Tips For First-Time Property Managers

Posted by Gurpreet Ghatehora on Tuesday, October 18th, 2016 at 10:56am.

Managing properties, whether it’s your own or you’ve decided to become a professional property manager, is a complicated endeavour. Many professionals make it look easy, but it’s much harder than it looks. That’s why you’ll need all the advice you can get. If you’re thinking of becoming a property manager, or have just started, here are some tips to make sure you do everything right.

1. Watch Out for Fakes

Many property managers are also responsible for finding tenants. This can be one of the most challenging jobs for a number of reasons, from people lying in their interviews to providing fake references. If you’re going to be a successful property manager or landlord, you need to learn how to sort through the genuinely interested and those stretching the truth to get what they want.

One of the easiest ways to spot a fake reference is to hide your motives when calling. Since you’ll be talking to another landlord, open first by pretending to inquire after an apartment. A landlord will respond by telling you about what’s available or saying there’s currently no vacancy. A fake will get confused and tell you that you called the wrong number.

2. Advertise Correctly

Knowing where to post your open suites is important, but you’ll also need to put up a killer listing. The best listings have pictures, a map of where it is (you can do this using Google maps), and an honest explanation of the house. Since many renters are young and very tech-savvy, you’ll want to avoid stretching the truth too far. If you’re not within walking distance of the university, for example, don’t say you are and hope to win them over during a viewing. Most people will see where you’re located, know you’re lying, and simply move on. Be honest and use lots of visuals for better results.

3. Stay Professional

Even if you’re renting out a secondary suite in your own home (and will thus be sharing the space), it’s best not to mix friendship and property management. The reasons are plenty, but making friends will put you in weird situations when things aren’t happening the way they should. This could include problems on their end, such as late cheques, or problems on your end, like improper maintenance. When things are professional, it gets handled professionally. When things are personal, solving issues gets messy.

First-time property managers make plenty of common mistakes, from improper listing to selecting the wrong kinds of tenants. But with the right approach and by doing your due diligence thoroughly, you can find ideal tenants who will pay their rent on time and make your job much, much easier.

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