Questions to Ask a Property Manager Before Hiring In Utah

Questions to Ask a Property Manager Before Hiring In Utah

Questions to ask a property manager before hiring

Hiring a property manager or company is a big investment. Property management is complicated and fast-paced. It takes talent, dedication, and a unique skill set to succeed in the industry. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure you are choosing the right manager for your properties. In order to be completely confident in your choice, it is important to put together a list of questions to ask a property manager before hiring them. 

Through these interview questions, you will be able to determine a little bit more about the property manager’s experience, knowledge, and ways of doing business.

 

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Types of Interview Questions for a Property Management Company

There are a few main categories of questions to ask a potential management company for your Utah rental property. You will want to find out about their experience, including their understanding of Utah landlord-tenant law. Each state has different regulations and laws, so you will want to make sure the property manager you choose knows the area well.

You will also want to ask about their methods for managing rental property. The way a property manager chooses to operate will help you foresee what types of tenants will be living in your rental property, how maintenance will be handled, and how vacancies will be filled. It’s important to know these things before signing an agreement so that you and your property manager are on the same page about your property.

Understanding any additional fees they may charge, and how termination works is also important when choosing a property manager. You never want to be stuck in a contract with no way out.

Lastly, communication is the key to any great relationship, so you will also want to know how often and through what methods you will be contacting your property manager. Through these questions, hopefully, you will be able to better determine what kind of property manager is the right fit for you.

The Key Questions

There are many property managers out there who may claim to be professionals yet they don’t have the talent or the required skill set. So, how do you tell between a professional property manager and an amateur? The easiest way is to know which specific questions to ask a property manager. 

If you’re a landlord or property owner, here are some of the key questions to ask a property manager before hiring them.

How is Your Fee Structure Determined?

This is one of the most important queries you need to ask before hiring a property manager. There may be additional charges that you don’t know about and knowing the company’s fee structure helps you know every cost that you might incur. 

Ask the property manager to clearly define their fee structure. You can also ask how they determine the rent amount of each rental unit that they manage.

What is the Level of Experience in Managing Rental Properties?

You need to know how long the property manager has been in the industry. More experience means more knowledge about the market. Additionally, experienced property managers have more rental units. This is a key pointer to their quality of service as more rental units mean more clients, which should equal better service. 

Experience is about more than just how many units are managed. Ask about any formal training, applicable state licenses, the Utah eviction process, Fair Housing restrictions, what industry associations they are a part of, or how long they have been managing rentals. These types of questions will help you identify if your property manager has a solid foundation of experience to draw from when facing challenges.

Keep in mind, however, that the oldest property management company isn’t always the best. You want a property manager who keeps up with the industry’s best practices and is always on the lookout for what’s new and innovative. For example, Google wasn’t the first search engine, but their groundbreaking features and increasing market share indicate they are the one people prefer to use. 

Here are some additional questions to ask a potential property management company that will help you gain an understanding of their experience and commitment to their clients:

  1. Are you a licensed property manager? 
  2. Do you have any certifications?
  3. How long have you been managing properties? 
  4. How many properties are you currently managing?
  5. What types of properties are you currently managing?

How Do You Protect Your Clients From Liability?

It is important to get a property manager who’ll have a plan on how to protect you from any liability. Go for a property manager who is well versed in legal agreements regarding all types of property in the state or city.

Ask your potential property manager about managing potential crises. For instance, who should cater for emergency maintenance costs?

What Plans Are in Place to Maximize My Investment?

A great property manager will come up with some plans on how to maximize your investments. This is a very important question as property management is all about making profits. You should go with a company that has your best interests at heart.

What Are Your Criteria for Determining the Rent?

Ask the potential property managers how they plan to set the rent for different rental units. This will help you know how much your property is worth and how much you’ll expect to earn every month. 

It is also important to ask what happens when the rental units are vacant. Some property management companies may continue to charge you even when the unit is vacant.

How Can I Cancel the Management Contract?

One other important question to ask a property manager before hiring, is whether the management agreement will include a termination clause. Many property management companies offer a “satisfaction guarantee” that will allow you to cancel the agreement if you are not happy with the service. This helps prevent you from entering into a long-term agreement only to find out you are unhappy with the service. 

You need to know what conditions allow you to terminate the contract. Don’t get locked into something you can’t easily escape.

How Do You Market Properties?

This question helps you know how the company advertises and whether their plan is effective. Great marketing plans ensure more tenants and improve the income you can earn from the property.

What is Your Cost-Saving Strategy?

Before hiring a property manager, you need to know their cost-saving strategies. This is very important as it helps you know whether or not your investment is in good hands. You’ll ultimately want to know the methods in which they manage their properties. This will help you further decide if it is a good fit, or if you should keep looking. Ask open-ended questions about how they manage rental properties. A few examples might include:
A rental agreement after hiring a property manager.

