Maintaining your property is time consuming and having one or more rentals is no different. In fact, with finding tenants and fixing issues, it can be even more time consuming and stressful. If you own a rental, employing a property manager is a great option to minimise the time you spend thinking about and dealing with the property and maximise your earnings.
But how do you choose the right real estate property management company? It’s a big decision. Before you choose who will take care of your investment, here’s what you need to think about.
Do you need a property management company?
Anyone who is renting out a house to tenants can benefit from professional property management. There’s a lot involved in the day-to-day management and legalities of renting out a house, and if you don’t have the time and expertise to manage the rental properly, it can quickly turn into a headache!
The need to outsource property management increases if you:
- live far away from the property, or
- have multiple rental properties.
What does a property management company do?
Rentals are a big investment and need to be managed accordingly. You need a rental property manager with knowledge and experience to minimise your input and bring you the best returns. But what exactly will a property manager company do for you? Here’s what you can expect.
Choose the best tenants for your property
It’s no good having a rental property with no rent coming in! A rental investment should benefit you financially, and a huge component of the success are the tenants who live in and take care of your house.
Using the services of a property manager will help to attract and select quality tenants. Property managers perform background checks and screening important for choosing the right, long-term tenants to minimise vacancies and issues. Using a property management company shows potential tenants they are in safe hands with people who know their stuff and will treat them well. Your property manager should have a strategy for attracting the right kinds of tenants—ask them about it!
Minimise legal risk
This is a big one. There are strict laws and regulations you need to follow if you’re renting out a property. The rules can change at any time and also differ between areas, so even if you’re an expert in the Auckland property management market there can be different local laws in other regions.
Your property manager should be an expert at understanding your legal responsibilities. They’ll help with making sure your home is compliant and will keep detailed records required as proof. Knowing the laws and setting up your rental agreements correctly avoids future issues for both you and your tenants.
Reduce your time and stress managing a rental
Your property manager should reduce the time you spend thinking about and worrying about your property. They will manage all day-to-day tasks for you including:
- handling tenant queries
- completing maintenance with trusted contractors
- dealing with issues and emergencies
- cleaning between tenants
- receiving rent and chasing up nonpayment
- understanding the local rental market
- record keeping and staying on top of paperwork
- . . . the list goes on!
Seven questions to ask when deciding on a property management company
Now you know what a property manager will do for you, it’s time to interview a few and select the one that best suits your requirements. Here’s what to ask to determine the best property management company for you.
- What locations do they cover?
You’ll want a property manager who is experienced in location your rental is in. They’ll be comfortable with the legal ins and outs, rental prices, nearby amenities, and types of tenants attracted to the area.
- What’s their tenant selection process?
Your potential manager should have a solid marketing plan and screening criteria to make sure you’re getting top-notch tenants that will treat your investment with the care it deserves.
- What tasks will they do for you?
As we’ve noted, a lot of work goes into managing and maintaining a property. Check your property manager does all the tasks listed above and can clearly explain their full list of services.
- Do they have a planned maintenance schedule?
You don’t want to be hopping from issue to issue with your property. Ongoing planned maintenance means there are fewer costly emergencies with your rental. Ask how often they’re checking the property and what is on their scheduled maintenance and upkeep list.
- What hours are they available?
Unforeseen issues go hand-in-hand with property ownership. Your professional property manager should provide a fast response to your queries and get stuck in and solve issues when they arise. Harper Property Managers have a small, select portfolio of clients to give all their landlords the time and focus they deserve.
- When will you be paid?
Whether you have one rental property or a wide portfolio, a sound investment should create a regular income. Check that the management company you choose has a payment schedule that suits your needs. We pay our property owners weekly as it suits the vast majority of our clients.
- How much do the property management services cost?
As with anything, there are a range of fees in the property management market. Of course, you’ll need to choose a company you can afford, but beware of cheap deals that are too good to be true—you’ll end up paying for it in the long run! Harper Properties are up front with the cost of the services we offer. We charge 8.5% of your rental income. Simple as that.
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