Property Manager Question - List of Work to be Done Before Showing Property

9 Replies

For the last two rental properties I've acquired, my property manager gave me a list of items of work that I should have done to the property before showing the property (e.g., small repairs, full repaint, change out blinds, have handyman check property, etc.).  Obviously all these items add to my acquisition costs.

How do I know if my property really needs these items or whether the property manager is just trying to make it easier on themselves to find a tenant? Upon finding a tenant, the property manager gets paid a certain percentage of the first month's rent.

My lack of trust is due to the fact that the people who sold me the house lived there happily with their 3 year old paint or other non-critical items that may need a repair.

Thanks for any input!

Do you trust your property manager? If the answer is yes, then do the repairs. If the answer is no, get a new property manager.

Thanks Mindy. I should have added these are my only properties - so I am new to the game. Since I am new to this property manager I'm not sure if I trust them yet - although this particular property manager was recommended by several other Biggerpockets members in my local area (Dallas).

Well it's a start, that they were recommended by several other BP members. Ask them why they think those repairs need to be done before they can show the property. Maybe they have a valid reason?

I'd like to believe they have the best interest of the property (and you) at heart. I manage properties and sell/lease them, and always prepare a list of items for the owners before taking them to market. 

It usually consists of must do items that are hazardous/cause liability issues (must do), should do items (which make it easier to secure a tenant, and prevent angry calls later once a tenant is moved in) and would be nice to do items (aesthetic things, like changing a shower curtain rod that is a little rusty but not broken, or getting something minor repaired).

Concerning the paint and items that needed repair - the owner was in an "I'm leaving, let someone else do it" mindset. A prospective tenant is in a "this is going to be my nice, new home" mindset, and will (hopefully) want a clean comfortable place they can take care of as if it were their own. (Obviously that's idealistic, but I think the condition of a property can often dictate the tenants that apply to live there..."Well the carpet already had a stain" ... "there were already marks on the paint, it's not a big deal" etc, etc.)

Originally posted by @Mark S. :


How do I know if my property really needs these items or whether the property manager is just trying to make it easier on themselves to find a tenant? Upon finding a tenant, the property manager gets paid a certain percentage of the first month's rent.


Upon finding a tenant, the owner starts getting paid too. Every owner of rental property should make it a point to have the property in such a condition that it is easier to rent. 

Now, how close to the property are you? Can you get there and see for yourself, or do you have to rely on pictures?

I always paint my properties even they look good. Good fresh coat of paint on the walls, ceiling and baseboards makes a difference of renting it sooner and getting higher rent.

I got my contractor painting two houses inside and out and laying tiles throughout both houses. 

@Mark S. The better the home looks when you begin the lease, the better it will look when you get it back.  If the tenant sees that you don't care that the blinds are broken or there are handprints and dings going up the stairwell walls, they won't care either.  Besides, what people live with in their own house due to their own living situation doesn't necessarily translate for the next family to live there.  In my own house, there are splatters all over the walls by where my two three year olds eat.  I would never let someone else move into my house in the condition in which I currently live in it.

Property manager who is a friend of mine makes it very clear, the condition of the property will reflect on the tenant you get.

If they accept a sub standard property, then it will attract sub standard tenants. And that's easy to do.

We put a bunch of investors to him recently and he was hard as nails. Do the work he wants, or the property goes with another property manager. His track record was perfect though, once the work was done, he had all the properties under contract (bar one) in under a week to good tenants.

One woman prevaricated, she thought that I was going to do the work for her free of charge for someone reason, we politely turned that down. She spent two months scratching her *** over $1k that the property manager wanted. In the end, she paid it. He had the work done within a week, and the property was marketed for two days before finding a good tenant.

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