Why you shouldn’t manage your own property

When you buy an investment property, you might consider managing the property yourself. After all, why pay a property manager when you can do it yourself? It can’t be that hard, surely! While even the most inexperienced landlord will be aware there’s a lot more to managing a rental than collecting rent, many will underestimate how much expertise and time is required to maintain a satisfactory return of investment.

Before deciding to self-manage your property, here are a few things you should consider.

Tenancy legislation

Each state in Australia has a tenancy legislation ACT, which outlines the rights and responsibilities not only of property managers/owners, but also tenants. It covers everything from how much bond you can ask for to how often smoke alarms need to be checked by a qualified technician. It’s essential that whoever is managing the property has thorough understanding of the ACT to ensure you’re staying on the right side of the law.

To make things even more complicated, legislation can vary wildly between states, which can make it difficult if your property is in another state. Unless you’re prepared to do a lot of homework to bring you up to speed on all your responsibilities, it’s best to enlist the help of a professional.

Investment in technology

To assist with managing your property, many firms invest in the latest technology to be more efficient, automate administrative tasks and comply with regulations. This leaves them with more time to personally service your property, which can mean they can quickly fill vacancies, resolve issues and be more attentive with inspections. This technology is simply not viable for a landlord who wishes to self-manage, and as a result, they will have to work harder to provide to make a return on their investment and provide a good level of service to their tenants.

Property managers can save you money

It might seem counter-intuitive, because they charge a fee, but property managers can save you money by identifying damage through frequent inspections. Detecting issues early will help stop it progressing to a point where it comes very costly and allow the property manager to either get the tenant to rectify the damage (if it’s their fault) or call in tradespeople before the end of the lease. This is a much better result then if it was at the end of a tenancy because then it usually comes out bond or insurance claim and will take some to process.

On top of that, they many property managers are trained to troubleshoot common issues (e.g. hot water system not working), so if it’s a simple thing they help the tenant over the phone before a tradesperson is needed.