Qualities of a Property Management Firm

Prop Mgt Questions

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DISTURBING HEADLINES APPEAR ALL TOO FREQUENTLY: Property manager guilty of rent theft; property manager pockets security deposits; property manager ignores city water bills. And we cringe reading them because good managers do exist. Finding good managers is the problem, especially since no particular search method is failure proof.

To the rescue―or so it would seem―come the various articles that list the tips that will aid a property owner in selecting a good manager for his/her property. Good skills with people, attention to detail and a willingness to work weekends are commonly mentioned attributes. Are such tips helpful? Well, let’s put it this way, it would be difficult to argue that such qualities do not matter because they do. So if you’re a property owner and only need someone to relay resident complaints, call the plumber and collect rent, then employing someone of pleasant character and reasonable responsibility may suffice. However, such an employee may have minimal, if any, appropriate training in, working knowledge of or meaningful experience with the requirements, obligations and laws that apply to rental property operations. In which case inadvertent violations are more prone to occur.

Interestingly, we find too few articles focus on contract property management firms, and even fewer seem to mention management firms that are professionally licensed and insured even though some jurisdictions require a license and insurance to perform management services. Of course, holding a license doesn’t guaranty competence though the license should be a more reliable indicator of the firm’s expertise, which is one reason we recommend seeking a professional firm that is licensed and insured whenever we’re retained to assist with property management firm selection

When we make this recommendation someone usually says it is a self-serving requirement since we are a licensed and insured firm that performs property management services. Quite honestly we understand such a recommendation may be viewed that way, but experience shows a licensed firm displays a professional commitment to better service through training, experience and competence. Moreover, such a firm is likely to bring other notable staff qualities to the table.

Foremost among these is familiarity with other similar projects, which is another frequently and correctly mentioned tip in the said articles. Yet nearly as important though seldom referenced is the property management firm’s ability to effectively communicate with resident tenants. This goes beyond sending flyers about a residents’ bake sale or writing violation letters. It is the regular proactive effort to keep residents informed about their building or community, fully answering questions, assisting with resident problems when appropriate and being receptive to residents suggestions for improvement.

If a property owner finds a competent licensed and insured management firm having experience with similar properties, people skills, attention to detail and effective communication, in our opinion that property owner may have hit a grand slam home run.

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Need consulting, coaching or problem troubleshooting regarding other single-family or multi-family housing issues? We’ll be pleased to help you. Visit us at the Inhouse Corporation website or contact us at inhouseco@aol.com

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Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is to promote awareness and general discussion of the presented topic. Use of this blog shall be the reader’s agreement this blog is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified professional and each action that may be taken shall be under the specific guidance and oversight and/or performance of a professional qualified in the subject matter. If you have a question or want assistance with a featured or related matter please contact us at InhouseCo@aol.com (include the blog article title on the subject line). Links, references and credits in this blog are for convenience only and are not endorsements by the author or Inhouse Corporation. Statements and/or opinions of guest authors may or may not reflect those of Inhouse Corporation.

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