Why is it so important to employ a property manager?

Updated: Sep 20, 2018

About 75% of Australian landlords employ a property manager to handle their investments and with good reason. There’s much more involved than securing a good tenant and making sure they pay the rent. Even if you do happen to find the perfect tenant, self-managing the tenancy can be much more time consuming and stressful than you might imagine. Here are some reasons why employing an experienced property manager could end up saving you money as well as time.

Avoid the awkwardness

It’s always best to have a buffer between you and your tenant to keep things from getting personal. The tenancy is a business after all and a property manager protects this relationship from getting messy. Apart from saving you time dealing directly with the tenant, a property manager also saves you from those tricky conversations and keeps interactions professional.

Accurate record keeping

Have you got enough life admin to worry about? The beauty of a quality property management company is that they have systems and software in place to record the tenants rental payments and your invoice records accurately. An experienced property manager is also a master of keeping detailed notes of all conversations and property history. Important details are also confirmed in writing by email and kept should there ever be any questions or problems that arise in future. They can also document manage all appliance warranties, manuals, tax information and anything else that you might need. It’s all in one place and you never have to worry about filing or losing any of this valuable information.

"a property manager also saves you from those tricky conversations and keeps interactions professional"

Legislation and Regulations

There are many responsibilities a tenant must be aware of when they lease a property, but have you thought about your obligations as an investor? If you aren’t aware of your responsibilities and the strict timeframes landlords must adhere to under the Act you could leave yourself liable. Property managers are experts in the legislation and rights and obligations of both tenants and landlords. An experienced property manager will advise you in every scenario of what you need to do and when you need to do it by and will make sure you don’t forget. There are a number of tenants advocate services for tenants to seek free advice but these services don’t exist for landlords. You may not be aware that in certain scenarios a tenant will be eligible for compensation from a landlord if they do not meet their obligations.

Another scenario where you need an expert in legislation and regulations is if a tenant damages the property. Do you have the knowledge and expertise to deal with this scenario? You need to be aware of the process that must be followed and the timeframes you need to adhere to in order to successfully claim from a tenants bond, otherwise you could be left out of pocket. Not to mention the time and energy this will take to rectify. A quality property manager ensures this process is smooth and efficient and that you are paint the costs you are entitled to.

Emergency maintenance

Any property manager will tell you that a hot water system always fails after 5pm on Friday. It’s Murphys Law!

You’re out to dinner with friends after a hectic week of work and finally it’s time to relax. Then you notice 14 missed calls from your tenant and all of sudden the rest of your night is spent on the phone to plumbers, calming down your tenant and assuring them you are doing everything you can. How many litres is the current unit? Is it gas or electric? Is that quote reasonable? What’s an after hours charge? Is this plumber going to do a good job?

If you had a property manager in place your tenant would be assured that the hot water would be back on as soon as possible and a trusted and experience tradesman would be on the way in no time at all.

Tradesman and maintenance

A property manager spends a lot of time interviewing and selecting the right tradesman they can trust to look after their clients maintenance needs before putting them on the books. Ensuring a tradesman is reliable, value for money and appropriately ensured before they are engaged to carry out work at your property is paramount. Not having to call through the phone book or ask your friends who they have used saves you time and ensures the job is done quickly and correctly at a reasonable rate so that you and your tenants are not left hanging.

Experience and expertise

You know what they say, you don’t know what you don’t know and you could be missing out on tax deductions or losing money in other areas. Have you under priced your property and could you be getting $20, $30, $40 per week more from your tenants? Have you reported that the property is leased to the correct government body to avoid penalties.

Do you know what’s involved in securing a quality tenant or will you be too time poor to exhaustively screen prospective tenants? Experience in tenant selection can be the difference between a nightmare tenancy and set and forget. The wrong tenant can cost a landlord severely and the right tenant can make the whole experience easy and hassle free.

Experience cannot be undervalued when dealing with your investment property. An experienced property manager will actually maximise your return in a lot of areas and prevent costly mistakes.