What to look for in a property management company

23 May 2016

Insights and advice for property investors & home owners.

What to look for in a property management company

Whether you own one property or twenty, being a landlord can be challenging, especially if you’re also juggling a career and family. If you leave your property in someone else’s care, on the other hand, you can relax and spend more time doing what you’d rather be doing. But who should you leave it with? And what standard of service should you expect? We talked to property investor Shane Allen about his extensive experience with property management companies.

Why use a property management company?

Being a landlord is “time-consuming and highly specialised,” Shane says. “You’ve got to know what you’re doing. You’ve got to read the Residential Tenancies Act from front to back and know the right procedures.” This is fine if property management is your top priority, but if you’ve also got a demanding career and a hectic family life, or you’d rather focus on expanding your portfolio, you might resent the extra pressure.

“If people want to have the phone ringing with leaking taps or things like that the whole time, good on them, but I haven’t got the time,” Shane says. “I highly recommend using property managers to do the job.”

So what can a reputable property management company do for you? Well, practically everything, including:

  • advertising your property and finding tenants
  • lodging bonds and handling all other documentation
  • preparing chattel lists and photos
  • monitoring rents and rent arrears
  • regularly inspecting properties and managing remedial work
  • handling emergency maintenance call-outs
  • providing comprehensive reporting
  • regularly reviewing rental levels.

What should you look for in a company?

“Efficiency is a big thing,” Shane says. Of his decision, around three years ago, to work with Quinovic, Shane recalls that he “found them professional and they had systems in place. I liked the way they operated.” Today he has 17 Hawke’s Bay properties under management with us.

It probably goes without saying that one of a property management company’s best assets is its people. Shane highly values all the property managers he deals with, describing them as “conscientious” and “always reaching high standards”. This includes Tracey Fox from Quinovic’s Napier office. “I always find Tracey easy to contact and she never forgets anything – she makes sure everything gets done,” he says.

What should you be wary of?

Just as in any other industry, the standard of property management companies varies. A company that lacks a high level of professionalism – is not proactive, is slow to respond, has a poor rapport with tenants, doesn’t follow set procedures etc – can cost you time and money. So it’s important to ask around and make sure that the company you choose has a solid track record.

While everything’s running smoothly for Shane now, he’s had mixed experiences in the past. He approached Quinovic because he was tiring of the “incompetence” of the company he was with at the time. “They were struggling along and I found I had to do a lot of the work for them.”

Shane also gives an example of a property management company that advertised a property using just one photo – of the corner of a bedroom. Compare this with a company that showcases a property with 20 top-quality photos, and you can appreciate just how wide the gap in standards is.

Where to begin?

According to Shane, who owns properties in Rotorua and Auckland as well as Hawke’s Bay, word of mouth is a good way to start your search. He suggests talking to other investors at your local Property Investors’ Association meetings. “Usually in any town or city, there’s only a select few (companies) so you soon find out out who the good ones are.”

From there, it’s usually a case of meeting with the recommended companies and assessing which one shows the most promise.

Talk to the experts

Over 90% of our customers come to us through referrals, so Shane Allen’s not the only one who’s happy with the way we operate. Quinovic is the only property management company in New Zealand with over 25 years’ experience and 26 offices around the country, and we’ve dedicated years to refining our Customer Care and Return systems.

But no matter which property management company you choose, the most important thing 
is that you can relax and be confident that your valuable asset is in safe hands.

Experts in property care and return

Find out more about our proven Customer Care and Return Systems, or to ask about how we can help manage your properties, get in touch with us now.

Is there a topic you’d like us to explore in future blog posts? If so, please leave a comment below.

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