Managing properties can be a rewarding and profitable business. It can also be overwhelming, demanding, and stressful. Over the years at Telelink, we’ve helped property managers achieve better work-life balance, improve tenant satisfaction, and scale their businesses. In this article, we will discuss three common property management challenges and some cost-effective solutions to each.
Regular, planned maintenance is something that every property manager knows how to deal with. The key word being planned - when things don’t go as planned it can end up costing property managers big bucks. Aside from “expecting the unexpected” and keeping a dedicated stash of money for these types of repairs, the truly savvy property manager can track historical maintenance request data.
Tracking maintenance request calls will not eliminate unplanned maintenance completely, but over time, you will identify trends. If you then proactively make decisions to mitigate these issues, it will decrease the number of unplanned maintenance requests.
For example, let’s say you receive calls about door handles and locks needing replacement over and over. Identifying the pattern of door fixtures that need replacing can enable you to make a proactive decision to stop buying that particular brand of handle and lock. By switching to a new door handle you are preventing that same maintenance issue from occurring repeatedly. Now, handles and locks are relatively inexpensive, but when you apply the same practice to things like costly appliances such as refrigerators, washers and dryers, and stoves, you can really begin to save yourself a lot of money over time.
Tenant complaints are inevitable. Every property manager has to deal with tenant issues, and every good property manager knows the faster they deal with them the better.
It costs a lot more to bring in a new tenant than it does to retain an existing tenant, so you need to be sure that you are active in dealing with their complaints and calls. Ensure that you or a staff member is available 24/7 to take tenant calls, even throughout the middle of the night (often, those are the most urgent calls). You don’t necessarily need to act immediately when tenants call, but you do need to let them know they are heard, and that action will be taken to remedy their problem.
Think about what you look for in a good tenant – you want someone who is responsible, responsive, and professional; your tenants expect the same thing from you. Responding to and resolving tenant issues quickly will help your property management company keep tenants longer and reduce the cost of bringing in new tenants.
Property Management Admin work
I think we would all enjoy less admin work. The problem with administrative tasks is that they simply need to be done. The key thing to remember is that they do not need to be done by YOU – the property manager. Rather than spend time on task-driven admin work that keeps the wheels on the bus, focus your time on important property improvements, customer service excellence, or other things that really move the needle towards higher profitability.
Taking a customer call and recording their problem is just the beginning of admin work. You then need to dispatch the appropriate maintenance worker for the job. Part of that dispatching may require that you go purchase materials, source a worker, and then follow up to ensure the issue has been resolved.
Find the right partner
At Telelink, we do all the above to help our property management clients scale their businesses and focus on what they do best. Our call centre is open 24/7, which means property managers don’t have to take calls 24/7. Our agents have years of experience working in the property management industry, allowing them to use discretion to triage urgent vs. non-urgent tenant issues. We can work in our clients’ databases, or build one for you, so that you receive valuable data analytics to help you with decision making. We give property management firms a sense of consistency and professionalism with every single call.
Want to see it firsthand? Look at our case study featuring Canadian Real Estate mogul GWL residential and how we helped them move from playing catch up to getting ahead with proactive tenant management.