A property manager is the one in charge of overseeing and maintaining your real estate investment. The property manager acts as the all-important go-between who reflects your standards and professionalism to both prospective and current tenants. A good property manager communicates effectively and is responsive to questions and concerns, both from you, the property owner, and the individuals who occupy the rental premises throughout the year.
Trust and reliability are paramount when selecting an effective property manager to act on your behalf — in other words, your front line representative. Beware of the property manager who falls short of your expectations.
What to Avoid in a Property Manager
Consider these pointers that can save you headaches by avoiding a sub-par property manager:
1. The ‘shrug-off’. An effective property manager must have good background knowledge of the places they are overseeing. A person who can’t answer your most basic questions about the property you’re intending to invest in, or the premises you already own, displays a lack of interest and enthusiasm for the important role they must play. A shrug-off attitude can mean that particular property manager is careless, disorganized or just plain lazy. Beware of a property manager who is indirect or simply unresponsive.
2. Watch for the ‘always in a hurry’ attitude. A worthwhile property manager must possess an innate quality that is welcoming to prospective tenants. Beware of a property manager who doesn’t seem to have the time to focus on the matter, or people, at hand. Someone like this will likely answer “yes” to all your questions, or tell you what they think you want to hear, but will not be effective.
3. The ‘let it slide’ approach. If and when repairs, maintenance or other property matters need addressing, you need to feel completely confident that your property manager will attend to any concerns promptly and thoroughly; and be able to outline to you the steps taken and all costs involved. If not your tenants will be unhappy and your rental may suffer from poor maintenance.
4. The ‘always absent’ staff. A property manager who isn’t readily available for and responsive to ongoing requests and concerns, not to mention emergencies, isn’t worth having. You must always have one or more contact numbers for emergency situations. Be wary of any property manager who tends to be MIA at the times when you are most in need of their assistance.
Suit Yourself When Choosing a Property Manager
You’ve found the rental property that works for you, and that you’re proud to own. Keep things running smoothly and efficiently by choosing the property manager who will best handle your concerns and those of your tenants in a timely and effective manner.
An excellent property manager plays a vital role in making things run smoothly and without delay. Avoid the pitfalls above and choose wisely. It will be a wise investment indeed.
Jennifer Fehr is the co-owner of Suncoast4Rent with her husband Tom Fehr. Jennifer is a Florida State Real Estate Sales person and works through Stonebridge Real Estate Co Inc in Clearwater, Fl (Pinellas County) to bring the personal touch to all your Real Estate needs, be it professional residential property management, consultation or sales.
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