If you’ve ever searched for a good property manager in Gauteng , then you know how difficult it can be to find a good one for your rental property. There are several property managers out there, probably more than what you really need to bring your property into the market.
With so many choices available, you may find it difficult to choose one for your unit. But don’t worry – if you ask the right questions while shopping around for property managers, you’ll get a better idea of who would make the best fit for your property. Ask them these questions when discussing your property to see if they’re the right property manager for you:
1. What type of properties have you managed?
Experience counts for a lot in property management, and it can separate the good ones from the ones you should steer away from. Experience in this field, however, isn’t just about the number of years worked in the field; it’s also about what type of properties they’ve managed. Depending on what type of property you have, you can either go with someone who specialises in managing properties like yours or someone who has more varied experience managing different types of properties.
2. How do you screen potential tenants?
Some have small sign-up fees but a variety of hidden fees once you sign on and let them manage your property. Avoid getting surprised by such fees, and ask them to indicate all management and service fees included in their service. The more complicated their fee structure is, the bigger the headache (and expense) it will likely be.
9. What can you do that others can’t?
This is where prospective property managers will try to sell you on what they offer and how well they set themselves apart from the competition. It’s also the part where you assess the intangibles in any working relationship, giving you a better idea of how well they meet your standards. Listen well, take notes, and assess why they use property management companies.
How Do you Select Best Property Management Company in Gauteng ?
During winter and rainy months property manager and professional property management companies need to be mindful of potential water intrusion problems with each and every property in their portfolio. Many buildings start leaking right after construction, but do not manifest the water intrusion and building damage until years after the leakage has started. Water intrusion can lead to structural damage, rot, mold, termite, sick building syndrome and eventually significant mitigation repair costs. A prudent property manager will spend time during periodic inspections of the property to help prevent these issues from occurring and also ferreting out any existing and ongoing issues. A property owner should expect nothing less from their property manager.How Serious is Water Intrusion in Buildings?Every year hundreds of millions of dollars are spent investigation, diagnosing, repairing, and mitigating water intrusion problems in all types of buildings. Interior environmental problems such as mold can occur if the conditions are ripe, water intrusion occurs, and the interior mechanical systems do not mitigate the moisture creating a potentially toxic concoction and subsequent mold production. The mitigation efforts required after a mold infestation are significant including usually displacing any occupants of the building. The environmental companies must scrub down the interior, must prevent mold spores from moving from room to room, and must remove and clean interior components which have become contaminated. This is not a small effort, nor an inexpensive one.Speed is Critical in Mitigating a Leaking Building?Even though a property manager cannot prevent all of the possible water intrusion problems with a property they can be mindful of the potential areas which are susceptible to leakage and monitor those areas during their periodic inspections. The old saying an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is never as true as in preventable water intrusion problems. Prudent property managers spend significant time during their periodic inspections of their properties to help their owners from having to deal with water intrusion issues. Ultimately this leads to a greater return on investment for the property owner which is the ultimate goal for the property management company.
Characteristics of a Good Property Manager
I can not tell you how many times in the beginning of my property management career a prospective tenant called and caught me unprepared. I quickly learned I saved 5 to 10 hours a week and rented more houses by being well prepared. Here are my best tips.
1) Application Forms
A property manager should carry at least 50 blank rental applications with him at all times. Quite often, you will find yourself listing a new rental house and have no applications to place in the kitchen. You want to have applications in the house so you are not always running to your car during a showing.
The property management company should also have the rental application saved on the computer in a format that can be emailed to your clients quickly. You do not want to limit yourself to just faxing or having them pick up the form from you. This is very quick and painless.
6) Pens and Business Cards
It is embarrassing to not have either one on a listing or leasing appointment. Professionalism is found in the details.
7) Organizer to Carry Everything
You can buy an organizer at Office Depot or Staples that can store all the items listed above. Some people prefer a briefcase but I personally use a black plastic box with hanging folders. Use whatever suits you but just have it all in one place in your car
Note: A prepared property manager will create an automatic task in Outlook or a Day Planner to refill all the items once a month. Getting organized is useless for your property management company, if you do not have a follow-up system to ensure you stay organized.
Property Managers Need To Be On Lookout for Potential Water Intrusion Issues
When you hire a property management company to serve as the liaison between yourself and your tenants, you want to be sure you're getting the best possible property management services for the money. The services a property management company provides can range from ala carte to an all-in-one inclusive package. Along with that comes an array of fees for each. There is no set in stone fee structure we can provide you. But we can educate you on what common fees to expect and what each is commonly for. In the end it will be up to you to compare company fee structures and choose the best one that fits within your budget. Below are some of the most common fees and what service they provide.
This is an ongoing monthly fee charged to the owner to compensate the property manager for the responsibilities of overseeing the management of their property. This fee can vary from as little as 3% to over 15% of the monthly gross rent. In place of a percentage some managers may charge a flat monthly amount which again can vary from $50 to over $200 per month. All property management companies generally charge this fee.
Lease-Up or Setup Fee
This fee is charged to the owner to compensate the property manager for their initial time invested and resources used in setting up an owners account; showing property and/or other activities resulting in tenant placement. I guess you could look at it as a "finders fee" for placing a tenant in your property. Once a tenant has been placed and first rent income comes in, the property manager will deduct this fee from the rent proceeds. Some property managers have been known to require this fee upfront prior to tenant procurement. Usually this fee is non-refundable once the property manager has started the process of tenant procurement or any legwork has been initiated with the property. This fee can vary from none to as much as the first months rent, and usually is a one-time fee per tenant.
"You've Got To Be Kidding Me" Fees - These are ones I have personally had the pleasure of running into.
- Your property is vacant, but we still will charge our monthly commission or a small flat fee.
- "A For-Rent Yard Sign Fee". I believe this was $25/mo.
- "Preventive Maintenance Fee". This was to cover the "just in case" and changing out A/C filters. If "just in case" never happens they still pocket the money. I believe this was $20/mo and I still was charged for filters.
Read your Manager/Owner contract, understand what you are signing, ask lots of questions and know what the fees will buy you in services. A good real estate lawyer can help in negotiating the terms in a contract that suit both parties. These contracts are not set in stone. If your property manager will not negotiate, there are other property management companies that are eager to earn your business.