Michael Conolly - A Valuable Lesson For Property Investors
As we head towards the end of 2020 and look back on what has been an extraordinary year, let’s review some of the lessons that, unfortunately, some property investors had to learn the hard way, that also highlight the real value that an experienced property manager brings to the table.
What I’m referring to are investors that made a decision to choose a discount property management company to look after their most important asset. Even during normal operating years, we repeatedly see clients leaving discount agents as they have found themselves in terrible situations because of bad advice, extended vacancy periods and the most common issue, poor tenant choice.
During 2020 this was multiplied due to the issues surrounding COVID-19 and the bushfires earlier in the year. Rent reduction negotiations and valuable guidance all being desperately needed by property investors across Australia. This quality advice was needed from experienced well-trained Property Managers working in well-resourced companies.
Being an investor, whose property is managed by a premium brand means that you deal with experienced well-trained Property managers supported by Network resources with extensive training programs for their teams. This is to ensure that all issues relating to your property are handled in the best possible way so that your asset is protected during normal times and during unprecedented times.
When you really think it through, the obvious question to ask yourself is how a discount agency can possibly resource their business, provide the training and support, and even remain viable in the long run on heavily discounted fees? They will tell you it’s all about technology and outsourcing. This is a fallacy. Premium agencies use all the latest technology available anyway and many also utilise outsourcing to a certain extent. In the 21st Century, managing client assets is a blend of technology and outsourcing to provide more efficient service coupled with experienced well-trained Property Managers supported by a well-resourced Network.
During the unprecedented events of 2020, many clients desperately tried to recover from the mistake of choosing a discount agent and sought refuge in a safe harbour within a Premium Property Management business.
When you are considering a Property Management business, the best advice as an investor is to interview the agents you are considering and ask them to provide evidence of their claims.
Here are a few sample questions to start with:
- Why should I hire you? How long have you been operating in your role and this area?
- Website statistics. Can you show them to me now?
- How many prospective tenants do you have on your database and how many of those are looking in my area, for my type of property and in my price range? Can you show the figures to me now?
- Could you please provide recent testimonials from clients and their contact details?
- What is your current Google review rating? Show the client for full transparency.
- What are your current days on market for this type of property - can you show this to me?
- Could you please tell me about your rent review process and your maintenance program?
- Do you have any suggestions of what I could do to achieve a higher rent?
- What are your points of difference - what makes your company unique and worth the value?
- Can you show me your comprehensive application process?
- How well trained is your team - can you show me the yearly training schedule for your team?
- Can you show me your monthly National Network performance reports?
Just as you would not choose the cheapest surgeon for an operation, why would you choose the cheapest agent to manage your most important wealth creation asset?
The dollars supposedly saved each year can multiply into untold costs if your property is not managed by well-trained experts operating in well-resourced property management businesses that have also invested heavily into technology to support their team and offer 6-star service to their clients.
The views expressed in this article are an opinion only and readers should rely on their independent advice in relation to such matters.
This article originally appeared in The Real Estate Conversation (December 4, 2020)
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