Successful property investor and former Your Investment Property's Investor of the Year Award
winner Prue Muirhead lists the 9 things she learned the hard way about property management.
- I wish I’d known that a property manager’s average lifespan is only nine months in the job.
- Property managers can be expected to look after 200 properties each; this equates to less than 10 hours per year spent on my property! I now look for property managers who have experience and manage no more than 80 properties each.
- Most property managers are young and inexperienced, so when they say there is a major maintenance problem, it can possibly be something small that can be rectified by a handyman, not an electrician/plumber at $100 per hour. Young, inexperienced property managers cost the landlord/property investor extra money through their lack of experience/knowledge. We had an electrician called to clean the filters on a window air conditioner. I now question all maintenance requests.
- Most property managers have no maintenance schedules, so if you live away from your rental property(s), you really do not know the general state of your property, which can lead to major problems that could have been avoided. We now prompt our interstate property managers to arrange an annual maintenance inspection of the whole property.
- Property managers can be tough; they are generally the negotiators/peacekeepers between landlords/investors and the tenants, often blamed for situations that are out of their control.
- Many property managers see their job as just a learning platform to move into selling real estate.
- Property managers in SA do not need to have completed any studies/qualifications; somebody straight from school could be a property manager in charge of millions of dollars of other people’s assets. Thankfully, I believe that in most other Australian states project managers need to at least have a certificate in property management to be qualified.
- Legislation in SA changed as of 1 Febuary 2014, and it specifically targets private landlords. It will be quite difficult to self-manage an SA property, as the fines will be huge if the legislation is not strictly followed. So I have now started my own property management business, to deal with these new issues.
- I should have realised that property managers are generally not serious property investors and there was a huge gap in the marketplace before now, so I intend to fill that gap and have just launched my own property management business in SA.
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