The debate of property managers charging letting fees, here at Chase Property Management we thought long and hard about whether or not to charge letting fees when we set up our company policies.
Some Property Management companies in Auckland argue: letting fees jeopardise service by biasing towards agents taking any old tenant so they can get the fee, this argument is flawed because it implies that their property managers are unethical, if this is an issue the problem isn't with the fee its self but with the company staff.
Landlords sometimes claim that charging a letting fee puts off tenants, but the truth is that this is only the case in very few rental properties. In the last year we haven’t had one negative tenant comment about letting fees, and property managers in Auckland charging a letting fee should in fact be delivering a better service to the tenant after all, the tenant is paying for their time.
Here at Chase Property Management one of our founding philosophies was “tenants are frustrated with being treated like numbers”, (for example property managers not acknowledging their calls or emails and in general being unhelpful). Charging a letting fee should be a motivator for better service.
To understand why letting fees are charged it pays to consider the costs involved in renting a property that are incurred by Auckland property managers and their company.
Letting a rental property takes time and money, first the agent must travel to the property take thoughtful photographs, detail all the selling/renting point the home holds, and then the property needs to be advertised online which costs time and money.
Once a rental is advertised our property managers experience increased workload outside the normal hours of service. There’s numerous phone calls, emails and texts coming at all hours of the day, that by our philosophy need to be acknowledged quick smart, both for respect to the tenants interested in viewing the property; and in the best interests of the landlord wanting the best possible tenants for their property, being slow to acknowledge tenant enquirers could mean that the landlord will miss the perfect tenants.
Then comes the viewings, good tenants have jobs, which means they generally don’t want to view inside work hours, so our property managers are required to work extra hours outside normal trading, often including Saturdays and Sundays. Working 7 days a week can take its toll, so there needs to be an incentive, hence letting fees are charged. Further to this, depending on how quickly the property finds its perfect tenants, we are required to travel to the property multiple times, which costs time and money traveling to a viewing on a Friday afternoon in Auckland traffic can end up being a 3 hour adventure.
Where the home is currently tenanted, viewings need to be co-ordinated with respect to those living at the rental.
Once we receive applications, numerous reference calls are required, sometimes we experience high numbers of applications, and we believe that all applicants deserve the respect of equal treatment, this means processing all applicants, and often paying to reference and credit check numerous applicants at our cost.
Once we have put forward the best applicants to the landlord for selection, we have to tailor make the agreement to suit the specific rental property needs. Then receive bond and send bond cheques to the Department of Building and Housing, another cost which is paid for by our property management company.
At Chase Property Management we believe that letting fees are a factor in delivering a great service to our landlords and potential tenants, not all others carry our philosophy and attitude to service so if you want a property manager in Auckland that works for you, we would like to meet you.