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Canberra’s Favourite Property Managers

By ramblingted 17 October 2011 30

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.

Some of Canberra’s Favourite Property Mangers.

After reading through your comments and doing a little research ourselves, we’ve come up with this list of four property managers in Canberra.

1. Peter Blackshaw Real Estate

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.”

2. Independent property Group

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!”

3. Luton

Luton is a local agency that has been in the Canberra real estate business since 1999. They are currently the largest privately-owned agency in Canberra with 9 offices and 155 highly trained staff.

Luton offers outstanding service and expert market knowledge. Set apart by the fact that Richard Luton and his team of directors all have ongoing active roles in the company. They currently manage 2500 properties.

While their growth has been impressive over the years, Luton has not forgotten the community. The annual Luton Charity Ball remains a highlight in Canberra’s social calendar.

4. McGrath Gunghalin

McGrath in Gunghalin is recommended by mcs: “Mcgraths in Gunghalin has been excellent to deal with”. McGrath is a well-known name in the real estate world with 95 offices nationwide and over 33,000 properties under management. That’s a lot of experience. A great option if you plan to invest interstate.

Your Experience with Property Managers in Canberra

Share your experiences with property managers in Canberra in the comments section below.

What’s Your opinion?


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Canberra’s Favourite Property Managers
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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.

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