The property management company you hire will play a key role in the success of your property investment venture. Here are some interview questions that will help you determine which property manager suits your needs better:
Q1. How many hours per week the property manager will spend on our site?
A: It is minimum requirement that a property manager should visit a site at least once per week. It should be minimum 2 hours per week to be spent on site. We will averagely spend more than 8 hours for one site per week.
Q2. What would you do when performing site inspection?
A: Site inspection includes physical examination of structures, building envelop, landscaping, mechanical systems, and electrical systems, (life safety systems, elevators where is applicable) Building assembly inventory should act as checklist. Site administrator should report any abnormal condition related with the above systems. A TODO list including either preventive actions or corrective actions should be updated and consecutive arrangement with contractors shall follow.
Q3. What types of communication would you provide to the community?
A: Management is all about communication. Good communication will relieve a lot of worries of residents. Both the Board of Directors and the property manager shall establish and maintain open channels of communication so that the needs of people will be understood and decisions could be made to resident satisfaction.
Besides traditional ways of communication such as letters, registered mails, notes, notices and newsletters on paper, and of course phone calls, IT technology provides more efficient ways of exchange of ideas. Emails have been popular for 20 years. Some companies provide web portals to make announcements. Private group forum is another form of group sharing.
Q4. How do you handle the disputes?
A: Dispute is the one single biggest issue across Canada, there is no easy solution. Our approach would be providing resources and information to both sides. Dispute happens easily when people do not get the proper knowledge and do not communicate effectively. Property manager could be the channel to get the message across or the buffer to minimize the possibility of dispute. If the dispute cannot be resolved, then some kind of arbitration should be involved.
Q5. What kind of qualifications do you expect your property manager to possess?
The qualifications of a property manager should include but not limited the following abilities:
- College degree and/or formal training in property and facilities management.
- Ability to prioritize workload; follow-up on assignments; to direct and perform quality maintenance in a cost-effective manner.
- Proficient in Microsoft Outlook, Excel, and Word used for administrative purposes.
- Proficient in property management software used for creating budgets, tracking expenses, and financial reporting.
- Supervise the performance of all maintenance services, to insure quality workmanship, efficiency, and professionalism (daily) for the customer and the properties.
- Ability to communicate effectively with management, staff, client, and the public (vendors, tenants, government officials, etc.)
- Good safety habits and common sense; ability to take necessary action in emergency situations; ability to use electronic equipment associated with all aspects of the properties.
- Prepare budgets, review progress of staff and projects regularly, and report progress to the board in monthly meetings. Establish and maintain management practices which will insure that all budget projections are met annually.