Managing a multifamily housing property can be a stressful job. From keeping the Board of Directors happy, to keeping the residents wanting to resign their lease all while staying within the budget and keeping up with property maintenance…there is plenty of room for mistakes. Of course, property managers are humans and mistakes are simply inevitable in any type of business. Luckily, those don’t have to be your mistakes to make. Learning how to identify weak spots in your property management approach is the first step at ensuring less mistakes are made in the future and keeping everyone happy. By identifying the most common blunders property managers make, you will be able to bypass these issues in your own career.
- Filling a Vacancy Too Quickly
While a vacant unit does mean a short-term loss in revenue, don’t fall into the trap of filling the unit too quickly with the wrong type of resident. This typical blunder can wreak havoc later down the line in terms of unit maintenance of a nightmare tenant. It is also important to take into consideration the costs associated with preparing, listing, showing, and filling an available unit. If you turn over the keys too quickly to residents who are not committed long-term, you may end up with an expensive revolving door. It is exceedingly important to do your due diligence on all prospective tenants to make sure you are not losing revenue in the long run by filling a vacancy with the wrong people.
2. Not Taking Advantage of Technology
With all the recent advances in technology, there is truly no excuse to be not taking advantage of tech on your property not only to keep operations running smoothly, but to keep your residents safe as well. There are plenty of property management software solutions that can assist in avoiding all the mistakes listed above. Video Surveillance is another technology that is becoming increasingly advanced and affordable as more software solutions hit the market. This video surveillance solution can even integrate their system into your existing cameras if all you need is an update in software but don’t need new cameras. Your residents are relying on you to keep them safe. Don’t make the mistake of thinking crime won’t happen on your property and be left without evidence when upset residents come to you after their cars were broken into overnight.
3. Viewing Your Tenants as a Source of Income
Yes, the main goal of your property is to earn money, but that does not mean you should treat your tenants like cash cows. In fact, if you want to establish a good relationship with your residents and ensure your property is filled with quality, long-term renters who constantly want to resign their lease, you must make a conscious and consistent effort to maintain their happiness. Remember–your renters are people just like you who deserve a voice and to be treated with respect and loyalty.
4. Becoming Too Friendly With Tenants
Contrary to the last tip, you must also keep in mind that your renters are just that–renters. Not friends. You should not be joining them for dinner, or making plans with them on your off days. Mixing business with pleasure is always a colossal mistake in any sphere of business and should be avoided at all costs. Becoming too friendly with your residents can blur the lines between boundaries of how they can act on the property as a renter and how you should act as their manager. Having more than a business relationship with any renter can cause serious financial and moral problems down the line that could even possibly cost you your job. Being friendly and cordial to all residents is important, but what is more vital is to maintain a clear and established professional relationship with them.
5. Failing to Keep Your Properties Maintained
The first thing your prospective residents are going to see when they visit your property is how different the location looks from the marketing photos they have seen online. The second thing they are going to look for is the reviews of the current and past residents. In this technological world, your good word and money spent on marketing can only go so far if your renters are leaving negative reviews about your property maintenance. Avoid this by promptly responding to resident maintenance requests and keeping up with inspections and preventative maintenance. One of the biggest keys to long-term profitability in this industry is prioritizing maintenance.
Every property manager is a human and will inevitably make mistakes here and there, especially when managing multiple properties at once. Lower the likelihood of error significantly in your property management career by maintaining positive and friendly yet professional relationships with your renters and by utilizing modern technology to make management and safety on your properties remarkably simpler and more organized. The tips listed above will help prevent you from going down the wrong management path and will save you time and money in the process.
This article pulls from information posted on NetIntegrity’s blog post “Top 5 Property Manager Mistakes and How to Avoid Them” by Mitchell Vinnitsky. To read the original article in its entirety, click here.