Every year millions of people start the new year off with a list of resolutions. Whether or not you participate in this practice, the beginning of the year is a good time to review your Property Management portfolio with a practical eye on what is actually costing you money instead of making you money.
Too often, Property Managers find a new and/or old account is simply not worth the stress. They take a huge amount of time and effort to satisfy the owner, if indeed, they can be satisfied. Has this ever happened to you? As you review your portfolio, ask yourself these questions.
- Is the owner only interested in when the check arrives and is irate if there are any delays?
- Do they simply refuse to do necessary repairs?
- Do they insist on always doing the repairs but do poor work?
- Do they make discriminatory remarks about prospective tenants?
- Do they require that even though you have screened applicants properly that they make the ultimate decision if they can rent the property?
- Does the thought of talking with the owner give you a stomachache or headache?
If the answer to any of the above is yes, it is time to make a conscious decision on whether it is necessary to give this owner a notice to discontinue your management services. If you really think about the questions above, you will see that many could lead to serious liability.
Consider this when trying to make a decision about an account. The amount of time and worry involved with this owner may be keeping you from getting accounts that are more lucrative. There are some accounts that may be taking up two-thirds of your time but making only a minimal part of your management income. In addition, they are also probably causing your office personnel and even your family stress because of their behavior.
There are times when you can salvage an account by simply sending a well-worded letter to the owner detailing the problems, letting them know that you intend to give them a thirty-day notice unless you can resolution to the conflict between you. For example, after renting to an extremely well-qualified tenant who was single and approximately 30 years old, an owner informed me that in the future, I was not to rent to anyone “of that type” ever again in any of his units. I did not reply to his comment, but instead returned to my office and carefully constructed a letter detailing my practices and giving him a thirty-day notice. I informed him that I do not discriminate and that I do not work for anyone who would expect me to do so. The man’s wife happened to read the letter first – let us just say she was not happy with him. He came into my office and immediately apologized and begged me to keep his account because he was happy with my services. There was never a problem from this point on. By taking action, I salvaged the account and refused to participate in any liability – a major savings in the scheme of things. Sometimes you simply have to speak up and stand your ground.
Many times, you cannot salvage the situation, but you can end the stress and move on to accounts that are more lucrative and satisfying to manage. This is one resolution that Property Managers should maintain all year round.
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.