Professional Property Management vs Self Management

An article by Tanya Davis

I was very fortunate to be able to sit down with one of our landlords and quiz her on why she chose to have her property managed vs self-management. We were able to sum it up in 5 points.
1. Why should you choose to hire a Property Manager over self-managing your property you ask?
Well the most prevalent answer I received was “time poor”. Hiring an agent not only ensures that everything gets done - but that it gets done smoothly, with the latest software, and by someone up to date with legislation. This ties in closely to our second answer which was “filtration”. Having someone determine what information needs to be relayed, or more importantly stressed over, frees up your time to stress over more important things, like family or work. The final point was a “buffer”: hiring an agent to deal with the highly emotional areas turns a potentially highly stressful interaction into smooth sailing.
2. But how do you choose the right agent?
Do your research! The landlord whom I interviewed, did so through word of mouth, and chose 3 agents. After contacting the offices she shortlisted them down to 2 based on phone mannerisms. In the end you will need to weigh up what is most important to you. Fee structures, value for money, courtesy, and initiative are all great attributes that you would need to consider.
3. Of course I had to ask the scary question; have you ever wished you were self-managing?
The answer was a resounding no. The landlord noted that during her time with her current manager there has been certain events, hiccups you could say, where she was truly grateful to have an experienced manager constantly on top of the issue, ensuring it was rectified properly. On the whole she has had a rather positive experience, and she attributes this predominately to the professional mannerisms in which having a reliable manager has brought to the table, vetting, reviews, resolving maintenance issues etc. 
4. What were the most valued virtues to look for in your Property manager diligence, organised, confident?
All of these attributes should definitely be why you employ a property manager, but respect for both the landlord and the tenant was the top attribute from the landlord I spoke with. In her words, the better the treatment and more approachable the property manager is from both parties (landlord and tenant) the more likely respect is to be reciprocated to the house. Beautifully said.
5. Technology - how important is it when choosing your property manager?
The landlord whom I spoke with was very realistic when noting that it should be with the times. If the technology benefits the system then it should be implemented, but highlighting that it should never take away the realness of Real Estate. I recently attended a seminar in which we were shown some of the amazing new technologies seeping into our industry. Virtual walk throughs for properties anywhere in the world, “Sim” like simulation floor plans where you can add and move around your furniture. There are definitely some exciting movements, but when choosing your manager be careful not to get caught up in the buzz.