Questions to Ask A Property Manager

Do they answer the phones live or will you always have to leave a voice mail and wait for someone to call you back?
Licensed property managers
answer our phones Monday through Friday
9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Do they have the technology for you to see, at any time, your financial reports, service requests, etc?
MPM has invested in web
technology which gives our owners access to
their rental income, expenses, work orders,
and custom reports 24/7. This allows us to
provide our owners with answers, even when
we are out of the office.
Do they actually visit the properties they manage?
We proactively inspect every
property we manage. This includes exterior
inspections at least once per quarter, annual
interior inspections, and interior inspections
through scheduled maintenance. Our
annual interior inspection is considered
when determining whether or not a tenant
is eligible to renew their Lease Agreement.
Please understand that while we cannot
control how a tenant lives in the property,
we can control the screening process prior
to their moving in and use available legal
procedures upon moving out.

Most tenants do not destroy/damage the
property unless something goes wrong
during their lease term. When a tenant
doesn’t pay and we have to go through the
the eviction process is when we find that tenant
damage is the worst. Most tenants hope to
get their security deposit back and follow our
detailed, Helpful Move Out Guide, to ensure
the return of their deposit. With a successful
lease term, most tenants receive a full or
the majority of their deposit refund because
they’ve followed our vacating instructions.
They leave the property in a clean, rent ready
condition, less normal wear and tear, which
means fewer turnkey costs for our owners.

Are there multiple people in the office who can help answer a question? What is the turnover rate for staff?
While each of our staff has
primary responsibility for a function
in our office, we cross-train to provide
better service to our tenants and owners.
In addition, we communicate daily about
outstanding items so that at any given
time, someone can typically assist you,
prospective tenants, and current tenants with
any questions.

When something arises that can not be
immediately handled, we have a policy
to address non-emergency issues within
24 hours.

The average tenure of our management staff
is over 4 years and 10+ years for our Executive
Team due to our ability to attract and invest
in quality people. Our low turnover rate
allows us to provide a better experience for
our owners and tenants.

Do they have licensed agents for staff, capable of providing guidance and advice about your rental property, rental market and the real estate market in general?
With the exception of our
administrative staff, all employees are
Licensed Property Managers and members
of NARPM (National Association of
Residential Property Managers). NARPM is
a professional organization that promotes
education, designations and networking as
a resource to empower its members with
knowledge and skill. A NARPM member
honors and subscribes to a Code of Ethics
and Standards of Professionalism, and
commits to the professional and ethical
the practice of property management.

The NARPM designations have stringent
requirements for education, experience, and
service. It takes many years of hard work to
meet these requirements. Our staff travel
and attend NARPM Conventions and NARPM
Conferences to seek additional education.

Do they carry adequate Errors and Omissions Insurance (E&O), Liability Insurance, and Worker’s Compensation Insurance, to protect you?
It is important to ask if the company you are considering has the proper E&O insurance. There are only a very limited number of insurance companies that will underwrite insurance for property management due to the liability and
risk involved.

We have employees and pay workman’s
compensation for ALL our staff, to protect
YOU! We also carry liability insurance so we
have the protection required to deal with
any issue.

Do they require that you have the property insurance to protect yourself?
This is such an important area for
owners of investment properties. We require
that our owners have an adequate Landlord
Insurance Policy that covers them as well as
us for a minimum of $300,000 for liability. We
do this by asking to be listed as an Additional
Insured on their policy so we can ensure the
owners and MPM are adequately covered.
Not all insurance companies will accept
Additional Insured parties, so it is important
to check with your insurance carrier prior
to contracting with MPM. While $300,000 is
the minimum amount, we certainly would
encourage an owner to look into an umbrella
policy as well as increase the limits above
that for added protection. A million-dollar
umbrella policy is relatively inexpensive.
We can recommend an insurance agent,
should you need one.
How do they handle nonemergency repairs? Are they using reliable vendors with proper licensing and insurance (including workman’s comp)? Do they have a system in place to make sure their vendors insurance is up to date and current?

Maintenance is the second most expensive part of owning investment in the property, just over vacancy, and we understand the need to keep this cost down. We use our bulk buying power to get repairs done as cost-effectively and quickly as
possible, while making sure our owners and
MPM is protected.