  1. What do you see as the key factors in keeping a rental property profitable?
  2. What systems do you have in place to effectively handle maintenance issues?
  3. Who handles the maintenance work?
  4. How do you collect rent from tenants?
  5. How do you market vacant properties?
  6. What are the income and screening requirements for applicants?

Answering questions like these will take some thought on the part of your property manager and you will quickly see how well your Utah property management company knows their industry.

How Often Are We Going To Communicate?

Communication is another important management issues to inquire about. Ask about office hours, how long before they return phone calls, or what type of regular communication you can expect. Typically, a property manager who communicates well will also manage your Utah rental property effectively.

Finding the Perfect Fit

In the end, it’s all about finding the property manager that is right for you. These interview questions for a property management company will help you gain a little more insight into how the manager or company run their business and if it’s a good fit. At Wolfnest, we understand how important this relationship is, and that’s why we pride ourselves on giving owners what they want and need for a successful rental property. With Wolfnest, you can customize your management plan by picking and choosing the specific services that you need. If you are looking for a Utah property management company who will work with you and create a lasting relationship, contact us today.

How to Find Renters in Utah

How to Find Renters in Utah

Home blogs to represent finding renters.

Would you rather have an empty property or a tenant who might not pay the rent? This is the dilemma many landlords in Salt Lake City and in other parts of Utah face. Figuring out a strategy on how to find renters can be a struggle, especially when the state undergoes economic endeavors, pandemics, and experiences fluctuating market demands. Here we provide some great tips to help you find renters to keep your properties filled!

Where to look for tenants in Salt Lake City Area?

Below are some of the places you can advertise your property and find the best tenants in Salt Lake City. These methods have different success rates depending on the location of your property. If you’re curious as to which route may be best, contact a property management expert today!

Local listing websites

Local listing websites have large pools of renters who are looking for the newest properties. This is a good opportunity to expose your property to a large number of people in the Salt Lake City area. 

With listing websites, there’s much more scope for advertising your property than some other methods. You can create a detailed listing with the following information:

  • A description of the property location — information about the neighborhood, local amenities, public transportation links, etc. 
  • A description of the property — number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, the style of the property, etc.
  • Photos/videos of the property.
  • A map of the layout of the property.
  • Rental price.
  • Security deposit information.
  • The length of the lease.
  • Property rules — for example, no smokers or no pet owners.
  • Date of availability.
  • Your contact details — phone number, email address, website, etc.

Different listing websites have different success rates, so you might want to list your property on more than one site. This will increase the chances of you finding good-quality tenants.

Social media

A photo on how to use social media to find renters.
Hundreds of thousands of renters in Utah search for properties on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. On social media, you can showcase your property and reach people who don’t use conventional property listing websites.

Facebook

More than 217,000 people in Utah use Facebook, making it a great platform to find local tenants. Here are some local Facebook groups for finding renters:

Twitter

In a list of U.S. states with the most active Twitter users, Utah ranks at No. 31. You can use this social media platform to engage and establish new connections with prospective tenants.

Some of the most popular Twitter hashtags for finding renters in Utah include: 

  • #utahrentals
  • #utahrealestate
  • #slcrentals
  • #saltlakerent

Reddit

Reddit is another great way to find tenants in Salt Lake City. Subreddits like r/Utah and r/SaltLakeCity are hubs for renters looking for the newest local properties. 

Depending on the rules of the subreddit, you can advertise your property and engage with renters via private message.

Print

Despite the rise of social networks, traditional print media is still one of the best ways to attract tenants. Many people in Utah browse the classifieds section of local newspapers to discover properties in their preferred neighborhoods. 

The Salt Lake Tribune

With more than 75,000 readers, The Salt Lake Tribune is the newspaper with the largest paid circulation in Utah. The newspaper has an extensive print classifieds section and posts many rental ads on their website. 

Other local newspapers include:

  • Daily Herald– This popular newspaper, which serves Utah County, posts classified ads here
  • Salt Lake City Weekly– Advertise in this free alternative weekly newspaper here.

Open house

Hosting an open house event is a good opportunity to meet prospective tenants face-to-face. Renters can take a tour of your property and ask you questions. An open house event is also a chance for you to get to know renters a little bit better. You can find out what they do for work or if they have connections to the local area.

Find A Tenant Service With A Property Management Company

All of the methods above can take a considerable amount of your time. Using a reputable property management company in Salt Lake City, on the other hand, provides you with more freedom. A property manager can also help you find better-quality tenants by providing the following tenant placement services:

  • Taking photos/videos of your property.
  • Writing persuasive property listings.
  • Advertising your property on the right platforms. 
  • Preparing marketing materials for your property.
  • Installing a sign in your yard. 
  • Showing your property to prospective tenants. 
  • And much more.

