Property Management Comapnies

22 Replies

Hi,

I have read how Indy has become a opportunity for real estate investors. Do you have any property management companies that you have worked with could recommend for me to use.

Thanks and Invest on.

I recently stumbled across Alpine Capital Solutions, I haven't used them before but have seen some good reviews here on BP when I searched them. I believe they provide turn key rental props that they manage in house and I want to say a predicted 10% cash on cash return. Someone correct me if I'm wrong 

Just so people find this in the future when searching BP for Indy PM referrals:

I have had bad experiences with, severe communication issues, and eventually money-losing relationships with:

  • Alpine (I didn't buy turnkey from them, I bought from one of their turnkey customers)
  • FWE Property Management

I wouldn't use these places if you GAVE me properties on the condition that I use them. I wouldn't let a friend use them.

@John Blythe what all have you used BAM for so far?  It looks like from their site that they do just about everything.  How long have you been using them?

@Zach Hoereth I'm also looking for options for PMs and contractors in the Indy area if you have any you can recommend, that would be great!

Originally posted by @Vincent Chen :

@Nate Pomeroy Would like to know more details of your experience with the property management companies and can I know do you finally find a good one?

@Vincent Chen

Now that my business relationship with FWE is completed, I will respond. (the owner/operator is on BP, so who knows what he's likely to see or do about my post)

FWE refused to communicate with me (and tried to blame it on me) about anything. They didn't hold up to their end of the management contract (they said reports and money released to me monthly, and they never sent ANYTHING: neither rent money nor reports. they later claimed they MEANT to send it quarterly, but they didn't do that either.) They didn't hardly do 1/2 of what they promised to do in the contract. They didn't actively collect rent from tenants: some went months without paying, and *I* had to follow up to find that out.  They keep telling conflicting stories as to why I had 2 different properties vacant for up to 9 months at a time. They continued to charge me for management where they made as much or more money collecting fees from me than from putting in a renter. They charged me for grounds maintenance on empty AND occupied properties, and then the city fined me for overgrown grass and garbage on the ground. Then they charged me thousands of dollars to clear the grass and garbage and crowed about how great they were to work with the city to get the health dept complaints mitigated. When I finally dissolved our business relationship, it took more than 2 months for them to get me my money that they were holding, and they made sure to pull an extra thousand out before sending it along.
I really could go on for hours about them as a nightmare of mis-management. I hope they shut down shop and do something else that can excel at, that doesn't include siphoning as much money as possible from property owners without providing management services.   I'd love to sue them for uncollected rent/intentional vacancies/etc, but the lawyer would cost almost as much as the potential award.

Alpine didn't collect full rent from renters (renter's would under-pay, and Alpine would ignore it). Their accounting was almost impossible to reconcile with mine (they mixed property funds, mingled maintenance records, mixed fees to me, and the list goes on). They let one of my properties go vacant and not marketed for 3 months. They collected money for a renovation and months later I found out that NONE of the renovation actually happened. They also let 1 of my properties get an overgrown yard in spite of their lease saying it's the renter's responsibility and they'd be fined by the manager and have to pay the city any fines.  They also then charged me $2000+ to trim the bushes and mow the lawn. I just got the bill for the fines AND the yard work, and they said "just pay it" (the fines alone were several month's profit on rent).  I said "it's your fault it happened; what aren't you enforcing the lease?"  they said, "We have too many rentals to enforce the lease conditions as stated. Don't expect us to. Also, you're a pushy micromanaging owner, so if you don't like this, you can quit this arrangement, we didn't want your business anyway." (true story, they said this. they said they only kept me as a client because I bought one of their turnkey client's rentals. I was allowed to remain as a customer of property management as a "courtesy").  

In retrospect, I would have LOST less money staying with Alpine than moving to FWE. At least Alpine returned my emails, had a portal to see what was going on (FWE claimed to have one and took a year to get me a login, just for me to find it unpopulated with data), sent me monthly statements, etc.  

