15 Day to Day Frustrations as a Property Manager or Landlord
Any part of being a property manager or landlord can be frustrating, depending on your disposition. That's because it's a complex job demanding the use of many skills such as delegating responsibility, communication, bookkeeping, research, and networking.
Sometimes you find yourself in high-stress situations, like when you're evicting a tenant, completing repair requests, dealing with an emergency repair, or trying to lessen the duration of a vacancy. But for those who thrive under pressure, enjoy planning, and feed off human interaction, being a property manager is the perfect job!
Tenants With Too Many Questions
Your tenant may get used to you being more readily available during the screening and negotiation process and then expect that same level of access once they've moved in. As a result, they may seek you out as a source for answers regarding housing or lease questions instead of researching on their own.
Tenants also take for granted that you can't answer all questions because your answers can be construed as legal advice or evidence of a "conflict of interest," both of which can be problematic.
People Will Misunderstand Your Job
Many people villainize landlords and/or property managers. As a result, you may find yourself discouraged, but don't let that be an excuse to meet hostility with hostility or to assume you're being vilified. Just focus on doing the best job you can do and on doing what's right.
A misstep on your part can lead to a slew of negative reviews that takes for granted all the positive action you've been doing. That may make it harder for you to do your job or have no professional impact while still making you feel bad.
It can be hard to get someone to leave when they don't want to. Even if the person isn't paying rent or is causing damage, evictions are challenging to perform. They take up time, money, and take an emotional toll--especially if you need to take legal action to get someone to leave, which can take months!
Maintaining Your Network
Real estate is a collaborative endeavor.
You need to have an extensive network of contacts that includes everything from contractors to lawyers because you never know when you might need someone. Even then, however, you might find yourself out of luck and in need of someone who's not in your network.
It can be particularly stressful if it's a high stakes situation, like an emergency roof repair in the dead of winter.
Managing Multiple Listings
If you have to take care of multiple listings, especially if it's across platforms, it can be challenging to remember and stay on top of all the communication and maintenance that has to be performed.
Maintenance Between Occupants
You usually have to do some maintenance between tenants. Sometimes, though, you have to do a lot of maintenance, which is just hard and no fun.
A tenant may damage a unit so severely it can lessen your faith in humanity! It takes resilience to confront a unit that's been covered from floor to ceiling in human waste. These sorts of horror stories do happen.
You may know your roof or HVAC unit's life expectancy, but that doesn't mean you might not get caught off guard by an emergency or even have the repair sneak up on you.
Don't forget that a crisis can also happen at any time of day or year, so you might have to make a call at 3 am in the dead of winter.
You Vs. the Economy
If the local economy takes a dip, you may find yourself losing tenants to more affordable units. If this trend keeps up for too long, you may find yourself with a negative income stream. If you can't ride this out, then you may have to sell your property or perform a 1031 exchange to avoid paying capital gains taxes to get a new property.
Going Off Lease
After a lease expires, some property owners choose to forgo re-signing a lease to keep their tenants longer. If this happens, a tenant may end up surprising you when they decide to seek housing elsewhere.
If you're not already using tenant management software, then manual bookkeeping can be a real hassle. You have to keep track of invoices, receipts, and bills.
Yet another reason to use tenant management software. If you're collecting rent yourself or waiting for checks to come in the mail, you'll be subjecting yourself to unnecessary stress.
This is especially problematic if you have to deal with late, missed, or lost payments.
Regulations and Ordinances
You have to keep up with state, local, and federal regulations and ordinances to ensure you're not caught off guard by a fine that eats into your bottom line.
Sometimes these changes may require changes to how you do your job. Other times you may need to hire a contractor to make sure your property is up to code.
When you're a property manager, you're coordinating with more than just tenants; you also have to deal with all the professionals you work with daily. That includes contractors, real estate agents, lien professionals, inspectors, and lawyers, to name a few.
Communication may be referred to as a soft skill, but it's still hard! Too often, people discount how much work goes into keeping in touch with many people regularly or maintaining a professional network.
There are many challenges faced by property managers and landlords, but these are the very challenges that make the job so satisfying. You're providing people with housing, helping them when there's an emergency, making their lives more comfortable, working with teams to accomplish big goals, providing other professionals with advice when they need it, and more.
There's no guarantee that your job will get any easier, but there's no doubt that the work that you do can have an immediate positive impact on others. Check out the various locations Mynd manages in, we have local teams in 19 major cities and counting. Learn more about our services today and get your free rental analysis or consultation with our local experts!
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