10 Important Questions to Ask When Looking for a Property Manager

Happy couple seal a deal with their personal financial advisor at home

If you’re new to investing and don’t know where to start looking for a property manager, or if you don’t have the time or energy to manage your own property, finding the right manager can be daunting.

You want to be sure you’re putting your investment in the hands of someone you can trust. Employing a good property manager can be the difference between having a stress-free investment and a time-consuming and energy-draining worry.

In addition, a good agent will not only look after your property, they will also help you get the best out of your investment, such as by giving you some extra tips that may increase your rental potential.

Finding the right property manager is easier if you ask the right questions. Here are ten important questions to ask when looking for a property manager:

  1. How long have you been managing property?

You want to be sure your property manager has the experience and legal knowledge of property management and knows how to deal with any adverse issues tactfully and correctly.

  1. Is there a dedicated property management team in the agency?

While experience and knowledge is essential, you also want to be sure your agent is solely dedicated to managing your property and not getting side tracked by making sales.

  1. How do you market my property and attract tenants?

The last thing you want is for your property to be empty for a length of time and costing you money. Ask whether the agent has a database of quality tenants looking for a home and/or what marketing strategies will fit your property. Do they use online activities only? Also ask if any additional costs are involved.

  1. What process do you have when reviewing tenants?

There are many screening tools available to property management companies, such as employment verification, contacting previous landlords, credit checks and using a tenant database.

  1. Can I put special stipulations on my tenancy agreement?

Some properties, such as strata, have may have certain rules and regulations that all residents, (including tenants), have to abide by. For instance, some strata corporations have a no pets rule while some apartments don’t allow washing to be hung over the balcony. Read our article on the restrictions a landlord can legally put on a tenancy.

  1. How often do you inspect my property?

You want to be sure you your property is properly cared for. Most agents generally have an inspection every three to four months.

  1. What happens if there are maintenance issues?

Many agencies have a preferred is of contractors who give discounted rates to the agent. However, the agent may charge you an additional fee for managing the maintenance. Some landlords prefer to be simply notified of any maintenance issues and use their own contractors, paying them directly.

Also, in the event of you having major tenant issues, ask your agent if they will represent you court and whether there is an additional cost associated with this.

  1. What is the full cost of management fees?

Make sure you ask what is included and what isn’t included in your contract. And ask whether GST is included too.

  1. What realistically is the weekly rental potential of the property?

Ask the agency what rents they are achieving for similar properties. And if they don’t think your property will achieve those rates, ask them why.

  1. What makes you different from other agents?

The point of difference between agents is essential if you’re looking at deciding between agents with similar valuations and commission fees.

Property management isn’t just about finding tenants and collecting rent. We believe in providing a service, regular communications and providing additional information and property management tips are also important.

The service you get from an agent before you’ve signed on the dotted line may give you an indication of the service you’ll get if you decide to sign the contract. For instance, has the agent been helpful, properly answered your questions and are they timely with returning calls?

We recommend you speak to two or three agents and see what kind of a rapport you feel you have with them.

If you are looking for a property management agent, would like to know what you have to do to increase your rental potential, or even just want to know how property management and investment works for future reference, our knowledgeable and experienced team would love to help. With over 40 years of business in the area, we are one of Newcastle’s longest established real estate offices, so give us a call on 02 4956 9777 or pop into our office for a chat.