In times of uncertainty and change, property managers have a unique opportunity to grow their businesses and strengthen their values. These challenges faced by service managers often highlight standard service values and principles they should be delivering better. While you may be struggling, you can take these common property manager challenges as opportunities for growth.
The Top Property Management Problems and Solutions
At Marcotte Properties, we strive to be an industry leader in property management. Our values encourage us to be better at everything we do, from providing amenities to our tenants to giving them the best value for their money. If you need effective suggestions, use this guide to learn some new skills for how to become a better property manager:
1. Hiring and Retaining Quality Staff
Your staff should possess various skills to help you navigate the obstacles in property management. It’s challenging to find employees who are up for the challenge and retain good workers who may be searching for a better career. As you look for new staff, consider your policies and habits and determine if you’re making an enticing environment for job candidates.
If you find there’s room for improvement in your tactics, here are some tips for keeping quality staff on your team:
- Give each prospective employee temporary employment to see how well they do on the job until they’re ready to commit fully.
- Value your workers as the ones who will help you retain your tenants and maintain the property.
- Empower and appreciate the quality staff you have by giving them more responsibilities and providing incentives to stay.
- Hire employees who can work from home, so you can find qualified candidates from all over the world.
- Offer a clear growth plan for prospective staff, so they’ll know how far they can go in their career.
- Prioritize potential over experience, so you can invest in someone who truly values the company.
2. Dealing With Unexpected Maintenance Costs
As a property manager, you can learn to expect the unexpected by planning for emergency maintenance repairs. Accepting that these common property management problems are inevitable will ease your frustration and make the situation more tolerable. When you handle these occurrences well, your residents will have more confidence in you as their property manager.
Consider these steps for dealing with unexpected costs that come with damage and other maintenance:
- Have an explicit agreement on the lease for how you’ll handle damage.
- Deal with damage immediately to maintain tenant trust.
- Do your research to find out how much it would cost to replace the various items throughout your property.
- Create a reserve account specifically for unexpected repairs.
- Set aside a budget for future items based on their cost and average lifespan.
- Regularly schedule preventative maintenance to limit future emergency repairs.
- Keep a file folder of each of your appliances and receipts from repair and maintenance appointments.
- Maintain a list of phone numbers for when you need to call an emergency service.
3. Managing Your Time Well
Time management is one of many essential qualities of successful property managers. In your role, you’ll have to juggle hundreds of daily work orders and solve emergency incidents on any given day. Learn how to manage your time to resolve all your to-do list items and keep a positive relationship with your staff and tenants.
Here are some tips for managing your time better while in the office:
- Use automated and pre-planning software for specific tasks like paying your monthly bills and sorting tenant requests.
- Outsource time-consuming or tedious projects to contract workers during busy seasons.
- Take a half-hour lunch break instead of forcing yourself to stay motivated if you’re feeling stuck or tired.
4. Reducing Operational Costs
To maintain a high revenue, you should increase your profit while lowering the money you spend. To shrink these costs, which could be property management pain points, look at your budget, and figure out where you can decrease your spending. Reducing your monthly expenses will allow you to make more money and provide more incentives for your staff and residents.
Using automatic software is one of the most convenient ways to improve property management. You should monitor the money you make and spend, so you can have better control of where it goes. Maintaining healthy communication with your staff and delegating tasks within the office can lower your monthly expenses by saving time and resources.
Here are some tips for controlling operational costs:
- Find creative ways to use free online tools to improve your company’s organization.
- Invest in software that allows you to track bills and pay them automatically.
- Look for software that combines features like money and tenant tracking instead of using multiple sites.
- Create custom reports to help you monitor your past, current and future money habits.
- Cross-train employees from different departments to practice better communication throughout the office.
- Streamline your workflow by creating a language unique to the company, so different departments can communicate better.
5. Finding Reliable Tenants
Various changes can create a significant turnover in tenants. Whether your residents change jobs or grow their families, they might not see your property as their forever home. However, for those who leave because they weren’t satisfied with the rental, you can change your tactics.
Tenants are the reason why you’re a property manager, so they should be at the heart of every decision you make. The renters you allow on your property will create an inviting community for all your residents to enjoy. Consider these tips for attracting the right tenants to your place and convincing them to stay for years to come:
- Gear your marketing to high-quality tenants who will improve your property value.
- Give each applicant a screening process to see if they’re a good fit for your rental, paying attention to professional and personal stability.
- Improve your units so you can attract potential tenants and justify raising the rent each year.
- Remodel the bathrooms and kitchens in your units to provide a more aesthetically pleasing, functional space for your residents.
- Provide a list of the reasons why you must increase the rent and give individuals a few months to make a decision.
- Give them incentives to stay, like complimentary carpet cleaning.
- Sign a lease with your tenants to provide accountability and communicate your expectations.
- Provide an online portal for tenants to communicate with you.
- Give them a complimentary cleaning kit or gift on move-in day.
6. Keeping Up With Tenant Complaints and Concerns
As a property manager, you need to find the perfect blend of respect and authority, so your tenants can trust you while also obeying your standards. Here are some ways to deal with common rental problems relating to residents:
- Establish an online portal for renters to report maintenance issues, and check it regularly.
