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Empower Wealth Blog post by Empower Wealth

Checklist for a Great Property Manager

One of the many things we do that our competitor Buyer’s Agents don’t all do is offer an independent recommendation when it comes to the final stage in your property purchasing journey. We don’t just leave our clients with a great property and wish them well, we actually take an active role in making sure their newest asset is managed by a professional who will deliver the same level of commitment and service as we have along the journey. One way we do this is by building a panel of trusted professionals out there who we can refer our clients to (note we do not take any commissions or payments), or in the case of finding a property in an area where we don’t have panel coverage, we will interview multiple managing agents on behalf of our clients and then make our recommendation. After all, the property is too important to hand over to just anyone, and the quality of tenant and amount of rental income is critical to every client’s strategy.

So why do landlords shop around on price and neglect to interview the person who will be managing their asset?

We don’t understand either.

Aside from vacancies, bad tenants, late payments and damaged property, there are other little things that a satisfactory property manager won’t do that a great property manager will do….. and all of these little things add up.

First and foremost, a great property manager remembers who they are working for. They look after YOUR asset and make sure that any phone calls they make to you are unavoidable. For instance, if your tenants enter into a fixed lease and are happy enough making rental payments and enjoying their home and then all of a sudden ask for a satellite dish, or a new screen door, or an air-conditioning unit, the question needs to be asked “given you knew the property didn’t have this feature when you signed the lease, what are you prepared to offer up to the landlord if I approach them to make this request?” In other words, it needs to be a proactive win-win if the agency is asking you to spend money on the property for non-maintenance items.

A property manager who fields every tenant’s call and hassles the landlord is not saving a time-poor landlord money OR time.

Secondly, a great property manager is well connected and well organized when it comes to dealing with maintenance issues. They will have a panel of reliable tradespeople on hand and they will coordinate reasonable quotes for you seamlessly. A poor property manager will either leave it all to you to coordinate, or worse still, will send through quotes which are not reasonable and aren’t challenged.

Thirdly, a great property manager will have an ear to the ground and will know how happy your tenants are, what’s going on in the area, when the tenants are thinking of going, what the property’s rental value is, and when the opportune times are to re-let. A poor property manager will ring you in surprise when your tenant gives notice that they are vacating and a poor property manager will miss the queues when it comes to listing the property at the right value and at the right time.

A great property manager will tell you in advance when it’s time to put up the rent and will advise the best way he/she is going to go about it. An average property manager may wait until you ask about rents – and some property managers out there let good tenants fall into paying well under market rent…. all because it’s too easy to leave a happy tenant where they are and avoid giving them a rent increase. We witnessed a situation just this week gone where a tenant was paying $170pw and the identical unit next door had a rent increase to $250pw accepted by the tenant. The managing agent’s reason for leaving the rent so low was “He’s been there for a very long time.” Of course he would stay there long term… it’s a bargain.

A GREAT property manager manages your property like it’s their OWN and aren’t afraid to be firm with tenants or make recommendations (however unpopular their recommendations may be.)  Now they are the property managers we like!

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