Are property managers worth it?

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As a landlord, how can you tell that your agent is really making the effort to ensure you get the best possible tenant for your property?

If you’ve ever been to a rental open home in one of our nation’s capital cities, you’ll know that it’s not unusual for several dozen prospective tenants to browse one property.

It’s also not unusual to receive dozens of rental applications for each property. This is great news for landlords, as it means there’s plenty of demand.

But here’s where problems can arise: often, the real estate representative showing the open home is not the same person who processes the application come Monday morning.

And when a renter lodges an application for your investment property, the property manager who processes their application will essentially do all of the vetting and reference checks over the phone. There’s usually no further one-on-one, visual contact with the tenant until they come to sign the lease, by which point they’ve already been approved.

“Vetting applications is based on assessing all of the information provided at the time of processing, and sometimes even the best tenancy can go wrong – especially if their [the tenant’s] circumstances change),” explains Leah Calnan, director of Metro Property Management.

“Having said that, most property managers nowadays are highly skilled professionals and a great one is worth their weight in gold!” 

For the best possible chance of nabbing a great tenant, Calnan suggests that you ask your property manager one simple question: “If this was your property or your parent’s investment property, would you be happy to approve this application?”

“I train my team of property managers to ask themselves this same question – and if they have even the slightest doubt about a prospective tenant, they ask themselves, ‘Would I approve this application if it was Leah’s property?’,” she says.

Calnan also offers these top tips to ensure your property manager is making an effort to get the best tenant for your property:

  • Establish a good relationship with your property manager.

    “They want to do their best for you, and will avoid selecting tenants for your property that, in the long term, will cause them grief and additional work,” Calnan says.
  • Review the marketing of your rental property regularly.

    Are photos being used, and how many? When did you last update the photos? Do you have a floor plan that may assist prospective tenants with their enquiries? Also, double check that your property manager follows up applicants up after they’ve showed them through your property.
  • Ensure your rental property is neat, tidy and well maintained. 

    “A run down property will make it harder for your property manager to attract suitable applicants,” she says.
  • Finally, does your property manager love their job? 

    “If they don’t,” Calnan adds, “how can they love your property?”

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