Why Communication is Key with Your Property Management Company
We live in a world where communication is key, but not all businesses are good at it. Telecommunication providers, for example, are notorious for their annoying and barely-responsive customer services… if you can even reach them at all.
It’s no different in the service-oriented real estate industry. PMCs are supposed to manage properties and tenants on behalf of landlords. They need to stay on top of tenant requests, chase their late payments, coordinate with contractors, monitor all projects, and answer to the landlords—all of which require constant, proactive communication.
Despite this, many PMCs are bad communicators. They may be unorganized or not transparent. Either way, communicating with them is a massive headache.
But landlords shouldn’t have to worry about their rental portfolio or crappy PMC customer service. After all, why hire a PMC at all, if all it results in is more stress?
A landlord’s rental business should thrive, as long as they have responsible, paying tenants, well-maintained properties, and a management company that stays on top of things. In order to have all of that, there needs to be good communication between them and their PMC.
Let’s look at the 4 reasons why communication is so essential to good property management:
1. Good Communication = Organization
There wouldn’t be property management companies if managing properties was easy. Every day, PMCs juggle multiple tasks simultaneously. Tenants often need immediate responses to issues and emergencies, while landlords need regular overviews of what’s happening with all of their properties.
You should look for a property management company that has good communication between its managers, maintenance crews, and even tenants. If all their tasks are organized well—scheduled, monitored, and documented properly—they can update you on what’s happening with your properties regularly. If not, well then, even the PMC itself probably has no idea what’s going on.
2. Good Communication = Transparency
With open communication, you also see how a property management company manages each part of your rental business. You know how your problematic tenants are evicted, how often the rent-delinquent tenants are managed, or how contractors are being chosen to repair your properties.
The opposite of this is a property management company that calls the shots on the properties without you knowing. This kind of PMC might hire contractors without submitting bids for your approval, send you bills without any itemized costs listed, and fail to inform you of tenant issues as soon as they arise (or ever).
3. Good Communication = Proactiveness
A property management company that prioritizes good communication will also be proactive in its management. Though you’ll still have to call them up occasionally, a PMC should also proactively reach out to you—not the other way around. If they can get ahead of your concerns and anticipate your needs, your business will be much more profitable.
A PMC that prioritizes communication will:
● Document & check which properties need maintenance or repairs
● Schedule and address all routine issues, avoiding more serious damage
● Anticipate any potential problems with tenants based on their knowledge of the area
● Address and resolve issues (e.g. carry out evictions) before things escalate
● Be prepared for any upcoming or possible vacancies ahead of time
● Manage marketing and turnovers efficiently
The opposite is a property management company that only moves when you call them up to complain. This defeats the whole purpose of hiring a property management company. Landlords shouldn’t have to chase after the supposed “help” that they hired to manage their properties on their behalf.
4. Good Communication = Your Profitability
For a PMC, their customers are their landlords. That means that property managers’ success is directly tied to your satisfaction with the management service they provide. The happier you are, the better it is for the property management company (as long as it’s a good PMC that cares about customer satisfaction). And, let’s be real, what makes landlords the happiest? Stable profitability.
From our 20+ years of property management experience in the Metro Detroit area, we’ve learned that:
● Good communication leads to great property management
● Great property management leads to quality tenants and well-maintained properties
● Quality tenants and well-maintained properties lead to healthy revenue streams for landlords
Property management is highly relational, that’s why communication plays a huge part. Keep in mind that:
Good communication = Proper management = Quality tenants and properties = Profitable investments
As a property management company, we personally care about delivering great service, because it’s a win-win for everyone—both the PMC and the landlord. Your success is our success, because the quality of our service directly impacts your rental business profit, and higher profits for you means a longer working relationship for us.
If only all PMCs felt the same way…
Sadly, that’s not the case. There are a lot of crappy property management companies out there that are happy to take your money, pretend to be helpful during the first few months, and then stop taking or calls or sending you updates thereafter.
Why don’t they care about making their customers happy? I don’t know. I guess they’re bad businesspeople.
At any rate, those are exactly the kinds of PMCs you need to avoid (and unfortunately, there are many) – so screen thoroughly and ask detailed questions about their comms systems when you do!
In short: Good Communication = Less Stress for Landlords
If your property management company doesn’t communicate properly, you’ll never know how your properties are being maintained or how the tenants are behaving. You may not even know if they’re paying their rent on time, hurting your profitability.
The whole point of hiring a property management company is to increase your ROI and decrease your stress as a landlord. Because of this, PMCs need to be organized, transparent, and proactive—all essential to effective communication, and if your PMC has good communication, it’s therefore a good sign that they have these other qualities, too.
However, not all property management companies prioritize communication in the same way. When screening for a PMC, remember that poor communication is an indication of poor management, and make sure you grill them on exactly how (and how frequently) they’ll be getting in touch with you.
Landlords, does your PMC practice good communication? What communication issues have you dealt with so far with other property managers?
Image courtesy of Ketut Subiyanto