The investment has been decided on, you’re happy with the financials, but you don’t want to be bothered at 3am to hear of a leaky toilet. With offshore property consistently offering the best returns in property investment, the one question that forever pops up is “who is going to manage my investment?”
A wrong step here could be stressful at best and catastrophic at worst. Unfortunately, there are horror stories; those whose properties are empty, dealing with nightmare tenants, or simply not achieving the rents they expected.
So what are your options?
Choose a good letting agent. The first decision to make is whether to use the developer’s recommended agent.
Many new builds come with the option to rent via the in-house developers’ management team. We recommend this as the first port of call because it is in the developers interest to make sure their buildings are kept up to standard and that they are fully occupied; they use these stats to sell their next building.
But they still need to impress you and win your business.
We suggest comparing at least 2-3 prospective agents, including the developers’ own agent, and asking them the following questions:
Questions to ask when interviewing prospective agents…
- How many units have you let in this building? And how many remain on your books?
- What rent can I realistically expect to achieve… Can you provide examples?
- Are you a member of the regulatory bodies, such as ARLA in the UK?
- What benefits do you offer my tenants… Do you offer 24-hour assistance?
- What do your clients think? Can I please speak to one of your overseas landlords?
Tips for managing your chosen letting agent
- Check the T&Cs for punitive renewal fees
- Ask for a full breakdown of costs… Aside from the % of rent, they charge (incl VAT), What are the costs of tenancy agreements, inventories, late payment letters, etc?
- Make sure any agent requires your sign-off before agreeing to maintenance work or replacement furniture, or give your agent a set maximum, ie. R3000, to make quick decisions on your behalf.