Wednesday, 25th of May 2022
6 Things to Look For in a Property Manager
As a property investor, if you’re looking to secure the highest rental value possible and the reassurance that your property is well maintained, it’s essential to engage a professional property manager. The right manager will know how to attract tenants, set the rent at the right level, and will have a strong network of reliable tradespeople, among other things. But how do you identify who to trust with your valuable asset?
We’ve outlined the 6 main factors to look at when researching property managers and have also included a handy checklist to help you find a reliable and expert property manager.
1. Independent Endorsement
Anyone can write words on a page and make big claims about the services they deliver and how well they deliver them.
Testimonials are an essential tool in evaluating the claims a property manager or agency are making. They provide proof of a high standard of service delivery and industry expertise. A good Property Manager should be able to provide testimonials such as these which help to validate the level of service and attention to detail you can expect from your property manager and leasing agency.
Awards are an independent endorsement and therefore provide the credibility needed when assessing which Property Manager to engage with from the many that exist. Organisations such as Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) and Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) are credible organisations and an award received by either one is an acknowledgement of premium service.
Our Principal, Kristy Copping, is currently WA’s leading Property Manager after receiving the Residential Property Manager Of The Year title at the REIWA Awards For Excellence in 2019 and 2021, also picking up the recent accolade for 2022 as well – that’s 3 times in 4 years! Kristy was also shortlisted as a finalist at the Real Estate Institute Of Australia (REIA) National Awards For Excellence, in the Residential Property Manager Of The Year Finalist (2022) category, where she represented Western Australia.
When conducting your research, look for awards from organisations such as REIWA and REIA to garner an understanding of how well the property manager is performing compared with their industry peers. After all, your investment property is too valuable to leave in incapable hands.
The PPM team celebrating our Property Manager Of The Year Award at the 2022 REIWA Awards For Excellence
2. Being 100% Focused On Property Management
An agency that only deals with property management is going to deliver a much better service than one for which it is just one revenue stream. An easy way to check if the agency is a true specialist, and not just a department of a larger organisation, is whether the Director or Principal is a Property Manager themselves with a full understanding of the market.
At PPM our Director, Kristy, is involved in the management of every property we manage so our clients are assured of a professional service backed by vast experience and extensive industry knowledge.
So, how exactly does a specialist agency deliver a better service?
You receive the focus and attention to detail that a larger agency cannot deliver when they offer a range of property services. At PPM we focus all our energy on maximising returns for investors and implementing strategies that lower risk.
A specialist is more agile, can respond quicker and resolve any issues in a much shorter timeframe. A smaller, specialised agency will not need chasing up which could be the case with a larger agency where your property is one of many.
Committed and dedicated staff
Specialised agencies tend to retain staff longer than larger agencies, meaning you get to work with the same property manager for a longer period and they develop a deep knowledge of your property. Ask about the size of the team and how many properties each agent manages. This is important as it’s common for property managers to be overworked from managing too many properties.
A small, specialist agency can tailor their service to meet the needs of the investment, which is critical in maximising returns.
The PPM boutique, personalised service ensures our clients are always top priority.
A specialist agency will have highly developed internal processes covering all aspects such as selecting quality tenants, managing requests and frequency of inspections, for example. Every facet will be seamless so ask them about their processes. A good agency will be able to effectively manage a property no matter how many they have because they have implemented tools such as technology that makes communication easier and automate manual tasks to improve efficiency.
For further information on what to look for in a property manager, take a look at our PPM Client Commitment.
3. Experienced/Trained Principal and Staff
If the owner and Principal of the business is an expert in property management, you can be assured that the correct decisions regarding your property will be made.
The rental market is full of legislation and nuances, so it’s important that the staff are fully up to date and are experts at understanding the market. An experienced agency will be able to advise you on how to minimise risk as they are aware of all regulations and legislation to protect you and your investment.
A good Property Manager will love to talk to you openly about their knowledge of the current rental market and what could happen in the future. At PPM, we always go above and beyond to deliver modern and innovative strategies that ensure an investor will get the most out of a property.
4. Advice and Services
Only a true specialist with vast experience is going to be able to provide the level of advice that will maximise your returns. This isn’t just the highest rental value possible, it’s also ensuring minimum vacancy periods and long leases, as the less the tenants change, the more income you’ll receive.
They will also be able to guide you on what insurance policies offer security when needed, to protect your income stream and asset whilst avoiding the pitfalls of the fine print.
Whether to rent as furnished or unfurnished? What rental value to set? What is the best tenant profile for the property? This is where a specialised, experienced Property Manager is really going to shine.
