The complexities and intricacies of being a landlord can be overwhelming for the average property owner, and that only becomes more true as you expand your holdings. If you’re like many investors, as your portfolio of real estate gets larger, you’ll likely start looking at taking things a little more seriously: It’s time to hire a property manager.
For many, this step is what truly starts making their real estate work for them, easing the workload and improving efficiency. However, just like choosing a real estate agent, picking a property manager is all about knowing what to expect from a true professional. What kinds of things should your management expert know?
Understanding the area around your property is as integral as knowledge gets with a property manager. If you own real estate in Sydney, for example, you should be looking for somebody who has intimate understanding of the Sydney market – better yet, of the specific suburb that your asset is in. You wouldn’t hire an electrician to do your plumbing, so why do the same with your property manager?
“Local knowledge” is a broad term, and encompasses a number of different factors. Does your prospective manager know what tenant pool you will be working with: families, retirees, students, young couples? How about local relevant legislation: Are they aware of the potential changes of the Fairer Safer Housing plan for your Victorian property? What about the Residential Tenancies Act update for a New South Wales dwelling?
Your ideal property manager will know everything there is to know about local legislation, population and rental market. A general knowledge of the Australian property scene is all well and good, but if you want the best, you’ll want local knowledge.
There are plenty of obvious differences between renting out a house and a unit. Houses are larger, more expensive, and tend to be located in the suburbs. Units are smaller, cheaper and more central. However, if that’s the extent of what your property manager can tell you, it’s time to find somebody else!
Your prospective manager should know the ins and outs of the intricacies of such things as strata law, and how it applies to your rental property. If you are seeking a property manager for a commercial property, they should thoroughly understand what is the owner’s responsibility and what is the lessee’s. If you want to get a better rental yield, they should be able to make suggestions that are both practical and effective.
Much like local knowledge, this kind of specific expertise is a must when you are looking for a new property manager.
Keeping your tenants happy is all a part of being a responsible and ultimately profitable landlord. Whether it’s picking the right lessee, keeping the property maintained or timing inspections in the appropriate way, a property manager who can’t keep your tenants satisfied is missing the entire point of good management.
However, there are cases where there’s very little you can do to keep a tenant satisfied. Property investment sometimes requires landlords and their assistants to be tough, and your manager will need to be able to rise to the challenge.
Ultimately, choosing the right property manager is one part knowledge, one part people skills and one part professionalism. It pays to ensure you make the right choice the first time, so don’t skimp on the costs if you want to ensure smooth sailing for your investment property.