Many may be hesitant to engage with a property manager to look after their prized property, and rightly so. Perhaps they have been stung in the past with mismanagement, exorbitant fees, or simply feel they could care for their property themselves. Therefore, nervousness or apprehension about the engagement is normal. However, if you are able to find a suitable manager, it can bring indispensable ease and peace of mind whilst ensuring your property is achieving its maximum earning potential. A real win-win don’t you think?
So how do you mitigate risk and what are the things you should be looking for in a potential manager? To assist in your search, we’ve broken down the key hallmarks of a reliable property manager and some key questions you should consider before hiring them.
Good knowledge of the surrounding area.
Having a property manager who has an in-depth knowledge of the local area cannot be underestimated. Knowledge of the locality puts your property manager in the best position to give you an accurate estimate of what your rental potential is. Additionally, your property manager should have a thorough knowledge of local council regulations if ever any problems should arise. Whether it’s Singleton real estate, or other properties in the Hunter Valley, your property manager needs to be up-to-date, and on-point.
Be part of a highly experienced team
No man (or woman) is an island, and although you may only converse with the one property manager, you can be sure that they lean on their extended team for queries and questions. Knowing your property manager has a strong team behind them means you have a strong team working hard for you.
They have an investor mindset
Your property manager should have it in the forefront of their mind that your property is an investment, and with any investment, you want to see the maximum return. Having a licensed agent, or stock and station agent when required for rural managements, who has a proven record of maximizing rental yields will give you confidence in the financial viability of the arrangement.
They should be able to have the tough conversations
Your property manager should be a compassionate negotiator yet stern when the time requires it. As a manager, they will have to be considerate of the needs of your tenants, however when the time calls for it will have to be firm and direct with their communication.
Focus on protecting both landlords and the tenants
With the last point in mind, although your property manager’s priority is primarily you, they also need to prioritise tenants’ wants and needs. After all happy tenants means less tenant turnover, which ultimately will be better for you. Being able to balance and prioritise your wants and needs as well as the tenants is a delicate procedure they must be able to navigate with relative ease.
Ability to manage problems
Problems will arise. It’s inevitable. Storms may cause leakages, keys will be lost, appliances will break down, but one of the main benefits of having a property manager is that your involvement in these issues will be minimal. Ensuring you have a proactive problem solver as a manager will mitigate the amount you have to be involved, so therefore it is very important to evaluate if they have this ability.
It goes without saying in any managerial role, communication is key. Property management is no different. A good property manager in the Hunter Valley will be able to proficiently communicate between contractors, landlords, and tenants, mitigating any disputes and resolving problems in a prompt manner.
Attention to detail
Attention to detail comes massively into play when organizing files and documents. Ensuring ingoings and outgoings from your investment property will not only make it easier for you when it comes to tax time but will also put you in a better position to ensure your property is maximizing its earning potential.
Patience – it really is a virtue, and when assessing a manager, it’s key. Property managers deal with people in stressful situations every day and whether it’s helping people move house, rent negotiations, or problems with their current residence, they have to approach all of these situations with a sense of ease, assertiveness and approachableness.
What to ask a property manager
So you’ve narrowed down your search and are ready to engage. Here are some key questions you should ask your prospective manager before you engage.
- Who will be my primary contact and how long have they been with the company?
- What’s your vacancy rate?
- Are there any additional fees I should be aware of?
- What is your policy on rental arrears?
- How many properties do you manage in the area?
- Are all your tradespeople licensed?
- What training does your company hold?
- How often do you inspect properties and what reports do you send your clients?
- How do you screen tenants?
- What’s your average day on the market?
- What is your team structure?