Property management. If you ever thought about, researched or look into buying an investment property of any kind whether it be a vacation home rented out short term or a true investment property rented out long term there is a guarantee that those two words have come into play. Just trying to wrap your head around buying a property hundreds and sometimes even thousands of miles away from home can be a time consuming and overwhelming task in its self let alone add in the thought of having someone else look after your money maker and especially your vacation home can be stressful enough to make you think twice about the idea of owning all together.
Well truth be told if you think just thinking about property management makes your head spin try walking a day in the life of one our busiest property managers. From late night phone calls to replace missing light bulbs, to phone calls at 2am from the police for tenants disturbing the peace the stories below will offer some insight into the patience, hard work and pure diligence that goes into being a fulltime property manager.
The first time I was introduced to the some of the nightmares that come along with property management was when I received a phone call from a couple who had just flown in the night before with their two small children and was interested in looking at some homes while here. The wife began to tell me about the terrible experience they had encountered the night before regarding the beautiful 4 bedroom home they had rented for the week. They arrived around 2pm and after enjoying a lazy day lounging at the pool and exploring the resort grounds they headed home to enjoy a home cooked dinner in their vacation home. Well to their great surprise when they walked in there was another family sitting in their living room. The family that was in the house when the first family returned knew as soon as they walked in that something was wrong. They saw the suitcases in the rooms and immediate put a call into their friends the owners of the home that they were now sitting in with another strange family. The first family that arrived at the home quickly called the company that booked their vacation home and within minutes the manager of the company showed up at the home to try and dissolve the tense situation and to attempt to fix the problem. Unfortunately due to the summer season what seemed like a easy fix, just move one of the families into another nearby comparable home turned out to be hours of phone calls trying to find another house available to accept a week long rental. A day lost and two very unhappy families later the situation was resolved and the families went along their merry way enjoying the rest of their vacation. What had occurred here was that not only was the property manager booking the home for her clients but so was the owner of the home. This usually works out quite simply however in this case the property owners forgot to add this booking to their calendar so the property manager was unaware of the double booking until it was too late. The situation above may not seem like a big deal but imagine the ordeal if there was no property manager to help rectify this problem. The owners living in Canada could have not only lost out on two bookings but in the most likely case would have had two angry customers would have had to find a solution to this problem on their own.
Grow House Nightmare!
Another interesting story is the story of an owner who against his better judgment and against his realtors suggestions tried to manage the property himself. Trying to save a dollar, like anyone of us today, he decided that he would cut corners here and take this job on his self. He lives in Miami and the property was in the North Orlando area. After not hearing from the tenant in what he believed was a reasonable amount of time he got a little nervous and decided to take a long weekend and make a visit to the home. When he arrived at the home he found the house was surrounded by dead plants, over grown shrubs and the grass was beginning to turn brown. He walked up to the front door which was open and walked inside find that there was no drywall because the tenants/vandals stole all the wiring for the copper all the windows are missing because they wanted the metal in the frames and 2 bedrooms had been turned into grow rooms. That's right, the owner in Miami rented his property to somebody who grew marijuana all throughout the house. The owner in Miami had no clue his $250,000 dollar house was now worth a lesson of $60,000. All that was left was the roof and the solid block exterior. Had he invested in having a reliable property management company look after his own investment this wouldn't have happened?
Property managers don’t just manage your home they are your eyes and ears for your valuable investment while you are away. People who are going to do this kind of damage seek out unavailable owners or bad property management companies. They look for owners who don't do national background checks, election searches, driving records, Social Security verifications so they can get away with do what they need to do. Though these stories above may be extreme more of the extreme ones, they are perfect examples of the importance of having a proven professional management company look after your property and business. And in the case that you are willing and able to take on the job yourself make sure you have a game plan of attack. Make sure you know the ins and outs of everything involved in managing a property. This is not the place to cut corners. The shorts cuts and money saved will never compensate the headaches you are sure to run into down the road.
We hope to earn the opportunity of helping you achieve your investment property goals this year in 2012. For a free, no obligation investment property consultation with our Director of Sales- Lisa Arcia, please contact us directly at 866-422-6191 and if you have enjoyed this article please consider subscribing to our blog and stay updated on future information.