You will have heard educators say that 'property investing' should be treated as a business and that is so true. There is one aspect of owning investment properties that needs special attention and that is the area of property management. After all the looking after a property is the process of looking after your growing wealth.
I have heard investors say, "the property was a in a real state, it was unkempt, there was damage to walls and the gardens had not been looked after at all...."
The point is that a property investor needs to ensure that even if they have contracted a property manager that they are getting reports from their property manager and are aware of what is happening at the property at all times. It would be nice to think that you could contract a property management team and sit back and relax, but the reality is not quite so real.
What I mean by that is that the investor needs to make sure that they are kept informed at all times about the state of the property and if an absentee owner, then digital photos should be sent with every inspection.
Where I live property inspections are carried out every 3 months, but that will depend on the management laws where your property is located.
As a property investor ensure that you are getting up-to-date and detailed reports on the property and on the finances of the property on a regular basis. You don't want to hear 6 months later that you have a problem.
Appointing a Property Manager
Before appointing a property manager make enquiries in the area and find out the services that are being offered, at what cost they are being offered and also get some feedback from local sources if at all possible.
When signing your property management over to a company, make sure that the property management forms are filled out and signed by both parties. Make sure that you clearly list your requirements regarding the let, such as costs to be paid by the tenant, whether they can have pets and other requirements you may consider important.
Maintenance and repairs
Properties should be kept in a habitable condition at all times. Not only will your tenants appreciate a well maintained property, but when 'repairs' are left to become 'replacements' then the whole exercise can become very expensive.
It is a well known fact that, in most cases, if tenants are given respect by the landlord they will reciprocate and give respect to the landlord and the property.
Some property investors prefer to manage their properties but this can be a problematic area if laws and regulations are not adhered to. If you choose to self-manage your properties then ensure that you know the rules and regulations so that you do not end up in the court unnecessarily.
Understand which forms need to be filled out and signed, and the times that certain forms need to be handed out if required due to the particular circumstances, such as late rent or property damage.
As mentioned earlier, make sure that all responsibility is taken with caring for and managing your investment properties. Good property management helps grow your wealth and when a property is in good order you will have a better chance of borrowing against the equity to continue building an investment property portfolio.
At Property Investment Know How you will discover a lot more information on how, when and why to invest in property, the different strategies to use and how to deal with the many different situations that arise. Kaye Dennan is an experienced property investor and an ex real estate office principal so can guide you with views from both sides of the property investment view point. Visit http://propertyinvestmentknowhow.com