New to the property management world or looking to increase your property management IQ? We are here to help! Property management in Anne Arundel County can be challenging and can result in mistakes if you’re not careful. While some property management mistakes are minor and may not have much blowback, others could be costly! Try to avoid the following five property management mistakes as they can have severe consequences for your property management business.
Rental Property Management Mistakes in Anne Arundel County
#1 – Insufficient Tenant Screening
Property screening of prospective tenants is a crucial part of the leasing process and will help to avoid a ton of issues down the road. In addition to a basic credit check, a proper screening will verify income & employment and check the prospect’s rental and eviction history. A criminal background check is essential as well to make sure you are protecting your rental property as well as other tenants/neighbors.
Another important point with applicant screening is to make sure every applicant is treated the same and held to consistent screening criteria. Consistent screening criteria will ensure you are keeping with Fair Housing laws and protecting yourself from accusations of discrimination in screening practices.
#2 – Poor Communication
Communication is vital in all relationships, especially the landlord/tenant relationship. Lack of communication between the property management team and tenant can lead to non-renewals, poor property ratings, and a generally unhappy tenant. All of which can lead to vacancies, which means no income for the property owner.
If you have multiple properties or a multi-family property, you might be thinking, “how can I manage to communicate with every tenant at all times?” Simple! Use property management software to keep you organized. CRMs and property management software are known for sales and keeping track of prospects, but they are beneficial when it comes to current tenants as well. A full-capacity property management software program will not only track rent payments, late fees, and maintenance requests, but it will also assist with marketing and lead management as well. Also, useful property management software will help with financials and even make leases and renewals a breeze! In today’s digital age, it’s imperative to offer tenants a convenient way to make rent payments and submit maintenance requests as well as effectively communicate with the landlord.
#3 – Getting Too Friendly with Tenants
Communication is critical, yes, but getting personally close with tenants is not a good idea either. Avoid forming personal relationships with tenants. If a tenant feels you are friends, then they might take advantage of you. By this, we mean they might think it is okay to break the rules without consequences. A personal relationship may make them more likely to be late on rent payments or violate the terms of the lease agreement. Additionally, it might be hard to impose a rent increase or enforce the terms of the lease if you’re too friendly.
Remember, being friendly and likable will help you find and keep tenants. But, don’t cross the line from professional landlord/tenant relationship to friendship. You need to manage your tenants with leadership, assertiveness, and excellent customer service.
#4 – Poor Property Maintenance
Keeping up with property maintenance is just good business, and failure to maintain routine maintenance is a huge property management mistake! Perform regular property inspections to not only ensure tenants are caring for the property but also to check for minor items that need attention. Avoiding routine maintenance or inspections could result in more significant problems down the road as minor issues because of costly repairs. Regular inspections also help you discover tenant housekeeping issues or destruction of the home from the tenants.
#5 – Inadequate Staff Training
Good employees are the key to any successful business! And, hiring and training your leasing staff is critical to finding good tenants. When recruiting a leasing agent, sales experience is good, but customer service and industry knowledge are necessary tools for success in leasing properties.
Take the time to invest in training for your entire property management team, but especially your leasing team, as they are the first impression for many new tenants. A leasing agent should never be out in the field, interacting with owners or prospective tenants, without first receiving adequate Fair Housing training. A lack of knowledge in Fair Housing Laws is a property management mistake that could have significant consequences for both the leasing agent and the property management company. Additionally, leasing agents should be aware of state and local laws about renting properties and fully understand the terms laid out in your lease agreement.
Are you making these five property management mistakes with your Anne Arundel County rental property? It may be time to find a rental property manager to help you avoid these mistakes. Bay Property Management Group Anne Arundel County offers top-notch service and highly trained professionals to assist with everything from marketing and leasing to tenant management and rent collection as well as property maintenance and year-end financials.