Introduction

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?

Because we have property managers here at Opes – through our sister company Venture Management – we’ve got a pretty good idea of which companies are excellent, and which are more middle of the road.

Property Management Cost

In this article we review the top 7 property managers in New Zealand, along with some unique points about them.

Full Disclosure: we have chosen not to include our company, Venture Management, in this list – even though we think they’re pretty good.

Why? Because then you’d think we were totally biased.

 
Auckland Property Management

Auckland Property Management

Auckland Property Management (APM) is one of the largest, if not the largest, independent management firm in the Auckland property market.

The company was started in 1991, and has won many industry awards including the Large Company of the Year award from the Leading Property Managers’ Association of NZ (2019).

They have about 67 staff in the team, and so have the heft and systems behind them that power a reasonably-sized business.

Auckland Property Management

Where Auckland Property Management really stands out is in its rental guarantees. This is where the organisation will guarantee your rent will be paid on time, or they’ll pay you themselves.

In total APM offers “5 Financial Guarantees” on their silver and gold (i.e. more expensive) plans.

So if you’re the sort of investor who is worried about what will happen to your mortgage repayments if you don’t have a tenant or they miss a payment, these might put your mind at ease.

These 5 financial guarantees are:

1. If your tenant won’t pay the rent – APM will cover this for them and recoup the cost later

2. If you’re still without a tenant after 28 days of APM advertising the property – they’ll pay the rent

3. If you aren’t happy with their service, you can opt not to pay them

4. There is a three-month trial period, where you can sign up to use them and cancel at no risk

5. If you switch to APM, they won’t charge you a fee for switching over your files to them

To be fair – on that last point – that’s the same for the bulk of property managers. But nonetheless, these guarantees are a clear point of difference.

The large team covers residential, body corporate, commercial and holiday homes. They are one of the only property management firms to cover all these different aspects on this list.

Auckland Property Management Services

Generally speaking, most other property management firms on this list will focus solely on residential.

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

Fees range from 7 - 8% + GST. However, you can choose between two plans: “Flexi Plan” or “All-in-One”.

A Flexi Plan might suit a property that is newer, and requires less maintenance, whereas an All-In plan offers an all-inclusive fee.

Auckland Property Management
Oaks

Oaks

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.

The company is particularly good at keeping its properties tenanted. In an usual cashflow 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%

The company claims this is down to “tried and tested marketing strategies, across multiple channels”. In practice, what does that mean? Using TradeMe and Facebook well.

In this instance, the fact this property management company is owned by a developer may be a selling point, especially if you are dealing in New Builds.

Oaks will also offer cosmetic improvements to help optimise rental returns.

Oaks Property Management

Fees are understood to start at 6.5% + GST. Oaks offers the cheapest inspection fee for the industry, which is $20 per inspection. An extra charge may apply to tenant sourcing.

Oaks Property Management Logo Inverse
Wendell

Wendell

Wendell is co-owned by Natalie and Susan Wendell, who started the company in 2009.

Wendell is Auckland-based and markets itself as 100% focused on residential property management. So, its entire focus, and heart and soul, is making sure your investment property is tenanted and well looked after.

You can check out its “Just Rented” section, which at the time of writing boasted about renting everything from a 2-bed apartment in Grey Lynn to a 5-bed in Hobsonville.

Wendell Property Management

Since 2012, Wendells has consistently been a finalist or winner for numerous awards, including Property Management Company of the Year in 2016.

Wendell has a strong community and environmental focus.

In 2021, it achieved its goal of becoming carbon positive, the first property management company to do so in New Zealand.

Wendell achieved this through an electric vehicle trade, a switch to renewable power company Meridian, and removing harmful practices from office environments.

Fees of 7.9% + GST are inclusive of inspections, but it is likely you will be charged a tenant sourcing fee.

Property Scouts

Property Scouts

Property Scouts are a national franchise network and have 16 offices around the country.

