Are you feeling overwhelmed by the daily responsibilities of managing your rental properties? Or, have you found that the income from your properties is not as passive as you had intially hoped? You are not alone.
Owning rental or investment property can be a great way to diversify your investment portfolio or create an almost ‘passive’ income stream for the longer term. But being a landlord can be challenging, and as your rental property portfolio grows, it can get more complicated and time-consuming to manage on your own. That’s where a property manager comes in.
These professional real estate companies handle all aspects of renting your property, allowing you to collect rent without worrying about tenant issues or repairs. In this article, we’ll explore the advantages of hiring a property management agency and provide valuable insights on selecting the perfect one for your property.
A property manager is a real estate professional who handles most aspects of acquiring and tending to your tenants. The level of property management services will vary according to your personal circumstances and lifestyle, as well as the needs of your home. ‘Full Service’ management, as the name suggests, can include everything from advertising the property and sourcing tenants, maintenance and repairs, improvements, renewals, property inspections, tenant relations, sending notices, and being there to handle any other eventualities that may arise. Essentially, they act as gatekeepers to a world of potential time sinks and stresses for you. Instead of you getting ‘the call’ on the weekend – your property management agency does, and for many, this peace is worth paying for.
Handy landlords with just one or two properties for rent may find that they can easily handle most maintenance jobs themselves, and with the ongoing demand for rental properties across Australia, they may even find tenants in the short term not too taxing. For these landlords, a lower service offering – where the agency is only responsible for advertising and leasing- may be more cost-effective. However, if you have multiple properties, or the properties require significant upkeep, hiring a property manager can also be a practical (as well as cost-effective) idea. A skilled local property manager can aid you in not only operating that property from a distance but helping you understand and respond to the market and even identify new opportunities.
When hiring a property manager, you will sign a contract that stipulates exactly what duties the property manager will and will not be required to perform, as well as their remuneration. These fees are usually negotiable, and can range from 10% to 20% of your monthly rent for ongoing management, and additional fees may apply for specific tasks or situations. But once you are clear about inclusions and exclusions, it also important keep the following in mind:
Always be sure to engage a local professional who operates and has experience managing real estate in the same area of your property. Local agents of worth will have extensive local area advertising and reach, existing clients on their books, and can have a hands-on approach to the management of your treasured asset. Local agents will have an eye for local rental values and can guide you on the best price you can charge for your property in the current market.
When considering a property manager, don’t be afraid to ask for references from previous clients. Reach out to someone who has had their property managed by the individual or company in question and ask for an honest and recent evaluation of their performance. Inquire about how they handled tenant complaints, the speed of their responses to inquiries, and most revealing of all – if they would use their services again!
Choosing the right property management agency is crucial to ensure a smooth and compliant experience for all parties involved. One of the key factors to consider is the agency’s knowledge and understanding of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. By making sure they are well-versed in this legislation, you can be confident that their agreements and tenancies will be in compliance and that any potential disputes will be minimized. So, if you’re looking for a hassle-free and legal property management experience, be sure to do your due diligence and select an agency that has a proven track record of compliance and expertise in the field.
When looking for a property management agency, it’s important to consider their experience managing properties similar to yours. For example, if you own a waterfront property, it’s beneficial to find an agency that has experience managing similar properties and understands the unique challenges that come with them. The same goes for properties like acreage, or multiple-unit dwellings, the agency should have experience managing these types of properties and know how to handle their unique needs.
You must have a clear idea of how your property manager will communicate with you regarding the status of your property. Many companies today provide regular property updates via an online dashboard, whilst others offer a more personalised service and will call you regularly with any updates. The takeaway is that you want to be informed of the essential things but allow the smaller and more mundane tasks to be taken care of without input whilst not being kept in the dark. Finding this balance is all about effective communication.
Owning rental property can be a great way to diversify your investment portfolio, but managing it can be a lot of work. Hiring a property management company can take care of the day-to-day tasks, allowing you to relax and enjoy your investment. If you’re struggling to keep up with the demands of managing your properties or want to shift your focus to other aspects of your life, consider hiring a property management company. They can handle all aspects of managing your properties, making it a truly “set and forget” experience.
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