Property managers must boost their knowledge on how properties purchased for self-managed superannuations funds (SMSFs) should be managed, an industry stakeholder has claimed.
First National Real Estate property and marketing manager, Amanda Kohler, said it was crucial the property manager had knowledge of tax-effective property investment and SMSFs. She said this was even more important since changes to Australian tax law which resulted in an increase in the amount of property being acquired for Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs).
“That means property managers need to be equipped to guide landlords who own investments, as part of their SMSF, toward appropriate, cost effective renovations, using licensed tradespeople,” she said.
“First National Real Estate has taken steps to assure that its property managers are aware of qualified specialists in the industry and can point customers towards a range of providers.”
The ATO is considering changes to how it interprets SMSF rules relating to property renovations.
Ms Kohler made the comments following First National’s annual Property Management Conference, which was attended by 150 of the group’s property managers.
Her views follow calls earlier this year by a specialist at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia (ICAA) for agents to be more careful when promoting the benefits of SMSFs in property purchases.
Ms Kohler admitted though that more investors were focusing on fees rather than skills when choosing a property manager.
“Investors need to consider the systems and experience behind the agency that they are entrusting the management of their properties to.”
“The commitment required to effectively maintain properties, quality client relations, legislative compliance and excellence in customer service is sometimes extraordinary or even super-human."
“You only need to experience one problem with a tenant to begin to understand the importance of a comprehensive appreciation of the laws governing tenancy. Paying a slightly higher fee for a more professional manager makes a huge difference, even without a problem tenancy,” she continued.
First National Real Estate has over 450 offices throughout Australia and New Zealand.