• Home Blog What Is a Property Manager and Why Do I Need One?

What Is a Property Manager and Why Do I Need One?

  • Date Listed 25th Jun
  • Written by Tanja Le Roux

About to buy an investment property? Whether you are looking into a home, apartment or a unit, partnering with a property manager is a great way to make the process as smooth and seamless as possible.

Owning a property sometimes seems like an endless list of decisions and challenges – challenges that are made all the more difficult if you’re going at it alone. As experienced property managers on the Sunshine Coast, we’ve helped countless owners with an all-inclusive approach that aims to foster a positive owner-tenant relationship.

So, what exactly is a property manager and why will you need one for rental properties? Throughout this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know across each stage of the investment experience.

What Can a Property Manager Do?

At the core, a professional property manager is the mediator between the owner and the tenant. This means that the communication happens between the property manager and owner on one side, and the property manager and tenant on the other.

Your property manager will be well versed in the relevant tenancy legislation, rules, obligations and agreements. These obligations also extend to both sides of the equation – meaning that if either the owner or tenant has a responsibility for an action (such as household maintenance), the property manager will keep them up to date and help to facilitate a solution.

A property manager helps to handle everything from tenant screening to rent collection, regular inspections, tenant retention and much more. This approach also works well for owners that:

  • Have busy schedules and lack the time
  • Own multiple properties
  • Don’t live in the same area
  • Want to keep the owner-tenant relationship at an arms distance

Before the Lease

As a real estate investor, you have a number of duties to complete before the viewings are scheduled and the tenants apply. Let’s explore a few now.

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Property Viewings

When the property is listed online and the physical sign is in place, a property manager will help to manage any interested parties. These property viewings may involve ‘open houses’ where numerous tenants arrive to inspect (typically within a 10-15 minute window). A property manager or selected real estate agent will grant access to the open home and be on hand from start to finish. The second approach requires potential tenants to arrange a set time where they receive a personal viewing.

If the home is still occupied, your property manager can work with you to give the appropriate notice to the current tenant/tenants. Having an expert by your side will ensure that all property viewings are in line with Australian rental laws.

Need to organise property viewing for a Sunshine Coast property? We have dedicated property managers from Nambour to Caloundra – reach out now to chat about your next adventure.

Assessing Suitable Tenants

After the private or open property viewings take place, you will hopefully receive applications from strong candidates. Here is where the work of a knowledgeable property manager becomes so important. At We Do Property, we carefully screen all tenants to make sure they have a rental track record, solid references, and financial stability. In fact, this attention to detail has become a cornerstone of our property management services.

Successful applications will require:

  • Proof of identification
  • Any previous rental history
  • Proof of income and employment
  • Personal and professional references

A thorough screening process ultimately helps to weed out potentially difficult tenants, allowing you to avoid unpaid rent and other general maintenance issues. Once the screening is complete, your property manager will present these candidates for approval – As the owner, you ultimately have the final say.

Entry Condition Report

An entry condition report is another key responsibility for anyone planning to lease their property. This document gives an overview of the property’s general condition, outlining the state of each room in detail, as well as noting any defects or noted existing issues.

Your property manager can complete the report and take photos for future reference. From here, they will then send or hand it over to the tenant for their confirmation.

Why is this report so important? By outlining the state of the property at the time of the initial handover, this acts as evidence if items get damaged, go missing or experience serious wear and tear. If the property manager notices a problem during a follow-up inspection, condition reports allow them to cross-check it against the original entry documentation.

In an ideal situation, the entry condition report is simply a backup for both parties. If the property manager takes time to screen and assess potential tenants, the lease should be stress free.


Finalising a Leasing Agreement

Once the tenants are approved and a condition report is finalised, the next step is to finalise the leasing contracts and agreements. First, the property manager will pass on the good news to the successful tenant, after which they will also finalise the handover date and forward the relevant documents to be signed.

Lease agreements outline the obligations of both the tenants and owner, including the agreed rental price, rent collection dates, the lease duration, contacts for emergency maintenance issues and any other details.

Managing the Handover

Congratulations – the tenants are finalised and the handover is ready to take place. Here, they will communicate with your new tenants to find a suitable time to pick up the keys. This may also involve the finalisation/signage for leasing agreements.


During the Lease

Although the property manager has played a vital role to this point, managing the lease is where they really kick into gear. Essentially, their role is to provide sound day-to-day management for both the tenants and owner. At We Do Property, these management services also come with no admin, statement or lease renewal fees.

Rent Collection

As a landlord, you have every right to expect that the agreed rental income arrives on time. Again, with well screened and stable tenants, the financial side shouldn’t be an issue. Despite this, your property manager will be ready and on hand to handle any issues related to rent collection.

Whether the rent is late or below the agreed upon figure, a property manager will be able to liaise with the tenant on your behalf and find a resolution.

Property Maintenance

Whether minor or major, maintenance issues are completely natural and likely to occur at some point of the lease. When this happens, the tenant informs the property management company who then refers it to you (the owner).

From locksmiths to plumbers, and electricians, your property manager will also reach out to the relevant tradesperson and help to resolve any emergencies that arise. For apartment complexes, this can also involve contact with body corporate to make sure a quick resolution is found.

Routine Inspections

Follow up inspections are a key aspect of quality residential property management. If there are no problems with the building’s condition, property inspections are simply used to verify that everything is running smoothly and the tenant is looking after the home well.

Essentially, this inspection provides visual evidence that can be relayed to the landlord. This process is particularly important to determine whether the owner is happy for the tenancy to continue. Remember, a property inspection is essentially a visual overview rather than an assessment by a licensed builder or contractor.

By checking the condition, inspections are sometimes used as an appraisal of value that can then frame the decision for future rent increases. Of course, this varies from home to home, as well as the state of the local property market.

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Safety Inspections/Compliance Checks

Regulated by state governments, safety inspections are a requirement for all landlords, including those who own commercial properties. These inspections will involve gas, electrical and smoke detector checks.

Here, the property manager helps the owner to avoid any safety related legal issues. Whether you are working with one individual or a team of property managers, they can inform the tenant that a safety check is required and allow them to book in a time.

Changes in Rent

Typically occurring at the end of the initial lease, landlords can work with their property manager to change the monthly rent. Changes in rent are based on various factors, such as the median price in the nearby area, mortgage rates or increases to the owner’s cost-of-living.

If you have an optimal rent in mind, the property manger will contact the tenant to inform them when the changes take effect. Quality property managers will make sure that this occurs within the recommended guidelines and the tenants are given the appropriate notice before the updated figure is ready for collection.

End of Lease

When the end of lease approaches, there will be two scenarios. Hopefully, you’ll be very happy with the tenants and ready to finalise an ongoing tenancy agreement. If the opposite is true, your property manager will also be on hand to restart the tenant search once again.

As a property owner, you ultimately have the final say in all matters. Your property manager is ultimately there to provide an all-inclusive service that is tailored around your individual circumstances and best interests.

What Are Your Property Management Fees?

We Do Property has an all-inclusive management fee of 8% + GST with no hidden surprises. However, for the placement of a new tenant, the letting fee is one week’s rent + GST.

If you’re planning to enter the world of property investment, we offer an end-to-end service that covers all bases. With dedicated property managers in Alexandra Headland, Buderim and Mooloolaba, our team is ready to work with property investors across the Sunshine Coast.

Get in touch and get started today.

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