How to choose the right property manager
Investing in property can be a lucrative venture, especially if you’re thinking of renting it out. However, managing a rental property isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Enter property managers – the experts who handle the nitty-gritty for you. But, how do you know if a property manager is the right fit for your investment? Below are some critical questions to help navigate the realm of property management.
Understanding the Property Manager’s Portfolio
- Scope and Size: Ask about the number of properties managed and the size of the Property Management team. This gives an idea about their bandwidth and expertise.
- Active Properties: Provide addresses for 3-5 properties currently on the market. Gauge their reactions to whether these would rent easily, giving insight into the manager’s market understanding.
Unveiling Property Insights
- Desirable vs. Undesirable Properties: Pose hypothetical scenarios to the manager. “If I had to bring you the perfect property today, what would it be and where would it be?” Conversely, ask about properties and locations they’d avoid.
- Rent Analysis: Seek estimates on how much a specific property type would rent for, offering clarity on potential income streams.
- Suburb Ranking: Request a ranking of suburbs from best to worst for a specific area, providing a clearer picture of regional desirability.
Gauging Market Dynamics
- Demand Trend: Understanding whether demand in an area is increasing, stable, or declining can influence investment decisions.
- Tenant Demographics: Delve into the typical tenant profile in the area. Knowing if the majority are employed professionals, young families, or retirees can shape property choice and rental strategy.
- Safety Concerns: Address potential issues like gangs or methamphetamine production. Ask about strategies employed to manage and mitigate these risks.
- Tenancy Length and Occupancy: Inquire about the average tenancy duration and the typical occupancy level across a year. Understanding potential vacancy periods is vital for budgeting.
- Running Costs: Request a yearly estimate for property maintenance, providing foresight into expected expenses.
- Tenancy Processes: Gain clarity on tenant selection and termination procedures, ensuring alignment with your expectations.
- Legal Battles: Understand how often the manager personally has to pursue court cases against problematic tenants, indicating potential hassle and expense frequency.
Service Details and Contingencies
- Management Fees: It is important you don’t simply go for the cheapest manager, but at the same time you do need to clarify what’s included in their fees. Are inspections additional? How often are rent reviews conducted? Ensure fees are based on actual rent received and not just what’s payable.
- Handling Specific Tasks: Determine who manages annual checks, cleaning between tenancies, garden maintenance, plumbing, general maintenance, emergency repairs, and insurance claims. This clarity helps in understanding what’s on your plate versus the manager’s.
Taking The Leap
Arming oneself with this comprehensive set of questions can instil confidence when looking to step into property investment. Remember, a property manager is a significant ally, but ensuring they align with your expectations is crucial for a fruitful partnership. The right choice can ensure your investment grows while you enjoy peace of mind.