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When to sack the PM??

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Inov8ive, 8th Feb, 2016.

  1. Inov8ive

    Inov8ive Well-Known Member

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    I have recently found myself in a position that I have not been in before. Over the Christmas period I settled on 3-2-1 two level townhouse in Chermside for a really good price. I have decided to let the selling agent rent the property due to already having photos, keys etc. Now the situation is that we are coming up to a month since settlement and I have not received a single application and only a few groups have actually been through. I have dropped the asking price from $450 down to $430. The property is a 2010 build, its in great condition in a nice part of Chermside and its well priced. The PM tells me that they manage two other townhouses in the complex at $450 and $460 per week and cant give me an explanation as to why the result is so poor. I feel I need to do something as the result is unacceptable to me, has anyone else experienced this before or are there any PM's who could help?
     
  2. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    I just browsed through the Chermside rental listings and your price seems very fair, in fact most appear to be higher than that. There is a couple of others at $425 though.

    I bet it comes down to communication. If they don't reply back to people who ask questions or for a showing, chances are they'll look elsewhere as they normally need to move by X date. Use a PM agency that has a policy on response times.

    It's a fallacy that going with the sales agent is easier - picking up keys takes 5 minutes, can have good photographs in less than a day's turnaround. I'd swap it over to a rental specific agency (mixed with sales agency, rentals will always be 2nd fiddle) such as Pure Rentals, perhaps get it down to 425 just to get someone in there. You can then try to increase it later on.
     
  3. Inov8ive

    Inov8ive Well-Known Member

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    Hi DT,
    Thanks a lot for that response and the recommendation. I already like what I see on the website of Pure Rentals.
    I think it is priced really reasonably as well which is why I am surprised by the lack of interest. It was previously leased for $435 and the agent said it is definitely due for an increase so at $430 there should be some decent interest but not getting anything. I have tried to be fair with the agent but I am just not getting a reasonable answer at this stage. I think it needs a fresh pair of eyes.
     
  4. Chilliblue

    Chilliblue Well-Known Member

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    You really should change PM's

    - when they stop working for you
    - they are not following the agreed terms of your agreement
    - when there is a better agency to move to
     
  5. Ace in the Hole

    Ace in the Hole Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Rents have come down in some places.
    I have a well finished townhouse in Camp Hill only a few years old and dropped the rent from 580 to 500 late last year.
    It may be the market rather than the agent.
     
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  6. Xenia

    Xenia Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    It is not unrealistic to have that result so you need to decipher whether it is the market or the manager.

    If it is a market condition or there is something wrong with the property then any pm would get the same result.

    If the pm is causing that result then you need to find one that can produce better results.
    Some things to consider.
    Regular opens?
    What is the feedback of tenants that have gone through? Why are they not putting through applications? This is important to diagnose.

    Assuming the price is correct for the market, what is the actual problem?
    I would get some clarity on that before switching companies.

    Does the pm recommend anything that can be done?

    Also look at stats - how many people are viewing/ engaging with the listing? Vs coming through to inspections.
     
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  7. WattleIdo

    WattleIdo renovating Premium Member

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    Have you tried getting someone to ring up about it and seeing how they're treated? Could be the reception/ phone services / bad management in the office which make it difficult for the PM to get inspections. I would be thinking about a change soon.
     
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  8. Inov8ive

    Inov8ive Well-Known Member

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    Good idea, I might try that.
     
  9. Inov8ive

    Inov8ive Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your response Xenia. I suppose this is the most frustrating part. I am not getting any negative feedback. Apparently everyone likes it so I am wondering if it is the PM's ability to sell the property. My PM has said it is a great property, it is priced well and that she doesnt know why it is not renting. She seems out of ideas to me.
     
  10. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    We had this last year too. Balmoral house had been renting $615 and after a few weeks, we dropped gradually until we got to $500. Houses nearby were just sitting and dropping in price week by week. It was bad.

    The $615 was likely a little higher than market at the time due to tenants wanting to stay and we increased from $600. We had no idea the rental market had slumped. I think they stayed on at an extra $15 per week rather than move twice (they were negotiating to buy a place).

    We will take a few years to increase back to what were getting, but we will do so when the market will support the increase.

    Another thing I'd say is that whilst we self-manage, we have placed IPs into a PM's hands to find a tenant several times. One time I sat in the car where I could glimpse how many people went through. I wasn't checking on the agent, but was shocked to see him pull up ten minutes late, enter the house, come straight back out. It was meant to be open for 15 minutes (which is rediculous anyway) but he was there for two minutes max. I think he used the toilet.

    It didn't matter because nobody came to the open in the allotted 15 minutes, but from then on I have always put my own advert on Gumtree and send prospective tenants to the agency for the checks (not to cut them out of the loop). I also hold my own opens for at least half an hour.

    Last house we had up for rent, I used Cubbi and found a great tenant that way.
     
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  11. Paul@PFI

    Paul@PFI Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Member

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    Not all REAs handle both sales and management well. The agent you bought through may not have a strong and devoted rental management team. It may be a inexperienced young school leaver with no idea and no drive perhaps they may be run off their feet if they are swamped? If so tenants may not be approaching them if they are known as a time waster.

    Who is the local "rental expert"? Talk to them for a second opinion.
     
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  12. kierank

    kierank Well-Known Member

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    I would be changing PM. You are running a 'business'and this is hurting your cashflow. You need a proactive PM. To me, it sounds like you don't have one.

    Meet with other PMs in the area, pick one that is aligned with your strategy, sign the paperwork and move on.
     
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  13. DiligentPM

    DiligentPM Well-Known Member Business Member

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    Have the PMs completed a detailed Entry Condition Report with images and emailed that through to you before going to market?...the information captured from the report can be translated into a maintenance plan (if relevant) to ensure the property is ready to attract quality tenants... What regular communications are taking place between you and the PM? There is a substantial cost involved in listing properties for rent hence it is in the best interests of an agency to ensure that a good outcome is achieved. As per feedback from others, request two Open Homes per week (perhaps a Thursday after work to capture professionals after work) and a Saturday to move along the marketing strategy, also inquire if the PM is showing individuals through by private inspection if an inquiry comes along before the Open Home day...it is very important to select a PM whereby a relationship based on mutual trust and respect flourishes ....both Martin and I choose our PMs to manage our investment portfolio ...it is a longer term decision for us and a critical business relationship
     
  14. DiligentPM

    DiligentPM Well-Known Member Business Member

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    We offer
    It is always disappointing to read and hear about poor customer service. We offer full half hour inspections and turn up earlier to air a property and put lights on and brochures out...it is definitely about 'selling' a home and its lifestyle features
     
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  15. Xenia

    Xenia Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Great advice Renee