A reliable property manager is a key player in your property investment team. The best manager for your property is someone who makes the process as easy as possible for you, whilst managing or pre-empting any issues in the background. So how do you find a property manager you can trust?
By asking the right questions and gleaning key information from your property manager, you will be able to make an informed decision on the most suitable property manager for your investment. Here are the top questions you need to be asking prospective property managers:
1. What is the payment turnaround time?
Every real estate business will have a specific process for administering rental payment. Ask your property manager to explain the process and timeline to you, as well as what software they use to process payment. Make sure you understand the longest likely period of time it will take to receive your rental income so you can ensure your financial commitments are covered accordingly.
2. How does your property manager vet tenants?
Ask your property manager about the selection process for new tenants. How many references do they request, and how thoroughly are these followed up? Let your property manager know how involved you would like to be in this process. For example, if multiple tenants apply for your property, you would like the opportunity to review all applicants and make the final selection.
3. How can I receive the best rent rate possible?
When you purchased your investment property, you would have researched the area and had an idea about the type of tenant you wanted. By carefully considering your target market and aligning the style and functionality of your property with their taste and lifestyle requirements, you are more likely to attract your ideal tenant. If you wanted to attract a professional couple, for example, you would ensure your property is clean and freshly painted in contemporary colours, and the kitchen has modern appliances. These details will give your target tenant more reasons to choose your property over other properties, and even pay a premium for these features.
An astute property manager will be familiar with your property location, as well as your target tenant and be able to provide some suggestions on features your tenant will be looking for in a property. Focusing on the key features your target tenant is looking for will prevent you spending money on unnecessary areas of the property, such as a lavish garden when your tenant doesn’t have time to maintain it.
4. What are the expected tenancy rates
Your property manager’s excellent knowledge of the area will also be able to guide you when setting the rental rate for your property. They will ideally be managing other properties in the area and know the current rental rates. They will also have an understanding of the market and be able to advise when rent should be increased, and by how much.
5. What is the process when problems arise
Leasing property is not always a bed of roses. Problems can arise from time to time, such as a non-paying tenant, or property damage. Ask your property manager what the most common problems they encounter are, especially with your target tenant and area. What do they do to remedy such problems before they snowball? At what point would they contact you to let you know there is a problem?
It is also helpful to know what trades-people your property manager uses and what sort of relationship they have with these companies. The quicker a tradie can respond to a call-out, the happier your tenant will be and the better off your property will be.
Open communication with your property manager from the get-go will help you build a trusting relationship and ensure that your property investment reaches its maximum potential.
Maloney’s Property have been leasing long, mid and short term properties for over a decade. They use the latest technology for property management and we pride ourselves on being proactive when it comes to making sure you are getting the very best ROI on your investment property.