If you are a property manager, there are likely times when you feel that your current processes aren’t working anymore, or they’re not working as well as you’d like them to. This is a common situation for property management managers or companies, especially in the new normal. The real estate industry is constantly in flux, but the pandemic brought changes that threw many property managers in a loop.
We believe that constantly reviewing the industry’s best practices is essential, so this article will share some curated property management tips for you. If you are just getting started on becoming a property manager, these managing rental property tips will help you survive tough tenants, understand and deliver on service expectations and promise results to landlords and rental property owners, deal with vendors, and maintenance and other service providers, and so much more. And, if you want to know how to start a property management company, we recommend partnering with a property management consulting service to address any issues with your workflows and processes.
Property management organization tips
Suppose you are a property manager or are dreaming of starting a property management company. In that case, it’s critical to review property management tips for landlords, too, as the first requirement of effective property managers is to put oneself in the property owner’s shoes and adopt a similar mindset so you can be both strategic and decisive. Below are property management tips that cover several essential domains in the expertise.
Understand millennials to attract them
Millennials are not like Generation X – and they couldn’t be more dissimilar to Baby Boomers. These differences don’t make them bad tenants – it just makes them, well, different. Property managers need to understand where millennials are coming from to attract them to rent properties. Here are some key pointers.
- Why aren’t millennials buying homes and just renting? They haven’t had much chance to save for a deposit because of severe college debt and a couple of “once in a lifetime” occurrences in their early adulthoods (particularly the property market meltdown and the pandemic). This generation has largely postponed important life events such as marriage and children until later in life, leading them to remain renters until they are ready to settle down. Many of them never do.
- Millennials appreciate the flexibility that renting provides. They can accept employment offers in other places without thinking about selling their property, and they don’t have to deal with any significant maintenance issues that may arise as renters.
- Millennials value simplicity and convenience, so residences close to the things they need and locations they frequent will appeal to them. Therefore, this age group is likely interested in a rental investment home close to local employers, schools, universities, malls, stores, and entertainment centers.
Parks, walking trails, beaches, bike lanes, lakes, and other amenities will also appeal to millennials, particularly those with small children who work remotely and prefer taking their laptops outside for some fresh air or a change of scenery.
- You’re not going to attract millennials if your property management business needs renters to bring in paper checks every month. The same is true if you need them to write down maintenance requests physically – and they must manually bring these requests (again) to your office before anything is fixed.
- Millennials value getting things done quickly and plain convenience, which means they prefer to accomplish something online wherever they may be. This generation expects to be able to submit maintenance requests, pay rent, and perform other rental-related business online, and if those conveniences aren’t provided, they’ll likely search elsewhere.
Be flexible with communication
This is undoubtedly one of our most crucial property management organization tips. As they say, communication is vital, and nowhere is this more evident than in the world of property management.
With everyone’s added stress these days, even the tiniest communication blunder can sour an otherwise cordial relationship between renters, property managers, and the landlords these businesses represent. Misunderstandings can often be prevented if all parties are aware of how they communicate with one another. If you are serious about starting a property management company, you need to master communication.
When dealing with many renters, property managers must keep in mind that not everyone prefers the same communication approach. For example, you’ll have some tenants who only want to talk on the phone and others who don’t want you to call them because they prefer email or text. Pay attention to this as you get to know your tenant.
When something essential comes up, it’s much easier to contact a tenant if you use their preferred communication channel. For example, you probably don’t want to call Sophie on Brown Street about a critical or time-sensitive maintenance issue if she won’t answer the phone but will respond immediately to a text.
There’s a tremendous difference between hearing someone speak and listening to them. Active listening entails actively participating in the conversation by rephrasing what the other party has said, taking notes if necessary, and demonstrating empathy. Also, don’t be scared to “over-communicate” – you’re communicating with this tenant to give information, and it’s your obligation as the landlord to make sure they understand. Finally, landlords can pick up on cues from their tenants and be prepared if a conversation will escalate by using active listening techniques.
Becoming a property manager means you’re going to interact with all sorts of personalities – ready or not. When speaking with tenants, you are put in “the expert” position as the property manager.
However, if this isn’t tempered by a genuine desire to understand a tenant’s circumstances and assist them, it might come across as arrogant. So always be sure to explain things gently and adequately and take time throughout the talk to check if the other party has any questions. But what if they ask a question to which you have no answer?
While you may be tempted to simply end the call and cry beneath your desk, the best move is to say you don’t know the answer, vow to conduct some research and get the answers they need as soon as possible. Finally, offer gratitude to your tenants by thanking them for calling, telling them how much you enjoyed speaking with them, and so on. Whether you’re a property manager, remember that the tenants are your customers and should be treated as such.
Don’t forget online reputation management
The majority of potential tenants begin their search for rentable residences using mobile devices or a laptop. We are undoubtedly in the era of social media and “the internet of things.” As a result, potential tenants start narrowing the rental market without ever seeing properties in person through Google searches and by using popular rental apps or sites. As a property manager, you must ensure that your rental property’s digital footprint and representations are optimized to attract the best tenants.
It doesn’t take a lot for a disgruntled person to write a bad review online. However, when individuals take the time to provide favorable evaluations for a firm, it means they were blown away by the experience and the place, of course.
Property management firms with glowing web reviews have likely delivered excellent customer service and maintained their properties well while keeping their tenants satisfied.
Learn to take action if you want to keep the best tenants
So you’ve found the ideal tenants, a tremendous burden has been removed from your shoulders, and the difficult part is over, right? However, don’t get too comfy just yet; you need to focus your efforts on keeping those tenants. Having responsible renters who pay on time and keep your property in good repair will add long-term value to any property investment.
Though great tenants may have personal reasons for not renewing a lease agreement, there are several things property managers can do to encourage great tenants to stay for the long haul. We’ve compiled a list of six basic steps that investment property owners and managers may take to ensure that their ideal tenants stay for years to come.
Resolve any difficulties as soon as possible, including maintenance issues
Isn’t it true that an unhappy renter is unlikely to sign a two-year lease extension? And residents who have been attempting for three weeks to get their garbage disposal fixed only to be met with unanswered calls and emails are likely to be on the opposite side of the happiness spectrum.
Property managers should make every effort to resolve maintenance issues at rental homes as quickly as feasible. These efforts show the tenant that you care about their home, happiness and their well-being.
What if a problem can’t be resolved right away?
In the meantime, communicate that knowledge and, if possible, offer alternate solutions. For example, tenants are considerably more likely to be content with their home and the person who manages it if they believe their landlord is doing everything possible to resolve an issue.
Know what long-term tenants are searching for in a rental
Of course, what tenants look for in a property differs depending on their population. Bicycle storage and built-in study desks are features that college students may appreciate.
A family could prefer homes with gated backyards and new kitchen appliances and countertops. The idea is that if you outfit your investment property with some of today’s most popular amenities, you’ll be more likely to find excellent tenants who want to stay longer than a year.
This may seem obvious, but landlords and property managers are frequently tempted to keep the landlord-tenant relationship rigid and inflexible. Of course, you want to maintain a professional connection with your tenants, but there’s nothing wrong with being friends with them.
How do you show that you are an approachable property manager?
This might be as simple as asking how they’re doing, expressing interest in a topic they’ve brought up, or discussing a common interest. No, you don’t want to become friends with your renters, but getting to know them and them getting to know you strengthens the bond and enhances the likelihood that they’ll want to keep you as their property manager.