Your investment property is likely to be one of your largest assets – so it’s essential that it’s managed professionally. Anyone who’s owned a rental property will agree that the difference between an engaged, proactive property manager and someone who’s just going through the motions can be significant.
A property manager who’s overwhelmed with an unmanageable portfolio or simply disengaged from their role and hoping to get away with a bare minimum of effort will have a negative impact on your experience as a landlord, your tenant, and often the return you receive from your investment.
The property management industry is always evolving, and the rental reforms passed in Parliament earlier this year mean some significant changes to rental laws that have been in place for more than 20 years. While these new laws aren’t expected to come into effect before mid-2020, they’re broadly considered to give tenants much more power while eroding landlords’ rights. For this reason, having a property manager who’s on the ball – and you have a good working relationship with – will become even more important into the future.
Your property manager is primarily there to support you with managing the risks of being a landlord. This goes beyond simply finding a tenant, collecting rent and conducting regular inspections – top-notch property management is about working to protect your investment and maximise your returns. A quality property manager will know the Residential Tenancies Act inside out, but should also be well-versed in owners corporation rules, insurance, and compliance with the servicing requirements for smoke alarms and gas appliances.
Even skilled property managers will encounter situations where finding a win-win outcome for both landlord and tenant is challenging. Your property manager is also responsible for looking after your tenants – sometimes this may mean paying for expenses you hadn’t anticipated or being flexible if a rental payment is late as a once-off. If your tenant feels ignored by your property manager – or that their requests are almost always denied – they’re less likely to look after your property well.
When it comes to building a great working relationship with your property manager, communication is key. To support your property manager with communicating with you in a way that works for you, talk to them about how and when you’d like to hear from them. For example, some landlords will want to know well in advance when a routine inspection is happening so that they can attend themselves; others may be happy to simply read the inspection report.
Let your property manager know whether you prefer phone or email, and if there’s generally a best time of day to contact you. Are you happy for them to manage a low-value repair or maintenance request independently, or would you prefer to be consulted each time something comes up? Likewise, if you’re not getting what you want from your property manager, let them know how they can better meet your needs.
At Greg Hocking, we recognise that your rental property is one of your most valuable assets and manage it accordingly. Our experienced property managers take the time to understand your priorities and ensure that your property is managed in a way that works for you. Contact your local Greg Hocking office today for more information about how we can make owning an investment property hassle-free.