Investors seem to tolerate been unhappy with their property manager and hope that the situation will improve. Rarely does the situation improve and it’s best to change agents if things don’t improve and find a new property manager before you start spending a lot of time and effort overseeing the situation.
The main reasons investors are not happy with their property manager;
- Your property manager keeps changing every 6 – 18 months.
- You have had enough with dealing with junior or inexperienced property managers.
- Your tenants keeps moving out every 6 – 12 months.
- Outstanding work or issues are not been completed.
3 steps to take when you first become unhappy with your property manager;
- Raise the issue with the head of property management or principal and set up a plan.
- Give them notice if the situation doesn’t improve withing say 3 months then advise them you will be moving agents.
- Monitor their performance over the next couple of months.
If things improve then that’s fantastic, if not then it’s time to move on and find a new agent.
Investors have concerns about not wanting to unsettle the tenant, which is understandable and a common response from investors is that they will move agents when the lease expires or wait until the tenant moves out.
Moving agents is easy and a very simple process that doesn’t unsettle the tenant. The lease stays the same and the only change for the tenant is generally the payment method, which normally only takes about 10 minutes for a tenant to set up. The investor only has to send a letter or email to the current agents and advise them they are changing agents and the new agent takes care of everything else for you.
So waiting until the lease expires makes no difference to when you change, the longer you stay with the agent then the worst the situation is likely to become. If you wait till the tenant moves out then it will cost you more money as the property is likely to be vacant for a longer period of time as you are unable to take advantage of showing the property to prospective tenants while the current tenants are still in the property.
5 steps you need to take when changing agents;
- Research & find a new property manager, you may also ask a friend / family for a recommendation.
- Complete the paperwork with your new agent.
- Check your paperwork with current agent and give the required notice (which is typically 30 days). Some agencies have the required notice as 90 days and will make you wait it out. If this is the case try to negotiate on this date or alternatively tell them to charge you the full 90 days management fees and you will move sooner. Don’t make the notice personal and thank them for their services.
- Request a copy of your end of financial year summary from the current agent.
- Your new agent takes care of everything else for you.