The Four Agreements of Property Management

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“Just Because _____, Doesn’t Mean _____.”

If you’ve sat in on any of my sessions any time in the last several years, you’ve probably heard me make that statement. It usually goes something like this,

 

Just because the owner didn’t return your call, doesn’t mean he is avoiding you. Call him again.”

 

Never Make Assumptions – Agreement #1 for the Successful Property Manager

 

We property managers are a pretty smart bunch. If we’re any good in the business, we’ve learned about (read: internalized) the typical events between landlords, tenants, and property managers that may come up on any given day. We have rules, and we stick to those rules, or we risk watching our businesses crumble. The property manager who survives for more than 5 years in the business knows what to expect, and how he’ll react to it, when it shows up. Continue reading “The Four Agreements of Property Management”

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Property Management Burnout

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As I prepare to head to Las Vegas next week to facilitate a session on abandoned property, my thoughts focus on my fellow property managers.

Yes, handling tenants’ abandoned property is a challenge and a trigger for stress. But, it’s simply one of many situations a property manager may encounter on any given day. So many aspects of the daily business of property management can create stress:

  • Marketing for new accounts – being competitive without giving your services away
  • Securing qualified tenants for vacant properties – the owner wants it rented NOW, but may blame you if the deal goes bad, later
  • Enforcing lease terms – “I’m sorry you lost your job, but the rent still has to be paid.”
  • And, my all-time favorite, the midnight maintenance call. (Did you know that water heaters are predesigned to fail on holidays, weekends, and after dark?)

 

Over many years in this business, I’ve observed a significant pattern in the life-cycle of many a property management career – that of burnout and re-entry. Continue reading “Property Management Burnout”

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A day in the life of a Property Manager

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A day in the life of a Property Manager...

This one came in from a Facebook friend, and fellow property manager. It’s a situation that occurs more frequently than you might imagine, so I’ll share it with you for your feedback.

 

“I had to do a lock-out eviction on a tenant who owes about $2,000 in back rent. She is the only tenant on the lease, although she has allowed other people to live there. We have possession of the property now, but there’s an issue with personal property. Everyone who has ever lived there is claiming ownership of some of the property. None of them were ever on our lease. The tenant who was named on the lease states that none of the property is hers, and she doesn’t care what I do with it.

 

What do I do? Continue reading “A day in the life of a Property Manager”

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Nonviolent Property Management

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Property Management can be a very challenging profession, in terms of communication. Most often, when the telephone rings, it is a problem. The tenant is unhappy because something needs to be repaired. The owner is unhappy because he’s not making as much money on the property as he thinks he should. The vendor is unhappy because he didn’t get paid the day he submitted his invoice. Property Managers must balance the needs and wants of all parties in landlord/tenant relationship, whether residential or commercial, while at the same time, setting appropriate boundaries, mediating disputes, and communicating difficult messages.

 

Because most property managers have little to no training in communication techniques, many of them burn out within the first year or two in business. The negativity is just too much for them to take. It is out of this awareness, “Nonviolent Property Management: Communication Skills for Property Managers” was developed.

Continue reading “Nonviolent Property Management”

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Rottweilers, Shepherds, and Pitbulls, Oh My!

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Rottweilers, Shepherds, and Pitbulls, Oh My!

The subject of today’s post was inspired by a recent class on accommodating the needs of residents with disabilities. As professional property managers, we know the Federal Fair Housing Act (FFHA) requires us to make reasonable accommodations for renters with physical or mental disabilities. Often times, these requests revolve around assistance animals (note: the term “assistance animal” is synonymous with “companion animal,” “service animal,” “therapy animal,” etc.)  It is widely known within the property management industry that accommodating such requests is generally considered “reasonable,” under FFHA.

 

 

What happens when the animal is a “dangerous breed” of dog?

 

Stories relating to incidents of deadly animal attacks on humans make national news on a fairly regular basis. As many of us know, some insurance companies keep lists of dog breeds they consider “dangerous,” Continue reading “Rottweilers, Shepherds, and Pitbulls, Oh My!”

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Property Management on Purpose

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Property Management on Purpose

Much has been said about the “Accidental Landlord,” lately. It seems that a challenging sales market brings out the landlord in all of us. When the demand for housing shifts from owning to renting, the decision to become an investor-owner, rather than a seller, is one many of your clients have either already made, or are making now.

 

Among the many considerations your clients must weigh in this decision is how best to manage their properties. Are they better off managing a rental themselves, or would they be better served by hiring a professional to take care of tenant selection and day-to-day management?   Continue reading “Property Management on Purpose”

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Are you using video tours for your vacancies?

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Do you post video tours?

What an awesome discovery this has been for me! I recently started using video tours to promote my vacant rental properties in Sparks, Spanish Springs and Reno. Not only did it seem like a far better way to showcase the property than the standard still photographs, but the video allows prospective renters to get a really good “feel” for the property before ever making an appointment to see it. I personally show all my vacant rental properties; I don’t issue keys. As you might imagine, the video tour cuts down on the number of unsuccessful and no-show property showings. That’s just one benefit.  Continue reading “Are you using video tours for your vacancies?”

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Resolutions for the New Year

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Happy New Year!

We all make them, don’t we? We all promise ourselves to do better, do more, and achieve the goals we missed in years past. And, if we’re like so many others, we lose sight of those goals in the madness of living, day to day.

 

This year, I would suggest to you, as a property manager, resolve to embrace just 3 principles that will greatly improve your day-to-day existence in the property management world. When the work life is under control, the rest of life generally seems to follow…

Continue reading “Resolutions for the New Year”

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one…

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In the area of screening tenants for residential rental properties, property managers often like to think of themselves as great judges of character. After all, as a property manager, you deal with prospective tenants from all walks of life, don’t you? A few years in the business is likely to give us the feeling that we instinctively know who’s going to be a good tenant, and who isn’t.

 

Once upon a time…

Continue reading “Stop me if you’ve heard this one…”

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Are you brave enough to specialize?

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I see it all too often…real estate licensees claiming to do it all. Really, people?  Do you really mean to tell me that you’re a top listing agent, a savvy buyer’s representative, you list and sell residential property, multifamily, office, retail, and industrial properties, you provide property management services for all of these property types with sufficient expertise to protect your clients’ interests, and, you serve a geographical territory that encompasses everything within an hour’s drive or more? Wow. Just, wow. How do you do all that with any degree of expertise?  Continue reading “Are you brave enough to specialize?”

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