Managing properties is tough, and experience doesn’t make it any easier. The job keeps getting harder with evolving technology and society.
Today’s top concerns for property managers are listed below – maybe they’re yours too. While we can’t solve them all here, we’ll tackle each one in upcoming articles.
In Australia and New Zealand, meth labs and testing are a massive issue. Discussions about mandatory testing between tenancies are ongoing due to the rapid increase in meth production and use over the last two years. This problem will only get worse, so keep an eye on it.
#2 Drug-affected tenants
Property managers face a challenge with drug-affected tenants, particularly those who use ice, which can lead to unpredictable and aggressive behaviour. This poses a serious problem in identifying and managing such tenants. The industry needs more education on drug-related issues to tackle this problem effectively.
#3 Owners and tenants expect instant communication
Property managers beware: owners and tenants want instant communication! When they bombard you with calls and emails, it’s a real challenge. Set expectations about your availability from the get-go to avoid being overwhelmed.
#4 After-hours availability
Setting the right expectations from the start is crucial when it comes to after-hours availability. Owners and tenants may expect 24/7 access to you, but don’t let it take a toll on your mental health and work-life balance. Remember, burnout leads to resignation. Set boundaries and switch off after-hours.
#5 Working too many long hours
Are you working long hours with no breaks? Skipping lunch and working an extra 2-3 hours daily will lead to burnout, resentment, and eventually resignation. Good time management, following checklists, and management support can help. Also, remember that property/owner selection plays a vital role in this issue. Don’t underestimate it!
#6 Dealing with aggressive and abusive owners and tenants
Property managers, watch out for aggressive owners and tenants!. Conflicts are bound to arise when dealing with people’s investments and homes. This problem is one of the top reasons why property managers quit. Setting expectations and providing proper induction for both parties can help, but even the best managers struggle with this issue.
#7 Social media complaints and bad Google reviews
In the age of social media, everyone has a voice – and an opinion. With the demand for perfection, complaints and bad Google reviews are becoming more common. Don’t let them get you down! It’s all about how you respond to these criticisms, not the complaints themselves. Remember, a bad review can come from a disgruntled tenant, but your response can make all the difference.
#8 Dealing with bad owners
Don’t let bad owners burn you out! We spend so much time selecting tenants but not enough time selecting owners. It’s time to value profitable quality business and take on owners that share your values. When your values differ, conflict arises. Don’t waste your time on lousy business – be prepared to kick it from your rent roll. Remember, your sanity is worth it!
#9 Winning the discount battle
The property management industry is rife with discounters whose cheap fees can cause long-term financial problems for quality service providers. Don’t fall into the trap of discounting your management fee to compete. Instead, focus on strong points of difference that showcase the value of paying more for quality service. If you can’t differentiate yourself, you can’t win the discount battle.
#10 Mental health and the inability to ‘switch off’ after hours
Property management can take a toll on mental health, especially when the chaos of the day follows you home at night. It’s important to remember that work is just one aspect of your life, and setting boundaries between work and personal time is crucial for a healthy work-life balance. Develop healthy habits, learn to switch off after hours, and prioritise your well-being to avoid burnout and ensure longevity in the industry. Remember, the issues will still be there in the morning – take care of yourself first.
#11 Getting everything done – time management
Surviving in the property management jungle means mastering the art of time management. With a never-ending to-do list, prioritising tasks, following strict policies, and batching tasks are key to success. Don’t let the jungle overpower you, take control of your time and get everything done!
Darren Hunter - of darrenhunter.com is a national and international property management trainer, speaker, consultant and authority on property management, specialising in fee maximisation and profitability as well as time and stress management and property management productivity.