3 questions to ask when hiring a property management company


Being a property investor in Melbourne can be a successful venture, particularly in areas like the northern suburbs where rents are high and there are so many prospective tenants keen to snatch up great properties.

Owning multiple properties can be incredibly stressful, however, if you attempt to go it alone or contract with inadequate property management companies. The right property management company will not only help you capitalise, but they’ll also help run your property like a successful business.

Don’t hire just anyone – asking certain questions can tell you a great deal about what a property management team will be able to do for you and your investment.

Being a property investor in Melbourne can be a successful venture.

1) What is your experience in the local market?

This question will help you understand if a property management company will be able optimise one of the most important tasks of all (and one most landlords really struggle to do on their own) – setting the rent.

All property management companies provide a range of services from tenant selection to home inspections and maintenance check ups, but only a property manager with extensive local knowledge can design and implement a rent strategy that is competitive and profitable in a given suburb.

For example: as of June 2017, the weekly rent for a two bedroom home in Brunswick was $520, whereas the same home in Carlton would generate $543 and $585 in Fitzroy, according to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.

The northern suburbs are among the most profitable places to invest in Melbourne, but only a property management company like Nelson Alexander (who has specialised in the north of Melbourne since 1971) will be able to help you maximise on this ever-changing Melbourne real estate market.

The right property management company will look after your investment (and your tenants). The right property management company will look after your investment (and your tenants).

2) Are you a part of a franchise?

This question might not seem that critical, but the ownership and structure of a property management company makes a huge difference, particularly if you own multiple investment properties.

Some landlords mistakenly assume that working with a franchised property management company means you’ll have more agents working for you and more support overall, but the opposite is actually true because franchise branches often compete against each other. While franchises might talk about the volume of tenants in their database or the amount of agents they have on staff, you actually only have access to the managers and services at that single branch.

If, for example, you hire one branch to manage your unit in Flemington and another to manage your home in Brunswick, those two are actually competing against each other, unwilling to share information or collaborate to help lease more properties.

At Nelson Alexander, our model is different. Our team collaborates on every single transaction because all of our agents – and all of our offices – are a part of the same network.

3) What is your property management specialty?

If this question seems a bit vague, that’s because it’s meant to be! Many large property management companies try to pander to landlords by being all things to all people. A property management company who can do it all across all of Melbourne most likely won’t be able give you any semblance of specialised service.

At Nelson Alexander, our multi-office network has over 13,000 properties under management, all of which are in a highly concentrated area. In short, we focus on the north and we do it very well. Being so specialised allows us to offer:

  • Unique market insights
  • Prompt service
  • Close, consistent communication
  • Increased exposure for your property across neighbouring suburbs
  • A large tenant database of those actually looking to rent in the areas you own

Of course you’ll want to ask any property management company the nitty gritty logistical questions. What is your fee structure? How do you communicate? What are your standard tenancy terms? These three questions above can reveal an incredible amount of what working with a given agency will actually be like.

Ready to make the most of your investment property or properties in Melbourne’s northern suburbs? Reach out to the experienced team at Nelson Alexander, or find out which of our offices is best for you.

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