With so many property management agencies out there, you want to make sure you get the best results for your investment property. In order to achieve that, you will need to consider some key points when choosing your property manager to make sure they are working in your best interest.
A common key point when choosing a property manager is the price tag. Landlords are always tempted to choose a property management team with lower fees. This is not always a bad decision however lower fees do not mean that it will work better for you. Property management teams have many reasons to offer lower fees and it would sound great to you, however, when you are comparing you will need to get as much information as you can from them - like: how many properties they are managing? how many property managers do they have? Always remember the lower fees are not always better for you.
You should not settle for minimum requirements when it comes to managing your property and there are some minimum requirements the property management team should have in place to look after your investment property. If your property management team is doing just the minimum for you, it is recommended for you to look somewhere else for a new team. Let's talk routine inspections for a second, routine inspections are a great way and a great indicator of how your tenants are maintaining your investment property and some property management teams do not include those in their lower fees rather it would be an extra expense for you as a landlord. One thing to keep in mind is that under the RTA (Residential Tenancy Authority) legislation, routine inspections are considered as an additional service and not as a requirement.
Some property management teams do not even do some legal requirements. Such as making sure the smoke alarms in the property are working and checked on a regular basis by a professional, or blind/curtain cords are attached to the wall at the correct height; some requirements are in place to ensure the safety of the tenants and landlords that are commonly missed by a property management team. There is no excuse for a property management team not to do their job and you should not be working with them, they must be working for your best interest as at the end of the day that is what you are paying for.
Communication is vital between you and your property manager to develop, build and maintain an ongoing strong relationship. If your property manager does not communicate with you or if you have not heard from them, then this would be your first sign that they are just not looking after your investment property. A good property manager will keep you updated with all important things about your investment property without overwhelming you with unuseful information. An example of when you want to hear from your property manager is to let you know they have done a routine inspection, if there is any maintenance or if your tenants are in rent arrears. A good property manager will be there for you when you need them.
Essentially, your property manager should be looking after your investment property and working for your best interest. This is something that you should not be taken casually. Most property management teams will promise you everything, but it is very important for you as a landlord to take a decision on who will bring and action those promises to you. Do your research, and ask plenty of questions to make sure the team that you choose and trust with your investment property is and will be working for your best interest.
Finally, if you do not, or cannot trust your property manager one hundred per cent, then you will need to think about switching to a new property manager.