- Follow up with tenants after you’ve addressed an issue to make sure they don’t have any additional questions or concerns.
- Keep all communication in writing if your tenant decides to take legal action against you.
- Try using sound-canceling shrubbery or updating the carpeting if residents complain about noisy neighbors, whether they are on your property or not.
- Make sure the lease agreement clearly states that renters cannot sublease and sublet the property.
- Send a notice listing the reasons for eviction if you ever need to evict a tenant, and have a local sheriff remove them from the property if they ignore your warning.
7. Communicating With Staff and Tenants Well
Excellent communication is one property management best practice you should develop. While you may believe you’re communicating well and fostering understanding with others, take a poll of your staff and tenants to determine how well you’re doing. You might find that there’s room for improving your communication skills to have a better relationship with your residents and employees.
Here is some advice for property managers on how to improve communications with colleagues and renters:
- Create a list of your communication goals and figure out how to discuss them with your residents and teams.
- Use automated software to talk with your tenants easily and directly.
- Request feedback from your tenants and staff by demonstrating how easy it is to contact you.
- Save all correspondence with your staff and tenants to refer back to it in the future.
- Correspond with all your tenants, even if their requests seem minor.
8. Inspecting Your Property
While renters may see inspections as a disruption to their daily lives, these routine maintenance checks can prevent further problems in the future. They also allow you to observe your property’s condition, so you know when to replace various appliances and materials. Consider these steps for making your inspections run smoothly, so you can deal with any property management scenarios that arise:
- Make the annual inspection part of the lease agreement, so the renter isn’t surprised.
- Conduct an inspection when the tenant moves in, so you’re both in agreement about the property’s condition.
- Use an online resident portal or email system to alert tenants of when you’ll conduct the inspection.
- Schedule a maintenance inspection one day in advance to give residents time to store their possessions and safely shelter pets.
- Check for any maintenance issues that need fixing before they become emergencies.
- Examine the property to make sure the tenants are following the lease terms and maintaining the rental as needed.
- Do drive-by inspections sparingly and only check the property’s exterior, so you don’t disturb your renters’ privacy.
- Schedule another inspection when the tenant plans to move out, so you can assess any damage done to the property.
9. Increasing Your Property’s Revenue
Revenue is the profit you make after paying maintenance costs and other expenses. As you make more money, you’ll feel more confident in your ability to take care of future property management problems and solutions. Follow these tips for how to raise the profit you make on each of your properties:
- Focus on a small number of high-quality estates instead of gathering as many as you can.
- Charge your tenants a monthly fee if they want to use your extra storage space.
- Charge your renters for access to a parking garage, especially if you’re in an urban area.
- Explore other high-potential areas near you if you’re not making enough income in your city.
- Target your audience by investing in properties that attract wealthier residents.
- Sell the properties that haven’t been meeting your income goals to maximize your resources on the ones producing results.
10. Collecting Rent From Tenants
Most of your revenue comes from collecting rent from your residents. This monthly contact provides you an opportunity to get to know them so you can accommodate them better. As you deal with cost inflation, one of the top challenges of property management, follow these tips to collect rent on time and track your monthly revenue:
- Provide a way for residents to make payments online.
- Set up automatic tracking and reminders for both you and your tenants to stay on top of payments.
- Create a steep fee for non-payments and late or bounced payments.
- Reach out to your renter if they miss a payment and find out why.
- Give an incentive for residents who pay their rent on time consecutively.
- Visit the tenant and explain the importance of paying rent on time, and consider eviction if they haven’t paid for several months.
11. Marketing to Potential Residents
Finding tenants is easier when you have a user-friendly website and an active social media presence. While word of mouth is useful, you should use every resource available to let potential renters know about your property. Here is how to market to the people near you:
- Look at the competition in your area and find out how to attract those same tenants.
- Highlight the neighborhood’s quality and the demand to live in the area.
- Take advantage of search engine optimization (SEO) keywords and backlinks to maximize your appearance on search engines.
- Provide high-quality content for your website, and target your ideal audience.
- Make sure you have a fast, responsive website.
- Use social media to spread the word about your property.
- Take eye-catching photos to post on your website and social media pages.
- Create email newsletters to give potential renters information about your property.
- Invest in paid ads to alert prospective applicants about potential vacancies.
- Create informative short videos to grab the attention of users on your website or social media platform.
- Affiliate with other local businesses to create a network.
- Set up a property page on a review website, so previous and current residents can leave reviews.
- Create a referral program as an incentive for tenants to make property management recommendations to their friends and family.
Marcotte Properties Seeks to Be the Best Property Manager in California
At Marcotte Properties, our goal is to offer our residents an authentic community to call home. Our principles of better values, services and settlements assist us in our journey of continued learning and understanding of our tenants and clients. Continually applying our exceptional knowledge of property management enables us to evolve and become better each day, even in times of challenge or uncertainty.
If you’re looking for an apartment or business for rent near San Francisco, consider our various amenities to keep your whole family occupied and comfortable at an affordable price. Contact us online or call 800-538-1724 if you have any questions regarding what to know about property management.