property managers must not only take care of
the administrative tasks of managing a property but must also
make on-site visits to inspect the property, review vendor’s
work and build relationships with current tenants. There is
no set rule of thumb as a portfolio of 10 retail shopping
centers may be less labor intensive than a portfolio of 5
3. How many properties do you have under management?
How many employees do you have working your company’s
property management portfolio?
4. Do you own rental
It’s always nice to know the property manager you
are working with has skin in the game. It means
they believe in property ownership as a way to
build wealth and they know from an owner’s
perspective what it takes to successfully manage a
property. It also means that you should expect a
manager to treat your properties with the same
care that he treats his own.
5. How many
employees do you have
working your company’
s property management
Certainly quantity doesn’t trump quality
but too few employees and too many
properties is an unsettling proposition.
Property managers must not only take
care of the administrative tasks of
managing a property but must also make
on-site visit to inspect the property,
review vendor’s work and build
relationships with current tenants.
6. How often do company representatives visit
We hear it said over and over again, regardless of the context, that nothing beats
having boots on the ground. You can’t give a hair cut through the mail and you
certainly can’t properly manage a property sitting in an office.
7. How are property maintenance issues handled? After hours?
The second largest expense a property owner has — after the mortgage — is property maintenance. It is important to
know how vendors are selected and what their relationship is to the property management company. Also, what is the
procedure for after hour emergencies? Property management is a 24/7 business and maintenance services must be
available to meet needs any time of the day.
8. What accounting and
reporting procedures does
your company have in
As the owner of a property, you need to be able
to understand your financials — otherwise it can
be difficult to gauge the status of your
investment and whether the property is being
properly managed. Ask to see a sample of the
accounting reports your property manager will
be compiling for you before you sign on and
make sure they are simple, straightforward, and
provide you all the key data you need.
9. What are the fees and
other cost associated with
As the saying goes, “You get what you pay for,”
and property management is no different. Ask
yourself why a property management firm’s fee is
higher/lower than others in the industry. Truly, it
comes down to manpower devoted to your
property. If a firm’s fee is too high, perhaps you
are paying for services you don’t need (or think
you don’t need) and if they are too low you
definitely won’t be getting the level of service
your property will demand.
10. Does your firm have a
Unfortunately the days when people could
do business together based upon a
handshake are over. Owning a property is
like owning a business and your affairs
should be handled in a businesslike manner.
Request and review the property
management agreement as this contract is
the basis of your relationship with the
property management company.