It can be a daunting task to choose a Michigan Apartment Management company that will produce the results you deserve with your investment property. Here are 10 must-ask questions when searching for a Michigan Property management company:
1. Start with a demonstration of their policies and procedures manual.
Any established Detroit apartment management company will have a method of 'organizational learning'. Typically, this knowledge is gathered in a manual and disseminated to the properties in several ways. It's important to work with a company that provides a way to capture individual lessons learned so the entire organization and properties under managment can immediately benefit from these lessons.
2. Understand what minimum training standards and personnel qualifications are required of site managers, leasing agents and maintenance technicians.
Michigan Property management is a people business. The better qualified the people, the better the properties perform. Make sure that you understand what professional qualifications the staff possess that will be working your properties. Also, make sure that the company carries a brokers license as it's a legal requirement in the state of Michigan.
3. Require a demonstration of the accounting and apartment management system.
It's reasonable to expect that the company provide an online management an accounting system that is accessible 24/7 and completely transparent to you the owner. You should be able to see every single financial transaction that occurs from rent payments to vendor payments. This transparency will allow you to understand the details of your property operations.
4. Document the insurance coverage held by the Michigan Property Manager.
At a minimum, the company should carry Errors & Ommissions Insurance to protect you from lawsuits that could arise from management mistakes in operating your rental property. Additionally, you would want to see proof of liability insurance if the managment company will be performing work not covered by the liability policy of the property.
5. Get a good feel understanding of their risk management practices.
Any experienced Michigan Property Manager will understand this question very well. They should be able to explain their fair housing policy, MIOSHA policies, insurance practices and employee practices. Managing an apartment community requires an acute awareness of the potential areas for loss as this can easily be the difference between turning a profit or suffering a loss.
6. Request a list of client references. Get an understanding of who the references are and what the company has accomplished for these references before calling.
This should be given without hesitation. Request references from property owners that have situations similiar to the one your property may face. Make sure the references are real!
7. What's the staffing plan for your property?
Make sure that the employees are legitimate w-2 employees that work for the management company, not the property. Understand if there is a mark-up on the employee salary, and detailed calculations of exactly how the employees costs are calculated.
8. Require a property transition checklist and an outline of the staffing plan they would recommend for your property. Also ask for a marketing and leasing plan to understand how they plan to fill you property with tenants and/or keep it full.
A good Detroit Property manager will be able to provide thier vision on demand. It's not too much to expect they would provide at least an outline of their plan before hiring them.
9. Understand the proximity and size of the other properties they manage in relationship to your building.
Location is critical. If the management company is not in the immediate area, they might not be able to pay the same attention to your property if they were located in a close proximity. Often times, staffing resources can be shared between properties. If the company has other properties nearby, this could be a real benefit for your asset.
10. Ask to see an actual annual budget and current financials for a property they manage.
You should expect to see a highly detailed month by month annual budget that accounts for just about every expense you can image. Check to see how the property is running in relationship to the budget provided. This will provide an idea of the company's ability to accurately forecast a financial plan and execute the daily work to acheive thier plan.