Choosing a property management company for your investment home is an important decision, and one most landlords don’t take lightly. You could choose the large franchise names, or a small or ‘boutique’ firm. Which one is right for you? We outline 5 great benefits in choosing a small firm to manage your property, as well as give you some great questions to ask of any property manager.
ONE ON ONE ATTENTION
If you are looking for personalised service, a smaller property management agency is most often the best choice. A small business often has the freedom to spend more time interacting with their clients and customers, without the pressures of productivity KPI’s. Many large agencies burden their property managers with too many properties to save on employing more staff, leading to burnt-out, over-worked managers who are unable to handle the workload and thus the management of your investment is often left open to mistakes, lapsing due-dates and frustrated tenants.
If a manager knows you and your tenants well, they care about your outcomes and better placed to make good decisions on your behalf. At Lot 42, we are able to offer a more personalised service as we keep our portfolios small to allow us the time to really get to know our landlords, tenants and their properties: With us, you’re never ‘just a number’, your property is important to us and we work hard to ensure it’s always our priority.
If you currently have a problem getting feedback or any kind of communication on your properties, then switching to a smaller agency may help. A manager who has fewer properties to service, may be better placed to give regular feedback on your queries. Many large agencies field their calls and often you’re met with reception and leaving a message that is never returned. If you as a landlord are frustrated, think of how your tenants must feel!
Our communication and service extends to your tenants, too. Sometimes tenants can be seen as ‘issues’ when really, they’re the reason you invest! We give your tenants a direct contact to their property manager, and they are easily able to call, email or text for anything they need. Happy tenants more often than not lead to long-term tenants and because they feel heard they are more often happier, more respectful and caring of your investment.
SMALL AND MIGHTY SERVICES ON PAR WITH THE LARGER AGENCIES
Whether it’s taking on QCAT (Queensland Civil & Administrative Tribunal) or advertising your property for rent, smaller agencies have the same power and presence – if not more – than some of the larger firms.
At Lot 42, we’re ‘small but mighty’ – we offer premium advertising packages on realestate.com.au and six other leading rental websites and include professional photography and large, bright signage as standard, because we have the knowledge and experience to know how best to approach advertising your investment to attract the best tenants.
We keep a large, regularly updated database of prospective tenants to get your property rented fast. We also have the time to meet with prospective applicants and carefully process their applications to ensure all relevant background checks and references are carried out to ensure you’re confident with the tenants placed in your property.
So if size doesn’t matter, what does?
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR PROPERTY MANAGER
“What is your property to manager ratio?” Even more important than how many properties the agency has on their books, is how well they can service the ones they have. A low ratio will mean better, more personalised service for you.
“How can I get feedback from you?” A great company has great systems in place to ensure landlords get timely information on their property. Ideally, you should be able to access it whenever you need it.
“Can I call you directly?” As well as structured feedback, it’s important to be able to call your manager on an ad-hoc basis. An offer of a mobile number is ideal.
“What is your tenant screening policy?” This is a great question, and will bring forth varied answers. Apart from the usual checks, is the company treating tenants like humans? Beware those companies who seem unduly harsh towards their tenants. A property manager’s reputation always precedes them, and your property.
“What kind of policies do you have in place to help my property?” This will give you a good indication of the day-to-day things they do for their landlords from maintenance to vacancy timing, and rent collection. Ensure you’re happy with the way they’ll be running your investment.
“How would you handle the go-wrongs?” As much as we wish they didn’t happen, unfortunately from time to time things go wrong with your property. Getting your prospective manager’s policy on how they handle emergencies, repairs, damage, lost rent and disputes will give you great insight into the type of company you are dealing with.
A the end of the day, finding a company who will go the extra mile for you, and treat you and your tenants with respect is a great company to have on your side, regardless of their profile.