How do I choose the best Property Manager for my first investment property
If you’re looking to invest in property and appoint a property manager to manage your investment, then see below – our LJ Hooker Property Investment experts will equip you with the right questions to ask to ensure you make the right decision. Choosing the property investment manager who will properly manage your rental property should not be difficult, and here are our top questions to help you make an informed choice...
Q: Can you outline for me your experience in property management and your knowledge of the local rental market?
A: The property manager should have sufficient experience in the industry and with the agency or local area to give you confidence. Ask for referees and about the database they may have of potential renters for your property.
Q: How familiar are you with the various legislations and policies around owning and leasing investment property, and how do you keep up-to-date with changes to these?
A: Ask for evidence of professional development, ongoing training and membership of appropriate bodies. Your property manager should also have a good grasp of taxation matters and a working knowledge of all legislation relating to property management as well as a basic understanding of taxation and investment property. NOTE: taxation matters should be referred to your accountant for any financial advice.
Q: How do you determine my needs and requirements as the owner of an investment property and a landlord?
A: It’s very important that from the start of the working relationship between you and your property manager, that you fully discuss all aspects of the management process. For example, when will the property manager contact you if there is a maintenance request or if the tenant should have a problem paying their rent.
Q: How and how often do you communicate with your investment property owners?
A: Your property manager should be in regular communication through an agreed process - with a range of communications from monthly statements and property inspection reports to general market information. It is also necessary for your property manager to keep you informed on anything that happens with your investment property e.g. maintenance issues, rent reviews, lease renewals and when a tenant is vacating.
Q: What is your strategy in attracting best tenant for my property?
A: This is really an important one - the how your property is marketed is a vital part of your game plan. A good property manager would consider which demographic would be attracted to your property and focus their marketing accordingly. But this would be only part of the overall game plan. The Internet is used by approximately 75% of prospective tenants so it’s extremely important that your property is appropriately advertised through this medium. That means having quality internal and external photos of the property, providing a good description of the features and benefits of the property – and most of all, no spelling mistakes or poor grammar – ask to see other ads to give you an idea of their production quality and marketing methods.
Q: How are the financial aspects managed?
A: The property manger should clearly explain such matters as when rents are collected and when your money should be in your bank account. You should also fully comprehend what the management fee you pay entails. These items should be included in any management agreement before you sign the document.
Q: How do I know I will have a reliable income stream and that my property is in the best position for capital growth?
A: A good property manager has good relationships with their tenants, who should be treated like another customer. Happy tenants can save you money. Choose a property manager who cares; it will increase your property’s return. For a landlord, up-to-date information about market-driven rental returns is as important as what the property might be worth in a sale situation. The real estate team should keep you constantly informed by drawing on its sales, property management and finance specialists’ expertise.
Q: How often will you inspect my property?
A: Your property manager’s role is to look after your asset. Also, they can make recommendations that will increase your overall return while improving the property. They should make sure that your property always stays competitive in the rental market. How often a property manager can inspect your property is dictated by legislation. You should make sure that your property manager will conduct routine inspections according to that legislation and the items mentioned above would all be covered during those regular inspections.