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What Makes a Good Property Manager: Five Things to Look For

By Donna Jones

Saying the title ‘Property Manager’ out loud often raises eyebrows amongst vexed renters. Landlords who have had bad experiences may boo and hiss, too. The audience from which you’ll hear the nicest things said about property managers is one full of landlords who have been down the stressful road of managing their own investment property or investment portfolio. Today, we’re going to point out five personality traits and professional tendencies to look for when searching for a property manager to take the load of and help you get the most out of your investment property.

  1. Local knowledge

For a property manager to price and pitch your property correctly they need to know the local area inside-out. They need to be up-to-play with current median values and sales values, and to be plugged into what’s on offer in the local community. We’re talking about public transport and commutes to nearby business centres, local schools, shopping districts, cafes and restaurants and anything else that will help ‘sell’ the property to the best tenant or affect the rent charged.

  1. Organisation skills

Managing a rental property, or more importantly a portfolio of rental properties as most property managers do, is a huge logistical undertaking that requires military-grade organisation. As a landlord, you’ll need to be confident that your property manager can keep all the plates spinning while also having reactive processes in place to deal with unforeseen maintenance issues and collecting rental arrears. Property managers should have digital financial and administrative systems at their disposal to help them take care of your property, complement their self-starting and lateral approach, and make the most of their time.

When you interview property managers, ask for evidence that they are proactive, organised, and aware of what’s going on at all times. You’ll want them to be able to provide you with inspection timetables, prompt inspection reports, structured opportunities for rental reviews, and maintenance reports and communications.

  1. Experience and a proven track record

Experience is key in the property management game. Like many occupations, property managers learn by way of dealing with tricky situations. This logic says that greenstick property managers can’t have been exposed to as many of these character-building situations as the older hands, and as such may be dealing with them for the first time. As the property owner, you’ll want the peace-of-mind of knowing you have an experienced property manager in your corner – one who can deal with the unexpected in a calm and timely fashion.

If you want to see a measure of a prospective property manager’s true experience, ask them to list off the most difficult situations they’ve had to deal with regarding tenants and how they dealt with them. If they start to squirm, move on.

  1. A confident negotiator

Property managers need to be ace communicators and able to deal with the combustible mix of personalities, finance and emotions in their dealings with tenants and landlords alike. A healthy dose of empathy, respect, firmness and respect are what’s required to calm the waters and negotiate successful outcomes when things get heated.

  1. A product of their environment

In the same way that children are shaped by the environment they are brought-up in, property managers are only as good as their training, the systems they use the ongoing support they receive. We embody this fact at McPherson Property Management and do all we can to bolster our property managers with our extensive training programmes, support and mentoring initiatives. This way the landlords we work for feel comfortable in the knowledge that their property manager is backed by a cohesive team with a deep pool of experience.

Read this to continue learning about property managers, and give us a call to find out more about what sets our property managers apart from the great pretenders.

Images:

Meeting by Hamza Butt under CC BY 2.0

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