7 Essential Tips for Finding a Great Property Manager

Selecting a property manager to look after an investment property can make the difference between a good and bad experience as a landlord.

Whether you’re investing in your tenth property or your first, the search for a great property manager requires due diligence and the discipline to get into the nitty-gritty of the kinds of decisions you want your property manager to handle on your behalf and when you want to be consulted.

A critical question for many investors, therefore, is “what am I looking for in a property manager?”

Are you seeking a hands-off approach, or do you anticipate getting involved at some level?

Do you want to know what’s going on all the time, or are you prepared to let a manager take care of business and update you as necessary? Perhaps, if you’re investing in an apartment, you’re going to be an active member of the strata committee.

Successful investors look at the task through a specific prism: the property is a business, it exists to make money, and a property manager is hired to make that happen.

Below are some of the significant issues you should address when searching for a property manager. Let us know if we can introduce you to our property management colleagues.

1.  Good communications – This is a critical factor in a successful relationship between rental providers/landlords and their property manager. You want your property manager to be easy to contact and clear with any issue that might arise. Experience in dealing with strata committees can be a significant plus.

2. The focus should be on you – Let’s dig a little deeper. The property management team’s style of customer service is critical. Ideally, you’ll be allocated one manager who knows your expectations. It’s frustrating if you never deal with the same person twice.

3. Rely on experts – A good manager will know the state legislation, and you may get additional comfort from them being a member of the Real Estate Institute. ****Great managers keep abreast of local market conditions. They’ll know how to replace tenants quickly and choose reliable ones, and they’ll keep you appraised of investment opportunities.

4. Don’t focus on fees only – Fees are only part of the story. Smart landlords consider this a factor but weigh up other facets of property management, too. Some property management teams will offer to take out all of your expenses from your rent and pay you the difference, while others will pay you all your rent and then request that you pay for utilities, repairs and maintenance.

5. Not all fee structures are the same – It can be challenging to separate agencies and property management companies by comparing fees. Fees can vary between 3% up to 8%. Know what’s included and uncover any omissions that could cost you down the track. Get into the detail.

6. Digital transparency – If this is important to you, seek out a company that offers an online portal where you can track rental payments, tenant requests and complaints, maintenance expenses and legal documents, rather than relying on monthly or quarterly reports from your property manager.

7. Ignore online reviews – Don’t base your judgment of a property manager on their online reviews. Rely on your own experience with each property manager that you interview.