Working in property management comes with many diverse responsibilities and can be a complex, overwhelming industry – especially when you’re not leveraging the right tools and neglecting to implement best practices. In order to run a successful, efficient property management operation, here are some of the top mistakes to avoid:
1. Bypassing Resident Screening
While it might be your first instinct to give a potential resident the benefit of the doubt and trust them fully, it’s important to set business and emotions aside and run a thorough background check prior to moving forward. Take your time and don’t rush this process. While the process and paperwork may seem like a headache, it’s nothing compared to the potential grief and negative financial impact you might face after choosing an irresponsible resident.
Always run a full criminal background check and credit report, while gathering additional crucial information such as recent paystubs, proper identification, etc. It’s also a good idea to contact their current employer to confirm the resident’s employment and ensure they have a consistent form of income they’re collecting.
There are several tools out there that can help streamline and automate the resident screening process such as Buildium, Propertyware, and RentRedi – to name a few. Latchel even integrates with some of these platforms, including RentRedi, reducing the need for duplicate entry.
2. Improper Inspections
Neglecting a proper inspection on a recurring basis is a recipe for disaster for both residents and your wallet. Regularly conducting property inspections allows for a much smoother renting experience for your tenant, and putting this off can be costly and dangerous. Let’s say your rental property has black mold growing or a gas leak – a dangerous issue that may not be apparent at first sight. Dismissing an issue like this can be extremely harmful to your resident’s health, detrimental to your property’s value, and negatively impact your business reputation.
Be sure to conduct routine inspections to identify and resolve any issues to ensure your resident receives a safe and comfortable renting experience. Inspections can be completed quarterly or annually depending on the age and condition of your property.
Conducting routine inspections doesn’t have to be a time-consuming hassle. There are many user friendly web and mobile platforms out there that can automate this process and create more efficient and standardized inspections across all your units. Consider leveraging a platform like RentCheck or OnSight Pros who take that heavy lifting off your plate. Automated inspection platforms like RentCheck saves your property management team time by allowing residents to do their own inspections.
3. Fixing Repairs Yourself
Naturally, when you own any type of property, things are going to break. One of the worst things you can do as a property manager or owner is attempt to repair home fixes yourself. You might think you’re saving yourself money by attempting to resolve home fixes on your own but, oftentimes, you create more of a mess. Not only does this usually end up costing you more money in the long run, it prolongs the timeline for getting the issue resolved, upsetting the resident and taking time away from your day-to-day operations.
It is highly recommended to allow a professional to fix any necessary repairs to ensure the job gets done correctly and in a timely manner.
4. Allowing Residents to Handle Repairs
Allowing residents to handle repairs is almost worse than trying to fix it yourself. It might seem logical to allow the resident to go ahead and repair an issue on their own and reimburse them for the cost or take it off their rent, but this is a huge liability. Holding the resident responsible for fixing any property issues puts them at risk for getting injured or escalating the issue even further. Both of these risks will end up costing you more money in the long run.
However, depending on the severity of the maintenance issue, we highly recommend conducting some troubleshooting before dispatching a vendor. Latchel offers a team of experienced troubleshooters who walk residents through easy repairs via video chat to ensure it’s handled properly and on the spot. This allows residents to live comfortably without having to wait for help. Latchel’s troubleshooting team can help properly diagnose the issue and determine next steps, taking away any stress from the property management company.
5. Handling Maintenance Issues Poorly
Not handling maintenance requests properly creates a negative renting experience for the tenant and can significantly impact your business reputation. Typically, residents only reach out when there’s a maintenance issue, and that can make property management stressful and unpleasant. It’s important to make sure you’re setting clear expectations and communication quickly and effectively with your residents.
According to a recent study, more than 40% of residents aren’t satisfied with their rental maintenance, especially when it comes to urgent maintenance issues. Leveraging a property management tool like Latchel can significantly improve the resident experience and almost completely eliminate any need for property management professionals to have to interact with residents at all when an issue arises. Latchel picks up all your maintenance calls in less than 60 seconds, 24/7/365.
Residents can either call or text a Latchel professional, or submit a maintenance request through an online dashboard. However the resident decides to reach out, they can quickly schedule any necessary maintenance services at their own convenience.
6. Not Offering a Resident Benefit Package
Your residents deserve a top-tier lifestyle and financial protection. Offering a resident benefit package significantly sharpens your competitive edge while enhancing the rental experience. Consider investing in a property management software like Latchel that elevates your resident’s experience with not only 24/7 maintenance support, but connects them to pros who can tackle home chores. From house cleaning and lawn care to junk/furniture removal and mounting a TV to the wall, Latchel’s home assistant feature is the ideal resident benefit package guaranteed to make your renters’ experiences a positive one.
One of the best things about Latchel’s resident benefit package is the $1,000 of damage coverage residents will receive. Whether it’s plumbing issues, garbage disposal repairs, or even a lockout, Latchel will cover up to $1,000 of resident-caused damage.
According to a recent study by 2ndKitchen, 87.2% of multifamily residents say amenities significantly impact their decision to sign or renew a lease. That same study also found that 93.6% of multifamily residents say they would, or would consider, paying higher rent for improved onsite amenities. There’s no question implementing a resident benefit package will help improve resident retention and increase your revenue.
Streamline Your Property Management Business
If you’re looking to alleviate the stress of unpleasant maintenance calls and provide your residents with the most top-notch renting experience, consider investing in a property management solution like Latchel.
Latchel averages a 4.8/5 star rating for resident satisfaction, automatically pushing 5-star resident reviews to your online profile, giving your marketing a boost. Not only does Latchel improve your online reputation, but implementing Latchel as a resident amenity adds thousands of dollars in revenue every month.
If you’re ready to start streamlining your property management operations and create an unbeatable rental experience, click here to request a demo today.