Client expectations have increased dramatically over the past decade, and only property managers who go above and beyond in their service offering will achieve the top tier of fees, says a leading PM trainer.
Real Plus business manager Hermione Gardiner said 10 year ago, a good property manager was a rent collector, property inspector and maintenance manager.
“Now, there is a growing expectation from the client that a property manager should be more like an investment manager who will be constantly looking for ways to maximise the return for the landlord,” she told Residential Property Manager.
“[However] fees have not drastically increased to reflect the additional responsibilities, so I believe that agencies and property managers who do the above can differentiate and achieve the top tier of management fees, as they will minimise risk, minimise vacancy, ensure rent is paid on time and obtain maximum possible rent.”
Ms Gardiner said one point of difference PMs can utilise is advising landlords on ways to maximise the return on their investment – citing upkeep of maintenance on the property as one example.
“Sometimes owners think they are saving money by not maintaining property, however, poorly maintained properties don’t attract good tenants or return, and poorly maintained properties can aggravate tenants, who can create headaches for you,” she added.
Ms Gardiner said PMs can also help owners understand the benefits of allowing pets.
“Many landlords shy away from allowing pets because of fear of damage. However, many tenants will pay a premium for a property that allows pets,” she said. “Well-educated landlords will trust that any potential damages will be covered by the bond and landlords' insurance.”
Ms Gardiner said at routine inspections, take time to note areas where you can recommend physical additions and alterations.
“Air-conditioning can increase rent by $30 per week, luxuries like dishwashers can also increase rent by $10-$20 per week,” she said.
“Where possible, adding a second bathroom can increase yield by 10-20 per cent.”