• Melanie Littlemore

What to look for in a property manager

One of the most important factors in maintaining a profitable investment property portfolio is having a great property manager. Although it can be tempting to consider managing everything yourself, a property manager not only knows the local market well, but they have processes and systems to make sure everything is running smoothly. In this article, we outline what key points you should look for when searching for a property manager.

Responsive communication

Communication and response time is a big part of finding and keeping quality tenants. Your property manager should be skilled in this area, along with the efficient day-to-day of managing properties. When repairs are needed, your property manager should promptly inform you of the problem and seek your advice and permission to sort out the situation.

Every property owner is different. Depending on how much contact you want to have with your property manager around repairs, you can set some ground rules for when they can make decisions to proceed without calling you first. This might be for certain regular maintenance jobs or small repairs under a certain dollar amount.

Portfolio size

At larger agencies, it can be common for property managers to look after hundreds of properties. Make sure you understand how many properties your property manager looks after, and who you can expect to speak with regularly.

Tenant selection

You want a property manager who is committed to finding you the best tenants in a timely manner, not just any tenant who applies. Look for a property manager who goes above and beyond by holding open homes themselves rather than an assistant. Their knowledge of your property provides an extra opportunity to promote all its features.

Geographic range

If you aim to grow your portfolio in a certain region, look for a property manager who covers the area where you're likely to continue buying. Some agencies today provide property management services only. As a specialised agency, these businesses often cover a larger area, which gives them the ability to give you a wider breadth of market knowledge along with specialised and dedicated service. You can also benefit from their knowledge of good areas to choose for your next property and the likely returns.

Trust and industry knowledge

Your property manager is likely to be looking after some of the biggest assets in your financial portfolio. You want them to be approachable and knowledgeable! Speak to other local investors and review feedback on Google and social media to make sure you find a knowledgeable property manager you can build a great working relationship with.

Like other elements of your investment journey, the property manager you choose will depend on your unique goals and your investment type. In most cases, property management fees are an eligible deduction, so engaging a quality property manager can offset some of your costs, as well as leaving you with time to focus on more important things in your life, whether that's hobbies, time with family or continuing to grow your portfolio.

Remember, this article does not constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your professional financial and legal advisors before making any decisions for yourself.

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