Whether you are trying to manage your property yourself or you are planning to contract out the service, as the owner of the building, you need to know some of the common problems that can impact your property. The following are some mistakes to guard against so you can ensure your tenants are safe as well as satisfied with the service.
#1: Inconsistent Maintenance Service
Getting a fresh bid from contractors for every repair needed on the property may seem like a great way to save on maintenance expenses, but in the long run, this can backfire. First, waiting for bids or calling around to find the best plumbing repair deal takes time, which is an inconvenience and a frustration to your tenants. Further, constantly switching between different maintenance and repair services means that no provider becomes familiar with some of the challenges in your building, so the same problem may pop up again and again.
A better option is to shop around once and find the best maintenance providers for your needs. By dedicating your business to one or only a few providers, you may be able to negotiate lower rates. Even better, you may qualify for on-call service from the providers, which means maintenance and repairs can happen more quickly when an issue does arise.
#2: Random Availability
Another problem with trying to manage a property yourself is availability. Unless owning the property is your full-time job and passion, chances are that it will be difficult to maintain regular availability. It can be frustrating to tenants when they try to contact the property manager during normal business hours and no one is ever in.
A property management firm will ensure that there is always someone on duty during posted office hours. Most will also have manned telephone lines available even after hours so that tenants never have issues getting the help they need when they need it.
#3: Insufficient Tenant Screening
New tenant screening is an art form. One must weigh a lot of information to find the best tenants—those that maintain their portion of the property, follow property rules, pay rent on time, and remain tenants for a long time. Many novice property owners simply run a credit check and consider it good, but this doesn't work sufficiently to screen tenants.
Management firms make it their business to be as skilled as possible in tenant screening. They also typically have access to lower-cost screening methods because they have negotiated bulk rates. Checking credit is just the tip of the iceberg, as many firms also run background checks, verify past rental histories, and screen references as well.
Fortunately, most of these mistakes can easily be avoided by hiring a property management firm to handle operations within your building.