What To Look For In A Property Manager

What To Look For In A Property Manager

Mark Taylor,

Excellent property management is such a crucial element to a successful investment. Like any asset, poor management, can seriously compromise the viability of the entire investment.

But here’s the thing. Typically when you shop around for a property management service, you’ll notice a common theme in their sales pitch - great customer service, regular property inspections, prompt resolution of repairs – no doubt these are all necessary skills a property manager must possess. But superior property management goes beyond these basics. 

Maximising an Investment Property

Whether you have single property investment or a large portfolio, it’s imperative your property manager works with you to get the most out of your assets. That means helping you stay on top of costs and making sure you’re maximising the earning capacity of your investment.

Your property manager is the person you rely on to keep the finger on the pulse of an ever-changing market and who actively makes decisions to ensure your goals are achieved.

Ideally, your property manager should be your professional property advisor. 

Surviving Rental Market Trends

In addition to running the day-to-day management of your portfolio, your property manager has a key role to play when helping you and grow your income.

They can use their extensive local knowledge to skilfully anticipate market fluctuations — both in terms of capital growth and rental incomes. They can advise when rent needs to be increased and then implement the increase smoothly and professionally, so any chance of losing your valued tenant is next to none. Likewise, they should be tracking when the market has taken a slight dive and determine if rent decrease is necessary or can be avoided. 

What To Look For in a Property Manager 

So when it comes to personal attributes, what do you look for when appointing an property manager?

1. Specialisation

A specialist property manager can make the difference between an investment property that just rolls along year by year and one that catapults in growth and grows your nest egg.

2. Passion

Having a passion for people and caring about helping achieving a client’s goals is crucial when it comes to securing a premium property manager. 

Many property managers just go about the day-to-day duties of a managing a portfolio, and occasionally stamping out problematic “spot fires. A passionate property manager on the other hand, cares about nurturing long-term client relationships and is way more likely to go beyond the daily tasks and pro-actively ensure your property is growing as an asset and maximising it’s rental yield. 

3. Growth Focus

A specialist in property management is also able to determine when small cost-effective cosmetic improvements are required so that your property can increase it’s overall appeal, the amount of rent it yields and increase it’s resale value for you as well.

4. Superior Communication

A property manager really has two sets of relationships to look after. They have their landlords and they have their tenants. 

Even though the property manager works for you — and not your tenants — it is absolutely essential they establish a great rapport with your tenants and have the ability to communicate effectively with them. 

Tenants are more likely to communicate issues with and report damages to a property manager, if they feel they are heard and respected. 

This doesn’t mean the property manager has to say ‘yes’ to every tenant request; but instead be able to act as a non-judgemental liaison between both parties, and help resolve issues that are in everyone’s best interests.

5. Career Management

The Property management is known for it’s high turnover rate. So often, the challenge is finding a property manager with years of experience and who will stick with their company for the long-term. 

An individual who has worked in real estate for at least 5 years, definitely has some great working knowledge and hands-on experience of market trends. However, a property professional who has clocked closer to 10 years, has made this their career. They’re likely to have navigated a whole variety of market highs and lows, negotiated numerous tricky situations and also had to navigate the odd dispute in a tribunal case. This is experience that cannot be bought and is gold to a landlord. 

6. Rock-Solid Back Up

It’s important to remember that experience doesn’t always just relate to the individual property manager. When looking for a property manager it’s also important to look at the experience and reputation of the property management company. 

Ensure the company you appoint, has a strong record of managing properties in the area,  has robust systems and processes in place and invests in on-going training and development for their team.

7. Ability to Manage Multiple Property Portfolios

Often, when an investor has a growing list of properties, they get to a point where they wish to consolidate the management into one portfolio. Juggling different agencies and property companies is time consuming and complex. So, it’s at this stage of your investment growth that you require a property manager who is capable of managing a broad range of investments, regardless of geography or demographic. A specialist offering services that cater for diverse property portfolios is key at this stage, to sustain investment growth.

Success in growing investment property as an asset, whether in the short or long term, significantly depends on property management. And that begins with the property manager you choose to act on your behalf. 

Choose well, and your long-term vision and family’s financial security will forever thank you for it.

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