Are you preparing to hire a Nashville property manager? Do you know how to find the one that’s right for you and your property?
You’ll need to get to know how they operate.
Developing an open, transparent, and responsive relationship with your property manager is essential to a positive and profitable rental experience. You need to be able to communicate, and one way to investigate how they’re likely to communicate is by asking questions.
As you’re interviewing potential property managers for your Nashville investment properties, start with these questions. The answer should take you in important conversational directions.
How well do you know the Nashville rental market?
Understanding the Nashville rental market is important before you even have tenants in place.
You need a local property manager who intimately understands the properties, the needs and desires of tenants, and the competition that’s out there on the rental market. A local property management expert will help you price your property correctly, market it strategically, and protect you against potential legal mistakes.
Ask about the market’s current challenges and ask about the latest trends in the local market and the wider property management industry. This will give you a good idea about how experienced your management company is, and whether they take the time to stay informed about what’s happening in Nashville and the industry.
How does the leasing process work, and what criteria do you use to find a tenant?
Marketing is a huge part of the leasing process, so ask about where they advertise, how they advertise, and what they include in a listing. Ask about showings; are they done in person or are there self-showing capabilities in place?
Screening is an important part of the leasing process, and you’ll want to ask about screening and rental criteria.
- Ask if they check tenancy databases for terminated lease agreements and money owed to former landlords.
- You also want to be sure that your residents can afford the rent, so make sure your property manager verifies employment and income.
- Criminal backgrounds should also be checked.
The tenant screening process is an important part of the leasing process because the type of tenant in your home will have a huge impact on the success of your rental property.
How will you protect the value and condition of my rental property?
Maintenance must be discussed when you’re choosing a property management professional.
A good property manager will protect the condition of your asset and ensure your investment is well-positioned to grow in value and potential. Talk about routine maintenance, preventative maintenance, and emergency repairs. You need to know what their plan is for collecting maintenance requests, what they do to respond, and where they find their vendors.
It’s also important that your management company conduct routine inspections, especially at the start of a tenancy and at the end of the tenancy. You should have a well-documented record of the property’s condition, especially when it comes to deciding whether you will return the tenant’s security deposit.
Do you keep up with federal, state, and local laws?
Tennessee is a fairly landlord-friendly state. There aren’t a lot of laws that restrict what landlords can and cannot do when it comes to raising rent, evicting tenants for nonpayment, and screening applicants.
However, there are still federal fair housing laws that are extremely important. You’ll need to know what happens if you have to evict a tenant and you’ll want to talk about lease enforcement. Do your property managers stay up to date on the laws? Do they know the security deposit laws in this state and how to determine the difference between a pet and a service animal?
Talk about compliance and risk management.
Will you provide accounting statements and reports?
Your property manager isn’t only managing your property; they’re also managing your finances. This is why you want to understand how your money is tracked. Will you be able to see a clear list of income and expenses every month when rent is received? Can you log into an owner portal and print out statements and reports?
Your property manager needs to provide accounting that’s clear, detailed, and accurate. Complete transparency is required.
Do you leverage technology?
Technology allows property managers to be more efficient. By automating rent collection, marketing, and accounting, they have more time to work with tenants and respond to the needs of your property.
There’s a lot of outstanding technology available in Nashville property management today. There’s no reason that your property management company shouldn’t be digital and technologically savvy. Ask about how they use the internet to market properties and whether there’s an online portal for owners and for tenants.
You should ask whether rent payments are made online and if you can expect to receive your deposits electronically or if you’ll still be stuck waiting for a paper check. Discuss how maintenance is reported, and whether tenants have access to an online reporting system. You should know if accounting statements will be provided and whether the property manager invests in self-showing technology and digital lease signing.
How are you different from other management companies?
We always love getting this question from potential clients, and we encourage you to ask it as well. Just about every property management company you talk to will collect rent, find a tenant, and respond to maintenance. But, what do they do that sets them apart from others?
Pay attention to this answer so you know how the management company sees itself and how it compares to the competition.
You’ll want to talk about rates and costs too, if they aren’t already available on the website or in a rate sheet. Remember to compare prices as well as services when you’re selecting a management company. You’re looking for value.
We’d love to tell you more about how we work as Nashville property managers. Please contact us to learn more.
TCS Management is a full service property management company headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, also serving Cherry Hill, NJ, Wilmington, Delaware, Nashville, Tennessee and the surrounding areas. We focus on single-family and multifamily residential property management of homes, condos, townhomes, and apartment buildings.