Home' API Magazine : December 2014 Contents DECEMBER 2014 n APIMAGAZINE.COM.AU n 23
f Their occupancy rates.
f The average time on market for
f Any other points of differences or
service guarantees they can offer.
Nevertheless, at the end of the day, Gill
says, not everyone’s the same.
“What you might want in a property
manager and what I might want may be
completely different,” she says.
“So if they’ve got quality core business
practices in place and you’re confident
they can deliver, go with your gut
because that’s the person you’re going to
be working with and you want to have a
Ensuring you maintain that
professional working relationship with
your property manager can prove
beneficial in more ways than one.
Especially when things go wrong.
“In our industry, if things aren’t done
correctly it can result in a lot of risk and
money loss but even if things are done
correctly sometimes things can still go
wrong,” she says.
“And I think that’s why it’s so
important to educate our landlords and
set expectations from the get-go. So if
something does go pear-shaped at least
they have peace of mind in knowing
we’re there to help them.”
The culture of an office can definitely
have an impact on a property manager’s
performance, according to the experts.
So you need to ask yourself, does your
prospective property manager look
happy in what they do and who they’re
Property management director at
Urban Property Agents Ranita Patel
says investing in her team ensures
For her, the culture of an organisation
is just as important as the skill set of
“Team bonding and a light-hearted
environment are important to ensure
morale remains high and there’s a strong
relationship throughout the office,”
Creating a positive, professional
atmosphere is a contagious characteristic
she encourages throughout her team.
“I believe it’s important to hire
people with the right attitude and not
necessarily focus on industry experience
as that can be learned,” she says.
Patel says the optimal number of
properties each property manager
should oversee is approximately 120.
“This allows for top tier service
without overloading the property
manager. At 120, a property manager
should be able to do their own routine
inspections, entry and exit condition
reports, arrears follow-up, maintenance
follow-up and other administrative tasks
in relation to their portfolio.”
Patel is a winner of the 2013 REIA
Property Manager of the Year award.
“When it comes down to the
day-to-day property management,
you need someone who is cool and
calm under pressure because if they
can efficiently breeze through the tough
times, the job becomes a passion rather
than a chore,” she says.
“Sometimes I see property managers
failing to treat their tenants with the
same amount of care and respect as
they treat their landlords and thus fail
to understand that although a landlord
is our client, without good and happy
tenants, properties would remain vacant.
Therefore no income for the owner and
no commission for us.”
nKEEPING A PROPERTY MANAGER
STAR ON YOUR TEAM
Gill says it comes down to trusting
“A landlord uses a property manager
for professionalism, expertise, advice
and knowledge. So if we call and suggest
preventative maintenance it’s worth
taking the advice on board because at
the end of the day we’re working for
them,” she says.
“We want to achieve the best
outcome for our client and we’ve got the
knowledge to do that.”
And the next time you miss a call from
your property manager be sure to call
“Because we’re not calling just to have
a chat about the weather,” she says with
“It’s probably pretty important.”
Given that staff may come and go
in any business, sometimes it may be
inevitable you have to, at some point, bid
farewell to your top performing property
manager, Holt says.
“Investors must understand this of
course is an issue in all industries and it’s
a case of knowing the name of the owner
of the business and if there are any
concerns speak to the business licensee,”
she says. API
Margaret Lomas says there are many
questions you should ask before you
proceed with any property manager.
These may include:
f How many properties do you currently
manage, and what number of staff do
you have to manage them?
f How often are inspections carried out
and what is the cost of these?
f What is the actual percentage of the
management fee, including all sundries,
postage, telephone, leasing costs,
advertising, letting fees, linen, laundry,
cleaning and maintenance?
f How often are disbursements to the
owner made? While a minimum of
monthly is most desirable, especially
where you have borrowed to invest
and must make regular mortgage
repayments, don’t be afraid to ask for
f What action does the manager take
when a tenant is behind in rent?
f How does a manager monitor tenant
care of the premises?
f Has the manager any past cases of
complaints from owners?
f What is the vacancy rate across the
manager’s rent roll or apartments in any
one complex or resort?
f Has the manager experienced any past
f Has the manager been involved in any
failed companies or ventures?
f What strategy would the manager
use to seek a tenant if your property
f What plans does the manager have to
attract tenants to your property?
f What plans are in place for staff to
manage the job when the manager takes
f How many tenants on the books are
currently in arrears?
f How many cases of serious tenant
damage have been experienced in
f What process does the manager use
to screen tenants?
f In the case of a strata titled complex,
which is holiday let and managed onsite,
does the body corporate have control over
payment of some of the larger expenses?
f Is there a guard in place against secret
commissions and undisclosed mark-ups?
These can occur where
a manager uses ‘mates’ to
perform work and
receives kickbacks for
f What is the personal
background of the
THE BIG QUESTIONS
Find a Star Property Manager n HOW TO
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