5 Things You Don’t Want In A Property Manager

Thursday, February 4, 2016 / Property Management

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When it comes to managing your investment property, you don’t want to be placing it into the hands of either an amateur, or someone who has their priorities elsewhere.

We thought we would have a quick look at some of the things that you just don’t want to happen at all, and give you some questions that you can ask in order to prevent this from happening to your investment!

A Property Manager Who Would Rather be a Real Estate Agent

You may be surprised to hear that there are quite a lot of property managers out there who are not really in it to be a property manager. Their heart is not in it, and they would rather be selling houses than renting them out.

This often happens because the property manager is “earning their stripes” or becoming more acquainted  with showing homes to people before they start managing listings for sale.

Worse again is the Real Estate agent who is not making it as a Real Estate agent, so they view property management as a ‘fall back’.

You want a property manager who is solely focussed on being a property manager, not using it as a stepping stone into something else!

Questions You Can Ask:

  • How long have you been a property manager?
  • What did you do before hand?
  • Why did you become a property manager?

A Disorganised Property Manager

If your property manager is often arriving late to meetings, flicking through an un-organised folder of papers, or just generally seems to be in a bit of a disruptive state in life; then you need to be a little worried.

They are managing all the finer workings of not only your property, but also the relationship between the tenant and the landlord. A disorganised property manager is unlikely to be providing a great service to your tenant. If the tenant must consistently phone back, re-email communications, or follow up on maintenance requests etc, then they may start reconsidering a continuation of their lease!

They are often the ones who are in charge of paying rates, maintenance bills and other important deadline centred invoices. You do not want to be incurring late fees on these because they ‘forgot the date’ or ‘missed an email’.

If you are unfortunate enough to find your tenancy appearing in a rental tribunal, they will be the one that is representing you. This means that they need to be highly organised and ready to walk into a semi-court environment and make sure that your interests are being served!

This undesirable quality is not so much something you can pick up from asking questions, you will need to observe them and their communications.

An Overstretched Property Manager

A great property manager who is highly organised and dedicated to their job, can handle anywhere between 100 and 120 properties on their own.

Even the greatest property manager will be getting too overbooked if they go much further than this threshold.

Truth be told, you may be even thinking that 120 sounds rather high, but rest assured that an organised professional will always be able to provide a great level of service at these volumes!

The problem with an overstretched property manager, is that they will end up displaying all the same symptoms as the disorganised property manager; even though they may be the most organised person in the world!

Questions to Ask:

  • How many properties are on your rent roll?
  • How many property managers are in your organisation?

The Over Trusting Property Manager

Renting out your property is always a matter of trust. You trust that your property manager will find a suitable and trustworthy tenant.

What you don’t want, is a property manager who trusts others too easily.

For example, a property manager who will hand over the keys to a prospective tenant so that they can go and do a quick viewing on their own before making a decision to apply for the property. (Don’t be surprised, this happens a lot more than you may be aware of!)

Or, another way that a property manager can be too trusting is to not do a thorough check of all the references that an applicant has brought in.

You don’t want someone who ‘trusts their instincts’ when it comes to deciding if an applicant will make a great tenant, you want someone who will have a procedure and process in place to make sure they are doing a thorough screening of any new tenants.

Questions to Ask:

  • Have you ever let a potential tenant inspect a property without being present yourself?
  • How many references do you check for each applicant?

A Property Manager Who Hasn’t Kept Up to Date on Residential Tenancy Legislation

Tenancy legislation is an ever changing dynamic process.

It is not enough to have done your property management course 15 years ago and then to have never touched a book again.

Likewise, it is not enough to simply trust your training to be enough even if it was recent.

Your property manager should be keeping up to date with ALL changes to the relevant legislation and processes, as they happen.

After all, it is their job to represent your interests under the legislation, which is definitely harder for them to do if they are not up to date with the legislation!

Questions to Ask:

  • What was the most recent change to the residential tenancies act?
  • How long ago did you complete your training?
  • How do you keep up to date with legislation updates?

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