7 habits of an effective property manager or landlord

As a landlord who has managed a rental property for the past few years, I have seen how my behaviours have impacted relationships with different tenants and how certain habits can create an all-round positive experience. The following habits have saved me on multiple occasions, reducing time, effort, friction and anxiety, furthermore the Propd team are able to help you form and maintain these great habits.

1. Employ a system for finding the right tenant

When I first listed our property for rent, it was soon after the Christchurch earthquakes where there was reduced supply of homes and demand significantly outstripped supply. This was great, as we had interest from many suitable applicants (20+ applications). But, I had listed email, phone and mobile contact information, so I had dozens of people contacting me from all angles trying to arrange a viewing. In hindsight, I would have been better to nominate one form of contact and had people provide some background information before asking them for a viewing – e.g. why they are looking for a new rental, who will be living in the rental (key how many people), employment background etc.

As a landlord on Propd, you receive all expressions of interest in one place in an ordered manner, this allows you to review each applicant before engaging and arranging viewings – reducing your time and effort.

Additionally, our Renters Resume helps tenants put their best foot forward for a property application and gives landlords context, similar to that of a potential employer reviewing a job applicant’s CV.

2. Present a well prepared, clean and tidy property

This sounds simple, but this habit affects both the tenants that are attracted to your property, and how your selected tenant may care for your property throughout their tenancy. The photos that you promote in your property listing are a strong reference point for prospective tenants, if you present your property well, you are more likely to attract tenants that will appreciate and maintain a clean, tidy property.

Additionally, completing an inspection before new tenants move in is a great way to reinforce this habit. Completing and providing tenants a pre-tenancy report allows you to review the condition of the property (and identify work required), whilst ensuring a clean slate and fair benchmark for future inspections.

3. Keep on top of maintenance requests

Resolving maintenance requests within a 3-4 day period will ensure that tenants look out for your property whilst reinforcing the fact that you care about your asset and the living environment that you are providing. Delaying maintenance, without suitable communication, projects the image of carelessness and may influence your tenants behaviour – treat a maintenance request as the tenant looking out for you and your asset! 

4. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s – get the paperwork in order

When managing your own property, contracts, bond forms and a formal process can seem onerous. But, it is critical that you provide suitable and relevant documentation especially considering the recent crack down from insurers and the MBIE – see more on this here

Propd provides a streamlined onboarding process with all relevant contractual documentation and bond forms, following industry best practice. Download our tenancy agreement template

5. Complete quarterly inspections

Completing thorough and regular inspections are a must for any property manager or landlord. As outlined in habit #4, recent changes imposed by insurers require most policy holders to complete and log inspections on a 3-monthly basis - failure to do so may void insurance coverage.

Propd provides inspection scheduling, generates inspection reports specific to your property and provides storage for reports/photos.  Download an example inspection template

6. Respond to queries or messages in a timely manner

Building an effective working relationship with your tenants is critical to the successful management of a property. Smart devices offer multiple channels for this communication making us feel more connected than ever. But with constant information running through these channels, important tenancy communication can be missed and most importantly difficult to log/organise.

Propd provides in app messaging that serves as a great platform for recording all communications between landlords and tenants, protecting both parties as an organised log of all tenancy related communication. 

7. Clearly define expectations – at the start!

Based on my experience, this is the most critical habit that you must adopt if you wish to be successful in managing a property, whether you are a professional or looking after your own home.

One of the biggest obstacles in forming a successful landlord/tenant relationship is knowing how formal or informal you should be from the start. There is often a concern that being too strict may stifle a positive relationship, while being too casual may create the potential for abuse. To work around this, we have specifically created a customisable ‘Tenant Booklet’ that advises on communication standards, emergency procedures, moving in, moving out and everything in between. Outlining minimum standards throughout a tenancy creates a solid foundation for both parties and helps with the resolution of queries and concerns that may arise throughout the tenancy.  Download our free tenant booklet and get on with forming your winning habits!