What to look out for when choosing a property manager.
The financial success of your investment property can depend on many things to work in your favour. Ideally, you want a house that won’t drain your finances with maintenance costs. A responsible tenant helps too. However, one of the most important things to consider is a good Property Manager.
When you choose a Property Manager you’re essentially putting the welfare of your investment property in their hands. While the tenant is also responsible, it takes a good Property Manager to be receptive to the tenant’s and the investment property’s needs. You may have heard horror stories where a tenancy goes astray and the maintenance of a property suffers. In most of these cases, issues with a tenant and investment property can easily be resolved when good communication is established with a property manager.
So to avoid any glaring issues with your investment property, it’s always good to know what the signs of a bad property manager are. It can come down to poor communication, inexperience, or even just a lack of attention. The success of your investment property relies on the hard work, dedication, and attention that’s put into it.
Importantly, if your investment property is underperforming, start looking at all these aspects. The signs of a bad property manager may help you determine what’s hampering the success of your investment property.
Your investment property needs to be maintained well if you want to retain its value. A property will always have maintenance needs no matter how well it was constructed. Outdoor paintwork, roof tiles, gutters are just some of the things that need regular care to keep your house in good shape.
Your tenants should be sending maintenance requests to the property manager when something goes wrong. A crack in the ceiling or even a faulty plumbing or heating system are just some things a property manager should be onto straight away. In situations like these, your property manager should always be able to find a solution that meets the needs of both parties involved.
Calling a plumber for every blocked drain situation might not be the best solution if they haven’t suggested the tenants try Draino first. A good property manager should always be able to think on their feet and provide a maintenance solution that everyone can agree upon.
When you employ someone to manage your property, you should rightfully expect a service that includes effective communication. Regular updates and prompt responses via phone and email shouldn’t be too much to ask for. Is it difficult to get in touch with your property manager? If they’re not able to return your phone calls then it begs the question of what they’re actually doing for you.
Communication channels between a landlord and tenant also need to be established. When there’s an emergency plumbing situation or electrical fault, your tenant needs someone reliable they can contact straight away. Your tenant will expect a high level of service. When they don’t get an acceptable level of service it can start to make them question why they’re paying so much for rent in the first place.
Lack of inspections
Your property manager should be carrying out regular inspections of your property. If they don’t, then how are they supposed to know what the condition of your investment property is like? Regular inspections can help identify any issues with your property. Some issues take years to progress until they become noticeable or past the point of repair.
With regular inspections, your property manager should be able to be proactive and spot any issues that may affect your property down the track. The sooner you know about any structural issues, the sooner you can start budgeting and planning for how to fix it. Sometimes the earlier you identify an issue, the less expensive it will be to fix.
So make sure you have an attentive property manager who regularly inspects your property. That way you can stay on top of repairs and maintenance costs before they escalate.
A property manager should be able to organise good tradespeople to attend any issues with your rental property. With an already established network of tradespeople, issues should be resolved without any major delays. This network should include services that are fast and reasonably priced.
A poor property manager will most likely organise an expensive tradesperson that isn’t available for quick repairs. It’s the last thing you or the tenant want. You need urgent maintenance issues to be fixed promptly and remain within your budget expectations. When a property manager doesn’t put the time and effort into finding the right tradespeople, no one wins in this situation.
High staff turnover
There’s no denying that having one dedicated person responsible for your property is ideal. When one property specialist is assigned to your property, they begin to learn the unique requirements of the house. When a property specialist establishes a good communication channel, they can start to form a great working relationship with your tenant.
So having a high staff turnover can be detrimental to the care of your property. There’s no guarantee there’s going to be a good handover from one property specialist to another. Always try to employ a property manager that has industry experience, great problem solving skills, and the ability to perform under stress. Get a property manager with these credentials and it’s less likely you’ll have to deal with a revolving door of staff for your property.
The quality of the monthly statements you receive can say a lot about the time and effort your property manager is putting in. These statements can reflect how much is really going on behind the scenes. Your monthly statement should clearly communicate the income, expenses, owner payments, and any outstanding invoices for the investment property.
A bad property manager may only manage to send through a monthly statement that’s lacking all the details you need. Sometimes a property manager is only focussed on showing the payment of fees alone. Ideally, the monthly statement should be used as a way to keep you informed about all the costs associated with your investment property.
You are under no obligation to stay with your current property manager. The process of switching property managers is actually quite simple. All you need to do is contact an alternative property management company. You will then need to sign a managing authority document with the new provider.
Your new property management company will start taking care of everything for you. These tasks include collecting files and keys from the previous management company. Your new property manager will then get in touch with your tenants and let them know about the changeover.