With 40 property management companies to choose from in Hamilton, which company should you place your property with? Here are five things to consider.
In this blog, we look at some of things you should consider when choosing a property management company and what the advantages are between choosing a big or small provider.
Once upon a time all property management companies needed to be licensed by the Real Estate Agents Act. This protected landlords from handing their property over for management to operators who didn’t abide by industry rules and regulations.
However, in 2008 legislation changes opened the property management industry to non-licenced agencies and, in Hamilton alone, the number of property management providers soared from eight to 40.
Although this means landlords have greater choice when it comes to choosing a property management company, it also means the level of service, security and protection can vary considerably.
Lodge City Rentals is Hamilton’s largest property management company and is licensed under the Real Estate Agents Act. Our team of property managers field enquiries from over 1400 tenants each month. We look after more than 3,000 properties and protect the investments of more than 2,000 landlords.
In contrast, other property management companies are much smaller, which opens the debate as to which is the better option – a large property management company where your property is one of many, or a small property management company with fewer staff and fewer properties?
Although we are a large property management company, we have systems and processes in place to ensure each landlord is treated individually. We know how valuable an investment property is, whether you have one property or 100.
There are a number of advantages to putting your property investment in the hands of a large property management company.
At Lodge City Rentals, the size of our operations mean we have industry-specific systems set up that allow us to achieve maximum benefits for our landlords. We haven’t adapted other systems to fit our needs, we’ve created a system that does what we need it to do for our clients. In contrast, smaller providers don’t always have the investment they need to implement the right systems.
We are fortunate to have a team of highly experienced property managers. Each one has a portfolio of clients they look after, but are always on hand to offer guidance and assistance if need be. This means our landlords can rest assured that if their property manager takes a (well-earned) holiday or goes on maternity leave for example, one of our team members can take care of your portfolio with a seamless handover.
Smaller property management companies have a smaller pool of staff, so if you’re considering a smaller provider, be sure to ask the question – what happens when my property manager isn’t there?
Each week, we let around 50 properties via our rigorous tenant selection process. To attract the tenants who are right for your property we advertise in newspapers and online at no cost to the landlord. The visibility we achieve through our marketing activities means we are the first point of call for many prospective tenants. This gives us a larger tenant pool to select from, and with our comprehensive tenant screening process, we can find the right fit for your property.
Smaller property management companies won’t have the database of tenants or the marketing budget to reach the same tenant pool. When you’re meeting with them to discuss the possibility of managing your property, ask them about their tenant selection process and how they ensure selecting the right tenant for your property.
Every investment property requires maintenance at some point. At Lodge City Rentals, we manage 3,000 properties around Hamilton, so there is usually a property undergoing some form of maintenance work. The volume of our maintenance requirements means we have been able to negotiate competitive rates with tradespeople who are effective and efficient in the service they provide. These competitive rates are then passed on to our landlords.
For smaller property management companies, such competitive rates may be harder to come by, simply because they don’t have the volume of work that we do. If you’re talking to a smaller provider, ask them about their maintenance processes and fees so you know in advance what you can expect when the time comes for your property to undergo some work.
It takes time to build up a property management business. Becoming Hamilton’s largest property management company hasn’t happened overnight. It’s taken almost 40 years! But during that time we have gained incredible insight into Hamilton’s rental market, where the best returns can be made, and what makes a profitable property investment portfolio. We pass all this knowledge and expertise on to our landlords to help them achieve the best returns possible from their investments.
The property management companies which have been in operation since 2008 are still building up this knowledge of the industry and the Hamilton rental market. If you’re speaking with a potential property manager, ask them about their experience and their background in the industry. The better your property manager knows the industry, the better they can look after your investment.