How to Choose a Great Property Manager
So you’ve just purchased an investment property. Congratulations! Your new home is likely one of the biggest financial decisions you’ve ever made. The walls are sparkling clean, the floorboards are polished, and the lawn is perfectly manicured and neat — but for how long?
Most of the time the difference between keeping your home in an excellent condition and letting it fall into the wrong hands is a great property manager. Just like any other investment, poor management can seriously damage the value of your home and turn a valuable property into one that requires lots of money and many years to fix up.
So, how do you choose a great property manager that ensures you get maximum returns for minimum effort? And what’s the best way to avoid repair headaches and unfavourable tenants?
1. Don’t choose solely based on price
When it comes to property management, the saying ‘you get what you pay for’ always rings true. A great property manager may not be cheap, but their industry skills, knowledge and experience are worth every dollar. Before you jump into a relationship with a property manager, make sure you take a look at their credentials and testimonials.
- Ask to see references from long-term clients whose portfolios they are currently managing.
- Find out how many years the property manager who will be looking after your property has been working in real estate, and how many years they’ve been with the agency.
- Confirm what their typical turnaround time is like and what their current track record is for finding new tenants and retaining them. Do they have many tenants on their books in arrears?
2. Communication is everything
A great property manager is not only polite and quick to respond but also firm and good at negotiating. Look at your property manager’s communication skills objectively and make sure they get their message across clearly and efficiently. You will need someone who can stay calm under pressure and communicate the facts without blowing things out of proportion. The icing on the cake is a property manager who is dedicated to replying to your messages on the same day they receive them.
3. Make sure they have strong systems in place
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have no control over the property you own. A great property manager will have tried and tested methods for communicating with your tenants, inspecting your property and reporting on its condition. Some things you might like to consider include:
- Will they email you copies of inspection reports, tenancy agreements, invoices and newsletters?
- Do they provide monthly statements and reports?
- How often will you see photos of your property?
- What’s the process for repairs/maintenance?
- How do they screen prospective tenants and do they have a system in place for checking their credit worthiness, past rental history and current employment?
- How will they establish the weekly rent potential of your property?
4. Is your property getting in front of the right people?
Before choosing a property manager, it’s important to establish how and where they will advertise your property. Will it be listed on all of the leading property sites in your area? Will your property manager be available to show prospective tenants through your property on the weekends? Many tenants work full time, Monday to Friday, so it’s important to ensure that your manager can be accommodating and available to answer questions as needed. They should not only know your neighbourhood inside and out, but also how to attract the right tenants.
5. Does the principal of the agency play an active part in the department?
From our experience, the best real estate agents are the ones where senior management staff and the principal of the agency have an active role in dealing with your property. For example, is the Principal of your preferred agency a landlord with real-life experience and insight into the frustrations of renting property? Does your property manager have the support of an entire team behind them? Who do they turn to when they need advice, assistance and mentoring?
Great property management isn’t just about collecting the rent and finding good tenants. It’s about balancing a comprehensive list of needs and finding solutions that are beneficial to all parties. If your property manager is great, they will work hard to keep your tenants happy and do everything they can to maximise your return.
If you’re looking for a great property manager, look no further than RE/MAX Profile Real Estate. Give us a call on (07) 3510 5222 or get in touch with us today, to find out how we can help you take care of your investment.