Investment success or disaster: Top five traits to look for in a property manager

A reliable, efficient and knowledgeable property manager can prove the difference between a profitable and disastrous rental property investment.

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Having a trusting relationship with your property manager is crucial to achieving success with an investment property. (Image source:

With rents still rising across almost every region in Australia, it’s little wonder investors chasing higher rental returns have returned to the market in significant numbers.

API Magazine’s own newly released quarterly Property Sentiment Report revealed that buying an investment property was the clear priority among respondents when it came to their financial priorities for the year ahead.

Improving rental returns was also in the top five objectives.

This return of property investors, complemented by their clear intentions, means that choosing a quality property manager has rarely been as important.

Property managers perform many roles and can make or break the outcomes of an investment property for landlords.

From screening potential renters to managing the oversight of the property and providing market advice on rental yields, a good property manager is worth their weight in investment returns.

Kirsty Pilcher, Head of Department – Property Management Perth,, has stepped in to help innumerable landlords who’ve lost income, had properties damaged, and been forced to overcome the costs in terms of time and money that eventuated from mismanaged or poorly self-managed investment properties.

Ms Pilcher has identified the top five variables she regards as the key factors in choosing a good property manager and subsequently maximising the investment value of a rental property.

Top five factors in choosing a property manager


When selecting a property manager, one of the most important qualities is effective communication.

A property manager’s lack of responsiveness to communications is one of the biggest complaints in the industry.

When enquiring about a particular property manager’s service, this is a great time to test this out. Are they getting back to you in an appropriate amount of time? Are they approachable, friendly and professional?


Having a trusting relationship with your property manager is crucial.

Spend some time talking to them before you hand over management responsibilities. Consider their experience and ascertain how they deal with difficult situations, including rent arrears or unfavourable routine inspections, to ensure you are on the same page.

This will also enable the property manager to work in your best interest, while adhering to the correct legislation.


I would suggest checking how many properties your potential new property manager is managing, whether they are local or dispersed, and what support they have available to them to manage these dwellings throughout the whole investment property journey.

Property managers can be overloaded with work and with the best will in the world unable to offer the required level of service. 


Discuss with the agency what processes they have in place for emergency repairs, vetting new tenants, rent arrears and negotiating rents.

This will help you understand the way the office works and give you some insight into their experience and confidence with these situations.


All fees should be transparent along with the service that is provided for each fee.

A good property manager will spend the necessary time explaining each of these components and ensure you fully understand the Authority to Act that is signed.

Article Q&A

How do you choose a property manager?

Kirsty Pilcher, Head of Department – Property Management Perth,, has detailed the most important characteristics of a property manager, including their communication qualities, trustworthiness, availability, procedural practices and fees.

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