General Landlording & Rental Properties

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John Do
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Quality Property manager needed

John Do
Posted Nov 14 2022, 13:05

It’s hard to find a high quality property manager in the Cincinnati area. I am currently using one at the moment however, I feel like they are not doing a very good job as the unit has been sitting vacant for 3+ months. They have shown the property on multiple occasions when the unit was not show ready. For instance while projects were going on and maintenance tools and debris not cleaned. Other instances where the yard was filled with leaves not yet have been racked and removed. These scenarios paints a picture to the prospective tenants that the property is not well kept and the management company not organized. The ads listed online are very minimalistic. I’ve had to arrange repairs and other projects on my own from out of state on multiple occasions. I’ve had to find my own handyman,plumber,ect for projects as the ones provided by the property management company is not good nor reliable. If anybody has a high quality property manager in the Cincinnati area that they could refer me to, I would greatly appreciate it.

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Lisa T.
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Replied Nov 14 2022, 14:07

We recently changed PMs after 7 years.  I did a lot of research, too, and it wasn't obvious there was a standout.  I interviewed several by phone (we are in MN).  We left Missy McCall's company [aka Dix Road PropertyManagement; Findlay Property Management; Reliable Residential; Bed and Breakfast Property Management; BB Rents; Turnkey Real Estate; Multi-Property Management; Home Property Management] and would definitely NOT recommend them for many reasons.  You can direct message me if you need specifics.  

The PMs I researched were (1) The REllis Group at Key Realty (2) Janice Kemmer with Outside the Box Real Estate (sourced Bigger Pockets) (3) Bob Rothman with Roost (sourced from Bigger Pockets)  (4) Mak Gregor Mgmt  (5) Manco Property Service and (6) RPM Midwest. I interviewed by phone three of them. The two finalists for me were Mak Gregor and RPM Midwest.  On September 1st, we contracted with RPM Midwest. We were comfortable with that decision based on relationships we have with other RPM franchisees in Houston, Huntsville, and Jacksonville/Ocala. We know their systems and can self-serve using their portal for most things which is nice.

We've only been with them for 3 months.  There have been some hiccups which I don't think are necessarily transition issues but rather workflow/workload issues so I'm hesitant at this point to give an enthusiastic recommendation.  There is definitely a need for them to develop a formal onboarding process. I have never once talked to anyone on the phone except in my initial discussions with the salesperson.  They use the now common PM support email address where everything goes into a cue and they respond back via email in "due time".  I don't have a problem with this unless the response time is excessive or the response isn't sufficient.  IMO 5 days on a nonurgent issue and 2 days if marked urgent are reasonable.  I've only had 1 urgent so far and it was not handled properly IMO.

I'd appreciate you sharing your own research.  I'm not saying I'm going to move PMs again but it's always nice to be ready with a backup should things take a turn.

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Drew Sygit#5 All Forums Contributor
  • Property Manager
  • Birmingham, MI
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Drew Sygit#5 All Forums Contributor
  • Property Manager
  • Birmingham, MI
Replied Nov 14 2022, 16:19

@John Do

Even if someone give you a referral, what meets their expectations, may not meet yours.

In our experience, the #1 mistake owners make when selecting a Property Management Company (PMC) is ASSUMING instead of CONFIRMING.

It's often a case of not doing enough research, as they don't know what they don't know!

Owners mistakenly ASSUME all PMCs offer the exact SAME SERVICES and PERFORM those services EXACTLY THE SAME WAY, so price is the only differentiator.

So, the first question they usually ask a PMC is about fees - instead of asking about services and HOW those services are executed.

EXAMPLE: PMC states they will handle tenant screening – what does that specifically mean? What documents do they require, what credit scores do they allow, how do they verify previous rental history, etc.? You’d be shocked by how little actual screening many PMC’s do!

This also leads owners to ASSUME simpler is better when it comes to management contracts.

The reality is the opposite - if it's not in writing then the PMC doesn't have to provide the service or can charge extra for it!

We have a 14-page management contract that we've added our real experiences to over the years, with the intent of protecting both us AND the landlord. Beyond the Monthly Management, Placement & Maintenance fees, all other fees in our contract are IF EVENT -> THEN fees.

We don’t know any PMCs to recommend in the area mentioned, but since selecting the wrong PMC is usually more harmful than selecting a bad tenant, you might want to read our series about “How to Screen a PMC Better than a Tenant”:

https://www.biggerpockets.com/member-blogs/3094/91877-how-to-screen-a-pmc-better-than-a-tenant-part-1-services-and-processes

We recommend you get management contracts from several PMCs and compare the services they cover and, more importantly, what they each DO NOT cover.

EDUCATE YOURSELF - yes, it will take time, but will lead to a selection that better meets your expectations & avoids potentially costly surprises!

P.S. If you just hire the cheapest or first PMC you speak with and it turns into a bad experience, please don’t assume ALL PMC’s are bad and start trashing PMC’s in general. Take ownership of your mistake and learn to do the proper due diligence recommended above😊

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Lamont Marable
  • Real Estate Investor
  • Waldorf, MD
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Lamont Marable
  • Real Estate Investor
  • Waldorf, MD
Replied Nov 15 2022, 13:36

Thanks for name-dropping @Lisa T. as we should know in the community who is on BS time versus, exceptional works.

