Rental property management isn't always easy, but you can make it easier on your business by adopting best practices in your field. As a property manager, you need to ensure that your employees, your contractors, your tenants, and your properties all work well together. Avoid these five property management mistakes, and you'll put your business on the road to success.
1. You Don't Understand the Diversity of Your Tenants and Neighborhoods
When you're involved in rental property management, you need to understand how potential tenants fit with the different neighborhoods where you manage property. Create profiles of the neighborhoods where you work, with lists of the local recreational facilities and cafes, the distance to the urban core, and services that target families or specific age or cultural groups. Understand the profiles of your typical or desired tenants as well, compiling information about their housing, location, amenity, and price preferences. As you market your properties, use this data to determine your marketing targets and methods.
2. You Don't Have Screening Processes in Place for Tenants
Your tenants want the best, and you want the best as well. When you have tenants who damage properties, fail to pay rent, or turnover quickly, this costs your business time and money. If you don't have a set of screening questions and a formal process for checking tenants' references and credit history, you need to have this in place to ensure that your rental property management business will achieve greater success.
3. When Something Goes Wrong, You Don't Have a Contractor Available
Having a list of go-to contractors available to your company can ensure that your properties' needs are serviced as quickly and as well as possible and also prevents you from working in a state of crisis. Forbes' list of common mistakes made by new companies reminds businesses that "if you allow yourself to be driven by the crisis of the moment, you will lose the ability to set priorities and focus on goals." Having a list of contractors that you've worked with in the past or who have an excellent reputation in the places where you work ensures that you'll have an easy time making an appointment, getting reasonable prices, and ensuring that any work you order is completed in a quality and timely fashion.
4. You Don't Have a Consistent Schedule
Being proactive in your maintenance and tenant management is the way to ensure that you have a steady cash flow and avoid crises. When you create an annual and monthly maintenance schedule, you'll be able to prevent problems and discover them at an early stage, saving money and making your tenants happy. When you have a defined series of steps for bringing in a new tenant, you can ensure that you do reference and credit checks and receive a damage deposit in a timely and thorough way.
5. You Don't Have a Way to Manage and Learn From Your Data
How's that property doing? What trends do you see in that particular neighborhood? Whether you need to manage data about a specific tenant, a property, or understand market trends, you need to have a data management system that goes beyond homemade computer files and scraps of notepaper. According to the Houston Chronicle, on average, managers spend 2 hours a day searching for data. Adding a comprehensive data management and analysis system to your workplace not only allows you to have data at your fingertips, it also helps you see trends and make projections so that you can be ahead of the game.
"We wouldn't be the company we are without Propertyware… it allows us (with only 2 people) to manage the entire business" - Jeff Shelton / 3rd Base Realty
When you're managing your tenants and your properties, you need a support system for your data. Propertyware can help. We'll help you manage your data so that you can focus on moving forward in your business. Sign up for a free online tour of Propertyware today.