Property Management Fees
When looking for a Property Management Agent there are a number of factors that should be taken into consideration before committing with any Real Estate or Property Manager.
Fees: Generally there are 3 separate fees that a landlord will be charged for the management of their investment property. These fees are:
- A leasing or letting fee. This is an amount charged by the Agent to locate and vet any new tenancy application. This will happen fairly quickly if your property is well maintained and presented and priced at a fair market rate.
- Marketing or advertising fee. It is important to make sure you are only being charged for what you are receiving. Agents will charge from nothing to thousands of dollars to market and advertise your property. It is imperative for the property to be available for all tenants to locate and review the details of the home if it meets the description of their needs.
- The management fee will be the largest of the 3 costs and this is the amount charged for the agent to manage the day to day needs of the property for the landlord. It includes the collection of rent and disbursement of this rent to the owner, following up on any maintenance items and organising trades people to attend and quote for needed repairs & of course chasing tenants for late payment of rent and making sure they keep up with their responsibilities regarding upkeep and cleanliness.
Hidden Fees: When we discuss the management fee it is important to go with an agency that charges a flat fee as we do as costs quickly add up if you allow agencies to charges for other items like tenant checks, key cutting, VCAT attendances and so on.
Tenant and Landlord reviews
It is always wise to check Google reviews and see how many reviews and more importantly to read any negative feedback to see what the agency has said in response. Negative reviews can quite often be indicative of a lack in the agencies proper level of service but also may be from people who have not even had a relationship with the agency
Level of service
My experience has been that we have a large number of calls from people who are changing agencies and reporting to me their current manager is no good as they don’t offer the level of service that the landlord expected. I find these landlords chose their current agent as they charged the lowest fee. It must be remembered that all property managers work hard but when you chose someone because their fee is low you must remember they will need to do a lot more work to make the same income as someone who charges a fair and reasonable fee. Because of this fact the level of service drops and people become dissatisfied.
Is it a property management specialist or a sales agency that manages property on the side? It is generally beneficial to work with a team who manage property as their main business or you may find you are with an agency that focuses of sales where the director is attracted to the sales dollar rather than making sure the landlord and tenant are being serviced.
Are they REIV members
Make sure you work with an REIV member as all member agencies work to a strict code of conduct which is policed by the REIV.
Will you be dealing with a team of people who all have different responsibilities or a single contact who has a closer relationship with you ?