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5 Steps to Choosing the BEST Property Manager

Scan the TradeMe 'for rent' ads, which company does the best advertising? Which company has the longest times between listing and letting?

We see plenty of ads where there is just one poor quality photo that doesn't show much, is on it's side, out of focus, too dark... you've seen these.  We also see unappealing descriptions which just states the basics, and nothing more.

Not surprisingly these tend to be the properties that were listed months ago and are still available.

Find a company like Rental Results that takes advantage of the internet's capabilities.  Do they use good quality photos that show the place in its best light?  Is the description evocative, does it sing the praises of the property, and create desire?  Do they have a virtual tour of the property so you can see how it is laid out and the rooms relate to each other?  Do they use language everyone can understand?  Do they show the benefits, not just the features?  Are there spelling mistakes?

What adverts have you wanting to have a further look at the property?  It will be the ones which show your property at its best.

  • Step 2: What’s your first impression?

Give the company a call. How friendly are the staff, how well do they answer your queries?  Do they put you at ease or make you feel uneasy?  If you leave a message how long does it take for them to get back to you?  Think about how they will make the tenants of your property feel.  If they are easy to talk to and prompt at calling back, tenants are more likely to apply for the property.

When doing landlord reference checks for our prospective tenants we have often had a hard time getting hold of existing landlords.  Understandably people aren't going to be available all the time but a good property manager will have an answer phone at least!  If you're having trouble getting hold of them, then how will prospective tenants organise a viewing time or tenants get hold of them in an emergency?

  • Step 3: Ask all the right questions

Feel free to be nosey, after all these are the people who you are entrusting with one of your biggest assets.  Are they landlords themselves?  What associations do they belong to - Property Investor Associations, Leading Property Managers of New Zealand (LPMNZ) or Independent Property Managers Association (IPMA)?  Why are they property managers?  What are their policies and procedures?  Do they have these written down?  Do they have a code of ethics?  What is there philosophy on property investment - is it "just a rental" or is it “your wealth building asset”?

If your property manager is also a property investor they have a greater understanding of the ups and downs of having tenants.  They know property investors are not all cashed up millionaires jet jetting around the world following the seasons (although wouldn't that be nice!).  They realise if the rent goes unpaid, the money has to come from your wallet to pay the mortgage, and you will notice it.  They will try to limit times between tenants and will get maintenance done when needed to avoid costly repair jobs down the track.  They will pick tradesmen that are great value for money.  This doesn't mean the cheapest, it means the ones who do the best quality work without charging an arm and a leg.  They will chase up rent arrears and make tenants accountable for their actions, even if it requires more effort on their part.  Ensure your property manager understands investment property.

  • Step 4: Make sure you are 'on the same page.'

Realistically not everyone in the world is going to get along with everyone else.  You need to find someone who has the same goals as you, and can communicate those goals, otherwise both sides of the party will just get frustrated.  You need to form a good relationship with them, so you must be able to trust them.  Ensure you are clear about what you want and make sure you understand what they expect from you – it should be a team approach.  If what you want does not fit what they do, ask why not.  It could be that they have a better way to achieve what you want.  Find out, and choose a company that offers what you are after.

Your property manager should allow you to relax. They are there to do the hard work for you. They have an intimate knowledge on the Tenancy Act and how tenants think.  Ask some curly questions and see if they have the right answers.

  • Step 5: What  background checks do they do?

Do they just take the first tenant to come along, or do they do rigorous background checks before offering your property to a tenant?  A bad tenant can cost you a lot of money.  If someone has a history of being a bad tenant then your property manager should know about it.  They should be checking references and qualifying the references as legitimate.  They should be sure about the prospective tenant before they give the green light.  I've heard some don't check references as they say "people can lie."  A good property manager will know what questions to ask; the right questions will uncover unsavory situations.  Background checking is crucial.  Other checks that should be done is a search of tenants Tenancy Tribunal history and their credit history.  You want to be sure they are careful choosing someone they give the keys to your retirement savings to.

 

Our Philosophy

We are honest and act with integrity.  We think it is necessary to love what one does, leave things better than they were found and take time to enjoy the world while we walk it.   We bring quality to others in our dealings and treat people with respect.  
We think it is essential to have fun, so humour is always welcome at Rental Results.

Awards & Associations

We are a member of the Independent Property Managers' Association (IPMA), and Leading Property Managers of New Zealand (LPMNZ).

We are also members of the Wellington Property Investors Association and Jackie Thomas-Teague is the former president.