References - It's important to speak with the company's previous clients to determine how the property manager will work, this is a critical part in the hiring process. There is no other way to figure out what your working relationship will be like without input from other people. If they are unwilling to provide names and contact details, or if they try to distract you from this part of the process you should really consider using a more reputable company.
Experience - There is a difference between poor experience and little experience, and it's important to know the difference between the two. You may come across an excellent property manager that has a glowing record full of great customer testimonials but may have only been in the business around a year or so. On the other hand there may be a potential manager who's been working in the property business for the majority of their career and may not have any proven ways of securing rent payments, carrying out routine maintenance, or complying with regulations. Don't be afraid to ask questions, ask them about them how they keep on top of legal changes and how the stay up to date with trends in the industry. These are very important factors that should be closely followed.
Treatment - You need to take note of how they treat you during your meetings, it's important that they are genuinely interested in your property, did they take note of your or your special requirements? And are they aware of your needs? How engaged were they when you discussed the goals you wish to achieve. Look out for someone who interrupts you, this means that they're more likely not to give your property the right amount of attention.
Expense - Get quotes from more than one company, you don't want to be over charged but then again you don't want a company that will do the job for cheap, because a cheap job usually means a half hearted job.
Resolving a problem - Go over the method that the company use in order to resolve a dispute. If a PM claims that his record is free of tenant disputes then you should reconsider him/her for the job. It's very unlikely that any property will be problem free.
Schedule - If the company is only prepared to do a Monday to Friday 9-5 job of looking after your property then that isn't good enough. Property management is a time consuming job and one that doesn't take holidays. If a toilet starts leaking at 3am Sunday morning and they are not on call to deal with the problem you will be the one being called out!
Read the small print - Always consult your lawyer before you sign anything or you could find yourself being locked into a contract that isn't beneficial to your investment.
Pressure - If the property manager is pressuring you to make a decision about a potential agreement on the day, they may be hiding something. You should allow yourself plenty of time to have a look at references, and to shop around for other potential property managers.
Lack of paper licence - One of the main benefits of having a licensed PM is that you can file a complaint is their not doing a good enough job. If they don't have a licence then don't hire them!