Property Manager Interview Questions – What to Ask from a Potential PM Service Provider?

25 Apr, 6:11 am

It can be overwhelming if you’re a busy landlord, doing everything on your own while handling your personal and work life.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a property to lease but are new to an area, you’ll probably have difficulty figuring out where to start.

For both instances, a property management service provider can help out by making your property concerns easier to resolve.

A property manager’s role is crucial to provide expertise, network, help collecting rent, and maintenance, and assist with legal actions during difficult circumstances.

In this article, we discuss top interview questions that will help you screen prospective property management companies.

Why do you need to interview property managers?

The market for managing properties and other related services has been growing annually (1) and with this increase of providers offering different solutions, it’s important to remain critical when looking for a project management company to meet your needs.

Prior to hiring, property manager interviews are conducted to have a better understanding of how they handle their work. An interview helps to gauge their personality, leadership style, and positive attitude while doing their job efficiently.

A property manager interview also connects personally with potential tenants, contractors, and vendors that can be limited on a new or busy property owner’s end.

A suitable PM service provider strikes a balance of being able to work independently and furnishing you with the right amount of reports and updates. At the same time, gives you peace of mind that your investments and tenants are well taken care of.

Top Property Manager Interview Questions

Here are 13 property manager interview questions to ask:

How many years have you been managing properties?

You are looking for someone with good experience managing properties to say they are already doing their job effectively. Sample answers for this may start from a minimum of 2-4 years in the business doing real-world, client-facing activities as property manager.

property manager executing financial responsibilities


What services do you offer?

Property management companies handle multiple responsibilities and a long list of responsibilities when it comes to dealing with daily operations and maintenance work for all the properties they manage.

Their wide range of services demonstrates a wide range of expertise and passion for what they do. Sometimes they provide bundled packages to make it easier for property owners and tenants to decide which services they should avail.

Be sure to check on what makes their services unique compared to other property service providers. This way, you’ll know the value of what you are getting and paying for.

This leads to the next question.

How much do you charge for your services?

If you have started asking around in the area, you may have an idea what the range of the prices is. But if you have just started looking, remember that it is essential to know if they charge miscellaneous fees and other charges on top of the rates they offer.

You can also ask for comprehensive inclusions and the breakdown of charges for each income property. They should also disclose the markups for repairs and materials during routine maintenance and during vacancies.

How much do you charge for each rental property?

Remember that rental rates are not based on a hunch. Regarding rental charges, it is essential to know how they arrived at that specific cost and the breakdown of its inclusions.

For owners, a knowledgeable property manager will come up with a competitive price for your property without sacrificing the available amenities and overall property value. 

How they will collect rent from tenants and other lease management processes like failure to pay on time or refusal to pay, should also be discussed. Be cautious when property managers prefer cash payments since this has no trail and is untraceable after a long period of time.

Meeting with property management company to discuss services in LA


How many properties do you manage?

The number of properties being managed gives you an idea of what to expect. If the number given is too low, it may mean they are still new in the business or they still lack some skills. If the number is too high, you might want to ensure they handle their time wisely when dealing with you and dozens of other clients.

It is also important to ask what types of properties they manage which measures their extensive property managing skills and if they have enough credentials to manage the type of property you have.

Are you affiliated with a property management company?

You may notice during an interview that the number of properties managed tends to be higher than expected. You may clarify if the figures given are company-based. A property manager may be a member of a team or a property management company.

If they are, the number of members in a team also guarantees you won’t get lost in all the other properties they are currently managing. You can also ask if the property managers assigned to each client will work with you full-time instead of being handled by anybody who answers the phone. 

Affiliations with top companies, and local, and national property management organizations are also a plus to ensure their broad connections as well as their reputation and professional expertise.

How do you market a rental property? 

Usually, private viewings of the property is done with the property manager. Listings are also made available online conveniently for future tenants and on top real estate websites. 

Income property can also be shown to prospective residents through video call appointments so tenants can have a personalized experience for each virtual tour.

The different strategies, types, and frequency of marketing they offer help prevent long vacancies and shorter time losing revenue or covering operational costs from the part of the investor. (2)

Do you have inspection policies?

Routine inspections are done to keep the property in shape and are usually included in the property inspection policies. It helps owners monitor the condition of their property for lease and ensure small fixes are addressed before they become large-scale reconstruction issues.

Do ask if the property managers come personally during these periodic inspections or if they have a third-party contractor. Ask for copies of inspection reports that certify the property abides by local building codes and is in tip-top shape before tenant occupancy.

How do you screen tenants?

Screening prospective tenants will minimize the risks of breaking a lease agreement (3) and increase the tenancy renewal rate. Experienced property managers usually follow a list of criteria for selecting potential residents.

Aside from their checklist based on creditworthiness, references, source of income, and rental history, you can also ask a potential property manager if you can ask your own set of questions during screening if you have any.

Some PM companies also check on a potential tenant’s history in other real estate databases to determine if they are capable and stable. 

Can I make my own tenancy agreement?

Usually, a knowledgeable property manager already has an available tenancy agreement template. By checking what is included and excluded, you can be confident that you are still in control over what is written.

Drawing up a rental agreement with landlord in LA


Be sure to work with them when adding and removing statements, since they are more knowledgeable about the technicalities of legal property management documents, and modifying certain items may limit your authority over complicated situations.

How do you handle difficult tenants and other property issues?

You may have prior landlord experience when self-managing rental properties, but with an expert onboard, these issues should also be dealt with by your potential property manager.

Contractor disputes, disruptive tenant issues, eviction procedures, and other rental control concerns should be well managed and answered in detail to show their problem-solving abilities.

They should also be equipped with practical knowledge of tenant laws, fair housing laws, regulations, and legislation to create well-informed decisions when handling complicated scenarios.

How can a tenant or property owner contact you?

Support and other services should be available 24/7, especially for urgent and emergency concerns with the property. Communicating effectively ensures someone is always ready to help when needed. It also builds tenants’ and owners’ trust and demonstrates how a property manager protects your asset.

Using reliable property management software is also a plus and a practical solution for keeping everything in one place. An online portal keeps client information secure, gives updates in real-time, automates payments, and compiles all tenant records.

Can you give a few references?

Providing examples is one of the least asked questions during a property manager interview.

For property owners who have the luxury of time, you can do research and reach out to talk to current and past tenants about how your potential property management service provider handles their needs.

Be sure to ask permission first to avoid any violation of client data security and other safety measures.

landlords considering property manager references in LA


For first-hand feedback, and if the potential property manager agrees, you may take a tour of a few properties they manage to help you assess how well they take care of their rentals.

With over 20 years in the property management industry, Lotus West Properties is a premier property management service provider with solutions custom fit to your property and rental needs. Review our portfolio of properties in West Hollywood, Malibu, and Marina Del Ray.

Wrap Up – Choose a Property Manager You Can Trust

Having a list of questions is handy so you will not miss out on the important factors to consider when selecting a property management service provider suitable for you.

By interviewing your potential property manager, you can be sure that your properties are effectively maintained, accessible to competitive marketing, resided by high-quality tenants, and producing stable yield. It is also the key to establishing a well-rounded relationship with a trustworthy and reliable property manager in the long run.

Remember that any property manager can promise you growth in your portfolio, but a good property manager maximizes your property’s profitability, maintains an honest relationship with owners, takes care of your tenants and treats your properties the care they deserve. 

If you’re looking for top-notch property management services, look no further than Lotus West Properties. Our team has years of experience in the property management industry, specializing in Greater Los Angeles. Take advantage of our expertise to protect your investment property and get the best return on your investments today.