Smart investors don’t manage property, they manager their property manager. We regularly receive inquiries from frustrated rental owners that complain about their experience with property management companies.
Top complaints are the following:
- Prolonged vacancy with no solution
- Uncollected rent with no resolution
- Request for services and updates are ignored or procrastinated
- Property repairs and maintenance are not timely, workmanship is shoddy and/or not competitively priced
- Financial reporting deadlines are not met
We listen with empathy, since we have done plenty of clean-up after property has been mismanaged.
However, we also ask some pointed questions of the complaining rental owner.
We want to know the conditions under which their property managers were hired. Then there is how the rental owner chooses to be involved.
What were the specific expectations within what time frame and what resources were made available? Often we discover that the rental owner wanted to dictate the terms of the management assignment without the experience to predict the results.
Some well-intended “hands-on” rental owners actually create a hindrance to a company’s systematic approach, policies, procedures and routines that are the essence of quality management.It’s kind of like doing your children’s homework for them. You think your helping, but in the long run could cause major issues. Bottom line, when owners get involved they typically cost themselves more money and headache. Owners should always play the supporting actor role in this relationship.
Now let us ask this:
Did the owner refer all inquiries, questions or concerns to the property manager?
Will the owner follow the lead of the property manager or automatically step in?
Would they stay in contact for support?
Was the owner available to weigh in on an issue before the decision?
If not did they support the decisions of the property manager put in a tough spot due to the owner’s absence?
Did the owner invest sufficient time each month to carefully review the financial statement?
The owner will likely not understand everything or might need clarification on a line item. The best bet is to ask until everyone is on the same page. A smart investor will maintain sufficient funds for repairs, property improvements and the unexpected. Also they will discuss major real estate decisions with their property manager for possible consequences or alternatives before moving forward with a re-finance, a purchase or a sale. They also will remember that once the management contract is signed, we are now a team. The decision we make, is on we make or made together no matter what.
What kind of owner will you choose to be? One that manages the property or one that will manage your property manager?