When looking for a property manager, you may be interested in knowing the status of their interest in the realm of property investment. Ultimately, when you entrust your unit to a property manager, you are hoping that they will have your best interest at heart--that they will know what is best for you and your property. For this reason, you may be tempted to ask them if they have properties of their own. That is, are they an investor as well?

There are a few ways to think about property managers as investors. To begin, you might have some doubt about their focus on your property. You may wonder to yourself, “will they be fully focused on helping me and managing my property if they have properties of their own to think about?” This is a completely valid doubt to have, as you have money in the game! Of course you want to ensure that you are the focus of the company you have hired. It makes perfect sense that you would worry about a potential conflict of interest. However, there is another way entirely to look at the issue.

That is, their status as an investor may be a boon to you after all. To be an investor is to know an investor. It’s possible that, given their experience with property investments, they are better equipped to maintain your property in ways that benefit you most. This is because they know what would matter most to the property owner--all because they’ve been on that end before. Given their knowledge, they may be able to help and guide you, especially if you are new to property investment.

In spite of all this, however, it’s also very possible that a property manager’s experience, or lack-there-of, in terms of owning and renting out their own properties, could have no effect at all on their treatment of your investments. As all things in life go, this is a very individualized issue. The most important thing is to keep in mind, as you search for a property manager, is whether or not you trust them as a person. More so than as an investor, a person is who you want working on your side--a well informed, well-intentioned person. So, yes, do your research, but also trust your gut! If your property manager has your best interest in mind, their personal investment experience will matter little-to-none.

TJ Hock