A good property manager is an asset for your investment. They take over marketing a vacant property, finding potential tenants, and ensuring they meet the standards by running tenant screening, taking care of the legal aspect of closing the deal, followed by all the day-to-day tasks of maintaining a property. They will be the ones taking care of the owner’s interests.
However, the landlords will only be able to live stress-free if the manager knows what they’re doing and if they’re reliable. A bad property manager represents a high risk. No matter the areas where they might need improvement, they can create unnecessary disputes between the landlord and the tenant, lower the property’s condition, and even create legal and financial issues.
This is why it’s crucial for real estate owners to recognize the signs of a bad manager and to know when to end their professional relationship.
They do not follow through
Our word is our worth in business. In every type of relationship we have, professional and personal, we want to be sure the other person keeps their word. It’s one of the biggest signs of unprofessionalism, an early indicator that predicts if they will do what is required of them.
The landlord can notice this character flaw early on. They have to pay attention to what the property manager says they’re going to do and how and then look at exactly what happened. Some simple examples can be that they’ve said they’d draw up a contract in two days, but it’s been three days, and the landlord still hasn’t received anything. They might say they schedule maintenance next week, but then the landlord finds out it hasn’t been done.
The whole idea around having a property manager is that the landlord shouldn’t need to micro-manage anybody, but instead, trust that they’re doing their job better than they could.
The property manager is the bridge between the landlord and their property or their tenants. If they don’t inform the landlord efficiently of what is going on correctly and fully, it might be a sign they’re not on top of their duties, or things are going in the wrong direction. They should make the landlord feel comfortable with the communication level, creating a blanket of safety and transparency, and not make the landlord start the conversation or continuously asking what is going on.
This is also an indicator of they’re going to treat emergencies or delicate situations. The landlord has to know they will be there no matter what, without the landlord having to step up in their place.
Bad tenants pattern
Even though nobody likes a bad tenant, they are one of the more unpleasant things a landlord sometimes has to deal with. However, the property manager should screen tenants before they sign with them. They should do background checks to find out about their character, finance checks to make sure they can afford the rent, etc. If the landlord notices a pattern where rent is not being paid on time, complaints from the neighboors, damage of the goods around the property or evictions, they should start wonder if their property manager handles the relationship with tenants efficiently.
Poor maintenance and repairs
A good property manager will keep the place in great shape, knowing it will also keep the rent up. That means that maintenance should be done regularly and that repairs should be kept to a minimum, without something having to become a big deal before the landlord finds out about it. If the landlord ever makes a surprise visit and notice the property in poor condition or the tenant calls and compains about not having the conditions they desire, it is a sign the property manager does not take care of this in time or they do not have good vendors for services. Either way, they will bring down the value of the property.
Rent stays down
One of the main responsibilities of the property manager is to negotiate rent in the landlord’s best interest. They should know the local rent average and make sure their rent is not lower than usual. Also, it’s not a good sign if the rent stagnates and does not keep up with the evolving housing market.
A poor property manager might choose to not negotiate higher rent or make insignificant changes in order to avoid changing of tenants. A good manager knows they should have no problem getting the best profit possible.
Incomplete property management reports
The property management statements provides a bird’s-eye for the landlord on all finances coming in and going out. It’s one of the main things that will tell if the investment is making money or not. If the landlords find out the report does not include all the things he asked for, has mistakes in it or is not given at the time period that was decided, they need to wonder if the property manager is hiding something or if they’re simply not serious.
They say something ends as it started. We can include the relationship between property manager and landlord in this. Usually, if they pay careful attention, the landlord will be able to tell from beginning what signs they notice that can predict a bad property manager. In this case, it’s better they go with another expert as it’s better to prevent than to repair.