Netintegrity Blog

5 Costly Mistakes to Avoid in Property Management

By Joseph Slonimsky

5 Costly Mistakes to Avoid in Property ManagementThe property management industry is inherently chaotic. There are phone calls to make, emails to answer, rentals to fill and all the day to day reporting, processing and managing necessary to stay ahead of the competition and on top of your game. The problem with being so busy is that it leaves the door open for foolish mistakes – mistakes that can cost you time, money and future business. We’d like to help you avoid the most common errors that we’ve seen countless property managers commit so you’ll have a much better chance at ongoing success. So, without further ado, here are 5 silly mistakes to be careful of.

Not Enforcing the Lease

It’s hard to be all business when you’re dealing with other peoples’ homes and personal lives. It can be easy to fall into the “nice guy” routine, where you let a few little things slide, like not charging a penalty for late rent payments or making an exception to your “no pets” rule. Your tenants are such nice people, and it’s just this one time…Remember, you have a lease for a reason. If you don’t stick to the rules within, you’re setting yourself up for potential legal problems down the road, which could be a long, expensive headache. Be nice but firm and keep rules in place at all times.

Get your free copy of The Property Manager’s Guide to Proactive Management — and make the time necessary to plan for an extraordinary future.

Not Raising the Rent

Breaking the news to tenants about a rental increase is never an easy task, especially if you’ve developed a relationship with them. But the fact remains that costs go up and there are legitimately times when an increase is necessary if you are to continue to make a return on your investment. Don’t be afraid to make an adjustment from time to time, just be mindful of how you do it. Make sure the new rate is comparable to other area properties and provide your tenants with plenty of notice ahead of time.

Not Keeping Up with Routine Maintenance

With so many expenses involved with property management, it can be tempting to let little things go, like having the hot water heater serviced or fixing that leaky faucet. If you don’t keep up with maintenance in a timely manner, however inconvenient or costly it may seem at the time, it’s very likely that you’ll end up with a much larger expense down the road, like when the water heater needs to be replaced or the faucet finally lets go and causes a flood. When something comes up, address it right away and be proactive as much as possible to prevent problems from occurring in the first place.

Not Investing in the Right Tools

When you’re just starting out in the property management business, it may make sense to try and handle all of your day to day tasks on your own. What happens when you start realizing that growth you’ve been working so hard to achieve? Too often, otherwise intelligent and business savvy property managers refuse to invest in the right tools to help them do their jobs more effectively and efficiently, and they end up buried, overwhelmed and unable to keep up with the competition. Make sure you’re taking advantage of all the tools that are available to you, such as property management software, to maximize your productivity and help you stay competitive.

Not Staying on Top of Property Expenses

Just like maintenance items, other expenses associated with managing properties can start adding up, making it tempting to cut corners when the budget gets tight. Not keeping up with these important expenses, like taxes and insurance, will come back to haunt you in the long run and you’ll end up spending much more money than you would have if you’d just paid up by the due date. You’d hate to find out your homeowners insurance wasn’t valid at the time of that fire and have to pay for the damage out of pocket, so make it a point to stay on top of what’s due, when it’s due and pay accordingly.

Nobody’s perfect, and every one of us has made mistakes from time to time. Just how costly those mistakes are, however, can mean the difference between growing your business and having to throw in the towel. Being aware of these common errors can help you avoid making the same mistakes, and better position you for future success.

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Get your free copy of The Property Manager’s Guide to Proactive Management — and make the time necessary to plan for an extraordinary future.


Tagged Productivity, Blog, Property Management