Property managers do so much more than just hand over keys to a new tenant. Depending on how a rental property is set up, these multitasking masters can be responsible for a long list of duties. From advertising to collecting rent, coordinating maintenance to leasing documentation, property managers ensure budgets are met, units are rented, and real estate laws are being followed. In this week’s article, we are going to explore the top 4 challenges property managers face today.
Attracting & Maintaining Quality Tenants
Tenants that pay on time, stick around for longer than a few months, and generally take care of their unit are in high demand. After all, they offer some level of income predictability in a highly unpredictable industry. Effectively attracting these tenants requires a robust marketing acumen and the ability to exercise good judgement during tenant screening. Once your dream tenant signs on, the focus must shift to keeping them happy to encourage them to stay. This could be in the form of mutually beneficial contracts, clear communication, and short turnaround times on maintenance concerns.
Managing Tenant Complaints
Even great tenants may still lodge the occasional complaint. If renters feel they aren’t being listened to or taken seriously, they begin to lose faith in their relationship with the property manager. This can result in a lack of care for the property or the desire to move out as soon as possible. Furthermore, when a tenant is upset and the property manager doesn’t listen, you can bet that others will. Family and friends become confidantes and suddenly there’s a whole group of people badmouthing your business. Effective property managers must be open to having hard conversations with tenants and listening to their concerns with an open mind. Any solutions discussed should be put into action right away. The challenge here for property managers is to find the balance between validating their tenants and maintaining their own budget, time, and energy.
Budgeting for Property Damage & Repairs
The number one complaint that tenants usually have is in regards to property maintenance and repairs. These issues can range from a leaky faucet to a broken-down furnace. A few repairs here and there and suddenly your expenses just went through the roof in a relatively short period of time. To soften the blow and avoid being blindsided by these unexpected costs, property managers must include emergency repairs and regular maintenance in their budgets. Another thing to remember is that proactive maintenance is much more reasonable than reactive repairs. For example, instead of waiting for the furnace to break down and getting forced to pay emergency replacement costs, get a professional to perform annual inspections on the HVAC system. Issues can be spotted early on and can be dealt with before a total systemic failure occurs.
Finding Quality Vendors
Speaking of professionals, the final challenge on our list has to do with building relationships with quality vendors. Property managers can sometimes screw in light bulbs or patch up paint, but other jobs require a third party to be done effectively. Electrical systems, HVAC, and professional cleaning are all examples of jobs that need you to call in for backup. What many property managers struggle with is finding vendors who are reliable, reputable, cost-effective, and offer decent turnaround times on their projects. Ultimately, creating strong professional relationships benefits your tenants, your property, and ultimately you.
In conclusion, property managers have to wear many hats to keep an investment property running smoothly and efficiently. The challenges listed above are just a few of the issues property managers have to mitigate every single day. At GIL Property Management, we believe the best way to handle these concerns is to meet them with professionalism, experience, and solid teamwork. If you’re looking for a property management company to help you operate your investment, request a free consultation with our Calgary-based team today!