Aren’t we all familiar with the drill of a job interview? The many questions one must field to prove one’s eligibility?
“Tell us something about yourself…”
“Where do you see yourself 5 years from now…”
“What do you intend to do differently…”
Similarly, before choosing a real estate portfolio manager, it is important to conduct a little ‘interview’ of your own to choose the right one – basically, we mean, just ask them the right set of questions, to ascertain their competency!
If you are an NRI investor with property/properties in India, managing them from abroad can get quite challenging. After all, buying the property is only the first step. Deciding whether to keep it vacant or to let it out, upkeep and maintenance, selecting the right tenants and managing them, dealing with taxations and legal matters, etc. – all these needs due attention and action. For this, you need the services of a property manager – or rather, a real estate portfolio manager!
Let’s look at some of the questions you could ask to select the appropriate real estate portfolio manager.
7 Questions You Need To Ask Your Property Manager!
1. What are the various services you offer to your clients?
It is important to know exactly what services the real estate property manager can offer you. Ideally, a real estate portfolio manager should help you decide the better option between keeping a property vacant and letting it out, the profitability of buying property in a particular area, screening and choosing the tenants, managing rented properties as well as vacant properties, regular maintenance and upkeep, taxation and legal matters, etc.
To know more about the services of a real estate portfolio manager, here’s a guide for reference.
2. How many properties do you manage?
Let’s face it – experience matters. In fact, it’s not just the number of properties, but also the types of properties being managed that makes a difference when it comes to the expertise of a real estate portfolio manager.
However, it is important to note that if the number of properties is too high, the manager must have the necessary wherewithal to manage them all.
3. How do you determine the rent amount?
For rented properties, determining the right amount of rent is necessary to maximise returns. A real estate portfolio manager should be able to do a comparative analysis of all the available listings in the market, and arrive at the appropriate figure. Expertise in using the unique factors of your property to your advantage is another important factor.
4. How do you market properties?
In order to attract tenants, it is necessary to market the properties as much as possible. Ask about the various channels a real estate portfolio manager intends to use to market your property. If newspaper ads is the only response you get, steer clear.
5. How do you screen, choose and manage tenants?
As an NRI, if your property is being let out, there is no greater cause of concern than choosing the right tenant.
An ideal real estate property manager will thoroughly screen potential tenants, making sure that they have legitimate identities, have a decent employment status and aren’t involved in illegal activities. Additionally, experienced managers usually have a database with the details of the tenants they have dealt with – essentially, it could help them choose the right tenants based on their history.
Managing the tenants is usually in terms of the collection of rent, or making sure that the tenant is paying the rent on time. Thanks to technology, a tenant can transfer the rent directly to the owner’s account, online. However, in situations where the tenant isn’t paying up, the manager should be able to deal with it in the appropriate manner. Additionally, it makes sense to check if the manager offers what is called an eviction warranty – to provide sufficient coverage during the process of evicting a tenant.
6. How long do your properties remain vacant?
The longer the period of vacancy between two terms of the tenancy, the more difficult it seems for the real estate portfolio manager to quickly find a tenant. If the interim is period is way too short, it may be owing to a lower rate of rent in comparison to the market rate, charged by the manager.
You need to establish the correlation of the vacancy vis-a-vis market norms.
7. How do you charge for your services?
Different real estate portfolio managers will have different pricing plans. Some might charge a flat fee, while some may charge a percentage of the total rental income.
You must also inquire about the charge for a vacant property – this would generally include the fees for the upkeep and maintenance of the property, as well as security from vandalism.
It is also advisable to ask about any other miscellaneous fees a manager might charge, especially for regular inspections.
So these are the 7 important question you need to find answers to, before you zero-in upon anyone to manage your property.
If you are looking for a real estate property manager who offers the best of the above services, get in touch with Homzhub today!