As a real estate agent, I am often surprised by the amount of landlords that stick it out with their current agent, despite being aware (sometimes on a sub conscious level) that they are receiving poor quality service in the management of their property.
There are plenty of average real estate agents out there – average isn’t bad, it looks after your investment, they do the job, it will do (so most people think), but what I’m talking about is poor quality service and I mean really poor. So below is a short list of what an average agent does (if you’re not getting this basic service, start looking for a new agent now!).
Average service (the bare minimum);
- Returns your phone calls and emails within a day or so
- Conducts routine inspections
- Conducts rent reviews
- Provides information on applications before putting them in
- Checks rental arrears and issues notices at the right time (14 day notice to vacate for unpaid rent for example)
Some owners are happy with this, they’ve had a good run of tenants and haven’t had to worry about things go wrong. But if you want the best, or at the very least ‘high quality property management’ then you need to look for an agent that does the following;
High Quality Property Management
- Returns your phone calls and emails same day (or at least within 1 business day)
- Has strict procedures in line with routine inspections and rent reviews that means that as the landlord, you are invited to the routine inspection that is conducted every 6 months (first at month 3 of the tenancy) and that the rent review is conducted every 6 months or 3 months prior to the lease expiring to allow for enough time for rent increases to be issued and new leases to be signed.
- Short leasing turn around – not through just putting anyone in the property, but by advertising a house at least 3 weeks before it becomes vacant and taking advantage of the legislation which allows for opens to be conducted 2 weeks before the house becomes vacant.
- Provides detailed information on applications providing recommendations to you as the landlord for you to make the final decision. (Includes things like calling businesses directly instead of trusting mobile phone numbers, doing ownership checks on private rentals and a bit of internet stalking).
- Your agent will do arrears daily and notify you as the landlord if you’re not going to receive the rent on time and from there, they will explain to you the various remedies available under the legislation and take the most appropriate action.
- Has reliable and regular maintenance contacts to ensure you are covered in case something goes wrong, the work is done to the highest standard at the best value price.
- Provides you advice even if it’s not what you want to hear! You employ an agent for a reason, they know what’s going on and what you can and can’t do, if your agent is too scared to tell you the right things, then they’re not doing their job.
That’s just a snapshot of what you should be receiving and by no means is it a be all end all list. If you think you’re being underserviced, then take the leap and start looking for a new agent today – if you want assistance or even just advice on transferring your investment to a new property manager, get in touch. I’m happy to give advice on properties that aren’t in my area and of course, if you do have an investment property from Point Cook to Bacchus Marsh, Geelong to Altona, let me know as I’d love to work with you!
High High HnhhHH