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What are your property management fees for

By Emma Smith

By Erin Delahunty

For investors, property management fees can be just another bill to pay. But what do they actually cover? And are they worth it?

More than just collecting the rent and arranging repairs, property managers save investors time and money in many ways. They ensure a property doesn’t sit vacant for long; give advice about potential renovations; confirm landlords are meeting their legal obligations, and manage the entire life cycle of the tenancy – all on top of the usual admin.

Good property management is about maximising the investment, while minimising the risk, meaning a top-notch manager is worth their weight in gold.

A good property manager is worth their weight in gold. Picture: Getty

LJ Hooker’s head of property investment management Amy Sanderson explains there are generally three levels of property management services: a traditional management and letting fee, an all-inclusive management fee and a flat fee for service.

“Each of these options comes with a different price tag, but the good news for landlords is that, in most cases, the agent’s service fee is tax-deductible,” Sanderson says.

The list of tasks a property manager will do for a landlord includes:

  • advertising the property for rent
  • managing and attending rental property viewings
  • screening tenants, including doing reference checks and reviewing rental history
  • managing the condition report process
  • managing the tenancy agreement signing process and handling questions
  • managing financial accounts for the investment property and providing regular reports
  • inspecting the property on a regular basis
  • organising tradespeople, in negotiation with the landlord, for repairs and maintenance.

Property managers also organise repairs and maintenance tradespeople, in negotiation with the landlord. Picture: Getty

“When choosing a property manager, choose the one you connect with, not the cheapest or the most expensive, but the one you feel will work hardest for you and your investment,” Sanderson advises.

She says the main reason to get a property manager is to “maximise your investment and minimise your risk.”

Property managers know market value inside out, so can name the right asking price for rent, getting interest quick, meaning a property isn’t vacant long, she says.

“They also know what the market is looking for, so if landlords are considering doing renovations to generate a higher rental return, they can advise on what will generate the best return on investment,” she says.

Property managers are also across the ever-changing legislative landscape, Sanderson says, so they can make sure landlords are fully compliant.

“Property managers know the reputable tradespeople in the area, so maintenance and repairs can be done efficiently and cost effectively. And effective maintenance and repairs keep tenants happy, increasing the likelihood of them renewing their lease.

“Property managers will co-ordinate repairs and maintenance so landlords can concentrate on their jobs, businesses or other personal commitments,” Sanderson says.

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