If you’ve ever searched for a good property manager in South Africa , 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 South Africa ?
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.
The Property Management Contract - What You Need to Know
The Property Management Contract - Taking it Apart
The manager will be taking on significant responsibilities with the owner's real estate. It is important to look at the contract and at a minimum it must
1. Name all parties to the contract
2. The legal property address
3. Define the responsibilities of the manager and the owner
4. Enumerate all fees and commissions for leasing or real estate sales.
5. Define the term of the contract
6. Both parties must sign and date the contract
What is Agency?
"It may be referred to as the relationship between a principal and an agent whereby the principal, expressly or impliedly, authorizes the agent to work under his control and on his behalf. The agent is, thus, required to negotiate on behalf of the principal or bring him and third parties into contractual relationship."
Basically you are signing off and binding the manager to act in your behalf and in your best interest regarding the management of the property.
1. You should require a current license and go to search your state dept. of Real Estate to see if it is current and that there have not been any complaints or suspensions or revocations of the real estate license.
2. You should also check with your local Better Business Bureau and ask for referrals. 3. Finally, ask to see the general liability insurance policy and if the principals have errors and omissions insurance.
2. Tenant Screening: What are the tenant screening criteria. he company should be able to clearly offer you a set of rules. This should never be an off hand "we pick em if we like em" approach. Thats a law suit waiting to happen. We will write on fair housing, the federal government's body of law governing housing and discrimination. meanwhile there are a series of articles at our website you can read if you need to know.
All management companies should have accounts online and always available. The bigger companies will have an accountant in the company. Thats a plus.
The company responsibilities are:
1. Track income and expenses to determine profitability
2. Rents and other fees from the property shall be deposited into a special bank account or trust as required by law and cannot become mingled with the company funds.
Issue monthly income statements
3. Negotiate rental agreements
4. Respond to tenant requests and deal with problem tenants
5. The Agent should collect the rents and other income from the property promptly
6. From the rents received the Agent should pay all operating expenses and such other expenses as requested by the Owner. This may include the payment of mortgages or taxes.
Howard Bell for yourpropertypath.com
What Can You Expect From a 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.