Today, we’re addressing a question we get a lot, which is: when is it appropriate to fire my property management company? We get calls all the time from people who are unhappy with their current management firm, and we always ask them why. We get the same three or four responses every time.
It is so important that you’re on the same page with your property manager regarding communication. Some managers will contact you for everything and some will contact you for nothing. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle, but it’s important that you are up front with your expectations and you understand under what circumstances the property manager will contact you. Once this is established, if the manager isn’t living up to what was promised, you have every right to be upset. Talk to your manager and make sure they understand you’re unhappy before terminating the agreement.
If your property manager spends $3,000 making your home ready between tenants and you don’t know what exactly was done or why it took so long, you might want to make a change. This should never occur. Property managers have a fiduciary duty to you and you should always understand what they’re spending money on and why it’s necessary. Best practice is to give you an up-front quote for a turnover job so you know what’s being spent. You’ll be able to see line items on carpet cleaning, paint, getting items out of the home, etc. You should approve any job before money is spent. Then, after the work is complete, you should have access to receipts so you know and understand every expense.
We hear complaints about clients emailing a property manager and waiting three or four days for a response, or getting voicemail every time they call. You want someone who can answer your questions and help you with any issues you’re having. A same day response is the best practice and at a minimum, you should hear back within one business day. If it’s an emergency, you’ll want to be able to reach someone right away.
When the relationship with your property manager becomes more adversarial than hospitable, it’s time to look around for something else. You want a property manager to take stress away from you, and if you’re worrying more about the property manager than your property, you aren’t getting your money’s worth.