The four non-negotiable qualities you want from a property manager

The four non-negotiable qualities you want from a property manager
The four non-negotiable qualities you want from a property manager

Property managers are not always seen as important as they are when it comes to your investment properties.

While some recognise the strength of a savvy PM, others will settle for the cheapest option.

There are certain skills that make truly excellent property managers stand out. Here are five of these qualities and skills that Property Observer considers non-negotiable in the individual. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that often multiple property managers will be assisting with your property and each company has a different set up. Be aware of who is truly looking out for your interest in the first place.

Picking a property manager is very important (you can read our how to on selecting the best one here).

Here are the four skills and qualities that we suggest you look for:

  1. Negotiation skills

    The ability to negotiate is second to none for a property manager. Your desires are not always going to line up with those of your tenant, and they are going to need to encourage the tenant to compromise and work with them on your behalf. If the tenant wants you to replace an item, and you’re suggesting a repair, then a good negotiator can seamlessly work this one through with a tenant when the circumstances are reasonable.

    Negotiators will also give you plenty of assistance to solve problems before they hit tribunal, so you’ll find yourself saving time and money.

    How to test this: Ask the property manager about a situation when they have had to get a tenant to compromise, or talk them round. They should be able to describe a successful outcome and explain how they did it.

  2. Friendly/Personable

    Whether it’s managing a rent increase, or letting a tenant know they are in arrears, a personable property manager has more of a chance of keeping everyone onside. While keeping you, as the landlord, happy is one thing, tenants are also human and it’s important that your property manager is friendly enough that they are respected, but firm enough that you get what you want.

    Property managers who truly care about their tenants and landlords as well help in the long run – they will ensure the tenant is kept in a well-maintained property, which will assist you from larger repair bills and potential future lawsuits. They should be friendly, but confident, and able to speak plainly.

    You should get a sense of how personable the property manager is in the way they speak to you, and treat you, and the manner in which they discuss their tenants. Respectful and courteous is key here.

  3. Thorough

    The best property managers are thorough. Often this has much to do with the paperwork and systems set up for the job to be done – checklists, forms that must be filled out and processes that they go through can ensure that everything is ticked off seamlessly. Rushed and careless people, as in any business, are likely to cut corners or miss important items they should have checked. For instance, if they don’t check every aspect of the property before returning the bond then you’ll find yourself in strife.

    Ask about the processes they have in place, and how they ensure that they don’t miss anything they need to. If you’re still not convinced, get them to describe to you how they undertake a part of the process – such as an annual inspection or an end of tenancy inspection.

  4. Knowledge of legislation

    This can be a little trickier to test, but it’s crucial your property manager knows the rules and regulations surrounding their profession. You don’t want to find yourself or your property manager fined for charging the incorrect bond, or giving incorrect notice periods. You also want to ensure that the finer points of the legislation they’re up to date with.

    Read through the basic legislation yourself and ask them some simple questions that have straightforward answers. For instance, what is the process for if I find a tenant has subletted the property without my knowledge? Or, when a tenant is in arrears, what steps do we take?

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

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