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What happens if your “expert” property manager isn’t an expert at all? (And what a GREAT property manager should be doing for you instead)

October 7, 2020

If you’re like most investment property owners, you don’t have the time or expertise to manage your property portfolio. After all, there’s a lot to take care of:

  • Setting a carefully calculated rental “yield strategy” (how much rent you charge)
  • Finding, vetting, and engaging the BEST tenants for your property
  • Managing those tenants
  • Managing the maintenance plan for your property
  • Reviewing your rental yield strategy on a regular basis
  • Ensuring all tenancy legal aspects are covered
  • Fielding calls and emails from your tenants
  • Dealing with issues and emergencies as they arise
  • And more.

Many investors choose to engage an expert property manager to handle all of above, freeing them to enjoy the benefits of their investments (or continue working hard to grow their portfolio).

But what happens if your “expert” property manager isn’t an expert at all? 

Unfortunately, what is supposed to be a helpful service can quickly become a problem. If you have a suspicion your property manager is dropping the ball, here are a few things watch for… and some things you can do about it.

Common Issues: Here’s how some property managers fail

1. Your Property Manager Takes Too Long To Return Calls And Emails

One of the most common problems we hear about isn’t actually a ‘property’ problem. It’s a basic communications problem, whereby property managers take too long to return calls and emails. If your property manager takes days to respond to an email from you, imagine how long it would take to get a tenant’s leaky tap fixed?

2. Your Weekly Rent Is Too Low, Or Too High

One of the most important roles of a property manager is to set a ‘balanced’ weekly rental amount that not only attracts the right tenant quickly… but also achieves the highest possible weekly income (so you make the most money from your investment).

Unfortunately, many property managers set an asking price either too high or low. Asking for too much rent may disqualify some tenants and cause your property to sit vacant for too long. Asking for too little rent means you’ll lose money for the term of the tenancy.

3. Your Tenants Are Low-Quality (And Don’t Respect Your Property)

Failing to perform appropriate due diligence on prospective tenants is another common oversight. This happens far too frequently in suburbs with high vacancies, where some property managers lower their acceptance standards in a rushed attempt to fill a vacant property.

A lower-quality tenant may cause you more money in the long term because you have to repair walls or fixtures, repaint, or conduct other reactive maintenance.

4. Your Tenants Aren’t Chased Quickly Enough For Late Rent Payments

It’s the responsibility of the property manager to make sure rent is paid in full and on time. In the era of electronic banking there is no excuse for rent to be paid late. If a property manager has done their screening correctly, and they’ve established systems for identifying late payers, this shouldn’t be an issue.

5. Your Property’s Maintenance Schedule Is Not Executed Correctly

Proactive property maintenance often falls by the wayside because it’s (mostly) a proactive strategy. The absence of a complaining tenant (or complaining property owner!) can cause proactive maintenance tasks to fall off a property manager’s priority list.

This problem can be a silent killer: If things don’t get fixed quickly, your tenants may become unhappy (which means you’re at risk of losing them, ultimately costing you more in the long run).

Here’s what a GREAT property manager should be doing

A great property manager is a proactive one. They understand the market and make sure you’re getting the best tenant possible whilst receiving the maximum possible rent.

Let’s look at some more things a great property manager does…

1. A Great Property Manager Is Easy To Communicate With

A great property manager is easy to contact and must proactively deal with any issues that arise. They must also follow-up proactively, and close any pending ‘communication loops’ as quickly as possible.

2. A Great Property Manager Is Proactive

A property manager’s proactivity starts from the time they begin to look for tenants. They won’t limit their search to the standard, commonly available rental websites like RealEstate.com.au.

Instead, a good property manager will be proactive in their approach and will cross-reference their own list of potential tenants as well as using other marketing channels.

3. A Great Property Manger Knows Their “Territory”

A great property manager will know the local market inside and out, and will price your property appropriately. Ideally, their marketing efforts will generate multiple applications and they’ll be able to secure you with the best quality tenant, in the shortest possible time, at the highest possible price based on the levels of demand.

4. A Great Property Manager Screens Applications With A Fine-Tooth Comb

The screening process is also vital. A great property manager checks all references and follows up on all previous rental properties with either the landlord or previous property managers. They cross-reference the tenant with major databases and conduct credit and employment checks. This is a lot of work up front, but a thorough property manager realises this is a huge benefit to the landlord in the long term.

5. A Great Property Manager Always Has An Emergency Response Plan

Sometimes, you don’t know how much you need a property manager’s skills until things go bad. If a dispute or issue arises with a tenant, it is the property manager’s job to handle it.

Additionally, a property manager should have an extensive knowledge of local and state laws, and be prepared to handle any legal or court proceedings.

How Zevesto’s Property Management Service is different

Zevesto is a property management service with a difference. Our track record speaks for itself: the properties under our management have held a 0.7% vacancy rate for the past twelve months, AND we have proven strategies for increasing rental incomes in Brisbane.

Over the past 8 years, we’ve helped hundreds of landlords get more rent and better tenants.

Unlike most property managers who are simply spread too thin to provide any level of service, Zevesto has strict controls to ensure your property receives the attention it deserves including…

  • Proactive marketing to ensure your property is always rented
  • Proper pricing to help you maximise your return on investment
  • Comprehensive screening to weed out problem tenants before it’s too late
  • Thorough, system-based inspections to keep tenants accountable, and detect maintenance issues while they are small and easy to fix
  • Daily account management to make sure rent is paid on time and in full
  • Mastery of the latest legal tenancy law to ensure compliance and risk mitigation
  • Yield Maximisation advice to help you get more rent and better tenants, so you make higher, hassle-free profits
  • And regular communication to keep you informed

In short, our property management service focuses on getting the right tenants in place and ensuring your property is rented as long as possible, for the highest rent possible.

How to change your rental property to Zevesto

Moving your rental property to Zevesto is easy. We’ve developed a process that’s as simple as 1-2-3…

Firstly, contact us for your free “Rent Success” Session, where:

  • You’ll get a clear picture of the current rental market and a realistic idea of what your home may rent for
  • You’ll get fresh ideas about what you can do – quickly, easily and affordably – to boost the value of your home and make it attractive to reliable renters who pay on time, stay longer, and look after your property as if it was their own
  • You’ll identify barriers that may prevent your home from renting (and ideas to overcome these things without wasting money on unnecessary renovations)
  • And you’ll explore how the team at Zevesto can help you get more rent and better tenants, so you can make higher, hassle-free profits from your investment property

Secondly, you’ll need to sign a POA F6 (management agreement form) and create a “termination of appointment” letter to your current agent. We can help with both of these. As these documents are both sent via DocuSign, the transfer process is really quite simple for the you (and the tenant).

Lastly, when all paperwork is complete, we’ll collect the keys and files and deal with rental payment changeover. You can put your feet up.

Investing in property is about setting yourself up for the future. Don’t leave your most valuable asset in the hands of a run-of-the-mill property manager. Finding a great property manager is just as important as finding a great investment property… simply request your free “Rent Success” Session to get started.

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