Working within the property management business isn’t easy. No matter what kind of property you manage, or what kind of people live or work on that property, there will always be pitfalls that you have to avoid. If you aren’t careful, you may fall into some habits that prevent you from doing the best job possible. Learn more about these common property management problems so that you can make sure to avoid them going forward.
Don’t Fall Victim to Common Property Management Problems
There are a number of common property management problems that can trip up even the most experience property manager. “They can involve tenants, owners, neighbors, service people, housing authorities or a combination of these.” One of the most frequent is miscommunication, or misunderstandings between yourself and renters, or even between yourself and another person on your team. These instances can lead to frustration, bitterness, and worse, and can absolutely make your life more difficult if they aren’t addressed in a timely and thorough manner.
For example, a renter may misunderstand certain property rules, such as their not being allowed to have a pet in their unit. This may be due to the fact that they didn’t ask and simply assumed that they could, or it could be because your policy was either unclear or not specific at all in the contract and on the listing. Really, it’s likely that that the problem is the fault of both parties, and future incidents like this one can be cleared up via the use of better communication in whichever form you find most effective (so long as you use it regularly).
A similar issue is “flawed lease agreements.” That is, you need to make sure everything within official and binding documents, such as the lease, are “legally sound.” It may be tempting to work in some bits that are more on the questionable side, but this will come back to haunt you later on. More than that, you don’t want to be remembered as a dishonest property manager who tried to swindle your tenants. In an effort toward honesty, have an attorney work with you on the lease crafting so that you can avoid any such issues.
How do you think of your renters or tenants? Are you friendly with most people, or do you have very little contact? The key is actually to find a happy medium, a middle ground where you are both helpful and professional, available but not invasive. It’s important to remember that you can be friendly without being their friends. In fact, getting too close to the people who rent from you could be bad for you down the road, particularly if they have regular trouble making payments. It can be easy to let some things slide, but they may pile up, particularly if more than one tenant is “getting away with” certain frowned-up behaviors. Practice being both pleasant and stern in order to get the best results for your business and for your tenant relationships.
One of your largest responsibilities is to make sure that those who live or work in your building are safe at all times. If you don’t have regular maintenance done, or if you allow certain rules to be broken (as in the above example), those on your property may not be as safe as they could be. “Set up a property maintenance schedule and work order process, and you’ll avoid serious maintenance mishaps that can lead to court.” Part of this means having an established system for submitting work orders and having them carried out in a timely manner. If renters don’t know how to alert you to problems within their units, or if your maintenance staff doesn’t hear about an issue, then it will not be fixed and will almost definitely worsen.
Finally, “don’t discount the value of the services you provide.” Your work is valuable and you put a lot of effort into what you do for the people who rent from you. Just as you don’t want to let them “slide” in their rent payments and other things, you don’t want to undervalue your work. That means you should be comfortable charging a little extra if the work is a little extra. If you do a good job and manage your tenants well, they won’t mind paying, since they know the quality of what you do. Don’t sell yourself short!
To avoid common property management problems with a little extra help, try “employing” Budgetrac Property Management Software. This system is able to reduce your costs and the complexity of your tasks because it is both highly-versatile and easy to use. Learn more about Budgetrac to see if it is right for your property management work!