Should I Hire a Property Manager?

August 29, 2014

If you’re trying to decide whether to self-manage your rental property or work with a property manager, you’ve come to the right place. This article explains what property managers do, how they can benefit you and how to select the best property manager for you.

There are many aspects to consider when deciding whether to use a property manager or self-manage. We began our property management business after self-managing our portfolio of properties for many years, so we truly understand your needs.

What does a property manager do?

Property management companies handle a wide range of tasks associated with renting out a property to tenants. The exact services offered will vary between property management companies. At First Avenue, we handle all aspects of renting out your property – from helping you market your property to selecting the best tenants to repairs and regular inspections.

Benefits of working with a management company

Free up your time

The key benefit that a property manager can offer you is TIME. It takes quite a bit of time to successfully manage a rental property. Showing the property and selecting the right tenant can take days in itself. Once you’ve rented out your house, you’ll need to collect rent, regularly inspect the property and be ready to address unexpected issues at any hour of the day. And when the current tenants move out, you’ll need to do it all over again! For landlords with multiple properties, self-management can be far too time-consuming, especially for those working full-time jobs.

Protect your investment

Property management companies with as much experience as First Avenue are very good at picking suitable tenants for your property. Suitable tenants are those that pay their rent on time and take good care of the property, leaving the building in its original state when they move out. Property managers also routinely inspect the properties they manage so that maintenance issues can be addressed promptly and do not escalate.

Improve income flow
To ensure that your investment property remains profitable, it should be occupied as much as possible and rent should be received on time. Many property managers will help you market your property so you can rent it out as quickly as possible. We go a step further – we offer up to two hours of free handyman or cleaning services to get your property market ready.

Property managers also tend to enforce strict rent collection schedules. At First Avenue, for example, we have a zero tolerance policy towards rent arrears. If a tenant is late on their payment, we will be in touch with them immediately to address the situation. By picking suitable tenants in the first place, however, arrears tend to be less of a problem. When necessary, we are also able to facilitate eviction processes to remove bad tenants and replace them with more suitable ones.

Convenience and privacy

As a landlord, you need to promptly address your tenants’ concerns and issues, which can occur at inconvenient times – like in the middle of the night or while you’re on holiday. You’ll also need to have frequent contact with your tenants. For people who treasure their privacy, this level of interaction may not be desirable. Your property manager acts as the middle man between you and the tenant, allowing you to enjoy your time without disturbances.

The New Zealand Residential Tenancies Act requires that landlords have an agent if they are out of the country for 21 consecutive days or more. This would apply to landlords who rent out their New Zealand property while they are living abroad. We currently manage several Christchurch properties for landlords living outside of the country and receive great feedback from our expat and foreign landlords.

What to look for in a property management company

Experience and local knowledge

It’s important to find a property management company that will help you maximise the return on your investment, but it’s also important to find one that makes you feel comfortable. The property manager should also be very familiar with your area, preferably living and working in that area for quite some time.

License real estate broker

It’s advisable to work with a property manager who is a licensed real estate broker. In addition, it’s wise to work with someone who has rental properties of their own – these property managers will know what it’s like to be an owner and are more likely to be sensitive to your needs. If you decide to work with a real estate company, ask them if they have a dedicated project management department – you’re more likely to get the attention you deserve if they do.

Valuable extras

While nearly all property managers offer a standard set of services, some companies offer certain extras that can make a huge difference. For example, at First Avenue we provide detailed quarterly maintenance reports with photographs so you have a precise idea about the state of your property. We also offer a comprehensive marketing package to help you get your property noticed and in front of the right tenants.

 

The First Avenue difference

We are experts in property management in Christchurch. We believe in forming a long-term relationship with you, so that you feel comfortable and confident in our services. You can learn more about what makes us different from other property management companies here.  

If you’re ready to experience the First Avenue difference, we encourage you to book a free rental appraisal appointment today. This will give you an accurate idea about the rental value of your property and help you learn more about property management so you can decide if it’s the best option for you.

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Filed under Property management \ Tenant Management

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