Errare humanum est (to err is human), an ancient expression attributed to Roman philosopher Seneca, describes how making mistakes is part of human behavior, and we should all accept that no one is perfect. Although property managers try to keep their business running in the most dynamic and effective way possible, mistakes do happen. And making errors usually means extra expenses and time-consuming efforts.
Some of the most common mistakes that property managers make are related to maintenance. In an effort to save money or be quick, many hire the wrong contractors. A reasonable and reliable contractor is sometimes hard to find, but calling upon inexperienced maintenance personnel will be costlier in time. Moreover, some maintenance issues—such as an electrical failure—can be a threat to public safety, so these kinds of matters should not be put in the hands of amateurs under any circumstances. Allowing residents to fix problems on their own is another risky action you should avoid. An unqualified resident may sustain injuries while performing the repair and might take legal action against you afterwards.
Neglecting or putting off inspections or routine maintenance could also result in you not only spending more money, but also ruining your reputation. It is imperative that you regularly inspect the property and fix minor problems as they appear.
No property manager should skip screening prospective renters properly. Failing to perform a thorough background check may cause major problems such as residents not paying rent or being involved in acts of violence. To prevent these issues, always take the time (and money) to rule out troublesome residents. This simple action can spare you loads of headaches.
Another frequent error that property managers make is failing to put important information in writing. Documentation (letters, emails, notifications etc.), photos and timestamps of damages, conversation logs or details of maintenance requests should be properly kept and at your disposal at any time. Moreover, detailed records can help you avoid fines or penalties in the event of an external audit. Also, remember that a legal document is the safest option, so always create a property management agreement and get it signed by the owner of the property.
No magic formula
The property management industry is multi-faceted, so completely eliminating errors is impossible. Nobody can dodge all bullets, but they can certainly avoid the most common mistakes. And technology steps in once again by providing innovative products that help property managers be more productive and efficient. Using technology to your advantage means using a software that is specifically designed for property management. This way you will be easily managing maintenance requests, quickly running report or effortlessly keeping track of payments. Also, don’t stick to legacy software when cloud property management software is available. This type of software is constantly updated, thus contributing to an increased efficiency in your property management business.
Managing a property is no easy job, but it can be profitable when done accurately. In order to increase the likelihood of eventually saving loads of money and precious time in a tricky business such as property management. Always try to respond promptly and efficiently to each resident, and communicate and address renters conflicts.