– Your Property Manager’s Vital Role in Your Investment Strategy
‘Maintenance’ can be a negative word to many investors, as it usually means an unexpected financial outlay for no visible return.
The fact is that investors need to regard maintenance as an ‘investment’ in their property, necessary to maintain their property’s value.
Furthermore, investors should be aware that they are obligated by law to present and maintain their properties to a certain standard – see Section 185 of the RTRA Act.
A Property Manager’s role here is crucial. We are responsible for passing onto the owner all maintenance that is reported by the tenant, plus anything we see at our regular property inspections.
At Solutions Property Management, we regard this role very seriously. At times, our clients can be given the false impression that we are ‘working for the tenants’ by reporting these maintenance items; but nothing could be further from the truth. A poorly maintained property can cause financial loss to our clients through deterioration of the property’s value, as well as possible compensation claims by the tenants. In the most serious cases, if a tenant was to become injured due to a neglected safety issue, the financial loss to the owner would be significant – even if they were not aware of the issue.
Despite this, when we take over the management of properties from other agents, we are often required to sort out a mountain of maintenance issues that are way overdue. There are many reasons why Property Managers do not pass on maintenance to their clients. Some of these are:
– They don’t like to be the bearer of bad news and are fearful that the client will take their property from them
– They lack the expertise or training to understand the importance of having the issue rectified
– Their internal office processes are inefficient
– They look the other way because attending to maintenance takes work
The irony is that once we take over and attempt to have the backlog of maintenance addressed, it can feel to many clients that we are somehow responsible for them suddenly having to outlay money, and we become the ‘bad guy’. We often hear the phrases: ‘But this never happened when we were with X Agency’ or ‘If this was so important, why was I never told before?’ The issues were always there – the only difference is that they are now being reported to the owners.
Astute investors understand that every time a maintenance item is reported to them, this is evidence that their property manager is doing their best to help to maintain their investment and protect their interests.
These Property Managers are worth their weight in gold.