What’s your Property Management approach?
Being a landlord requires you to be proactive. There is a lot to do, not just with recruiting tenants and keeping your properties in good shape but also dealing with the large amount of legislation that now covers the rental property business. Do you have the time to do all this? Is it better to just hand it over to someone else?
Doing it yourself
For sure there are many hurdles, but if you have time, the tools to do the work yourself are there. It seems every specific task is covered by apps the specialise in that task. Good solutions exist for managing tenant information like background and checks, credit worthiness, deposit management, right-to-rent checks, EPC, Gas Safety and PAT certification, inventories, insurance to protect against rent defaults and eviction services.
Also there are packages available for maintenance and furniture management.
Using a portal-based management
Then there are the all-in-one portal type solutions. These range from those that are effectively are a virtual letting service, where all the processes are managed by a central team. You pay a monthly charge and a fee per property and all the services you need are available in one place. The portal provides access via known or validated/endorsed/certified vendors of services.
It’s a compromise between doing it all yourself or having someone providing you and umbrella of services for you to pick and choose as events require.
Using a letting agent or property manager
There is nothing that can beat local knowledge. A good property manager knows the locality and the local market conditions. Their experience will help enormously with recruiting tenants and most importantly providing a bridge between the tenant and yourself. A point of contact is really important for tenants and unless you can guarantee availability at all hours, the service offered by a local agent is hard to beat.
Moreover, most agent also offer a hybrid approach from just recruiting tenants and leaving you to manage deposits and rent collection, to recruiting and managing rents to finally providing a complete management service, including looking after maintenance.
When it comes to making repairs on your behalf, they are more likely to have a long list of professional contacts to draw from, which should help keep costs down. And in the event of properties being vacated earlier than planned, they’ll be the best placed to understand the local rental market and strategically advertise your property so it’s not left standing empty for too long.
Check track records
Get references on their service. See if they belong to an accredited letting organisation with a code-of-conduct with regular spot checks and training programmes. It’s useful to know the number of properties and landlords they manage and their ratio of let to unlet properties. Also worth finding out their historical tenancy duration, tenant turnover and dispute resolution process. Find out what systems they use for managing properties. An investment in good IT systems is mandatory these days.
An agent who has a reliable management process and software can help you stay on top of responsibilities.
Whichever route you choose – DIY, managing with portals or a local agent – we at Reports2Go offer applications and services to aid with part of the task. Try out our free property reports app. It will reduce the time needed by an inventory clerk and will help to standardise workflow for reports.
Our inventory clerk app is good for ensuring a good start between tenants and landlords. Its accurate coverage of all important aspects of the property leaves little room for misunderstandings and confusion.
Dan, 18 December 2020
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