How to choose a great property manager

With housing supply in Australia becoming an increasingly thorny pain point, property managers are finally starting to be recognised for the pivotal part they play in the financial performance of each property.

Whether it’s just one property or a few, no matter how fabulous your purchase was . . a good property manager is the difference between an excellent long term hold or nightmare that makes you want to sell at the worst possible time.

I have purchased some fantastic properties at bargain prices simply because the owner had a bad property manager which made them think the property was a dud.

How do you find a great property manager?

It’s critically important you get the selection of your property manager right, so I recently interviewed one of Australia’s best property managers – Vicki Lear from Vault Property Management.

You can check out the interview here.  

We covered off the key issues relating to property management including some insider tips outlined below that will make or break your property success.

Why use a property manager?

A good property manager will ensure your property performs at its best by covering the following services.

  • Maximising cash flow by understanding the best possible rent matching your property’s criteria.
  • Monitoring compliance with housing standards.
  • Maintaining the property in good condition.
  • Tenet selection, communication and management.
  • Collect the rent, pay invoices and provide statements on cash flow.

How do I identify a great property manager

Ensure you speak to any property manager before you appoint them, and use the following characteristics to decide who you will work with.

  • Timeliness of their communication and response to your enquiries.
  • Ask how many properties they’re managing.
  • Years of experience.
  • Areas and property types they cover.
  • Monthly Management Fee – this is usually represented as a percentage of your monthly rent – but remember just getting 1% less in a fee will be a minimal impact for you but could mean a world of difference to the service levels (plus you can claim property management fees on your tax).
  • They demonstrate their knowledge and provide you with quality insights.

How to tell if your property manager is good or bad

If you already have a property manager and all they do is blame problems on the tenant, the property, or the ‘economy’, then maybe it’s time to ditch them and find a property manager who will help rather than hinder your property’s progress. If you have a good property manager, they will demonstrate the following great qualities.

  • Your PM provides a good level of communication in a timely manner that works for you.
  • They conduct regular inspections and provide you with reports and images of the property.
  • They understand they’re responsible for balancing your requirements as well as the tenants.
  • They deliver on their promises.
  • Proactively manage tenant issues.

Tips for managing your relationship + getting the best from your PM

Remember it’s a two way street so to make sure you respect your PM’s time, communicate clearly, and listen to their advice.  Other tips include :

  • Respond to your PMs requests.
  • Keep a buffer for maintenance.
  • Stay on top of maintenance and work with your PM to decide between essential updates and ‘nice to haves’.
  • Remember you can move if you feel your PM is not up to the task.

If you're looking for a great property manager, contact Vicki and the team at Vault Property Management.  

Author: Debra Beck-Mewing

Debra Beck-Mewing is the Founder and CEO of The Property Frontline. She has more than 20 years' experience in buying property Australia-wide, and is skilled in helping buyers use a range of strategies including renovating, granny flats, sub-division and development. Debra is experienced in identifying tailored opportunities, homes and sourcing properties that have multiple uses.  She is a Qualified Property Investment Advisor, licensed real estate agent and also holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Business. As a passionate advocate for increasing transparency in the property and wealth industries, Debra is a popular speaker on these topics. She is also an author, podcast host, Editor in Chief of Property Portfolio Magazine and participates on numerous committees including the Property Owners' Association.

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Disclaimer – This information is of a general nature only and does not constitute professional advice.  We strongly recommend you seek your own professional advice in relation to your particular circumstances.

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