Property Knowledge Series: Get advice from the right people
You may think all legal professionals, accountants, and property managers are the same and decide to go with the cheapest one. But you would be wrong.
First, a word of caution. Property is a specialist area and legal professionals can specialize in a wide range of areas from commercial law, relationship property settlements, to trade and intellectual property. Similarly, you are best advised not to save money and just use a conveyancer. A conveyancer services might save you a few hundred dollars but if you are new to investment property, you are best to go with a lawyer who is experienced in real estate. Plus interview your lawyer before hiring them. Ask them how many properties he or she owns. Ideally you would be better to get advice from someone who has a property portfolio already. Then it shows they are in the game as well and not just providing lip service.
Similarly, it doesn’t hurt to quiz your accountant whether they have a property portfolio and how they structured their ownership structure and just get a general idea of what expenses can be claimed and which expenses are non deductible. A half an hour chat can review whether this their area of expertise and you can quickly see whether they can add value for your investments.
And the same goes to property managers. You ideally want someone who is experienced and also in the game too. Then they truly understand what it is like to be a landlord. Simple things dealing with water leaks after hours. If it is a small leak, a property manager who thinks like the owner will visit the property or get their handyman to tighten the leak and stop the leak and call a plumber the next working day. A less experienced person will call a plumber right away and you get dinged with the after hours charge which can be three or four times the rate plumbers charge for work done during business hours.
And last but not least, your real estate agent. It is always best to go through an agent who is knowledgeable in the area and also a landlord. Then they know you what you are looking for. If you are looking for low maintenance brick and tile, then a good agent will filter through their listings and only show you relevant properties. These good agents save you time and a lot of grief later.