The Top 5 Reasons You Should Use A Local Property Manager
Choosing a company to manage your investment is the second most important step following the initial decision to actually buy an investment property. Not only is it important you do your research and ensure a few things like the company is experienced and aligns with your values, but it is also important your property manager understands the local area your investment is located in.
Engaging a property manager that lives and breathes the local market is essential. It can minimise vacancy periods, increase your rental return and will boost your confidence knowing that someone is close by should a crisis arise.
1. Property managers know the local area
This one is simple really. A locally based property manager knows the local rental market. If they have been based in an area long enough they will know the ebbs and flows of the local rental cycle. For example, if a particular time of the year is quiet rental wise or busy, being armed with this insider knowledge is very valuable to an investor who may be considering getting rid of tenants or increasing the rent.
If the cycle is in a slow period you could be out of pocket for a significant amount of time until the market improves or a new tenant is found. Like with anything, local knowledge is invaluable. If your property isn’t renting because a new housing development has popped up around the corner, an out of town agency may take a few weeks before they work out why and in that time valuable income has been missed because you’ve priced it too high as a result of competing with a larger supply of properties in better condition than yours.
2. A local property manager will price the property right
A vacant property costs you money and our job is to minimise vacancy periods. One of the quickest ways to increase a vacancy period is by advertising the rent too high. A locally based property manager will be armed with actual rental data, not just what is currently being advertised on the internet. Start too high and you can guarantee there will be minimal interest and each day there isn’t an enquiry your prime advertising position gets pushed further and further down the list of available rentals.
3. A local property manager can rent your property faster
There are a few reasons a local property manager can rent your property faster. Being locally based and in close proximity to your investment means that they are able to schedule viewings several times a week. If your property manager isn’t local the viewing times would be minimal to avoid time wasting with a trip to the property. A local property manager is also able to open the property to potential tenants at short notice and after hours if required for a really good prospect. Local property managers also have the flexibility of sharing properties with tenants, one good applicant may miss out on a property, but can be offered another property nearby on their books.
4. A local property manager can keep an eye on the property
Local property managers are able to keep an eye on the property, not just when you have you Routine Inspections but in between inspections as well. There’s every chance a property manager has other properties in the area as well, so they will be around your property a lot more regularly than if they weren’t close by. For example, they would be able to check if lawns are overgrown or cars are parking where they shouldn’t be. A local agent is also close by to check at short notice, for example, if they suspect the tenants may have abandoned the premises.
5. Fostering better relationships with tenants
A local agency is invested in the local community and understands their tenants better than anyone. Good property managers aim to make tenants feel content and comfortable in their new home because the more satisfied tenants are the more likely they are to stay in the property longer, look after it and cause fewer hassles. If maintenance is dealt with promptly and they have someone they can communicate with over issues or rental payments, a good relationship is fostered. Keeping good tenants is critical as an investor, less vacancy means more money in your pockets and less hassle finding new tenants.
I guess at the end of the day if you wanted to sell your property in Brisbane, you probably wouldn’t use an agent from Sydney. The same principle applies to property management. I can also speak from professional experience, it is very hard to manage properties outside of your core areas, unless you have a very experienced and dedicated property manager with a smaller portfolio, so that they can dedicate effective time into their schedule to deal with non-local properties and issues as they arise.