Who Are The Top 7 Property Managers In New Zealand?

Last Updated: 06/03/21

Introduction

Who Are The Top 7 Property Managers In New Zealand?

How do you know if the property manager you’re considering is a good one?

Go on any property manager’s website, and they’ll all say the same thing – “We look after our owner properties like they are our own.” So with everyone saying the same thing, how do you tell the difference?

This article covers who the top 7 property managers are in New Zealand, along with the unique points about them.

 
Aren't You Biased?

Doesn’t Opes Partners have a property management firm? How is this list created?

We sure do.

Venture Management – a property management company operating in Auckland, Waikato and Christchurch – is our sister-firm.

But, if we put them in this list, you’d probably think we’re biased. So, even though we believe Venture is pretty good, we’ve decided not to include them within our top 7.

Because we at Opes Partners deal with property investors throughout NZ, we also meet many property managers. Some are excellent. Some are not.

The 7 companies in this list are people we know, like and trust, and can hand on heart say we’d use again.

Let’s get into the list:

Auckland Property Management

1) Auckland Property Management | Auckland

Auckland Property Management (APM) is a specialist firm that – as the name suggests – only focusses on the Auckland property market.

They have a large team – 36 in total – and are the past winners of multiple industry awards. This includes the Large Company of the Year award from the 2019 Leading Property Managers Association of NZ.

One unique point about APM is its rental guarantee.

If your tenant doesn’t make their rent in any given week, then the company will pay it for them.

They’ll also start paying your rent if they can’t find a tenant within 28 days when your property is vacant.

These guarantees only apply to their silver and gold plans, which also bundle other services, like insurance.

Auckland Property Management Pricing and Fees

They are also one of the only property management firms that cover residential, body corporates, commercial and holiday homes. Generally, most other property management firms on this list will focus on residential.

So if you require management services outside of standard residential property management – and you’re based in Auckland – APM may be a perfect fit for you.

 

APM General Manager, Celia Burbery, was one of the first guests on the Property Academy Podcast. You can hear her talking about what property managers really do by listening above.

Auckland Property Management
Property Scouts | NZ-wide

2) Property Scouts | NZ-wide

Next are Property Scouts, who are a national franchise network.

The business has taken off since 2015 when the first franchise offices started. Now there are 16 offices around the country.

Each location runs as a separate business. So there can be some variation between the quality and management of offices.

The Property Scouts franchises we have worked with and can stand behind here at Opes Partners are Auckland Metro and Tauranga/Western Bay of Plenty.

The Auckland Metro franchise is managed by Tim Meyer and Ryan Weir. Ryan is a property investor himself, having bought his first investment property at 19. He is also the Managing Director of the New Zealand-wide company, which means he’s invested in providing quality service and can make quick decisions.

In Tauranga, Sheree Merrick runs the Bay of Plenty office with her partner Ben.

She has been a property manager for 13 years and has a Bachelor of Social Science majoring in human development and social policy. This qualification gives her a unique perspective if and when tenants go through a rough time.

Property Scouts also have a rental guarantee, though it is a bit more limited than others mentioned on this list.

It covers you if your tenant doesn’t pay the rent, though not if the company can’t find a tenant for you.

At the time of writing, the Auckland Metro office’s fees are 8.5% + GST with the rental guarantee and 7.5% + GST without it.

You’re probably wondering whether paying for the guarantee is worth it.

As of October 2020, the median rent in Auckland was $550 per week. Allowing for periods of vacancy, buying the guarantee costs about $404.25 per year.

This acts as an insurance policy. If you’re concerned that your tenant may not pay their rent on time, it offers comfort and certainty in cash flow.

Property Scouts also charge additional fees for inspections and finding a new tenant.

It’s important to note that each franchise controls its own pricing. If you use another Property Scouts office, the pricing may differ from the above.

Property Scouts Property Management NZ
Comprendé | Wellington

3) Comprendé | Wellington

Comprendé is a small property management firm in Wellington, who specifically focus on apartments.

“I met these guys when we were coming up to the completion of the Dixon apartments,” says Opes Partners Managing Director, Andrew Nicol.

“They were taking on a huge number of them. So my concern was that maybe they wouldn’t have the capacity to find tenants to let all of these properties.

