4 errors that drive landlords out the door

4 errors that drive landlords out the door

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Landlords are the lifeblood of a successful rent roll, yet some property managers make basic mistakes that turn them away.

Residential Property Manager spoke to three industry figures to find out the mistakes that are being made – and their serious financial consequences. 

Poor communication

LJ Hooker Sunnybank Hills property investment manager Stepfanie Regan said 90 per cent of management terminations are the result of a lack of communication.

“PMs need to invest more time in picking up the phone and speaking with their clients rather than hiding away behind a keyboard, especially considering most of the time our phone calls cost them money,” Ms Regan said.

Investors Edge Real Estate director Jarrad Mahon said PMs should always respond to clients, even if they don’t have an immediate answer.

“Tell them you have received their request and you are working on it and give a time frame to get back to them,” he said.

Just a rent collector

Leanne Vincent from Property Management for You said lack of knowledge and poor advice was another mistake that turns landlords away.

“You are supposed to be up with legislation, you are supposed to be able to read the documentation and give them the short version that they understand,” she said. 

“If they are not getting that or they are not getting updates … they are really just paying you to collect rent.” 

Sugar-coating maintenance issues

Ms Regan said PMs shouldn’t understate the cost of repairs or the extent of any damage left behind by tenants. 

“Before you know it they've jumped on a plane to see the house for themselves and you're in deep water for not painting the picture the way it really is,” she said. 

“Be honest all the time and your life will become easier in the long run.”

Mr Mahon added that PMs should troubleshoot before spending the money on maintenance.

“Don’t just send tradespeople out when you have not identified the problem, it could be an easy fix,” he said. 

[Also] don't just come to them all the time with maintenance that costs money – suggest improvements that will increase its sale and rental value by more than the cost.” 

Empty promises

Ms Vincent said landlords will feel undervalued if PMs don’t follow through on promises made at the appraisal process.

“This is a huge investment for them and for a lot of landlords they have not done this before, so they are coming to you to feel safe and secure,” she said.

“If they are not getting that feeling of value, they will continue to move around until they find that right person.”

Ms Regan said many landlords were using their life savings, superannuation or an  inheritance on their property investment. 

“You need to show them that they aren't just another number in your database,” she said. 

“If they can see that you truly want to manage their property and have their best interest at heart, you have the core of a great business relationship.”

[Related: 3 mistakes that lose you tenants]

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