Don’t underestimate the value of a property manager
19 April 2017
There’s been a number of unsavoury news reports in the last couple of weeks about rental properties being destroyed by tenants. While these types of incidents are relatively uncommon, it’s worth noting in most cases the rental property in question was privately managed.
While it can be tempting to go it alone and manage your rental by yourself – premised upon the notion of saving on management fees – deciding to not use the services of a professional real estate agent is risky and can often cost you in the long run.
Avoid going it alone
The amount of work involved in managing a property and how complex it can be is often underestimated. While the majority of investors choose to use a property manager, there are still around 40 per cent of investments in WA that are self-managed. In my opinion, it isn’t worth the risk.
A property manager will take care of the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities of managing a property, and they’ll be well-versed on the Residential Tenancies Act. This is particularly useful if the property is damaged, maintenance is required or the tenant is being unreasonable.
As the owner of the rental, your emotional attachment to the property can be a detriment when dealing with the tenants yourself. A property manager acts as a link between the owner and the tenant, and will offer advice based on the best outcome for you.
Access to industry databases
A property manager also has access to the National Tenancy Database so they can identify any applicants who have a poor rental history when it comes to paying rent and maintaining a property. This is priceless information and can help you select the most appropriate tenant from the start.
Marketing your rental property
Perth’s current rental market offers tenants plenty of choice, which means investors need to work harder to attract interest in their property. A property manager will assist you with a marketing campaign to give you a competitive edge.
Plus, they have access to property websites, like reiwa.com which isn’t available to private landlords, so you can ensure your property is seen by as many people as possible.
Do your research before hiring
When selecting a property manager, it’s important you do your research. If you are negotiating with an agent about hiring a property manager, ensure you have a chance to meet them first.
You want to ensure you appoint someone who has excellent communication and people skills, is knowledgeable and experienced in the industry, pays attention to detail, and is professional and highly organised. Check too that they are a REIWA member, so you can be confident your interests are being protected.
Management fees are not excessive and are normally tax deductible. It’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes with having a professional handle the tenancy.