7 tips for picking the right property manager

Picking the perfect property manager will ensure that your investment is in safe hands.

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When you’ve put a substantial amount of your hard-earned dollars on the line to purchase an investment property, you want to know that your property will be expertly managed to maximise your returns and minimise stress. While there is the option of managing the property yourself, many investors choose to utilise the services of a professional property manager.

Here's everything you need to know.

7 indispensable tips for finding a property manager

Keep the following tips in mind when searching for a property manager:

1. Look locally.

In the real estate business, local knowledge is crucial. From knowing how to attract tenants, to setting the rent at the right level and having contacts with trusted tradies, a local property manager gives you a big advantage.

2. Do your research.

If you have an Internet connection and a spare half hour, you can find out a wealth of information about the property managers in your area. Read customer reviews of property managers online to get some honest opinions from fellow investors. Here are some great resources to help you find the right property manager:

  • Google. Do a quick search for property managers in your local area to see what's available.
  • Real estate websites. Realestate.com.au and Domain are the two biggest property listing websites in Australia, and they also have online tools to help you find real estate agents and property managers all around the country.
  • Productreview.com.au. Check out reviews from fellow investors at this useful website to get an idea of what to expect from an agency. Just remember to take each review with a grain of salt.
  • Rent.com.au. Search a directory of more than 6,200 property management agencies throughout Australia.

3. Rely on word of mouth.

The best way to find a good property manager is through word of mouth and feedback based on experience from consumers rather than via marketing or advertising campaigns.

4. Ask questions.

A property management company may sound spectacular on its website or brochure, but you’ll need to ask a range of questions to get past the PR spin. You’ll find a list of handy questions you can ask a prospective property manager below.

5. Find out what services they offer.

Not all property managers are created the same, and not all of them will offer the same services, so make sure you know exactly what you’ll be getting for your money.

6. Compare communication.

A property manager must be able to quickly and effectively communicate with you at all times, whether it be to inform you of necessary repairs, provide you with a choice of tenants or simply check in to see if there’s anything more they can do for you. Make sure you find a property manager who is always easily reached and who always keeps you up to date.

7. Count the cost.

Any expense associated with an investment is always going to be an important consideration, but remember that it’s not the only factor you’ll need to take into account. The old adage that you always get what you pay for holds true when it comes to property management, so don’t put price above all other factors.

5 essential questions to ask a prospective property manager

Leanne Habib, CEO of Premium Strata, outlines five key questions you can ask prospective property managers to help narrow down your choice:

  1. What are your qualifications? “This would provide an indication of the level of experience the manager has to offer, such as a licensed manager versus a manager who holds a certification of registration,” she says.
  2. How many properties do you manage as a company? This provides an indication of the size of the agency and their experience and service levels. Be mindful that an agency that looks over a large volume of properties may not have the time to devote to managing your property.
  3. How many properties are allocated to each manager within the company? “This will provide an indication if their managers have too many properties to look after, and in return are likely to be stretched out over too many clients, giving less time to each client as a result,” Habib says.
  4. What is your commitment to best practice? “This will provide an overview of how they do things within their business,” Habib says.
  5. What differentiates your services to other agencies? This will help you learn more about what one property manager can offer that other managers can’t. For example, what marketing strategies will they use to attract potential tenants to your property? What processes do they have for selecting a tenant? When they find a good tenant, what sort of steps will they take to retain that tenant?

Some other key questions you might ask include:

  • Will I have one point of contact with the agency?
  • How do you determine the rental amount?
  • How will repairs and maintenance be handled?
  • Will I be contacted before any work is performed?
  • How often will you inspect the property?
  • What will you do if a tenant falls behind on rental payments?
  • How often will you contact me about my property?

Well-known property management agencies

We’ve included a selection of well-known property managers below to help you begin your search. The list is by no means exhaustive, so make sure to shop around for more options in your local area.

Some companies specialise in property management, including:

  • Metropole
  • Rental Management Australia
  • Real Property Management Australia
  • Your Future Property Management
  • Investment Property Managers

Others also sell real estate, including:

  • LJ Hooker
  • Ray White
  • First National
  • McGrath
  • Century 21
  • RE/MAX

Make sure to compare a range of available options to determine which property management agency is right for you.

How to get the best out of your property manager?

You’ll need to add the property manager’s fee into your calculations when determining the overall success of your investment. The fee charged varies depending on the state or territory the property is located in, but it’s usually a percentage of the rent on the property, such as 8% or 10%.

It also pays to review your property management services regularly to make sure your property is receiving the care and attention it deserves and not falling through the cracks. Contacting your property manager regularly for updates will help you determine how high a priority your investment is and will also help ensure that the manager remains committed to helping you get the most out of your investment.

If you’re looking for someone to look after your investment property so that you don’t have to, make sure to do your research and shop around. Selecting the wrong property manager can have a detrimental impact on the success of your investment and even threaten its viability. But if you put in the time and effort to find a reliable and professional manager, you’ll be able to sit back and watch your wealth grow.

