When it comes to choosing a property management company, it's worth paying attention to that age-old saying that 'you get what you pay for'.
Choosing the cheapest property management company may seem like a good idea at the time, particularly if you're feeling the pressure on your bank balance after purchasing an investment property, but cheap is not cheerful when it comes to protecting your very valuable asset and it's important to choose wisely.
Very simply, property managers aren't all equal and quite possibly, the one that's offering its services at the lowest fee could also be the one that delivers the least amount of value. Of course, as a property investor, you would be looking at maximising the returns on your investment so you wouldn't want to waste money, but saving a few dollars on cheaper property management upfront could very likely cost you a lot more over the long run.
Let's look at why price is misleading when it comes to making a choice of property manager.
Firstly, you need to evaluate what the property manager is offering for that price. You should ascertain how many properties each person manages and what services they provide. If they have a multitude of properties on their books with only one property manager looking after them all, they could end up being too busy to focus on the important details of your investment.
You should check how often they will be performing inspections and whether they will be corresponding directly with the tenant to handle any maintenance requests and so on. Very often, a property management company that offers its services for at a very cheap rate will do little more than place tenants and collect rent every month, leaving the property owner to do all the running around.
And that brings us to another very important point - quality of tenant. A reputable property management company will have an extensive database of prospective tenants and a proven strategy for attracting quality tenants quickly and efficiently. And that's important because if the letting agent isn't totally focused on getting your property tenanted with the right type of person as quickly as possible, you could end up with costly vacancies or a high turnover of inappropriate tenants.
The best property managers also know their areas very well, and they're able to make informed recommendations about what rents can realistically be achieved, what property upgrades are necessary in order to make the property more marketable or if anything can be done to attract a higher rent etc. They are also proactive when it comes to alerting owners when leases are due for renewals, advising owners of changes to council regulations and services (e.g. changes to rubbish bin collections, renewals for termite proofing or smoke alarms etc).
Warning bells should ring if a property management company that is offering cheap rates has a reputation for high staff turnover. If the employees aren't happy, you probably won't be happy either.
Ideally, your property manager should pride themselves on their ability to communicate and the way they diligently return phone calls - as they do at Time Conti Sheffield, leaders in property management in Perth. Another thing that sets Time Conti Sheffield apart from their competitors is that each property owner has a single point of contact with a senior property manager at the company - and that's not something that happens too often in the property management game.
If this level of service appeals to you, have a chat to one of Time Conti Sheffield's professional staff on 08 9362 5333 or visit their website to see what personalised property management service looks like.