If you have a property that you are not using, it makes no sense to let is sit vacant. But if you rent it out than someone will have to look after the property management. This can use up your time, especially if you do not live close to the property. The answer is to find a property agent to look after the details. A property agent can manage the property on your behalf, for a set fee. But it is important to know how to choose the right agency.
- Location: An important consideration when considering an agent is, where are they located. You want to find an agent that is located near enough to the property that they can keep an eye on things. The closer they are, the better job they will be able to do. If they do not have to travel long distances to visit the site, this should reduce their fee. If you are renting a property in Australia, distances can be a considerable factor.
- Level of Service: One of the first things you need to decide, is what level of service will you require for this rental. An agency can handle all the details, from advertising and finding the clients, to dealing with the paperwork and legal issues. Even repairs can be part of the contract if you wish. But perhaps you just want someone to collect the rent, or to find the tenants for you. Many arrangements are possible, but you should know what you want before you begin the process.
- Marketing: Probably the main reason you are considering an agent is because your property is vacant and you don’t have the time or know how to find a new tenant. An empty property can be very expensive. A good agent will be well connected to the various networks that tenants frequently use to begin their search. They also know how to advertise your property in the best possible way to bring interest to your location.
- Legal Concerns: Everyone knows about the horror stories of tenants that went bad, either causing damage to the property or failing to honour their parts of the contract, usually by withholding rent. Trying to recover losses from a bad tenant can be more trouble than it is worth if you aren’t experienced in property management. A good rental agent will have access to a legal department and will have contracts that are comprehensive and use the best practices to ensure that debt collection or property damage will not be something you need to worry about.
One more feature to consider is leasehold improvements, repairs, and maintenance. When you are considering an agent try to discern their access to contractors that they have a long-standing relationship with. Top level agencies will have all these areas well covered. You are looking for an agency with experience and good access to the property. If done correctly, your property will be a good income generator for you, and you should not have to be involved any more than you want to be.