Buying an investment property or investing in commercial property is a big step, making choosing a property manager a very important financial decision. Here’s how to find a property manager who’ll take great care of your investment.
Gone are the days when if you wanted to lease a home you simply arranged to pickup the week’s rent cheque. With property investment a multi-billion dollar industry, choosing a property manager to manage your investment property can make all the difference.
An investment property is just that, an investment, and often a big one. If you think of it like a business, you’re going to want the best people working for you, and that’s the mindset you should have when you need to find a property manager.
Just like you do you did your due diligence for buying the property, you should be prepared to do the same when choosing a property manager. Here are some simple steps to help you find a property manager who’ll do a great job for you.
Is local logical?
While a local property manager may be the simplest solution, think ahead. If you’re planning to expand your investment portfolio, choosing a property manager based on proximity to your initial property mightn’t be the answer.
Don’t take their word for it
References and testimonials are key to ensuring what a property manager says is what you will get. Ask for and check at least three references, ideally both tenants and landlords, so you get the full picture. It’s also advisable to verify that they have the appropriate licenses, such as a real estate agent licenses, by contacting your Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in your state or territory.
Cheap isn’t necessarily cheerful
If one property manager is under-quoting others by a significant amount, there may be a reason why. Cheaper rarely means better, and may mean they cut corners in aspects of the job such as finding good tenants or how regularly they conduct rental property inspections, which may end up costing you more in the long run.
Go with your gut
You need to be comfortable and confident that the property manager in question will look after your best interests. They need to have good communication and negotiation skills, be organised, approachable and honest.
Test their property management knowledge
Your property manager is going to be in charge of a very valuable asset, so interview them for the job! Ask lots of questions to test what they know. Many will be prepared with the usual spiel they tell all potential clients, so try and think outside the square to really test their knowledge.
Questions to ask when choosing a property manager
Q. I’m investing in commercial property / residential property. What experience do you have in managing this type of property?
Q. How do you handle tenants who miss a rental payment?
Q. How do you respond to a tenant’s maintenance requests or the need for emergency property maintenance? What’s your process?
Q. Will you keep a tenant ledger?
Q. Will you be managing my property day to day or will someone else be involved?
Q. How do you find competent and competitively priced contractors to work on my property?
Q. How many properties do you personally manage?
Q. What’s the best way to find tenants for a rental property? What’s your selection for finding good tenants? Ask for examples.
Q. What are the vacancy rates in the area currently?
Q. How many days are similar properties on the market for in the area?
Q. What’s the suburb profile and demographic of tenants in the area?
Q. What’s the median rental return for similar properties in the area?
Q. What is, and isn’t, included in your services?
Q. What ideas do you have to help me get the best return on my property?
Q. What regular communication, updates or reports will I get on the property?
Q. How do the financials work? What are your property management charges, when do I receive rent, etc.
Have you had to find a property manager? What else would you recommend people do to find a good one?
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