It can sometimes look like a property manager doesn’t do much more than collect your rent and charge you monthly for it. Though, the right property manager is worth their weight in gold. There is a lot more they cover off with rental properties from finding and placing your tenant all the way through to seeing them out. There’s also plenty of inbetweens your agent will handle for you and always make sure you and your asset are covered in all directions.
It is a very demanding job, it is also the reason why it has the highest turnover in staff throughout the industry. All day, property managers are putting out fires. They generally get contacted only when there’s a problem. Though, every now and then they’ll get a nice call from a happy landlord or tenant saying thank you, but they’re scarce. With ninety-nine percent of their day being filled with negativity, they move from one problem to another finding solutions and ensuring that all the properties they manage, landlords and tenants are all taken care.
When you appoint your manager, you will be provided with feedback relating to what you will rent your property out for. Once you have made decisions on the price you will advertise, photos will be taken (professional photos make all the difference) and your property will commence marketing. This is where it all begins, the right property manager will ensure that you take on the right tenant. It’s not just about putting someone in your property and taking the rent, as the wrong tenant may cost you more than it’s worth through damages or arrears, so patience is the key when looking for a tenant.
Once your tenant is in place, your agent will do all the paperwork, collect first month’s rent, bond and have draw up a condition report as insurance for you to know if there’s any damages outside of general wear and tear at the conclusion of the lease. If there is damage, this will be taken care of through repairs by the tenant or deductions from the bond. In addition to the condition report, the agent will do routine inspections. The first will most likely be conducted after the first three months and then once every six months. If the agent is keeping up to date with their routines, then they will be able to pick up any problems before they blow out into something more than minor fixes.
During the tenancy, your tenant may have requests, whether it be repairs or property changes, they will notify your agent who will look for the best way to go forward. Depending on the request, they will most likely go to your property to see what needs to be done and before they contact you, have everything in place so all you need to do is give it the go ahead. There is usually a budget put in place for any emergency fixes which can be used at the discretion of your agent, though it is only used for problems that need an immediate fix (i.e. plumbing, electrical, etc)
They will also keep you on the right side of the law. A property manager will ensure that your property will comply with the Residential Tenancy Act and have all the health and safety guidelines met. They will handle any evictions and go to the tribunal (VCAT) on your behalf. When you personally have to deal with these situations, it can become very heated and can work against you. Using a third party will keep the dealings objective and from past experiences, your agent will also know the best process to move with to get the best outcome for you.
Any late rental payment will be chased up immediately. You will be notified immediately that your tenant has fallen into arrears and be given notice on what is to happen next. A lot of the time the reasons are legitimate and actions will be put into place to have arrears paid as soon as possible. Other times, the steps will be taken to either have arrears paid or the tenant evicted. This is always difficult as peoples’ situations change every day. If your property manager is onto it, you will come it with minimal repercussions.
Throughout the tenancy, you will be advised if you should increase the rent. This is important that your agent is proactive in this area as it’s money in your pocket. Plenty of agents set and forget, though the extra ten or twenty dollars a week makes a huge difference over time and as this is your investment property and your future, you need someone who is on the ball keeping your rent in line with market value.
Once you start to breakdown what property mangers do, it becomes very surprising how much they deal with ever day. Appointing the right property manager will save you trouble and money, so make sure you take the time interviewing as many as you can. Once you have concluded your hunt, then pay the fees for the right agent and ensure that your future is secure.
The following advice is of a general nature and intended as an opinion and broad guide. For all legal, financial or real estate advice you should obtain independent professional advice to do with the specific nature of your circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.