10 Best Screening Questions

10 Best Screening Questions When Interviewing Property Managers & Traverse Property Managements Core Model

1.What charges are applied to my resident outside of rent?

 MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION!  Management companies are seeking profit in every area possible. They use your property as a vehicle to incur fees on your resident such as security deposit insurance premiums, pet fees, move-in rush fees, utility coordination fees, air filter fees, excessively high application fees, etc. Understand what exactly your resident is being charged before agreeing to partner. The fees are a direct tie to resident retention which ultimately affects your ROI in expending additional lease fees, incurring vacancies and repairs outside of their deposit. This is also a deterrent to quality residents as they will not be victimized by the egregious fees applied.

2. Do you have a single point of contact (same person), or do I speak with multiple departments?

This is an extremely important question as this is a direct correlation to the size of a company. You will find two types of models in this industry, one being personalized portfolio management or departmentalized management. Personalized portfolio management is one that has a single individual overseeing and communicating about your property as opposed to numerous people. The issue is with the departmentalized model there is no real accountability, you will be sent from one individual to another and deal with lengthy delays and frustrations by repeating your situation over and again. It is extremely difficult to hold numerous people accountable as opposed to the single point of contact provided in the personalized portfolio management model.

3. Do you provide direct vendor invoicing and if not, how much is your maintenance mark-up?

Most property management companies seek to create profit centers not only from your tenant but also from the owners by marking up vendor maintenance to your property. Management companies typically will take the vendor’s invoice and apply a markup and transfer the invoice over to a management company invoice which does not reflect what the actual invoiced amount was from the contractor and does not reflect the marked-up amount applied. THIS IS COMMON PRACTICE AND SHOULD BE SEEN AS A RED FLAG! This is a direct correlation to not being fully transparent and is a welcome mat to your wallet.

4. What is the typical response time back to an owner or resident?

This is a direct component of the single point of contact question. Typically, when dealing with multiple people or departments you will find that they are not in sync. This will cause lengthy delays to your questions, and zero accountability causing immense frustration and ultimately losing your trust.

5. Do you utilize the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?

Most management companies look to eliminate cost, and this is an area that ties directly to quality residents. Most property management companies WILL NOT list your property on the MLS due to avoiding a payout commission offered to the outside Realtor for procuring a qualified tenant. The industry standard is 25% of the first month’s rent offered to an outside Realtor if you find they do offer the property on the MLS.

6. Do you use a self-showing system?

Utilizing self-showing systems is a risk to property owners and does not give a real opportunity to meet your prospective residents nor establish a solid understanding regarding the requirements for tenancy or caring for the property.

7. If you offer an Eviction Guarantee, how fast can you guarantee the resident is out?

Some management companies will grant an eviction guarantee however they will take 90+ days to evict your tenant since this is conducted on their dime, they reserve the right to carry out the eviction within their timeline costing you more money in lost rent and time.

8. Do you have remote employees out of the country?

This is becoming a more common practice in management companies. This was introduced to this industry a couple of years ago and is becoming much more cost-effective for big management companies and generating more profit. Some call centers have not been vetted in terms of background and are exposed to your personal information.

9. Does your company manage homes in any other markets?

This question will reveal what size company you are dealing with. The best management will be LOCAL and aware of the specifics of your direct market. Local property managers have much better relationships with vendors and have much more insight into successful/challenging areas within your local rental marketplace.

10. How many doors do you manage in the Dallas/Fort Worth market?

This is also a direct question to unearth how big the company you are dealing with in your direct market.

At Traverse Property Management our core model is keeping our client’s best interest in all we do!
  • Having a SINGLE POINT OF CONTACT – Jon Beaman. I will be the main point of contact for all clients.
  • We charge reasonable fees to encourage TRUE RESIDENT RETENTION.
  • We provide TRUE VENDOR INVOICING and apply a flat $25 fee per work order, REFLECTING PURE TRANSPARENCY.
  • We facilitate ACTUAL IN-PERSON SHOWINGS following a thorough background and rental screening, ensuring quality residents are placed.
  • We ONLY SERVICE TARRANT & PARKER COUNTIES to keep service levels at a high
  • We provide top-notch management software called RENTVINE, tracking all your documents and accounting, providing you with real-time access via owner and resident portals.
  • LIMITED CLIENT SLOTS only servicing 200 doors to maintain superior service standard