Property management can be hugely rewarding, both financially and otherwise. Providing families with a safe, inviting place to live is satisfying. If appropriately managed, rental properties can also be an excellent investment. Unfortunately, there are many pain points for property managers, particularly those who work in multi-family buildings or portfolios with several properties.
If managed properly, rental properties can also be an excellent investment.
Property rental is becoming increasingly competitive as investors flock to a growing market. The number of rental households grew by 9 million between 2005-2015. Whether you are an individual, part of an agency, or an owner wanting to manage their properties, knowing these hurdles and how to deal with them is essential. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the eight most significant pain points for property managers. Take a look!
What are the 8 Biggest Pain Points for Property Managers?
1. Repairs and Maintenance
Top of the list for most property managers is, without a doubt, repairs, and maintenance. Repairs and maintenance are essential to keep your property value up and your tenants happy, and there is no quicker way to make a good tenant move out than ignoring repairs that need to be done.
Unfortunately, repairs and maintenance don’t just eat up ~10% of your monthly rental income and waste valuable time. Property managers are forced to search for contractors, plan a maintenance schedule, and oversee work when necessary. Thankfully, apps and services can make organizing and managing repairs and maintenance much smoother. Property managers must be aware of helpful tools that can save them and their clients time and money.
2. Tenant Retention
In today’s competitive rental market, retaining tenants, particularly the good ones, are becoming harder and harder. In 2017, 37% of buyers bought to rent, and with predicted growth in the rental market, you can expect many more investors to move into the rental space. This is good news for property managers, but it also means that more options will be available to tenants.
Modern technology also means that tenants are more discerning than ever before. With a whole world of information at their fingertips, tenants today are constantly exposed to newer and better rental options. Holding onto your best tenants is no longer a simple task, and property managers must be aware of trends and provide exceptional service or risk losing their best tenants.
3. Lack of Time
Repairs and maintenance aren’t the only things eating into property managers’ time. Property managers are busy processing service requests, managing rental payments, contracting, and more. For those working multiple properties, this can quickly become a situation where important things are neglected, leading to unhappy tenants.
As we’ve already mentioned, tenant retention always needs to be a top priority for property managers. Part of making your tenants feel valued is making time for them, and that takes good time management. Busy property managers need to hire trustworthy people to handle smaller jobs and leverage technology to improve service delivery.
4. Managing Service Requests
Service requests can take up lots of valuable time, particularly for property managers that manage large multi-family complexes or multiple houses. Tenants need to be communicated with; contractors need to be sourced, scheduled, and paid, and everything needs to be tracked and recorded.
Failing to resolve service requests promptly is also one of the most common complaints about tenants, so property managers must have a fast, effective system. The last thing you want is your tenants feeling neglected because their request fell through a flawed request management system.
5. Reputation Management
Modern tenants have high expectations of their rental homes, and they have access to lots of information and are prepared to research to ensure they get the right one. Apps and websites are making it easier for tenants to share their experiences. This is excellent for good landlords, property managers, and the business.
However, it also means that property managers need to be very aware of their online reputation and respond quickly to current and past tenant complaints. With the busy schedule of a property manager, handling your online reputation can easily get forgotten. It may be worth looking into reputation management services to ensure that past and future residents feel heard online.
6. Hiring Contractors
Whether you have an in-house maintenance team or not, as a property manager, you will inevitably have to employ specialist contractors at some point. This can be a massive headache if you are taking on a property in a new area. Not only do you have to find a contractor for each job, but you may have to find several before you get one that is a good fit.
On top of that, you have little way of knowing if you are being charged a fair rate, and you have to rely on contractors to be fair and honest with you. That’s why more and more property managers are turning to apps like AllBetter to make the process smooth and straightforward by placing work into a marketplace of vetted professionals. You can guarantee you get the best job at the best rate every time.
7. Finding the Right Tenants
Before you can worry about retaining your best tenants, you first have to find them. Not everyone is good tenant material, so all prospective tenants need to be vetted. The classic method for vetting tenants using credit checks and bank statements only tells you if they can pay Rent, not if they are obnoxious, loud, or disrespectful of other tenants and shared spaces.
There is nothing worse than a bad tenant. Unfortunately, they are easier to get in than to get out. Thankfully, there are many options for landlords and property managers to look up tenant histories. These websites and apps let you ensure that they are able to pay and won’t come with a host of other issues.
8. Collecting Rent
When you think about collecting Rent as a pain point, you probably think about people not paying their Rent or late payments. While that is an issue, collecting and processing rent payments can be a huge time drain. This is particularly true if you are working with an outdated system or, even worse, collecting actual checks!
Thankfully, this is one of the most straightforward problems to solve. Chasing tenants to collect rent checks and depositing them at the bank is a thing of the past. Many great options are available to property managers to automate their rent collection. Services allow tenants to pay online, saving you and them time and effort.
Ultimately, good property management is all about getting the right tenants, keeping them happy, and minimizing costs. While it may sound simple, as we’ve shown above, plenty of little obstacles can quickly snowball. The most accessible thing property managers can do to alleviate these pain points is to leverage technology to automate and manage their activities.
A wide range of solutions tackles these problems so you don’t have to. So, stop working hard and start working smart. The less time you spend on each of these pain points, the more time you can spend keeping your tenants happy and maximizing ROI for you and your clients.
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