No matter the number of units, property management can get stressful. Acquire this role in an urban environment…and you’ve got yourself another set of unique obligations that need a solid strategy. None the less, property management doesn’t have to be stressful 100% of the time. The best leaders learn to delegate tasks, are confident in hiring people who know more than them, and seek tools help balance their everyday tasks and responsibilities. This has to be you!
Take a second imagine the “rack” or triangle we use to play pool. All three angles are strong and are required to get the desired result. The same goes for your business structure—your management team needs to be strong in three core areas. To support your mission in becoming a more effective, stress-free property manager, here are three operation concepts worth prioritizing while planning for Q1.
- Recruit/Hire a STRONG Maintenance Manager, because you NEED one. Typically this department has high turnover and can lead to the most tenant complaints and bad reviews. Start with revising your job description taking into account which skills/requirements are non-negotiable as it relates to the unique needs of your property. Use your data i.e. past work orders. Property maintenance AND management experience are REQUIRED. There’s nothing worse than hiring someone who knows the work, but can’t manage/train others.
- Develop STRICT guidelines for tenant leasing requirements i.e. net income, credit scores, pet policy, late fee etc. These norms should be co-developed with your owner and leasing manager and reevaluated a systematic basis. Once developed, your full team should be should be trained on these policies. The more educated your team is on policies and procedures, the better equipped you are to attract tenants who respect your guidelines and communicate expectations during difficult times to owners and tenants alike. Protect your investment!
- Develop clear and consistent collection procedures. To start, be sure all tenant ledgers are up to date. We can’t stress this enough. Once complete, work with your team to develop fair and realistic rent deadline, followed by strict follow-up procedures. Think along the lines of, how will late fees be communicated, how many points of contact are required before ledger is passed to an attorney, secured vs. non-secured payment options post-delinquency, acceptable payment arrangements etc. Collection decisions should rarely if ever be made on a whim.