“They went above and beyond. The team there are pretty sharp with inner-city apartment letting. So if you’ve got an apartment in Wellington, Comprendé are the guys to use.”

Their fee is 8% + GST. Additional charges apply, including $35 for a routine inspection, $87 for reviewing smoke detectors, and a flat new tenancy fee of $600.

Comprendé is likely to be the right fit for you if you have an apartment in the Wellington region.

Comprende Property Management NZ
Housemart | Queenstown

4) Housemart | Queenstown

Housemart is the only Queenstown-based property management firm on this list.

The company is owned and operated by Hayley Stevenson, who has been in property management since she was just 18 years old.

The company won the REINZ property management company of the year award every year award between 2012-2016 and has won many other accolades since. This makes Housemart one of the most awarded property management firms in the country.

They have a team of 9 solely dedicated to the Queenstown area – a sizeable firm for the small population living within the region.

Housemart’s fees are at the premium end of the market. Their base fee is 10% + GST, with inspections costing $50 + GST and a flat letting fee of $550 + GST.

The company also has a 90-day money-back guarantee. If you aren’t happy with their service after 3 months, they’ll refund the management fees.

Looking after tenants is also a priority. So, tenants receive flowers when they move in, which starts the relationship off right.

If you have a rental property in Queenstown, especially if it earns a decent amount of rent, then Housemart may be the right fit for you.

Full disclosure – Hayley is one of our long-term property investors here at Opes Partners.

Housemart Property Management NZ
Oaks Property Management | Auckland

5) Oaks Property Management | Auckland

Oaks is owned by Vijay Singh, who is a property developer operating in the Auckland market.

The company comprises a close-knit team of 9, and their claim to fame is that they have a 98% win-rate at the Tenancy Tribunal.

This suggests that you are highly likely to win if worst came to worst and you find yourself at the Tenancy Tribunal.

That’s not because they’re particularly good at debating in front of an adjudicator, but because their processes are so tight.

The company is particularly good at keeping its properties tenanted. In a usual cash flow model here at Opes Partners, we’d allow for a vacancy rate of 5.8% per year. Right now, Oaks’ rate across their portfolio is less than 2.5%

Oaks Property Management NZ
Glasshouse Property Management | Hamilton

6) Glasshouse Property Management | Hamilton

If you’re based in Hamilton or wider-Waikato, then you might like to consider Glasshouse.

The company has roughly 1,000 properties under management, serviced by a team of 12.

They have offices in Hamilton and Cambridge but service the wider-Waikato area.

Jeremy Baker – the owner of Glasshouse – entered property management when he discovered that his grandmother’s rentals were not being looked after properly.

He stepped in to help her, improving the properties' condition, finding respectful tenants and increasing the rent to market rates.

This improved the cash flow of the portfolio while reducing vacancy and tenant turn over.

Glasshouse Property Management NZ
Quinovic – NZ-wide

7) Quinovic – NZ-wide

Last on our list is one of New Zealand’s longest-standing property management companies – Quinovic.

The company started in 1988 and has grown to 35 offices. They have a firm foothold in the North Island, with 13 offices in Auckland and 8 in Wellington.

It’s important to note that, like Property Scouts, Quinovic is a franchised business. That means that each office operates as a separate business.

This can be a double-edged sword.

While franchises provide consistent brand and systems, there is a downside. One office may be run by a diligent owner, but that doesn’t mean that every other office in the group maintains the same quality.

Having said that, most of the property management firms on this list are city or region-specific. If you own rental properties in an area that isn’t serviced by a region-specific firm, then Quinovic is definitely worth checking out.

Quinovic Property Management NZ

The right property management firm for you will depend on your property’s location and the companies that specialize in your property market.

For instance, if you have a premium property based in Queenstown-Lakes, Housemart may be a perfect fit. Or, if you have an apartment in Wellington, Comprendé may well be the right fit.

If none of these firms sticks out to you, you may also like to check out Venture Management, our sister-company at Opes Partners. They charge a flat 6.95% + GST base fee, which includes inspections.

You can also hear Linda Forsyth, Venture’s Business Manager, speaking on the Property Academy Podcast by clicking below.