When you’re choosing a San Mateo property management company, you need to be careful about selecting the best and most experienced professionals for your rental home. Look for expertise, reputation, and technology.

As you’re researching potential companies, schedule some interviews so you can get a sense of how a management company works and whether it matches your own investment goals and priorities.

Here are a few things you should ask before hiring a local property manager.

What Kind of Communication Can I Expect?

Technology has provided a number of ways to communicate with our owners and tenants. We can make phone calls, send emails, type out a text message or send a direct message on social media.

Make sure you understand how your property manager plans to communicate, and discuss whether it matches the way you prefer to communicate. If you’re an out-of-state investor in another time zone, online communication might be best. If you like the in-person meetings and phone calls, make sure your property manager is willing to provide that sort of interaction.

Discuss your expectations before signing a management agreement. You don’t want to be disappointed, and transparent communication will be central to your relationship. The way they communicate with you might also reflect how they communicate with tenants, vendors, and other partners.

How Do You Keep Up with Changes in the Law and the Industry?

Landlord and tenant law in California is always changing. It’s a notoriously tenant-friendly state, which means you need a management company that keeps up with the laws and understands how to keep you and your properties compliant. Federal, state, and local laws need to be followed and new changes need to be implemented. Ask about specifics such as rent control, just cause eviction, and fair housing laws. Find out how they managed to collect rent during the pandemic while there was an eviction moratorium.

It’s also important to work with someone who stays up to date on industry best practices. Look for memberships in state and national professional associations and organizations.

How is Rent Collected?

You need to know how rent will be collected and how it will be paid to you. Find out when rent is due, how tenants are expected to pay the rent, and whether there is a grace period or any late fees when rent doesn’t come in on time. You also want to ask when you can expect to be paid. You’ll need to know if your payment will be deposited directly into your account or if you can expect to receive a check in the mail.

Ask about accounting statements. You should receive one online or in the mail so you can keep track of all the income and expenses associated with your rental property.

Ask About Established and Automated Systems

To efficiently and effectively manage your property, a good San Mateo management company will have systems in place that cover everything from leasing to screening to security deposit collection. You’ll want to know there’s a process in place for move-ins, lease enforcement, rent collection, routine maintenance, and emergency repairs.

Find out what they do when rent is late or how they can be sure an emotional support animal is not actually a pet. You should be able to ask for examples of systems they have in place and hear success stories about how they’ve worked in the past.

Who are Your Maintenance Vendors?

You’ll need to fully understand how maintenance is handled before you hire a management company. Ask if they use in-house maintenance teams or if they outsource all the work to third-party vendors and contractors. You’ll want to know if the people working on your property are licensed and insured. How can you be sure the condition of your property will be protected in the most cost-effective ways?

These are only a few of the questions you should ask when you’re seeking San Mateo property management. Contact us at Five Star Property Management to further discuss how you should find the best management company for you and your investments.