how do you go on vacation?

11 Replies

Hello everyone,

I have a couple of properties and manage myself

How do you go about going on vacation?

normal things will wait, but what about emergencies?

I thought about asking a friend, but not sure if he would have knowledge to handle such situations

thanks in advance for sharing your experience and thoughts

That's a case where you didn't seed your resource lists properly.  I'm a remote owner and there's just got to be someone who can be on-call (for a price of course) to get there more quickly than I can.

Stuff happens and you need 2x resources for every service possible:

  1. 2 plumbers
  2. 2 handy-men
  3. 2 class companies
  4. 2 reliable, trusted persons to act as "your agent"

Hi,

I hire a property management company to take care of things.  Unless it is an emergency most things can wait till I get back.  My last two week long vacations had no problems knock on wood. I have had (3) nightmare situations arise in the past though and I very happily will pay a professional  that I feel comfortable with to watch over things so I can not be involved while I am away.  

@Steve R. , best way to lose a friend fast is to ask them to get involved with your biz. Know your deal well and you'll make the right decisions. But do plan to take you portable office and cell phone with you and make sure there's a hot zone to log onto wherever you go.

it is a great question Steve...a small operator needs time off but it may be harder or overkill to hand off management to a manager that may not want a two week gig...but to borrow beard's idea some above.. What would you do if you were there and there was an emergency? Likely, you would call a pro (plumber, handy person, carpenter etc) and show up. So plan to to do the same for afar......I tell my tenants I am out of town, give them my contacts,  andI have pros numbers ready just in case, and go for it....yes, you could get a leak call while in the line in Disney Land, but what are the odds. Knock on wood , never happened for me... That said, I would make sure you have seasoned tenants, not brand new just moved in, and no major issues with the building on going.... Then have a good break...

@Steve R.

Great question, but, one that doesn't present an issue on my part.

The first thing I check when traveling is to ensure that I have internet connection, free or paid.

I have just about all my operations accessible online. I use Google Apps and Evernote

extensively to run my business.

I have a dislike for paper, so, just about everything is computerized.

Plus, my computer goes with me everywhere and my phone is always on and that

allows me to take and/or make a call worldwide.

I also have a Google number that I repoint to answer on my laptop and make calls via the

internet as well. This is a backup to my cell phone that's always on worldwide.

So, I am always reachable and my tenants or anyone else doesn't have a need to know that I am not in the USA or locally available.

Additionally, I have warranty contracts in place with two providers. In the event a problem occurs I open a trouble ticket online and they handle the dispatch.

If the nature of the problem is outside of what's covered by the warranty companies, then, I make calls to local plumbers, electricians, contractors, exterminator or whomever is needed to get the job done.

All of these are people/companies who have worked for me and know of my credibility to pay for their service on time, so, they readily take care of the problem until I return.

The bottom line is that I elected to run the business on my own and it doesn't consume all of my time whether I am home or abroad and there is no impact to service with my handling of it this way.

Lastly, my conclusion is that this method of handling the business is successful, because I take care of all issues promptly and don't allow them to mount and escalate into an emergency. So, I am prepared for a really true emergency.

I have short 3-4 day vacations planned until end of year and go on about 5 week long vacations per year.  Tenants do not need to know that I am out of town.  We check emails/vm and send to appropriate contractor.  I always check I have reception before booking a trip and ended my 14 year business with Sprint because of their poor coverage areas.

thanks all for your replies

I am going out of country and will only have limited internet there and no phone

I handle most of the repairs myself, may be 80% of them

most likely will just have to rely on tenants since I do not have a trusted contractor

overall the situation in Calgary with trades is bad: for so many years there was a shortage of labour here, that most of them are spoiled and not professional at all

Do you know any other landlords?  Is there a landlord association in your area?

If you can develop a network of other landlords, they may be willing to be available to take your tenant's calls and you could do the same for them when necessary.

Also try out some local handyman services before you leave town, and if they seem OK, they could be available for your tenants if you feel comfortable doing that while on vacation. 

Originally posted by @Steve R. :

thanks all for your replies

I am going out of country and will only have limited internet there and no phone

I handle most of the repairs myself, may be 80% of them

most likely will just have to rely on tenants since I do not have a trusted contractor

overall the situation in Calgary with trades is bad: for so many years there was a shortage of labour here, that most of them are spoiled and not professional at all

 I am pretty hands on, too, Steve...and like to be there and do most things....so I can relate in several ways.....maybe empowering a tenant, giving good instructions (shut offs for water and power, etc ) contacts, emergency procedures, etc can work in your situation. You may even check in from time to time online....depends on the tenant. Not ideal, but a tricky situation. Maybe call a mangement firm just to check options and rates, and I like lois' idea for a small job meet and greet if possible for developing rapport with a generalist....best of luck

Hey @Steve R.

We can certainly attest to issues with some of the Calgary contractors. We have a few contacts that can do handyman related jobs.

As fellow investors and working in the real estate industry, we would be happy to be a point of contact for your tenants while you are away. Our real estate team is not licensed to property manage but we would be happy to coordinating with you and your tenants while you are away. 

We also have contacts with the local property management companies in Calgary should you want a professional management company. 

You can identify the critical vendors that the tenants can call direct. Regardless of the relationship with all the trades  Heat and water are critical.  If you will not be available you could allow a direct to the heating company call or plumbing and let everything else wait until you can connect.  This assumes that you could pick up email every 24 hours of so.