What to Look For in a Property Management Agent

Mitesh Patel
Mitesh Patel

Whether you are a freeholder managing a block of flats, a single property landlord, or a property owner with an extensive portfolio to take care of, a good property management agent can be invaluable. After all, once enlisted, they can take over many of the key landlord property management roles, freeing up more of your time.

Indeed, a property management agent could oversee general maintenance, and take over responsibility for collecting payments. Moreover, their expertise can be vital when dealing with complex legal matters.

Nevertheless, when seeking out a property management agent, there are certain qualities and attributes you should be on the lookout for, yet many real estate investors are unaware of precisely what these are. In this article, we examine the qualities that the best property management agents possess, so you can improve your search process.

  1. Qualifications

The first thing to look for in a property management agent is, of course, evidence that they can do the job. This means checking that they are licensed, ensuring they have appropriate qualifications or certifications, and making sure they have previous experience dealing with similar property types.

As a blog post for Red Brick Management points out, before appointing a property management agent, you should also enquire about their professional indemnity insurance. If you are seeking an agency, rather than a single agent, you should also find out about the size of their team and the number of clients they have.

  1. Positive Referrals

Next, you want to ensure that the agent you choose has a solid reputation. The most obvious and effective approach here is to speak to your industry contacts and find out which agents they have used and what their experiences were. Of course, you want to gain as many opinions as possible, to eliminate as much bias as you can.

When looking for an agency to assist with landlord property management, you should check reviews on platforms like Facebook and Yelp. You can also request information from agents, such as the average length of client relationships, and you might also want to visit some of the properties they manage to get a first-hand impression.

  1. Experience With PropTech

One of the major trends within the real estate industry in recent years has been the rise of property technology, or PropTech. In fact, according to Forbes, investment in this kind of technology trebled between 2015 and 2017, and a growing number of people are turning to a landlord portal or tenant portal to improve day-to-day operations.

Given the importance that PropTech is going to have in the coming years, you are going to want to work with a property management agent who is able to use it. This means either finding an agent with previous experience using PropTech, or finding an agent that is tech-savvy enough to adapt to using it without any major hiccups.

  1. Contractual Demands

Finally, with any agent on your shortlist, you need to find out about the management fees they charge, the services included in the standard agreement, and the cost of any additional services you require. You must also be clear about what your own obligations would be under the terms of the contract, and about any cancellation clauses.

In an article for ManageMyProperty.com, Jordan Muela highlights the fact that while a management fee is likely to be the largest expense you will encounter, it is very unlikely to be the only fee. For this reason, any contract needs to be reviewed carefully, so you know exactly when you may be charged and for what reason.

Final Thoughts

Using the tips above, it should be much easier to narrow down your options, allowing you to shortlist property management agents that possess the right attributes and are offering the right services for you. Ideally, you should still aim to speak to several different agents, and then make a decision based on who you feel is the best fit.

Avoid property management agents who are reluctant to speak about other clients, or who have a poor reputation within the industry. Prioritise those who are qualified, respected, up-to-date with the latest trends, able to offer the full range of services you require, and are transparent about the work they do.

PropTech, such as the landlord portal from Engage, can also be of assistance, facilitating greater communication between landlords and management agents, reducing costs and making it easier for all parties to access documents. Invest in this area and make sure your agent knows how to use the technology too.

 

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