If You Use A Property Manager

I won’t use a property management company because I’ve seen too much of the type of tenants they place in a rental.

However, some people do use and them. If you use a property management company, at the very least find out what their screening criteria is.

I just had an applicant tell me that they found 2 property management companies that do not run credit reports and one of them doesn’t even require a SS# from applicants.

We’ve got a local company advertising on the radio that they will find you a tenant in 2 weeks or you don’t pay the management fee. Well, yeah, I could find you a tenant in two weeks, guaranteed. I can find you eight tenants within 24 hours if I don’t care who I put into your unit.

Always remember that the manager does not have to pay for the damage; he bills the owner for repairs. The manager doesn’t have to pay for the eviction; the owner must pay for that. Also, if the manager must find you a new tenant after a couple of months, he gets a brand new fee for locating that tenant. That means he has no vested interest in getting a good long term tenant. He makes more if there is a lot of turnover and a lot of service calls.

I’m sure there must be good property managers out there. But do not ever assume that because property management is their job that they are going to take great care of you. I wouldn’t even assume that they know the law and will comply with it, I’ve certainly talked to a few property managers who did not know the law.

It comes down to: nobody takes care of your money as well as you do. If you use a manager, you will be better off if you pay attention and manage the manager.

If you want to find a good manager you need to keep looking. I have a few properties of my own and manage a few also for an out of state investor. He wants to be involved and I have found ways to accomodate this. I actually have the opposite problem, the tenants he had are the problem ones because he let them get away with stuff like paying late.

Let me put it this way - I get 10% of the gross for myself and nothing at all when it’s vacant. A reliable tenant that pays the rent on time and only calls when something is broken takes very little time. A troublesome tenant and frequent turnovers require a lot of time that I cannot bill for (I don’t take part of the first months rent, just 10% of gross and then an hourly rate for maintenance). For a typical turnover I’ll have 20 or so hours invested in there, and maybe half a dozen hours of maintenance. I can only bill for the maintenance.

I make much more money with a good tenant, even if it sits for a month. This is because I am doing something else instead of fiddling with his rentals.

Just wanted to comment on tatertot mentioning that they know some managment companies that don’t even require SSN.

By federal law Social Security Numbers and the Social Security Card are to be used for federal retirement purposes only. That’s why about 10 years ago hospitals and doctors offices had to drop the use of SSN to identify patients and patients medical records.

You could find yourself in trouble using these numbers and it places your organization as well as the property management company in a bad position should an employee of either company take the number or discard documention or files in the wrong manner.