The perfect location, new upgrades, and a well-maintained property can draw in plenty of clients looking for a home or office space but all of that can be easily undone with poor management skills. Poor property management can bring down the nicest of places in just a few short months. To avoid bringing down the value of your property or scaring away a potential buyer, avoid these common mistakes.
1. Failing to follow up
When a possible client walks through your doors, they are looking to you to show them their future home or office. Following up with the individual can show them your interest in their business. A property manager viewed as cold, uncaring, and just looking to fill their bottom line is less likely to close the deal on a rental.
2. Not hiring the best
Even the best-looking properties cannot sell themselves, you will need exceptional sales people to get the job done. Be sure to hire yourself an experienced and personable leasing team for your leasing property.
3. Not firing bad employees
In coordination with hiring the best, you have to make sure you only keep the best. Not everyone is cut out for a sales position and has harsh as it may seem, those who cannot meet or exceed your business standards for leasing have to be let go in order for your property to thrive. Poor performance can be a sign that an individual is unhappy with their position and if it continues review after review without any improvement or change, then keeping the individual on can cost more than hiring and training a replacement.
4. Poor marketing plan
Formulating a marketing plan is a necessity in any business industry. Marketing helps enlighten prospective leasees of the available spaces on your property to rent. Without a marketing plan, the experienced sales team you put together are not able to be as efficient as they could be.
5. Failure to enforce the leasing contract
The contract between the leasee and the lessor provides protection for both sides. The contract defines the living or rental arrangement and what is or is not allowed. A contract ensures penalties for late rent, guaranties maintenance corrections, and protects the rights of the leasee among other issues. The contract is meant to safeguard both parties during the term of the leasing agreement. Failure to adhere to the agreement for one or several tenants can reduce the effectiveness of it to others.
6. Lack of documentation
This goes hand and hand with implementing a contract with your leasees. Relying only on a verbal agreement can lead to many problems, including legal ones. Verbal agreements can easily be misinterpreted or even ignored and in many cases, hold no legal enforcement. Always use a physical contract when leasing a space.
Should an issue arise between a leasee and lessor, proper documentation is a must. Provide all communication in writing and document any evidence for your case.
7. Not performing background checks on future tenants
As a property manager, you are responsible for the safety of your tenants and the well-being of the property you manage. Leasee’s with prior evictions may pose a higher risk for missed rental payments or even damaged rental spaces if evicted. Violence or other crimes, like vandalism, committed on your property pose a risk to your tenants, your property, and the property’s reputation. You could also be held liable in a civil action so proper and thorough screening is necessary to a safe and profitable environment.
8. Neglecting maintenance
Taking over a property can be a daunting task; there are multiple leasees, each with their own maintenance problem. If left neglected these issues can pile up and leave staff feeling overwhelmed. Getting into the habit of preventative maintenance can help catch issues before they get out of control. Also, hiring enough (skilled and experienced) maintenance staff will ensure that the tasks do not get out of hand. Avoid allowing tenants from performing their own maintenance, if possible. Well intended individuals may not have the skill or knowledge to correctly perform a maintenance task and can accidentally create a bigger issue.