4 Mistakes That Property Managers Should Avoid

4 Mistakes That Property Managers Should Avoid

Owning your own home is considered a big part of the American Dream. Yet a large share of the U.S. population, over 100 million Americans, live in rental properties out of preference or necessity.

For city dwellers, apartments are often the only practical option short of heading to a suburb. Others simply prefer to avoid the hassles of home ownership.

That leaves property managers with the daunting task of managing properties occupied by more than a third of Americans. If you're looking for some property management tips, keep reading.

Our quick property management guide will cover four mistakes you should avoid.

1. Poor Tenant Screening

Bad tenants drive up eviction rates and late payments. Not running a thorough or running an inconsistent tenant screening process boosts the odds of a bad tenant.

Every tenant should go through the same tenant screening process that includes things like:

  • Credit check
  • Employment check
  • Criminal background check

Just make sure that you don't cross any lines with state or federal fair housing laws. As a general rule, you must secure consent from the applicant to run credit and background checks as part of the application.

2. Infrequent Inspections

Another mistake common in property management is a lack of inspections. Only doing inspections when someone moves out can means years of accumulated damage. 

At a minimum, you should run at least one annual property inspection for every rental unit. That helps ensure that tenants aren't damaging the unit. It also helps you ensure that repairs get made for unreported damage before it gets worse.

3. Poor Marketing

In some markets, rental units go off the market almost as fast as they go on the market. Unfortunately, not every property manager operates in hot rental markets. Poor marketing in those areas can leave units unfilled and not generating revenue.

Every property manager needs a solid marketing plan ready to go for all of their units. That includes photos, descriptive copy, floor plans, and even virtual tours. You also need a list of websites and listing services where you will post the apartment.

4. Not Leveraging Technology

Technology can make property management a much easier task for you and your tenants. You can use software for things like:

  • Maintenance tickets
  • Collecting rent
  • Bookkeeping and accounting

Software can automate or at least streamline a lot of common processes in property management. Not using it only creates work for you and slows down response time for tenants.

Mistakes and Property Managers

Property managers can make a lot of mistakes. The good news is that most of them fall into the category of avoidable mistakes.

A good and consistent tenant screening process will help you avoid bad tenants. Regular inspections will help ensure that you get rental units back in decent shape.

Developing a marketing plan in advance will let you fill vacancies when they happen. Leveraging technology makes processes faster and easier for you and your tenants.

Blue Ribbon Property Management offers property management services in the College Station area. For questions or to get started, contact Blue Ribbon today.