Speak to your friends, family, colleagues and associates who are based in the area where your investment property is located. These people have no reason not to tell you their honest opinion on the agency you are considering. They may have had direct dealings with the agency or they may know someone who has, this information is highly valuable and will definitely be useful to you when making a final decision. When you have received feedback about certain agents or agencies you can then jump online and start some research. A good tactic is to look at their currently listed properties, how are they presented? Where are they positioned on the advertising websites? Have they put great effort into the advertising content? Are the properties well presented? These are all areas that are a direct reflection of the agent and how they manage property on a day to day basis.
When we are looking for accommodation for a holiday, perhaps a hotel or apartment, we all check the property reviews before making our booking. When shopping around for a Property Manager, this should be no different. Do your homework, check Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews, Website Reviews. A good agency should have a mixture of good reviews with the odd negative review too. If all of the reviews are excellent then maybe take this with some caution. I believe, the odd bad review gives a business or company an air of authenticity. No one is perfect and people make mistakes however it is how these are handled in the end that show the type of business you will be dealing with. Make sure you read the reviews, are they from tenants, are they from landlords? Make note of things you like and of things that don’t impress you so much, use this information to form questions to present to the agency upon initial contact. This way you will be prepared and by looking at these reviews you will have a very good idea of how the company is viewed by the general public.
When you are doing your research it is wise to ask the agency you are speaking with what costs they believe you could be open to at the start of your tenancy. Things like cleaning, gardening, maintenance, pest treatments, pool balance and handovers, key cutting and others can be normal expenses at the start of your investment journey. A good agency will be open with you about these costs at the start, so that you can be completely prepared for your first steps into the investment industry. Most Property Managers should be able to handle these jobs for you and provide quotes for these items upon request.
Start by researching agents in the area, make a list of the agency’s you would like to contact and then make a list of questions you would like to ask. The Property Manager or BDM will need to know information about your property such as location, size, condition, any previous rental history along with your contact details. Make sure you have those details at hand so that you can get as much out of that initial phone call as possible.
Lastly, instinct is the best tool you have during this process. At the end of the day, the Property Manager or BDM you choose needs to be someone you feel you will be able to trust and are comfortable with. The relationship between landlord and agent needs to be very open in terms of communication for it to be successful so if you feel that you just don’t gel then maybe re-think your selection.