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Choosing the right Property Manager in Newcastle
Enjoy the benefits of property managers that care about you and your investment.
We’re selective about your tenants
Having the right tenant is important to you and us.
When it come to property management in Newcastle we’ve seen it all with our clients tenants. There’s a fine balance to the tenant selection process. If you are too strict, then you run the risk of your property being left vacant when it could be earning an income. If you aren’t selective enough, then it may end up costing you in the long run with rental arrears, property damage and broken leases.
As property managers, our selection process aligns with the John West slogan – “it’s the tenants that Arnold Property rejects, that makes us the best”. We thoroughly screen and cross check potential tenants against our own databases, as well as TICA and RP Data information.
We have streamlined our processes so that there are no unnecessary delays. We also check references, employment and financial security, and then we furnish you with all the information to make the right decision.
It also helps that we have been in the business for over 30 years, we are local, and we know our tenants better than anyone!
Our clients are our biggest advocates
We’ve helped customers achieve what others couldn’t, read for yourself.
How to choose the right Property Manager
So how do you find that special person – a good Property Manager?
Landlords should interview at least three property managers before making a choice – and fees shouldn’t be the main criteria, ‘pay peanuts get monkeys’ as they say. You want the best one, not the cheapest one. Make your selection based on who you think is going to give the best service. If you don’t have a good impression after speaking with them, don’t go with them just because they’re cheaper. For an investment, usually of at least half a million dollars, you should be picking the best person who you feel is the most professional agent to manage the property.
Questions to ask
A property manager can’t, in our opinion, competently manage more than 150 properties. If an agency has for example, 1,200 properties, they need eight property managers. If they have four or five it’s not going to work for you.
If people are managing more than 150 you’ll find that they don’t have enough time in the day to service their clients. You want your property to be important to the agency, not just be ‘another number’.
Another question that should be high on a landlord’s list is how long your prospective manager has been doing this type of work.
Managers with 5 to 10 years or more experience can often identify a bad tenant at ten paces. It’s important that your agency has a good blend of experienced property managers, blended with the flair of youth, and that they all work in unison
Which brings us to another question, ask them if they enjoy their job? Being a property manager can be a high stress job, if you get tenants who complain and landlords who won’t fix things. This stress can be spread on to other clients properties & the management can begin to lack. If they don’t enjoy it, it can show in the work they provide and it may not be the kind of service you want, unhappy Agents can turn into unhappy tenants and in turn unhappy landlords.
If the agent has worked with a tenant their rental history will be in the agents tenant database. This is a powerful tool when vetting potential tenants as can tell if a potential tenant is the right fit for your property.
A tenant database also gives you a great sign of an agency’s experience, and how successful they are at their roles.
What are the criteria that the property manager uses to qualify potential tenants? They should be looking at things like:
- rental history
- financial position
- employment details
- residency or visa status
The last thing you want is to lose a tenant halfway through a tenancy, and be out of pocket as the landlord. Worse still, find out that your property is damaged and you have to foot the bill.
How often does the property manager perform inspections? Your property inspections should be happening every quarter. In our experience the first one is very important to set the standard to expect from the tenants for the rest of the agreement. Agents should always let the tenant know if they have breached the agreement.
Inspections identify things like
- unapproved occupants
- unapproved pets
- untidy gardens/lawns
- damage by tenants
- maintenance not reported by the tenant
Photos should be taken of any issues and shared with yourself. The photos are also useful as evidence if you end up at the tribunal.
Do you have the opportunity to attend one of these inspections with the agent? This provides transparency and also your own peace of mind.
Rent reviews are another fine balancing act and a question you should be asking any property manager is, what is the process for rent reviews?
During a rent review, the agent should look at the market rate in your area, along with the property and tenancy. They then advise you if any opportunity to increase your rent exists. There shouldn’t be any rent increases performed without your permission.
Be aware that increasing rents too frequently may result in losing a good tenant. Having a property left vacant often results in more lost revenue than the rental increase may have returned.
Typically, rent reviews can be performed at the following times:
- At the time of lease renewal
- After an inspection has been completed
- When a tenancy has ended
Changing Newcastle property management
Like all relationships, the one between a landlord and manager doesn’t always run smoothly – and sometimes the landlord wants “out”.
Many landlords are under the false impression that when they sign a 12 month tenancy agreement with a tenant that they have also signed an Exclusive Management Agreement. As a result many landlords wait until the end of the 12 months to change managers when in fact they can change as soon and the Exclusive Management Agreement has expired. The standard agreement is a 30, 60 or 90 day authority but 30 days is probably the most common. Once this Exclusive Management Agreement designed to cover the letting period has expired – the process of changing managers is simple.
All you have to do is sign an authority with a new agent who will inform the previous agent that they have taken over management. The new agent will send over a standard fax to the previous agent advising that they have taken over the management. On behalf of the landlord and to have the file ready for collection within 48 hours. This notice in writing voids the previous authority. This procedure avoids awkward conversations between The Landlord and former Property Manager.