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Jake Diab
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Owner Relationship with Property Managers

Jake Diab
Posted Dec 30 2023, 12:10

Hi Friends, 
I intend to close on my first investment property within 3-6 months and I am curious what to expect the dynamic to be with a great, qualified Property Manager. 

For example, I'd would want to have the final say in:
- Approving a tenant based on the facts gathered by the PM.
- The communication to tenants of late / missed rents. 
- No expenses over $200 happening without my approval. 
- Any noteworthy activity or requests by the tenant relayed to me (to stay in the loop). 

I've heard so many horror stories of ignorant PMs that it seems too risky to simply "trust" them. I want to be spoon-fed all information. 

Is this too much to ask? Is it negotiable? How does this dynamic typically pan out, in your experience? 

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Michael Smythe
Property Manager
#2 Personal Finance Contributor
  • Property Manager
  • Metro Detroit
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Michael Smythe
Property Manager
#2 Personal Finance Contributor
  • Property Manager
  • Metro Detroit
Replied Jan 3 2024, 17:21

@Jake Diab "great, qualified PM", is all in the eye of the beholder.

Most quality PMCs won't let owners make the final say on applicants - because they have decades more experience than an owner like yourself. So, all you'll do is slow them down and take up more of their time (which you undoubtedly won't want to compensate them for).

Same goes for communication with tenants about rent. We know the market and tenants better than you, so what exactly do you think you will know better than a great PMC?

Most solid PMCs will keep you in the loop about what's going on in general, but won't get into specifics unless really needed.

You may be able to find a 1 or 2 person small PMC that will agree to everything you want, but most of them are pretty new and actually where many PMC horror stories originate.

Feel free to DM us any other questions.

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Jake Diab
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Jake Diab
Replied Jan 4 2024, 08:05

Thanks for the perspective, Michael. It's great to keep all that in mind. The scary thing is letting go of control on a first investment and trusting in a stranger. Even the PMCs most recommended to me have their fair share of concerning reviews online highlighting major neglect and owner dissatisfaction with correspondence and basic tasks. I think the move on my end is to have enough knowledge and financial reserve that, should something go wrong with my PMC and a tenant vacates, I am able to cover the Mortgage payment during vacancies, and can either find a new PM to help fill the next vacancy, or do it myself and handle management from there. 

Thanks again for taking the time to hit me back. 

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Josie Brown
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  • Detroit, MI
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Josie Brown
Pro Member
  • Detroit, MI
Replied Jan 8 2024, 14:02

Hi Jake! I think it would be great for you to discuss your goals and expectations with a few property managers. They will be able to provide you with some insight on how they operate and why they have had success operating that way. I would suggest taking a look at reviews or getting references from those property management companies as well as finding out how many properties they currently manage. This information should give you a good understanding of their success working with other investors.