5 things your property management team does for you
Many investors see their property management team as glorified rent collectors. If you share that opinion, it’s possible that you have a lazy team, but most likely you don’t know everything that they do for you. A good property management team does far more for you than just collect rents and find tenants.
1. They do the basics
While it’s not the only thing your property management team does, rent collection is definitely at the top of the list. They also manage communication with tenants, providing a buffer between you and them (so you’re not the one getting emergency calls at 3am). They’re also the ones out there doing regular rental inspections and reporting anything that might require maintenance (whether immediate or eventual). They field queries and phone calls, and they’ll also generally have a better understanding of the local area than you, particularly in terms of property prices and trends. While you might dabble, they are the experts.
2. They build strong relationships with tenants
They might not be catching up for coffee, but your property management team probably has a closer relationship with your tenants than you think. They’ll often chat during rental inspections and get an idea of whether your tenants are happy (and are looking to renew their lease) or whether you’ll need new tenants when this lease is up. As property experts, they’re also aware of the problem areas to check when performing a rental inspection that a tenant might not have noticed, or thought of as important (such as clogged gutters). Not only will this save you time and money, but it can also save you headaches and emergency maintenance.
3. They do the hard tasks
Tenants are people with their own lives and problems. Sometimes they can be demanding when it comes to repairs (essential or otherwise), or just difficult to get along with. Other times they might be impossible to contact, which isn’t ideal if the rent is late! A good property management team has people and processes in place to ensure that these situations are handled quickly, calmly and according to protocol. They will keep you informed while chasing up any further information, saving you a lot of time and hassle in the process!
4. They do the paperwork and admin
You save a lot of time with administrative tasks by being disciplined along the way. As an investor, it’s likely that you have better things to be doing with your time than recording rent payments. It’s also likely that you don’t have time to manage advertisements, bond obligations and inspections if your tenant decides not to renew their lease. A good property management team will manage your property’s financial records for you (and your tenant) to ensure that information is up-to-date, accurate and easy to access. They’ll also handle all the fiddly paperwork and administration that comes with ending dealings with one tenant and starting dealings with another. These are things that you might only do once every few years, but property management teams are likely dealing with these on a monthly, if not weekly, basis, so it’s second nature to them.
5. They provide professionalism
There is a big difference between getting a job done, and getting it done well. While you may be able to limp through these processes on your own (if your tenant is patient), would you want to? Alternatively, if you have a property management team but you have to keep on chasing them, would it be easier to just do it yourself? You should never feel that way if someone is managing your property for you, so if you’re the one doing the chasing, it might be time to switch.
None of the things discussed in this article constitute a ‘premium’ service, rather these are the tasks that a good property management team will expect to do for you. If your current team is lacking, it might be time to start shopping around. It’s usually free to swap agencies, and with a more proactive team behind you, you’ll save time, money and a lot of stress. If all of this is being handled for you, chances are that your team is doing their job so well that they’re practically invisible. If that’s the case, your property is being managed by professionals, so you can get on with the things you want to do — which is exactly why you hired them!