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Canberra’s Boutique Real Estate and Property Management

Canberra’s Favourite Property Managers


Having an investment property is a great way to secure long and short term returns on your hard-earned money.

When the time comes to hand over the management of your property to someone else you will want to do your homework before making the big decision.

You could stay with the property manager that you purchased the property from; however it’s worth considering your options carefully first. The relationship you have with your property manager can mean the difference between an investment that effortlessly grows in value, or a money pit that causes no end of stress.

What Makes a Great Property Manager?

Here are some things to look for when you’re choosing a property manager.

  • Communication. Communication is key to all good business. Problems often arise from a lack of clear information between owners, property managers and tenants. This can cause frustration and worse yet, cost you time and money.
  • Experience. The best property managers know the market and their industry well. They are the experts and should be able to advise you on all aspects of managing your property. Questions to ask include: How long have you been in business? How many properties do you manage?
  • People skills. It can be a delicate balance keeping both owners and tenants happy and it requires excellent people skills. Happy tenants should always be the goal to maximise occupancy and avoid loss of income.
  • Professional. Look for a professional looking agency with staff that present as organised and friendly. Take in your first impressions from the reception area as a guide to the overall professionalism of the agency.
  • Local or national. Whether to go with a local or national property manager will depend on your investment plans. It is a good idea to stay local if you only plan to invest locally, however if you would like to expand your investments to other states, consider a property manager that has national coverage.

Canberra’s Favourite Property Managers According to You

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 19 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

McGrath Belconnen/Gungahlin

McGrath Belconnen/Gungahlin

We celebrate being the most engaged agency in Gungahlin operating the largest property investment management portfolio with thousands of investors trusting us with $700M in assets under management.

Our team is structured to maximise efficiency and ensure the delivery of 6-star services to our clients and tenants. We have specialised service areas catered to by industry leading professionals supported by amazing administration and agile technology.

Our clients love the convenience of our online client portal. Available 24/7, you can access important information, statements and documents from your desktop or any mobile device.

Under the watchful eye Jessica Lawless, McGrath Gungahlin is one of the most awarded, prolific, high performing Property Management businesses in the McGrath network of 95 offices.

A long-term partner of the business, Jess herself has been the recipient of the networks coveted Property Manager of the Year award several times. In the last 7 years held firmly in Jess’ nurturing hands; we are honoured to have won the following network awards and accolades:

2011 Most Outstanding Property Manager
2012 Fastest Growing Sales Office
2013 Most Outstanding Senior Property Manager
2014 Office of the Year
2016 Most Outstanding Leasing Consultant
2016 Most Outstanding Senior Property Manager
2017 Most Outstanding Senior Property Manager
2018 McGrath Network RECORD Most properties leased in a month…Ever! leasing 70 properties (last financial year we leased over 600 properties) 
2018 Most Outstanding Leasing Consultant

Level 1, 46-50 Hibberson Street
Gungahlin ACT 2912
Belle Property

Belle Property

A collection of experts who manage with honesty, efficiency and attention to detail. Belle Property’s team of property managers, led by Principal Richard Davies, will do just that. Your property will not just be leased, it will be cared for by our small and experienced team, taking the stress out of owning an investment property. Belle Property provides premium marketing to achieve a quick lease, as well as work hard to ensure smooth transitions between tenancies.

For tenants in the market, they strive to find you a home. One that fits your individual needs for either a short stay in Canberra or a stable and comfortable lifestyle.

As an internationally supported agency, Belle Property is a recognised boutique real estate office known for their exceptional property presentation, cutting edge marketing and borderless reach. The Canberra office is nothing short of this as they take great pride in supporting a personable, honest and trustworthy team that share in the same values.

27/6 Trevillian Quay
Kingston ACT 2604
Independent Property Management

Independent Property Management

Independent Property Group is an award-winning property management group with a refreshing focus on putting people first and engaging the community. As well as professional, well-trained staff and excellent management protocols, Independent Property aims to have a positive impact on the Canberra region.

