5 Things that Make Your Property Management Company Happy

Upon seeing the above title, you may find yourself asking, “Why try to make your property manager happy? Isn’t it their job to make me happy?” And you’d have a point. Property managers want nothing more than to make sure that landlords, property managers, homeowner associations, and condo associations get their rent, have vacancies promptly filled, and see maintenance issues quickly resolved. After all, that’s what makes a good property manager!

But consider what sales author Jeffrey Gitomer said: “Your friendliness and willingness to help is in direct proportion to your success. All things being equal, people want to do business with friends. All things being not quite equal, people want to do business with friends.” No matter how professional your property manager is, actually liking one’s clients makes the job much easier — and this article will explain more about how to foment a friendship.

Being Transparent About Your Property's History

The duties of a property manager are pretty clear cut in most situations. They usually involve:

  • Determining market rents and setting tenant’ rents accordingly
  • Marketing the property, screening tenants, and filling vacant units
  • Maintaining the property as maintenance becomes necessary
  • Collecting rent and evicting nonpaying tenants

One of the defining characteristics of a good property manager is that he or she fulfills these obligations in a timely manner. But failing to disclose certain facts about your property’s history can make their job much harder.

For instance, it simply makes sense for you to disclose the age and condition of major fixed assets in your property. Is the roof two decades old? If so, your property manager will need to plan for major repairs. Has one of your extant tenants struggled to make timely rent payments in the past? Acknowledging that issue can help property managers refocus their efforts. Do you have a major renovation planned? An aware property manager can coordinate that construction with a period when your piece of real estate isn’t occupied.

Now consider the converse, what might happen if you don’t inform your property manager about any of the above situations and potentialities. Simply put, it will be impossible for him or her to perform the duties of a property manager if, say, the roof begins to leak, or a problem tenant refuses to hand over checks. In any of these cases, property managers will find their workload suddenly increased, and if a landlord or owner can sound the “heads up” first, they will greatly appreciate it.

Actively Communicate and Be Responsive

The previous point highlights an important axiom for any healthy professional relationship: Frank (yet courteous) communication helps everyone remain happily informed. A common piece of advice for property managers is to focus on active communication. The same, though, holds true for HOAs, landlords, and other clients. If you have a concern, question, or request, communicate it! Your property manager will be able to provide better service — and will appreciate the fact that you took steps to ensure that things continue to progress smoothly.

The converse is also true. Successful property managers can’t afford to procrastinate. In addition to keeping you satisfied, they also need to handle tenant complaints, manage contractors, and deal with urgent emergencies that often strike at the least opportune time. They’re handling all of the things that owners would generally prefer not to, and time is often of the essence. So when the duties of a property manager require owners to fill out specific information on a form or return a phone call or make some specific decision, do so quickly. Few things feel as bad for a property manager as being held up by an HOA’s slow response.

Being Organized when it comes to Paperwork

It’s axiomatic that most everyone dislikes paperwork. In Order personal organizing service founder Deborah Gussoff told CNBC, “Paper is the bane of most people’s existence.” It can certainly seem that way when it comes to property management. From simple information forms to IRS certifications to miscellaneous agreements between you and the property management company, the paperwork can seem irritatingly never-ending. But stop for a moment and consider this idea: Paperwork is a vital technology, one that helps everyone involved in property management work more quickly and efficiently. Sound incredible? Just consider the historical case of the Greek poet Simonides of Ceos.

According to some ancient sources, Simonides once survived the collapse of a temple by accidentally leaving right before its supportive columns gave way. Returning in horror, he found himself greeted by the grieving relatives of the victims who wanted to know exactly who had perished. Though the deceased had been horribly crushed during the accident, Simonides was able to reconstruct who’d been there by associating each individual with his intimate knowledge of the temple’s architecture. This associative memory technique, which Simonides further developed and refined, was an important method for remembering things — until paperwork became commonplace.

Paperwork takes things that are rattling around in various people’s heads and externalizes them so that anyone who picks up a piece of flimsy paper can comprehend it. We don’t have to rely on mere memory anymore thanks to it! So when your property manager asks for some specific form or information, be organized enough to promptly produce it, and everyone will be happy.

Setting Priorities for Meetings

Property managers are busy people. That statement isn’t meant to aggrandize them. Instead, it’s simply a statement of fact. It’s not just that they’re screening tenants, facilitating repairs, investigating changes in the market, and (in some cases) helping owners find additional properties in which to invest. It’s the fact that they’re doing this time after time for scores of clients. Indeed, how to be a better property manager often boils down to learning how to manage one’s time in an even more efficient manner, and when someone wastes property managers’ time, it means they can’t perform the essentials of their jobs.

We all have experienced time-waster meetings where the items discussed could’ve been just as easily addressed via email. Don’t become that client who schedules aimless meetings that take forever to get to the point. If you must meet person to person, clearly define the stated goals for the gathering and quickly address your priorities. Your property manager will love you for it.

Long-term Business Relationship

One of the best ways to encourage a healthy relationship with your property manager is to focus on the long-term rather that the immediate and urgent. If it took slightly longer for your manager to address a concern that you believed was pressing, consider whether or not it was as critical as you initially believed. If your property manager’s rates rise slightly, think about the value that the firm provides before immediately jumping ship for a new manager. If a legitimate issue arises, dwell on your property manager’s response first rather than fixating on the issue itself. Even the best property manager will make mistakes, need to periodically increase what they charge, and won’t respond quite as quickly as you might like. Focusing on the short term might cause you to break off what could become a profitable relationship. Focusing on the long term might increase your returns, reduce your hassles, and leave both you and your property manager happy indeed.

If you are looking for a committed property manager, know that Millennium Properties has worked with a select group of clients for a quarter of a century. Contact us today at (312) 338-3000 to see how we can help you!

Anne Barer

About Ro Crawford

Ro has extensive background in several sectors of the Real Estate industry including residential and commercial assets. Ro is responsible for developing a comprehensive marketing plan for each property as well as managing the company’s social media accounts. She designs, writes and edits offering memorandums, press releases, proposals for new business, eblasts and more. For questions, comments, or suggestions related to our blog, you can contact us via our website.