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Top 3 traps when buying a rent roll

By Leanne Vincent
14 April 2015 | 11 minute read

Buying a rent roll is a great way to grow your property management business.

However, making sure you have the key aspects of the task ahead set firmly in your mind ensures you maintain good relationships with your landlords. This is not only to recoup your purchase price, but also to keep these clients long into your property management journey. 

There are so many issues to consider when implementing your new rent roll that key factors can be overlooked. The top three traps you MUST be aware of are:

1. Failing to get ready for the influx 

When you buy a rent roll you haven’t had the opportunity to interview, meet or choose your new landlords. Therefore, you are unaware of the way they like to have their home cared for and any specific requirements they may have. 

If properties come under your care in an organic way, you have the time to get to know the owners and ensure you can tailor the management process to their needs. You will initially feel swamped with the induction of the new rent roll, but it is just as critical that the same level of care be provided to every new owner from the very beginning. 

Make sure you establish not only how you plan to care for their properties and the level of service you provide, but you also need to find out the level of management they have been accustomed to. 

Right now is the ideal time to clearly state how things are going to work for both of you from here on in to make sure that you are on the same page. 

Whether your landlord has a single investment property or a larger portfolio, each will be seeking reassurances that they are going to be safe within your care.

It’s all about making them feel secure and having this process run as smoothly as possible. 

2. Leaking of landlords 

It can be easy to forget existing landlords while you are bringing new ones on board. If you are not making sure you dedicate enough care and attention to your existing landlords – the ones already used to the high standards you provide – then they are going to be really upset with you. 

This proves to be a big problem for agencies time and again: while you fill the bucket with new owners from a rent roll purchase, you don't notice the small hole in the bottom where existing clients are allowed to leak out. 

This is a careful balancing act – but, yes, there is enough room for everyone on the see-saw. This comes back to your time management, ensuring all your phone calls and emails are acknowledged in a timely manner, and keeping on top of the relationships you have already built. 

Your landlords know how hard you work for them and that you have their interests at heart – but they should never feel like they have been forgotten or are no longer as important as they once were. 

3. Getting to know your new tenants 

When you bring on a large group of properties in this way, it is easy to make everything all about your owners and their needs. After all, they are the ones paying you. 

But, as a property manager, you know that without a happy tenant this recipe will never work. You need to make sure that you have part of the “welcome to our agency” process in place for new tenants too. 

Take the time to call and introduce yourself, make sure they have the right contact details should they need to discuss something with you and ask them how their tenancy has been so far. For instance, is there anything that has been overlooked at their rental property you can now assist them with? 

Unhappy tenants create huge workloads: you will be busy enough making sure  everyone who has just joined your property management family is happy, so don’t allow yourself to end up with a tenant complicating things when it can be avoided. 

We all know that there are many ways to grow your business. 

Whether it be by natural progression and organic means, the purchase of a rent roll or a combination of the two – having the right systems and procedures in place to ensure that your thought processes automatically scan to the right areas each time is critical to your ongoing success. 

A little time and the correct planning now, can save you bucket loads of money in the long term, and make your life and that of your staff easier and happier. 


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