They care about honesty and transparency and are always looking for ways to take the stress out of owning an investment property. Pride is taken in teamwork, a passion for the job and being early adaptors to new technologies in the industry.

There’s some great feedback for Independent; crispmarks says, “I think Nicole at Independent is Great, switched on and easy to deal with”, and from Bobert, “I thought they were excellent. They kept out of my life, but they did definitely tell me when something was wrong. They were strict but fair about inspections, and they kept me and my landlord in the loop about all problems. Would definitely recommend them!”

91 Northbourne Ave
Turner ACT 2612
Ray White Canberra

Ray White Canberra

Ray White is one of the most trusted names in Real Estate in Australia, and Ray White Canberra is no different. With an incredible team of dedicated real estate agents and property managers, you will secure the property of your dreams, or sell your current home for an optimal price.

Using industry-leading, unparalleled technology, Ray White Canberra can help you secure a home or find a buyer. With in-depth knowledge of the Canberra property market, Ray White’s Canberra agents are capable of pricing your home correctly and securing you the best possible deal.

Plus, Ray White Canberra works closely with renters to help them discover a property that meets their budget and timeline requirements. Moving to a new house can be stressful – so work with an agent you can rely on.

Shop 3 Josephson St
Belconnen ACT 2617
Peter Blackshaw Property Management

Peter Blackshaw Property Management

Peter Blackshaw Real Estate has been managing properties in the Canberra and surrounds since 1988. From the start, Peter Blackshaw has had a reputation as a pioneer in the industry, often at the forefront of the latest innovations in property management and marketing.

The agency currently has 7 offices and employs over 120 expert staff. Peter Blackshaw boasts a vacancy rate that is consistently lower than the state average.

Here’s what sophiekt has to say, “Peter Blackshaw Woden gets my vote. I just returned from a posting (3 years) and the house was returned in great shape and no nasty surprises. Not one late rent payment in the whole 3 years either.”

Discover Canberra’s thriving real estate scene right here on RiotACT.

Looking to buy? Find your dream home as you explore our featured property picks. Ready to rent? Uncover the perfect rental property for you and your family. Want to stay in the know? Get all the details on new developments in and around the capital, and keep up-to-date with the latest auction results.

RiotACT is home to all the real estate market information you need to land an incredible deal or discover a potential opportunity. Happy house hunting!

Who did you pick?

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback on the best and worst Canberra property managers.

If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Please comment below detailing your experience with Canberra property managers. Who would you recommend? Who would you use again? Who would you steer clear of?

What’s Your opinion?

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35 Responses to
Canberra’s Favourite Property Managers
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northsidetops 9:09 pm 28 Mar 18

my sister started using Block Real Estate, they are based in Gungahlin and are doing a pretty good job

Hoppingmad 7:17 am 09 Dec 17

Just seen this post, but interested as we are currently waging legal action against the property managers/owner/tenants of the property next door to us – due to their inability to live according to the terms of their agreement, which seems to mean nothing.

We have become aware that the whole property management area in the ACT is severely lacking in rigour and agents can just flout their own terms and conditions, as can the tenants.

To cut a long story short, we got no traction with tenants or agent for two years with this tenant so have now threatened to sue to owner. It’s only now, surprise surprise, that the agent is paying attention. They are a disgrace. I suspect the owner never knew anything about the previous two years of complaints. We are owners of a holiday rental down the coast so we know what it’s like to have to be accountable for a remote property. Agencies in Canberra take the money and basically run. This is not the first tenant we have had issues with in this property. Because it is not a modern house and I suspect things are just left to effectively rot, the lower rent will always attract the type of people you don’t want next door.

