Property management can have its ups and downs because fundamentally it’s about managing humans, who we all know can be unpredictable!
Professional property managers, though, have best practice policies and procedures to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible.
Private landlords, and bad property managers, on the other hand often make mistakes that can cost them dearly in business as well as reputation.
Here are four of them.
1. Not communicating
One of my biggest bugbears is a lack of communication with landlords and tenants.
At the start of every tenancy, it’s best practice to develop an understanding about the level – and the medium – that suits the tenant.
Likewise, with landlords when they appoint a property manager.
Some landlords prefer a more hands-off approach, while others would prefer to be kept in the loop every step of the way.
Whatever the frequency, it’s vital that important information is communicated as soon as possible, such as if a tenant has broken the lease or repairs need to be organised.
Failing to communicate clearly will only end up with unhappy tenants and landlords and no property manager wants that.
2. Not hiring the best contractors
The old adage of you get what you pay for is entirely relevant for property management.
Some property managers or private landlords want to scrimp and save as much as possible, so they choose contractors such as plumbers and electricians based solely on price. This is never a sound strategy as repairs at investment properties should be completed by the best person for the job to ensure that the property is well maintained as well as safe for the tenant.
Second-class workmanship will likely just lead to greater and more expensive problems down the line.
3. Not screening tenants properly
Professional property managers have a robust tenant screening process, which ensures they can secure the very best applicants for their landlord clients.
They use this system regardless of the market conditions.
However, the same can’t be said for bad property managers, whose desire to find a tenant is greater than the time spent on checking their credentials.
Their sloppiness usually becomes even more pronounced in a soft rental market because potential tenants are thin on the ground, so they usually tick and flick applicants to supposedly keep everyone happy.
Of course, this rarely has a happy ending.
4. Not updating software
There’s no doubt that technology and software changes rapidly but that is no excuse to not have the most up-to-date software for property management.
Property managers that are blindly loyal to legacy software think they are saving money when the opposite is in fact true.
Not only are they probably inefficient, their system is so antiquated that it’s a gateway for virus and hackers to wreak havoc on confidential information and data.
Professional property managers keep abreast of the latest software available, including landlord portals, and ensure that their systems are top of the range.
At the end of the day, property management is a profession that requires skill, experience and dedication.
If your property manager does any of the above, then it might time to consider moving to one who takes their responsibility seriously.
Your investment property and portfolio are far too important to your financial future to do otherwise.