Effective asset management is a critical component of success when it comes to building a successful property portfolio. Hence, there’s many articles out there advising investors how to select the right property management team. But what about the onus on you as a client?
Ask any good property manager who’s been in the game for a little while, and I’m sure they can tell you more than one interesting anecdote about the landlord from Hell.
You know the type…never satisfied, always demanding more from those around them, generally in a less than pleasant manner. Often neglecting their own responsibilities in maintaining good tenant relations and wanting an ever-increasing income, while keeping their wallet shut tight and refusing to make any financial outlays on the upkeep of their rental.
These investors are the bane of a property professional’s life, and even moreso when they believe they know far better about, well everything in general.
Don’t be THAT client
The best thing you can do to establish a good rapport with your property manager, which will always be more fruitful than a strained and contentious relationship, is to first acknowledge that they know what they’re doing.
A good property manager knows their market intimately and what’s more, will understand exactly what they need to prioritise and accomplish each day as they go about their business to ensure they serve all of their different client’s needs.
Make no mistake; a great degree of skilled juggling is required to keep those balls in the air, and everyone happy.
Acknowledge their expertise by listening to them and taking their counsel, particularly when it comes to setting your rent, maintaining the premises and selecting your tenants.
Right from the outset, make your priorities as an investor clear to the property manager you engage. Don’t assume that they’re immediately going to be on the same page as you, because they’re not inside your head, it’s not their portfolio and they don’t know what end goals you have in mind.
Things like whether you intend to undertake renovations and require access to the premises, or what type of investment schedule you’ve set for yourself, can be handy pieces of information to help your property manager do their job and assist you to pro-actively grow your portfolio.
When will you need access to important financial data for instance? Obviously this is required at tax time, but what about if you plan on extending your credit to add to your portfolio and need some hard numbers regarding your existing income?
Be open and transparent about your goals, as well as your financial capabilities and limitations.
Be pleasant, not painful
There’s nothing worse, and more wasteful of that most precious resource – our time – than that client who calls you ten times a day. I’m not suggesting you should never contact your property manager of course, but be mindful of your approach so you don’t become the ‘serial pest’.
A great way to do this is to establish a regular meeting with your property manager right from the outset, so they’re clear on your expectations. This might be monthly or bi-monthly, depending on how ‘hands on’ you want to be.
Rather than calling them every time something pops into your head, write it down and ask yourself, can this wait until our scheduled catch up, when I can address multiple concerns all at once?
There’s no reason you should have a strained or difficult relationship with your property manager. Most of them are pretty malleable when it comes to making adjustments to suit the individual client’s needs, particularly when the client is a pleasure to work with. After all, you really do attract more flies with honey.