If you own property, chances are you’ve found that managing it by yourself can be a real hassle.
Perhaps your primary residence is in a different area, or you find that maintaining and retaining tenants is a pain. Maybe you own too many rental units to manage on your own, or you don’t quite know your way around all the real estate rules and regulations.
Regardless of the reason, hiring a property manager is a fantastic way to dodge all of these issues. Even if you just want the property to run practically by itself, getting help to make it is happen is the best solution.
But sometimes, you’ll find yourself asking whether or not the property manager you hired is right for you. How can you tell?
YOUR WESTCHESTER PROPERTY MANAGER CALLS TOO MUCH, OR NOT AT ALL
Good communication with your property manager should relieve your stress. They should be the buffer between you and your tenants, and keep you informed of potential issues arising in your property.
This is the information you want to receive through regular contact so you can be up to date on your own property, especially if you’re not normally on-site.
If you aren’t given regular updates or your attempts to maintain contact go ignored, you’ve found a red flag that could mean several serious things. This type of behavior can point to poor relationships between the management and the tenants, negligence with the upkeep, a lack of adequate staffing, or even the mishandling of money. Any of the issues can cost you greatly, and failing to switch to a more qualified property manager can eventually come at a steep price.
Too much communication can also point to inadequacy, and take up too much of your time. If your property manager is constantly asking for permission or approval to move forward with even tiny things, it defeats the purposes of having them manage the property for you and could indicate inexperience or incompetence.
If you think your property manager talks too much or not at all, it’s time to find one that has the experience and transparency to actually manage your property.
EXCESSIVE RENTAL PROPERTY MAINTENANCE COSTS
A quality property management company has a network of maintenance and service vendors that they can trust and vice versa, which should result in them getting your maintenance done well at the lowest cost possible.
A company that hasn’t established themselves as trustworthy or credible with their vendors will often find themselves paying premium prices for even regular maintenance, which will put a hole right through your wallet.
Elevated maintenance costs can mean that the management company has inaccurate invoices or accounting practices, that there’s a lack of regular maintenance or inspections of the property, or that the maintenance requests of the tenants are being mishandled.
The inability to trust the pricing of your property manager’s maintenance costs is just one more sign that you should find someone new, someone with years of local experience with longtime vendors.
INCREASING CONFLICTS BETWEEN PROPERTY MANAGEMENT AND TENANTS
Dealing with high-maintenance or “problem” tenants is part of a property manager’s job. They should be trained to deescalate conflicts and come up with effective solutions that pacify the tenant’s concerns.
If you’re noticing a stream of disgruntled online reviews or complaints against you from former or current tenants, your property management company may be lacking at conflict resolution.
Angry tenants can lead to bad PR, damaged property, lawsuits or withheld rents. Failure to establish a working relationship with your tenants will leave your property manager without authority or the ability to enforce regulations.
Conflict is a given in the real estate industry. Conflict that leads negative activity that can cost you dearly means your property manager is doing a poor job, and it is time for a change.
YOUR PROPERTY MANAGER IS FINDING “BAD” TENANTS
Property managers should do whatever they can to find trustworthy, reliable and unassuming tenants. This keeps vacancies, evictions, and turnover rates of tenants to a minimum.
A solid property management company accomplishes this task through very thorough screening procedures to filter out any potentially problematic tenants.
Another sign that it’s time to switch property managers is if you notice a progressive decline in the quality of the tenants that have moved in.
You have the right to a management company that has a good track record with retaining and signing leases with high quality tenants, unreliable or unruly ones.
UNRELIABLE FOLLOW THROUGH
Your tenants should not be the only reliable thing to come from your property management company. Since you hired them with your hard earned money, their ability to follow through should be unconditional. In any working relationship, there’s an unsaid expectation that both parties involved will keep their word and do so on time.
Property management companies that are cavalier about deadlines demonstrate a disrespect for your time, and a disrespect for your investment in them. And if they are showing you that side of themselves, it’s quite possible they’re just as lacking in respect for your tenants. This attitude could lead to a lack of accountability and reliability that your money should not go towards. Without a foundation of trust, how can they run your property smoothly?
CASH FLOW INCONSISTENCY
Your properties should be marketed effectively if your property management company is any good. Companies that aren’t up to date with the current marketplace or that don’t keep their properties in top condition are likely to experience more vacancies than others.
Fluctuations in tenant count are to be expected, and the regular ones that come from factors like lower performing months and shifts in the local/national economy are expected, predicted and accounted for. But the key word here is ‘regular’, and inconsistent problems occur when your management company isn’t diligent in their marketing or maintenance.
It shouldn’t be up to you, the owner, to find solutions to low rental rates. If your cash flow is inconsistent or out of wack, consider switching companies.
LACKING OR LATE MONTHLY REPORTS
The reports you receive from your property management company about your property should be consistent at the same time on a month to month basis. The reports should be on time and well organized.
Sloppy or late reports are a huge red flag that your property manager may have serious issues with disorganization or laziness, and either way it puts your investment at risk.
Consistent, well organized reports are a benchmark to judge a property management company on as a whole, so pay attention to them as they’re received to figure out if your company is doing their job correctly.
It’s inevitable that there won’t be anyone who cares about the well-being of your property as much as you do. Which is why the best thing is finding a property manager who shows you they do care as much, because you are their client and their reputation says it all.
Enthusiasm is a hallmark of a passionate property manager, and you won’t do right b yourself if you select someone who just does enough to reach base expectations.
A good property manager is invested in your shared success, so they will do what they can to find new channels of income and seek the highest rents from the best tenants they can find. They have an urge to grow and expand your investment. A property manager who meets the bare minimum will sustain you, but it’s a waste of your time that won’t lead you anywhere.
As a whole, a good property manager will grow your investment, alleviate the stress you would’ve had doing it yourself, and essentially run your property smoothly without you having to do much work.
When you choose Sterling Property Solutions, you’re not just settling. You’re choosing the best property management service in Westchester County with a notable history of success and enthusiasm in an ever changing market. So don’t wait until it’s too late, switch to the right company today.