Many investors underrate the value they add, but a good property manager can play a pivotal role in the success of your investment.
Many Australians have barely enough hours in the day to manage their own households, with work, kids, groceries, home maintenance and other chores.
But once you purchase an investment property, you are responsible in many ways for managing your tenants as well.
If you would rather not deal with the toil and day to day chores of renting out a residential investment property, however, you may want to consider using a property manager.
To get the most out of your investment, it is important to choose the right property manager. Finding the right one is crucial since their responsibilities will be wide ranging – from liaising with tenants to keeping your property safe and secure.
• First, you will need to consider your expectations for your property manager’s roles and responsibilities. Depending on how much time and money you want to commit, there are two options: a leasing only or a leasing and maintenance agreement.
• As with all investing issues, the next step is to do your research. Find out the rental amounts for properties in the area where your investment is located, and familiarise yourself with relevant tenant-landlord laws. Note that these differ from state to state.
• Next, speak to property managers at several real estate agencies and see how they respond to your questions. Do they reply quickly or do you have to wait days or weeks for a response? This is a good indication of what your future relationship will be like. See if you can get some recommendations from people you know who may have investments or from some of the property professionals who are already advising you.
• Always check how many properties the agency and each manager has responsibility for. Most industry professionals suggest that no more than 100 properties should be managed by one person if they are to provide an adequate level of service.
• It is also important to check the property manager’s processes. How does the manager go about finding new tenants? What kind of background checks do they complete? And how do they handle disputes with tenants?
• Before you enter into an agreement with a property manager, make sure you thoroughly read your rental agreement. Make sure you are able to release yourself from the relationship if they are not doing a good job.
• Finally, be sure to keep in regular contact with your chosen manager for at least the first 12 months to ensure they are doing everything possible to make your investment successful.