Do you call your property manager from time to time?

11 Replies

Hi, BPers,

Hope all had a wonder Christmas! I have been away for a while, and I did notice a lot changes of the forums when i came back.

Well, a quick question I would like to hear your thought about is: do you, as a landlord, contact your property manager from time to time? And if so, what do you ask about each time when you call.

I still have a property back in indianapolis, and have don't hear from my property manager for about half a year, except an email each month telling that the rent is deposited into my account.

I consider my PM to be very good.  But I still have to manage my manager.  You should too.  I wouldn't necessarily call just for the sake of calling, but you need to always thoroughly review your statements, and contact your PM with any questions, concerns, or instructions.

@Michael Stole   Like most answers, it all depends on what your goals are and what you expect of your property management company. We own a property management company and if I were a landlord and I were to call my PM company I would ask them these questions (assuming your properties are already rented):

1) Has there been any maintenance issues I should know about or expect on my statement?

2) Has the market changed in the area that I should expect a change in rent after the lease ends?

3) Are there any taxes or insurance due that I have to pay or have you already paid them? If so can you show me proof? 

Every circumstance is different and if the property isn't rented I would be asking different questions but these three are a great start to have a meaningful conversation with them. 

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@Michael Stole  I am in regular contact with my PM on out of state properties, and would not feel comfortable not having anything but statements and rent payments for 6 months at a time.  Maybe that is because I have one tenant who never pays on time, and has ongoing issues about making those payments, but I also just like to be better informed, and not have any nasty surprises come out of the blue.  To me, even as a "passive" investor I need to manage the managers.

I find that if I have a predetermined time set every month for a 15min call he/she will be more prepared to talk about the happenings at a property.  This creates an expectations of accountability.  No need to go crazy but 15mins is fair and reasonable.

As a property manager we get all kinds of different people as far as communication. Some are investors that are busy and tell me don't call with minor issues. Others expect more communication. Usually I get a call if there is a problem with the statement or an invoice. Sometimes less is more.  

As a property manager, I rarely talk to the homeowners. They know I am taking care of things and always email them if anything comes up. It is fine if they want to call and talk, but rarely does it happen. 

@Michael Stole  Most of my owners dread seeing my number pop up on their phone!  They know it means something is broken, and now they have to spend money.  If I do call for a different reason, I have to preemptively reassure them that everything is fine before I start the conversation.  I think most of them feel that no news is good news when it comes to hearing from me.  I do send them statements every month, and if maintenance was needed, they get an email letting them know what the issue was and what I did to resolve it.  I don't chat on the phone much, though.  It's mostly by email and text for the paper trail.

Should you worry about it? Only if that was not part of the plan. 

Ideally, at some point the two of you have (or will) established a working pattern and expectation. Personally my property manager in Seattle (we are in CA) sends a report one a month along with financials. We did calls for a while, and then found we had trained each other about what was expected. The calls moved into an email summary. @Francisco Nieves  had the big ones. I personally like to know about my tenants as well as the market. I also want to know about turnover plans. I want to discuss and Cap Ex. And I regularly ask about any deals floating in his network.

If I don't get the report, then I call so we can chat. Even with the written updates, he and I talk at least every 2-3 months.

As a new investor with one rental property, i call my PM about once a month not only to check the status of the property but to say hi and build good network relationship. Pretty much very happy with my PM while currently stationed overseas. Monthly statement is being sent by email or i can download it online.

I really only talk to mine if there is a problem with a property, or there was a maintenance request that needed approval. Otherwise I only just get emails with my monthly statements.

I'm on great terms with my PM. On one hand the idea of talking to him a lot sounds great for bettering the relationship, but on the other hand he is swamped out of his mind so me bugging him to say hello would probably start annoying him.