Michael 5:10 pm 03 Sep 17

I have been renting out my house while I have been interstate and was sent a ‘form’ email from my previous property manager (Bolton and Co) seeking interest from property investors in being property managers – they certainly seem to not have the staff that they need at that agency and are casting a wide net for new recruits.

I also have been disappointed with the service provided by Bolton and Co and have recently moved to another property manager and wonder whether if the issue is inexperienced staff. They often misunderstood or did not follow my instructions and this ended up costing me money (for example they hired tradesmen when I asked them for quotes). Also after my tenant did a small amount of damage to the cook-top after dropping a mug on it, they refused to hold any bond. To refuse a reasonable instruction from a client is a very strange way to behave!

I believe there are regulations that property manager/real estate agents need to follow and complaints can be made via the Office of Regulatory Services.

anonymoose1 12:41 am 20 Mar 17

I completely recommend Element Property Services. I always deal with the same person (the owner) who personally takes care of my property. I don’t think there are any others on her team actually. Dealings are always completely professional with routine inspections, maintenance taken care of and statements issued every month and at tax time. So nice to deal with a small local business who does things properly rather than a big chain who changes over their inexperienced interns every 6 months. Couldn’t recommend Element Property Services any more highly.

K_c24 1:45 pm 19 Mar 17

As a renter, I was always shocked by the fact that I never spoke to the same person whenever I had to make contact with my agent. And the same person never attended annual inspections and no one ever spent more than 5 minutes “inspecting” – I was always told “so and so no longer works here, zyz is your PM now”. You only have to search for admin roles to see how many available jobs there are in the PM field. It’s a massive churn industry and no one lasts long. I suspect this is due to a combination of terrible pay/incentives and the fact that staff are effectively working in a complaints department, receiving nothing but negative communication, day in, day out. It would grate on even the most optimistic among us.

As far as standards go, I think the only thing landlords can hope for is the establishment of a self regulating Industry that comes about by sheer demand – i.e. the current unit boom. The counter point to this is that landlords also need to take the lead in ensuring they hold their agents accountable…But the quality of some rental places that are on the market would suggest there are a large number of LL who simply don’t care and know all to well that the right (most desperate?) tenant will eventually settle for their less than adequate dwelling.

As a landlord, I have my properties with Distinct Property Management in Fyshwick. They only do property management (so PM isn’t taking a backseat to property sales like most organisations). They have been very good although the quality is maybe starting to slip as the business grows and the owners have less input into the day to day operations. And perhaps that is also the issue; unless you have someone who is as equally invested (I.e. they own the PM business) in ensuring your property is adequately maintained and managed, then you’ll never receive as good a service than if you just went it alone.

pink little birdie 2:00 pm 09 Jan 17

Trimega said :

Hi guys. Interested in any recent experiences with either Luton or Independent as property managers. Thinking of handing my currently self managed property over to a manager this year. Property is in O’Connor.

As a tenant we were managed by Luton Dickson. No complaints they were quick to get things repaired and were communicative with us when the owner wanted to sell

Trimega 10:11 am 09 Jan 17

Hi guys. Interested in any recent experiences with either Luton or Independent as property managers. Thinking of handing my currently self managed property over to a manager this year. Property is in O’Connor.

WalterB 3:26 pm 22 Oct 14

I would avoid Independent at any cost. I had a property manager that was, charitably, completely out of her depth. Repairs went unfixed for my entire term. They would send repairmen (who I had to take time off work to let into the apartment!) who would come to give an estimate of the cost of repair, and then never actually do the repair. I was told things verbally that were completely backtracked on later. I talked to the manager about this, who told me, “we work for the owner, not for you”. Eventually I just had to move out. They were comically picky at the final inspection, far beyond the condition of the unit when I moved it. Thank god I had written down nearly every possible defect of the place on the initial condition report, otherwise it is clear they would have taken the opportunity to charge me for many pre-existing problems. Still they are attempting to charge me because I might not have listed every single mark on the walls. If you must deal with them make sure you get *everything* in writing, and detail *every* defect of the unit when you move it.

chrispmarks 7:27 pm 30 Sep 14

I think Nicole at Independent is Great, switched on and easy to deal with. I would avoid ACT Strata like the plague, I have dealt with one of their property managers and found him totally useless.

