For many Australians, owning a property will be one of the most important financial commitments of their lives. For Australian expats, purchasing an investment property back home is often an attractive strategy, particularly when in relation to tax planning. When it comes to purchasing an investment property, many will spend a great deal of time and resources in conducting their research into the right location, dwelling type, property attributes and infrastructure, however once the property is identified the level of detailed research seems to stop.
Given that the property will likely be a significantly financial outlay for most, it’s important that you do all you can to protect your investment, and this includes the selection of your property manager. You can first develop a shortlist of potential property managers from word of mouth from your friends and family, by checking out online reviews of some of the larger property managers in the area and by asking your property investment adviser or buyer’s agent for recommendations in the area.
Once you’ve developed your shortlist of potential property managers, it’s time to start assessing which will be the best fit for you. We’ve outlined below our top questions to ask them to determine if they’re the right property manager for you:
- Is property management a core business focus for the company?
Is property management something that the firm specialises in, or is it simply a side business that they’re recently entered into as a strategy to boost revenue. Many real estate sales agencies will also have a property management arm but do not give it the attention it deserves. It’s important that the property management division is well-staffed consistently to ensure that you can continue to receive a consistent level of excellent service.
- How long has the potential property manager been in the industry?
It’s important to consider how long the potential property manager has been in the industry as well as how long they plan to stay. The last thing you want is to be changing over your property manager every 6 – 12 months as this can be quite disruptive. A property manager that has been in the industry for some time will have experienced a wide range of tenants and different issues that they have faced and successfully dealt with, which can add significant value to you as the landlord.
- What areas/suburbs are covered by the property manager?
If you’re planning to accumulate a number of properties of the years and build up your portfolio, you may want to consider working with the one property manager who can look after your overall portfolio. If this is the case, then consider working with a property manager that covers a wide area, while still having excellent local knowledge where your properties are based.
- How many properties does the property manager look after?
As a general rule of thumb, any number over 150 per property manager would in many cases be considered too many. While everything is going smoothly, this may not be a huge issue, but as soon as you need something actioned quickly or have an issue with a tenant, you will want their attention and this can be quite difficult if they have 150 – 200 other clients to deal with.
- How does the property manager assess potential tenants?
It’s important to consider the screening process that the property manager goes through to assess tenants for your investment property. They should have access to national databases and carry out as many checks as possible to ensure that they minimise the risk of potential problems with tenants for you as the landlord.
- How do they promote their available listings?
You should review how the property manager promotes their existing listings, which you can easily do by simply reviewing their available options online. Consider the photos of the property, descriptions detailing the property and the area as well as how quickly they respond to enquiries.
- How does the property manager handle complaints from tenants?
You should consider the property manager’s process for dealing with complaints from tenants and decide whether you feel it is appropriate. By putting yourself in the shoes of the tenant, you can quickly assess whether you would be happy with the process, and therefore whether you’re happy or not to engage that property manager.
Building your investment property portfolio can be an exciting, rewarding and equally daunting process for many. By ensuring that you partner with the right people, including an excellent property manager, you can ensure that you put yourself on the right track to achieve your financial goals.
LoanSuite Pty Ltd is your lending partner for all of your home loan, investment property, business and commercial financing needs. With our wide range of lending solutions, expertise in financial planning and investment strategies, and extensive experience in working with both Australian residents and Australian expats, we are your partners for your lending needs.
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