Before describing the qualities a good property manager should possess to qualify them, defining what they are is essential.
So, let’s say in some part of the country or city where you live, you have a rental property that you cannot attend to or are not interested in personally managing.
This means you need someone to help you manage or control what goes on in the property. That is where a property manager comes in. They are also known as estate managers.
Hiring a professional in the business of managing estates will save you a lot of time and hassle. But how do you know the one that will fit the role? Let’s cover some important points here.
Characteristics of a great property manager
Have excellent communication skills:
There is no business without communication, including the dealings between a landlord and property manager. Going by their job description, they are the landlord’s proxy – the middleman in the business. If there is a need for the tenant or landlord to call anyone, the first person that comes to mind is the estate manager. This is why they should be able to resolve daily problems that show up pragmatically. They need not be swayed by any emotional tell-tale but focus on critical challenges or fixes.
Rapid response and quick resolution of tenants’ queries using the quality solution will make them comfortable and, in turn, appraise you who owns the property. For instance, should you have responsible tenants that pay their rent duly and take care of your property, you certainly wouldn’t want to lose them. So, getting a manager that wields the power of effective communication – one that responds to tenants’ concerns on time will keep the rent flowing in as the tenants will love to retain the use of your property.
Regarding anything about your rental property, a great manager will not hesitate to disclose such information, including payment of rent, property maintenance, or a tenant’s intending plan to move out. Establishing innate core frameworks to make this kind of communication thrive is of great value.
Be highly efficient and organised:
Many different properties can be under the care of a great property manager, so it is crucial to get one that knows how well to satisfy the needs of both tenants and landlords. Attention to details, time management, and prioritising are just a few of the key elements that describe how complex this role is. But a manager who is on top of their game will not find any trouble in coordinating numerous projects at once without losing touch with the details that makes both tenants and landlords happy. A highly organised manager will even be an effective while away. How? By setting up strategies and systems that ensure a smooth operation.
Be trained with a focus on continual education:
A professional property manager understands the relevance of updating their knowledge on the market, industry, the dynamic legislation governing tenants and landlords, and stand-up investment opportunities.
That a manager knows when there is a change in rules and can give prior notice, plus the ability to cite recent regulations to a tenant, is a worthy trait that can help the landlord evade pricey repercussions following zero compliance.
Local rental market knowledge:
Properties differ from place to place, and so does tenant behaviour. It is essential that your property manager knows what works and doesn’t work in your local market. Find a manager with knowledge on:
- The cost of rent in the neighbourhood
- The level tenants’ demands
- The best way to connect with tenants using an advertising campaign or through the database
- The rental property qualities tenants find very attractive and are willing to pay more for
A good understanding of the local market will make you not charge less or more than what’s obtainable for your property type and strategically put the property on display to capture the interest of large potential tenants. Again, a knowledge of what the locals are willing to pay more for can give a better idea of redesigning your property to suit their needs and even help you charge more rent.
Be an experienced property manager or part of a highly experienced property management team.
Putting your high-value property in the hands of a manager is a significant risk, so ensuring they know their job or the group they are working with are high performers presently or in the past is crucial.
It would be best if you assessed a property manager on:
- How much experience they have in managing properties that look like your own
- How they can manage problem tenants and daily problems they fixed
- Their strategies in sourcing for tenants in a competitive rental market
Kindly remember that people may not look like their experience. There have been so many cases where managers join the rental industry and work their way to the top with zero years of experience. This was possible because they belonged to a high performing team and could use the existing expertise and knowledge around them. Should you meet a fresh talent in the rental property industry, don’t think less of their performance because they have no experience. However, should they have acquired the skills as mentioned above, and belong to a team of experienced and result-oriented managers, you could just be looking at the next best hands for your property.
Have an investor mindset focusing on helping their landlords maximise their investment success:
Hiring a manager with an investor’s perspective even though they are not professionals in property investment is a good bargain. Your manager should have an insight into what maximising your rental returns would bring, and a primary understanding of when purchasing an asset won’t yield enough income to cover the cost and when it will. Again, the manager should be sensitive to ensure the property funds its tax and give reasonable ideas on specific areas and methods to make the property more valuable.
Do you like to know how well your property investment is doing? Check the rental returns. It will tell if you are meeting your financial goals or not. This is one area a top manager never forgets. They know the effect and will do their best to reduce the rate of vacancy. Again, they will identify minor maintenance issues before it escalates and keep an eye on the local market to ensure what renters are paying for your property is the right amount.
Investment concepts well understood by a property manager is a plus that qualifies them.
Have strong references from both landlords and renters:
When a manager is highly recommended both ways, it is a huge sign of a positive impact from the tenants and landlords. Every quality manager shouldn’t find it difficult to get testimonials from landlords and tenants. Find out about the manager’s experience with customers, and look out for their reviews from Google. A great deal of good is done when the manager is good at meeting the expectations of the tenants and landlords.
A strong ability to negotiate when required:
There is no denying that there can be hiccups in performing property management duties. Imagine the horror of dealing with troubling tenants who won’t pay rent when due or protect the property in compliance with the contract. This is where an assertive and robust manager that can talk a problem through with tenants is critical. They can save the landlord the trouble of not sleeping soundly at night.
A perk of bringing in an estate manager is that the landlord doesn’t have to handle all the tenants’ headaches directly. This is why you need a firm, resolved, and effective manager to follow up rent arrears, resolve issues arising from property care, and evict a tenant when necessary.
Questions to ask a property manager
So you now know what qualities to look out for in a potential property manager. It is time to validate one among the candidates for the role of a property manager to help you and your investment. To do this, we have pulled out specific relevant questions that’ll give you a headstart as to what kind of property manager you are hiring. So, ask them the following questions:
- Who should I call if I need to, and what’s the length of their working relationship with the company/industry?
- Are there any other fees I should know of apart from the letting fee and maintenance fee?
- What is your rental arrears policy?
- Do you manage similar properties in the area, how many of them?
- Does every tradesperson on your team have a licence?
- Do your company organise training, what kind?
- What is your property inspection routine, and what kind of report do clients get from you?
- What digital tool do you employ? Can you provide real-time reports?
- What is your tenant screening like?
- Have you got average days on the market? Please talk about it
- What rate of vacancy do you have?
- What is your list price to lease price ratio?
- What’s your team like?
- Have you got recent references from both tenants and landlords, can I see them?
- Can I see your customer experience system and ratings?
With this guide, your decision to choose a property manager can be better informed. For extra help and support, contact A.M Rutty Coastal Estate Agents today, with locations in North Wollongong and Austinmer.