12 Property Management Mistakes to Avoid in 2020
Did you make any mistakes in 2019? Did they result in any financial losses? We never like to dig into all our mistakes yet collectively they may point to one single, key reason why they occur.
The most common errors property managers will make in 2020 are likely the same ones everyone made in 2019 and 2018. These 12 common mistakes property managers make might be symptoms of a larger issue you may be procrastinating on.
How Many Errors Could You Possibly Make?
Each year, a new variety of work issues occur, ones that create financial losses, dampen relationships, and lead to lost opportunity. And if you’re not aware and tracking these seemingly random problems, you’ll keep making them every year.
There are hundreds of errors made daily and a lot of reasons why you or your staff made them. However, learning from those mistakes means taking a step back for a broader view.
Fretting over mistakes and their costs doesn’t solve the issues. Mistakes might be emanating from a higher level — how you operate your business.
All Activities Should Support Service
Professional management is about ensuring all your business supporting activities are positive. From networking and lead prospecting and marketing, to service improvements, educational seminars, and tenant relationships, the sum of all the parts inevitably pays off in better profit — which is your top KPI.
Successful businesses attract new clients, more revenue and reduced costs.
Your business is as sustainable as you make it, so avoiding big mistakes is something to think about arranging ahead of time. Many of the top pain points that landlords, apartment managers and property managers cite in surveys are foreseeable. From fatigue to complexity to time shortages, it’s all too easy to see.
Top Mistakes Property Managers Make:
- not automating — automating maintenance, tenant communications, rent payment, owner disbursements, bookkeeping and accounting, and reporting respects your valuable time. Eliminate face to face meetings, free up time, avoid lost receipts and documents, and missed assignments by using a property management automation solution.
- not generating enough communication with tenants — they feel you’re a stranger and therefore don’t care what you need, and you’re not keeping in touch with them about their rental experience. Poor communications are often at the bottom of all staff related issues too. And landlords don’t like the friction they see. A good property management software optimizes communications too.
- not screening tenants well — using services, social media, and asking smart questions ensures the tenant is suitable for the unit, building and neighborhood, and will be a consistent long term paying tenant. That cuts move ins, advertising costs, vacancies, evictions, lost rent, troublesome behavior, drug use, and other tenant issues.
- not having a management system to scale up when they’ve hit the 200 door mark — At some point you’ll have too many rentals to manage in a traditional way. A modern system which includes tools, processes and automation software will help ease the challenges of scaling up.
- not collecting enough operations information — know more about the condition of the unit, building, systems, and whether something is ready to malfunction can help avoid emergencies and unscheduled repairs. This is a feedback system that lets you know of anything that’s showing signs of a future emergency, which is one of your worst, most costly events.
- being aware of your property assets condition — so you can provide maintenance and repairs in an orderly fashion so your contractors can keep up on it. (e.g., laundry appliances in 30% of your units need maintenance, before they malfunction).
- imprecise accounting practices — attribution of expenses/income to the correct specific account keeps the books accurate and reliable for landlords. Having a dedicated property management accounting solution means your financial reports aren’t hogwash.
- poor or reluctant tenant service — making your tenants work hard for service or feel like they’re a pain almost ensures a vacancy at the end of the lease. Responsive service comes from a true customer orientation via a dedicated communication channel.
- not making rent payment real easy — today’s renters love online rent payment and by providing that service to them, you’re optimizing your cash flow and reducing rent payment defaults and administration.
- not marketing your property management services — your current customers and your future landlord clients will be checking you out online. You need to know if they’re arriving. And you need a dedicated, fast loading property management website to get your brand and service quality across, and act as the center of your marketing campaigns.
- not being active on social media — landlords and tenants tend to believe what they see and hear from you. By engaging them on social media, you’re creating a connection, and demonstrating how you create a great tenant experience. It’s all about attitude, intent, and creating value for them. Social media is an open channel to keep in touch with the people who pay your paycheck.
- Not using property management software — property management software solutions are central to the whole process of automating, improving service delivery, cutting costs and letting you scale up for more doors. A multifaceted software dedicated to the needs of property managers and landlords grows profits and confidence.
Your New System Will Help Prevent Errors
In most cases of property management errors, it’s a lack of dedicated tools that leaves managers feeling overwhelmed and dreading tenant and business issues. If you’ve ever avoided dealing with a tenant or a persistent business problem, you know about it.
It’s common to make mistakes, but most errors come from poor business practices. Adopting modern systems translates to less work, stress, conflict and worry for you, and less guilt over small mistakes.
Take the time to check out a simplified property management software solution, that’s affordable, powerful, and easy to learn. A simple way to eliminate mistakes.
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