If you have just purchased an investment property, you’ll want to be sure that it is properly managed. A property manager handles the array of responsibilities that come along with this field, preventing vacancies in rental properties and ensuring that investors receive the maximum financial return. Many real estate agencies have property management departments that can provide an array of services to help the rental process run more smoothly. Yet you’ll want to be sure that you choose an agent who has the right qualifications and experience to perform these tasks adequately.
You can compare property managers by choosing to register your details at LocalAgentFinder. Receive proposals from an array of real estate agents in your area who have experience with the complex field of property management, so that you can select the best fit for your needs. Even with the wisest property investment, mismanagement can lead to lost profits. This is why it’s vital to have a firm understanding of what to expect from a good property manager.
The best real estate property manager will be able to provide the following services:
1. Find Quality Tenants for your Property
One of the most important tasks when renting property is finding good potential tenants. The right real estate agent will help you with this process, marketing your property to ensure a high volume of applications. The property manager will also interview potential tenants, check their references, speak to their current employer, and investigate rental and employment histories. These background checks can help weed out bad tenants and find those who will pay rent on time while respecting your property.
2. Prepare Legal Rental Documents
Although every Australian state offers a standard lease agreement for property managers to use, some experts will go the extra mile by adding unique clauses to protect your needs. They can help make sure that the rental agreement is best designed to protect both the owner and tenant, for a smooth and easy transaction.
3. Prepares Rental Bond Documents
In addition to the standard lease agreement, another piece of paperwork that a property manager can organise on your behalf is a rental bond document. Standard bonds require that the tenant pays the equivalent of 4 weeks rent, and that this money is held by the Residential Tenancy Bond Authority. This bond helps protect your property. It is paid with the understanding that if the tenant pays all rent in a timely manner and leaves the home in the same condition upon departure as when they moved in that they will have their full bond payment returned. The property manager can help serve as an intermediary should any disputes arise between the landlord and tenant at the end of the rental agreement.
Although bond documents seem fairly straightforward, they often contain wording like “fair wear and tear” which can lead to dispute. There can be some confusion regarding whether property damage was due to the actions of the tenants, or due to simple wear and tear. With the help of a qualified estate agent, this type of conflict can be kept to a minimum or avoided altogether. The agent will make sure that the rental agreement is as clear as possible, with photographs of each room taken at the start and end points of the tenancy. Photographs may also be taken of the outdoor areas of the property, should the rental agreement state that the tenant is responsible for maintaining these as well.
The right real estate agents will provide tenants with a clear document outlining all obligations they might have for property upkeep, helping avoid future disputes.
4. Offers Current Market Advice for Renting the House
The most qualified real estate agents to handle property management will know the local rental market down to the smallest details. You can find an agent who has this intimate knowledge of your local region by using the comparison tool provided at LocalAgentFinder, to ensure that you find the right fit. This knowledge is important because it helps the agent know how much you should charge as rent, and what your target demographic will be. By studying market trends, the property manager can advise you if you need to offer a more competitive price, or if you could charge higher rent.
5. Handles the Rental Review Process
At the end of each leasing period, you’ll need to evaluate whether the current rental price is still ideal for the current market conditions. A good real estate agent will have the knowledge to help you make this decision. They can advise you whether it makes sense to raise or lower the rent, taking the local economy into account. This is an important decision to make, in order to maximise your profits while avoiding periods of vacancy.
6. Forwards Rental Payments to Landlords
One of the benefits of using a property manager’s services is that they can help expedite rental payments. Good property managers will be able to credit these rental funds directly into your bank account using electronic transfer. They should then follow up on this transfer with an email notification, so that you know when the money has been transferred for immediate access. Communication is extremely important in an investor and manager relationship.
7. Offers Itemised Activity Statements
In line with keeping up communication, a good property manager will offer you a fully itemised statement each month, along with a comprehensive statement at the conclusion of each financial year. This will show you all monthly activity that pertains to the property, helping you update your own records as an investor.
8. Offers Regular Property Inspections
To avoid any unpleasant surprises at the end of a tenancy agreement, it’s in both the tenants’ and landlords’ best interests to agree to property inspections. In most cases, the real estate agent will conduct an internal and external inspection at the start and end of each tenancy. Some will conduct more regular inspections, such as every 6 months. The agent can prepare and send the landlord a written report of the property’s condition. The tenant also has the opportunity to co-sign this statement, showing that they are in agreement with the assessment.
This inspection process serves two purposes. By providing a written report, the tenant is made aware that the landlord is serious about keeping up the care of their home. At the same time, this can catch any potential problems early, so that there aren’t any surprises later on. This can help ease a landlord’s mind and encourage tenants to take good care of property.
9. Deals with Rental Arrears
If rental payments are overdue, they are known as rental arrears. This can be a tricky and uncomfortable situation for you to deal with as a landlord. With the use of a good property manager, you can delegate this task to their expertise. Estate agents know the best ways to communicate with tenants, and will do so immediately as soon as rental payments fall behind. They can issue necessary notices and follow up with professionalism using several methods of communication, until rental payments are up to date. Although hopefully the issue is dealt with quickly, real estate agents also know the proper channels to take to force an eviction.
10. Handles all Advertising and Marketing Needs
One of the best advertising tools for renting out your home in today’s tech-savvy world is the internet. A major advantage of choosing to rent your home with the help of a property manager is that they will have access to all of today’s top real estate listing sites. Private landlords don’t have the same level of access, which can inhibit exposure. A good real estate agent should also have a standing list of prospective tenants on hand, so that they can begin the showing process immediately.
Physical “For Lease” signs can be placed in front of the house, to garner drive-by attention from local prospective tenants. This is particularly true if your property is located in a busy part of town. In more rural areas, estate agents will also utilise newspaper advertisements in addition to these other methods of marketing.
11. Will Help Maintain Property
To keep your investment in top shape in a competitive rental market, it’s important to keep it looking its best. Effective property management includes access to a team of professional tradespeople, who will perform work at a reasonable price. This can save the landlord the time and money it would take to source their own maintenance services. The estate agent can also help arrange priority maintenance tasks on the landlord’s behalf.
12. Pays Account and Statutory Charges
Along with arranging for maintenance, estate agents can pay bills on the behalf of the landlord. This service can ensure that all maintenance, utility, and body corporate fees are taken care of in a timely manner. The agent will take the money for these bills out of the rental income, before forwarding the balance to the landlord. Staying on top of monthly bills can be a major headache, which is why it’s a good idea to delegate this task to a highly organised property manager instead.
Using the full services that a property manager provides can yield many benefits. It helps landlords avoid miscommunication with tenants, ensures that the property is marketed most effectively, and can maximise net returns. Choosing the right property manager will help you feel confident that your investment property is being handled with the utmost level of care, so that you can enjoy the fruits of your investment without the stress of its daily management.
The first step towards finding a qualified real estate agent to handle all of your investment property management needs is to find out more about LocalAgentFinder and how it works. By comparing qualifications, you can feel secure in the knowledge that your property is in good hands.
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