Property managers are responsible for a wide range of daily activities in regard to rental property operations – everything from screening tenants to managing maintenance crews – but these tasks become unnecessarily difficult when staff lack the necessary organizational tools. Tasks pile up, tenant demands aren’t met, and the whole operation can wind up in financial trouble. This is, of course, the worst-case scenario, and most property managers never find themselves in such a state. Many do struggle with productivity, however, and a few quick adjustments can make a big difference.
If you’re ready to upgrade your property management office’s operations, get started with these 3 changes. Though seemingly simple, these are the sorts of changes that get big results with minimal investment.
Maintenance requests are among the most common client interactions that property managers handle, and they’re some of the most stressful, especially for tenants. Keep things moving along, and avoid constant check-ins, by offering tenants an ETA on staff arrivals. Though it won’t make the time pass more quickly for stressed tenants, a simple point of reference can help them stay calm and wait for help.
In addition to offering tenants an ETA and keeping the lines of communication open regarding maintenance issues, you can simplify things on the office side by maintaining an ongoing, up-to-date list of trusted contractors. You don’t have time to screen contractors and repair professionals every time a call comes in, and this is so much more the case when you have a new, urgent issue, like a burst pipe. Furthermore, by calling the same professionals every time, you build valuable trust between your businesses.
Attention To Tenants
While maintenance issues may take up a large portion of a property manager’s day, one of the most high-stakes tasks that property managers handle is tenant selection. In fact, tenant selection is so important that many property management companies even guarantee they’ll find tenants for a certain period of time because investors are so aware of how much vacancies cost. So, what makes property managers so good at this particular task?
Property managers so often ply their trade based on their tenant selection skills not because they have some sixth sense for who makes a good tenant, but rather because they have access to an array of tools that help them screen tenants. This includes evaluating applicants’ credit history, their references, job history, and performing background checks. Even when investors can gain access to the right platforms to do these searches, they typically lack the experience to spot common red flags the immediately jump out to skilled property managers.
In this day and age, marketing shouldn’t be especially intensive, especially for a fixed operation like a rental property – and it can’t be an intensive project if property managers are going to have time to do much else. To that end, property managers either need to be given added time and support to perfect the business website, or they need to be given leeway to hire a marketing agency to support that element of operations. In most cases, it’s more cost effective and faster to hire an external agency, but some property management groups also have the in-house capacity to handle this responsibility at an added cost.
At the end of the day, as much as productivity is a cost concern for the investors who employ property managers, it also needs to be understood as a customer service issue. When property managers are overburdened by administrative tasks, without the tools and systems to manage them properly, they’re unable to give tenants their full attention – and that attention is generally what makes property managers so valuable.
When the nuts and bolts are complete, from maintenance to marketing and paying the bills, property managers can focus on the important work of ensuring tenants are taken care of.