Property Management companies face their own unique set of problems. When they aren’t able to resolve certain situations, they can incur a substantial amount of loss.
Determining the main challenges of your Property Management company allows you to gain better insights by:
- Pinpointing the current issues your company faces, but aren’t aware of yet
- Using this knowledge to decrease business risks and exploit opportunities to the fullest
Only then can you begin to explore the solutions that best fit you and your company’s needs.
What Issues Do Property Management Companies Face?
You’ve likely encountered your own set of challenges when it came to dealing with all things Property Management OR you’ve heard multiple horror stories from your friends in the industry. In any case, you know it’s no easy job. With proper systems and processes in place and the right kind of virtual professionals on your team, managing properties becomes a breeze.
If you want to reduce the number of headaches you might face in the future, it’s necessary to consider and plan for:
Issue #1: Maintenance Concerns
Establishments and Buildings (i.e.residential, multi-story, high-rise, etc) need constant care. Tasks including plumbing, installments of electrical systems, and other daily repairs are necessary concerns in any building’s operations and must be done effectively. These types of situations can occur at any given time and you need to be quick and ready to attend to them. Inspections that are done routinely help you uncover critical maintenance issues before it gets to a point of no return, or you get hit with a really expensive bill.
Solution: Preventative Maintenance Care/ Applying Preventative Maintenance
To reduce cost and stress, it is imperative to take preventative measures to keep both the interior and exterior of a property from wearing down. The best way to do so is to incorporate a program, run by your property manager and skilled virtual professionals, to take on this initiative. Their sole focus would be on preventative maintenance measures for quality maintenance/structural care. The reasons are obvious. It’s cheaper to maintain than to replace, and less time is spent doing smaller fixes than huge irreversible damages. This is a vital part of a property management company and ensures the future longevity of a building.
Issue # 2 Payment Matters
Collecting rent on time is a hassle. One of the most common issues Property Owners face is cash flow setbacks and the occasional legal troubles. Tenants miss their payment due dates for a number of reasons but this can be reduced by exerting more time and effort into scanning the right tenants.
Solution: Improve Tenant Screening
Joint Center for Housing of Harvard University did a study on the number of people who were not able to afford their rent. They reached a conclusion that tenants are spending about 30% of their overall salary on housing.
When the respondents were asked how they felt about it. Most of them stated that was a ‘cost burden’ to them and paying that much of their income for housing was a little out of their way. Nonetheless, this does not mean they are unable to pay. It is advised though to consider tenants with a good income-to-rent ratio before accepting renters.
While there is no sure and clear-cut way of avoiding late payments since situations can change at any given point, you can do your best to avoid them. The measures you take can lessen the number of times it can happen. A proper vetting process in place helps you scan for good quality tenants before signing a leasing contract with them.
Some other methods and best indicators for screening out unqualified tenants are to consider contacting landlords (prior to you), reaching out to their company to confirm their employment status, and implementing guidelines for them to follow.
Issue # 3 Managing Tenants (and their complaints)
On a daily basis complaints from renters of all sorts pour in. They can be small issues involving complaints on fellow tenants to bigger issues regarding property damages.
Each complaint needs to be taken into account and thoroughly reviewed, prioritizing those repairs that involve potential problems in the structural aspects of the business.
By making sure complaints are not ignored can help your tenants feel heard and build on the reputation of your company in a positive way.
Solution: Proper Systems and Processes
Most successful businesses have an operations manual for execution, consistency, and scalability. Here are some powerful yet simple tools for streamlining your systems and processes:
- APFOLIO – manages properties for all property management companies i.e. creating work orders, handling service requests, and managing repairs by coordinating with vendors and tenants
- ZAPIER – automates all workflow that binds you to your desk i.e. deals to track
- AMITREE FOLIO – organizes transactions and documents automatically by attaching itself to your Gmail account. It can set reminders and updates service providers to make sure all parties stay on the same page
- TRELLO – Project management tool used in the real estate industry to streamline transactions
Virtual assistants or Property management VA’s are part of the tech world and are able to handle all forms of tenant communications through the use of these apps so you won’t have to.
The article ’2022: The Year of the Experiential Office’ states that those companies whose strategies involve the use of technology are “best positioned to succeed and cement its future”
Issue # 4 Profitability
There are several factors that can affect your company’s profitability. Two of the most prominent reasons are vacant units on the property and charging rent below the market value.
Solution: Marketing Strategy and Research
The overall impression of a property can either make or break your selling point. It makes a huge difference in the amount of “right” renters you attract. By allowing your property manager to center on market research along with advertising and marketing strategies in place, they can fill up units faster with quality tenants.
Sometimes, even though your units are occupied, you can still encounter and run into losses. This could be due to the fact that you may be underpricing your rental properties below market value. Having your property manager get your place assessed to determine the actual worth of the lodgings can help probe what others are willing to pay for it. Consider also following this scale which suggests pricing rental properties between 0.8 and 1.1 % of the assessed value of the home. For instance:
A – If a home is valued at $250,000, you could charge between $2,000 and $2,750 every month.
B – However, if your home is valued under 100,000 or less it’s best to charge rent close to 1% of the value.
C – And if your home is valued at over 350,000 then it’s ideal to charge less to attract more buyers.
Other reasons for incurring profit losses could also be due to improper management. Property managers offer comprehensive series for handling all aspects of the property and are your best bet to eliminating these issues given that they have the time and help needed.
