One of the biggest decisions you will make as landlord over the summer is to hire a property manager or not. While some landlords prefer to ‘self-manage’ their properties, researching what different property management companies have to offer can be an eye-opening exercise for these investors. A competent property manager can add a lot of ‘untapped value’ to investments and can remove virtually all the hassle and stress involved.
If you are still unconvinced you need a property manager, we hope that this post will help you. Below are 7 signs your Sydney rental needs a property manager:
- Poor tenant selection
While it is absolutely possible to kick a bad tenant out of your property, it’s a real hassle. Life is much easier if you can avoid accepting bad tenants in the first place. Poor tenant selection will give you many headaches, and worse – especially if they damage your property. A property manager can help you avoid these problems by giving you access to higher quality tenants. Property managers usually employ a screening process that leads to more reliable tenants who pay on time, take care of your property, and may rent longer.
An experienced property manager is able to spot a good tenant and knows how to uncover information and facts about your candidates. If your property manager has seen thousands of applications already during his career, he or she is more likely to be an expert in spotting warning signs among possible problematic tenants. As a Sydney landlord, having good tenants is an important factor in the success of your local property investment.
- High maintenance cost
If high maintenance and repair bills are hurting your cash flow, a good property manager may be able to lower maintenance costs. Good quality maintenance will keep tenants happy and thus lead to longer tenant retention. A property manager will give you access to contractors who have been proven to give good pricing and quality work. This could give you substantial savings when you compare it to hiring a handyman yourself. A property manager is also familiar with different maintenance issues and can intelligently supervise the work for more efficient results.
- Late payment
If you are experiencing problems with rent collection, a property manager may save the day for you. A property manager is experienced in implementing tighter rent collection process and chasing down tenants who don’t pay on time. Rent should be paid consistently and on time if you want steady cash flow. Your success or failure as a landlord highly depends on this. If you are not that good with following up or don’t have time to remind your tenants to strictly follow the conditions of the lease, they will walk all over you – possibly every month.
You can hire a property manager to be the ‘bad guy’ who will implement stricter rules and take care of chasing tenants and eviction if needed. Tenants are often more likely to respond to property manager’s prodding, particularly if they have become too ‘friendly’ or familiar with the landlord.
- Frequent vacancies
As a landlord, your primary goals are to get tenants and increase the rental income from your property. If it usually takes longer to fill your vacancies, maybe you need professional to help you market your property. A property manager can perform critical tasks which can help you minimise your vacancy periods and maximise your revenue. He or she can do the following to help you shorten your vacancy cycles:
- Prepare the property for rent – In order to attract future tenants, your property should be in pristine condition for visits and viewing. A property manager can suggest improvements or renovation if needed.
- Set the best rent rate – Setting the rent too high will leave you waiting for tenants for a longer period, while setting it too low will make you lose money for the duration of the lease. A property manager can help you determine the optimal rent rate based on market conditions.
- Market your property – To get the best exposure for your property, a property manager market it through different media channels and negotiate for cheaper advertising rates available online and offline.
- Irregular inspections
Irregular inspections can cost you – big time. Repairs and maintenance issues can grow into more costly problems if not spotted early on. The value of your property largely depends on the way your property is being taken care of and regular inspection is the key to a well-maintained property. If you or your staff don’t have time to do all the necessary periodic inspections, you might miss out on things that need attention, upgrades, or modification. These things can affect your rental return, and even your re-ale value.
A property manager can implement scheduled visits and inspections. He or she can also suggest and give feedback on your property’s current condition.
- Stress and lack of time
Self-managing a rental property yourself as the landlord can often be overwhelming and demand much of your time. If you find yourself struggling to perform your landlord responsibilities, and it’s affecting your relationship with tenants, maybe it’s time to consider hiring a property manager. If the stress related in dealing with problematic tenants, complaints, and maintenance issues is already taking the life out of you, it is better to hand over the matters to a professional so you can relax and take care of other things you need to accomplish. Life’s too short!
Property managers are skilled in dealing with conflict and are knowledgeable of existing laws that protect you as a landlord. Tenants may also react more professionally if they know that they are dealing with a professional as well.
- Not enough rent increases
Insufficient or irregular rent increases will not only hurt your cash flow, but may also affect the overall value of your property. As a landlord, you can increase rent if your tenancy agreement allows this and in accordance with certain market conditions. You can also increase rent if you have made improvements in the property and these increase the value and benefits to the tenants. Failure to increase the rent when it’s deemed necessary may result to substantial losses on your part. If part of your problem is talking it through with your tenant, you can hire a property manager to make a schedule of rent increases, along with proper notice to the tenant. Tenants are more likely to react well to increases if they are informed properly and they can see the added value in the property.
If you are currently experiencing some of the above signs, a specialist property management company based in Sydney could be the answer. Request a FREE property appraisal today and see what Property Navigators could do for you.