One of the most important factors in maintaining a profitable investment property portfolio is ensuring you engage a property professional.
While it might be tempting to manage the asset/s yourself, a professional property manager not only knows the ins and outs of the market, but they have systems and processes to make ensure your property remains compliant and your tenancies in place are managed accordingly to legislation and your instructions.
In this article, we outline what you need to look for when searching for a Property Management Professional.
Like all business relationships, there is no productivity or trust without communication.
Your property manager should be skilled in finding and keeping quality tenants. Communication and response time is a big part of this process, along with the day-to-day of managing properties. When repairs are needed, your property manager should be in touch promptly to inform you of the problem and confirm the course of action.
Depending on how much contact you want to have with your property manager around repairs, you can set some ground rules for when they can make decisions to proceed without calling you first. This might be for certain regular maintenance jobs or small repairs under a certain dollar amount.
At larger agencies, property managers may look after hundreds of properties. If the agency has a structure where there are assistants to support the property managers, this can work, however, may mean you speak with multiple members of the team depending on the task (leasing, tenant manager, client manager etc)
At this point, you need to make sure you understand how many properties your property manager looks after, the team structure and who you can expect to speak with regularly.
Your property manager needs to be committed to finding you the best tenants in a timely manner.
Look for property managers who go above and beyond by holding open homes and showing through prospective tenants’ one-on-one if time allows. This could be as simple as asking their minimum procedure regarding leasing, for example:
· What are their minimum number of viewings per week per property?
· Will they show the property on weekends?
· Who will be showing the property? Will it be the actual property manager carrying out the viewing or a different staff member?
Having the property manager present at the inspections provides an extra opportunity to promote the property and all its features as they have generally the most in-depth knowledge of features and your expectations as the client regarding the length of leases preferred and any possible inclusions or negotiations available.
If you aim to grow your portfolio in a certain region, look for property managers who cover the area where you're likely to continue buying. Some agencies today provide property management services only. These specialised agencies, especially those harnessing today’s technology, these businesses often cover a larger area, which gives them the ability to give you a wider breadth of market knowledge along with the dedication of specialised service.
Your property manager is likely to be looking after some of the biggest assets in your financial portfolio. Speak to other local investors and review feedback on social media to make sure you find a knowledgeable property manager you can trust.
Like other elements of your investing journey, the property manager you choose will depend on your unique goals and investments. In most cases, property management fees are an eligible deduction, so engaging a quality property manager can offset some of your costs, as well as leaving you with time to focus on the other things in your life, whether that's hobbies, time with family or continuing to grow your portfolio.
Remember, this article does not constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your professional financial and legal advisors before making any decisions for yourself.