Real Properties

Quality Real Estate Investment Tips

Qualities of a high performing property manager

Property managers are an important addition to your team. They are so much more than a rent collector” says Amy Sanderson, Head of Property Management. “Property managers are in integral part of your investment team and a key part of your investments success” she says.

But what makes a high performing property manager…what qualities should you look for?

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Experience, credentials, testimonials and references. These are probably the most important qualities you need to assess. Make sure you ask each property manager on your shortlist to provide details for their experience, how many years they have been a property manager, how many properties do they manage and how many are similar to your property. Ask them what certification they have and how they stay on top of the constant legislation changes. It’s also important to ask them to provide details of current and past clients that you can contact for references.

Your property is a valuable investment and entrusting your care to an experienced and certified property manager is a must.

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Local market knowledge

Having a strong understanding of the local market is important. Firstly, so they understand the value and potential rent you can realise from the property and secondly so they are aware of any particular local regulations enforced by the local council. Plus, they have local tradespeople and can be on-site at your property if things go wrong and they know how to reach, appeal and attract the best quality tenants. A local property manager gives you a big advantage.

An investor mindset

Finding a property manager that has an investor mindset is gold. One who is able to see the big picture and work with you to help you achieve your investment goals. One who is able to guide you as to where to spend money so you can charge higher rent, and one who lives and breathes the local rental market so is on the lookout for opportunities to enhance your portfolio.

Not all property managers have this ability or know how, but you’ll want to make sure they show a commitment and eagerness to learn about real estate investing.

Good communication & organisational skills

Property managers deal with landlords, tenants and contractors all day every day and those that exhibit excellent communication skills, both written and oral stand out the others. Having this skill enables them to manage and reduce disputes, convince landlords to make upgrades to their property and to work with contractors to ensure the job gets done as quickly and seamlessly has possible.

Focus on protecting both landlords and renters

A good property manager will be highly focused on ensuring that both the landlord and tenant are protected. Having a strong understanding of the relevant state laws relating to fair housing and disabled access will help protect you as the landlord against discrimination and by ensuring they inspect the property regularly and manage repairs in a timely manner, will help protect the you against potential lawsuits.


Property management can be stressful. Things go wrong, sometimes tenants can be unruly, investors can sometimes be unrealistic with their demands and contractors may not be as reliable as you’d like. So having a property manager who is patient, someone who has great customer service skills and appears to be able to handle stressful situations whilst juggling multiple jobs at once is a winner.


Whilst it’s important to have a property manager who is patient and understanding you also want them to be assertive. You want them to be able to track down late payments from tenants and push contractors to get the job done in a timely manner. In some cases, you need them to push you too, to complete necessary repairs or make much needed upgrades.

Ability to manage problems

Things go wrong, tenants go missing in action and skip paying rent, the plumber fails to show up and the landlord fails to send important paperwork. A property manager’s ability to think outside the box and manage problems is a winning quality. This is hard to assess, but perhaps ask them to give you an example of how they have handled a situation when it went wrong. You can also discuss this with their clients when you do reference checks.

Committed to further study

Property management legislation changes constantly so it’s important to find a property manager that demonstrates their commitment to study, to stay on top of legislative changes and to be aware of property investment law. Being part of a network that has a strong tradition of training is a bonus when choosing a property manager.

Attention to detail

As you know priority number one when you own a property investment is to make money. …which requires every cent to be tracked and documented. You’ll want to ensure your property manager is super organised and can provide you with all the necessary rental statements, receipts and copies of all invoices, depreciation schedules and scrapping schedules if they managed renovations for you. Getting the paperwork right, can have a big impact on your claimable expenses and therefore the success of your investment. Being detail orientated is a big advantage here.

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Winter checklist for the home

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Winter is well and truly with us but don’t use the cold weather as an excuse to spend the entire season on the couch. Here is a checklist of jobs to do when the temperatures are low.

Kitchen comfort

If your cooking space is a bit on the chilly side add a rug to warm up your toes and relieve pressure on your legs and back. Choose an outdoor mat made from recycled plastic that can be easily cleaned or look for a rug that can be thrown in the washing machine. Attach it to the ground with some anti slip rug gripper to avoid any tripping hazards.

Bathroom Blitz

Spend a wet weekend clearing out all the hotel soaps and shampoos and create a bathroom with just the essentials. Use clever storage solutions to sort items into groups so it’s easier to find them when you need to. This might require investing in a shelving unit, storage baskets or an organiser that hangs over the door.

Space Saver

For bedrooms that are limited on floor space, install some wall shelving to display your special treasures or favourite books. This adds personality to the bedroom while not taking up any space on the ground. This is an easy job to diy using shelving from a hardware store or Ikea. For those not so confident wielding a hammer, ask a handy friend for help.

Curtains for Comfort

A huge amount of heat is lost in winter through windows that are not double-glazed and don’t have curtains or blinds covering them. Heavy curtains with backing are available ready-made or you can have them custom made to suit your furnishings. Check for draughts holding a lit candle near windows and doors. If the flame flickers, seal up the source of the breeze.

Light up

Spending too much time inside can make you long for a change in furnishings. A quick and low cost facelift for any room is to replace the lampshades. You can spend as little or as much as you like. Visit garage sales or charity shops to find inexpensive shades or lighting stores for more of a selection. You could even have a go making your own by attaching fabric over an existing lampshade.

Black bored

If your children are getting a bit restless over the holidays and scribbling on the walls, set aside a space to make it ok. Use painter’s tape to outline an area on their bedroom wall and paint with blackboard paint. Give them some coloured chalk and they’ll be out of your hair and off your walls.

Get carrot crazy

Get the kids in the garden to enjoy the winter sunshine and sow some baby carrot seeds. They love watching them grow and will eat them by the handful. If you are in a very cold area sow carrot seeds into pots filled with good quality potting mix. Choose a spot that gets four to six hours of sun a day and water weekly once the seedlings emerge.

Patrol Winter Pests

Look at the top and bottom of camellia leaves for signs of leafsuckers like thrips and mites. Prune any damage after they have finished flowering and spray with an insecticidal soap followed by a feed of Dynamic Lifter. Don’t forget to give them a good drink of water after long periods without rain.

Tree Trimming and Removal


Entice your dinner guests outside for a nightcap to enjoy the warmth from a toasty fire. There are gas or wood or fuelled braziers available that come in steel, cast iron or ceramic. If budget and space allow go all out and install an outdoor fireplace. Check the regulations about fire safety for each state before firing up. You’ll never be indoors again.

Cosy cats and dogs

Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in winter because they use more energy to keep warm. Give them a balanced diet and plenty of fresh water. Short hair dogs might need a coat for extra warmth and there is no shortage of embarrassing outfits for your furry friend available. At night ensure they have a warm spot to sleep with shelter from any rain or draughts.

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