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John Do
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John Do
Replied Nov 16 2022, 17:13
Quote from @Lisa T.:

We recently changed PMs after 7 years.  I did a lot of research, too, and it wasn't obvious there was a standout.  I interviewed several by phone (we are in MN).  We left Missy McCall's company [aka Dix Road PropertyManagement; Findlay Property Management; Reliable Residential; Bed and Breakfast Property Management; BB Rents; Turnkey Real Estate; Multi-Property Management; Home Property Management] and would definitely NOT recommend them for many reasons.  You can direct message me if you need specifics.  

The PMs I researched were (1) The REllis Group at Key Realty (2) Janice Kemmer with Outside the Box Real Estate (sourced Bigger Pockets) (3) Bob Rothman with Roost (sourced from Bigger Pockets)  (4) Mak Gregor Mgmt  (5) Manco Property Service and (6) RPM Midwest. I interviewed by phone three of them. The two finalists for me were Mak Gregor and RPM Midwest.  On September 1st, we contracted with RPM Midwest. We were comfortable with that decision based on relationships we have with other RPM franchisees in Houston, Huntsville, and Jacksonville/Ocala. We know their systems and can self-serve using their portal for most things which is nice.

We've only been with them for 3 months.  There have been some hiccups which I don't think are necessarily transition issues but rather workflow/workload issues so I'm hesitant at this point to give an enthusiastic recommendation.  There is definitely a need for them to develop a formal onboarding process. I have never once talked to anyone on the phone except in my initial discussions with the salesperson.  They use the now common PM support email address where everything goes into a cue and they respond back via email in "due time".  I don't have a problem with this unless the response time is excessive or the response isn't sufficient.  IMO 5 days on a nonurgent issue and 2 days if marked urgent are reasonable.  I've only had 1 urgent so far and it was not handled properly IMO.

I'd appreciate you sharing your own research.  I'm not saying I'm going to move PMs again but it's always nice to be ready with a backup should things take a turn.

Much appreciated for the response Lisa. I am new to real estate and I didn’t realize how much of a struggle it would be to find a high quality property management company. But it seems like a pretty common issue among many landlords that own real estate from afar. I will be sure to do some of my own research on companies you’ve listed. Since I only visit my property every once in awhile, I would be looking for a property manager that is more hands on. They say that your team is going to make or break your portfolio and so I am still trying to build a team of my own. Thanks for the suggestions.

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John Do
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John Do
Replied Nov 16 2022, 17:17
Quote from @Drew Sygit:

@John Do

Even if someone give you a referral, what meets their expectations, may not meet yours.

In our experience, the #1 mistake owners make when selecting a Property Management Company (PMC) is ASSUMING instead of CONFIRMING.

It's often a case of not doing enough research, as they don't know what they don't know!

Owners mistakenly ASSUME all PMCs offer the exact SAME SERVICES and PERFORM those services EXACTLY THE SAME WAY, so price is the only differentiator.

So, the first question they usually ask a PMC is about fees - instead of asking about services and HOW those services are executed.

EXAMPLE: PMC states they will handle tenant screening – what does that specifically mean? What documents do they require, what credit scores do they allow, how do they verify previous rental history, etc.? You’d be shocked by how little actual screening many PMC’s do!

This also leads owners to ASSUME simpler is better when it comes to management contracts.

The reality is the opposite - if it's not in writing then the PMC doesn't have to provide the service or can charge extra for it!

We have a 14-page management contract that we've added our real experiences to over the years, with the intent of protecting both us AND the landlord. Beyond the Monthly Management, Placement & Maintenance fees, all other fees in our contract are IF EVENT -> THEN fees.

We don’t know any PMCs to recommend in the area mentioned, but since selecting the wrong PMC is usually more harmful than selecting a bad tenant, you might want to read our series about “How to Screen a PMC Better than a Tenant”:

https://www.biggerpockets.com/member-blogs/3094/91877-how-to-screen-a-pmc-better-than-a-tenant-part-1-services-and-processes

We recommend you get management contracts from several PMCs and compare the services they cover and, more importantly, what they each DO NOT cover.

EDUCATE YOURSELF - yes, it will take time, but will lead to a selection that better meets your expectations & avoids potentially costly surprises!

P.S. If you just hire the cheapest or first PMC you speak with and it turns into a bad experience, please don’t assume ALL PMC’s are bad and start trashing PMC’s in general. Take ownership of your mistake and learn to do the proper due diligence recommended above😊

Great info here Drew! Very true in that you can’t expect every property manager to perform the same. I’ll have to do some more digging but it seems like the good property managers are hard to come by. Hope to cross paths with one soon enough. Thanks for the info Drew.

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James Wise
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Cleveland, OH
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James Wise
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Cleveland, OH
Replied Nov 18 2022, 05:59
Quote from @John Do:

It’s hard to find a high quality property manager in the Cincinnati area. I am currently using one at the moment however, I feel like they are not doing a very good job as the unit has been sitting vacant for 3+ months. They have shown the property on multiple occasions when the unit was not show ready. For instance while projects were going on and maintenance tools and debris not cleaned. Other instances where the yard was filled with leaves not yet have been racked and removed. These scenarios paints a picture to the prospective tenants that the property is not well kept and the management company not organized. The ads listed online are very minimalistic. I’ve had to arrange repairs and other projects on my own from out of state on multiple occasions. I’ve had to find my own handyman,plumber,ect for projects as the ones provided by the property management company is not good nor reliable. If anybody has a high quality property manager in the Cincinnati area that they could refer me to, I would greatly appreciate it.


 Showing properties to tenants before they are finished is never a good move. 0 stars, would not recommend.