PPM are experts at suggesting way to increase returns and reduce risks, including improvements to the property and securing longer leases. For some free, top line advice on renting your property check out our Owner Tips & Guides.
To ensure low vacancy rates, maximum returns, content tenants and hassle-free maintenance, every part of the process needs to seamless. A turnkey service should include the following:
Listing Your Property
Listing your property should be simple, straightforward and most of all, effective. Ask the agency what tactics they are employing to list the property to attract the biggest pool of suitable tenants. We’ve refined our listing process to streamline this step for owners and to ensure a streamlined experience for new management.
If you’re interested in our award-winning approach to listing properties, you can view our listing process here.
A good agency should have strategies for securing high quality tenants who stay long term. They will have a rigorous screening process and a strong advertising strategy. With Perth’s vacancy rate at an all-time low, it’s now more important than ever to ensure you get the right tenants into your property for the right price, contract length and with the right flexibility for both parties to get the most out of the arrangement. At the end of the day, you don’t want to keep changing tenants as this can cost you time and money and reduce the efficiency of your investment.
There are important matters to cover which are governed by Western Australian Residential Tenancies Act. Only with a specialist can you be fully assured that everything complies with the rules and regulations. We pride ourselves on our industry knowledge which helps to guide our owners and investors into get the most out of their property, whilst communicating closely with tenants to ensure both parties are on the same page.
Take a look at our Rental Agreement Process for a closer look at how we manage this.
Property inspections are an important part of good property management. It’s the way for Landlords to ensure the property is well maintained and a way for Tenants to officially communicate any issues or concerns they may have. We have a specific process in place to help manage inspections at the start, end and during tenancy agreements which enable us to keep on top of maintenance and repairs to ensure the property is being given the treatment it deserves.
Check out our Property Inspections for a full run down on why inspections are so important.
A good agency will have strong relationships with reliable and skilled tradespeople and therefore be able to get repairs done quickly and more cost effectively.
5. Communication Skills
A Property Manager needs to communicate with several people regarding the property, sometimes all at once. They need to talk to tenants, landlords, and any trades people or service people required to keep the property in working order. Their ability to manage the property effectively will strongly rely on their ability to communicate openly, objectively, and firmly.
Managing the relationship with tenants is one of the most important aspects of property investment so it’s imperative to weigh up their communication skills.
It’s also important that they are accessible and proactive at keeping you up to date. At PPM we provide regular updates to investors about their property, market trends and advice relating to their specific property.
6. Track Record
A Property Manager with a good reputation clearly takes pride in delivering a good service, so ask around amongst your friends and family what they’ve heard regarding the quality of service and how responsive and professional they are.
Other more quantitative ways of measuring their track record include average vacancy rates, number of long-term clients, and staff retention rates.
An experienced Property Manager should be able to provide you with results such as these.
Your Ideal Property Manager Checklist
Seeking a property manager to manage your investment property? Here is a checklist you can work through which will outline if they have all the criteria needed to ensure you get the very best service going around.
- Awards - particularly from reputable organisations such as REIWA and REIA
- Testimonials - these will usually be found on their website, but you can request them and look at the online reviews
Specialisation & Structure
- Is the owner or Principal a trained property manager and actively involved in the business?
- What is their response timeframe?
- Do they have highly developed internal processes?
Experience and Trained Principal and staff
- Is the owner a Property Manager themselves?
- What training has the team had?
- How experienced are they?
Advice & Service
- Do they provide advice on how to maximise returns and minimise risks?
- Do they provide a turnkey service?
- What tactics do they employ to attract a large pool of suitable tenants?
- How do they screen and select tenants?
- How do they manage tenants to ensure they’re content?
- How often do they conduct rental inspections?
- Do they have a strong network of qualified tradespeople?
- How quickly are maintenance issues resolved?
- How do they handle difficult tenants?
- How do they manage late rental payments?
- How do they handle emergencies?
- How quickly can they resolve issues when they arise?
- How often will the keep you updated?
- How accessible are they?
- What is their average vacancy rate?
- How many long-term clients do they have?
- How long do they retain staff?
If you want to secure a Property Manager who delivers low vacancy rates, increased rental returns, happy tenants, and hassle-free repairs when required, a good place to start is by following the guidelines in this article, or working through the above checklist.
As investment properties are often the most valuable asset we own, it makes sense to devote a great deal of time to selecting the right person for the job to ensure you get the very best out of your rental property.
Here at Perth Property Management, we’ve been delivering exceptional service to our owners for years, whilst consistently obtaining recognition from awarding bodies both locally and nationally.
So, if you’re considering a switch of agency, or have a vacant rental property to lease, we welcome you to reach out for a chat via our Contact Page to hear about our award-winning strategies and processes.