8 Questions to Ask a Property Manager During an Interview

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These days, there are around three hundred thousand property managers in the USA. With so many available, hiring a property manager becomes a process that demands you ask the right questions and assess them with wisdom. So, do you know how to choose a property manager in Washington DC among all those available?

Below we offer some advice in the form of eight questions that you should ask the managers who you approach. By using these when interviewing a property manager, you will week out some of the worst, leaving you with the cream of the crop. Do not wait until after you hire them to find out their fundamental flaws.

1. Do You Have an Up-To-Date License I Can See?

One of the most important questions to ask a property manager during an interview is whether they have a license to work. While different states might have different rules on what kind of license people need, it is up to you to ensure that everything is up to date.

You might need to research this yourself, as property managers may not all be forthcoming or even educated on what they need. Investigate what a company would need in your region, and what the laws are, then ask for proof of licensing. There should be no reason for them to hold back if they have everything in order.

2. How Do You Handle Evictions?

Getting rid of current tenants is always a messy business. You should talk to the potential property manager about their eviction process so that you can discuss it with any possible tenant. The manager should be able to talk about it professionally and be sensible about their responsibilities in this regard.

Of course, you should be ensuring that the property manager collects payments from tenants first. Asking them about their process in this area first can also give you a good view of how they handle issues like missing payments.

3. How Do You Collect Rent?

While this system might seem obvious, with more recent advancements rent collection can be much smoother than it ever was. Automated online payment systems help tenants transfer their rent in a much more smooth way than it ever happened years ago.

Property managers who do not invest in these methods are likely to fall behind and tenants might end up missing payments. Often, this is not the tenant’s fault, so ensuring that this system is as smooth as possible helps everyone involved.

4. How Experienced Are You With Rental Properties?

Among the questions to ask a property manager before hiring, you should also be discovering how long they have been in the market.

You get benefits from both old and new companies. A new company will likely have more freedom to use modern technological conveniences and an up-to-date attitude to its role. Although they may still have a few bugs to work out in their processes.

At the same time, an older company will have many of those bugs worked out. They will also have a lot of experience handling the laws and bylaws of the area, and that is why they have survived as long as they have.

5. How Is Maintenance Handled?

What does a property manager do when there is a repair or maintenance issue in the property that they handle? Whose responsibility is it to take care of such things?

With some property managers, it is still the responsibility of the landlord to handle these issues. Others will handle it themselves and take any costs out of the profit that you might make. Depending on your own time and ability, either option might work well for you.

6. How Up-To-Date Are You With Current Trends?

Working in real estate changes decade upon decade. As such, any company you work with should show that they can keep up with the times.

They should have a strong knowledge of the state of the current market, including prices, availability, and other aspects. At the very least, they should have the ability to reach out to people in the local area and beyond to ensure that people fill your properties fast.

7. What Digital Tools Do You Use?

When wondering what to ask a property manager you should ensure that they use the latest advancements in real estate technology.

Any tech that they use should make the process of renting easier for both tenant and landlord. You should also ensure that you stay up-to-date on the systems that they use in case you need to use them moving forward.

A highly-modern property manager will have systems to reduce their workload. Usually, they will try to lower the amount of hands-on human interaction at every level of management.

8. What Is the Unique Benefit You Provide?

The best property manager should not only be professionals, but they should also be proud of their successes. Talk to the property manager you want to work with and ask what makes them better compared to their competitors. Use examples of other specific competitors if you are aware that others have better offers for you.

By making a property manager work to convince you of their worth, you might find a few secrets they rarely talk about. These might be some of their major benefits as well as areas where they plan to do better in the future.

Your Next Step: Hiring a Property Manager

Now that you know more about hiring a property manager, you might have realized that it is not a simple task. Instead of doing all this work, don’t you wish there was a simpler way?

Nomadic Real Estate is ready to take up yoke and work with you to handle your properties. They are a fully licensed and professional company that prides itself on its ability to handle any issues that might arise. 

If you still have questions, their specialists are ready to talk to you about any issues that you might have. So, pick up the phone and talk today.

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Enhanced Reporting

Your portal includes a selection of extremely useful reports. Reports are available in the “Reports” section, and are distinct from the financial statements. Unlike financial statements which are static records, Reports are dynamic real-time records that will update with current data every time you view them. 

Scroll down to learn more about Reports:

Navigate to the "Reports" module in your portal:

  • Keep in mind, these reports are dynamic records. They will refresh to display current information every time you view them. 

