|Posted on 6 July, 2019 at 13:00|
Choosing the right agent to manage your investment property can be one of the most nerve-wracking decisions you will make in real estate. Will the agent you choose share the same level of care you have toward your property? How will your property look in 5yrs time under their management?
You may decide to base your decision from an emotional perspective allowing the selling agent to manage your property as your purchasing experience was a positive one. Or, you base your decision on the performance of the managing agent. Basing your decision on the performance of the managing agent is a good start. But how do you siphon through the number of agents battling for your business? I'm here to assist by arming you with some questions that will form a solid comparison of service.
Let's start with the most common question prospective clients ask - commission. The old saying you get what you pay for truly applies here. A high performing, hard working and diligent agent is worth spending the extra 1-2% commission on. After all, it will be the experience and quality of service delivery from that agent who will save you money and heartache throughout the management. Property management involves a great deal of logic, common sense and interpretation of the law. You don't want to be dealing with an agent who can't execute this (for your own sanity if anything else!).
In larger offices, you may have a BDM (Business Development Manager) whos sole purpose is to secure your business. Ensure you meet or have the opportunity to speak with the person who will directly be liaising with you on a day-to-day basis. Ultimately, the success of your property will rely on the individual agent who is appointed as the main person in charge. This is the person you should speak with.
Never assume agents holding certain positions within an agency have the appropriate qualifications, experience or registrations. Ask your agent how long they've been practicing property management for. Are they suitably qualified with the appropriate registrations required? Give them a couple of hypothetical complex situations and ask how they would handle those situations. I've seen new people enter the industry and on their first day they're suddenly a "Specialist". Your agent could be someone who has never done a day of property management in their life. They could have been a cleaner prior to the job who thought property management would be a glamorous position. They could have been a tenant with also no experience, rising out of the woodwork claiming they'll 'give it a go'. In my experience, the average portfolio a property manager is responsible for, prodominately on their own, is around 50 - 100 properties minimum. Allowing someone to manage a large portfolio with no experience or adequate training is like asking a plumber to carry out the work of a builder. Why settle for the plumber when you can have the builder!
Agencies manage their portfolio in different ways. How the portfolio is managed will have a direct impact on you, your investment and your bottom line. It is a good idea to ask if the portfolio is a POD structure - where various people are working together toward a common goal, you! You might deal with one person for maintenance, or, another for rent, or, another for lease renewals. Property management requires precision in communication. This is where a POD structure can either be a well oiled machine delivering excellence in customer service, or, a ticking time bomb. My experience has been managing all aspects of the portfolio. Having one property manager dealing with all aspects of the portfolio in my opinion works best. Providing that the appropriate support systems are in place for that person.
If you are dealing with an experienced property manager, they won't mind discussing their triumphs with you. Hopefully you will share these triumphs if this is the agent you decide to sign up with. Personally, I find leasing and resolving disputes the most rewarding (in the end!). Ask your agent what was one of the most rewarding triumphs they've had recently and what impact did that have on the client.
I've worked with and know some of the best property managers in the industry, (if you're reading this you know who you are!). I've also seen the worst. Don't be fooled by a shop front, job titles or buzz words in advertising that are just meaninglessness 'fluff' without any substance to them.
Choose wisely, you deserve the best.
Categories: Prospective Owners