How to choose your property manager
Many property investors overlook the importance of appointing a trustworthy and professional property manager to oversee all the factors involved in ensuring your property retains its capital value and maximises its income. A property manager does more than simply collecting the rent – they need to keep suitable tenants in the property, they administrate all the maintenance and upkeep of the property and they are your direct connection to your tenant. If you have a large portfolio of properties, it is even more essential that you delegate these tasks to someone you trust to handle your investments wisely.
So what should you look for in a property manager?
1. Look beyond the cheapest fees
While you certainly want a good deal from your property manager, you don’t want to make your decision based on fees alone. It would be a false economy to select a less than professional agent, just because the fees are slightly cheaper than someone with more experience. Property management is a profession with a high staff turnover, so you want someone with a strong career background, demonstrating they can handle the stresses related to the role.
2. Look for more than real estate experience
While it might seem simple and efficient to delegate the property management to your real estate agent, the job of selling property is very different to the job of managing property. Look for someone who specializes in property management and has a proven track record of success.
If you have a diverse portfolio, you might find it simpler to appoint one property manager to manage all your properties. This would certainly require an extensive background in property management, as your manager would need to have an insight into the property market at each location, and would also need strong communication skills and organization to delegate repairs and maintenance and find new tenants when necessary.
3. Investigate their approach
You want more than someone who hands over the keys and then just collects the rent. You want a property manager who will engage with you, the property and the tenants, to be the central point in a productive and secure relationship from everyone’s perspective. Before choosing a property manager, ask about how they screen tenants, how often they schedule inspections, their general level of interaction with tenants, and in what circumstances they would become more deeply involved.
Visit some properties they manage to see if the properties are clean and well maintained – if possible, try talking to their tenants to learn whether the property manager is courteous and responsive when there are issues.
4. Ask for a written proposal
Your property is a huge financial investment and you don’t want it sitting idle while your property manager is distracted by louder and more demanding clients. You want a property manager who demonstrates professionalism and individual service by actively maintaining your investment property. A written proposal detailing how your property will be managed is an excellent sign of dedication and commitment to you as a client. A professional property manager will also provide a monthly report detailing all transactions and issues in relation to the property. Written records will keep your property manager accountable, and make it easier for you to notice any discrepancies or concerns.
5. Consider their communication
Your property manager must be proactive and committed, and most of all, must be able to communicate clearly with both you and your tenants. You are looking for someone who is responsive and courteous, and who will tell you exactly what is happening. You want to feel confident that you can leave your project manager in charge; at the same time, you want to know that you will be notified promptly if there are any problems.
If you need assistance or guidance in finding the right property manager for your portfolio, contact us today.