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Interviewing A Property Manager – Important Questions to Ask

By Tamara Lloyd

So you’re searching for a property manager to look after one of your biggest assets – how do you choose? What do you ask? Where do you start?

A property management fee for the average rental property is most commonly less than a monthly mobile phone bill. It’s certainly important to shop around, but we’re not talking about shopping around for a difference of half a percent, we’re talking about quality of service over and above market expectations, and the agency’s dedication to increasing the capital value of your property.

  • How do they source tenants for you? Obviously the internet is what all agencies will be able to offer you – the main sites are realestate.com.au & domain.com.au. However, do they offer a tenant database of all those people that inquire either on the phone or pop in to their office? Do they do a weekly email out to tenants looking for new & current listings?   Often the best tenants are found through networking and from building relationships with them.
  • What is the tenant selection process? We would suggest you get a copy of the application that a tenant fills in & ask what are the things the agent looks for in a tenant. Can the tenant afford the rent plus bills and living expenses, what references do they have both personal and professional? Do they use the National Tenancy Database to do a final check (most do)? It’s not just if they can afford the property, its also important to know if they will keep it well and also be easy to deal with.
  • What percentage of their properties are in arrears? Arrears should be monitored on a daily basis and the property manager should know this sort of information off the top of their head.
  • Ask the property manager how depreciation works in relation to your investment. If they have no idea then this is a good indicator they have no understanding of the bigger picture and are unlikely to be able to offer you much beyond rent collection. Your property manger should be able to offer you a recommendation to a Quantity Surveyor to conduct a “Depreciation Schedule” to help minimize your tax.
  • What is their arrears policy? The answer should be a “no tolerance policy”, this means that at 1 minute past midnight following the day rent is due – it is late. Tenants should be getting a call the 1st day their rent is late – not on day 3 or 4. Direct debit should be part of the conditions of renting through the agency – this should be on the application form.
  • What further education and services does the company offer its landlords? Information sessions covering topics such as general Property Investor information, Self Managed Super Funds and Wealth Creation topics. In addition services such as Finance Brokers, Insurance and relationships with Quantity Surveyors (for Depreciation Schedules) is all helpful in ensuring you maximize your wealth creation opportunities.

If you have an investment property and would like more information on our services. Please call our office on 9725 7444.

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