What do you expect of your property manager? Chances are they're doing all that and more, according to Rachel Walsh, BDM and Leasing Manager at Peter Blackshaw Queanbeyan and Jerrabomberra.
"We don't just manage properties – we often end up acting as intermediaries and legal analysts too."
"We don't just manage properties – we often end up acting as intermediaries and legal analysts too. There's so much legislation around pools, smoke alarms and real estate we have to know. There's also the matter of mediating tenancy disputes – the job goes well beyond just managing the property itself."
On top of that, Rachel believes the best property managers have to go even further in their service – here's her view on going the extra mile.
Help tenants get started in every way
Once a tenant signs on for a lease, many property managers take a hands-off approach – not so with Peter Blackshaw, as Rachel explains.
"We use a lot of add-on services, like Easy Bond Pay and Connect Now to help people transfer money through the bond system and hook up their power really quickly. A lot of the time, tenants can move in to find their power company hasn't done their job – we even had one 18-year-old girl sitting alone in a powerless house once that we stayed with through the night."
"We sit with people in these situations, follow up with power companies and make sure people can get started in their home on the best foot possible."
Letting people communicate on their own terms
Rachel adds that working out a customer's specific needs and showing flexibility with those, rather than a strict communications regime, is a key element of being a good property manager.
"We get owners that live in Canberra, and owners that don't. It means we have to work with their preferences on communication – some only want to be called at specific hours, others want weekly emails, while others are happy with a text every now and then telling them everything is going well."
"This extends to tenants too. For example, lots of people renting in Canberra are moving here for the first time, and can't afford to fly down just to view a home in advance. That's where we will take them on a video tour with a smartphone, or even prepare a walkthrough video to send to them."
Going the extra mile is also in the details. Rachel says Peter Blackshaw's managers will do everything from using back-end databases to check tenant references to carrying around a bucket so a home is clean before people move in. They say a good property manager is a jack of all trades – but why settle for a jack, when you can get an ace?