What does a property manager really do?


I was reading an article in the July issue of the Real Estate Business Magazine and it reviews the ever changing roles of the property manager. I started in real estate back in 1998 and I can honestly say that the services and advice that a property manager is expected to offer has gone well beyond the title.

Originally a property manager was really only responsible for a few basic tasks, ie: finding tenants, collecting rent, inspecting properties & coordinating basic maintenance. Let’s look at 2012 and I will give you a list of tasks that a property manager undertakes daily:

• Advertising, including copy writing and coordination of photography
• Tenant selection, including reference checks and credit checks
• Condition reports, preparation of legal documents, leases and bond lodgments
• Processing of landlords invoices and rental statements
• Coordination of maintenance, this is often more than just day to day property maintenance and often includes complete property refurbishments, repainting, new carpet, new blinds, sometimes new kitchens, benches, bathrooms shower screens
• Management of property issues, including structural damage, leaking, sub floor ventilation issues, roof replacements – this can include sourcing and comparing quotes, referring to landlords and then coordinating the work between the trades person and tenant
• Processing and handling of insurance claims for loss of rent or damage as a result of damage, defaulting tenant or a property becoming uninhabitable due to water, storm etc – this claim is often being processed whilst the property manager bringing the property back into good order and sourcing for new tenants so to minimize the landlords loss of rental
• Maintaining arrears which includes calls, letters and emails together with reporting to the landlord
• Routine property inspections and reports – at our office this is carried out at 3 months and 6 monthly thereafter, it includes an actual inspection of the property then full reporting to the landlord, these reports include images, rent reviews and lease recommendations.
• Listing new business and managing new clients
• Negotiating with difficult tenants and landlords, taking the heat out of situations, being the middle man, getting the message across from one party to another.
• Dealing with owners corporations – getting questions answered for landlords pertaining to O/Corp minutes, building works etc

I could actually keep writing here but think I have made my point. So you can probably see why it’s so frustrating to us when a potential client asks us to reduce our fees. The industry standard rate is 7.7% for management but when the general public thinks all we do is collect rent it’s hard to make it clear that those days are gone without listing all of the above and getting yourself into a huff.

The average property manager works really hard and deals with a great amount of stress to try and keep everyone happy – the role is one of the toughest in real estate as we don’t just deal with the client for a 4-6 week campaign, we are trying to maintain clients for life.