Enhanced Rent Roll Report:

  • The Enhanced Rent Roll Report will show the rent amount, last payment date, move-in date, lease expiration date, and security deposit amount for each of your tenants. 
  • It will also show a portfolio summary with occupancy percentage, vacancy loss, and more!

Unit Comparison Report:

  • If you own multiple units (or buildings) with Nomadic, you’ll get access to the Unit Comparison Report. 
  • This report enables you to quickly compare financial performance between your units at a glance without toggling between individual reports. 

Income Statement Month-Over-Month:

  • The Income Statement Detail – Monthly Report serves as a month-over-month record of portfolio performance. You’ll see itemized income and expense categories and can track monthly. This report will update with fresh data every time you view it. 

Financial Statements

Financial statements will be published to your portal on a monthly basis. The statements are found in your Documents library, and provide a historical record of all financial performance. The statements serve as a snapshot of financial performance over a given period, and are static documents (unlike Reports, the statements do not update/change in real-time). 

Scroll down for more info about the Financial Statements in your Documents library:

The Documents area contains monthly financial statements:

  • The statements in the Documents are are static documents. They are posted to the portal once a month to serve as a historical record of financial performance. 

Download a statement to see month and YTD financials:

You'll also find a month-over-month operating statement:

Portal Communication Tool

You can use your owner portal to communicate with our team. Any messages you send through the portal will go straight to your Account Manager. When we reply, you’ll get an email notification and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

Here’s an overview of using the communication platform:

Click "Communications" and navigate to "Conversations":

  • The communications module will contain a record of all messages that you create through the portal. 

Click the "New Message" button and send your message:

Responses will show up in the conversation ticket:

  • You’ll get an email notification whenever you get a response, and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

You can reply in-line using the comment box:

Each conversation will be logged in its entirety:

Understanding the Ledger

Your portal includes a ledger with all transactions. The ledger is populated with data in real-time as transactions flow through our accounting software. Much of this information is also available in the Reports area, as well as the Statements in your Documents library, but the ledger is the most comprehensive resource for diving into the details. 

Please scroll through the sections below to get a better understanding of how to interpret the ledger. 

By default, transactions are sorted chronologically:

  • The date reflected in the lefthand column is the actual transaction date, not the “bill date”. This is the date the transaction was actually processed. 

If you have multiple properties with Nomadic, you'll see the address for each transaction in the "Location" column:

  • You can filter the ledger to look at just one property, all properties, or specific sets of properties. 
  • If you only have one property with us, you’ll just see the ledger for that property. 

The Description column displays the transaction type:

  • BILL: this is an expense transaction, such as for repair costs or management fees.
  • CHARGE: this is a transaction  billed to the tenant, most typically a rent payment. 
  • NACHA EXPORT: this is a credit we processed to your distribution account. This type of transaction is how you get paid! 

The Amount column shows the dollar value of each transaction:

  • Positive Amounts: if an amount is positive, it reflects a transaction that is payable to you. Typically, this will be a rent payment that we collected from your tenants. On occasion, a positive number could also signify a journal entry or credit adjustment. 
  • Negative Amounts:  if an amount is negative, this is a transaction that is either payable to Nomadic or is an amount that has already been paid to you. Typically this will be for repair costs or management/leasing fees. Owner draws (net distributions into your checking/savings account) also reflect as negative amounts, since they have already been paid to you. 

The Account Balance column shows a sum of positive/negative transactions at a given point in time:

  • Account Balance should always equal zero after a net distribution has been processed. When the balance is zero, this means that all expenses have been paid and you’ve received the remainder as net operating income, leaving a balance of zero (meaning: no one is due any money, as all funds have been distributed appropriately). 

Navigating the Propertyware Owner Portal

Your portal includes some extremely useful features that help you understand your property’s financial performance at a new level, with real-time transparency into every transaction.

Scroll through the snapshots below for an overview of portal navigation! If you need more help or have specific questions about using the portal, you can reach out to your Account Manager any time for a screen share. 

You can filter all info by date range or property:

View a snapshot of income and expenses on your dashboard:

See every transaction in real-time on your ledger:

Statements and forms will be posted to your documents library:

View a suite of real-time financial reports:

See a running list of all bills, and drill down for more detail:

Under Bill Details, you'll find dates/descriptions/amounts and more:

You can also communicate with your Account Manager through the portal:

How do net distributions work?

Net distributions keep your accounting clean and simple. Each month we’ll collect rent from the tenants, deduct any repair expenses for the previous month and any management/leasing fees for the current month, and credit the remaining net operating income to your account. 

You’ll receive a statement via email each time a net distribution is processed, and can view all transaction details in your Propertyware owner portal.