How boutique property managers make all the difference

Written by in Investment on September 1, 2020

The 2020 rental market has experienced its biggest change in three decades, with COVID19 having caused a shift to the industry and marketplace.

Landlords, more than ever, are seeking specialised property management services and moving away from the traditional model of real estate sales agents that have a side rental business.

In more recent times, there has been a rise in boutique property management firms. This proves to offer landlords more for the same money.

What do specialist property managers do differently?  Offer better technology? Longer open-for-inspection periods? The answer is not what you’d expect.

Traditional Property Management Model

Traditional models of property management, structure their service by fragmenting each part of it i.e. Property repairs, finding new tenants, managing tenants yet signing up new landlords. Each of these components are taken care of by a different person.

This approach allows the real estate business to scale its service and manage excessively large numbers of rental properties.

Franchised real estate agents prominently use this approach to property management.

Landlord and Tenant Experience:

Dealing with a number of different people can leave the landlord not knowing who to talk to, or worse, not having confidence in the delivery of service.

This fragmented service model also gives tenants the same experience which adversely makes a tenant less accountable to care for the property they’re living in.

Serviced-Based Property Manager

Boutique property managers offer a personal service where by a single property manager manages a portfolio of properties and is responsible for all process’ from leasing, management and repairs.

This creates one point of contact with clear communication lines between the landlord and tenant, allowing issues to be resolved quicker, keeping tenants and landlords satisfied.

This model adds value to the property management experience delivering on the service it’s hired to do. As a result, offering tangible and intangible benefits to all parties.

Benefits to Tenant

  • Confidence in the prompt resolution of issues and repairs.
  • Open communication: tenants are being heard by the Landlord.
  • Happier tenants: Helps create a feeling of home rather than an investment property.

Benefits to the Landlord

  • Reduces the turnover in tenants.
  • Saves money on re-advertising and lowers vacancy rates.
  • Protects the capital value of the rental property with better upkeep.
  • Reduces stress and promotes a positive experience, possibly resulting in owning more properties.

So how do you pick a boutique property manager? Here are five tips on how to sort through the pack.

  • Make sure the agency doesn’t have a sales department.
  • Do your homework when dealing with franchised brands. Make sure the number of properties managed is a good ratio to staff.
  • Digitalised service offerings around property management i.e. cloud-based technology, digital contracts and digital inspections.
  • Regular reviews. A business that promotes its reviews cares about customer experience. Make sure the reviews are independent of the company’s website.
  • Interview the property manager and asking them how they manage each process. From choosing tenants, managing repairs or following up on rental arrears.

Every business has scarcity when it comes to the allocation of resources. A good business owner needs to balance the advertising to grow its client base, invest in its people and the technology it uses to give its clients the best service.

In most cases, providers that offer many services lower their ability to master multiple trades or services. Resulting in an average customer experience.

It’s the businesses that focus their resources on building their staff and technology around a single service that give their clients a positive result.

The modern landlord is driving change in the property management industry by looking for property managers that offer this kind of focused service.