Are you a Brisbane or Gold Coast property owner looking to outsource the management of your investment to a property management company? There are hundreds of agencies to choose from, and selecting the right property management company is crucial to the success of your rental property.
Here’s what you should be asking your Property Management company in 2023 BEFORE you sign up:
10 Questions To Ask Your Property Management Company
- What services do you offer?
- How many properties do you manage?
- How do you screen tenants?
- How do you handle maintenance and repairs?
- How do you handle rent collection and late payments?
- How do you communicate with property owners?
- How do you handle tenant complaints?
- What are your fees?
- What is your experience in the industry?
- Can you provide references?
1. What Services Do You Offer?
Firstly, you want to ensure the real estate agency you’re asking actually works in property management. More importantly, you want to specifically ask what resources they’re putting into their property management arm of the business.
It’s worth noting that not all real estate agencies specialize in property management. Some may prioritize their sales side, which could result in a lower level of care and attention given to managing your rental property. It’s important to carefully consider an agency’s level of expertise and resources before entrusting them with your property.
Housemark provides a range of property management services, such as tenant screening, rent collection, property maintenance, and accounting. It’s important to consider which services you require and whether a property management company can meet your specific needs.
2. How Many Properties Do You Manage?
This is an interesting question to ask your agency primarily because of the way they answer it. For example, a specialist property management agency with 100 properties may not have a large amount of experience, but they may be able to dedicate a huge amount of time and care into the management of your investment.
Conversely, an agency with 5,000 managements with a sales arm to their business as well may seem far more renowned, but they may have limited resources attending to the numerous problems that can arise in property management.
Housemark is a specialist property management company in South-East Queensland that places a strong emphasis on maintaining open communication with our clients. We strive to provide our landlords with easy access to their Senior Property Manager and the wider team, ensuring that their needs are consistently met.
3. How Do You Screen Tenants?
Tenant screening is a crucial aspect of property management, and your agency should have a thorough screening process that includes credit checks, criminal background checks, and employment verification. At Housemark, we ensure that only qualified tenants are approved.
4. How do you handle maintenance and repairs?
One of the most critical aspects of a property management business is its’ ability to handle and respond quickly to maintenance requests. Not only that, but being able to effectively juggle the expectations of both tenants, landlords and tradespeople is a true skill and one of the most difficult aspects of being a property manager.
The last thing you want is an agency who don’t respond quickly to your tenants to fix maintenance items. This can cause potentially good tenants to not renew their lease, your property to become damaged which results in even more costs, or expensive quotes from unreliable tradespeople you’re forced to deal with.
Housemark has a network of highly reputable local partners across a variety of trades who solve property maintenance and requests promptly, efficiently and at very competitive prices without sacrificing quality. We also have an emergency response plan in place to address urgent issues.
Housemark Managing Director with FAST Property Maintenance Co-Founder Dave Barth
5. How do you handle rent collection and late payments?
Ask your agency how they collect rent and deal with tenants who are in arrears. This is another challenging aspect of property management that must be backed by extremely solid foundations and processes. After all, you’re renting your property out in exchange for a reliable income and you’re entrusting a huge asset with this company.
The company you choose should have strong, reliable technology and systems in place to deal with rental payments in the event that things go wrong. Furthermore, your property manager should be able to quickly report to you any abnormalities in payments and deal with these issues swiftly.
6. How do you communicate with property owners?
Communication is vital in property management, and Housemark provide regular updates on the status of your property via email and phone depending on your preference.
Your agency should take into account whether you prefer more or less communication, which mediums to use and when to get in touch with you.
7. How do you handle tenant complaints?
As an investor, dealing with tenant complaints, inquiries and other related issues can be a tedious and time-consuming task. This is why most investors seek the services of a property manager who can efficiently handle such matters on their behalf.
When searching for a property manager, it’s important to ask how they deal with tenant complaints. A reputable agency should be able to provide you with a clear and concise answer, outlining their approach to managing such situations. This may include setting up a dedicated customer service line for tenants to call, responding promptly to complaints or inquiries, and resolving issues in a timely and satisfactory manner.
Furthermore, a good property manager should be proactive in preventing complaints from arising in the first place. They can do this by ensuring that the property is well-maintained and that all appliances and amenities are in good working condition. Regular inspections can also identify potential issues before they escalate into major problems, which can help prevent tenant complaints.
It’s also worth noting that a good property manager should be knowledgeable about tenancy laws and regulations, and should be able to provide tenants with accurate and up-to-date information. This can help prevent misunderstandings and disputes, which can often lead to tenant complaints.
8. What are your fees?
The question on everyone’s mind: how much does it cost to hire a property management agency in Brisbane or the Gold Coast? On average, you can expect to pay between 7% and 12%, although there are some companies that charge above or below that range.
However, it’s important to exercise caution when it comes to companies that offer enticing deals such as free months or extremely low percentages. While it may seem like a good deal at first, it could end up costing you more in the long run if the company is not reputable or fails to provide you with a highly qualified property manager.
Additionally, be mindful of any hidden fees in the contract. Some companies may advertise rates as low as 3% or 4%, but tack on unexpected fees that you only discover after signing the agreement.
At Housemark, we understand that every property and portfolio is unique, which is why we offer a flexible approach to our fees. As a specialist property management business, we take pride in providing a service that exceeds the standard level of property management. If you want to learn more about what we can offer for your property, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (07) 3073 3991.
9. What is your Experience in the Industry?
Experience matters when it comes to property management. A company with a long history of managing properties has likely seen it all and has the knowledge and expertise to handle any situation that may arise.
If the agency is a new business or the property manager you’re likely to be assigned to hasn’t been in the job for very long (under 2 years), tread carefully. Property management is a difficult job and the last thing you need is to be getting headaches about the very thing you’re trying to outsource.
Our Senior Property Management Team and Leadership team, collectively and individually, have a wealth of experience in the industry, managing a diverse range of properties and handling all aspects of property management. We have managed properties similar to yours and have a track record of success.
10. Can You Provide References?
Always ask for references from your potential property management company. This will give you an idea of their track record and how satisfied their clients are with their services. Ideally they can produce 2-3 people you can call on the spot as testament to their great service. If they can’t, or they dodge the question, beware!
At Housemark, we are proud of our track record and can provide references from satisfied clients. With over 200 5 star Google Reviews, we’re confident you’ll love Housemark.