Property Management professionals look forward to the time when this is a question of the past, like ‘Why do I need a Solicitor?’ or ‘Why do I need Car Insurance?’
Indeed, you can represent yourself in Court or do your own legal work to save hiring a solicitor. But why would you? A solicitor has access to all the up-to-date legislation and can act as a mediator between you and the other party. Saving solicitor’s fees would inevitably cost you more financially, not to mention the emotional toll it would take on you and your family.
In the same way, you can manage your own property if your goal is to save on agents’ fees. And some owners do a pretty good job of it. After all, it’s all available online. They can advertise for tenants, download all the legal forms, and research what their responsibilities are. In general, these owners have a pretty good relationship with their tenants.
However, we are here to tell you that the honeymoon rarely lasts forever. This is because the relationship between owners and tenants, while it should be purely business, is often fraught with emotion. From the owners’ point of view, the property may be their former family home, or an investment property that they have spent their savings to lovingly renovate. They need the rental income to keep the investment viable, but also are looking for tenants who will respect their property and look after it. From the tenants’ point of view, this is their home where they have chosen to raise their family and they are generally paying the most rent they can afford. They are looking for value for their hard-earned money as well as the assurance to be allowed quiet enjoyment of the property.
Inevitably, life steps in and something goes wrong or one of the parties inadvertently does something wrong. Here are just a few examples:
- The tenant loses their job and becomes late with rent.
- There is an accident at the property.
- There is a break-in at the property.
- The tenant needs to break their lease.
- The owner identifies damages at a property inspection and must negotiate with the tenant to rectify.
- The tenant reports maintenance which is not fixed to their timeline and breaches the owner.
- There is a neighbourhood dispute.
- The owner issues a Notice to Leave at the end of the lease but the tenants don’t leave!
Remember, just as you have access to information and resources, so do tenants. They know their rights, and regardless of how ‘friendly’ your relationship is at the start, it can quickly go wrong when one side feels they have been unfairly treated.
So how can a Managing Agent help?
We are your professional representatives who are trained to deal with any type of situation that comes up. We know the legislation and have access to many resources that property owners don’t (such as Tenancy Default databases). We are trained in record-keeping, dispute resolution, conciliation, marketing, and Tribunal representation. Because we manage many properties, we know the current rental market and can advise you on how to increase your rental income.
And importantly, we do not have an emotional attachment to your property or tenants and can advise you on the best course of action when a difficulty arises. Make no mistake, your Property Manager works for YOU, not the tenant. Our ultimate goal is to maximise your financial return and every solution we bring to you is with this in mind.
The value that a good Managing Agent brings to you is a hundred times the fees that they charge you.
If you have the time and resources to train yourself to be a Property Manager for your portfolio, and are prepared to lose money in rental income or capital growth, and have the emotional steeliness required to evict a family from your property because they are behind in rent, then you should manage your own property.
If, on the other hand, you have a job or business that takes up most of your time, and a family or social life that takes up your spare time, and want to gain maximum rental return and capital growth on your investment property, and want someone else to handle the hassles and paperwork, then you need a Managing Agent.