I've worked with quite a few property managers but lately, I'm getting inundated with multiple phone calls a day and up to 10 emails from property management about non-urgent matters. Our agreement states they can spend up to $1000 without contacting me. While it's good to be kept in the loop, I feel this increasing barrage of contact is excessive. I want to work on big picture stuff and I can't do that if I'm being dragged into the day-to-day. We have a once a month in-person meeting and I'm happy to chat once a week at a designated time. What are your thoughts? How often do you want to hear from property management? At what point do you end up paying to manage management?
I think that's a personal question based partially on how long you've worked with the PM company. Obviously you need to have some contact with them, especially in the beginning while they are still gaining your trust, but ultimately, the answer is, "as much contact as you want."
Give them a trial run. Instruct them to avoid contacting you for non emergencies and below-scope spending for one week. If you're satisfied with their performance after your weekly check in, tell them you want to proceed as is. If they can't manage your properties without you for one week, then they shouldn't be PM's.
You dictate the terms and communication cycle. If they can't agree to that and act upon your wishes, then it's time to move to another manager. You're right to be actively taking yourself out of that role to focus on business development... perhaps ask the property manager why you're paying them if you're still being asked to manage the property.
@Angela Gilltrap It could be the other way around like my situation...if I don't reach out to them, I hear nada. There's a reason you read in these forums to 'manage your property manager.' In your case, it's simply reiterating you only want to be contacted for the big stuff, and keep everything else to your monthly check-in meetings. I'd kill to have monthly check-ins with my mgmt company.
We manage several hundred doors. We don't call the owner, unless a real emergency; winter freeze-up/flood, blown water heater, tree fell on house, that type of major issue.
We have our vendors/contractors take before, during and after digital photos of all maintenance work, and submit those with the invoice via email. Of course we keep a record of it all.
Normally, the calls we get from owners concern if/when tenants have paid rent, or when funds will be disbursed (after checks clear). We email owners if tenant has not paid by 5th of month, but they often still want to speak with bookkeeping about it.
Some property owners want to be informed of every single tenant maintenance complaint, from drip in faucet to neighbor tossing butts on the sidewalk; those owners want to decide for themselves what to do. Others don't want to hear about anything under $xxx dollars.
It's all good--the most successful property owners let us do our job and only want to be informed if there is something WAY out of the ordinary. Of course, our clients receive a monthly detailed accounting of rental income, vacancies, maintenance items, etc.
Hope this helps.
Thanks everyone, it’s always good to hear what other people experience—good and bad. As always, clear communication is the winner. To me, micromanaging never helps. If you don’t trust people to do their job, you shouldn’t be hiring them.
Sounds like you need to figure out why they aren't comfortable making those decisions on their own and address that problem. Maybe they don't clearly understand your expectations.
I contact my property managers more than they do me. Any maintenance of any kind one manager will send me an email. Really only call during turnover or tenant placement (or late rent). I okay maintenance after I’m told price.
Other PM reaches out with any maintenance over 400 to ask if I want to do it or not but will reach out for any/all maintenance just to give a heads up.
I reach out sometimes to follow up on small stuff. That’s really it.
Very little..."Don't bug me with the small stuff."
Largely agree with @Marc Winter . My goal is to make my clients/customers know/feel that their property is being taken care of, so they can focus on other things. That is why they are paying!