A recent survey by realestate.com.au indicates investors take less than two weeks to research a property manager. Investors entrust one of their biggest financial investments to a stranger. It’s recommended you invest some time retaining a property manager to ensure you are in a happy business relationship and things don’t take a turn once the honeymoon period fades.
As a landlord, you need to connect with as many property managers as possible. Consider visiting some rental open homes of the managers you have researched.
Role play being a tenant and ask the property manager some questions to gauge how they interact with the other side of the relationship – for example.
- What is the Owner like?
- How well does the Owner act on reported maintenance and improvements?
- What exactly am I responsible for as a tenant, bar the rent?
- Is the price negotiable?
References and testimonials are crucial to ensuring what a property manager says is what you will get. Ask for a couple from both sides – investors and tenants. How healthy are their other relationships?
Cheaper rarely means better – it generally means corners may be cut and you will get the bill.
Did you know the difference between a property manager who charges 8 per cent to a property manager who charges 6 per cent for a $500pw property is $10 per week? That equates to two coffees a week. Would you give up two coffees a week and employ a property manager who has the results and the recommendations to prove they are worth their fee?
Put them to the test and interview them for the job. Ask something different than the usual questions and see what they know.
Try to challenge them and see if you get a rehearsed spiel.
Gauge how they handle a topic under pressure when wanting your business but also ensuring they keep their negotiating boots on and always get you the best outcome.
Some questions to add to your interview list:
- Can you help me with planning ongoing improvements budgets to ensure my property remains competitive in the market?
- How will you manage my property on a day-to-day basis or are others involved?
- What ideas do you have to ensure I always get the best rental return?
- What do you do differently when it comes to managing my property and best interests?
- What training do you do each year to remain current in your industry?
- Why you?
If you are meeting a business development manager initially – ask that they arrange a meet and greet with the property manager who will be your main point of contact once the property is rented and ask them the above too.
You deserve a property manager that is not inundated managing too many properties beyond their capabilities. They should be chasing you, not the other way around. You might not be their only client, but it should always feel like you are.
You need to find a diligent property manager with experience who can speak up and negotiate in times of conflict and has the experience to swoop in and take control of any given situation on your behalf.
You need to find a property manager who loves what they do, and you can feel the pride and appreciation in their voice when you first talk to them.
A trustworthy property manager is someone who doesn’t always say YES to simply get your business. An authentic property manager knows with confidence what they are doing. They will educate and guide you from the outset and customise your needs to suit you and your property investment goals.
It’s a team effort when it comes to managing your investment. Be comfortable and confident with the property manager you are choosing and ensure their focus is to manage your best interests.
Remember it’s not a one night stand, it’s a long term commitment for you and it should be for your property manager.
To find out more contact Tamara Davis, Property Management Specialist at Home.byHolly