Hiring a property manager demonstrates to prospective tenants that you are serious about providing a good service and protecting their rights, while saving you the time and hassle of keeping your property occupied, paid for and in a good state of repair.
But how do you choose a good property management service when there are so many to choose from? Is it a good investment to go with the larger companies, who have a dominant presence in the market but possibly less knowledge of your area, or a wise decision to work with small boutique property management services who can boast local knowledge while devoting the time and attention that your property needs? This article explores the important considerations when choosing the property manager who will help make your investment work for you.
Big Or Boutique, Property Management Should Be A Top Priority
No matter the size of the property management company you choose to work with, if you want the best then choosing one who specialises in property management is the name of the game. Many larger organisations will place a large emphasis on sales, with property management being more of a sideline or a way to get first dibs on your investment if you ever want to sell. This does not suggest that successfully managing your property is their first priority, whereas a boutique property management service such as Kenmore-Chapel Hill-Brookfield-Pullenvale area based Colleen Miles Management Services doesn’t just have a property management department – property management is all they do. The result of this is a stellar service dedicated to making your investment work.
Boutique property management agencies are sometimes also licensed to sell, but the fact they’ve chosen to specialise in property management means their training and experience are exactly matched to your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask a prospective agency for references – a dedicated property manager will have built up great relationships with property owners and will be proud to talk about their success.
Find Out What They Know About Your Area
When considering different property management agencies, never forget that the location is the most important of all. Even the larger, less specialized agencies should be able to tell you about your local market. In-depth local knowledge is a must-have for a successful property manager. They should be able to know everything from where to find the best tenants at short notice, to local by-laws that may affect the way your property is used. Boutique property management services often dedicate themselves to the area where they live and work. They do this by building up a wealth of local information that will repeatedly serve you well.
A “local” knows the area
Colleen Miles, for example, lives in Karana Downs, so knows this suburb, plus Karalee, Mt Crosby, Chuwar and Anstead intimately. Colleen manages her own executive property in Brookfield, where she formerly lived for many years. So not only does Colleen know the Kenmore area, she is equally at home managing property in Pinjarra Hills, Kenmore Hills and even towards Brisbane in Indooroopilly, where she manages other properties.
Boutique property management services often dedicate themselves to the area where they live and work. They spend time building up a wealth of local information that will repeatedly serve you well.
If you have multiple properties over a larger geographical area, then a larger company may serve you very well. However, if your investment is dedicated to Kenmore real estate, or another specific area, then boutique property management service that focuses on this area is more likely a better match for you.
How Do They Attract New Tenants?
It’s a property manager’s job to advertise your investment in such a way that they’ll attract desirable tenants. Don’t be shy about asking how they intend to do this for you. A property management agency’s marketing image will work for you or against you. Be sure to align yourself with an image that suits.
Great property managers don’t just attract tenants and sit on their laurels. They’ll be working tirelessly to build their reputation in such a way that the kind of tenants you want will think of them first. This doesn’t always mean the ‘big boys’ do it best, boutique property management agencies have the advantage of local knowledge and being available to give local customers the information they need. This means that if your property ever finds itself empty, people will associate your investment with a name they can trust, making it easier to fill with people who care.
What Happens After You Sign?
It’s great to be told your property will always be full. But another important consideration is how it is cared for when tenants are in.
From the moment a tenant moves in, you want to know the agency cares. Consider whether they will be there when your tenants inspect the property or if they just sign out the keys. Ask them about their procedures when tradesmen are called and find out who they use to do the work. The personal touch is a great sign of an agency working to prevent potential problems from the very first day. But even the best agencies have to deal with late payment. So you’ll want to know how they deal with payment problems if they ever arise.
Finally, Consider Their Workload
This is a question few landlords ask. It can, though, make an enormous difference to the quality of service you receive. Property managers working for larger firms may be dealing with as many as 200 properties at any one time. This may be manageable but it’s unlikely that a manger with this kind of workload will always have time to address your concerns. Smaller, boutique property management agencies are more likely to be dealing with 100-150 properties at most. This can be the difference between lip-service and personal service. True personal service is the basis of a long-lasting, satisfactory working relationship for all concerned.
Your property portfolio will help decide what kind of property manager is the one you need. Howver, don’t dismiss small local property managers without due consideration. Great service starts with local knowledge. Great business relationships and a dedicated property management service not dominated by sales can be a great advantage. If you own properties in Kenmore or the Western Suburbs, then a boutique property management service like Colleen’s is ideally suited to give you the first-class business service you need.