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Why using an agent to rent out your property is a wise investment

By George Hadgelias

While an increasing number of property investors are choosing to manage their own rentals, the majority across Australia still rely on an agent.

And there’s a simple explanation for that: because it’s often a wise investment.

The reasons investors should pay a property manager to handle their property, rather than go down the self-managed path, are many and varied, according to those in the know. Here are some of the top reasons:

1. It saves time & money

Finn Simpson from Belle Property in Sydney, said using an agent saves an owner money and the precious commodity of time.

“Not only on a day-to-day basis, in dealing with rent collection and tenancy issues, but also every now and then, something won’t go according to plan, such as a maintenance issue or tribunal matters. And in resolving these situations, it will feel like a full time job. Most people do not have the spare time to handle this,” Mr Simpson said.

With their pricing advice, leasing skills and negotiation and maintenance contacts, a good agent can save an owner a big chunk of money and help them make a larger profit year-on-year, he added.

Typically, property managers charge a percentage of the weekly rent, from 4% to 8%, as a fee for complete property management and a separate fee, which can range from one to two weeks’ rent, for leasing the property.

2. You get an expert on-call

With complex tenancy legislation constantly evolving, outsourcing to a property manager who is across changes provides 24/7 peace of mind for investors.

“With so many moving parts in owning a rental home and dealing with tenancy issues, it’s nice to have an expert ‘on call’ at all times for you to ask questions,” Mr Simpson said.

3. Quality tenants are a given

It’s self-evident that owners want good tenants who will pay on time, every time, and look after their property, so tenant selection is vital and also where an agent comes into their own.

“Most people wouldn’t know the difference between a bad tenant and a good one. It takes some experience to pick up on subtle clues in the limited interaction you have with the tenant before approving them,” Mr Simpson said.

4. The referrals are powerful

Managing a property requires the expertise of many professionals and a good agent will refer an owner to reputable professionals who will “help them realise their property investment goals sooner”, Mr Simpson said.

How to pick a good agent

Like most things, the best way to find a great agent is to ask around.

“Do any of your friends or relatives own an investment property? Who do they use? Do they recommend them? If you don’t know any, find the top three most active agents in your area. This is easily found by searching current for lease properties on realestate.com.au. And then interview them,” Mr Simpson said.

Look for experience and the quality of their team, which are major factors in success. Do not go with the cheapest option, he said, as “they are cheap for a reason!”

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