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8 Key Tips to Choosing an Outstanding Property Manager

June 19th 2018

1. Call them - is the first response you get friendly, helpful and genuine, even before they know that you own rental property? “Some of the companies I called only gave me the time of day when they found out they could make money out of me”(comment from one of our owners). Is the first response you get courteous and respectful?

2. Email them - how quickly do you get an answer in business hours? If your email doesn’t get a prompt response they may be overloaded and unable to offer a good service.

3. Check out their website - is the site easy to follow, is there helpful information, and can you see who works there? Look beyond the mission statement and group photos, are staff roles clear and is there good staff retention? Is the website full of cliches or does it provide some great tips for you as an owner?

4. Have a list of questions that are important to you. Most people ask about management fees, what about tenant retention, whether there is after hours or emergency support for tenants, how often they do rental inspections and if the owner is also an investor and is directly involved in the business. What happens if the tenants don’t look after the gardens, or cause damage in the home? Are they aware of upcoming changes to tenancy law? How quickly do most homes get rented and how often is rent increased? Can you choose your own maintenance contractors or to do some work yourself?

5. Have a look at their Trade Me and other online advertising. Good clear photos, enticing marketing copy and realistic pricing will reflect in quicker rental completion. Amateur quality images, messy rooms or limited photos won’t attract premium tenants. Look for clear concise marketing copy, does the advertisement attract the right tenant market?

6. Do they use social media and blog sites? Even if this doesn’t appeal to you, having a company which understands how to reach tenants extends the promotion of your rental property to where your tenants really are. This is an area where responsiveness really shows. Look for a company that regularly posts relevant and informative content, tenants look on Trade Me, Facebook, Marketplace, Instagram and similar, they don’t look on real estate listing sites. Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of websites listed, think about how tenants like to view properties and see how the company advertises on these sites.  

7. Can they advise on what will make your rental more appealing to tenants, and what your obligations are as an owner? All homes will need maintenance, and expectations of tenants change. A great property manager will know what appeals to tenants and how to achieve this in the most economical way.

8. Are they focused on property management, or does the company do sales as well? Don’t just be an add-on to the core business! Look for a company which is passionate about rental property and has a focus on this passion.