Choosing the right Property Manager to manage an investment property can make all the difference in looking after an investment.
How does one sort out average or poor property managers and ensure a good one is chosen to look after an investment property? Here are some questions property investors can ask to help make that crucial decision.
Do you do sales as well as property management?
Agencies focused solely on property management or where the owner is involved in the property management side of the business are likely to deliver the best service.
How much do you charge?
Fees vary from agency to agency and charge between 8 per cent and 11 per cent to manage a property. Sometimes discounts can be arranged if you have more than one rental managed by the agency.
How many properties do you manage?
The more properties a business manages, the less they can charge for the service or the better service they can provide for the same price. Larger property management businesses have resources invested in them to help provide a better overall level of service. Larger businesses most likely have grown as a result of attracting new property investors through word of mouth referrals about their service standards.
Would you be proactive in getting a higher return on my investment?
Investors need to know that their property manager will increase rents in line with market value changes, even though that may be more work for the PM than leaving the current rent unchanged.
How long do you make leases for?
Longer leases/tenancies result in fewer vacancies, and it’s possible in certain situations to build rent increases into a fixed-term lease by recording it at the time the lease is signed.
What technology systems does the business have?
Owners would be well advised to ensure their property manager offers electronic payment options such as internet transfer, credit card, and direct debit to tenants. The easier your property manager makes it for tenants to pay their rent, the more likely the rent is to be paid on time.
How easy do you make it for prospective tenants to view a property?
The more tenants that view a property when it is available for rent, the more rent an owner is likely to achieve for the property because of reduced vacancy time.
Can I have online access to information about your management of my property?
Some property management businesses allow owners to log in over the internet to view their transactions, check on maintenance issues and future inspections, and ensure the rent is up to date.
Do you give keys out to prospective tenants?
Many property managers allow prospective tenants to show themselves through vacant properties creating a major security issue. The problem is the tenant can easily make a copy of the key, leave the lights on or the front door unlocked. Your property manager should always accompany the tenant to inspect the property.
How long have your property managers being doing this job?
Investors are best to choose property managers who have years of experience.
How many PMs do you have? If several, does one PM deal with me and my tenants? Will I be told if ‘my’ PM changes or leaves your employ?
Both the PI and the tenant may find changes of PM to be unsettling.
How are rentals allocated to your PMs? Can I change to another of your PMs if I choose?
It’s best if a PI keeps informed and in control of what’s going on with the management of their investment properties.