The Keys to ‘Getting it right’ in Property Management

Making sure our agency staff are equipped to manage each property effectively and correctly, without taking shortcuts, is the key focus of our in-house training programs. However, knowing what’s required isn’t what sets property managers apart from the rest.  Good property management is about attention to detail, a personal touch and getting the finer details right.

While shortcuts may seem like a good idea at the time, overlooking day-to-day tasks and their proper execution will cause issues for property managers down the track. While the tasks may change, these four core tenant’s of good property management will ensure they are done right.

Follow the landlord’s instructions

Acting in accordance with our landlords wishes and instruction is the cornerstone of a property manager’s roll. While this may seem like a no-brainer, there can be times where shortcuts are the easier option, compared with doing the right thing. 

Failure to act in a client’s best interest could also expose the agency and manager to a claim of negligence should there actions detrimentally affect the property. This applies to all parts of a property manager’s role including maintenance instructions, where attention to detail is crucial.

Keep adequate and detailed records

Property managers will identify with the statement “The truth means nothing; evidence means everything” – and with good reason. Keeping detailed records on each managed property is the best security measure an agency can take to mitigate any potential issues.
A good property manager should:

  • Back up phone conversations with an email
  • Keep a record of each conversation with landlords
  • Ensure details on work orders are correct, well communicated, and kept on file
  • Make sure your data is backed up

It’s important to ensure that the correct processes are followed and a qualified person is engaged to undertake the required work, no matter the task.

Perform Regular Property Inspections and Reports

As a general rule, property managers should not perform tasks they are not qualified to do. This seems like a simple rule, however it can sometimes be hard to follow. Owners will regularly ask property managers to perform tasks outside of what they are able to do, like check smoke alarms or provide advice around insurance. While the property manager may ‘be able’ to do such tasks, it can open up the agency to potential liability issues in the future.

All rental properties must be inspected, both inside and out. It’s that simple. 

There have been a rising number of legal cases brought against agents for falling in this basic duty, which not only risks exposing the agency to liability, but is more importantly bad practice. While the specific situation may be different for each property, there is legislation locked into agency agreements regarding the number of inspections required.

Once inspections are completed, the report should be sent immediately to the owner as evidence (See point 2 – Keeping Adequate Records)

Be careful what you say

Words have consequences, as do off the cuff comments. Property managers should deal with their landlords professionally at all times, and that includes the manner in which they speak and also what they say.

Making sure you have correct names on prepared documents, and that everything is spelled correctly is really important. It’s worth the time and effort to check the correct documents, names and spelling has been used, and any requested changes have been made.

It’s important to check facts before making comments on a situation or issue. Managers should consider who you’re speaking to at all times, and consider who owns the property, who is named on the lease and what privacy terms have been signed.