When you buy a property, your real estate agent may offer to manage it for you. Should you take them up on their offer? Before you decide, find out the answers to the following questions.
Do they have the proper license?
Make sure that the realtor is licensed to manage property (in addition to being licensed to sell it). If they aren’t, they are performing the service illegally.
You can check their license by going to the Real Estate Council of BC website and performing a licensee search. If they are licensed to manage property, their license should be described as “trading and rental property management”.
Do they have enough experience and expertise?
Next, determine the realtor’s property management experience. Ask them how many other properties they currently manage, and what types of properties they are. Ask for references from other landlords.
Do they have property management systems and procedures in place?
If they seem qualified at this basic level, there are several more issues to consider. A professional property management company will have all of the systems and procedures in place to properly look after your building, such as:
- Dedicated trust accounts for your rents, so that they are secure
- Effective arrears collection system, so that overdue rents are collected quickly
- Accurate monthly financial reports that track your income and expenses
- Ongoing reviews of your costs to ensure they are controlled
- Long-term accounting records required for building sales and loans
- Scheduled maintenance programs that extend the lifespan of your building components
- Warranty tracking programs, so that equipment issues are addressed before warranties expire
- Monthly operating reports that keep you updated on the status of your building
- Move-in inspections so that you can claim damages later, if necessary
Find out if your realtor offers the same range and frequency of reports, or has the same systems in place. You also need to determine if they have insurance that specifically covers property management issues.
Can they handle a wide range of issues?
A professional property manager is focused on managing your property, and has the experience and expertise to handle everything from tax appeals, to insurance claims, to major capital projects, such as a roof replacement or disaster restoration work. Can your realtor do the same?
Will they make your business a priority?
In our experience, when the market is good, realtors who also manage properties are busy making money through home sales and do not have the time to properly manage your property. When the market is slow, they turn back to the stable income that comes from managing property, but they may not have the experience and skill to do it well.
For many realtors, property management is a second job. For us, it’s a priority.
If you’d like to see what a client-focused property management company can do for you, please contact our office at 604 873 8591.