WHY APPOINT A PROPERTY MANAGER

By the Real Estate Institute Queensland (REIQ) CEO Antonia Mercorella

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While it might be tempting to manage your property yourself to “save” on fees, engaging a property manager is money well spent to protect your valuable asset. By appointing a real estate professional to manage your investment property, you can maximise the return on your investment and minimise your exposure to risk.

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Effective property management involves much more than just rent collection. Property management services include tenant selection and due diligence, monitoring and managing rent payment arrears, conducting regular property inspections, conducting entry and exit condition reports, managing repairs and maintenance, liaising with tenants and managing disputes (which may include representing owners at QCAT) and payment of bills relating to the property. Each of these activities are governed by strict and complex residential tenancies laws. Using an experienced property manager ensures peace of mind that your asset is being well looked after in a legally compliant manner.

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In Queensland, nearly 90{bd5b9ce25ef8d8f4b35f4def2a41784e19dd6279c5494f15d3fce831a402df3f} of investment properties are managed by professional real estate agents. However, time and time again, we hear stories where property owners attempt to self-manage their investment property to save on dollars. In many instances, this leads to rent payment defaults, damaged property and high levels of disputes between the owner and the tenant.

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That’s why it’s best to engage a professional who is intimately familiar with residential tenancies laws and other relevant laws that need to complied with when offering a property for rent in Queensland.

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You can engage a property manager to do as little or as much as you like, but here are just some of the reasons it’s worthwhile to appoint one to manage your investment.

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PREPARING THE PROPERTY FOR LEASE

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Prior to going ‘on market’, a property manager can advise on which experts to engage to ensure your property is compliant with legislation in relation to smoke alarms, electrical compliance, cord and curtain covering and more. Property managers can also provide advice and market feedback on inclusions or features that may help increase the appeal of your property. This may include ceiling fans, air conditioning or a dishwasher. This could help you rent your property quicker and for higher rent.

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MARKETING THE PROPERTY

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A property manager will help you market the property to get the best rental price for your property from the outset. With a deep knowledge of the market, as well as access to industry data insights, a property manager will understand what an optimal rent price guide is for your type of property and help you position it in the best light possible in order to attract a maximum number of rental applications. Their job is to minimise the time your property remains vacant and maximise your rental returns by marketing the property appropriately considering things like signage, presentation, photography, advertising descriptions, and what channels and markets to target.

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TENANT SELECTION

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After advertising the property, opening it for inspection, and receiving applications, a property manager will conduct important due diligence to select a tenant. This typically involves verifying identification, checking tenancy databases, reviewing previous rental history and references, and confirming an applicant’s capacity to pay rent through financial information checks. It’s important to note, that careful and thorough tenant selection processes will help to minimise problems and rental defaults.

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ENTRY AND EXIT CONDITION

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Tenants are required to leave the property in the same condition it was in at the outset of the tenancy, with fair wear and tear excepted, or they face deductions from their bond and other potential claims. At the commencement of the tenancy, a property manager will ensure the allowable bond is taken and deliver a comprehensive entry condition report which clearly and thoroughly documents the condition of the property. This report can then be relied on as a point of comparison, when at the end of the tenancy, the property manager produces an exit condition report allowing them to assess and claim for any damage that occurred during the tenancy.

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PERIODIC INSPECTIONS AND PROPERTY MAINTENANCE

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A property manager can schedule periodic and regular inspections throughout the tenancy to minimise the likelihood of unwanted discoveries about the property’s condition once the tenancy comes to an end. The regularity of inspections and notice period requirements is strictly regulated by residential tenancies laws. Regular inspections not only ensure that the tenant is looking after your property investment well, it is also an opportunity for the property manager to identify and remedy any required repairs or resolve any issues. If routine inspections are not being conducted, your property might need much more than a bond clean once the tenant vacates.  

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RENEWALS AND RENT ADJUSTMENTS

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Not only will a property manager help to ensure rent is paid on time, prior to the lease expiring, a property manager can review your lease conditions and conduct a rent market analysis. This enables a property manager to make recommendations about the proposed new lease and the appropriate rent level. This ensures you get the best market rate for rent rate increases, meaning you maximise the return on your investment.

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To look for a property manager from an REIQ Accredited Agency, you can use the ‘Find an Agent’ tool at reiq.com.

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