Out of State Investor

5 Replies

I'm a software developer, drummer, rock climber, and skier. I have a triplex and I just fired Renters Warehouse for being awful. I'm looking to have some friends manage the property while I'm out of state and I'm wondering what kind of pitfalls to watch out for and where to find resources for things like 24hour emergency service in Minneapolis.

The main problem I had with RW was handling maintenance requests. The tenant would call it in, they'd email me and offer an estimate. That much always went smoothly. Then once I responded, things would start to suck. If I used their preferred vendors, I was usually spending top dollar on these repairs, often with a $100 trip fee, and I would not be notified when the job was complete. If I used my own vendor, RW refused to coordinate between the vendor and tenant.

When a tenant was late on their rent, RW would send me an email telling me so, but they would not specify which unit it was or which tenant, and in a triplex situation, that was really difficult to deal with.

They have such high turnover at their office in MN that I would save a number in my phone for the maintenance coordinator and call back a month later and someone else would answer and say that that person didn't work here anymore. Also on maintenance requests, week by week, different people were answering questions on the tickets and hadn't read/didn't know the history of the ticket, let alone what work had been done the previous month, so I would get duplicate requests for something I had already told them I was fixing with my vendor with whom they refused to coordinate the work...

Their departmental nature allows them to "scale" but severely affects their customer service since I would call someone that I had in my phone and they'd say, "oh, that's not my concern, you have to call [some other department] for that." Why can't you transfer me over there? Why don't I have a dedicated person to run things through who actually does management for a set of customers and farms out the work to all these departments?

One tenant was behind on her rent and a public nuisance. I had received several emails from RW recommending eviction. So I called and asked what it would take to get her out of there. They said, "oh well, she's actually catching up on her back rent so let's keep her." They wouldn't even help me cancel a month-to-month lease with a public nuisance...

I got on the phone with someone from maintenance yesterday to check in on the status of a request because whatever vendor they've farmed the work out to has become unresponsive. The guy said, "oh, well let's see what's in the ticket here... looks like the last comment is from you... have you called him?" Yes I called and he hasn't returned my call. "Oh well, I'll just put a note here in the ticket to have him call you back." And then he hung up. Didn't ask if I had any further questions, just hung up.

I'm so sick of managing the manager that I pay that claims to be a professional service. 

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