What to Look for in a Property Manager
Managing an investment property means more than simply collecting the rent. Yet even if that were the case, property managers would still be a great resource for owners. As it is, they can take care of much, much more.
This includes marketing your property, holding viewings, interviewing and vetting tenants, drawing up a lease, taking care of repairs and maintenance, and keeping up with tenancy law changes. Your relationship with your property manager will be an important one, and one which could last for many years. For this reason you need to make sure you choose the right one.
Consider writing up a checklist of things that you need from a property manager and use this as a guide when interviewing agencies.
Here are some things to look for in your future property manager.
In every aspect of owning a rental property, the goal should be to form stable and lasting relationships. This goes for the people renting your property, just as surely as it does for those you are paying to manage it.
You may want to find out whether your property will be managed by the same person at all times, or whether it will be shared among several agents. If it is one person, consider asking how long they have been with the agency. If they've been around for a few years, this isn't just a good measure of their experience, but can also provide extra certainty that they are going to stick around. Changing property managers often could be a stressful and tiring experience for you as well as your tenants.
Ideally, your property manager will have knowledge of the suburb and general area that your property is located in. This will be an advantage when they are advertising the property as they'll know how best to sell it to renters, as well as which price will give you the right balance between being competitive and generating good returns.
Check to see whether they manage other properties close to yours, and whether they have done so in the past.
A reliable property manager is a true asset. They can be depended upon to respond quickly to all matters requiring their assistance or intervention. Whether repairs are needed at your property or your tenants have questions or concerns about monetary issues, sorting these out quickly could be critical. This is because even if you have a top-notch property, if your tenants get fed up with the service provided by their property manager, they may well start looking elsewhere.
When checking out property managers, find out how many properties they are responsible for. How quickly do they aim to respond to tenant concerns? Where are they located in relation to your property?
This is an important factor and could be the difference between holding on to good tenants instead of seeing them move on when they tire of an inactive or unhelpful property manager.
As the property owner it is natural that you should take an interest in how your investment will be managed. Some owners will want to manage their own properties; others will be happy to entrust this completely to professionals.
It needn't be this cut and dried, however. You may choose to handle some aspects of the role yourself and pay an agency to look after others. It all depends on how involved you wish to be and how many of the responsibilities of a landlord you wish to delegate.