Key Questions Landlords and Tenants should ask when choosing a Property Management Company
The property market can be tricky to navigate for businesses, landlords and tenants alike. For property owners, risk management is critical, as is avoiding the loss of good tenants & vacancies to maximise their return on their real estate. Choosing the right partner to manage your property can help landlords to attract quality tenants, maximise rental income, minimise time and money spent on facilities management, and ensure procurement compliance. For corporates, the benefits include taking the hassle out of sourcing, negotiating rentals and terms and then maintaining locations, and instead enjoying access to turnkey solutions provided by specialists. This leaves them free to invest their time in focusing on achieving their strategic business objectives.
According to Peter Stainton, Head of Property Management at Eris Property Group, there are also benefits for tenants. "Well-run property management solutions ensure that both the tenant receives a high level of of service and the landlord are protected," Stainton says. "This applies from a legal and financial perspective. The property manager facilitates everything from lease agreements to financial controls and repairs without the need for tenants or landlords to worry about whether they are adhering to all the correct procedures and regulations.
Not all property management solutions are alike, however. Stainton suggests that landlords looking for a property management partner need to start by doing due diligence on prospective choices. "Does the company have a good reputation in the industry? Is it well established? What is their track record? It's wise to ask for referrals from industry peers you trust."
Some companies also only serve specific target markets or regions. Take your needs into account when approaching potential property managers. Do they operate in your footprint? Do they only service companies of a certain size?
"At Eris we can accommodate small, medium and large retailers, commercial companies and businesses, in rural or urban environments," says Stainton. "But a key question to ask is whether the property manager will take their specific requirements into consideration. A one-size-fits-all approach usually doesn't fit well for anyone when it comes to real estate. We pride ourselves on a customised solution for every client."
In fact, Eris has gone so far as to develop its own proven IT management system that makes in-depth and customised property management and reporting possible. "We believe in a hands-on approach, taking into account each property and client's unique requirements," says Stainton. "Whether your business operates in one location or in hundreds, Eris takes the time to understand your concerns around cost, stability and flexibility."
Some property management companies offer a turnkey solution that extends to cleaning, security and access management, either in-house, or through preferred suppliers. "This works well for property owners who want one point of contact to manage the full service spectrum," says Stainton. "For example, Eris Property Group, we outsource to trusted partners, allowing us to rely on experts in the field and to access economies of scale, thus delivering maximum value to our clients. It is also a key factor that allows us to offer a true custom solution because we provide what is needed based on the client strategy. It's worth explaining all your needs to your prospective property manager to see whether they can customise a solution to meet your business's needs."
Questions he suggests asking a potential property manager include:
- What resources do you have to manage the day to day demands of owning and tenanting your property?
- Do you have a data base of reliable service providers who can provide a quality service, respond on call, and save money through planned preventative maintenance?
- What controls do you have in place for rental collections and financial controls for payments?
- Is your property manager registered with the EAAB?
- What is your process for ensuring lease agreements are properly managed?
- How will you ensure my lease agreements support my overall business strategy?
- Can you assist with lease negotiations and legal matters in-house (i.e. do you have access to property attorneys for evictions, handovers and lease clause terms)?
- Do you have a platform to respond to tenant queries and provide clear communication to tenants?
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