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Choosing the right property manager

Wednesday, 25th May 2011

buyers agent

A property manager can mean the difference between a smooth journey and a bumpy ride. They are responsible for preserving your property’s capital value and maximising its income – much more than just collecting the weekly rent. They can provide a total management solution from finding and screening tenants, conducting regular inspections, providing market advice, and handling ongoing property maintenance.

But how do you determine who’s the right property manager for you and your property? Here are a few considerations to assist you:

Don’t focus exclusively on fees

Many landlords only look at fees to determine who they will choose to manage their property but this is often a poor decision that they come to regret. With fees ranging from anywhere between six to eighteen percent of your gross rental income, some may see that as excessive but you do get what you pay for, so remember, cheap is not always cheerful.

How capable are they?

Look for a company with a dedicated property management department. This shows serious commitment and means you don’t need to worry that the receptionist may end up managing your property. This also protects you in the event that your property manager is ill or resigns as there’s a number of other specialists there to assist.

Make sure your agency subscribes to major tenancy databases and thoroughly screens prospective tenants on credit worthiness, rental history, and employment security.

Also, it’s a good idea to choose a property manager who is also a property investor as they will better understand your needs.

How important is your business to them?

Consider how they present themselves and the effort they put in to win your business. A well presented agency who takes the time to answer your queries, view your property, and present a formal proposal to you is a good sign you won’t be just another number on the books and you will be looked after. Also ask how many properties they look after. Some individuals look after 200 or more properties each, while better agencies manage between 100 – 150 properties per person. You may pay a little more, but with fewer properties to juggle you can be confident your property will get the attention it deserves and the manager will take a more active role in maximising your property’s worth.

Read the management agreement

Don’t forget to read the fine print. Check what services are included and what you need to pay extra for. Some will include routine rent inspections and rent reviews, others won’t. Will the property manager be present when taking prospective tenants through the property to ensure your property’s security and obtain important feedback?

When determining the best property manager for your property, remember the critical role they play in maximising your investment. With a number of responsibilities to handle, make sure they have the appropriate skills, value your business, and will keep your property performing at its best.