A sound property investment strategy will always involve the use of a property manager (PM).
But PM’s come in all shapes and sizes. They are not all created equal. However, most of the time you won’t know this until you’ve been working with one for a few months.
So how do you know if you’ve got a great PM? Time for an audit.
Here are a few questions to think about:
They keep you updated with all maintenance
From the initial request to invoice payment, your PM should keep you updated all the way through. To protect your asset they should fix things fast, and only use the best tradies, at the best rates to minimise your expenses.
They keep you updated with the market
You shouldn’t have to rely on the nightly news to know what’s going on with the property market. Your PM should be giving you regular, relevant updates on your local rental market.
They come to you with suggested rent increases
When it comes to renew a lease and review the rent, you shouldn’t have to ask if the rent is accurate. Your PM should be discussing this with you way before the fixed term is set to expire, and they should be prepared, having completed a comparable market analysis of your investment property.
They have a determination to get your property leased fast
Your PM should be determined to get your property leased. Determined means creating the most enticing advert with flattering photography. It means holding inspections during peak times. It means arranging private and second inspections with interested parties. It means following up all quality applicants, encouraging them that your house is the right fit for them.
It means doing everything they possibly can to find the best tenant as fast as possible.
They find good, long-term tenants
Not only do they find a tenant fast, but they ensure that the selected tenant is A- grade and long-term. High tenant turnover will kill your investment returns in the long run. Your PM should be renewing leases every year, not re-marketing.
They have a strong network
This not only relates to their tradie team but also to their network of professionals that can make your life easier. They should be able to introduce you to reputable and investment-savvy mortgage brokers, accountants, quantity surveyors and financial planners, all who have the ability to help you achieve your financial and investment goals as quickly and effortlessly as possible.
They understand you have a mortgage to pay
You are not a cash machine. You probably do not have money coming out of your ears. You are probably one of the almost 75% of Australian property investors that own only 1 investment property, and this is likely what’s going to fuel your retirement.
Therefore, your PM needs to understand that you are cash-conscious, and need to only spend what’s necessary. They also understand that you need to pay your mortgage in full and on time every month, so if you’ve had a large maintenance or outgoing bill this month, they call you to let you know that you will need to dedicate a larger amount of your own money to the mortgage repayments this month.
They understand your strategy
All investors need to have an investment strategy (seriously). Your PM needs to know and understand your strategy/plans so they can give you the best advice relating to your situation.
They tell you what you need to hear
Sometimes it’s the brutal truth that will set you free. A poor PM will tell you what you want to hear. A great PM will tell you what you need to hear.
Your PM should be working with your best interests in mind in every single decision they make for you and your property. So when your PM comes to you with some hard-to-swallow information, you need to have faith in them and trust their guidance. Do you?
They give you peace of mind
Property investing is without a doubt the best investment vehicle there is (even though it can make you riddled with anxiety). The bottom line is that your PM should give you peace of mind, no matter what happens. If you’re lying awake at night, thinking of all the things that can go wrong with your property/tenants/market, your afterthought should be absolute confidence that whatever happens, your PM will handle it.