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Self Managing vs Property Managers – What Are the Key Differences?

  • Date Listed 8th Oct
  • Written by Tanja Le Roux

Are you a property owner that’s looking to lease? You have two main options at your disposal – self managing or working with property managers. As an owner, this is certainly one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make. Choosing to go at it alone or partnering with property managers are two vastly different pathways, and each have their own unique set of consequences and obligations.

Below, we’ll explore these differences in detail, and give a well-rounded view of what each option means for you as a property owner. Let’s get started with a few of the basics.:

What Does it Mean to Self Manage a Property?

Essentially, a self managed property is an arrangement where the landlord leases to the tenant directly. Here, the landlord takes on all of the responsibilities that are typically handled by a third party, such as finding tenants, collecting rent, and managing maintenance issues.

In this situation, the landlord has a more hands-on role in overseeing the property and interacting directly with the tenants. This can include tasks like conducting property inspections, handling lease agreements, and addressing any concerns or issues raised by the tenants.

In order to lease the property, the landlord may organise inspections and attend them personally, or work directly with a real estate agent to handle prospective tenants during the early stages. However, once a lease is finalised, the property is then self managed by the owner throughout the duration of the tenancy.

Here are three of the key questions to consider:

  1. Do you have the knowledge and know-how to navigate the process?
  2. Do you have the time to spend managing the fine details?
  3. Do you have the energy to negotiate what you want?

If you’re struggling to answer any of these questions, it might be a sign to consider the services of a property manager.

What is the Role of a Property Manager?

Let’s transition to the other side. In 2023, approximately 75% of landlords currently partner with property managers. So, why are so many owners turning to a third party for help? The role of a property manager is pivotal and involves the delegation of various responsibilities. In this arrangement, the property manager acts as an intermediary between the landlord and the tenants, streamlining the operational aspects of property management.

Primarily, property managers are tasked with finding suitable tenants for a property and then managing their tenancy moving forward (on behalf of the landlord). This involves everything from marketing the property to attending viewings, and screening potential tenants to make sure they meet the landlord’s criteria. Once a tenant is secured, the property manager facilitates the leasing process, handling the documentation, such as drafting and finalising lease agreements.

The collection of rent is a key responsibility shouldered by property managers, as well as maintenance and repairs. Property managers are responsible for addressing maintenance issues promptly and coordinating repairs as needed. They may have a network of reliable contractors for a well-maintained and orderly property.

Effective communication is another cornerstone of the property manager’s role. They serve as a point of contact for tenants, addressing queries, concerns, and facilitating resolutions to disputes. Additionally, property managers keep landlords informed about the status of their property and any significant developments.

What are the Responsibilities of a Landlord?

Before you decide to take either option, it’s important to understand what your responsibilities will be.

Option A: Self-Managed

When choosing to self-manage a property, landlords take on a range of responsibilities associated with the day-to-day operations of leasing and maintaining their rental property. Here are key responsibilities under this option:

  1. Finding Tenants: The landlord is responsible for advertising the property, organising viewings, and selecting suitable tenants.
  2. Lease Agreements: Drafting and finalising lease agreements, outlining the terms and conditions of the tenancy, and ensuring legal compliance.
  3. Property Maintenance: and arranging for maintenance and repairs as needed, ensuring the property is in good condition.
  4. Inspections: A landlord must conduct regular property inspections to assess its condition and identify any maintenance needs.
  5. Communication: Directly communicating with tenants, addressing queries, concerns, and fostering effective landlord-tenant relations.
  6. Legal Compliance: Staying informed about landlord and tenant laws, ensuring compliance with regulations, and handling legal matters related to the property.
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Option B: Property Manager

Opting for a property manager involves delegating many of the day-to-day responsibilities to a professional third party. Here are the key responsibilities associated with hiring a property manager:

  1. Tenant Selection: Marketing the property, conducting viewings, and selecting suitable tenants based on predefined criteria.
  2. Lease Management: Drafting, finalising, and managing lease agreements.
  3. Rent Collection: Collecting rent from tenants, managing late payments, and handling any financial transactions related to the property.
  4. Maintenance and Repairs: Coordinating and overseeing maintenance tasks and repairs, often using a network of reliable contractors.
  5. Communication: Acting as the primary point of contact for tenants, addressing concerns, and providing regular updates to the landlord.
  6. Financial Reporting: Providing landlords with regular financial reports, detailing income and expenses related to the property.
  7. Legal Compliance: Property managers will stay up to date with the latest regulations, ensuring the property complies with relevant laws, and handling legal matters on behalf of the landlord.

This is only a quick snapshot of their many duties and responsibilities.

If you want to learn more and discuss your options, we have experienced property managers in BuderimPalmwoods, and various corners of the Sunshine Coast. Call us today!

What About Property Maintenance?

AFrom sudden leaks to lost keys and electrical faults, property maintenance issues often come out of nowhere. Here, your tenants may need emergency assistance at any time of the day. If you’re self managing, this means that it will be your duty to contact the relevant tradesperson and get the issue resolved. If you’re using property managers, they will be the first point of contact, and it will be their role to get the problem fixed.

As you can see, this is one of the major differences between the two arrangements.

Are There Property Management Fees?

Yes. Of course, one of the main differences between self managing and property management is the fee structure. However, when you weigh up the various pros and cons, these costs are often worth the peace of mind of having a property manager by your side.

Property management fees will differ depending on the company you choose to work with. Some companies will offer an all-inclusive fee structure, as well as a letting fee. As a landlord, you’re always best served to discuss the costs associated before jumping into an agreement.

If you’re a landlord who prefers to keep the tenant relationship at an arm’s distance, property management is ideal. On the other hand, if you prefer to have a more hands on approach, self managing the property could be the best option. In most cases, this ultimately comes down to personal preference and circumstances.

Want to Learn More? Speak with Leading Property Managers on the Sunshine Coast

Welcome to We Do Property, where we offer an all-inclusive property management service. From careful tenant screening to marketing, inspections, rent collection, and maintenance, we handle all aspects with professionalism and care.

If you’re about to lease a property or simply looking for a new arrangement, speak with our property managers on the Sunshine Coast today.

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