Cue in Property Managers. They oversee and handle the daily operations of a real estate property. It’s important that experts, like them, understand the challenges they face and their remedies for them, referring to both the short-term and the long-run solutions.
Regardless of the size or situation, all issues faced by your business require a professional on board who has a good understanding of more than just the tenants who live in the rental properties.
Sounds like a lot of work for property managers to handle doesn’t it?
Introducing Virtual Assistants or in this case Property Management VA’s. It should come as no surprise that a lot of this work can be outsourced to help lighten the load for your property managers.
Not convinced it’s a fit for you? Let’s check out the challenges property managers face and then you decide if they and your business need the help or not.
What are the main challenges a Property Manager faces?
The overall objective for property managers is to effectively run a successful business. A study by Unicom revealed that there are about 13 challenges they constantly face, which distracts them from their main responsibility, amongst the top of which are:
Challenge # 1 – Hiring (and Maintaining) Skilled Professional
49 % of property managers placed acquiring quality team members to be one of the biggest challenges they faced. This industry requires a wide range of skillsets and finding the right ones who are knowledgeable and are capable of keeping up is quite limited.
From searching to interviewing and onboarding of new staff, it requires a ton of time and money. When the wrong team member is brought on but fails to deliver it can create unnecessary delays and hurt your company’s performance.
Both your property manager and your business accomplish nothing at the end of the day.
Challenge # 2 – Increasing Revenue Growth
38 % of the respondents noted that growing their revenue was a difficult task to do since it is not only tough finding contractors to work with but also hard trying to keep up with the unpredictable inflation of costs.
Challenge # 3 – Handling Property Damage
26% of the individuals’ voiced that unanticipated maintenance occurrences can be very challenging for them. In order to ensure successful handling, preparation ahead of time is necessary.
Challenge # 4 -Time Management
30% of the interviewees revealed that property managers spend most of their time on resolving redundant problems that come their way.
Every minute that is taken away from achieving core business objectives, property managers lose out on the opportunity to increase their revenue, lower costs and increase customer satisfaction. There is just not enough time in the day to do admin work and focus on the main responsibilities.
Challenge # 5 – Lowering Operating Costs
For most businesses, there are two ways in which you can increase profitability which is either by boosting revenue or lowering costs.
When dealing with fixed and unexpected costs, lowering expenses can be difficult. 45% of property managers listed this as one of the most challenging aspects of their job.
As you know, to be a successful property management company, your property manager needs to be able to focus. They must be able to approach objectives thoughtfully and make the most out of available resources. But how do they do that?
How a Property Management VA can help Property Managers?
A property management virtual assistant (VA) is a professionally skilled individual who operates any assigned tasks and duties from home, at an affordable rate. Despite their remote location they are fully committed to your company.
Here’s a brief list of the positions a VA can be placed into within the industry:
If your company faces a restricted budget, opting to go the virtual route is the prime choice. You are able to employ highly qualified property management VA professionals without overexerting yourself or your finances. Hiring as little as one or even growing into a team of 20 is feasible.
Below is a list of deliverables that a property management VA can achieve for your company:
1. Drive Business Growth
Having a team of professionals is a strong weapon that can propel a company to move forward. With more hands-on-deck, assignments are getting ticked off the list, property managers and owners are able to gain more time within a day and centralize their attention on increasing revenue growth.
The main purpose of hiring a VA property manager is to help landlords and assist property managers in protecting your real estate investment and passive income.
2. Lower Operational Costs
Reducing expenses is something most businesses struggle with. Unaware of the ‘FINANCIAL BENEFITS OF HIRING VIRTUAL EMPLOYEES’ they tend to continue to drown themselves in unnecessary costs.
That being said, outsourcing is essential when cutting on overhead costs since it helps to eliminate having to spend on:
- Office Space rent
Additionally, virtual assistants are much more affordable than hiring a regular employee and you would not lose out on quality either with our VA’s taking care of the admin responsibilities within a property management company. They are well trained and skilled in their profession to handle all the relevant tasks from rent collection to maintenance care.
The money you save on hiring a VA property manager is now extra cash flow you can allocate to a department more in need.
3. Save You Time
Property managers do not have the luxury of time to effectively handle the core business and repetitive tasks all in a day. The number of tasks they have to perform may involve handling delinquent payments, collections, and evictions. These are considered repetitive or ongoing tasks that happen month over month. A VA property manager can ensure that these tasks are handled efficiently to save owners (and property managers) money and time to focus on core business tasks and opportunities.
4. Efficient Customer Handling
Incorporating a property management virtual assistant into the company ensures emails get answered on time, tasks are completed on a daily basis, and no appointments will be overlooked. On the maintenance side, it would be making sure all requests from tenants involving anything from damaged appliances to infestations of pests or wildlife are attended to.
If there is a lack of support with issues in the rental properties it can lead tenants to take their business elsewhere when their lease is up. So making sure a professional VA is there to provide a positive presence to take care of tenant needs is imperative.
Your VA property manager counterbalances your company’s weak points. You would be updated with all of the real estate management trends, strengthen different aspects of your company while lowering expenses, and increase revenue in no time.
You are now able to clearly identify if you need a Property Management VA or not.
Download a copy of our free Property Management Playbook to get your company heading in the direction of a worry-free business that focuses on driving revenue growth