If you're starting to question whether or not you made the right decision when hiring your property manager, there are a few things you can do to help make up your mind.

Some Common Red Flags/Issues

How can you be sure that your discomfort isn't just "cold feet" about dealing with a property management? If you're considering leaving your current property management firm, keep these red flags in mind.

Some signals that it might be time to move on include if the property manager is constantly unavailable, if they don’t seem to be keeping up with maintenance, or if rent payments are frequently late. If you have a gut feeling that things aren’t going well, it might be worth exploring your other options.

Lack of Communication

The capacity to communicate effectively is one of the most crucial talents a property manager should have. This may be an indication that your property manager isn't good at communicating if he or she is often unreachable, negligent with frequent updates, and takes a long time to respond to your enquiries. If this is how they communicate with their clients, it's possible that it's reflective of how they interact with your residents, which might affect your capacity to retain them.

High Tenant Turnover and Vacancy Rate

If you're using a property management firm that's effective, you should expect to deal with little turnover and short vacancy durations. Your property manager should be able to successfully market your homes and understand how to locate trustworthy and responsible tenants. If you discover that your eviction rate is above the norm, it's possible that your property manager isn't doing a good enough job of inspecting renters.

If tenants are breaking their leases early or failing to renew their leases, it may be that your property manager isn't providing them with good service. If you find you have a high turnover rate, it may be worth asking your property managers what your tenants’ experience is like. Are they providing good customer service? Are they meeting the needs of your tenants? If not, it may be time to find a new property manager.

Limited Hours

One of the benefits of hiring a property manager is that they'll be on call for your tenants, should they have an emergency or need maintenance requests fulfilled. Your tenants rely on your property manager for these services, and likewise so do you. If your property manager has limited availability, service requests and response times are likely to be delayed.

Poor Follow-Through

Your property manager should be able to provide you with monthly and annual reports of your profits, and be able to follow through on maintenance requests. All of these tasks require attention to detail.

If you feel like you're constantly nagging your property manager to get things done, then you have a problem. Worse yet, if your property manager regularly fails to follow through on requests, it's likely they're not keeping up with important maintenance tasks or compliance checks.

Limited Services

You may find that you need to add services to your property management in order to get the most value from your business. Your initial contract should outline what services your property manager is obligated to provide, but over time you may find that they don't offer enough services. While they may not be able to do everything, they should be able to offer all management-related services.

Leasing your property, advertising to and screening future clients, cleaning your property in between tenants, and managing maintenance requests are all important tasks of being a property manager. In 2019, 73% of property managers handled property inspections and cleaning.

If your property manager falls in the 27% category of property managers who don’t offer these services, for example, it may be time to find someone who does. A great place to start would be to ask your property manager to survey your renters to get a sense of what they may need. Property managers who don’t offer these services may be falling behind the times – services like online rent payments and maintenance requests are becoming more and more common, and can make life much easier for renters.

Repairing the Relationship

If you're unhappy with the quality of service your current property manager is providing, but aren't sure if you're quite ready to pull the plug, there are steps you can take to try and salvage the relationship

Some things you can do include expressing your concerns to your property manager, and/or looking for a new property manager. If you decide to go with a new property manager, be sure to do your research and ask around for recommendations.

Voicing Concerns

It's important to be direct when you have concerns about your property manager's performance. Negative emotions are understandable, but avoiding addressing your concerns will only make things worse. Instead, set a time to speak directly with your property manager and lay out the issues you have.

Reviewing Responsibilities and Expectations

If your property manager is amenable to making modifications bring up your initial contract with them. A good property management agreement should list the services required of the property manager. If you believe that your property manager isn't doing their job, you can use your contract as evidence to support your claims.

If you are finding that you are not meeting the expectations of your property manager, it may be helpful to review your contract. This can help reset your relationship with your property manager and help you move forward.

Moving Forward

If you believe your present property manager can improve matters, continue working with them. Keep an eye on the future for any more red flags. It's possible that it will be advantageous to hold monthly meetings while you're completing this transition period, just to make sure both your needs and expectations are met.

Getting a New Property Manager

If you've determined that repairing your working relationship with your property manager is not an option, you'll need to look for a new one. Ask friends, family, and colleagues for referrals, or search online. Once you have a list of potential managers, interview each one to find the best fit.

Qualities to Look For in a New Manager

An effective property manager will have excellent communication skills, a reliable portfolio of vendors to draw from, and will ideally specialize in your particular kind of property. They will be able to effectively manage all aspects of your property, from overseeing repairs to communicating with tenants.

If you're looking for a property management company that can help you fill your rental property, then you'll need one that has a lot of marketing experience. They should also be up to date on the latest technological trends in property management.

Check Your Contractual Language

Your property management agreement will set forth the circumstances under which you are permitted to terminate your working relationship with your property manager. It will also display whether you'll have to pay a charge for early cancellation. In most cases, you'll need to provide at least 30 days' notice before ending your contract.

However, there may be some situations where you can terminate the contract without penalty. For example, if your property manager is not fulfilling their obligations or if you’ve experienced significant changes in your personal life that have impacted your ability to manage your property. Always be sure to read your contract carefully to understand your rights and responsibilities.

Your contract should also contain a list of responsibilities that must be completed once your contract has ended, as well as the time limit in which they must be done. For example, your property manager may be required to provide you with copies of your tenants' leases within a month after the conclusion of your contract. Although you may be able to cancel your contract at any time, it's a good idea to get all the information you'll need before doing so.

Find a New Management Company

Finding a new management firm isn't as difficult as you may believe. You may get referrals from your real estate agent or friends or coworkers. Alternatively, you may use an internet-based, searchable directory to locate respectable and well-established property owners in your region.

Creating a list of property management companies that are of interest is the first step. If you have this much information, set up interviews with each firm to learn more about the services they provide and how they like to do business. After vetting these companies, you should be able to find a property manager who's a good fit.

Notify your Management Company

If you've found a new property management company, you'll need to officially notify your current property manager that you're terminating your contract. Check your contract for specifics on how the termination needs to be submitted, but you'll typically need to send a formal letter (and we recommend writing an email as well), informing them that you're putting in your notice to end your contract.

In this letter, you should reference the ways in which they've violated your contract terms (if applicable), neglected their obligations, or otherwise failed to meet your demands as a client. It's critical, however, keep in mind that at this stage, keep an open mind and maintain reasonable terms. After all, they'll be continuing to manage your properties for at least 30 to 90 more days, and you'll want the changeover between your existing manager and a new manager to go as smoothly as possible.

Notify Your Residents

Notifying your residents of a change in management is an important task that must be completed before your new management company takes over. In most states, this is a legal obligation. Your state’s tenants’ rights laws should outline what your responsibilities are in this arena.

If you are not legally obligated to do this, it is still a good idea to connect your tenants with your new property manager as soon as they have taken over the management of your property. This will allow for a smooth transition and help avoid any confusion or problems. Thank you for choosing our company to manage your property!

If you're having issues with your property management company, don't worry - there are steps you can take to fix the relationship or find a new company that better meets your needs. Follow these tips and you'll be on your way to finding the perfect solution for your property management needs.

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