We work with reliable contractors who have
been in the business for many years and
have the proper licensing issued by
The state of Montana and proper insurance
including general liability, auto liability, and
workman’s compensation. We review and
evaluate the insurance and licenses of our
vendors on a regular basis to make sure we
are covered too.

What are their thoughts on privacy for owner and tenants?
We believe this is one of the
most valuable reasons to have a property
management company—anonymity. People
can’t sue you, if they don’t know who you are
or how to reach you.
To protect you, the tenant and MPM, we
take privacy laws seriously for tenants as
well. We will not disclose any personal
information about the tenant other than
names and number of occupants. Credit
fraud is rampant, therefore we will not
disclose a copy of the tenant’s application,
credit report, or other information that could
open the door for us or you to be accused in
a lawsuit.

All our employees sign a non-disclosure
agreement, and all internal vendors
are accompanied throughout the
building to ensure we safeguard this
delicate information.

What criteria do they use for screening tenant applications?
We have developed a proprietary scoring system that evaluates each applicant on a wide variety of factors. These factors include income, length of employment, criminal background, and credit. Please notice that credit is only 1 factor in the equation. There are many tenants with poor or no credit, who have proven to be great tenants. We evaluate every situation as a whole and do not just focus on one dimension.

Our scoring system has taken many years
to develop, test, and retest. It is one of the
reasons we can be so confident in our ability
to make quality tenant placements.

What methods are used to reduce the vacancy time period?
We understand that vacancy
is an owner’s largest expense, and we do
everything possible to minimize the length
of time a property is vacant.

The primary reason a property doesn’t rent
is that the rental rate is too high for the area
or condition of the property. Our owners are
provided a realistic market rental rate which
we revaluate every two weeks.

We also employ a variety of marketing
methods, which include being available
to answer questions, having the home
easily accessible for viewing, signage at
the property, internet advertising, and
a bi-weekly analysis of the rental rate
and competition.

How and when are payments made to owners?
We pay our owners, via ACH, on the 20th and 1st of the month (or next business day) for rents received. This allows for bank checks to clear and for us to process payments through our system and get you paid. If a tenant pays late, you are paid as soon as funds are available.
Is their pricing inclusive or will you be “nickled and dimed”?
Our all-inclusive management fee means you aren’t charged for items pertaining to the professional management of your property. Everything is covered in our management fee.

Our competition may offer you a lower
management fee. In these cases, please
be aware of their other fees: charges to
send violations, deal with HOA concerns,
interior inspection fees, fees to send you
an electronic disbursement, etc. These
additional profit centers will cost you well in
excess of any small percentage difference
between our management fee and theirs.

Do they have a business license?
We have a business license with the City of Missoula and are registered with the Montana Board of Realty Regulations.
How many clients have they lost to a competitor and why?
Since we opened in 2003, MPM can proudly boast we have a 99.95% retention rate. The few owners who did change managers were gladly released
from their contracts due to differences in management philosophy—they were just not a good fit. We are very proud of our reputation in this area.
What happens when the tenant doesn’t pay?
When a tenant can’t pay their rent, it is not a good situation for anyone. Typically, the tenant doesn’t pay, not because they don’t want to, but because of something that has happened in their lives. Their situation has changed—they lost a job, became ill, lost wages or hours had a death in the
family, etc.

At MPM, when a tenant doesn’t pay, we first
attempt to find out the reason. Is the issue
something we can work around or not? We
do this by following a proven system we
developed that works in conjunction with the
eviction process. If the tenant is responsive,
we will make payment arrangements or
negotiate a move-out.

When the tenant doesn’t respond, we start
the eviction process to regain possession as
quickly as possible. We have partnerships
with attorneys and other professionals to
make this as smooth, quick and painless
as possible.

Do they have a proven track record with references from other owners as well as from their tenants?
Our owners and tenants love us. Many of our tenants, several owners, and local real estate agents have repeatedly referred friends, family members, and colleagues to us—not only as tenants but also as property owners. We couldn’t ask for a better compliment than that of a referral.

Client Testimonials

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