expert-q-a

Investors ask: Dodgy property managers

By Ben Kingsley
Ben Kingsley

Q. I’m purchasing a new house to rent out and I need to find the best property manager to take care of my house and tenants. What signs should I keep an eye out for to indicate a dodgy property manager?

A.The first trick I always use when I’m looking to select a property manager in the area is to ask whether they are specialists in their field, or if they are part of a broader real estate agency business. That way, I know their business doesn’t rely on commission for sales; it relies on being the best property managers they can be. So they focus on specialising in that space.

The second thing I do is contact the state agency association body, such as the relevant Real Estate Institute, and I ask who has won the awards for best property manager in the area where I’ve got my property. I ask for the winner and the runners up for the past two years. That gives me a good list from which to start refining my search. If their business is solely reliant on property management and I know they’ve been going for a good period of time, I know that it’s not going to be a second-rate part of their business.

I also want to know what sort of tenant they think the property would attract, and whether they’ll be low maintenance or high maintenance. I want them to be realistic with me; I don’t want them to over quote how much rent I’m going to get.

Ben Kingsley, founding director, Empower Wealth

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