Over the past month, I have seen a good half a dozen stories about tenants from hell. Sadly, every one was self-managed. For those owners I am sure it started out as a way to save a little bit of money.
Blogger: Leah Calnan, director at Metro Property Management
They knew they could provide the tenant with their bank account details for the rent to be paid and if any maintenance comes up they will arrange a tradie to attend to it – and again, for most self-managing owners out there I am sure that’s all they think a property manager does.
But what about when things go wrong? What about when they go terribly wrong? The $100 a month they could have paid to a property manager ($1,200 every year) could have very well saved them thousands and thousands of dollars worth of lost rent, stress and financial hardship. It’s at this time that hindsight is a beautiful thing!
In order for the public to see the true value of a property manager, first the property manager must know their own true value; otherwise the public will continue to make decisions based purely on fees. We need to know what our point of difference is. What is your company’s point of difference in comparison to your competitors out there? And it can’t be that we provide great customer service or return telephone calls because everyone brags about that – even though we know it’s not true.
When selling your service to a prospective client you need to highlight areas where the clients can’t do things on their own without the true expertise and value of a highly skilled and experienced property manager. We need to spell out the many areas where owners can get themselves into trouble. For example, not taking a bond because the tenants seem nice and wouldn’t possibly do the wrong thing by the owner. Or not conducting routine inspections because the tenant always pays the rent on time. Your prospective client needs to understand the demanding legislation process when you need to serve notices for late rent, entry and access, breaches and terminations, and then know we know what to do next! And what about an eviction and goods left behind, do they need to be stored or can they be destroyed? These are just a couple of areas where things can go wrong and for many of you, these are all areas you tackle every day or every week.
So spring is now upon us and we are seeing many investors come back into the market. So, stand up and start to highlight your true value to all prospective clients out there, even if you miss out on the management because the owner chooses cheap over quality. Stay in touch with the prospective client, because when things go bad or they are not receiving the customer service they want to receive, that’s when they will quickly realise they need you and the $10 or $20 per month you were going to charge them will be money well spent moving forward into the future.
About Leah Calnan
Leah Calnan is one of the industry’s most accomplished property management experts. With 20 years experience in the field of property management, her dedication and passion to the industry is second to none. She is the sole director of Metro Property Management, a business which leases and manages just under 2,000 properties in over 170 suburbs across Melbourne. She has won numerous industry awards, she is a qualified industry trainer, the current chairperson of the Property Management Chapter at the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) and in 2012 released her first book Simple and Successful Property Management.