There are a few signs which may tell you that it’s time to consider firing your current property manager. You can also use these signs when you’re seeking a professional management company for your rental property. Pay attention to communication, vacancy rates, fees, and credibility.
Communication Between Landlords and Owners
The number one complaint people have in regards to property management is communication. This is one of the easiest things to fix, and one of the most common problems. Set the expectations up correctly to begin with. Owners and landlords need to know how to communicate with each other; whether it’s by phone, email, or text. Set the ground rules.
At Service Star, we make sure you have the property manager’s email and personal cell phone. You can call your manager at any time. If you run into a snag, you have the broker’s phone number as well. You can reach either one at any time. Communication is a high priority for us, and it should be for you and your property manager as well. You don’t want to be in the dark.
Vacancy and Turnover are Expensive
The second biggest problem you’ll find with property management is the length of vacancy. This will kill your profits. Your property manager needs to understand that a vacancy day for you might cost $50 or $100 in lost rent. There should be an urgency in getting your property rented. You feel that loss of income, so a good property manager will take care of this quickly.
Perhaps renting out the home is taking too long. Check the pricing and the condition, and look for odors or trash in the yard. Are the marketing photos good? Your property manager should be strategic about finding out why the property isn’t renting right away.
When you’re turning over a property, how long does it take to get a tenant in there? You want the repairs done, the property advertised, and a new tenant in place quickly. At Service Star, we get to work on the day we get the keys from the tenant who is moving. We are taking video, getting approvals, and gathering estimates so work can begin. Our average turnover time is 9 days. It takes us less than 2 weeks to fill the property with a new tenant making our average vacancy days not more than 24 every time we turn a property. Your property manager should have their numbers in their head and know how much time lapses between one tenant and another.
Unclear or Hidden Fees
Another problem is when fees aren’t always clear. Owners get a statement and there’s a fee they weren’t expecting, or they see a repair they didn’t approve. Again, you have to set expectations at the beginning. Owners should have limits for what can be done without your approval. At Service Star, our limit is $400. Any repairs that cost more than that will require your approval. You should know your property management fees up front.
Look for Credibility and Reputation
Finally, pick a management company that has credibility. You want someone who belongs to a professional organization. We belong to the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), as well as the state and national Association of Realtors. We are certified property managers through the state, and we hold high designations through NARPM. This shows our dedication to property management, and speaks to our ethics and experience. If the manager you’re dealing with doesn’t take these things seriously, be cautious. Look for someone who is dedicated to their profession.