What are You looking for from Your Property Manager?
Our Landlords expect a lot from us – & we make sure they get it.
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 ratio of properties to property managers never exceeds 100:1, & it’s usually a lot lower, so we always have time to communicate with our 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.
Take extraordinary care with their property!
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!
Maximise Rental Income
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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!
Our entry and exit condition reports 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!
Spare Them the Stress & Hassle of Managing it Themselves!
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!
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!
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.
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.
Fighting for our Landlords
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.