From bad communication to inexperienced managers, here are the biggest problems we see in our industry today—and how we’re making sure we rise above these common property management mistakes.
1. Poor communication
As we’ve previously written, communication is the cornerstone of property management. Property managers are essentially relationship managers, balancing the needs of various stakeholders who have understandably strong opinions regarding their investments and homes. Open communication is essential to things running smoothly. It also helps if the method of communication is timely and convenient. That’s why Rentwest implemented an instant chat function on our website which allows visitors to talk to a staff member immediately. Another initiative that we’ve introduced is the use of Whatsapp. When we list a property, we create a group chat between the owner, leasing agent, BDM and property manager so that all parties can easily talk without clogging up inboxes. We’ve focused a lot of attention on our communications strategy, because we know that’s one of the best ways to improve the customer experience. We also ensure we survey our owners and tenants regularly to ensure their satisfaction remains high.
2. Not investing in marketing
When selling a property, nobody disputes the importance of investing in advertising. Yet when it comes to rentals, some owners try to cut corners. If a listing has badly taken smartphone photos, not enough photos, or a short and vague description, few prospective tenants will care to see more or bother coming to an inspection. Detailed listings with professional photos make a property look appealing and help distinguish it from the crowd. Better listings get more online traction and attract higher quality tenants. At Rentwest, we take professional photos of every property and push our listings out across major online marketplaces such as reiwa.com.au, realestate.com.au, rent.com.au and domain.com.au. We also purchase premium advertising for greater visibility and to help our properties really stand out.
3. Inadequate tenant assessments
When it comes to background checks for tenants, it’s not just about checking credit scores and employment history. A good property manager should look up previous tenancy records, call professional and personal references, and even talk to former landlords and property managers where possible. It’s also important to consider their suitability for the particular property they are applying to rent. Maybe an applicant has a pet but they are neat and quiet. Maybe they can’t pay as much rent but they will sign a two-year lease. At Rentwest, we think the question isn’t simply whether they are an objectively good tenant, but whether they are the right fit for the landlord and their preferences.
4. Being reactive rather than proactive
A large part of a property manager’s job is problem-solving. And it’s very easy to fall into a trap of only interacting with owners and tenants around rent payments and maintenance issues. But what separates a good property manager from a great one is the ability to stop a small problem from becoming a big problem, or even catch it early enough avoid the problem altogether. All property managers do an inspection at the beginning and the end of a tenancy. But Rentwest property managers also undertake a follow-up inspection 6 weeks after the tenancy starts and every 3 months after that. It gives us a chance to look for any damage or unusual wear and tear, and deal with it before it becomes an issue. We also use these opportunities to survey our tenants, which means we hear about things early and can head-off a lot of potential issues.
5. Lack of experience
Some real estate companies require new hires to prove themselves in rentals before they are promoted to the glamour of their sales department. But the last thing an owner wants is to hand over an important financial investment to an inexperienced property manager whose heart isn’t in the job. We’ve previously posted about why we think a dedicated property management firm is preferable to a full-service real estate company. In short, it’s because, at specialist property management companies like Rentwest, we are experts at what we do. We do one thing, we do it well, we love it, and we attract the best property managers in the industry as a result. That’s how we became Perth’s largest and most awarded property management company, an achievement of which we are extremely proud.
If you’re looking to rent your property out, contact our experienced team at Rentwest today.