Investing, Long Term

Picking the right property manager – 7 things landlords should look for?

May 11, 2019 – 5 minute read – by Don Binkley

Picking the right property manager to handle your investment property is an essential part of protecting your most valuable assets. Here are seven things to look out for when you are making your selection.

The right property manager knows the local market

Understanding the local market is critical when it comes to real estate, from knowing how much rent to charge to having a strong network of reliable, local tradespeople who will respond quickly in the event of emergencies. Not only will this give you, the landlord, peace of mind that the job will always be done properly, it will also result in happy tenants who are more likely to stay. In turn this saves you additional leasing costs and reduces vacancy rates. In our experience it’s also true that if things get fixed fast you are more likely to successfully negotiate rental increases with your tenants.

You should also find out what the agent’s proliferation is in the area. If they already have a strong presence locally, they may be able to switch customers into your property too.

The right property manager has a solid track record

A good reputation is a great recommendation so ask around. Besides assessing their experience in the local market, and how experienced they are in property management generally, be sure to ask about their past experience resolving problems. If things go wrong, you want someone who will navigate issues promptly and professionally. Find out what their processes are for responding to tenant emergencies, disputes and legal issues. Ask more specific questions like:

  • How many properties do they manage? Are they under or over worked?
  • How do they handle tribunal claims? This is a worst-case scenario test.
  • How many people in working in their agency? Are you really getting experienced, knowledgeable property managers?
  • What is their staff turnover like? If it’s high, why?
  • What is their escalation policy if you do not get along with your property manager?
  • How do they measure success?  To you, to tenants, and for themselves?

The right property manager is a good fit for your investment property

The perfect fit depends entirely on your property. If you have a luxury home, you don’t want the 18-year-old agent who lives at home taking the lead on negotiations with a tenant who is a corporate powerhouse. You need someone who will understand your clientele and who your clientele will relate to and trust. Those clients will be paying a lot weekly and will expect service in line with this, as well as a high level of confidence and professionalism. Obviously, you get what you pay for and you should expect a higher level or service with more expensive property managers.

If they will be managing your own home, there’s a level of care you’ll require, whereas if it’s a two-bedroom investment property you’ll want their focus to be matters such as price increases, rental yields and finding the best tenants. Map out what your priorities are before you start shopping around to guide your questions.

The right property manager has a flexible offering

Do they offer a wide range of rental products and solutions? Ideally you want to build a relationship with someone you can work with as your property portfolio expands or your needs change. Can they manage everything from a short-term Airbnb rental to an executive long-term lease? There are many ways to rent out a property. Find someone who can adapt their methods to always get you the best result. For example, at Property Providers we believe that it is your property, and we will rent it your way. We have developed 8 different rental models spanning everything from short-term executive stays to long-term luxury leasing.

The right property manager is solely focused on property management

You don’t want to employ an estate agent who is just going to try and convince you to put your property on the market with them when they switch to sales. Look for property managers who are solely focused on rentals as their core business and are experienced professionals in all kinds of residential leasing. Many agencies will do what is right (or most profitable for them) as opposed to what is right for you.

Do some behind the scenes research – check out their Facebook and Social Media offering assuming they have one – is it all about property or are there other things there?

The right property manager has good procedures in place

It’s important to ask any prospective property manager about their policies and procedures and how they have handled issues in the past that you expect to be relevant to your property. But you should also dig a little deeper: How do they judge a good tenant and read between the lines of an application? What additional due diligence do they complete? Do they have experience in securing corporate long-term leases? You also want to make sure they have the right systems and procedures in place, so find out when their Trust account was last audited and if everyone who works there has a certificate of registration.

The right property manager stands up to a sniff test

Trust but verify. An impressive website with good testimonials is great but investigate further. Call them and ask questions to assess their responsiveness – how quickly do they call you back? How professional are they in their replies? You could try being a ‘mystery shopper’ and pop into their office unannounced. Ask if you can speak to a current client with similar needs to yours about their experience. Then find out if they collect rent on time, are responsive to tenant complaints and maintenance issues, and demonstrate good client communication. Always check out their Google reviews too.

And, finally

The right property manager will understand that they are managing your investment and your tenant’s home, not just a property. It’s about great communication and building lasting relationships to maximise the experience for everyone.

Want to learn more about listing your property? Get in touch today.

At Property Providers our core purpose is “Helping People Live Better”.  As Sydney’s most flexible residential rental agency we are totally focused on Property Management and renting “Your Property, Your Way”. We have designed 6 different rental services covering all facets of Long-Term Leasing as well as Short-Term Stays. Unlike franchise real estate agencies, we see the value in pragmatism and flexibility. Whether you want to rent your property furnished or unfurnished, for 6 months or 5 years, we will manage your property, your way. Our bespoke marketing strategies deliver discerning international tenants that understand quality and are prepared to pay for it.  If you would like to learn more please visit our website  or call us on +612 9969 7599

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Don Binkley

Don is a Canadian native who has been living in Sydney since 2000. His career started in advertising/media working with a host of multinational brands. Evolving from marketing, he held a senior leadership position for a number of years at American Express. In 2010, he founded Property Providers, Sydney’s most flexible residential rental agency. He now leads a passionate team which has become recognised as experts in managing and marketing Sydney’s finest property to the most discerning clientele. Don is driven by the guiding principal that all long-term partnerships have a foundation of mutual respect, mutual commitment, mutual investment and mutual risk. Don is a proud father of 3 boys and is passionate about Skiing, Mountain Biking and Kayaking.

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