Property manager mistakes could be costing your business at an unprecedented time of growth in the rental industry. With home inventory shortages, many individuals and families are embracing the rental market, and it will take your best skills to capitalize.
In the following article, we point out the eight mistakes that can derail your opportunities and share an action plan for how to make the most of these times. Let’s begin!
1. Neglecting Communication With Your Tenants
Your tenants don’t have to know every little detail of the business, but they do need to know the issues that will affect them directly. A little communication in this regard goes a long way.
Do not treat them as serfs that you’ll get around to on a “need to know” basis. Establish frequent and regular communications. With social media, websites, emails, and all the various communication channels out there, there’s no reason to let important communications go unaddressed.
2. Treating Operations Data Like an Afterthought
There are many types of properties, but all experience the same aches and pains that happen over time. Appliances go out, buildings need to be maintained, landscaping has to be tended to each season.
If you’re not keeping copious amounts of data on your properties and the various assets associated with them, then you’re going to create problems for tenants and yourself. Become a data collector for every facet of the business, and don’t let issues go unchecked.
3. Administering Poor Customer Service to Your Tenants
Bad customer service from property managers can come in the form of delays in getting key amenities fixed, rude or apathetic responses to tenants, and an overall lack of communication, which we’ve already covered. Remember that you’re just one part of the transaction and without the tenant, you couldn’t be in business. Treat that relationship with the respect it deserves.
4. Being Hands-off When It Comes to Social Media
Every business, property management, and otherwise, know they need to be on social media. However, that doesn’t mean they know how to maximize their efficiency. Social media can help in everything from the tenant screening process to free marketing.
Setting and forgetting about your social accounts is a missed opportunity. Partner with someone to manage the daily operations of it, but take an active role in the types of content and messages that you post.
5. Micromanaging Operations
Being involved in every facet of the business can be counterproductive. Yes, awareness is essential, but you don’t need to be doing all the work yourself.
Micromanagement makes it hard to scale. If you want to know how to manage the property successfully, you have to learn to let go. That means building a network of professionals that you can trust to handle the things you can’t get to on your own.
Otherwise, you’ll end up being able to manage only one property. And that one property will never make enough in cash to make up for the time that you’re putting into it.
6. Hiring Untrustworthy Contractors
As a property manager, you will have to hire contractors from time to time to keep up with an assortment of details, from landscaping to plumbing to building repairs. There are many providers to choose from, but not all are created equally.
Incorporating property management software into your workflow can help you track your history with contractors. It can also put you in contact with reputable providers able to handle jobs in a timely fashion if there are scheduling conflicts or manpower shortages.
7. Ruling With a Scarcity Mindset
Some property managers will do anything they can to keep from spending money in the short term, even if it means avoiding greater expenses in the long term. Not spending money to automate operations where possible, cutting corners on repairs, and trying to do everything oneself, are all part of the scarcity mindset.
If you have property management services that you plan to scale at any point, this is a recipe for disaster. You have to manage each property with the mindset of putting it in the best position for growth and longevity.
8. Failing to Properly Vet Your Tenants
The proper vetting of tenants is so important to the success of any property management company. This ensures cash flow, reduces the likelihood of long-term vacancies or customer service issues, and reduces your marketing needs.
While tenants have rights that can sometimes run contrary to property owners, your ability to avoid any messy entanglements runs parallel to how well you screen them. For more help and suggestions on the screening process, consider these tips. You’ll find that between social media, credit checks, and criminal background investigations, you do have a lot of tools at your disposal.
Your Next Steps
Now that you know the mistakes to avoid, it’s time to figure out what the next right thing to do is if you’re making one or more of them. Three guiding actions can certainly put you and your property management company on the right path:
Organizing is important to several areas. Tenant relations, vetting systems, software management/automation, social media, and operations. The larger you scale, the more your process becomes important.
First, get a handle on existing practices. What’s working, and what isn’t? From there, go through every area of your property management business with a fine-tooth comb to establish practices that allow you to work more on the business instead of in it.
Establish Effective Communication Channels
Establishing effective communication channels through email and social media will help you keep tenants in the loop. They’ll give you grace when you need it on the operations front, and they’ll be easier to manage as customers.
Talk isn’t cheap, but talk without action certainly can be. You eventually have to put the things you’ve observed about your business into practice. This benefits you in two ways.
First of all, it helps you adopt best practices right away and eliminate the actions that are holding you back. Secondly, it serves as a classroom of sorts, where you can learn what works, what doesn’t and make adjustments accordingly.
Property Manager Mistakes Like These Hold You Back
We hope that you were able to read over each of these property manager mistakes and either feel self-assured that you’re on the right path or pinpoint where you’re falling short so you can chart a new course. Remember that organization, communication, and action, are the three main actions to set your business on the right course.
For more real estate and business tips, check out some of our additional posts!