When you start looking around for someone to manage your rental property, you’ll quickly realize that not every property manager has the same approach. Some are very hand-off, preferring to function as a conduit between the tenant and the landlord. Others are more proactive, doing regular inspections and offering different tools to ensure the property remains in good condition, and both the landlord and tenants are happy.

Finding the right property manager is the key to maximizing your enjoyment of real estate investment. There’s no one right way to do it: some landlords prefer a more hands-off property manager because it means that they get more oversight of their own property, while others want their property manager to deal with every detail of their rental, freeing up their time.


Identifying the Key Qualities of a Great Property Manager

Recently, we wrote about a few different considerations owners and investors should keep in mind before picking a property manager. Today, we’ll talk about how to take those considerations, and use some of the suggested questions we’ve provided to identify which property manager would make the best partner for your needs.


1. Local Experience

Hiring a local property manager is critical, especially if you don’t live near the property. A great property manager will have strong connections in the local community, so they know who to call when they need a professional to take care of a critical maintenance request quickly.

Living locally also gives them key insights into how the local real estate market is performing, so they can help guide your investment using relevant information and data. Without this knowledge, you’ll be put in a reactive, rather than proactive position, which is not a great way to grow your investment.


Ask questions like:

“Where are the properties you currently manage?”

“How long have you worked in this area?”


2. Experience with Your Type of Unit

A property manager might be great, but if their only experience is in managing commercial properties and you’ve got a small condo to rent out, they might not be the best choice for your needs.

Ontario’s tenancy laws have very different rules for residential and commercial tenants, and you need to make sure that the property manager you choose knows these laws inside and out. Otherwise, you could put yourself in a tricky situation if they unknowingly break laws while managing your property.


Ask questions like:

“How many units like mine have you managed in the past?”

“What are the biggest challenges you’ve encountered with these types of properties?”


3. They Want to Know Your Goals

Owning real estate isn’t just a ‘set it and forget it’ type of investment. To make thoughtful decisions about your investment profile, you need as much information as possible. A great property manager can help you, as long as they know what your goals are.

In your initial interview, feel free to share your goals for your real estate investment portfolio, and ask if they have any suggestions. Throughout your relationship, you should also expect regular updates on how the property is doing, and advice on what you can be doing to maximize your investment.

If your property manager invests in real estate themselves, even better. They should know from their professional and personal experience what works best, and can give advice based on their own in-depth knowledge.


Ask questions like:

“How often will you give me updates on my property?”

“Can you give me advice on how to grow my investment profile?”

“Do you invest in real estate yourself?”


4. They’re Upfront with Fees

No fee that you’re charged by your property manager should ever be a surprise. In the initial interview, every property manager should be able to confidently lay out their fees, including those that arise infrequently like vacancies or evictions.

If a property manager tries to sneak fees into invoices, or springs fees on you without warning, it’s a huge red flag. Having a straightforward contract with all the fees and responsibilities laid out clearly should help prevent these types of misunderstandings.


Ask questions like:

“What fees do you charge other than the set monthly fees?”

“Are there any additional fees associated with bringing on a new tenant?”


5. A Clear Screening Process

Finding great tenants isn’t about luck. The process that a property manager uses for advertising properties and screening tenants should be carefully calculated to produce the best results. In your first interview, ask about their methods for finding new tenants. They should be able to clearly and simply lay out their process from preparing a rental for tours to the day they drop off keys to the new tenants.

This process must conform to provincial tenancy laws, so don’t be afraid to ask about their familiarity with those as well. Unless they’re new to the profession, they should have standard forms that they can show you, so you can get a sense of what questions they’ll ask during a new tenant screening.


Ask questions like:

“Tell me about how you select new clients”

“Can you give me an overview of any local tenancy laws I need to know?”


6. They’re Honest About Their Workload

After a property manager has been in the field for a few years, they should have a good understanding of how many units they can handle at any given time. If they’re willing to take on more than is reasonable, there’s no way they can keep up with the needs of every single one. This is when things start to fall through the cracks, and you’ll be busier than ever trying to track down your property manager.

Don’t be afraid of asking questions about your property manager’s capacity, and how they automate tasks to stay on top of every unit.


Ask questions like:

“How many units are in your portfolio right now?”

“What is the maximum number of units you’ll take on at any one time?”

“Are there any automated processes you use to save time?”


Find More Resources at Goldmar Property Management

As you start the hunt for a great property management company in Windsor, don’t be afraid to use some of the questions we’ve suggested in your screening interviews. It’s best to work out whether you’re compatible before any contracts are signed.

Want to learn more about how you can hire the best property manager? At Goldmar Property Management, we love to share tips on how landlords and owners can maximize their real estate investment. As real estate investors ourselves, we know the market well, and love to share as many resources as we can with our clients.


Want to learn more about our approach? Contact us today to set up a conversation.