Start comparing loans for property investment today

$
years
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp. Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment
Athena Variable Home  Loan
2.39%
2.39% p.a.
$0
$0 p.a.
60%
$585.25
Investors with large 40% deposits or equity can get this low variable rate. A competitive option for investors looking to refinance.
UBank UHomeLoan Fixed
1.99%
2.70% p.a.
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$554.81
Limited time offer.
Investors can enjoy flexible repayments and an easy application process with this pioneering online lender. Apply by 30 June 2021 and settle within 90 days to get this low rate.
loans.com.au Smart Booster Discount Investor Variable Home Loan
1.99%
2.71% p.a.
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$554.81
If you have an owner occupier loan with loans.com.au you can also get this very low rate variable mortgage for your investment property. Principal and interest repayments. Add an offset account for an additional 0.10% on your interest rate. Get your loan processed fast and settle within 30 days.
Mortgage House Advantage Investment
2.44%
3.11% p.a.
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
$589.12
This fixed investment loan has a 100% offset account. Principal-and-interest repayments. Requires a 20% deposit.
Well Home Loans Balanced Fixed Home Loan
2.29%
2.29% p.a.
$250
$0 p.a.
90%
$577.55
A competitive 3 year investor rate with principal and interest repayments. Optional offset account with a $10 monthly fee. Not available for construction purposes.
homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan with Offset
2.59%
2.42% p.a.
$0
$0 p.a.
60%
$600.83
This competitive variable rate loan is for investors who want interest-only repayments. You will need a 40% deposit.
UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate
2.74%
2.74% p.a.
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$612.67
Get a discounted, low-fee investor loan from a convenient online lender. 20% deposit required.
Suncorp Home Package Plus Fixed
2.28%
3.15% p.a.
$0
$375 p.a.
80%
$576.78
Borrowers with 20% deposits can lock in a low fixed rate loan for three years. Eligible new borrowers can get the annual package fee reimbursed for the life of the loan.
homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan with Offset
2.39%
2.41% p.a.
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$585.25
This investment loan keeps fees low, has a sharp interest rate and comes with a 100% offset account. This loan is not available for construction.
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Fixed Rate Home Loan
2.29%
4.11% p.a.
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
$577.55
$2,000 refinance cashback
Competitive fixed rate for home buyers.Available with a 10% deposit.$2,000 cashback for eligible refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more.
Athena Variable Home  Loan
2.59%
2.48% p.a.
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$600.83
A competitive investor variable rate that falls as you build equity.
UBank UHomeLoan Fixed
2.24%
2.64% p.a.
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$573.72
Pay no ongoing fees on this investment loan fixed for 3 years.
ME Flexible Home Loan With Member Package
2.98%
3.43% p.a.
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
$631.88
Package loan for investors making principal-and-interest repayments. Low fees and 20% deposit required.
Well Home Loans Balanced Variable
2.24%
2.27% p.a.
$250
$0 p.a.
80%
$573.72
If you're an investor with a 20% deposit saved you can get this low rate mortgage. Not available for construction.
UBank UHomeLoan Fixed
2.49%
2.67% p.a.
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$593.01
Lock in a 5 year fixed rate on your investment loan and pay no ongoing fees.
Athena Variable Home  Loan
2.49%
2.43% p.a.
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
$593.01
Athena's refinance offer for investors and owner occupiers.
UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate
2.6%
2.65% p.a.
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$601.61
Pay interest only repayments with this special offer for investors.
IMB Fixed Rate Home Loan
2.35%
3.33% p.a.
$449
$6 monthly ($72 p.a.)
90%
$582.16
NSW and ACT customers only. A 3 years fixed rate investor which allows extra repayments to be made.
Well Home Loans Balanced Variable
2.87%
2.90% p.a.
$250
$0 p.a.
90%
$623.03
Competitive variable investor mortgage to fund your property portfolio. You can add a 100% offset account for just $10 a month.Not available for construction purposes.
ME Basic Home Loan
3.28%
3.30% p.a.
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$656.36
A no frills home loan for investors.
UBank UHomeLoan Fixed
2.09%
2.71% p.a.
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$562.33
Limited time offer.
Investors can enjoy flexible repayments and an easy application process with this pioneering online lender. Apply by 30 June 2021 and settle within 90 days to get this low rate.
ME Flexible Home Loan Fixed
2.64%
4.86% p.a.
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$604.76
Lock in the rate on your investment loan with one year. Requires a 20% deposit.
Athena Variable Home  Loan
2.69%
2.52% p.a.
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
$608.71
Investors with 30% deposits can get this fee-free variable rate loan. This loan has interest-only repayments.
homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan with Offset
2.69%
2.52% p.a.
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$608.71
A competitive rate with no application or ongoing fee. This loan is not available for construction.
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