Property Investment Return
Dear Fellow Landlord
Please let me introduce myself. I am a fellow property investor with 15 years’ industry experience who also has a driving passion to make a real difference to the standards of property management in Brisbane.
At Beyond Property Management, our passion is to see a change of focus…from volume-driven processes to personalised service focused on maximising the client’s return on investment.
At Beyond Property Management, our business model was created from a core understanding of what investors want from a Property Manager. This is coupled with a deep and passionate understanding of why there is so often a gap in our industry between what the investor wants, and what service the mainstream industry delivers.
And so we decided to ‘be the change we wanted to see’.
In launching our business, we drew from our experiences as active property investors and managers of many years, to develop a property management service that is value-adding to clients. We put together our list of 10 Top Strategies for maximising returns and minimising risk in investing.
Then we decided to share these tips with other investors.
The information in our 10 Top Tips is designed to give questions, information, tips and strategies to ensure you are receiving the best possible return from your investment property.
We hope the information both makes you money and saves you money… And also just empowers you to enjoy your journey as a landlord!
Once we started writing our 10 Top Tips, we just kept going, so to get you started, here are a few basic questions that we feel are absolutely critical to ask a potential Property Manager. These are the key things you should know about your Property Manager before looking more closely at the more strategic tips in our 10 Top Tips.
Receiving our FREE 10 top tips for maximising your investment property's return is easy and painless.
ASK the potential Property Manager:
Who will be managing my property – and who is supporting that person?
One of the key complaints that property investors have is that they feel that they are spending more time managing their manager, than the manager spends on the property. They feel the need to micro-manage their Property Manager – and this is simply a reflection that the Client has no confidence in their Property Manager.
Often this problem starts with simple lack of communication. Your calls aren’t returned, your emails aren’t acknowledged, then a problem strikes with maintenance or arrears, and you have no confidence that anyone is actually in control of the situation.
We know because we’ve been clients in that situation!
This problem is usually an indication of a Property Management team where the staff aren’t valued, aren’t trained and empowered to do their jobs effectively, have little leadership and guidance to support them, and are given too many properties to manage. In short, they are another victim of an industry prone to burn-out. So… is this their fault… or their bosses fault?
Whether your Agency separates responsibilities across their team by task or by property, is actually less important than whether the team is experienced and capable, but also whether they are passionate about delivering a high level of service to their clients.
This passion stems from the top – don’t just look at the individual person you are meeting with in the Agency – look at the Agency as a whole. What are their values, their philosophy, their passion? Because – and let’s be honest – property management is tough at times. So look a bit deeper and make sure the Property Manager has the support, leadership and guidance they need to provide you with the level of service that means that you feel comfortable that your property is in safe hands.
So make sure you ask questions that will give you confidence in continuity of service. Read testimonials and reviews on the Agency (you can see ours on the right hand side of our website). This will help you feel comfortable of a strong working relationship with your property manager, and the Agency as a whole.
What experience and skills does this person have?
Did you know that to become a Property Manager, you need to merely sit a 3 day course? And then you are apparently qualified to manage assets with total value in the tens of millions of dollars??
Property Management is in our opinion, a role that is undervalued by its own industry. It is a multi-faceted role, the complexities of which are over-looked by the industry, which seems to target people with an ‘administration’ background. But there is so much more to property management than administration – We can lurch in one day from receipting rent and managing arrears, to dealing with a blocked toilet, to showing someone through a property, signing up a new tenancy, advertising a home, doing vacate inspections and bond refunds, performing routine inspections, and all while emails and calls flow in with requests for a new puppy and queries on water invoicing… the list goes on!
Communication skills and ability to multi-task are over-looked but critical skills in property management. Strong communication skills for both the Lessor-Manager and the Tenant-Manager relationship ensures lower arrears, defaults and ultimately reduced tribunal costs. Difficult situations and personalities are a big part of the job!
Other skills and traits you should look for in a Property Manager are:
• Negotiation skills
• Calm under pressure
• Mature approach- to never take personally any of the tense situations we find ourselves in
• Attention to detail
• Ability to juggle and prioritise multiple tasks
• High standard of client care
• Understanding of both investor and tenant needs and ways of thinking
• Understanding of legislation
• Knowledge of property maintenance
You can see that the skill set required to be an excellent Property Manager is actually quite extensive.
Does this person have experience as a Landlord?
Many people, including some Property Managers and tenants, have the belief that all landlords are squillionaires. Whether you are a squillionaire or not, you want to make sure your Property Manager manages your property with respect for your needs and your money, and has an understanding that their role is to minimise your risk and maximise your return.
If the Property Manager has also had their own experience as a Landlord, we believe they will understand their role better from the client point of view, and we believe will have an entirely different philosophy to their role. They will also be more experienced with general property and maintenance matters, so are likely to be more knowledgeable when maintenance matters arise, which should also save you money. (Our Top Tip Two covers this in more detail)
How many properties will my Property Manager be responsible for?
It is not uncommon for Property Managers to be responsible for up to 200 properties (we’ve even heard of managers being responsible for over 400 properties!). Depending on the value of the properties, this could be well over $100million worth of assets. I don’t know any other industry that would allow a junior staff member on below average wages to manage that value of assets!
Further to this, if your Property Manager is managing 200 properties, in a 40 hour week this gives them just twelve minutes per property per week. That’s barely enough time to respond to one email let alone add value to your investing experience!
Is the Principal Hands-on in the Day-to-Day Management of Properties?
Having a hands-on Principal guarantees you the best level of service, as a business owner is not paid a salary regardless of whether their clients are happy.
A hands-on Principal is also evidence that you are dealing with an Agency focused on property management. (The importance of this becomes very clear in our 10 Top Tips, where you can read about the different strategies and level of service you should expect from your Property Manager, and how these have a direct impact on your finances related to the property.)
Thank you for reading our introductory tips.
By also reading our 10 Top Tips, you will see the difference that a great Property Manager can make to your return on investment. A best practice Property Manager knows there is a direct cost to a client of an application sitting on their desk a day too long, of not having best-practice lease renewal processes, of the importance of good communication with a tenant.
So don’t be shy to request our FREE 10 Top Tips to maximising your property’s return.
You have nothing to lose – and peace of mind and higher returns to gain!