Property Management Agent in Essex? It’s a minefield!
How to choose a property management agent in Essex
The buoyancy of the housing market in Essex has created a high demand for rental properties in certain areas, especially those positioned along the central line on London’s Underground.
With so many landlords owning property in these sought after areas, we think you potential landlords should check out our top tips for choosing a property management agent in Essex.
1) Look for a specialist. Most property management agents want to be something to everyone so they can get all of the business.
Find a local agent who specialises in the type of residential property or property development you own. Sometimes the fees and service charges may be higher, but you can be assured that they have a better understanding of finding suitable tenants because it takes a lot of effort to niche with so much opportunity around.
Also, look for the age of negative feedback, is it recent or is it old. If it’s old there is a good chance your letting agent has worked things out. But don’t be afraid to ask what went on and how was it resolved. If they can’t provide a satisfactory answer, be prepared to walk away.
3) Ask to see their full portfolio, even those properties outside of your price range. Typically a good property management company or agent will be trusted with valuable properties in sought after areas and will have a good reputation to achieve that. Ask if they are sole agents or are most of their properties multi-agent. It all goes towards building a picture of your potential management agent.
4) Check out their marketing activities. Do they simply utilise Rightmove and Zoopla or do they also use print media and digital channels like social media? The amount of effort put into marketing their properties under management can also be indicative of a good property management agent.
5) If you have one or two agents in mind, go along initially and pretend to be a potential tenant. Ask them what service is like for tenants. What happens if there is a tenant-landlord dispute? What happens if I was to fall behind in my rent? How quickly can I expect repairs to be carried out?
Remember, your let property is still your investment and you want to be sure the agent has your best interests in mind.
6) Ask about contracts. How long do they last, what are their fees, how do they collect them?
7) Ask about the management agencies growth plans. Are they maintaining their current position, do they want to grow, have they lost ground recently. Are they new, what experience do they have between the team?
8) Finally, word of mouth is always good. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and or neighbours. Typically, landlords live in the locality of their properties so finding out about reputation can be done quickly. Beware of bias either positively or negatively and remember point 2, never be afraid to ask how they have dealt with difficult situations.
There is a lot more valuable information about managing and letting your properties in our blog, and if you would like regular advice and tips for Landlords, you can follow us on Instagram and Facebook. You can also have a look at our Landlords page to read about our residential managing services.