What are You looking for from Your Property Manager?

 

Our Landlords expect a lot from us - & we make sure they get it:

  

They want to know what's going on, when it's going on, with their rental property. They want to be kept informed of everything that's important - but not have their time wasted on anything that's not.
When they call to ask a question, they don't want to have to wait days or weeks (& several more frustrating calls) to get a response - let alone not getting a response at all! We have a strict policy of "same-day-turnaround" for all messages. If a landlord's property manager isn't immediately available when they call or email (property managers have to be out of the office sometimes for inspections & re-leasing!), they can reliably expect a response the same day - every time.
In most agencies, each property manager oversees many more properties than they should - often more than 150 & sometimes more than 200! They just don't have time to communicate with their landlords well! Our property managers never have more than 100 properties in their portfolio. They always have time to communicate with their landlords, whether by phone, email or in person.
And every property we manage has 2 property managers directly overseeing it. That way, if one property manager is out of the office the other can attend to landlord enquiries while they're out. And those two property managers perform all of the tasks relating to their properties. In most agencies, property management is divided into many roles filled by different employees. Landlords can't get all the information they need from one person & get transferred from one person to the next trying to piece together the full picture of what's happening with their property. At Griffin National, our landlords only need to talk to one of their two dedicated property managers, one of whom is almost always in the office.
Our landlords talk to their property managers all the time. Their property managers perform thorough routine inspections every four months & provide them with photos & detailed notes. They then call or meet with the landlord to discuss what they found - whether the news is good, bad, or otherwise. And if there are any issues with maintenance, rent arrears, etc, our landlords always get a call.
Find them the best possible tenants who'll look after the property like it was their own.
Perform regular routine inspections to confirm that they do!
Take tough & immediate action if they don't!
We keep our finger on the pulse of the rental market & charge the highest possible rent the market will bear.
We start the "lease renewal cycle" with every tenant 3 1/2 months before the lease ends. If they'd like to stay on & start another lease, we know well in advance. If they don't, we start advertising well ahead of the lease ending to ensure we've got another tenant lined up to move straight in when the other tenant moves out. Most agencies don't bother looking for a new tenant until the lease expires or is within a few days of ending, leaving the landlord with significant vacancy periods & no rent!
And when tenants choose to stay on, we're almost always able to increase the rent by at least $5 or $10 for our landlord. Most tenants expect & accept this as standard but many agencies don't bother.
We provide free professional photography, advertising copy & a detailed floor plan worth around $500 for all of our new managements. We think the benefits to our landlords are worth it.
We also provide excellent marketing & presentation tips to ensure every property is always presented in its best light.
We have tenants phoning, emailing & walking into our office at all hours. And we often have tenants on our database to match with each property when it's due to be re-leased & contact them to see if they're interested in the property.
We adjust the lease expiry date to ensure the next lease begins in a period of high demand, such as January & June/July. If a lease expires in December, for example, you're almost certain to have an extended vacancy period. We don't allow that to happen to our landlords.
Maintenance: we ensure the only maintenance performed on our landlords' properties is what's either required by law or necessary to prevent further costs in the future. Tenants often ask for a lot of maintenance to be done at the landlord's expense that simply isn't the landlord's responsibility. We make sure they don't get it!
Water efficiency: we advise all of our landlords to get a water efficiency certificate. It usually  pays for itself in just a few months & saves you a lot of money thereafter. We can arrange for a certificate to be issued so that all of the water  usage charges are paid for by your tenant.
Tradies: the best quality, most reliable & well-priced local tradespeople at specially negotiated trade discount rates.
We also encourage all of our landlords to get a tax depreciation schedule if they don't already have one. The schedule allows them to claim as many items as possible as tax deductions & they typically save landlords tens of thousands of dollars over the period they own their investment property. Incredibly, many landlords don't have one! We can arrange this easily & cheaply. As with a water efficiency certificate, a tax depreciation schedule typically pays for itself in a very brief period of time then saves the landlord an enormous amount of money over the time they own their investment property.