Since the first franchise offices opened in 2015, the business has taken off.

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

Property Scouts are all over nz

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.

Property Scouts also have a rental guarantee, although it is a bit more limited than other organisations we have mentioned.

For example, it covers you if your tenant doesn’t pay the rent, although not if the company can’t find a tenant for you.

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 offer to help out first-time investors or investors looking to add more properties to an investment portfolio. They do this by helping to identify potential investment properties and complete rental appraisals where necessary.

The difference in fee prices of 7.5% - 8.5% are subject to the rental guarantee. It is also likely you will be charged for inspections and tenant sourcing fees.

Property Scouts Logo Inverse
Iron Bridge

Iron Bridge

Iron Bridge Property Group is a family-owned property management and real estate company operating in the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch areas since 2003.

Property managers at Iron Bridge work as a team with smaller portfolios, which allows for more attention to be paid to the properties in their care.

One of the benefits with this company is the number of services included in its management fee.

Quarterly inspection fees (with written reports) are free, and the arrangement and supervision of repairs are also free of charge.

Iron Bridge is in the middle

Iron Bridge is a sister business to Kris Pederson Mortgages and Insurance and is marketed as a part of the “property investment team” for investors working with Kris Pederson.

Kris Pederson is also a highly-respected mortgage broker. He is a major sponsor of the Auckland Property Investors’ Association and an investor himself.

Fees start at 8.5%. As mentioned above, all inspections and organising repairs and maintenance is included in this.

Quinovic

Quinovic

Quinovic is one of New Zealand’s longest-standing property management companies, having started in 1988.

Like Property Scouts, Quinovic is nationwide - having grown its business to 35 offices across the country. However, they have a firm foothold in the North Island with 13 offices in Auckland and 8 in Wellington.

Quinovic Property Managers

While franchises provide consistent brands and systems, there is a downside. One office may be run by a diligent owner, but that doesn’t mean 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 is the largest privately-owned residential property management company in New Zealand, which means it has scale if the others can’t or don’t service your needs.

Also, at over 100,000 tenancies in its lifespan, its experience in the industry is unmatched.

Fees vary quite a lot at Quinovic, which is most likely due to the franchised business and spread around different areas of the country. That said, you’re most likely to see fees in the region of 5.5% - 8.5% + GST.

Quinovic Property Management Logo Inverse
Barfoot & Thompson

Barfoot & Thompson

Last up is well-known Barfoot & Thompson. Barfoot is a large business, specialising in the Auckland and Northland markets. There are 60 branches and over 250 property managers in Auckland alone.

In total, Barfoot manages 18,000 properties.

The Barfoot brothers began the company in Newmarket in 1934, and were joined by Maurice Thompson in 1940. It remains family-owned, some 95 years later, as the current directors - Peter Thompson, Stephen Barfoot and Kiri Barfoot - are the grandsons and the granddaughter of the original owners.

Barfoot sort of does everything property: Buys, sells, rents, as well as property and commercial management, and body corporate.

Barfoot & Thompson Property Managers

As we’ve mentioned before, when it comes to franchise businesses you are somewhat at the mercy of the staff that work at that particular branch. But, up to a point, you can let its significant reputation speak for itself, and if you are after property management in Auckland it would be well worth your while to put Barfoot on your list.

Barfoot & Thompson’s sheer scale and presence in New Zealand sets it aside from the rest. Its data informs several media organisations and property specialists.

And Barfoot supports numerous community and sport charities.

Fees range from 7.5% - 8.5% (if the property is furnished). This price includes any repair and maintenance. There may be an extra cost for credit checks.

Pricing Table

Auckland Property Managers Pricing

Property Management Pricing Table
Linda Forsyth

Linda Forsyth

Linda Forsyth is the Business Manager at Venture Management. She leads the Property Management team and loves managing investors' portfolios. Linda's been in property management for 13 years and has owned rentals for 20 years.