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Canberra’s Favourite Property Managers


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

But when the time comes to hand over the management of your property to someone else, it’s worth doing your homework before making the big decision.

Many real estate agencies also offer property management services, and investors often opt for a property manager from the same agency that sold the home. While this is an easy option, it’s worth looking more broadly too.

After all, the relationship you have with your property manager can mean the difference between an investment that effortlessly grows in value, or a stressful money pit.

What makes a great property manager?

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

  • Communication. Communication is key to all good business. Problems can 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. Use 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.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and maintain a minimum average of 4/5 stars on both Google and Facebook reviews.

McIntyre Property

McIntyre Property

If you’re looking for an award-winning team to manage your investment property, look no further than McIntyre Property. It has won the Property Management Team of the Year Award at the Real Estate Institute of the ACT Awards for Excellence for the last two consecutive years (2018 and 2019).

McIntyre Property’s skilled property management team is led by Jasmine Henjak. Friendly and approachable, Jasmine has over 15 years of experience in the property management industry and a focus on building long-term client relationships.

Property investor J. Neal had this to say about their experience with Jasmine and McIntyre Property in a website testimonial: “Ms Henjak has been my contact for approximately two years and has provided exemplary customer service during this time. Ms Hejak has given prompt and accurate advice regarding tenancy issues and has responded quickly to any problems relating to the maintenance of the property…..I have been very happy with the professional, courteous and timely service provided.”

Unit 277 311 Anketell Street
Greenway ACT 2900
McGrath Belconnen/Gungahlin

McGrath Belconnen/Gungahlin

McGrath Belconnen/Gungahlin says it’s the best property management business on the planet. As the most engaged agency in Gungahlin, it operates the largest property investment management portfolio with $700M in assets under management.

Its team is structured to maximise efficiency and ensure the delivery of six-star services to clients and tenants. It has specialised service areas catered to by industry leading professionals supported by amazing administration and agile technology.

McGrath Belconnen/Gungahlin clients love the convenience of its online client portal. Available 24/7, clients and tenants can access important information, statements and documents.

Under the watchful eye of Jessica Lawless, McGrath Gungahlin is one of the most awarded and high-performing property management businesses in the McGrath network of 95 offices.

A long-term partner of the business, Jess is a multi-time recipient of the network’s coveted Property Manager of the Year award. In the last seven years Jess has guided the team towards the following 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
2018 Most Outstanding Leasing Consultant

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

Independent Property Management

Independent Property Management is an award-winning business that focuses on holistic property management. Its team understands what your property is worth and who your target market should be, while ensuring the upkeep and value of your asset is maintained.

With a focus on honesty and transparency, Independent’s property management team is always looking for ways to take the stress out of owning an investment property. They take pride in their people, have a passion for property and use cutting edge technology to underpin their service in adding value and creating wealth.

Ensuring your property is in safe hands, Independent’s award-winning team has won accolades including Property Manager of the Year Award at the Real Estate Institute of Australia Awards for Excellence (2011, 2016, 2017 and 2018), as well as multiple awards for administration support, leasing and leadership from the Institute and Leading Property Managers of Australia.

Google Reviews five star ratings include Claire Kim’s: “She is a best person who I’ve ever met for rental property management. She has very strong responsibility for her work and clearly communicate with her customers landlords and tenants. I’ve felt that she is very professional. I will definitely work with her again if I have properties for lease.”

And Nick Martin appreciated the service as a tenant, leaving this comment with his five star Google review.

“We hadn’t rented for about 20 years and had some pretty awful memories from the past. Fortunately, our property manager has renewed our faith! She has been exceptional! A great communicator, responding quickly and efficiently to all requests. She always remains positive and it seems as though nothing is too much trouble. She is also understanding and flexible when things don’t go exactly to plan. She has really made us feel like she is serving our interests as well as the owners, which is a very different experience to what we have had previously.”

91 Northbourne Ave
Turner ACT 2612

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Your Experience with Property Managers in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

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

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36 Responses to Canberra’s Favourite Property Managers
northsidetops 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 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 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 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 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.

    geoffatweston geoffatweston 9:02 pm 24 Aug 19

    Distinct Property Management are now in Gungahlin, they have been great for me for the last 12 months.

pink little birdie 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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