PM Referral in Cleveland

8 Replies

I am looking for a new property manger in Cleveland after firing my backup PM.

Here is the story of what happened. We recently bought a SFR in a Cleveland Suburb. Last week the PM's office manager emailed me saying that in the attic bedroom part of the ceiling was tiles and, through no fault of the tenant, a large section had fallen down. They then sent me an estimate with pictures. Half the room was already sheetrock and fine so it looked like it was about 6 pieces of sheetrock on a mix of flat and sloped surface. Their quote for this work $3,000.

I fired them on the spot and moved the property to my second PM, now my 1st.  The quote today $450.

This was a major PM in the Cleveland market, probably the biggest in the area and I can only say that I am disappointed.  If you are in Cleveland you know who I am talking about.  We expect to be buying more in Cleveland this year and want to make sure we have a second property manger so referrals are appreciated.

One of the most unfortunate part of this industry is the fact that there is very little barrier to entry. Meaning mostly any schmuck with hands can say they're a property manager. In a worst case scenario it's easy to get abused by someone who knows the industry well. 

"Well we need to do this" followed by minimal effort to find other quotes. In fact it boggles my mind that someone would simply say "well it's going to be $3,000" when typically as a manager anything over a typically lower threshold MUST have multiple quotes from reputable general contractors.

Long story short I can't help with your problem as I'm a property manager in New York, however I can empathize :)

@Bob E.  I'm am pretty confident I know exactly who that PM is. If they are who I think they are, I had to fire them as well. That sort of overpriced nonsense was PART of the reason why I fired them......that and the fact that 4 of my units with them were vacant for 6 months.....6 months......and it was their suggested rental pricing that we used......they claimed that they weren't getting any people calling them about the vacant units.......this turned out to be not true because multiple prospective tenants were calling and texting me asking why this company wasn't calling them back when they inquired.......well this company never picks up the phone, ever......but I at least thought they would at least or text the prospective tenants back. One of my rentals with this company had a Section 8 tenant in it so I knew the money was coning in to them from CMHA......but this company came up with every excuse in the book as to why they didn't want to pay me the money they owed me. On one of my rentals with them they were even charging me their standard PM fee even when they didn't collect rent. I pointed out to them they were literally charging for a service that they did not provide, but the excuse they used was that it's automatically generated by the computer and that's just how it is. I finally ended up having to hire an attorney to get my own money back from them. I am very sure we are talking about the same company.

@Bob E. Sorry to hear about your troubles, Bob.  I have 7 properties in the Cleveland area/surroundings.  I have had 3 PM's.  The first two I had to ditch as their service was poor.  My current PM is, hands-down, the best.  Contact Re/Max Haven and ask for the owner, David Terbeek.  Tell him Brian M. from Phoenix referred you.  They will take good care of you.

Hi @Brian Garlington

It is so good to hear your voice of reason helping these unaware people.  My name is Swanny and I was on BP podcast 238.  I highly advise that podcast.  Brian reached out to me at least 4 years ago and I hope he appreciated my advice.  You may too.  Please feel free to reach out to me and message me.   That goes for anyone on BP.

Swanny


Welp! There you go Bob. I believe you have one person who has now publicly given you a suggestion as to who you should consider as a PM. 


Full disclosure, after I fired the un-named PM I actually started having Remax/Haven manage part of my portfolio out there. No complaints.  

Swanny has also chimed in and I have had a couple of conversations with him over the years and I highly recommend anyone considering investing in Buy and Hold in any market to listen to his podcast. Furthermore if you do invest in Cleveland you absolutely need to listen to his podcast, period. Extremely informative. 

P.S. If it is that same company Bob.....let me guess..... When you told them that you were going to use a different contractor to do the work, they tried to charge you an estimation fee for their $3,000 estimate? 

That was some of the other nonsense they were pulling on me.  You read that correctly. 

There was a time when they told me about a couple of maintenance requests that came in almost simultaneously at a couple of the units they were managing for me. I saw how overpriced it was so I had someone else do the work. The following month I notice on their statement there is a $300 shortage on what they are supposed to pay me. I email them (because I know they won't pick up the phone, ever) and they email me back saying that's the labor charge for the estimates. I was caught off guard. 

The kicker was one time there was a non-urgent repair of a fence. The condensed version of the story is,  

"The fence needs repairing, here's your estimate."  Not going to use us to do the work?  Well now you owe us $150.00 for the estimate because that counts as labor. 

I was speechless.   

It was a lesson learned. 

@Wesley Sherow in Ohio you must have a real estate license to manage properties for other people, so 'any schmuck' cannot just manage. Though it is not all that complicated to get that license and a lot of PM's are not investors themselves so they do not know what we want. 

@Bob E. what suburb is your property in? My personal portfolio of single and small multifamily rentals is out in Lake County (eastern suburbs) and I manage all of them myself. I am considering starting to manage for other folks after some of the horror stories I hear about local management. I know of a couple good companies but they are based out here in Lake, not sure if they would manage where your property is. 

Originally posted by @Jeff Brower :

@Wesley Sherow in Ohio you must have a real estate license to manage properties for other people, so 'any schmuck' cannot just manage. Though it is not all that complicated to get that license and a lot of PM's are not investors themselves so they do not know what we want. 

@Bob E. what suburb is your property in? My personal portfolio of single and small multifamily rentals is out in Lake County (eastern suburbs) and I manage all of them myself. I am considering starting to manage for other folks after some of the horror stories I hear about local management. I know of a couple good companies but they are based out here in Lake, not sure if they would manage where your property is. 

Jeff, Ah, here in NY it's not required to have a license if you manage for just one client, so it happens more often here.