It's risky business not having an experienced property manager looking after your rental property, especially with the complex legal compliance responsibilities nowadays. Landlords are responsible for abiding by a multitude of ever-changing rules & regulations relating to such things as swimming pools, smoke alarms, blinds, bonds, etc. Our property managers have specialised ongoing training & we subscribe to professional services that ensure we stay up-to-date with all of the appropriate legislation & regulations.
We also encourage all of our landlords to hold current Landlord Insurance to protect them against circumstances such as:
  • Tenant theft or damage that exceeds the bond
  • Lost rent that exceeds the bond when tenants break the lease, prevent access or leave the property too damaged to be re-leased in its existing state
  • Tenants vacating their property without providing the required notice
Case Study: One of our landlords used to manage her investment property herself. Although she found it difficult to stay on top of whether her tenant's rent was always up-to-date & was often worried she wasn't complying with all of the relevant legal regulations of renting out a property, she decided not to engage a professional property manager to manage it on her behalf. By the end of the 12 month tenancy, the tenant disappeared owing more than 6 months' rent & having done $42,000 (not a typo!) of damage to the property - & she didn't have landlord insurance!
We can't advise which insurance agency our landlords should go with (though we're happy to discuss some we've had positive experiences with), but we do tell them the main clauses we think are most important to be included in a policy - & which items shouldn't be! If one of our landlords comes across one we're not familiar with, we're happy to look it over & tell them what we think the pros & cons are from a property manager's perspective.
And keep in mind that many Landlord Insurance policies are invalidated if the landlord doesn't have a professional property manager...always check the fine print of your policy!
Tenant review & selection: we go to great lengths to ensure every candidate we recommend to our landlords for their approval is extremely likely to be an excellent tenant. We always run thorough checks including:
  • TICA (national tenancy database)
  • Previous renting history with other agents
  • Reference checking with employers, etc
  • Financial means assessment
 Our landlords don't want just any tenant. They want one who pays the rent on time, every time, & treats their property like it's their own. We go through every prospective tenant's history with a fine toothed comb to ensure there are no skeletons in their closets!
Entry & exit condition reports: ours are extremely detailed with an average of more than 100 photos accompanying the written report. If there's any debate with the tenant at the end of the lease about whether they're leaving the property in the state it was in at the beginning of the tenancy, we do our utmost to ensure the result is in our landlord's favour!
Paperwork & compliance: there's so much to know about bonds, leases, swimming pools, blind cords, smoke alarms, water efficiency, notice periods, forms, etc. And if any of these, or a multitude of other items, aren't attended to properly, the consequences to the landlord can be disastrous. It's just not worth taking the chance!
Chasing overdue rent: we don't put up with our tenants being in rental arrears. We run an Arrears Report first thing every morning & any tenant who's behind in their rent is followed up with phone calls, text messages & emails each & every day until they're up-to-date. Every tenant is given a copy of our detailed Rent Arrears Policy at the start of their lease - & they learn very quickly that we enforce it to the letter!
Inspections: routine inspections are performed without fail every 4 months (unfortunately many agencies promise to but don't...!). The property manager takes numerous photos then emails &/or posts them to our landlords so they can see for themselves that their property is being well looked after. The property manager always follows these inspections up with a phone call in case there's anything the landlord would like to discuss or clarify.
All inspections (entry, routine, exit) are performed with specialised software that combines photos with all the detailed information relating to each property so it's easy for the landlord to review.
Arranging maintenance: maintenance is never performed until it's been approved directly by the landlord (other than for emergencies if they're unavailable).
Preventative maintenance: we don't go out of our way to find maintenance for our landlords to pay for, but a stitch in time saves nine! And it takes a trained eye to know not only which maintenance really needs to be attended to, but also who's responsible for paying the bill! We make sure our landlords only have to pay for maintenance that's their responsibility, not the tenant's.
Insurance claims: if any of our landlords is unlucky enough to need to make an insurance claim, they don't have to worry about taking care of it themselves. We arrange everything with their insurance company on their behalf. And as with everything else we do for our landlords, they don't pay extra for it!
Fighting for our landlords' rights at QCAT: similarly, if any of our landlords is unlucky enough to have to take a tenant to QCAT for rent arrears, property damage, etc, once again they don't have to worry about taking care of it themselves. We prepare the application, supporting materials, etc, & attend QCAT on our landlord's behalf. And once again, they don't pay extra for us to do this for them! We consider it just another part of the property management service we provide.

 

Is what we do for our Landlords what You're looking for in a Property Manager?

 

Then make Griffin National Your Guardian in Property today!