communication key
There is a line between too much and too little information, says Ben Plohl. Image supplied.
  • Fine line between too much information and not enough
  • Work out the best communication medium early
  • Communication is always key factor

You know how there is a fine line between too much information and not enough?

This is a common issue for landlords who find themselves with a property manager who either doesn’t tell them enough or tells them too much.

In essence, what I’m talking about is communication, and if your property manager is no good at it, then it might be time you looked for someone who is.

Too much information

Over the years, landlords have experienced the highs and lows of property management.

In the beginning of their property investment journeys, they may believe that it’s normal for their property manager to be contacting them every few days to ask for approval for mundane bits and pieces.

They probably feel that constant communication provides them with regular updates on what is happening with their property.

However, there are many duties that property managers are responsible for their landlord clients, with much of it administrative, which doesn’t need the input of the owner.

This is what you are paying for, right?

For example, annual smoke alarm checks are part and parcel of every property manager’s regular duties but they should never require approval from an owner to be completed, because it is a legal requirement that needs to be done every year.

Not enough information

At the other end of the spectrum is the property manager who doesn’t communicate enough.

Sometimes this silence can be interpreted by an investor as being a sign that everything is hunky-dory, so they keep sleeping soundly at night.

However, a lack of communication when it is needed can be a sign that your property manager may not be up to scratch.

For example, imagine if your tenant was regularly in rent arrears but your property manager never communicated this with you … until they had abandoned the property in the middle of the night?

Or, perhaps, the property manager had not completed regular inspections of the property and the first you hear of it is when they find significant damage? Most landlords would have some ‘choice words’ to communicate to their property manager after that.

Communication is key

Of course, most property managers are professionals who always strive to provide the best possible service for their landlord clients.

However, communication is always the number one consideration when it comes to the difference between a good and a bad property manager.

Ideally, your property manager should check with you at the beginning of their appointment about the method, and the frequency, of the communication that you would personally prefer.

But they always should communicate with you in a timely fashion, so that you are kept informed, but not overwhelmed, with information about your valuable asset.

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