We work really, really closely with our property managers in all markets. Our value as a business is to unearth properties that will make good rentals, either as they are today or through unlocking hidden value via a renovation or some development. A good property manager is key, not only to confirming our assessment on a property, but also of course our client’s ongoing experience as a landlord.
With that in mind, here are 7 proactive ways you as an investor can work with (or choose) a property manager better than you probably are now:
- Take your property manager to view a property and confirm the rental upside from any renovations you have in mind – to avoid overcapitalising.
- When you choose a new property manager, confirm how long their average tenancy lasts.
- Ask how many managements each property manager is responsible for.
- Ask them when the last rent review was.
- How often rent inspections are completed.
- Will you be warned of impending repair invoices or is it a shock on payout day, when you can't make your mortgage payments.
- Ask about the systems they have to support them, do they belong to a professional body like IPMA.
Wayne Dickson joined iFindProperty a couple of years ago we were excited because he is one of the most positive and proactive investors we’ve ever met.
Wayne’s wife Fiona has run RentAssured since 2003, a property management business in Tokoroa, and they form a great team for our clients looking to buy in Tokoroa, which like many working class towns can be a tricky property market. Wayne and Fiona cover all bases, he finds the deals and looks for upsides, while she makes sure they’re in a good rental area and will be popular with tenants.
In the past 12 months Debbie Van Den Broek has watched as her preferred Property Management businesses in Rotorua were bought out by larger Real Estate agencies. With some exceptions we usually find that in a big Real Estate agency there are sometimes one, possibly two good property managers while for others it is just a “day job”. New clients arrive from the sales side of the business irrespective of the quality of the service.
You may have a good experience with an individual who is proactive and shows initiative, just hope that they stay! Many property managers do not own investment property and do not understand what motivates investors. As businesses grow the good manager’s wind up doing the bulk of the work, managing larger and larger portfolios.
Debbie has seen her share of “horrors” in Rotorua, either from absentee landlords or poorly managed properties. Some recent experiences:
- Numerous homes rented for much lower than the current market rent. In Rotorua $20 - 100 p/w is common.
- Water damage: Showers with large holes that allow water to run into the structure of the house, leaking pipes and leaky roofs. These leaks are not sudden but gradually cause expensive damage over months if not years.
- Tenants that have been in a home for only six weeks that are living in a pigsty. Congealed sink water with solidified fat, dirty bath water left in the bath from the night before and dirty diapers and rubbish spread around the entire property.
- Tenants that have been unable to secure their windows or doors, unable to keep warm one because the broken door on the fire had been fixed by gluing plywood to the front.
- Property managers asking what rent appraisal level that is needed to make a house sale and setting exceptionally high rents to try to make deals look better than they actually are.
Debbie and her sister Tracie wanted to pre-empt any drop-off in quality management options for Rotorua investors and have launched a RentAssured franchise. They feel that combining 13 years of proven systems for managing in working class areas with strong local property investment knowledge, MBIE winner of NZ Landlord of the Year and successfully managing a large property portfolio for decades and a desire to keep the business small and personalised is a win for Rotorua investors looking for an upgrade in property management services.
Debbie Van Den Broek - Rent Assured Property Management
Note: iFindProperty does not have any financial arrangement with RentAssured.