London has always been a prime location for buy to let investors with an increasing number of professionals looking for homes to rent in the capital. And when it comes to rental properties, there are various options to consider whether you want to make income on the side of your job in London or are considering a property development business. If you want to buy property to let in London, one of the first steps in the process after purchasing the ideal home is to find a good property manager. Property management companies are recommended to help you find ideal tenants, collect rent payments, and ensure that the property is well-maintained and meets all regulations and standards. So, what should you look for in a good property manager?
What Does a Good Property Manager Do?
The main priority of a property manager is to act as a third party between landlords and tenants to ensure that properties are maintained to a high standard. Jobs in property management can include anything from pre-tenancy requirements to organising maintenance and repairs on the building. A good property manager will quickly deal with all tenant-related issues on the landlord’s behalf and is often see as the first point of call for both parties when it comes to the property. Your property manager will handle everything that you need from dealing with questions and complaints, collecting rent, organising repairs, and property maintenance, and carrying out administrative tasks.
What Are the Signs of a Good Property Manager?
If you are considering buying a property in London to let, there are various things to look out for when hiring a good property manager. Some people are reluctant to hire a property manager – after all, trusting somebody to care for and manage your property can be quite daunting. Finding a property manager with the following qualities can provide you with the peace of mind that you need to trust them with your rental home.
What are the Qualities of a Good Property Manager?
- Experience: One of the main things to look for in a property management company is experience. How many properties have they managed previously? How many are they managing right now? What kind of properties do they have experience managing? What is their knowledge of local laws and regulations that apply to your property?
- Customer Service Skills: Property management is a career that can be stressful at times, and a good property manager needs to have a lot of patience coupled with good customer service skills, whether they’re dealing with contractors who are behind schedule, investors who have unrealistic expectations, or even unruly tenants. Look for a property manager who seems to be willing to listen and has excellent communication skills, even when under pressure.
- Assertiveness: While a good property manager needs to be patient and have good service skills, they will also need to be assertive – and at times, aggressive. The best property managers understand that this is a delicate balancing act, and can successfully track down late rent payments, ensure that contractors are carrying out the work that they have agreed to do, and more. The ability to do this is definitely a quality to look for in your potential property manager.
- Communication Skills: The best property managers are excellent communicators in both written and spoken communication. They should be easily able to explain to both you and your tenants what is happening at the property when asked. Clear and concise communication is essential to reduce disputes and ensure that everything is running smoothly.
Other Characteristics of a Good Property Manager
Finally, a property manager must be somebody who conducts themselves with the utmost professionalism at all times. Property managers need a kind yet firm manner and should be somebody you, your tenants, and contractors can get along with even when dealing with sensitive business matters. Look for somebody who speaks and acts professionally and treats others with respect.
Finding a Good Property Manager – Where to Start?
in a city like London where property investment is booming, finding the right property management company for you may not always be easy. Where do you start when looking for the right property manager for your rental property? You know that getting this choice right is hugely important and the weight that it carries for the success of your rental property and the relationship with your tenants. Some of the best ways to get started with looking for the right property management company include:
- Get Recommendations: Ask around in your network to see if any property management companies come recommended. If you know any other landlords, it is worth asking them about the property management company that they use or other companies that they have used in the past to get an idea of what to expect and get ideas for companies that might be a good fit for you. Along with speaking to other landlords, it might be worth asking people you know who are currently a tenant – they can help by providing opinions from another perspective, as you will want to opt for a property management company that serves the best interests of both you and your tenants.
- Use Professional Contacts: Estate agents, contractors, and other professionals in the property industry may be able to provide you with recommendations and suggestions for good property management companies.
- Online: Finally, an online search is a good way to find some suitable property management companies to shortlist.
How to Choose a Good Property Management Company?
Once you have some recommendations and online finds to consider, it’s time to go through your shortlist and determine which property management company is going to be the best option for you. One of the best ways to do this is to contact each potential company one by one and ask the questions that will help you decide the best match for your needs as a landlord in London. Some of the most important questions to get answers to relate to:
What Do Good Property Management Companies Offer?
- Fees: You will want to know how much you will be charged by the property management company for their services. Will you be charged a percentage of rent payments or a flat fee? How are the fees collected? What is charged if your property is empty or part-filled?
- Communication: When and how will the property management company communicate any issues or maintenance requirements about the property to you?
- Contractors: Which contractors does the property management company use to carry out maintenance and repair work on the properties that they manage? Are the contractors reputable? Do they have any examples of their past work?
- Current properties: Which properties are the company currently managing? Do they have photographs or videos that you can view? Can you speak to the tenants to find out more about their experience with this property management company?
- Services: What’s the full range of services that the property management company offers to their clients?
- Experience: How long has the property management company been in operation? The more experienced a property management company is, the better.
- Tenant Screening: While it’s impossible to find absolutely perfect tenants, there are plenty of steps that can be taken to ensure that you get good ones. Enquire about the criteria that the property management company uses for screening tenants before approving them for a contract.
- Marketing: How will your rental property be marketed?
- References: A good property management company should have no problem with providing you with references before you sign any contracts with them. This will enable you to speak to other people that the property management company has worked with or is currently working with.
How to Spot the Characteristics of a Good Property Manager?
While interviewing various property management companies gives you a chance to find out more about the services that they offer, fees, and other specifics included in working with them, it also provides you with the opportunity to spot some of the characteristics of a good property manager which will help you decide whether or not they are the right company for you to work with. As you conduct interviews, lookout for a property manager who communicates well, is transparent, professional, and works well under pressure.
What are the Benefits of Good Steward Property Management?
Spending time to find a good property management company has a wide range of benefits for buy to let landlords in London. The right property manager will ensure that you have all the correct licenses for your property, which is especially essential if you are looking to purchase and rent an HMO in London. A property manager may also be worth contacting if you are still in the process of finding a property to invest in since they will be well-versed in the market and can provide you with some more information on what’s involved with renting different types of properties. Good property management can take a lot of stress out of letting properties by finding the right tenants, collecting rent payments, and managing maintenance and repairs on your behalf.
What Are Good Property Management Names?
Do some research before you choose a property management company. Read reviews to find the best names in the business.
Want to learn more about property management or investing in London buy-to-let properties? Get in touch today to see how we can help.