 If I weren't a moral man, I'd shoot FWE's favorite dog just to spite them. 

Did I find a new, good one?   No.   I sold my entire Indy portfolio.
When I picked FWE to replace Alpine, I had flown out to Indy to meet with people. The other ones that I got recommendations for didn't seem like they'd work out. Mostly, they were involved with their other stuff and taking on my rentals was a "side project" to their flipping, construction, or RE brokering businesses.  I didn't want management to be their secondary concern.  FWE fooled me into thinking that they were focused on taking care of investment properties for their customers. All 6 management companies I met with and interviewed came well-recommended on BP by multiple people.  After being burned, I just don't trust my horse-sense anymore to pick a good one anymore.

So, I sold all my properties in Indy. FWE made it difficult to impossible to sell the houses. My RE sellers agent and other buyers agents kept complaining to me about how difficult and dodgy they were to work with.  I owner-financed one of the houses, and so far just since this July, I've collected more cash on that house than I did under 2 years of management under FWE.

@Nate Pomeroy I am so sorry to hear your experiences!  Bad property management is tough to deal with and really sours the whole investing process.  I am surprised you weren't able to identify any other managers within the area that you thought might be good?  Were your properties in A, B or C class areas?

Originally posted by @Richard Olshove :

@Nate Pomeroy I am so sorry to hear your experiences!  Bad property management is tough to deal with and really sours the whole investing process.  I am surprised you weren't able to identify any other managers within the area that you thought might be good?  Were your properties in A, B or C class areas?


Re: finding a new one. Yeah, I could have spent even more time and effort. I could have asked for even MORE (failed?) recommendations. I could have spent more time interviewing different PMs. Honestly, if I had the time to do that kind of constant followup and shopping for PMs, I would have just managed it remotely myself.  I could have spent that same time shopping for contractors and RE agents, etc.

I'm also kind of a softy (constantly giving chances to make things right) when people are doing a job I really don't want to do. It didn't help that I have a really busy day job. I'd notice that things were wrong; I'd spend a week trying to get the PM's attention.  I'd get a promise that it would all be taken care of. I'd get busy at my day job. 2-5 weeks later I'd remember that I hadn't seen any changes. I check and notice that nothing had changed. I'd spend another week or 2 trying to get ahold of them. I'd get a promise that it would be fixed... rinse and repeat.  Next thing you know, they haven't filled a vacant house for 9 months and have still charged me every month for management (and repairs due to a break in during the vacancy!) and maintenance. When I got mad and pushed back, they got someone in immediately, who then immediately stopped paying rent after the first month.

Re: property class:
Class C (and some arguably Class D+?). That was my real rookie mistake, though. Although I pointedly asked potential PMs how they deal with Class C-D tenants and asked if they were willing to do the work to manage that class of asset, all but one said "yes, we pride ourselves on doing a great management job."  One was refreshingly honest (I was a little annoyed/off-put about this at the time) and said, "really, that class sucks too much of our time for the low amount of payment we get, so we'd probably do the bare minimum for it. We might not be a good fit for you."  I seriously should have taken that honest PM by selling all the lower-class assets right then to pay for a more expensive one that he WOULD manage.
 

@Nate Pomeroy That is actually why I asked the question about class since I too took a gamble and purchased 2 C class SFRs in Ohio and they have been awful for management.  Just not the type of properties I want to deal with, late rent, repairs, lawyer fees, evictions etc.  And this is only the 2nd year, I am selling them.  Contrast that with the other B/A assets we have that are truly passive. 

@Remington Lyman Columbus is a much better market.  I purchased in Cincinnati and regret it every dealing I have with the poor PMs, repair providers and residents.  It is unfortunate since we tend to fix homes up very nice and the poor responsibility for these class of rentals pushes out folks like us who want to provide a very nice home.

I had looked at some large deals for batches of townhomes there in Columbus but just wasn't confident enough with the market to pull the trigger.  Multifamily appears to be in bubble territory and doesnt have sufficient margin of safety at this time.  Later on I might go after those but not right now

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