As much as property managers want to give the best service to their clients, investors must also be responsible enough to reflect on the kind of relationship they have established with their financial team—how do they become a better client to attract the best professionals?
Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant is a staunch advocate of getting help from property professionals, who he has always regarded as “worth their weight in gold”.
He said: “As a property investor, I want to be a good client … [not] one of those nuisance clients who’s always yelling and screaming at them, demanding more, telling them that service is sh**.”
According to Managed’s Thom Richards and Nick Bouris, being good property managers takes time and effort so having a client who is consistently proactive in pursuit of his own success makes work considerably easier and even fun.
Being a good client
First and foremost, investors must keep in mind that property managers are professionals—they know their way around the market because they quite literally spend every working hour studying it. It is, therefore, important for them to keep a clear set of tasks to accomplish everyday in order to serve all different clients with different needs without compromising the quality of their work.
“They know the market, they usually have a clear schedule. They know exactly what they need to do. They’ve got to set the task list when it comes to leasing a property, to managing a property, and how they address each of the items they’ve got to do,” Thom explained.
The best thing for a property investor to do, according to him, is to have the same mindset. Being able to understand exactly what the investor wants saves both the property manager and their client from misunderstandings as well as wasted time and effort.
He said: “They might have an investment strategy, they might know when they plan on doing these renovations, what their targets are, exactly why they bought the property, what sort of communication they need, and what sort of schedule they want to be on.”
“If you’ve got the ability to reach out to them every month and say ‘What's the plan for the month?’ or ‘[Are] you applying for anything?’ [or] ‘Are you doing your tax now or are you getting that new car?’ Whatever it may be,” the property manager added.
While the property manager works hard to be proactive, investors must also make it a point to maintain transparency about important factors that may affect their portfolio. Constantly chasing your property managers for advice or clarifications can be avoided if you work as hard to be open about your goals, your capabilities and limitations, as well as your needs and plans of action as an investor.
Thom reiterated: “What do you want? When are you … going to need to access [data] at this time of the year? Are you going to do some updates … ? Whatever the plans are, just [be] upfront with the property manager.”
Nick’s advice to property investors: Make time for a discussion with your property manager in order to ensure that you’re both moving in the same direction at the same pace. According to him, they will most certainly ask a lot of questions to understand your journey, but as much as they want to help you navigate your way through, they can only work with the answers you give them.
Therefore, as a responsible investor, you must be able to organise a regular meeting with your property manager to establish a certain framework that will lay out your process of working together.
Nick said: “If you are someone that needs a lot of service and attention, [it] may be best to have that discussion with your property manager and work out a time—whether it be monthly or intra-monthly—where you can sit down and get all your needs and concerns out of the way.”
“Instead of calling every time something pops into your head, write it down and arrange a time to sit down and address all those concerns at once,” he added.
Rest assured that property managers are pretty “malleable” and are willing to adjust based on present circumstances—just let them know if anything has changed from the last time you spoke. At the end of the day, it’s only basic human kindness to make the process easier and more efficient for everyone involved.
After all, who wants their time and effort wasted?
“The more they like [you] as a person, the much better the outcome [and] the service that you receive. It’s just human nature, right? So, it’s nice to be nice to people,” Phil concluded.
Tune in to Thom Richards and Nick Bouris’ episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the best tools, tactics, and tips to manage your properties and make the most out of your investment.