Mistakes that cause profit losses are often associated with property managers that are new to the industry. This simply isn't the case. Experienced apartment rental managers often learn what works early in their career and continue to use these concepts throughout their time in the industry. Unfortunately, they often fail to notice when their tried and true methods are no longer as profitable as they once were. They end up wondering what is going wrong when they notice their tenancy rates decrease and their turnover rates increase. Here are three issues to watch out for.
Failing To Provide Adequate Customer Service
While this error is frequently found in apartment rental owners who have underestimated the job or have spread themselves too thin, experienced property managers can make the same mistake. One of the biggest goals in this job is to hold onto the good renters as long as possible to keep that income coming in. This saves on time that would otherwise be used to screen tenants and saves money because there is no concern about having the unit sit empty or risking the loss of income with a new renter. This also helps to stabilize cash flow overall.
Taking a few extra moments right from the start to provide personal customer service goes a long way. Take time to learn the names of the renters, give them a tour of the complex and its amenities, and read the agreements with them. This demonstrates you value their support. In addition, both sides have a positive experience and each knows what to expect. Another good idea is to give new tenants a gift when they take over the unit. This can contain items such as a map of the area that includes public transit stops, coupons and contact information for takeout restaurants, and even a checklist that provides them with information for all of the things they may need to change over utilities and other items after the move. This makes the move easier for everyone and reduces the stress.
Improper Or Poor Maintenance Plans
Set up a pre-determined schedule to ensure that the property continues to run at the highest quality level possible. Property managers find that the number of afterhours calls decreases because there are less things breaking down in the evenings and weekends. The extent of the damage caused by these incidences is decreased as well because they are fixed in a timely manner and are found sooner. When you set up a maintenance plan, make sure to check with the building's residents to see if they noticed anything that needs attention. This prevents having to make numerous trips for the same apartment rental and it looks after issues before the tenants have to complain making for a far more positive experience.
Repairs and maintenance in any building is inevitable. When setting a schedule for repairs and maintenance, be sure to stick to these goals by providing a specific date. Sharing this information with the tenants is also highly beneficial. The apartment rental can be prepared if need be and they are aware that you are making a conscious effort to keep things up to par.
Not Dealing With Late Fees And Rent Payments Adequately
Some property managers attempt to avoid situations by allowing late rent payments to continue. Some will only send a letter of request or make a quick phone call. This simply doesn't work; it is harder for renters to hide if they have to look at their landlord directly. Renters who are rarely if ever late on their payments may have something going on, so take the time to ask questions. It could be an innocent mistake, but sometimes it may be that the tenant is dissatisfied with a situation and using this to get your attention. In this case, find out what it is and deal with the issues while working to prevent the same situation in the future.
When payments are not made on time, make sure to add on a fee as a discouragement to keep it from happening again. This will help to ensure that the apartment rental is paid for on time in the future. Property managers want to be careful here however. It needs to be large enough to be a deterrent, but not so large that it is unreasonable. Also, offer some type of incentive to promote prompt payment.
Many property managers regard these things as being a waste of time and money, but the truth is rather quite the opposite. By watching out for these three problems, you will notice the apartment rental's occupancy rates improve dramatically. It will also improve your reputation and save time in other areas, making these solutions well worth the effort. Both new and experienced rental professionals will notice a significant increase in the returns these solutions provide.