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How do you Manage your Properties?

June 23, 2012

I saw several posts this week on property management. So here is how we do it.

Val and I manage our own properties and I feel a more hands on approach will eliminate many surprises and generally keep you more in tune with your tenants. Now, I am not referring to doing my own rehab and maintenance work (although I will do a few minor items) – It’s more about general awareness of your properties.

All of our rentals are close to our primary. Actually 5 of our 7 properties are within 10 miles and three of them are within 3 miles. Anytime we are in the area, we do a drive-by. I like to drive by the front and through the alley. It would not be at all uncommon for one of my tenants to look out the front window and find me out there rolling up the water hose, picking up trash, inspecting the roof, etc.

Why do we do this?

Eliminates Deferred Maintenance – Early on we had a tenant that never called with a maintenance issue. When I finally got in there one day – I found several issues that left unchecked could have led to bigger problems. We now make planned “safety” inspections especially for those on autopay where we don’t routinely get to see the property.

Tenant retention – Staying in regular communication with your tenant should reduce the surprise vacancies. You might even be able to incent them to stay if they are good tenants. If they are still moving, at least you can re-educate them on the policies and discuss early advertising for the next tenants.

So, am I saying you can never use a property manager? Not at all, but I would certainly give them a short leash and really set your expectations at the outset. I feel Val and I will eventually be there, but not anytime soon.


From → Landlord

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