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How a Property Manager Can Make or Break Your Investment Experience

Choosing the right Property Manager is a crucial step in ensuring you have a successful and stress-free property portfolio.  Here, we show you how to ensure you choose the right property manager for your portfolio.

I think it’s fair to say that a property manager can make or break your investment experience – both from a stress and a financial perspective. This is largely because a poorly managed property will likely have a higher than average vacancy rate…and vacancy rates obviously have a direct impact on your rental return. Every week your property is vacant is a week the mortgage repayment comes out of your pocket.  If you have a large portfolio, or cash-flow is tight, extended periods of vacancy can have some investors questioning their sanity in deciding to invest in the first place!

But it doesn’t have to be like that. While rental vacancies are a part of life, a good property manager knows exactly what to do to ensure your property experiences minimal rental vacancy and gives you the maximum return on your investment.

A Good Property Manager

  1. Carefully screens and selects tenants to ensure your tenant is stable and reliable. This includes conducting thorough reference and employment checks.
  2. Is polite, courteous and responsive to your tenant. If you’ve ever been a tenant, you will know what it’s like dealing with a property manager who doesn’t return your calls or, worse still, is downright rude to you. If your tenant is moving out because your property manager is too difficult to deal with (and it happens…a lot), you’re better off staying with the tenant and getting rid of the property manager.
  3. Ensures legitimate maintenance items are actioned ASAP – nobody wants to live in a house that is falling down around them and your tenant is no different. (Plus, it’s in both the owner and the tenant’s best interest the house is kept in good repair).
  4. Conducts regular rent reviews to ensure your rent keeps pace with market movements. This is particularly important in a rising market but is often overlooked by property managers – especially where long-term tenants are in place.
  5. Stays ahead of the game in advertising and showing your property. If your property is a new build, does your property manager have access to the builder’s key to take prospective tenants through the property when it is nearing completion? Many of our clients have had tenants move in the day receiving keys to the property because our property managers work directly with the builder to have properties tenanted ASAP. If your property is tenanted, does your property manager maintain a good relationship with your current tenants to ensure cooperation with home opens and showing the property to new tenants ahead of their vacation?

How to Choose a Property Manager

Most people don’t ‘interview’ their property manager, but when you consider they are managing such a valuable asset, it is important to ensure you’re appointing the pick of the bunch rather than just selecting the real estate agent down the road. Asking property managers these few questions will go a long way to ensuring your investment is going to be managed effectively, efficiently and with a minimum of stress.

  1. Do they understand my needs as a property investor?
  2. How will they ensure I am getting the maximum rent for my property?
  3. Will I be able to easily communicate with my manager?
  4. What will happen when the manager goes on holiday or leaves?
  5. What process do they undertake to screen tenants?
  6. Will my tenant be able to easily communicate with the manager?
  7. How do they address maintenance items?
  8. Will I be contacted before any work is carried out?
  9. How often are inspections carried out and what information will I receive?
  10. How often will I receive rent?
  11. Will I receive an end of financial year statement free of charge?
  12. Can I speak with existing clients to find out their experience?
We recommend our clients in Western Australia use Rent Choice in Applecross as their property managers. Headed up by Caroline Nurse, herself a keen property investor and with an impressive work history spanning all aspects of real estate, Rent Choice knows exactly how to ensure your property is managed to maximise the return on your investment and with a minimum of fuss. If you’re in the market for a new property manager, we highly recommend you contact them.
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