Sgt.Bungers 12:27 pm 18 Oct 11

My experience as a tenant with Capital First National in O’Conner was astounding. 3 days notice for inspection by telephone, when legal minimum is 7 days written notice… unfounded threat of eviction of eviction due to us asking for a break down of additional fees (they essentially said agree to these charges or get out), which was promptly withdrawn when lawyers got involved. Never dealt with such an unprofessional mob in my life. Stay away from them!

Ray White in Philip was average service, but by the book.

My experience as a tenant with Lindsey Burne at LJ in Dickson has been fantastic. He runs a tight ship. Any problems reported to him are immediately fixed. One problem with the house that we reported, he came out to inspect himself in less than an hour.

tidalik 11:12 am 18 Oct 11

Stay right away from LJ Hooker Dickson, unless you want to get your tenants off side in a hurry.

From a renter’s perspective, I actually think Independent are quite good. They might be young but they are polite, know all the rules and are pretty efficient.

LootenPlunder 10:49 am 18 Oct 11

Steer clear of LJ Hooker Manuka. Incompetence personified. Still waiting on repairs I’ve been requesting for 10 months.

thehutch 10:44 am 18 Oct 11

winter said :

BearBuns said :

Except an owner or owner representative can’t “insist” that you have the carpets steam cleaned. If they do you can lodge a complaint against them.

I am not sure about insisting on steam cleaning of carpet during a tenancy just because 18 months have passed. But certainly, if an inspection occurs and the carpet is dirty, they could certainly send you a notice to remedy… which in turn would mean you would most likely clean the carpet.

In terms of steam cleaning carpet at the end of lease, they can only demand this if the carpet was steam cleaned prior to the new tenants entering the property.

mcs 10:02 am 18 Oct 11

From a renter’s perspective, Jess @ Mcgraths in Gunghalin has been excellent to deal with, so I’d expect she would be a very good property manager from an owner’s perspective as well.

devils_advocate 9:55 am 18 Oct 11

johnboy said :

If lease conditions are in breach of the tenancy act then they’re not binding in my understanding.

True, so you can’t put something in there that gives you teh right to terminate on 24 hours notice. But you can put special conditions in there (no pets, etc) and requiring the carpets to be cleaned doesn’t offend any of the standard terms in the act.

devils_advocate 9:54 am 18 Oct 11

BearBuns said :

They also collect rent via direct transfer so there is no question of unpaid rent.

Well direct transfer assumes there is money in the account from which to make the transfer. IMHO this direct transfer policy doesn’t add a great deal in the way of certainty from the landlord’s point of view.

johnboy 9:53 am 18 Oct 11

If lease conditions are in breach of the tenancy act then they’re not binding in my understanding.

devils_advocate 9:51 am 18 Oct 11

winter said :

BearBuns said :

Except an owner or owner representative can’t “insist” that you have the carpets steam cleaned. If they do you can lodge a complaint against them.

If it’s in the lease they can. Also as a practical matter, if the property is in demand, they can insist on what they like. You can lodge a complaint with the tribunal/mag court, but good luck getting the lease renewed.

djk 9:25 am 18 Oct 11

winter said :

BearBuns said :

Except an owner or owner representative can’t “insist” that you have the carpets steam cleaned. If they do you can lodge a complaint against them.

They can if they put a clause in the Tenancy Agreement stating it is to be done…

sophiekt 10:31 pm 17 Oct 11

Peter Blackshaw Woden get my vote..I just returned from a posting ( 3 years) and the house was returned in great shape and no nasty surprises. Not one late rent payment in the whole 3 years either. Speak to Maria there, she is very professional.

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