One of the very first questions that we get asked here at Unbound Property Management is “what does a property manager actually do?”. Now that’s a very good question and due to its complexity, one that’s often difficult to answer over the phone before you begin to drift off! Aside from the obvious stuff like after-hours services, collecting rent and finding tenants the role is extremely diverse and requires a very special person to keep on top of it all. So here you go, this one’s for you. What Does a Property Manager Do? 7 Things a Property Manager Does and More.
You’re probably wondering how much rent you can expect to receive from your rental so that you can crunch your numbers and make sure that your investment is fine tuned. A good property management company will put together an up-to-date rental appraisal for free with a combination of government, market and internal data. A complete rental appraisal will also include an overview of the services that a property manager offers and how to proceed with getting your place under management.
Once your place is under management it’s time to find awesome tenants. This is done with awesome marketing! A property management company should be super, well-versed in digital marketing to place your rental in front of as many qualified tenants as possible to have the best possible selection of applications to choose from. Great property photos attract great tenants so no exceptions should be made with substandard media. The property also needs to be marketed in the right places to find the right people dependent on the home.
Once you have tenants in the home they’re going to be in there for a while so it’s very important to have a rigorous tenant selection process. A property manager will generally meet the tenants in-person at a property viewing and collect an application afterwards. From this application, credit scores and criminal history can be checked – along with three reference checks from different categories (work, home, personal).
A property manager will collect a maximum of four weeks rent as a bond to look after your investment and lodge it securely with Tenancy Services. If it is found at the conclusion of the tenancy that something is damaged, your property manager will deduct the cost of these from the tenant’s bond refund. They will also collect rent from the tenants on your behalf and disburse it to you at regular intervals, minus fees and any maintenance organised for you. A good property management company will have a zero rent arrears policy and chase up any missed payments immediately on your behalf.
To define the relationship between you and the tenants, a property manager will put together a legally binding tenancy agreement with them acting on your behalf. This will cover things such as the maximum amount of tenants allowed, whether pets are okay and who’s responsible for the gardens and utilities. The tenant’s rent & bond obligations will also be clearly defined in this agreement. A good property manager will also ask you if you’d like any special clauses added to the tenancy agreement such as no nail holes in the walls or no vehicles on the front lawn.
Most landlords don’t know this, but you’re legally required to conduct regular inspections for your house insurance to be valid in case of an emergency. A good property manager will conduct detailed, photo-and-description-rich, quarterly inspections on your behalf with their dedicated software application. They’ll also conduct entry and exit inspection to note any change in the condition of the property. These inspections are a great opportunity to ask the tenants if any maintenance is required to preserve your property. The property manager will organise for this work to be done on your behalf if it’s below a certain, pre-defined expense threshold.
The legal landscape is changing, and your rental must comply! A good property manager will help you get your head around the new RTA (Residential Tenancies Act) standards and ensure that your property is up to scratch. As of July 2021 your rental will need to comply with strict government regulations regarding heating, insulation, ventilation, draught, moisture and drainage.
There are many other things that a property manager does for you like lease renewal and giving you access to your rental income statements for your end of year tax return. In brief, we look after it all so that your investment is as hands-off as possible and so that you can focus on the other stuff that matters.
I hope that this has given you a better idea of what a property manager does but you might still have some questions so don’t hesitate to get in touch.
All the best with your property investment!
Do you have an investment property or are looking to get one? Reach out for a free rental appraisal to find out how much rent it could be getting in today’s market.