When it comes to property managers you'd be forgiven for thinking they're all dodgy... bad media coverage is common. While they might have a bad rep, the belief that all property managers are terrible simply isn't true. There are plenty of hard working, reliable and professional managers out there who will look after your property as if it was their own. The key is finding them.
As the owner of an investment property you understandably, want to make sure your asset is going to be well taken care of. If you're time poor, having someone else deal with tenants, maintenance and any other issues that come up can also be appealing. Yet you might be sceptical about the service they will provide.
This blog will put your mind at rest. In it, we debunk some common myths around property managers and look at the benefits of engaging someone who provides legitimate, best practice property management solutions.
MYTH 1: They're never there when you need them
It's true, some property managers provide poor service. This might include not being available when you need to get hold of them, irregular inspections, and a general lack of awareness about your property. Rest assured, however, quality property managers don't act in this way.
Reality: You get what you pay for. A property manager can cost anywhere from $30 to $50+ per week, but on average you don't want to go with the cheapest operator. You want to be a VIP client, not a discounted client. Communication is top of the list when it comes to an owner-property manager relationship so you need someone who will answer your calls (and your tenant's).
MYTH 2: They only think about money
Property managers typically charge on all money collected or paid out on behalf of a property owner. This can be rent, repairs, maintenance or any other money they handle while looking after the property. A change in industry legislation around letting fees means property managers will now also charge this cost to owners rather than tenants. So, there can be a number of costs involved in having your property managed, but often it still makes more financial sense to have a manager take care of these things rather than do it yourself.
Reality: Property managers can be particularly helpful for larger or multiple properties. As the size of your properties or number of rentals increases, so do your responsibilities. The more tenants you have, the more complaints, vacancies and maintenance required. As well as the time involved, keep in mind the cost of getting to and from the property to sort out issues.
MYTH 3: Property managers are not regulated
There's no governing body overseeing whether property managers are doing a good or bad job. They are also not subject to police checks or a code of conduct, so how can you trust them to provide the required level of service?
Reality: New Zealand actually has a lot of legislation affecting property management to ensure a standard of care. This ranges from insulation, smoke alarm and heating requirements to legislation like the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill and Tenancy Reform Bill. It's also worth noting that unless you're experienced at managing properties yourself and familiar with the latest laws, you could easily fall out of compliance and risk fines.
Like any industry, there are some dodgy property managers operating in the market. There are also many professional, effective, and reliable managers out there who will look after your rental property as if it was their own. If you work with the right team, you can trust they're doing the best job for you and will be a valuable resource that can save you time and money.