Today I’m going to share with you the three questions that are absolutely essential to ask your prospective Birmingham property manager. 1. The first question I would ask is, “What are your screening and underwriting criteria for potential tenants?” At gkhouses.com, we look at five specific things when we are screening tenants for the properties we manage. We look at the applicant’s credit score; we look for the applicant’s ability to pay the rent consistently, we complete a criminal background check, we perform an unlawful detainer check and we talk to previous landlords to make sure the tenants have a history of paying rent on time and keeping the house clean and in good shape. Your property manager should have a similar set of criteria when it comes to approving applicants. We believe at gkhouses.com that this alone avoids 80% of all potential tenant problems. 2. The next question you should ask is, “What are your vacancy and collection percentages?” For example, at gkhouses.com our vacancy percentage is about six percent. Our collection percentage is 98.2 percent. These numbers are important to measure the quality of service a property manager provides to its property owners. If a property manager cannot answer these questions for you, I would be skeptical about their ability to successfully manage a portfolio of properties, including yours. 3. Finally, ask the property manager if they have someone who answers the phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When you hire a property manager, you should be hiring a professional to take all of your property’s potential problems out of your hands. It seems like most of the problems always happen on the weekends or late at night. Property management is not a 9-5 business, and you want someone who is effectively set up with systems and processes to handle things that happen in the middle of the night or on holidays, especially emergency situations. If you have any other questions on how to find the right property manager, what you should ask and how you should proceed, please take the time to contact us at gkhouses.com, and we’d be happy to assist you.