A staggering $11 billion is owed by American renters to their landlords, and that problem could have been lessened with the help of a good property management company.
A property manager’s role involves collecting rent payments and dealing with troublemakers. However, these services only happen when the PM team is legit. To hire a firm that’ll keep your property clean and paid off, steer clear of these seven mistakes with picking property managers.
1. Having Your Property Manager Handle Other Duties
Let’s get one thing straight: Your property manager is not a jack of all trades. Their main focus is ensuring your rental income is accurate and that your property stays in one piece.
Most firms aren’t willing to offer any sort of helpfulness when it comes to renovations, accounting, or legal advice. Property management teams that provide these amenities usually get them from a third party; not the management staff.
If you’re looking for a one-stop shop, you’ll have to get more details about the firm’s capabilities before signing on the dotted line. Some property managers have expertise that goes beyond the scope of their regular duties, but you shouldn’t expect this.
What you can expect from a skilled property manager is a well-taken care of space, great tenants for your treasured abode, and a seamless flow of revenue.
2. Not Doing a Background Check
Your list of options for property managers is practically endless, but it’s easy to fall into the trap of picking the most affordable team that comes along. Don’t do it!
Before you hand over the keys to your kingdom, make sure you’ve done your homework on potential property managers. Do some old-fashioned cyberstalking by perusing the company’s website, creeping on their social media, and spying on their BBB rating. BBB scores of 97-100 are considered perfect, and the organization only gives those ratings to companies that demonstrate excellence.
Look at Google and Yelp reviews as well, but approach customer feedback with a skeptical eye. Some may be fake while others might just be one-sided accounts from disgruntled customers. Reviews that contain pictures, receipts, or other forms of proof are more likely to be credible.
3. Failing to Communicate Your Expectations
Detailed communication is essential to your property management experience. As a first step in communicating effectively with your property manager, create a list of expectations. If you don’t have this already, start by asking yourself what type of services you need from your PM:
- Do they need access to certain utilities?
- Are there any restrictions on how work can be done (like noise restrictions)?
- What kind of reports do they provide?
- How often should these reports be delivered (daily/weekly/monthly)?
- What services would help my property thrive?
Get your thoughts on paper and share this information with potential candidates. Everyone will know what’s expected of them before taking you on as a client. It’s an easy way to avoid property managers who won’t meet your needs.
4. Not Having a Main Contact
The main contact is your go-to for any property-related drama and triumphs. They’re who you talk to whenever your property needs an adjustment, whether it’s evicting older tenants or giving the grounds a makeover.
You’ll want to make sure they’re responsive, knowledgeable, and easy to get hold of. If your representative takes longer than 24 hours to reply to your messages, they’re not a good fit.
Suppose you have an emergency where a leaking pipe is causing water damage throughout several units. Nothing’s more frustrating than being neglected by the person who’s supposed to help you.
5. Ignoring the Management Style
When it comes to managing rental properties, you want someone who won’t be a burden to your tenants. It won’t help your business if your property manager is rude, uninterested, or careless. They should be well aware of your tenant’s rights and enforce rules respectfully.
Only managers with a friendly demeanor can build and retain your positive reputation. If your tenants are happy with what they receive from the supervisors, they’ll be more willing to pay rent on time or even advocate for the building.
If you’re constantly calling your PM or making harsh restrictions, you’re likely to drive them away. Remember, they’re professionals with goals and autonomy. Trust them to do their job and they’ll stick around.
You should be confident in their ability to take care of your real estate. They won’t just rush in and demolish the place. Let go of any concerns about what the team is doing so you can see the full extent of their expertise.
7. Not Reviewing Your Contract
To avoid legal battles, read your document carefully and make sure you understand it. It’s easy to miss a clause that could cost you later on.
The contract should be clear, concise, and easy to read. If you’re not sure about anything in particular, ask your PM for clarification. You can also contact a lawyer.
In either case, don’t sign the contract until all your doubts are cleared.
Skip Mistakes With Picking Property Managers
There are plenty of things that can go wrong when hiring someone. If you can avoid the seven mistakes with picking property managers that we have here, you’ll be one step closer to finding a capable supervisor for your rental property.
The process isn’t a speedy one and there’s lots of stress involved. If you want to maintain your sanity while scouring for information, browse our health section for tips to keep you calm.