Property management – outsource or keep it personal

There are two basic questions you need to ask yourself when considering whether to manage your tenanted property. They are: could I do the job well and, if so, do I want to?

Job description of a property manager

The bread and butter tasks of managing a property include:

  • Securing a tenant
  • Risk management in the form of tenant screening
  • Prepare a lease agreement
  • Collecting rent and bond
  • Regular property inspections inline with state regulations
  • Ongoing communication with tenants
  • Property maintenance
  • Dealing with disputes

In order to do the job well, you’ll also need a thorough understanding of the rights, duties, entitlement and responsibilities of a landlord and tenant, as well as an appreciation of process and procedures when things go wrong.

Benefits of DIY

A major benefit of self-managing your property is that you may save money (agents typically charge around 5% to 10% of the annual rent). A less obvious benefit that self-management may provide is an opportunity for you to develop a good relationship with your tenant. Getting to know your tenants is regarded as a sound strategy for developing long-term leases. However, this latter benefit is almost entirely dependant on your ability to manage your property well.

Benefits of using a property manager

For many people time is money and a property manager will often do the legwork for you and save you the effort of grappling with the residential tenancy legislation and rules. In addition, property managers often have access to a large number of reliable tradespeople and may be able to negotiate cheaper fees for work done on your property.

Property managers are also well placed to advise on market rents and vacancy rates and this may help to ensure that you maximise your rental yields. Similarly, property managers often have some knowledge of property taxation which may help minimise your tax exposure.

If you appoint a property manager

Check if the property manager is a member of a real estate body with a code of conduct. Not all property managers are competent so always remember to monitor how well your property is being managed. Fees may be in the region of 5% to 10% of the annual rental but can be negotiated, as can some aspects of the contract with the property manager. For example, you may want to put a cap on how much a property manager can spend on repairs and maintenance without needing to consult you first.

WhiteStar Group has a dedicated Property Management team who are able to assist you with end to end property management. Talk to our property manager 1300 652 842