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How to choose a property manager

how to choose a property manager

By Jessica Doyle, Matthews Real Estate

Professional relationships are important in the property investment sphere.

You will rely on advice from all sorts of specialists – lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, as well as buying and selling agents.

But once you own an investment property, perhaps one of the most important relationships is the one you have with your property manager.

Your property manager is key to the prosperity of your investment. They will advise you on how to present your property, how to advertise it, how to maximise tenant selection, and what reasonable lease terms should come to play. They will also ensure that both you and your tenant will meet your obligations.

So, selecting the right property manager is essential, but what should you look for in a great manager when making your choice?



The real question you should ask yourself in this situation is how involved do you want to be with your investment?

Don’t feel bad if you’re thinking, “Not very much, I just want the money in my account each month”. For us managers, these are often the best kinds of owners.

That said, there needs to be a lot of trust between the property manager or PM and the owner to do this. Think of it like a first date. Meet them, chat a little, find out how much they know as a property manager. If you really are busy in your life and want someone to just take the reins on your investment, then don’t be afraid to tell them this!

If you feel you can trust a manger wholeheartedly, that’s a big tick.



As property managers, we really want to know what you want from us.

Are we talking too much? Are we not talking enough? Do you want regular updates, or are you happy to leave us to run the show? You could give us a cap of spending money for maintenance and authority to act in your best interest. Then just stand back and let us do our thing!

Communication is key to making this relationship work so ensure you and your manager are on the same page right from the get-go.


Experience and knowledge

If you are a new investor, I would highly recommend someone with good industry knowledge. Experience is great, but this can be balanced out by knowledge. It’s no good having a manager who’s been in the industry for 30 years but who doesn’t keep up with the latest training and changes in legislation.

You need someone who can guide you through the ropes, not just ‘ask for your instructions’. A manager who will give you options and advice based on a sound understanding of the rules and processes that are applied to the rental space.


Versatility and adaptability

One of the most important skills a good property manager can have is multitasking!

Now, I am all for equality, but let’s be honest, there really are some areas where women excel compared to men, and multitasking is one of them.

I know this seems like a generalisation, but how many men do you know that can juggle 10 things at once? As women, we can just own it! At our best, we can have 10 tabs running on our laptop’s and still find time to answer emails.


Often property managers can be managing upwards of 200 properties, so the biggest asset they can have is the ability to have any owner call at any time and give them that reassurance that they know exactly what is going on with your investment.


Staying power

A good question to ask is how long a particular property manager has been with the one agency.

This industry has a high turnover. PM’s burn out easily if they are not receiving a lot of support or working with a good bunch of people.

A lot of principals or business owners will hide the facts by saying, ‘Susan has 10 years’ industry experience.’ What they aren’t telling you is that Susan has only been with this agency for six months or has been in sales and decided to give property management a go (I have seen that a lot!). By using the words ‘industry experience’, they’re leaving a lot of information out of the conversation.


When choosing your property manager, no question is out of bounds. This relationship will be one of the most important financial decisions you make, so making a great choice right from the start will deliver excellent outcomes over the long-term.

Jessica Doyle

Property Manager

Matthews Real Estate

Main image: Freepik

Jessica Doyle