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Managing your property investment chores

Managing your property investment chores

By Sarah Lefebvre on Aug 29 2019

A good property manager is worth their weight in gold as they play a pivotal role in the success of your investment.

Many of us barely have enough hours in the day to manage our own households, with work, kids, shopping, home maintenance and other chores to attend to, let alone managing an investment and tenants as well.

Finding the right property manager is crucial, but what are the key roles of a property manager and what should you look for and ask when you interview them?

What are the key roles of a property manager?

A property manager will cost approximately 7-10% of your total rental income, however the services and expertise offered by a good property manager is worth much more than this fee, plus in many cases the agent service fee is tax deductible.

The key roles of a property manager are:
  • Advertising your property for rent
  • Open your rental property for viewings
  • Screening tenants including reference checks, rental history review
  • Manage the condition report process
  • Manage the tenancy agreement signing process and handling questions
  • Manage your financial accounts for the investment property and provide regular reports
  • Inspect the property on a regular basis
  • Organise tradespeople for repairs and maintenance

Interview questions to ask a property manager

Like any working partnership asking the right questions to help identify the best property manager for you is important.  Here are some questions you should ask when interviewing a property manager.

Property leasing

  1. On average, how many properties does the agency lease each month?
  2. What human resources has the agency allocated to leasing properties?
  3. Do the agency staff members personally show prospective tenants through properties?
  4. How does the agency market available properties for lease?
  5. How much information is obtained from applicants for properties and what information is verified?
  6. What is your enquiry level per month? Do you have a database of prospective tenants?
  7. How often will the agency show my property?

Property Management

  1. What documented systems are in place for property management?
  2. What is your process for dealing with rent arrears? What % of your portfolio is in arrears
  3. What is your process for dealing with repairs and maintenance?
  4. What steps do you take to ensure that all contractors working on my property are properly licensed and insured?
  5. What steps do you take to ensure that all maintenance work on my property is competitively priced?
  6. What is the experience level of the staff members who will be leasing and managing my property?
  7. What training programs do the property management team invest in, each year to keep up to date?
  8. How frequently will you transfer my rental funds into my account? May I see a sample statement?
  9. Can you send me rent statements by email and deposit my money in my bank account electronically?
  10. How frequently will you inspect my property?
  11. When will the first inspection of my property be?
  12. How many people will I be dealing with from your office and who?
  13. Can I have online access to my information?

Customer Experience

  1. What references do you have from satisfied clients?
  2. Do you provide an experience guarantee/promise?
  3. Does the agency have documented experience standards?
  4. What back up staff are there in the event my property manager is sick or on holidays?
  5. How frequently will the agency communicate with me and what form will it take?
  6. When was the last time someone reviewed your mortgage for savings or additional borrowing capacity?
  7. Have you spoken to anyone about your current utilities and whether there is an opportunity for you to save money?
  8. Will the agency only call me when there is a problem? Do you have a communication benchmark?

Final word

Property investment chores don't need to be a painful experience. A capable property manager can carry the workload for you which can both reduce your stress levels and help improve the return on your investment. In saying that, choosing a property manager to work with isn't a decision to take lightly. Since whoever you hire will essentially be the main point of contact for your property it is essential you hire someone that has the relevant experience, skills and resources to handle the requirements of the role. 

Owning an investment property can be an exciting but also stressful time. Here at LJ Hooker our team of professionals are ready to carry the workload that comes with managing your property. Get in touch with our property management team today to request a free rental property appraisal to see how they can help take the stress out of owning an investment property.

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