We are about to bring the bit hazy phenomenon of the property management service somewhat closer to the readers in this interview with the help of our partner: Premier Property Management. The company was founded in 2016 by two ladies wit 10+ years professional and market experience. Kata Zabeczki and Rita Presznyák answered all of our questions in the topic.
AOB: The property management is for some owners a bit blurry. Let’s start this conversation for the benefit of the naive beginners with a proper description. What does property management practically mean?
PPM: Technically it means that during the lease period we are the ones who are taking care about all the task and involving the apartment and the tenant and we are solving all the problems. It is important to mention that this is about a long term rental period, minimum one year lease.
AOB: What is the most common misconception about this service?
PPM: Most of the time people mix it with the condominium management, building management.
AOB: What are the most important advantageous tasks of a property manager, where can you take of the biggest burden off the owner’s shoulder?
PPM: In our opinion, it can be useful to line up our tasks:
We have the greatest benefit when a tenant is late with the payment. The owners are able to be more submissive, if the lessee is in dalay. If you have a company on your behalf, it can occur stricter against the case. When a landlord in case of a personal contat is too understanding and let the tenant bargain with the deadline, careless debts can accumulate.
They are not even aware what the law lets them do and what not: “If the tenant doesn’t pay, I’ll go in and kick him out.” And when the tenant calls the police they got surprised.
AOB: How many hours work do you save for an average landlord on monthly base?
PPM: Between 5 and 10 hours for sure but in the case of a problematic tenant this can multiply.
AOB: From which perspective can the property management ensure biggest safety for landlord compared to the case when he care about his apartment himself?
PPM: In case of a problematic tenant we know the legal shortcuts better. We are supported by a professional leghal stuff. We are more prepared since due to our mre than 10 years experience we witnessed many things.
AOB: How can be one property management company better than the others? For example what is your essence and your specialty?
PPM: As a smaller property management company we are more direct contact with the landlord. Not a receptionist answers the phone and forwards the message whether or not or in case of an urgent E-mail we won’t send an automatic answer that we’ll answer in 24 or 48 hours. We give an immediate, reliable direction the requests.
AOB: For how many years is the property management characteristic for Hungary?
PPM: Since the big Irish-English investor wave. More or less 20 years ago already. The first one managed exclusively foreign properties.
AOB: More or less how many property management companies are operating on the Hungarian market.
PPM: A lot! Three are smaller ones without any reputation. There are also giant ones who buy several smaller ones and embrace their portfolio. We assume that number of the significant ones is around 10.
AOB: Is the property managing service also common in other bigger Hungarian cities?
PPM: No, it doesn’t exist at all. There were trials but as we know they didn’t get accomplished.
AOB: How do you see, does the demand grow or decreases towards your service?
PPM: It definitely grows and mostly through the Hungarian clients. Many of them buy nowadays new apartments as investments and quite a few Hungarian move to abroad leaving their apartment behind for managing.
AOB: How is this brand changing and into which direction? What are the new trends?
PPM: As we got more and more online flat presentation via smart phone application so use we this apps for remote contact with the lessors. Our possibilities to keep in touch are far not as narrow as they were few years ago.
Another trend is – more connected to the renting service itself – that the tenants have higher expectations towards the apartment, involving the more professional photos. Also the apartment owners are more and more aware of its importance.
AOB: What are the closest other services that you can link to the flat managing service.
PPM: Furnishing, renovation, the real estate agent service, accounting and legal support.
AOB: How do you the foreign examples. Are the ahead of Hungary?
PPM: Rather at the tenant preselection. The tenants can be more monitored abroad from the perspective of bank account, previous reviews, workplace. In Hungary this is still in its infancy.
AOB: If there could be one thing that you could change on the Hungarian rental market what would it be?
PPM: We would eliminate the untidy apartment. Tidy apartments attracts tidy tenants. This in the 99% of the cases so.
AOB: What is the most shocking situation that you ever have faced during your operation years?
PPM: One of several was when we took over an apartment from another flat managing company along with a problematic tenant and an insufficient lease contract on 2 pages. She didn’t pay and with this background we had a hard time to do anything. On behalf of the apartment owner we let shut down the electricity in the flat. But her son turned out the be living right above the apartment and with cables he gave to the mother power through the windows. This extended her stay in the apartment definitely. At the end we could get rid of her with the help of an executer but it took long.
AOB: What do you thinking errors of tenants?
PPM: The tenants repeatedly think that our service is form them. It is also common when they think if something goes wrong in the apartment even of their failure it is by all means the owner’s duty to fix or replace.
AOB: What are the most common thinking errors of the lessors?
PPM: If a lessor gives us the apartment to manage but still wants to do everything on his own. Sometimes they skip us when they agree on a lower rental fee for the second year, not asking for our advice and so they are acting against themselves. They don’t consider this as a comfort service, they want to keep everything under own control This is more common for the Hungarian owners yet.
AOB: What is the change that you would like to face in five years on the rental market?
PPM: If we could also scan the possible tenants more. If the awareness of the flat managing service would spread and so the flat manger would get free hand. And we would like to get rid of incompetent “few flat” managers who can manage an apartment only till the first problem and when something happens they don’t know what to do and leave bad experiences behind.
We would be also happy about some legal chances. For example if in the case of a notary contract you could remove the tenant of the apartment sooner.