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How To Find The Best Property Management Company For You

property management companies

It doesn’t matter if you’re new to property management or a long-time property owner, employing the right property manager can be a great investment. It’s much like hiring a new member of staff, you’ll want to be thorough in your searching process, usually interviewing a number of different candidates and reference checking for extra security. The initial commitment to researching the right property manager should ensure you find someone who understands the quality of tenant you require, your ability and willingness to maintain your investment, and in turn, be able to perfectly matched your property to the right tenant, ensuring quiet enjoyment of your investment to give you great returns in the long term.

When searching for property managers in Melbourne, you first need to decide what you require in a property manager. Are you wanting someone to just collect the rent each month? Are you wanting someone to organise the maintenance, or are you wanting to organise your own trades? Are you wanting someone to find a new tenant? The role of a property manager will be decided by those needs, so before engaging any property manager, decide which level of involvement you need before interviewing the wide range of property management companies in Melbourne. The best property management companies will give you choice, will cost a small premium, which is all tax deductible, and ensure you have a quality tenant.

First and foremost, understand that finding a property manager is a business decision. Take all emotion out of the equation, and choose a property manager that is professional, caring and aligns with your investment needs. A great way to find the right property manager for you is to gain referrals, be it from friends, local real estate agents or even online reviews where there are a growing amount of platforms for rental providers to review and rate industry professionals. It can be a difficult task, but often unveils information that you would rather know now than later.

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Early days, you’re going to have to choose between a large or more boutique type of operation, with each type having their advantages and disadvantages. Check their turnover of staff. Many property investors get disillusioned by the fact that a different property manager is looking after their property every 12 months. They signed up with a particular property manager, not to be shuffled around the office. A property manager should be building a relationship with you, understanding your needs. Some offer a service that they have a small team of property managers who are responsible for your property, where if your main property manager was on leave and you or your renter needed assistance, you know by name, exactly who would be their support.

We’d recommended compiling a list of around four of five property management companies before interviewing, then look to make a video call or meet with your potential property managers in person to go through a number of important questions, such as:

-          How can your services help my properties be profitable?

-          What do you charge for your management services?

-          What do you charge for your leasing services?

-          What do you charge for VCAT hearings?

-          How often do you find yourself in VCAT hearings?

-          How many properties do you usually manage and what kind?

-          How do you collect the rent?

-          How soon after you collect the rent do you pay us?

-          What kind of experience do you have?

-          How do you communicate with clients?

-          What’s your process if a renter is late with their rent?

-          What’s your personal experience in buying and leasing property?

-          What do you know about the demographics of the suburb where my property is located?

-          How much would you expect the rent to be on my property?

-          Do you see opportunity to raise the rent in the future?

 

Review your different candidates with their individual pros and cons and discuss with others, like your accountant or tax advisor, who would be most optimal for your investment.

Most property managers in Melbourne use dedicated property management software, to help streamline the process for all parties. Renters can pay rent easily and make requests through online platforms that can quickly link up to networked services. While some older renters still like to go into the office each month with a cheque or cash, the traditional systems are being phased out, to ensure all accounts, official documents and payments are secure in the one place, with some allowing for direct communication between rental providers, property managers and renters.

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Check to see which property management companies in Melbourne have a strong online presence. See how they market their rental properties. Are they using photos from their iPhone, or are they using professional photos? Are the photos 10 years old or are they new? Are they writing their own advertising copy, or are they enlisting a professional writer? Do they use floorplans to show their prospective renters the layout? A 15-minute inspection of a property does not give prospective renters the best opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a property, so the online presence is critical in attracting the right renters. Also check their social media usage, and see how many followers they have.  Most property management companies also have an online database of potential renters, especially those looking for a long time, so ask your property manager if they have anyone in mind for your property?

The final stage once you’ve decided which property management company you would like to go with is negotiating the contract. Ensure your property manager uses an industry contract, either from the REIV or Consumer Affairs Victoria, which outlines your property manager’s commission, costs and the expectations.

At Besser and Co, we have a team of dedicated, experienced property managers that service the inner east and south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. We would gladly help you with your investment journey. If you would like to know more, contact our Head of Property Management, Marcel Dybner for a no-obligation appraisal on your investment property.