Most property managers are honest and hardworking people that will do a great job for you. However, having a bad property manager in charge of your real estate investments could result in you losing money as well as suffering significant amounts of hassle and stress. And so while bad property managers may be the exception rather than the norm, it’s essential to avoid them at all costs. Here are some tell-tale signs to look out for that should set the alarm bells ringing.

Unprofessional disposition

It’s essential to interview any potential property managers as you don’t want to hire someone that you can’t easily deal with on an ongoing basis. What’s more, the property manager will be acting as your representative and so having a pleasant and professional demeanour is essential.

Limited availability

Being a property manager isn’t a standard 9 to 5 job. Beware of any property managers that have limited availability. Good property managers are on call for emergencies 24/7 and some even open on the weekends. Make sure that your property manager has flexible working hours. That way you can be confident that they’ll be working for you when it matters.

Lack of responsiveness

A good property manager has to be responsive.  The last thing you need is a property manager that fails to respond quickly enough to a tenant who tries to contact them with an emergency repair. It’s a good idea to test how responsive they are by ringing the out-of-hours number yourself. If you get an answering service and they fail to ring you back immediately, then it’s time to look elsewhere.

Failure to produce references

Any good property manager will have plenty of happy and satisfied customers already. So, it’s most definitely a deal breaker if they are unwilling to provide references and testimonials. In fact, why not get in touch with some of their customers yourself? That way you will be getting an honest appraisal of their services rather than a carefully edited one.

Interview the candidates

Sadly, there are some bad property managers out there and a good rule of thumb is to interview at least three potential ones.  This will provide you with a good relative reference point for judging and assessing their offerings. Ask them how long they’ve been managing and what sorts of property they typically deal with. You can then assess whether they are a good fit for you.

In addition, cover the following issues and be sure that you are comfortable with what’s on offer:

  • arrangements for repairs and maintenance
  • processes for eviction of tenants
  • frequency of inspections and reports
  • licences and certifications
  • fees and charges.

Good property managers are worth their weight in gold. Use these tips to wisely select the right one for you – one who will protect your property assets and maximise your investment.