I have said before that when investors are making enquiries about property management services, the first thing they usually want to speak about are fees. I believe this is because there is an unfortunate misconception that all property management agencies are the same and so they look at the cost as the deciding factor when appointing a managing agent.
I have always found it a bit perplexing that people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on an investment property only to hand it over to the cheapest agent they can find to manage it for them.
The truth is that there is a vast difference between a good and a bad Property Manager.
A poorly managed rental property can be a recipe for disaster and end up costing you greatly in the short and long run. A rental property is likely your most valuable investment and a poorly managed investment is unlikely to perform well.
To help make sure your property is in the best possible hands, I have outlined my top 4 tips for selecting a quality property management agency.
- Experienced Property Managers – Good Property Managers are hard to come by. Property management is a difficult job. Chasing up unpaid rent, managing maintenance, keeping up to date with ever-changing legislation, property inspections etc. Being the go-between for tenants and landlords can mean Property Managers are often in difficult or uncomfortable situations. With a limited number of long-term Property Managers in our industry, some agencies are forced to start brand new Property Managers in a portfolio and have them learn on the job as they go along. This tends to also be a cost-saving exercise for the agency as less experienced Property Managers have much lower wages, (hence the cheap fees) and this lack of experience can have very serious and expensive consequences for landlords. Another new trend gaining popularity is to “outsource” Property Management tasks offshore to virtual assistants who work for next to nothing, so your property could be partially managed by an unknown person in another country, with little quality control over their skill and diligence. At Paragon Property we only employ senior Property Managers. It is of the upmost importance to us that your property is managed to a high standard by an experienced Property Manager who is fully responsible for all aspects of the daily management of your investment.
- Attention to detail – It is imperative that your Property Manager has enough time to properly look after your property. If your Property Manager has a large portfolio then they can be spread too thin and you become just a number. In some smaller agencies, it is up to your Property Manager to handle everything from rental leasing campaigns, home opens, inspections, reception relief, account management plus all day-to-day management tasks. At Paragon Property our small portfolio numbers mean our managers have enough time to dedicate their personal attention to your property. Our Property Managers are also supported by an accounts team as well as a dedicated Leasing Agent to ensure your property is looked after like it was our own. We also have an emergency contact phone that is monitored 7 days a week to make sure you and your tenants are never without our support.
- Communication – When was the last time you heard from your Property Manager? Are they sometimes hard to get hold of? This is probably the most common bugbear I hear from landlords that are dissatisfied with their current agents and are looking for a change in property management. There is really no reason why your Property Manager should be hard to get hold of if they have a correctly structured portfolio. Your Property Manager works for you and should always be getting back to you within a reasonable time frame. We place a very strong emphasis on communication and we work towards a 1 business day maximum turn-around time to respond to you where possible. If for example your Property Manager is out, i.e. doing inspections and you need something urgently our great support team or our Head of Property Management is always on hand to assist.
- Reputation – When selecting a Property Management agency make sure they are in it for the long haul. Some agencies stockpile managements with the intention of selling their rent roll later down the track. In 2021 approx. 450 rent rolls changed hands in WA alone. At Paragon Property our rent roll has grown organically, our clients and listings come because people understand that we care, we are a family business, and our service is important to us and. Paragon Property has been the premier agency in our market for over 20 years as reflected on Google and Rate My Agent.
Whether you are looking to purchase, or you currently own an investment property it is just so important to understand the value of an experienced Property Manager!
If you have any questions about investing in property, please contact us today.
Written by Ben Broadley
Business Development Manager at Paragon Property