Choosing the Right Property Manager
Property managers play an important role in managing properties on behalf of owners. They’re job is to be the intermediary between the tenants and the owners. Selecting the wrong agency can result in a lot of unnecessary expenses and stress. So what do you need to look for in a property management agency?
#1 – Dedicated Property Managers – Avoid agencies who don’t have dedicated property managers. These agencies tend to have the same agents managing the sales and rentals within the agency. You want a property management agency who has a dedicated team of property managers to look after your investment and most importantly, you want a property manager who takes the time to understand exactly what services you expect to receive from them.
#2 – Property Management Experience – In real estate, there are many different levels of experience and it’s important to distinguish between them. When selecting a property management agency, you want to know about their property management experience not their real estate experience. Even though agency #1 may have been operating for over 30 years, they may only have been offering property management services for 5 years. On the other hand, agency #2 may have been operating for only 10 years, but they have been offering property management services for 10 years. Experience matters.
#3 – Skills & Training – After you’ve looked into the agency, it’s time to look into the property managers. Have all the property managers had training and been certified to ensure my property is being looked after professionally?
#4 – Communication & Responsiveness – Communication is the biggest complaint property owners have about their property managers. It’s imperative to make sure that your property managers communicate any and all information correctly and in a timely manner. Not returning the owners calls and not notifying owners about repairs and maintenance are just two big signs of a lack of communication on the property manager’s behalf. Ask your property manager how they plan to communicate with you.
#5 – Shorter Vacancies – How hard will that property manager work to find you a tenant? Empty rental homes can cost property owners a lot of money depending on how long they are unleased for. Finding a tenant for a property can be a difficult task. It’s important that property managers are available to show properties at least 6 days a week to fit in with a perspective tenant’s schedule and they work hard to get it leased as soon as possible.
#6 – Simple & Fair Fee’s – There are 2 different types of fee structures, percentage or capped. Percentage based fee’s can be as low as 5% + gst of the property rental yield or as high as 7% + gst of the property rental yield. Capped fee’s tend to start at $1000 + gst no matter the property rental yield to as high as $3000 + gst no matter the property rental yield. Fee’s are different from agency to agency but what’s more important than a low fee is understanding what kind of service you will receive. No matter which fee structure you choose, all property management agencies should present their fee’s to you in an open and honest way. Beware of the agencies who hide their fees in the terms and conditions of your management contract.
#7 – Cost Effective Maintenance – Proactive maintenance keeps repair costs low and tenants happy. Happy tenants are more likely to renew their lease which in the long run saves the property owners money. Comparing the cost of maintenance to the cost of vacancy is an important factor to consider when deciding if that repair really needs to be done. With any property management agency it’s important that their property managers have extensive experience with trade services and that they at least have a general knowledge of building and construction.
#8 – Rent Collection System – Rent needs to be paid and collected on time, every time. All property management agencies should have a strict rent arrears policy and they should have a course of action if the tenant doesn’t have the money to pay.
#9 – Compliance with Laws and Regulations – Every agency is governed by the same laws and regulations and it’s important that your property manager has expert knowledge of these laws and regulations. In the event of a tenant dispute, an agency has to follow the rules and regulations so that if the dispute does reach court the agency can defend itself adequately and provide the information required to win the case.
Choosing the right property management agency to manage your rental property is very important. Ask as many questions as possible. It’s important to know the property management agencies level of knowledge as well as the knowledge of the people working around them just in case your property manager is unavailable or on holidays.
At Loth Estate Agents, we run your property as a business. Some of our best clients have come to us after using our competitors and receiving terrible results. They’ve continued to utilise our services after achieving multiple lease renewals and enjoying a positive relationship with our agents. If you’re looking for an active agency with a hands on approach, the team at Loth Estate Agents will be pleased to discuss your requirements and answer any of your questions.
Contact our friendly staff on (07) 3366 1764 or email us directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org