One of the most important factors in making sure you have a profitable property portfolio making sure that you have great property manager. While it might be tempting to manage everything yourself- you have to think to yourself, what is your time worth? For between $100-$150pm, is it worth being on call and having the risk of knot being 100% compliant with the legislation? A great property manager is not only up to date with legislation changes, but they know the ins and outs of the market. They have systems and processes to make sure everything runs smoothly. In this article, we outline what you need to look for when searching for a property manager.
Communication and response time
Communication and response time is a big part of this process, along with the day-to-day of managing properties. If your property manager is slow to respond, you can miss out on potential renters, or worse, have frustrated renters when something breaks and it takes too long to get it sorted! Depending on how much contact you want to have with your property manager around repairs, you can set some ground rules for when they can make decisions to proceed without calling you first. This might be for certain regular maintenance jobs or small repairs under a certain dollar amount (at our agency for example, we tailor personalise the service to suit your needs) . In generally though, when repairs are needed, your property manager should be in touch promptly to inform you of the problem and get your advice and permission to sort out the situation.
Your property manager should also be skilled in finding and keeping quality renters- communicating through the leasing process (or vacating process to allow for easier leasing) is so important! Not only does it keep you as the rental provider, up to date, but it makes the outgoing and ingoing renters much more confident.
Size of the property manger’s portfolio
At larger agencies, property managers may look after hundreds of properties. If the agency has a structure where there are assistants to support the property managers, this can work. Make sure you understand how many properties your property manager looks after, the team structure and who you can expect to speak with regularly. One property manager looking after 250 properties alone is too much! But if they have leasing consultants, admin assistants and even a maintenance team, it can be manageable – but it also may mean that you’re dealing with multiple points of contact. A single property managing 100 properties by themselves, means they have more time to look after you as a client and the renters – pick a structure that works for you.
You want a property manager who is committed to finding you the best renters in a timely manner. Look for property managers who go above and beyond by holding open homes and showing through prospective tenants outside the standard, once a week, weekend open. Also, is the property manger actually doing the inspections? Some structures have leasing consultants so the property manager themselves doesn’t get to see the house or have the opportunity to assess the potential incoming renters. Having the property manager present at inspections provides an extra opportunity to promote the property and all its features.
If you aim to grow your portfolio in a certain region, look for property managers who cover the area where you’re likely to continue buying. Some agencies today provide property management services only. As a specialised agency, these businesses often cover a larger area, which gives them the ability to give you a wider breadth of market knowledge along with the dedication of specialised service.
Trust and industry knowledge
Your property manager is likely to be looking after some of the biggest assets in your financial portfolio. Google reviews are a great place to start! Speak to other local investors and review feedback on social media to make sure you find a knowledgeable property manager you can trust.
Like other elements of your investing journey, the property manager you choose will depend on your unique goals and investments. In most cases, property management fees are an eligible deduction, so engaging a quality property manager can offset some of your costs, as well as leaving you with time to focus on the other things in your life, whether that’s hobbies, time with family or continuing to grow your portfolio.
Remember, this article does not constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your professional financial and legal advisors before making any decisions for yourself.