After careful planning, your property management company is successful in bringing in many new accounts and quickly renting vacancies. Your vacancies are low and your goals for company growth are on target. So…
Why are there all these problems in your office? Why do you have disgruntled owners? Why are there so many tenant conflicts? Why are you losing properties?
Could it be that there is no program for follow up?
If you haven’t taken the time to handle the follow up with owners and tenants, you are not making money, you are losing it. Stop and think about this – too many hours spent trying to put out fires, keep the accounts, placate tenants, and handle staff problems than are necessary. Hourly time is money. Spending hours on unnecessary “office” maintenance is simply losing money.
If this is happening to you, it is time to stop and take stock of this situation. Take the time to step back and analyze what problems occurring in your property management office.
- Is this a systems problem? When a new account or tenant comes in, is your office set up for bookkeeping, data input, maintenance, files, and more.
- Is this a staffing problem? Perhaps you do not have the right Personnel to handle the problem. Maybe you need another person.
- Is this a training problem? You may have the right Personnel but they do not know what to do to handle all the details.
It’s time to Stop the Fires!
For a property management office to be successful and avoid “fires,” you must have consistency. This is also critical to avoiding Fair Housing problems with tenants. If you are not handling all your tenants the same way, this can be fodder for a Fair Housing complaint. You can do many things to handle this.
- First, make sure you have “systems” in place for every task. If you take on a new account, you do not want to spend all of your time placating an owner. Set up a “new account” checklist to route through the office and make sure everyone handles all those pesky details. This will make you a hero. Do you remember how much time it took to get that account? If so, why lose it if it is a good one? In addition, a happy owner can be more motivated to recommend you to someone else or renew that management contract.
- Next, take the time to review the job performance of everyone involved. If it is necessary, fire those who are not working out and hire the right ones. This, of course, is not always an easier task, but you will find it can help the rest of the office Personnel with their job performance as well as you. Remember, if you have someone who is not suited to their job, you are only keeping them from finding the work they really should be doing.It may be that that you have the right people but they are assigned to the wrong jobs and you don’t have to eliminate anyone. Sometimes shifting job responsibilities can solve many problems and at the same time, make people happier with their position.
- Take the time to schedule office meetings and training to remedy the situation. It helps if everyone in the office knows who is to do what and when. It is also helpful to cross train Personnel so if someone is sick, on vacation, or just out of the office, the task gets completed and the wheels of progress do not stop.
Sometimes just a few simple things can put out the fires. LandlordSource has a product, Stop the Fires, a Checklist System for Property Management that can assist with this task. Remember, you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. Whatever you do, face the situation head on and make your office more profitable.
Jean Storms, MPM® is the founder/author of LandlordSource and has been a NARPM® member since January 1993.
Disclaimer: LandlordSource does not represent the article content in this website as legal advice. It is shared information only and up to the reader to use this information responsibly, seeking legal advice as necessary to their business.