When landlords hand over a set of keys to a property management company, the assumption is that stress should be lifted from their shoulders. Unfortunately, not all property managers are created equally, and at times they can create even more pressure than before. A good property manager should be diligent, knowledgeable about their field and above all else – helpful. If you feel like that’s not the case with your selected manager, it might be time to cut the cord and change property managers.
If you’re unsure if this is the right move, consider these six signs before you take the next step.
Like in any industry, communication is paramount to a successful working relationship. Your property manager is there to be the middleman between yourself and your tenant, so they should be able to communicate effectively with both parties. That means they should be accessible by phone (within reasonable working hours), have a quick turnaround on their response times, and be transparent with you about what is going on in your home. If you find that too often, your property manager is letting you go to voicemail or are ignoring your emails- it might be time to find someone else.
Ongoing Tenancy Issues
Your home is your pride and joy, so it’s important that the people living in it treat it as such. It’s not unusual for the occasional bad tenant to slip through the cracks, but if most or all of the tenants chosen by your property manager are creating havoc, there’s a big chance that your property manager isn’t doing their due diligence in the background checks. The right property manager will take their time finding quality tenants with great rental histories and solid employment. If your tenants are consistently paying their rent late, or have been causing damages- your property manager is likely responsible.
Poor Dispute Management
As mentioned, your property manager is the middleman between you and your tenant- so it’s imperative that they have good dispute resolution skills. Whether it’s an unruly tenant, or a good tenant you don’t want to lose, your property manager should know how to handle disputes sensitively and in a timely manner. If issues are taking weeks for resolution, or aren’t getting resolved at all, chances are your property manager doesn’t have the necessary skills for their position.
Every property needs regular maintenance, and your property manager is meant to help you with that. Poor or no maintenance is a nightmare for both you and your tenants. It means that not only is your house depreciating in quality and value, but you’re likely going to have unhappy tenants who will be looking to get out of that lease as soon as they can. Your property manager should be regularly assessing the property, organising maintenance in a timely manner and responding to tenants who raise issues.
It’s your property managers job to oversee maintenance, but they should also be ensuring that you’re not breaking the bank on costly repairs. Small issues that go without maintenance can quickly develop into a costly catastrophe- so it’s beyond vital that your property manager is doing their job correctly. They also should be aware of how to look for trades that are both affordable and high-quality, so you’re not getting ripped off at any point.
Low Return on Investment
Your investment property is just that, an investment. You should be seeing good returns on your investment, but this can be affected by picking the wrong property manager. A good property manager should be knowledgeable about the area and the current market. It’s no use having your tenants pay rent on time, if they’re paying wildly below what they should be. Your property manager should be setting correct rent prices, and keeping your property in mint condition so that you’re not sinking costs into something that’s not paying you back.