How do you find the right property manager?

If you are an investor making an entry into the property market with an investment property purchase or if you already have an investment property for that matter making sure that you choose the right property manager can play a very important role when it comes to the rental part of your investment property. The right option doesn’t necessarily mean someone who is a local to where your property is but someone who is familiar with the local area and is going to work for you.

A good property manager is someone who is pro-active and will endeavour to ensure the maximum amount of rental income is achieved each week. For example; if your property has a leaking tap washer in the shower and the tenant notifies the property manager on a Saturday afternoon, a good property manager will not action a plumber to go out after hours and also on a weekend to rectify the problem they will send a request to the chosen local specialist for this to be actioned as soon as possible on the following Monday. However if the breach pipe in your shower or bath area has split and there is water coming out of the wall then a plumber may be called in this situation to diagnose the problem after the property manager has made an attempt or tried to make an attempt to contact yourself to notify you of what has happened and what the process is from here.

How do you make your selection?

A good way to start your selection process is to talk to family and friends to see if anyone has any referrals they are happy to pass on as this will give you a good picture about what type of experience you will be up for and some basics on what to expect. It is important to ask the referrers about some of the good points about the particular property manager or property management firm. Generally families and friendship groups will utilise the services of a particular firm or in most cases a particular property manager individual as they all found a great experience was had without any headaches.

Once you have a shortlist of property managers it is important that you then try to do some of your own research to see if the property manager has knowledge of the local area you are looking to make a purchase in or already have a property located in. Prior to meeting if you look on the realestate.com.au website for comparable rentals in the area this will also give you some sort of idea as to what your property may have the ability to rent for each week so when you eventually have a meeting with a property manager you will be able to see if they are familiar with the area. If the information they propose is highly inflated it is likely that your property will remain on the vacant rental market for some time so it would be good to ask them to provide evidence to back up their findings.

It is important that you organise a time to meet up with your shortlisted property managers as you will be able to see for yourself how the particular agency and the individual come across and in most cases once you have had a meeting you will be able to get a good feeling within yourself which option is the correct one for you.

Cost is to be considered

While cost is a factor to consider if you talk to someone who is offering a very cheap rate for their service compared to the fees of others, you will need to sit back and think why they are only charging a low amount. In many cases you will find as with most things in life that you do get what you pay for and if someone is happily charging half the price to do a job where someone is doing the same amount for double you will need to think about the greater term not only for yourself but also for your tenant and think what sort of service will you and your tenant receive.

If you get a good tenant you want for them to stay around for as long as possible as this eliminates yourself paying unnecessary costs such as lease fees and advertising fees every 12 months. If your tenant is happy it is likely they will remain a good long term paying on time tenant. On the other hand if your property manager does not provide the appropriate service it is likely that your tenant may not be a model tenant or stay long term which in turn costs you money whether it be the fees spoken about above or the amount of money you will need to pay out of your own pocket for mortgage repayments should your property sit vacant for weeks at a time.

Some questions you can ask when meeting with a property manager for the first time:

  • Who will you be managing my property, will you be the sole property manager or will someone else be involved?
  • What past experience have you had with this type of property in this area?
  • What experience do you have in managing properties within a specific area?
  • If a maintenance request has been requested by the tenant what is the process?
  • What is the process for tenants who miss rental payments?
  • What is classed as emergency repairs to the property and what is the process?
  • What is involved with your tenant selection process for finding good long term tenants?
  • Are vacancy rates high currently in the area?
  • On average how many days are similar properties usually on the market for in the specific area?
  • What’s the median rental return for similar properties in the area?
  • How do I know when rent has been paid or if there is a maintenance issue?
  • What are your property management charges and what is the fee payable each month?
  • What is included in your services?

It is important to employ the services of professionals from the desired fields to ensure the smoothest path is achieved for the desired process. If you need recommendations for a Adelaide based property manager or other professional or have a question regarding anything spoken about in this article please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Gerry today.