Minimising risk, maximising returns
By specialising in property management Auckland company Crockers Property Management sets itself apart, says company business development group manager Shanon Aitken.
“We are not a real estate agency with property management as a sideline. Property management is our focus,” he says.
With over 45 years experience, Crockers is one of New Zealand’s largest property management companies.
It employs around 120 staff and is a service provider for body corporates nationwide and manages residential and commercial proper-ties for owners in Auckland.
Shanon says that good property management is about minimising risk and maximising returns.
So what makes a good property manager? “Communication,” says Shanon without hesitation.
“Effective communication with landlords and tenants means most problems can be solved easily.
“Time management is also important to ensure everything that needs to happen takes place when it is supposed to.”
Shanon says that there are generally two types of property management companies – those where the property manager completes all tasks to do with the property and those where different tasks are delegated to departments within the company.
He says Crockers favours the more personal approach with each property manager being responsible for all aspects of the properties they are managing.
“This means we get to know the properties better than the owners do and look after them with the same care as if we own them,” he says.
“This takes a real level of stress off owners – they know they can rely on us to take care of everything for them.”
With recent increased compliance good property management has become even more important.
Shanon says that managing a property can require the landlord to juggle knowledge of residential tenancy law, maintenance basics, accounting and even interior design.
A strong understanding of how the Residential Tenancies Act works is vital as are good systems and record keeping.
“For example a client had a fire in a property recently and the insurance company wanted to see a lot of documentation – property inspections going back five years, tenant checks etc.
“If we hadn’t had that information then the client may not have had insurance cover.”
“At Crockers we have one full time staff member dedicated to auditing each client’s records to ensure everything has been done properly.”
The Crockers service includes carrying out regular property inspections and understanding the legal protocol for periodic inspections of the property, developing a maintenance plan for the property and working with the client to keep the property in good condition.
He says that Crockers on-going property management research means it follows market rent movements and Auckland house prices giving a good understanding of the property market.
Working from one main office also facilitates a better service for clients as Crockers has a good understanding of different areas of the market across the city plus a dedicated pool of contractors to complete repairs efficiently and promptly.
He says training is a vital part of being a good property manager, not only to keep up with legislative changes but also to continually improve the offering and service for clients.
Each Crockers property manager usually completes at least 90 hours of training per annum.
Shanon says that with a plethora of legislation now affecting landlords, including the Residential Tenancy Act, Healthy Homes Guarantee Act, Body Corporate Rules and the Unit Titles Act 2010, it is more important than ever to consider using a professional property management company such as Crockers.
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