Common Questions. Simple Answers.
Why did you start Different?
Like many people, our family owns investment properties. That’s not surprising, given that Australia has 3 million investment properties.
What is surprising is how much money we are paying in agent’s fees to manage the property. Our parents are retired now. As we reviewed their finances, we realized that by the time they sell their investment property, agents will take ~25% of the profits!
84% of all owners use property managers, who are taking 7-11% of the total rental income from letting and management fees. We see this happening to our family and friends every day, and we don’t think it’s fair.
How do you manage properties?
We believe that landlords get the best return by following these five principles:
- Charge the right rent → The most rent, lowest vacancy rate
- Market aggressively → A wide range of good applicants
- Evaluate tenants rigourosly → Most problems can be avoided by selecting great tenants
- Spend money wisely → Perform necessary and regular maintenance, eliminate unnecessary costs
- Treat tenants well → They’ll stay longer and you’ll spend less
Everything we do is designed to reinforce these five principles. For more information, see our approach to letting.
What is your experience?
Our employees are licensed real estate agents in NSW. We’ve been renters and owners so we understand the issues on both sides. We are also investors. Our co-founders have worked for some of the most prominent investment funds in the world. We’re growing the number of properties under management each day.
How can you offer a good service at this price?
For traditional agencies, property management is a very profitable, recurring revenue stream.
- Property management fees make up ~50% of revenues for most agencies
- Typical property managers earn around $60K and manage ~150 properties.
- When real estate agents sell their companies, they are valued on the basis of their rent rolls.
Because they charge such high fees, they can afford to be inefficient and hire property managers cheaply.
Our goal is to provide unparalleled service, at a much lower fee. To do this, we started with a clean sheet of paper, and built a proprietary property management platform that automates a lot of the work that traditional agents need to do manually today.
Our technology works 24x7, doesn’t need to take a vacation and doesn’t demand a paycheque. It also doesn’t forget to follow up on what needs to be done.
We know that good property management is about more than technology. It needs people to make the right decisions. That’s why we hire smart people with common sense who focus their time on the problems that only people can solve. And those people own part of the company so they’re motivated to grow the business sustainably.
We are more efficient in everything we do and we pass those savings back to you.
What are your fees?
We charge a flat property management fee of $100 per month inc GST.
We don’t think it’s fair for landlords to pay percentage fees. For property management, the work required to manage a property is the same regardless of the weekly rent. Some property managers will tell you otherwise. Ask yourself if that makes sense.
We charge a flat leasing fee of $1000 for a new lease, including GST.
For letting, it’s the same amount of work to sign a six month lease or a twelve month lease. Unlike many agencies, our fee includes advertising (~$250), floorplans, and video walkthroughs of each property. Click here to see a sample listing
How do you make sure that I get a good tenant?
- Lease length?
- Maintenance problems?
- Etc. etc.
Finding you a good tenant is probably the most important thing we do.
It starts with letting. Unlike traditional agencies, we list every property with professional photos, video walkthroughs, indicative floor plans and clear, well-written descriptions. By including the things that would-be tenants care about, we get more applications, more rapidly.
Once we have applications, we evaluate tenants thoroughly so we can stand behind our recommendations. Any tenant we place will have been checked across the major tenancy databases. We know bad tenants often provide old, or even forged written references, so we call references. We will verify income and employment tenure. Bad tenants may fudge these points - our legally compliant, structured interview process helps us identify those who are trying to pull the wool over our eyes.
After you select a tenant from our recommended, we make sure that the tenancy agreement reflects your concerns from pets on the premises to the length of the lease.
How will you take care of my property?
How do you deal with…
In taking care of your property, we have developed a network of trusted tradespeople. Every member of our network is highly reviewed and complies with all licensing regulations. We don’t receive kickbacks (or “christmas hampers”) from our tradespeople. We just hire the right people.
Inspections are useful for landlords but a hassle for tenants. We perform at least 2 per year (we will do more, but only when there is a need to). When inspecting, we don’t just walk through and take some photos. Instead, we actively compare the condition with the last report, using our proprietary inspection process.
Taking care of your property is more than just inspections and maintenance. From bills, to preventative maintenance, to tax reporting, there’s a ton of additional important work we do for you. All we need is your name, email and investment property address to get started. Or feel free to drop us an email at email@example.com
How do you deal with arrears or other tenant problems?
Good tenant selection stops most big problems before they occur, but all tenants will have concerns and questions.
We take care of problems before they become problems. Our systems automatically track arrears and tenants are contacted by phone, email and SMS. We follow up relentlessly to ensure you get paid. We work with you to create a proactive maintenance plan and deal with urgent maintenance requests immediately.
In the very rare cases where we cannot resolve the problem directly, we will attend tribunal proceedings. Meticulous recordkeeping is the key to a good outcome at tribunals. We’ve designed our service so that every transaction flows through our proprietary system. At tribunals, we always have a complete paper trail, so we can prove our compliance on your behalf.
Can Different manage my property?
At the moment, we manage residential properties in Sydney. All we need is your name, email and investment property address to get started.
If you’re not based in Sydney, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org! We’ll be expanding nationally and we want your feedback on where we should go next.
Why should I choose you instead of a discount property manager?
There’s many different ways of finding a property manager. Regardless of how you find them, we think you should always ask yourself three questions. Let’s look at how freelancers stack up, based on those three questions:
- Will they work hard? Instead of drawing a salary, discount PM’s only income is your fees. If a freelancer isn’t getting enough contracts, they need to find a part time (or full time) job, and manage your property when they have time.
- Can I rely on them? There’s no brand name behind the freelancer. If they can’t afford to carry or maintain the right insurance or licenses, and there’s a serious problem, then it becomes your problem
- What if they leave? Property managers usually stay in a job for 12-18 months. Many leave the industry altogether. If they leave, you need to find, interview and train up a new manager, and the cycle repeats
At the end of the day, discount freelance property managers aren’t changing anything about how the service is performed. They are simply changing who provides the service.
We are Different. By automating much of what traditional managers do, and using professional managers (who have an ownership stake in our company) for the rest, we are able to provide a better service at a lower price. And we stand behind our service.
Okay, I’m convinced. How do I transfer to Different?
All we need is your name, email and investment property address to get started.
We’ll follow up with you on any additional questions so that we can generate our managing agency agreement and confirm your ownership of the property.
We handle the entire transfer process. Once you sign our agreement, we do the rest. We notify your tenant, the previous property manager and any other relevant parties. We’ll also work with your previous agent to smoothly transition your file and hand over the keys.
If your previous agency agreement requires a notice period, we’ll give that notice on your behalf. This is typically only a 30 day period. We start managing your property once that notice period has ended.
We charge you nothing until we officially start managing your property.
I still have questions. What about …?
Choosing the right property manager is an important decision. We think that we’re a great choice and want to give you all the information you need to feel that way too. We are happy to talk with you in more detail. Feel free to contact us with any questions at email@example.com.