How do you know if a property management company is right for you?
Increasingly, buy-to-let landlords are taking advantage of national rather than local investment opportunities, as they benefit from comprehensive property investment research from property investment companies with wider and deeper access to markets.
However, some investors are missing out on fantastic opportunities because they only buy local. They’re nervous about reaching out to a property management company hundreds of miles away, preferring to deal with their trusted agent round the corner. This restricts the depth of their portfolio properties.
These property investors make 4% rental yield when 7% is available elsewhere. They suffer in a localised economic downturn when property prices in another city are rising at 8% or more.
In this post, I’ll look at three key questions that a competent property management company should be able to answer. With these issues resolved, you should be able to let your portfolio properties with greater confidence, no matter where they are and where you are. Even if you’re on a beach in the Bahamas.
1. Do you manage portfolio properties?
This is a good starting point. You want to know that the property management company that you’re considering are experts in managing property portfolios on behalf of buy-to-let landlords. Ask about what type of property they manage, what type of development, and make sure that their speciality is residential property management.
Another key element to check is a letting agent’s vacancy rate. A high rate might be an indication that their tenant list and marketing abilities are not as strong as they’d like you to believe. This will adversely affect your return on investment.
2. What is your property maintenance capability?
When you have property to rent, you’ll have landlord obligations under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. You’ll be responsible for making repairs.
Ask the property manager about their maintenance capability. If they don’t have a list of good, local tradesmen on their books, then you can never be sure if repairs were properly carried out. A property management company that has to hire its tradesmen on an ad-hoc basis will probably pay over the odds for services, too. That cost will be passed directly to you.
3. Is your full-time job property management?
Some estate agents offer property management services. But guess where they make the big bucks? Make sure that you choose a dedicated property management company. Ask about its ability to field calls from your tenants at all hours, every day.
Here at Ezytrac we’re available 24/7. Tenants also have access to our repair reporting system. This lets the tenant provide a detailed explanation of an issue, even with the use of photos. We use this when speaking to our preferred local tradesmen, saving time and effort and getting the most competitive repair quote from a trusted service provider.
Should you choose a local or national property management company?
For your portfolio properties, you might be tempted to employ the services of a number of local property managers. That’s a lot of relationship management you’ll need to do. Different companies are likely to have different ways of communicating. They may favour their local landlords over you since you live in another county. You might as well live in another country.
Here at Ezytrac we provide national coverage with local expertise. You’ll have a single point of contact, a single method of payment, and a unique fee structure.
Please feel free to contact us by phone on +44 1522 503 717 for information about the benefits of using our services.