Working with property managers shouldn’t make things more complicated. Here’s why good communication matters to your rental profitability.
Property management (or a property management company) is a service-oriented business in the real estate industry. And great communication is an essential ingredient to deliver this service well.
This article will show you four important reasons why communication is important when hiring a property manager. Take it from me—you do not want to hand over the keys to your kingdom to someone who won’t call you back.
Communicating with Property Managers
Have you ever tried to get in touch with your mobile or internet provider? Perhaps to get your line reconnected or fix your spotty WiFi connection? Companies in those industries are notorious for being a pain to deal with.
Even though communication is a key aspect of our society, not all businesses are good at it. Ask anybody, and they can give you countless experiences with barely responsive customer service departments—and the real estate industry is no exception.
Property managers manage properties and tenants on your behalf, overseeing every little detail and function that contributes to the success of your rental business.
Their service is relationship-based, and they need to stay in touch with many groups of people, from tenants and landlords to contractors and agents.
This also means that property managers with poor communication skills are often unorganised, secretive, and can make it a massive headache just to get updates on your rental business.
And as every successful landlord knows, organisation and attention to detail is what ensures solid and consistent passive income.
Good Communication = Good Organisation
Property managers and property management companies won’t exist if managing properties was easy. Every day, property managers oversee daily operations and juggle multiple tasks, such as:
- Listing and marketing properties in the rental market
- Organising inspections and repairs
- Screening prospective tenants and preparing tenancy agreements
- Negotiating, collecting, and chasing up on rent
- Delivering and processing termination notices
- Handling all the contracts of each property
- Managing ongoing bills (e.g., council rates and strata levies)
- Updating you on relevant legislation and laws
- Addressing all of your concerns
Moreover, many of the tenant maintenance requests need an immediate response (e.g., their water pipe blew up), and you, as the owner, need the property manager to send regular updates on the condition of each of your investment properties.
Organised property managers may even have a maintenance plan, such as this one, so it’s easy to communicate on maintenance issues:
A property manager that prioritises good communication can stay organised in any situation—even with all the tasks and responsibilities on their plate.
It doesn’t matter if your portfolio only has a few homes or huge apartment complexes. They can coordinate with maintenance crews, respond to tenants, and keep you updated consistently. They’ll schedule, monitor, and document all their tasks to send you comprehensive overviews regularly.
Good Communication = Full Transparency
Good communication also means complete visibility of how the property manager is doing their job. You’ll see how they screen prospective tenants, manage evictions of problematic ones, chase up rent-delinquent tenants, and the kind of contractors they recruit to repair your properties. Communicative property managers are also more willing to discuss issues and adjust according to your preference whenever you disagree with their process.
Moreover, with so many rules and regulations in the real estate industry, each property manager needs to be responsible and transparent enough to comply with local rules. In Queensland, for example, they have the following requirements:
- Proper Smoke Alarms: The Fire and Emergency Services Amendment Act 2016 and Building Fire Safety Legislation Amendment Regulations 2016 for domestic smoke alarms require landlords and property managers to install photoelectric smoke alarms in every room. They should be interconnected and meet the Australian Standard 3786:2014.
- Safe Balconies, Windows, and Decks: The laws require a one-metre high balustrade or barrier if someone can fall a metre or more from the balcony, window, or deck. The balustrade cannot have openings wider than 125 millimetres. For decks and balconies more than four metres above ground, the balustrade also cannot have climbable elements.
- Blind and Curtain Cords: To avoid children choking themselves, lessors need to follow the recommendation of the Office of Fair Trading to have loose cords 160cm above floor level. All internal corded windows should also comply with the standard set by the Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standard – Corded Internal Window Coverings) Regulations 2010.
These rules are only a glimpse of the long list of compliances your property manager needs to check and follow in each state. Only those that are transparent enough will comply and be accountable for any possible issues that might occur down the road.
Property managers with good communication skills will also be transparent with your tenants. They will send plenty of notices on any changes in the community and discuss any problems that the tenants might experience. They won’t shy away from keeping the community close and open with each other.
The opposite is having property managers that decide on things without you knowing. These property managers often delay maintenance checks, resulting in aggravated damages to your property. They may also hire cheap contractors and slack off on screening tenants, setting you up for many future problems.
Good Communication = Proactive Management
While you might have to call up your property manager occasionally, in general, the property manager should be the one reaching out to you—not the other way around. A communicative property manager will be proactive in their management, getting ahead of most concerns to increase the overall productivity of your business.
An experienced property manager knows the ins and outs of their job. They can tell which properties need maintenance and what kind. They can anticipate and schedule repairs early to minimise cost, maximise the rentals, and avoid permanent damage.
For example, if you have older properties (above the age of 50), an experienced property manager should be able to anticipate the following maintenance needs:
- Foundation Issues: They will identify uneven floors, windows that won’t latch properly, plasterboard cracks, and bulges on walls as signs of foundational issues.
- Lack of Ventilation: They will see persistent condensation on windows and timber rot as signs of inadequate ventilation, leading to possible structural problems.
- Leaking Roof: They will take musty smells and mould in the attic as signs of a leaking roof. Even streaks or patches of moisture on the walls won’t escape their eyes.
- Dangerous Electrics and Plumbing: They will see wiring and plumbing issues that don’t meet today’s standards, and address them before a tenant gets into an accident.
They can also anticipate any tenant issues, proactively addressing any pain points (or carry out evictions) before anything becomes too serious. If they sense upcoming or possible vacancies, they will also prepare for the turnover with the least money and time wasted.
The opposite is a property manager that only moves when you complain. These kinds of property managers defeat the whole purpose of hiring external help—you shouldn’t have to chase after the professional help you paid for.
Good Communication = Stable Profits
If you think about it, you’re actually the “customer” of your property manager. This means that for them to be profitable, they need to bring you towards customer success—ensuring that you achieve your desired outcome with their service.
We’re using a term that’s not often used in real estate, but the same idea applies: The happier you are, the better it is for the property manager. And what makes you the happiest? Stable profits, of course!
Our team of expert property managers equates good communication to proper management because communication results in quality tenants, well-maintained properties, and healthy revenue streams. Property management is a relationship-focused service where communication is key to success:
It’s a win-win situation for both of us. The quality of our service directly impacts your rental business profit and determines the longevity of our partnership in building a profitable rental property portfolio.
Any property manager who doesn’t prioritise good communication shows that they probably don’t really care much about your business. You’ll only add another layer of difficulty in managing your properties.
Work with a Partner that has Your Interests in Mind
Working with a property manager should not feel like getting in touch with crappy customer service. Instead, they should feel like your partners in property management.
The sole purpose of hiring a property manager is to increase your ROI and decrease landlord-related stress. So make sure that you work with a property manager that prioritises good communication—being organised, transparent, and proactive in making your rental business succeed.
Ready to partner up with communicative property managers? Our team in Benchmark is at your service. Get in touch with us today!