Once you have found the perfect tenants, a property management company will continue to handle all the tasks associated with managing your property, such as preparing leases, collecting security deposits, collecting rent, handling tenants’ complaints, and organizing repairs. 

You will need to find a tenant service that provides you with value for money.

 

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Additional Tip- Always Screen Your Potential Tenants

Regardless of the methods you choose, you should always screen tenants to mitigate the risks associated with renting out your property. Good tenant screening usually involves the following:

  • Credit check.
  • Background check.
  • Identity check.

When you screen tenants, you can find out the following information about prospective tenants:

  • Income and employment details.
  • Previous evictions or late rent payments.
  • Creditworthiness.

How to screen tenants

Screening tenants can be a laborious process because data governance legislation will limit some of the information you can access. You will need to adhere to rules on the federal, state, and local levels — or face penalties for non-compliance. You will need to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), for example. It can also take a long time to verify some tenant information, such as employment details. 

With this being said, it’s a good idea to leave tenant screening to the professionals

Choose a property management company

Professional tenant screening provides you with accurate insights into prospective tenants so you can make smarter, more informed choices. You can verify the financial history and financial qualifications of renters and run in-depth background checks. The result? More qualified tenants who are more likely to pay rent on time. Additionally, a property management company can take away the headache for finding renters and plan a strategy on how to find renters for your properties. Contact Wolfnest today if you are looking for tenant placement services!

 

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What is the cost of property management in Utah?

What is the cost of property management in Utah?

Single Property Management - Wolfnest Property Management Logo - Salt Lake City Property Management

A professional property manager handles all the tasks associated with managing your property, such as tenant screening, handling maintenance issues, collecting rent, and dealing with tenant complaints. Here in Salt Lake City, property management fees — and the services you receive in exchange for these fees — vary depending on the company. Here is everything you need to know about property management costs in Salt Lake City (and the property management price in Utah, in general).

 

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How Much Do Property Managers Charge in Salt Lake City?

A property management fee covers the costs for the services provided by the property manager — repairs, rent-collecting, maintenance, you name it. Sometimes it’s called a monthly management fee. This is usually 8-10 percent of the tenant’s monthly rent, but it could be a lower or higher percentage. (We’ll explain this in detail later.)

 

Typically, landlords will need to pay a tenant placement fee on top of the property management fee. This covers the cost of the tasks associated with tenant placement, such as credit and employment checks. This can cost anywhere from $400-600 per tenant. 

 

Some property managers charge landlords an hourly rate for repairs, which can range from $40-80 an hour. It really all does depend on the property manager.

 

Learn how to Maximize Property Management Cost Savings

 

The 8-10% Rule

Most property managers in Salt Lake City take a percentage of a tenant’s monthly rent, usually 8-10 percent. Here’s an example:

 

  • Sally pays $2,000 a month to rent an apartment in the Sugar House neighborhood. A property management company takes 10 percent of this amount every month, which equals $200. Sally’s landlord keeps the remainder of the rent, which equals $1,800. 

 

  • John pays $2,000 a month to rent an apartment in the East Bench neighborhood. A property management company takes 8 percent of this amount every month, which equals $160. John’s landlord keeps the remainder of the rent, which equals $1,840.

 

As you can see, there’s a considerable difference between 8 and 10 percent. Sally and John pay the same amount of rent every month, but John’s landlord saves $40 a month — that’s $480 a year — because the property management company charges him a lower percentage. 

 

Some property managers charge less for their services than others, but the price isn’t always an indicator of quality.

 

Here are some things to consider when renting out your property

 

Other Property Management Fee Structures

The example above is the most common type of property management fee structure in Salt Lake City, but there is an alternative. 

Some property managers, for example, charge a lower monthly percentage — 5 percent, for example — as well as several “add-on” fees for various services. These include:

 

  • Leasing fees.
  • Marketing fees. 
  • Project management fees. 
  • New customer fees.
  • Transition fees. 

 

As you can see, landlords in this fee structure receive itemized bills for multiple services not covered under the monthly percentage. 

In some cases, this structure suits landlords better and provides them with cost savings. The first example, however, is far more common.

 

What Happens When a Property is Vacant?

This is one of the most common questions about the cost of property management in Salt Lake City. The answer is: It all depends. Some property managers won’t charge you anything if your property is empty in-between tenancies. Others might charge you for their services. Even if there are no tenants in a property, managers might still need to make repairs during this time. Additionally, if your property is vacant, a property management company such as Wolfnest will search, find, and fill a vacant property so that you don’t lose your investment. Let us increase the ROI for your property today!

 

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