A while back, I wrote about how I helped an overseas owner to sell her HDB flat in Singapore.
Today, as I was collecting the mails from the letterbox of another different overseas owner, I thought of writing this blog post.
I would like to share with you about how I am also helping some of my clients who are based overseas to manage their properties in Singapore.
Difference between a Property Agent and a Property Manager
As a start, it is important to know that a Property Agent is different from a Property Manager. These are two different roles and might NOT be performed by the same person. In fact, most local owners are the property managers themselves.
The real estate salesperson (RES) deals with listings and selling of properties on behalf of property owners and he/she is totally focused on the securing the best deal for the owners while also ensuring on the smooth execution of the deal and meeting all legal and financial requirements.
It is also true that many people engaged property agents (RES) to help them in the rental of their existing property. You can see these in the listing such as property guru portal. Have you checked my listings recently ?
In fact, for me, Property Rental is a very important of my property business. When a client purchases a property through me, or when a client has the desire to rent out his/her property, I am there often to help in the marketing, the listings, the endless viewings and then the negotiations with potential tenants and finally the subsequent successful rental of the property.
Due to the changes in the business and legal environment, the rental process is full of laws and regulations that a potential landlord is not aware of.
Once a rental is completed, the landlord MIGHT expect the agent to carry on with the work of “managing” the tenancy and the property for him/her. Unfortunately that is not really the case.
What most owners do not know is that a property agent’s role ends after the landlord and tenant signed the tenancy agreement and the property is then handed over to the tenant.
As per CEA (Council of Estate Agencies),
When does the property agent’s role end in a rental transaction?
Typically, a property agent’s role ends after the landlord and tenant sign the tenancy agreement and the property is handed over to the tenant. Property agents do not handle property management issues (e.g. facilitate repairs to faulty appliances or furniture during the course of the tenancy, collection of rental payments) as part of their estate agency work.https://www.cea.gov.sg/consumers/educational-materials/rental-transactions
Hence, the property agency work is different from the property management work.
On the other hand, property management deals with all management aspects of the property on behalf of the property owner including maintenance, repairs, tenant issues and more. Including collecting letters 🙂
It is important to note the difference to avoid misunderstandings.
So what do I do for Property Management for my clients
As some of my clients are overseas, I agreed to do some property management work for them since they cannot be here physically and they wanted the peace of mind of knowing that their property is being managed.
The work is basically around a couple of areas.
Area 1 : Tenancy management
This include managing the tenants and their needs. This also includes ensuring the right mix of tenants and the changing of tenants as necessary.
Recently due to covid and other economic (and political changes), many overseas tenants have to trigger their diplomatic clause and I have to look for new tenants. But there are also some clients that asked for help to find replacements for their tenancy as they are leaving the tenancy without a clause.
I do these work to help my owners to ensure that they continue to receive a constant income from their properties.
A diplomatic clause is a clause that allows the tenant to terminate the lease before the lease term expires without having to suffer any penalty. In cases where there is no diplomatic clause, the tenant may be required to continue to pay the agreed monthly rent even if he is no longer living there.https://learn.asialawnetwork.com/2018/07/15/tenancy-agreements-common-terms-mean/
Also some tenants have many requests and the owners might not be in Singapore to manage or fulfill those requests. As I work with the owners long enough, I know the feasibility of some of the requests and acceptance to the owners. In the absence of this role, the owners will have to manage the tenants themselves. It is not exactly fun work 🙂
Of course, at the end of the tenancy, I continue to help the owners to find new tenants or to renew the tenancy. But that’s a RES role.
Area 2 : Property management
This is the maintenance and repairs of the properties. You know the physical work of having to deal with the failure of the parts of a property.
You are probably familiar with some of the air con maintenance work (coordinating with tenants and air con man is no fun), property repairs (leaking pipes ? Electrical lights ? toilet bowl issues ? Loss of internet connectivity ?).
Over the years, I have seen my fair share of repairs and interesting new renovations needed to these properties.
All to ensure the “rent-ability” (is there such a word) of the properties. For my owners.
Area 3 : Miscellaneous management
Simple things like arranging and “chasing” of monies between overseas owners and tenants (no, your RES is not responsible for chasing after YOUR tenants for rent. Ha. Ha.)
There are some unique work like the collecting postal letters and then batching it up to be sent to their overseas addresses.
Or the sudden desire of the owners to change power suppliers as they heard from their local friends that it is cheaper etc.
There are more work but as you can tell, these are not the typical property agents work.
However, a good service to my owners is always something I placed on the highest priority.
And yes, the overseas owners do have to pay a property management fee to me. But for the peace of mind of a properly managed property when they are overseas and just to be able to see a constant flow of income, I think it is worth the money.
They think so. Do you ? 🙂