In this initial chapter of our series, we're going to shed some light on typical customer service and communication issues you might grapple with when managing your rental property. Plus, we'll guide you on how to navigate them by selecting a management company with a solid reputation and a team of seasoned professionals.
Never underestimate the power of a property management company that acts fast, responds efficiently, and approaches tenants (and you!) resourcefully. Managers who are on the ball, returning calls and resolving issues swiftly, play a huge role in keeping tenants happy—and when tenants are happy, they stick around, keeping your rental income consistent. However, if tenants feel their needs are consistently being ignored, they're more likely to pack up and leave at the first chance they get.
When it comes to maintenance, minor issues left unresolved can quickly snowball into major headaches. For example, if a tenant or their guest suffers an injury or property damage due to overdue repairs, the landlord could end up being held responsible. Or, those small, easily-fixable problems may fester into big, costly ones.
As you're vetting potential management companies, make sure they have a crystal-clear policy for responding to any landlord or tenant concerns within a set timeframe. When emergencies crop up, the response time should be no more than 24 hours.
Your manager is essentially the face of your business, so it's important to find someone who can maintain a professional yet friendly rapport with tenants and applicants. Moreover, managers must be adept at resolving tenant conflicts with composure and effectiveness, and be able to distinguish between reasonable and unreasonable tenant demands.
One effective way to get a read on how a prospective company interacts with tenants is by checking both tenant and owner references. A reputable company should have no issue providing these, and should receive glowing reviews from both sides.
Top-tier management companies are proactive, thoroughly screening all tenants and conducting regular property inspections to prevent issues before they arise. But even with these precautions, not every problem can be nipped in the bud. So, when problems do occur, it's essential that the manager knows the law, can stay cool under pressure, and will take appropriate action to protect both you and your property.
Aside from checking references, doing a quick search for the company's online reviews can give you a sense of their overall track record. Just remember, don’t rush to judgment before considering both the good and bad feedback (if any) about the company. One negative (or positive) review shouldn’t sway you. Instead, weigh what the majority of reviews are saying.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of our series, where we'll delve deeper into financial administration and ethical considerations when choosing a property management company.
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