Tips & Solutions

DIY Property Management: what you need to know

Investing in property is a great way to enhance your overall investment portfolio. By diversifying your assets, you have more control over your financial goals and retirement plan. Self-managing your investment might seem like a quick win, but with so many moving parts, do you have the time and know-how to make it work for you in your situation?

Jaime Pratt, head of PM at VPM, says employing a property manager to take care of the intricacies of property rentals helps landlords remove the stress and frustration they may feel from overseeing the day-to-day maintenance of the property and managing tenants whilst also maximising their investment. 

She cautions, “You may have the time and the resources to self-manage the property, but if this is the strategy you choose, you must be aware of the benefits as well as the risks involved with self-managing your investment.”

At face value, the main benefit of self-management that clients see first is financial, as there are no agency fees. These fees cover management fees, letting fees, leasing, representation at tribunal, advertising and marketing and other ancillary expenses. 

The other aspect of self-management is you have a more hands-on approach to the management of your property by liaising directly with tenants, collecting your own rental payments, and managing your day-to-day maintenance. It gives you more control as you screen and approve your tenants and build your relationship with them throughout the tenancy.

However, whilst these benefits seem alluring, it’s worth comparing the financial costs, productive use of your time and the implications of self-managing, especially if something goes pear-shaped.

“Hiring a professional property manager can be great for your mental health. They have the most up-to-date knowledge and training of the relevant acts and legislation surrounding rental properties and can easily navigate any challenges with tenants that may arise. If you’re not across the ins and outs of real estate law, working your way through a tribunal and insurance claims can be a nightmare.” Jaime says.

“A property manager is that mediatory or buffer between you, your tenants and any issues or tasks that can be quickly arranged or solved without disrupting your time. They manage the collection of rental funds and ensure that the tenants pay their rent on time per the agreed schedule. If they fall into arrears, it’s their responsibility to take the required action.”

It takes time to show tenants through properties, make the relevant screening checks, process applications, and prepare the required lease documents and condition reports. It also takes time to project manage maintenance repairs and liaise with tradespeople too. It all adds up. A Property Manager and their team can free up your time by providing these services.  

Our Property Managers have built strong relationships with tenants and have a network of trusted, licensed and insured preferred suppliers that will ensure that work is carried out satisfactorily, on time and on budget, mitigating any losses to you. 

To gain perspective on whether it’s worth investing in a Property Manager, Jaime advises to “consider how much your time is worth and compare the hours with those associated with self-managing. Your time is precious. Is it worth spending that time trying to book in a plumber and liaising with the tenants for a good time, or would you rather delegate that task and enjoy taking your children to the playground or getting that proposal in for a new client?”