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5 questions to Ask a Real Estate Agent Before Hiring Them to Manage Your Investment Property

Todd Breen - Thursday, July 20, 2023

When it comes to managing your investment property, finding the right person for the job can make all the difference in its success and profitability. Many property owners automatically turn to real estate agents for property management assuming their expertise in the real estate market will extend to managing rental properties as well. However, this is not always the case, and entrusting your investment to an inexperienced or uninformed agent can lead to costly mistakes and legal liabilities. 

Let’s explore some critical questions to ask a real estate agent before hiring them to manage your investment property while presenting compelling reasons why property management companies are the superior choice for this important task.

1.  What is Your Experience with Property Management?

One of the most crucial questions to ask a real estate agent is about their experience with property management. While they may excel in buying and selling properties, managing rental properties requires a distinct set of skills and knowledge. Real estate agents typically receive only limited training in property management and landlord/tenant law when obtaining their license. Opting for an agent with little or no experience in this field can lead to costly errors and unsatisfactory results.

On the other hand, property management companies specialize in this area and have a team of experts who deal with rental properties day in and day out. Their comprehensive understanding of the nuances of property management ensures that your investment is handled with the utmost care and professionalism.

2.  Are You Familiar with Laws Applicable to Landlords and Tenants?

Navigating the intricate web of laws that apply to landlords and tenants is a crucial aspect of successful property management. A real estate agent who lacks comprehensive knowledge of these laws may inadvertently expose you to legal liabilities. Understanding how to handle security deposits, tenant rights, landlord responsibilities, and tenant obligations is essential for the smooth and lawful operation of your rental property.

In contrast, property management companies are well-versed in local, state, and federal regulations and stay up-to-date with any changes or amendments. By entrusting your property to professionals with a deep understanding of the legal landscape, you protect yourself from potential legal disputes and ensure compliance with all relevant laws.

3.  Does Your Brokerage Have a Property Management Division? 

Another important consideration is whether the real estate agent's brokerage has a dedicated property management division. A lack of such support indicates that the agent might not have access to the necessary resources and systems required for efficient property management. Tasks like maintenance coordination, tenant screening, and emergency response become significantly more challenging without the backing of a specialized property management team.

On the other hand, property management companies have well-established structures and protocols for handling all aspects of property management. From routine maintenance to addressing tenant concerns promptly, their support ensures your investment is in capable hands.

4.  Are You Well-Versed in Tenant Screening?

Tenant screening is a critical process in property management as it directly impacts the quality and reliability of your tenants. Real estate agents who do not perform tenant screening regularly might miss red flags that experienced property managers would identify. Failing to adequately screen tenants can lead to non-payment of rent, property damage, and even the need for eviction.

Property management companies prioritize tenant screening, employing rigorous criteria and background checks to identify trustworthy and responsible tenants. Their extensive experience in tenant selection significantly reduces the risk of problematic tenants, ensuring a more stable and profitable rental experience for you.

5.  Is Property Management Your Main Focus?

Real estate agents often focus primarily on buying and selling properties, dedicating limited time and resources to property management unless their agency has a dedicated management division. This split focus may result in subpar service and diminished attention to your property's needs.

In contrast, property management companies are solely devoted to managing rental properties. We have discussed before the importance of answering every call, and they have the team to do this. This singular focus allows them to provide comprehensive and undivided attention to your investment, ensuring that every aspect of your property is optimally managed for maximum returns.

Entrust Your Property to the Experts

When it comes to managing your investment property, making an informed decision about who will oversee its day-to-day operations is crucial. While real estate agents may excel in their field, property management requires a specialized skill set and knowledge base. 

By asking the right questions and considering the advantages of a property management company, you can protect your investment, minimize risk, and ensure a successful and prosperous rental experience. Remember, entrusting your property to experts who are solely dedicated to property management will save you time, money, and countless headaches in the long run.

Looking for property management in the West Palm Beach area? Contact us today at 561-508-8111.