6 top pet peeves of mine regarding property management

  1. Repair misunderstandings.   

My top one, that is where I will start, is that owners expect us to manage their home, get the best bid when it comes to repairs; meaning quality work and price, yet they do not educate themselves on how much things cost.  Repair misunderstanding is top in my book.   

     A lot can be lost on this one.  Example, a fence needed to be replaced.  About 65 linear feet.  Well, let me tell you wood is not cheap-has not been for a long time.  This project came in at 2500 plus tax.  Owner could not figure out why it was so much.  I will go out and get three bids and they are always within 500 dollars.  I always accept the higher bid because the guy I have do the work does if fast, quick to respond and I NEVER have a problem with his work.   

     Also, we have owners in different states and he or she basis their information on where they live.  Of course, you cannot do this, but mistakes happen and that is where communication comes in handy.  It is very important to keep your owners informed.  This will eliminate 99 percent of any issues, hard feelings and will preserve your ability to manage.  I always remember it is the owner that makes the final decision.  I am there to guide them and point out issues that may arise.  O 

 

  1.  Rental price disagreements. 

These happen on occasion, but I am happy to report I have been wrong only once in 10 years.  I took management of a home and I recommended a price and the owner said no, lets do 100 more.  I did as she asked, and we got it.  Now I have a great home in a great area and recommended a price that was 300 less than what the owner wanted.  Still on the market and only 1 request for information in 3 weeks.  Granted the price is high, but people that can afford this have money for a reason.  My biggest complaint is when an owner wants more money for a 1 bath house.  They fail to realize that people compromise on price when there is only 1 bathroom.  Meaning, if the price is too high the one bathroom is not worth it.  But if the price is ok, then the one bathroom will be ok. 

 

  1.  Owners not understanding total costs 

This is usually reserved for the novice owner, not the one that has been in the business for a long time.  Also, owners that know they have old properties and repairs will be for sure most of the time.  The new owner only sees money in and money out.  This is good of course, but it is the wise owner who sees a large yard as a problem.(up keep cost)  Also, the good deal you got on buying is not the great house you thought because everything needs replacing.  Or the owner who buys the nicest house in a crappy area.  Remember, real estate is location,  location, and location. 

 

  1. Tenant misunderstandings. 

  Of course they are a bunch.  Usually communications with each  

Other will avoid most of your issues.  But I think the biggest one here is to know when to say goodbye to your tenants.  TIME FRAME is very important 

.  I know it is human nature to let it ride.  Meaning, keep your tenant because you will have issues re-renting, lost income etc..  Not to mention the cost of fixing the unit for the next tenant.  It is my humble opinion is to keep a tenant no longer than 3 years.  What happens is they start to believe they own the place, they also start collecting, “stuff’, and their rents fall behind what the market can provide.  Speaking from 24 years of renting out my stuff and others, this is the biggest issue.  What happens is you raise the rent, but don’t want to raise it too much, but enough so they do not move out.  It is hard to ask your tenant to move, especially when they pay on time and are good people, but just some advice here.   

 

  1.  Not writing things down. 

My favorite one is, “I called  you about  my work order.”  Well there are a lot of things happening on a daily basis and sometimes things do fall in the cracks.  And of course there is nothing wrong about following things up.  Just because it is “submitted” does not mean it is done.  And of course communication is a lot different then it was 15 minutes ago.  Some people only text, some email, and rarely fax.  Even email is getting archaic.  I was amazed to find  out that Apple’s music store is even headed for the door.    Our habits change and there are always will be new way of doing things.  Keeping up is the key.   

 

  1.  Maintenance that never finishes. 

Have you ever had that contractor that it this, not this.  Or because of this, we had to do that.  Sometimes it is avoidable.  Sometimes it is not.  I try and use contractors that will get in, do  a good job and get out.  Usually one contractor does this repair, but not the other.  I try and get the right one for the right job.  Knowing their strengths is very important.  And of course, summer is always a mess.  Contractors are very busy, however, come winter, I can guarantee I will get at least 3 knocking on my door looking for indoor work.  Then there is the one that overbooks himself that our project always gets pushed.  I try and stay away from them.  It is always in your best interest to get the one that is going to do the best and finish on time every time!  That usually never happens but we can always hope they will do their best so that we can please both  renter and the owners.   

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