Advocate Property Services Director, JO VADILLO explains the importance of finding a good property manager to ensure an easy journey through the process of investing in property.
Buying an investment property comes with an extensive to-do list that extends well beyond the fun part of actually securing the property. Finding a good property manager is a critical step to ensuring your journey as a landlord is smooth sailing.
Treat investment properties like a business
Many property investors neglect to apply the principles of treating an investment property like a business.
Which brings me to this point…
Would you take considered due diligence to hire someone to manage a business you own? The answer is yes, you would. It’s so common for investors to slip into relationships with unreliable, non-communicative property managers.
With some property acquisitions you inherit an ongoing management. Assuming everything to be running smoothly, you choose to not question the status quo and progress along seemingly oblivious to red flags.
But, this is where your laziness as an investor needs to be highlighted.
You need to ask questions.
You need to ensure you are not only receiving quarterly reports with photos online but that you are also taking the time to actually review them. Attending to maintenance issues to ensure your tenant is happy and in a functioning property is also a priority.
Some property managers are awesome; others might be overloaded with work, but highly skilled or, too junior to be confrontational with a difficult tenant. In reality, some of the seasoned Property Managers struggle with that last step.
It is a tough job, I salute the industry heroes out there who take it on.
Property Managers have many people to report to and no one calls them for anything particularly positive. It is also a job with no standard hours so it can be draining and can really take its toll.
If you have a good property manager, maybe thank them, send them a Christmas card – let them know they are appreciated.
They are looking after one of your biggest assets so you want to know their name!
If you need to fire the one you have because they are out of luck and out of excuses, then do so fast.
If you have issues with their manner, reporting or communication standards, then escalate it with the agency or start to interview an alternate.
Remember, Property Managers have their hands tied on matters such as the frequency of property visits. They need to provide adequate notice to attend to maintenance issues or to conduct an inspection.
At the same time, if your tenant is in breach of conduct then the correct course of action needs to occur.
Your Property Manager’s role is to not only on-board a tenant who presents themselves on paper and in person of sound character, but to be vigilant on payments, any concerns of behaviour, and be able to attend a tribunal and remedy scenarios or issues whilst reducing your involvement.
Treat your property portfolio as you would a micro-business, and remember:
- Expect to have your team work for you.
- Cheapest is not always the best (but neither is expensive).
- Interview the team you hire, know their names, ask about their experience.
- Expect that you will receive open and honest communication.
- Question issues that arise, ask for photos and more than one quote for maintenance issues.
It is a tough gig, but when you find a good Property Manager, be sure to thank them!
Jo Vadillo is the owner and Director of Advocate Property Services Pty Ltd. She works with investors and homeowners to source new and existing properties that meet the best investment credentials to build a prosperous property portfolio for their clients. Jo is also a Board member of My Property Circles and runs Property Women, an organisation aimed to educate women on their journey to property success.
Jo is an author, mentor, public speaker, fierce negotiator and a terrible cook. When not immersed in her own property dealings and that of clients, Jo and her husband Greg are big travellers and go everywhere as an entourage with their 3 young sons.
General Advice Warning: The advice has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should therefore consider the appropriateness of the advice, in light of these objectives, financial situation or needs, before following the advice. We recommend that you speak to your accountant and financial adviser to help you determine whether direct property investment is right for you.