If you’re a tenant or landlord, you’ve no doubt had to deal with a property manager at some stage.
There have been horror stories when it comes to finding good property managers and then there are some people who would argue you don’t actually need one.
Your Money real estate reporter Maddie Hale spoke to the experts to find out if property managers might become obsolete thanks to new tech.
AJ Chand, CEO and founder of Instarent, seems to think so.
He’s created an online property management app which he believes could make property managers and fees a thing of the past.
The app combines property advertising with tenancy applications and property management.
“The platform does the majority of it for you,” he said.
“It’s automated to the sense where it is very intelligent in how it interacts and how it deals with all your data.”
The human element
On the other end of the spectrum is Nathan Birch, CEO of Binvested, who personally owns 100 properties.
He believes technology can’t replace a real person who is prepared to do the dirty work for you.
And given the size of his own property portfolio, there’s no way he can manage it on his own.
“What I want to make sure is that property manager is actually pro-landlord rather than pro-tenant, because there’s lots of property managers out there that actually just want to look after the tenant and not the actual investor’s best needs,” Birch said.
Birch says he has seen people try and do their own property management, but never with any real success.
“It’s not just an issue of collecting the tenant’s rent, it’s important to have a middleman that’s going to be there between you and the actual tenant.”
“Insurance is also very important, without a property manager it’s very difficult to get landlord insurance.”
Leanne Pilkington, president of the Real Estate Institute of NSW, says she has done every real estate job, including being a property manager, in her 35 years of industry experience.
She says that as a landlord you can negotiate your fees, but be prepared for a lower level of service if you want to pay less.
Pilkington believes there is a place for new technology that will help landlords and tenants get more out of property management without losing them completely.
“You have to be clear on your expectations from a property manager, Pilkington said.
“What I think it will mean is that property managers will be able to manage more properties, but they will be focusing more on the relationships.
“They’ll be managing the asset and helping the landlord make a decision about that asset going forward.”
Watch the full video and decide for yourself.