What to look for in a property manager
Last month I talked about some of the most effective things your property manager could do to achieve a high rental return. But are they the right person for the job? Here are some of the things you need to be looking out for when you choose a quality property manager.
As your property manager is going to be setting the market rent on your investment it is essential they know what they can achieve for your property once it goes to market. It’s always helpful to ask if they can provide 3 comparable rentals in the area that are like yours. This way you get a better handle on the market and you can gauge whether they’re familiar with properties similar to yours.
Presentation & Communication
Typically property managers don’t step into the world of sales, however I always find the best managers can negotiate and communicate well and know how to promote the best aspects of your property. Are they enthusiastic when they talk about the property? Are they helpful in providing all the relevant information to prospective tenants? If you want to get top dollar for your investment then it’s best to look for a positive, vibrant and knowledgeable property manager.
Also, make sure your agent is clean and presentable whenever you meet them. If they don’t value the way they look there’s little hope for your investment once it’s in their hands.
On time all the time
I always pay attention to the timing of my property managers. If you’ve asked to meet them, did they turn up on time? If you couldn’t get hold of them, did they call you back in a reasonable time period or did you have to chase them down? Remember, if they have trouble staying on top of their own tasks they will probably struggle to stay on top of yours (like putting rental increases in place).
Getting what you paid for
Make sure that your property is being managed by the person you meet and not by another member of the team who may not have the experience behind them that you would like. There’s nothing wrong with having other team members involved, just make sure you know who they are and feel confident they can do the job as well. It can be helpful to ask them how much experience they have in their current role and whether they have any testimonials from past clients.
You also need to feel confident enough to call them if you have any questions or if something goes wrong. They will be your “go-to-guy” for one of your biggest financial investments so you need to know you can talk freely with them about the level of rent and the work that’s needed to maintain the property.
Make sure your property manager gives you clear details about how they’re going to manage your property and when they will be considering rental increases. Too many property investors are disappointed with their return when in actual fact it was the property manager who had failed to put the rent up when they were supposed to.
Equally, make sure your manager conducts regular inspections. 3 months is a good period once a tenant first signs on, then every 6 months after that. You don’t want to find your tenants have turned the place into a zoo while you weren’t looking.
Remember, a good property manager is worth their weight in gold. They will be the person overseeing one of your most valuable assets and ensuring you have a trouble free experience owning your property, so make sure they’re someone you want on your team.