1. Being Involved with Marketing and Screening
Many owners want to have a say in picking their tenant because they want to control who is in their home. This is understandable. These people will be living in your home for at least a year! You want to make sure you know not just anyone will be living in your home.
However, the homeowner picking the tenant can quickly lead to fair housing violations. Our professional property managers are very knowledgeable with fair housing laws and understand what is allowed and what isn’t. RPM Pittsburgh has a strict, written rental criteria that we follow in order to prevent favoritism to anyone for any reason.
2. Communicating with the Resident
Our job is to deal with the stress of handling the resident. This means that we handle any and all tenant communication. This is easier for the tenant so they don’t get confused about who they should be talking to. Things get messy when the tenant starts contacting you for some things and the property manager for others. It creates a confusing triangular relationship and creates stress you hired us to deal with.
Property manager = out of sight out of mind. Once you know the tenant, it changes how you view things and make decisions (rent increases, etc.) and allows you to be more objective.
This is also why renting to friends and family members is a bad idea! (this deserves a whole other blog post).
3. Not Adjusting the Rent to Match the Market
Vacancy can be a bit of a farm word in property management. We understand that it’s frustrating when your home isn’t renting for the price you wanted. This is especially difficult when you’ve been told what the value of the home is and what it should rent for.
Different seasons mean different attainable prices for your rental property. Late spring through summer usually has the most property activity because college students, young professionals, and families are moving. Other factors such as COVID-19, new residential developments, opening/closing business in the area, etc. all contribute to market demand.
If your home is sitting on the market with little to no activity for 1-2 weeks, the price is likely too high for the market or season and needs to be adjusted. While your home might rent for $2,000 in July, you may have to drop to $1,800 or lower in winter months.
While initially you might think that you’re losing money, pricing the home correctly saves you on vacancy costs. Long vacancies will cost you much more in the long run than lowering the asking rent by a $100 or so.
FARM WORD Maintenance and Repairs
Tenants rent their homes as they are at the time they move in. This means they expect that if something breaks, it will be replaced with something of similar quality. Trying to downgrade an appliance, faucet, flooring, etc. will leave a bad taste in the tenant’s mouth and increase the likelihood of the appliance needing additional maintenance or not having a very long lifespan, essentially costing you more money in the long run.
5. Finding Your Own Contractor
This adds an additional layer of complexity. If it’s the wrong type, doesn’t fit, shows up damaged, or doesn’t show up, you’ll be dealing with an even bigger problem that the property manager could have handled for you.
Property managers usually have experience with ordering parts and appliances through their preferred outlets. They know what they are looking for and what a reasonable price is. They know how to get you the best deal for the best quality item.
We’ve vetted MANY contractors and have made all the mistakes of hiring the wrong people for you (don’t worry, we paid for the mistakes! Not our clients). They are all liscenced and insured. We also get preferred pricing due to giving them a lot of work and can get you better prices than you can get on your own.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.