Eight ways to spot an unprofessional property manager – and how to break free

With the current rental shortage in Western Australia, having a good property manager will give you a huge boost to ensuring your investment is in the best possible position thanks to their market knowledge and expertise. I’m working with my clients to create positive relationships with their tenants while maximising their investment return, which takes a lot of administrative work and great communication.

However, not all property managers operate in the same manner, despite being able to talk the talk. If you’re questioning your property manager’s professionalism – here are my top eight signs you should be seeking a better option.

  1. Poor communication
    Everyone is busy, however, your property manager should always return phone calls and emails promptly. It is rare for me to not answer the phone, but if I’m with another client it can happen, so I call or email my clients back as soon as possible (and definitely within the day).  Any issues are taken care of promptly and my clients know they’re always my priority.
  2. Not nice is not ok
    Do you walk away feeling looked after, or as if you’re burdening your property manager with your queries? If it’s the latter, that’s just not ok. A pleasant demeanour is one of the first attributes a good property manager should display and key to forming a good client relationship. If they’re not nice, there are plenty that are – start looking elsewhere!
  3. Rent stagnation
    Part and parcel of property management is working with tenant changeovers, as people move onto different locations for various reasons. If your property manager is avoiding tenant changeovers by lacking confidence in rent negotiations, you’re not getting what you should out of the relationship. When a lease is up for renewing, your property manager should confidently renegotiate on your behalf and keep rental prices moving with the market. If they’re not, time to have a hard conversation with them or move on.
  4. Not showing up
    Missing routine inspections or private viewings is one of the biggest no nos in the industry – if this is happening to you with your property manager it’s a big red flag. If they’re late, it’s also not a good look so unless there is a very good reason, I’d be seeking out new representation straight away.
  5. Viewing for you, or for me?
    Ideally, you want your property to be viewed by as many good prospects as possible. So, if your property manager holds 3pm viewings on a weekday, there’s a good chance it’s better for them than you and your property. I know many people like to keep their working hours to the 9 to 5 schedule, but if you have your client’s best interests at heart, you’ll have your viewings at a high traffic time. I always hold my property viewings after normal work hours on weekends, which fortunately works better for my lifestyle, too!
  6. Bad tenants and evictions
    These things can happen, but with good screening processes, they tend not to. If you have a bad tenant situation, I’d be asking the steps your property manager took before signing the lease with them. If they haven’t completed due diligence with references, it’s not just a bad tenant you’re dealing with…
  7. Unexplained or unnecessary maintenance costs
    We all know maintenance costs need to be budgeted for with our properties, but they must be accounted for and justified. Some property managers rely on the margins from maintenance, which isn’t great practice. If you have concerns, try asking for before and after photos, documentation on who requested the repair and insist on invoices. If they can’t produce at least one, and ideally all of these, start scouting for a new property manager pronto.
  8. Missing monthly statements

At D Residential, we send out monthly statements and they’re always on schedule. Administration should never be chased by a client – ever! That’s what you pay a property manager for and if yours isn’t getting this job done on time, you have to ask yourself… what are you paying them for?

If any of these issues are cropping up for you, I’m sorry you’ve been treated this way. I’d love to help rebuild your trust in property management and show you exactly how successful your investment can be in the right hands. Call me for a confidential conversation on 0402 888 550.

Diana

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