Warning! Top Mistakes That Landlords Make When They Choose Their Property Manager
Top tips on how to choose a Quality, Experienced Property Manager in the Foothills
So you have just put the hard work in doing the research to find the right investment property. You would of taken the time to research price, location, area, amenities etc. After this point you would of invested more time into contacting the agent, seeing the home and finally putting in an offer and hope its accepted. Further time would of then be spent on ensuring your finances are in order, your settlement agent has been selected and that this is indeed the right investment for you.
So why do so many investors INVEST the time in choosing the right investment property, but not INVEST any time in choosing their agent?
Choosing a quality property manager can be the difference between stress versus no stress, income versus no in come, damage versus no damage, having a successful investment property versus a none successful investment. Having time to enjoy your family life versus that time being taken away. If its such an important decision and can have such a HUGE impact on your life, why do so many investors not spend enough time in CHOOSING and INTERVIEWING their property manager!!??
I get so many calls, just asking about our fees? I don’t mind telling you our fees, but you should be asking some key important questions, that is going to advise you which of the above experience you will get. So many times, its i only want your fees and they don’t INVEST 20 minutes to meet with me, interview me, speak to see what our structure is and what makes us different to all the other Property Managers.
During the selection process of your property manager if you don’t have time to meet with them, all i ask is that you dont just ask for their fees. Instead ask more imperative questions, that will give you an insight into what kind of experience you will get should you chose that particular agent.
Can you tell me about your Property Management department, how many years experience do they have?
This is such an important questions. Too often agents are choosing inexperienced property managers to manage portfolios of 150-180 properties ( millions of dollars worth of assets). They do this because they are cheap and its difficult to come across quality, well trained Property Managers. Once the property Manager is experienced they generally leave as the industry has a high turn over of staff, due to agents not supporting their property managers or listening to their needs or offering solutions.
Its also important to ask how long have they been with the company. If all the staff have been there less than a 1 year, then that’s a worrying sign, that they are being over worked, not supported and no ongoing training and help is provided. This will result in high turn over of staff, meaning you will have a merry-go round of property managers.Causing a huge amount of frustration.
What is the structure within the team?
You want to know if they are on a “pod” system, how many properties 1 manager is handling, do they have an assistant property manager. This will give you an insight to where the agency is wanting the landlord to have a quality experience or if you will become another number in an already poorly managed, over stretched portfolio.
This will result in delayed communication, slow maintenance and frustrated tenants.
WARNING! If they don’t have a dedicated leasing consultant – DON’T CHOSE THEM!! Your property will fall to the bottom of the list in properties. A home open will be had during the day and wont be flexible around the tenants which is usually after 5pm and on weekends.This will cause your property to sits vacant, costing $$$
What procedural systems do they have in place to minimise human error?
Centurion Elite Property management prides its self on using the latest technology. We invest in the latest software to ensure our landlords are having the best experience but also helps the team becomes more “system dependent” rather than a “people dependent” . This means we remove human error and the PMS have the support to ensure they can carryout their works efficiency and effectively.
OLD SYSTEMS: GD, Maintenance Manager, Console, REST
NEW SYSTEMS: Inspect Real Estate, Property Tree, Property Me ,Property IQ
Where is the office located and are they specialised in an area, or don they manage all of Perth?
I believe it is important to find someone who has the experience in the property market that your particular property is located in and maximum a 20 k radios from this point. Too often i have a seen properties over priced, incorrectly marketed, and its obvious its from an ‘out of suburb agent’
On numerous occasions, I have had prospective tenants that have done a ‘drive by’ asking me on the off chance – can i show them through? In the last 6 weeks i have done this 4 times and leased 19 properties, with an average vacant day of 13.5 days. If its an agent that is located 45 minutes away, i believe they wont be as flexible to the tenants needs and therefore resulting in your property sitting vacant- costing you money.
Centurions office is located in High Wycombe and we specialise in a 20-30k radios from our office. The suburbs we manage include: Forrestfield, Kalamunda, Lesmurdie, Goosbery Hill, Guildford, Maddington, Bassendean, Midland,Hazelemere, Bellevue, Helena valley, Walliston, Kewdale, Ascot, Morley, Beechboro, Middle Swan, Harrisdale, Thornlie, Gosnells, Carmel, Bickley, Welshpool, Greenmount.
Meet your Property Manager and Interview them!!
It’s best to arrange to meet a short list of property managers at the property, as this gives you a great opportunity to observe them on their expertise. What advise do they give on the home, what tips tricks are they suggesting are they picking up on legislative requirements. It will help you decide if you feel comfortable working with them and should allow you to gauge their level of professionalism.
When you meet potential property managers, clarify which services are included in their proposal and ask some specific questions – for example, check how they handle arrears, routine inspections and rent reviews.
Is a director/owner of the agency involved in the day to day management of the property management department?
Most agencies have a sales department and a rental department. Generally the business owner has a sales background and not a rental background, and looks after the sales department leaving the management of their rental department to a property manager. This is often because the sales department has a higher turnover and high income.The rental department has a lower income, is more intensive and difficult to manage. You may find that an agency where the director has an active involvement of the property management department will take the business of property management more seriously.
At Centurion Denise Thompson is the licensee and Principal property manager. She has won property manager of the year and an investors herself.(For more information feel free to check out the “about us” page) The same applies for myself ( Justine Valender) I’m the leasing consultant and client relations manager and Director.
How much should i pay for a property manager?
You will find if you follow the steps above and ask the right questions, the agency with skilled property managers, that have been with the company for a long time and are investors themselves will not be the cheapest agency. However they will save you more time and more money by minimising your vacancy period, ensuring small problems don’t become big problems, rectifying tenant damage and working for you providing you with a quality service. In this industry you will pay for what you get. The cheaper agencies, you will find are cheap, because they are not experienced, they are over loaded with too many properties and too many different task and not supported.
We understand at Centurion Elite, that no two investments are the same. And no two people want the same thing from their investment properties. That’s why we take the time to listen to you, to understand what you’re looking for, and pair you with one of our unique service structures.
At our initial consultation, we will identify exactly what management services you need; whether you manage your property yourself, or are looking to switch to a new Property Management company, Centurion Elite can help.
Our ongoing mission is to provide the highest level of service to our clients to help them when renting out their property. We aim to assist you in making the best real estate decision possible based on your needs.
By choosing Centurion Real Estate, you are choosing a company that is local (based in High Wycombe) and skilled in real estate knowledge, a registered real estate property consultant, having completed the relevant courses at REIWA, and most importantly a skilled negotiator. We have a responsibility to ensure your needs are met to your total satisfaction and we have a genuine desire to deliver the best possible service to you.
Whatever your real estate needs, please contact us - we would love to help!