Business Tips
January 27, 2022

6 Common Mistakes Property Management Companies Make

Property management companies are integral to the day-to-day operations of commercial and multi-family properties across North America, but that doesn’t make them immune to failure. 

Unfortunately, not all companies are set up to succeed, and it’s only a matter of time before their lack of efficiency catches up with them and caps their ability to grow. With that in mind, we’ve come up with a list of the top 6 most common pitfalls for property management companies, as well as some tips to avoid them all together.

1. Lack of communication 

The most important part of managing a large portfolio is communication. If there are problems, don’t keep them secret. Get in touch with your tenants. Address their concerns. And above all else, follow up! Never assume that they know what you’re doing or why you did it. A lot can change in six months (or more) and keeping your tenants informed goes a long way towards preventing problems before they start.

2. Failing to keep up with technology  

In today’s market, it’s essential that a real estate firm keeps up with technological advancements. Every office should have online rental applications and rent collection systems in place, as well as software to help them with organization and day to day operations. 

Without technology, it’s going to be difficult for a property management company to grow at a competitive rate. Make sure you keep up with trends and invest in technology wherever possible. After all, they say “failing to prepare is preparing to fail!”

3. Managing Data Incorrectly 

It is extremely important that the data your company collects and receives is being used as effectively as possible. Too often companies collect mass amounts of data which is left unorganized and even hidden in places most managers never look, wasting the time and effort that was used to collect the data in the first place.

This is why having a system in place to centralize all your data is so important. It allows your data to be organized and all found in one place, so that your employees can easily access the data and use it to make informed decisions. 

4. Not Providing Clear Instructions to Vendors 

Providing clear instructions to vendors is one of the most important parts of property management. If they don’t know what your expectations are, they won’t be able to meet your needs. The job of a good property manager is to make sure all vendors are working together to get things done on time and under budget—this means staying in close contact with your team and providing clear instructions for each project that needs to be followed through. 

Property managers have a ton of responsibilities, from making sure rental units are in good condition to dealing with any number of repairs or maintenance issues. Unfortunately, some property managers don't make time to keep vendors updated on what’s happening in detail. 

In fact, many times vendors aren’t even aware that their services are no longer needed because property managers aren’t clear about what is expected of them and when they should be done. When it comes to vendor management mistakes, failing to provide clear instructions is near the top of the list.

5. Lack of Organization 

It’s no secret that property managers are in charge of a lot of different things. Between managing vendors, screening applicants, dealing with maintenance requests and answering tenant questions, there’s a lot to keep track of when you’re responsible for an entire building—or multiple buildings. 

One major mistake property managers make is being disorganized. Property management is big-picture work that requires you to have all your ducks in a row at all times. When a prospective resident calls you asking about move-in dates or past rent prices, if you can’t answer because your records aren’t well organized, that could be bad news for future business. 

So how do you prevent yourself from going off the rails? Try breaking down every job into its component parts and prioritizing what needs to get done first. This way everything won't seem so overwhelming and stressful.

6. Not Thoroughly Screening Vendors

You can’t trust every vendor in your neighbourhood, so you need to conduct thorough interviews to ensure that all of your vendors are qualified and trustworthy. It might take a little more time upfront, but it will save you time in the long run by reducing repair costs, security incidents, and low-quality service.

In fact, not properly vetting vendors is one of property management’s top mistakes. Some things to keep in mind when looking for the right vendor are to not hire anyone without references: references should be mandatory for any property manager or owner hiring a new vendor. If someone isn't willing to provide references, walk away from them—there's no such thing as bad references if they're honest ones.

When reaching out to someone for their reference, remember to get multiple as just one will not give you an accurate enough representation of the quality of work the vendor provides. 

Finally, understand how references should be used: To screen out unqualified candidates or verify skills and credentials – not as assurances about performance or behaviour!

How VendorPM Can Ensure You Avoid These Costly Mistakes 

Avoiding these mistakes is essential to your property management company's continued success, and the best tool to help you with this task is the right property management software. If you’re a property manager who needs software that can help with vendor management, sourcing and procurement, then VendorPM is what you are looking for.

This cloud-based software helps you manage all of your vendors and quote requests in one simple place. You can vet vendors, read reviews, and look through previous work of theirs, as well as message directly in the platform! You can also leverage the annual service planner to have your entire year of contracts mapped out right in front of you.

This is just some of what VendorPM can do for your company, if you would like to learn more, visit us at vendorpm.com!

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