Top 10 Reasons Not to Hire a Charlotte Property Manager
The main reason to hire a property manager is to make your experience of owning an investment property completely effortless. Unfortunately, hiring the wrong property manager will give you the exact opposite experience; it will leave you wondering if it is actually more work to manage the property management company than if you just managed the property yourself. Here are the top ten complaints and reasons to not hire a property manager:
- Poor Communication or Entirely Unresponsive: A successful property management company will receive hundreds of inbound calls each day. If they are not using back-end support of multiple best-in-class call centers they will simply be overwhelmed and unable to keep up. Utilizing our call centers to handle all of the routine work, frees up our property managers to do the thinking work and be available for you to reach your assigned property manager with ease and always expect a response within 24 hours, if not immediately.
- Lazy, Irresponsible or Reactive: They may have the best of intentions, but if they are overwhelmed and do not have the proper support systems in place, then they will inevitably be reactive to any problems with your property, which can be really costly. For example, they may miss the fact that your tenant did not pay the rent and not do anything to proactively collect the rent or file an eviction.
- Costly Mistakes: There are many opportunities for property managers to make costly mistakes; the most costly is putting the wrong tenant in your property. Every property manager should do basic screenings like credit, criminal, eviction check, landlord and employment verification. But, to go above and beyond, make sure your property manager is also doing things such as checking social media accounts and asking extra “tricky” questions to make sure when they are not talking to a fake landlord.
- Not Raising the Rent: This is one of the most common complaints against an already overworked and unresponsive property manager. One of the easiest ways for them to try to get caught up on other work is by simply not bothering to raise the rent. The most effective strategy to combat this problem is to make sure your property manager’s lease automatically renews the lease for another year with an automatic increase in rent.
- Expensive Repairs: Every savvy investor knows to expect some repair costs and has appropriately budgeted for them. But, what they do not expect is for those repair costs to exceed a reasonable budget. Some property managers will dispatch a maintenance technician on every repair request, which is very expensive. Good property managers will be properly staffed in order to evaluate if the maintenance request truly needs a technician visit or if they can talk the tenant through it over the phone.
- Not Knowing Fair Market Rent Values: Some property managers do not take the time or develop the expertise to property price your rental property. This either leaves money on the table and costs you rental income. Or worse, they overprice it and your property stays vacant longer than necessary; there is no greater cost than vacancy cost! They should be using the latest technological tools, such as a Rent Range Report, paired with their local expertise to property value your rental.
- Poorly Trained Staff: The model to keep costs reasonable for landlords also means the company is typically hiring inexperienced staff with moderate salaries. This is okay as long as the company is hiring smart staff and supporting them with robust training and detailed process manuals.
- Not Keeping an Eye on Your Property: Landlords have a reasonable expectation that their property manager will actually visit the property to make sure the tenant is properly caring for the property. You will want to use a property management company that proactively and regularly visits the inside (not just a “drive-by”) of the property and provide you with a professional report of each visit.
- Financial Statements are Confusing: Professional property management companies will use an out-of-the-box software solution that will automate the financial reports to the owners. Some of them are easier to read than others. But, regardless, even if it is not immediately obvious to you what is going on with your financial statement, you should have quick and easy access to someone at your property management company, such as the bookkeeper, who can easily explain in everyday language what is going on with your money.
- No One Cares About Your Property Like You Do: There is no getting around this, no one cares about your property like you do! However, one way to get really close to finding a property manager that cares almost as much as you do, is to only work with a property manager that also owns (or has owned) real estate investment property. They should be walking in your shoes and truly understand your pain points and they will come really close to treating it like it is their own property as well.