It can be difficult to stay on top of all of the duties associated with renting property on your own. Finding a knowledgeable real estate agent to assist you with property management is a good option.
(If you want to compare commission fees and other information between property managers in your area, you can click here to use our free agent comparison service. Fee and commission information can’t be found anywhere else online.)
Renting your home means finding tenants who will pay the highest possible rent in order to get the maximum return on your investment. It’s also vital to find tenants who will treat your home and investment with respect. Good property management means far more than simply collecting rent, so LocalAgentFinder has compiled a list of 10 questions to help you select the best real estate agent to rent your property:
1. Does the agency have a team strictly dedicated to leasing properties?
It’s quite common for real estate agencies to put more effort into property sales than into property management. In the worst cases, this responsibility may even be left to agency receptionists or administrative assistants. Be sure that you work with an agency that specialises in property management.
2. Does the agency’s owner or principal/CEO/managing director have a role in the everyday functioning of the property management team?
When an agency’s owner plays an active role within a property management team, this often serves as incentive to make the team work harder and with greater professionalism. Having a manager who isn’t afraid to get involved in their business’s success is also a sign of the type of agency that will work harder for you.
3. How many years of experience does the property management agent have?
If you’re looking at proposals from individual real estate agents, you’ll want to find out more about their experience. Many real estate agents are members of larger agencies, with sterling reputations and a history of success to draw upon, but it’s also important to find out more about the specific agent who will be handling your rental property. The right agent will have a love for property management rather than direct sales. Passion, dedication and experience are all vital to success.
4. What happens if there are problems with tenants? Will the agent vouch for me in court? What is the agent’s success rate in this type of situation?
Most rental agreements run smoothly with the assistance of professional property management. But things can still go awry, and you may need to protect your legal rights as a landlord. Should this occur, you will need to have an experienced real estate agent by your side to help you navigate through the ins and outs of tenancy law. It’s extremely helpful in these circumstances to have property managers do the legal work on your behalf, helping you save time and money to achieve your desired outcome.
5. Does the property management service cover specific areas?
If you are investing in multiple properties, you will have the need for a real estate agent with the expertise and knowledge of areas outside of your immediate vicinity. There are several options to consider when you expand your portfolio of rental properties. Previously, you could either hire a real estate agent in each specific suburb where you own investment property or you could sign up with a larger agency that covers a wider physical area to manage all of your homes at once. Lately, like many other countries overseas, Australia is becoming home to larger property management agencies that cover broad geographical regions. These agencies use modern technologies, such as online banking and advertising, to help manage far-flung properties. If you need to have more than one property managed, be sure to compare proposals from asset managers that can handle a wide geographical area.
6. Does the property management agent attend inspections of your home with prospective tenants?
Naturally, most property owners will not want strangers waltzing through their home without supervision. The right estate agent will accompany potential tenants on visits to your property. Not only does this protect your home’s security, but it also can serve as another medium for marketing. The agent can point out features and amenities of your home, and learn more about the clients’ personal and financial situations. This can help them determine whether the clients in question would be advantageous tenants. It’s best to avoid agencies that simply hand over keys to tenants with no questions asked.
7. How many properties does the agent personally manage?
Although managing multiple properties helps build experience; it’s a good idea to ensure that your potential agent doesn’t juggle too many at once. This means that they won’t have the time to give each property the energy and effort it deserves. While larger agencies will have more clients and smaller agencies will have fewer, make sure that the property managers have the time to manage each home effectively, ensuring higher monetary returns. It may be worth paying higher fees to a boutique agency of this nature if it means you get the extra care that could yield greater financial rewards and prevent vacancy, damage or other problems.
8. How many days per week will managing agents have available to show the property to prospective tenants?
Many professionals in today’s busy world don’t have time to visit properties during the normal work week. If an agent is able to show properties on weekends or during extended hours, this will help cater to tenants’ needs. The ability to show your property at least six days a week can help market your home more effectively.
9. How does the agency check prospective tenants’ financial situations?
To help protect your investment, you’ll want to find tenants with good credit, steady jobs and a history of reliable rental payments. You’ll also want a good tenant that not only pays rent on time, but treats your home with respect. To help facilitate this, a good agency will be able to complete in-depth screening of individuals using a subscription to the appropriate tenancy database..
10. Does the agency use a computer system to stay up to date with rental arrears? What actions are taken if payments are overdue?
In today’s computerised workplace, most agents will use modern programs to monitor rental arrears on a daily basis. This allows them to accept electronic funds transfers and take immediate action should payments become past due. When rent payments are late, agents can follow up with tenants immediately using email, telephone calls, written documents, or text messages. It’s also important to have an idea of the kinds of processes that agencies have to deal with bigger problems or non-paying tenants should they arise.
Before you can start asking these important questions, you will need to narrow down your search to a few candidates. Our agent comparison service allows you to review and compare details from many of Australia’s most competent real estate agents. These questions, along with our service, will help you find the best real estate agent to rent your property.