For many, purchasing an investment property is a big financial commitment. Despite what many think, a large percentage of property investors are “Mum and Dad” investors, looking for a way to get ahead or establish a retirement fund. It is therefore critical that the property manager they choose to look after their property is fully engaged in ensuring that the property is expertly and carefully managed.
Whenever you are considering a property manager to look after an asset as valuable as your investment property, there are 3 key questions you should be asking:
1. Do you or have you ever owned your own property?
If your property manager has never owned their own property, can they really be aware of just how important that asset is to you? Often I hear from people complaining about how their property manager just doesn’t seem to care or understand the landlord’s point of view. Of course if they have never owned their own home, how can they be expected to understand what it means to a home owner?
2. Have you ever owned an investment property?
Wouldn’t you prefer a property manager that understands exactly where you are coming from. Only a property manager who has been a landlord as well could possibly understand each situation from the landlord’s perspective. The real life experience of being a landlord is invaluable in providing understanding and empathy for all the various high and lows of being a landlord. As I said earlier, a majority of investors are simply small-time “Mums and Dads” who cannot afford for their investment to be poorly managed.
3, What role do you have in your company?
Again, many of the complaints I hear from landlords are that their property manager just doesn’t seem to care. Many property managers are employees, who are concerned first and foremost with simply doing the minimum required to keep their job and get paid each week. Only a property manager who is an owner or director or their own company is truly invested in ensuring 100% customer satisfaction at all times. So who would you rather have managing your valuable investment; an employee concerned with covering their own hide first, or a business owner who is actively engaged in protecting his company’s professional reputation at all times?
So, when you are interviewing your next property manager put these questions at the top of your list. This way you will be certain to engage the property manager who has the best real life experience to make your property investing experience a successful one, and who has the most to gain by ensuring you are 100% happy with the service they provide.
Scott Hunt is the founding director of the Aspiron Real Estate Group and principal of Aspiron Real Estate Geelong.