Common Property Management Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

Working as a property manager involves juggling a number of real estate related responsibilities. Property managers must take care of everything from the maintenance of a property through to the collection of rent payments.
However, with such a wide scope of duties, there are some common pitfalls that can hold property managers back from achieving their full potential. So, let us discover 3 property management mistakes while discussing ways in which these errors can be avoided altogether.
Failing to Screen Tenants
Screening tenants is one of the most important rental property management services out there. Without a tenant a rental property can start to become an expensive burden on the owner, especially when there are utility bills and insurance costs that must be paid. A lot of time and effort should therefore be put into finding the most suitable tenant for a property. After all, you do not want to run the risk of sourcing a bad tenant only to realize the error of your ways too late into your agreement when it can be much harder to remove a troublesome tenant.
In your role as a property manager, and as part of the screening process, you can conduct checks for credit eligibility and employment status, and you can also ask for references from previous landlords. Ideally tenants should be able to pay their rent in a timely manner, they should remain committed to keeping the property in a good condition, and they should also want to stay for a medium to long term period of time. By carrying out a rigorous screening process, you can find the perfect tenant for the property owner, ensuring that you can both receive a constant cash flow without encountering any major difficulties.
Not Keeping on Top of Maintenance and Repairs
When maintenance issues arise, it is only natural to want to get things fixed as quickly and economically as possibly. That being said, sometimes this can lead to delays if you have not yet built a network of highly trusted and responsive contractors. While it is always sensible to shop around to ensure that you are not overpaying for any maintenance or repair work, you do not want to risk upsetting tenants or the property owners if there are any delays in getting things fixed.
Sometimes, tenants even decide to fix maintenance problems on their own, especially in larger properties. The cost of any repairs can even be deducted from their rent in some cases. While this can seem like an attractive solution when faced with the burden of mounting maintenance and repair tasks, there is always a possibility that a tenant could injure themselves while carrying out the work and you could be liable for damages. Poor handiwork can also prove costly if larger problems are created. Consequently, to avoid mishaps, always try to get repair work done by a licensed contractor.
Skipping Routine Inspections
As your portfolio of rental properties starts to grow, your calendar can start to seem overcrowded with routine inspections. Correspondingly, the busier you get, the more tempting it can be to let these inspections fall by the wayside. This is especially true for properties that have passed inspections without fault in the past. Although this might be the case, it is still important to complete inspections of rental properties in order to identify any structural damages, or instances where preventative repair work needs to be carried out.
Of course, tenants should be noting and reporting any issues, but there is a high chance that they might not have noticed any potential problems. Property managers have a large amount of experience dealing with these types of issues and are therefore better equipped to discover any issues. Similarly, postponing or even rushing through inspections can lead to problems, especially if time becomes limited thanks to other responsibilities or if issues are missed and allowed to progress. To combat these risks, ask for help from your team, and if no one is available to assist, it might be time to recruit new members to your office.
Ultimately, it is undeniable that the role of a property manager has come a long way in recent years. Nonetheless, by running your business in a responsible and efficient way, you can avoid and remedy some of the most common real estate rental mistakes, keeping both rental property owners and their tenants happy for longer, and saving time and money in the process. Hiring a property management company is one step that rental property owners can take to protect their investments. To learn more, check out this article that lists some common situations where hiring a property management company is for the best.
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