Is It Time to Switch Property Management Companies? - Article Banner

Sometimes, change is good. It’s invigorating and energizing, and it moves you into a new and better direction. 

It can be stressful, too, especially when we’re talking about your investment properties. Switching from one Philadelphia property management company to another may seem risky. But, if you’re not receiving the service and the value that your properties require, it’s time to get serious about upgrading your management service. 

You deserve unparalleled service from a Philadelphia property manager. If you’re not getting the best leasing, management, and maintenance from your current manager, don’t wait too long to make the switch. You need an experienced real estate partner who can help you earn more and spend less on your investment. 

A few things might easily tell you that it’s time to switch and find a new property management company.

Are You Having Tenant Problems?

Good tenants lead to a good investment experience. When you have high quality residents in place, you know you’re getting your rent paid on time. You know you have someone taking care of your investment. If your property manager cannot place, work with, and retain good tenants, you need to think about switching. 

Tenant screening should be rigorous, consistent, and thorough. It should result in a well-qualified tenant who is easy to work with and follows the terms of the lease agreement. 

When your tenants begin falling behind with rent payments or you’re noticing a lot of property damage left behind during turnovers, you have a problem. When every tenant leaves instead of renewing the lease agreement, you might wonder why. 

Is your management company good at tenant screening? Are they communicating well with your tenants? You should not have to worry about disputes, evictions, or lawsuits. You should not have to worry about those expensive turnovers, either. 

Don’t be afraid to switch management companies if you seem to be losing tenants or losing money in security deposit disputes, property damage, and eviction court fees.  

Maintenance Is Ignored or Costs are Out of Control

You expect to have to pay for general maintenance and occasional emergency repairs. It’s part of owning a rental property

Maintenance is also more expensive lately, thanks to inflation and rising costs for supplies and labor. 

However, you should be able to count on your Philadelphia property manager to keep costs contained and to invest in preventative maintenance so those expensive emergency repairs are not necessary too often. You also expect access to a team of qualified, licensed, and insured vendors and contractors. 

If your property manager is struggling to provide sound, affordable maintenance, you should consider finding someone else to work with. 

If you’ve noticed deferred maintenance is causing you to pay more for repairs that should have been made months ago, ask about a plan to prevent this in the future. If your property manager cannot provide such a plan, you need to move on.

You shouldn’t be worried about maintenance. Your property manager should provide:

  • Preventative maintenance plans.
  • Good maintenance budgeting and projecting.
  • Cost-effective, professional vendors.
  • Complete transparency so you know what work is being done and why.

Maintenance issues left unattended or sloppily handled will only frustrate you and reduce your ROI. Look for a management company that can provide high quality maintenance services. 

Rental Property Accounting Cannot be Trusted

Your money is important to you. One of the things a property manager should do well is to provide you with accurate, detailed, and transparent accounting statements and reports. 

Thanks to the fantastic technology that’s currently available to property managers, it’s easier than ever to track income and expenses and provide detailed and accurate financial reports. Good management companies have the tools and resources to deliver online statements every month when your rent is paid. You should find it easy to review all of the income and expenses associated with your property or your portfolio, and you should have any questions or concerns addressed immediately. 

In addition to on-time rental payments and easy-to-access financial reports, you need to have a clear and transparent understanding of your expenses. Rental properties come with costs, and you should know exactly what you’re being charged, and when. Don’t settle for hidden costs or fees that show up in your accounting statements. If a repair bill seems high or you never approved the $800 charge that’s showing up in your statement, you want to address these things with your management company. 

If their response is insufficient or unacceptable, you should look elsewhere.   

How is Your Property Manager’s Communication?

Communication is increasingly important and necessary, even as we communicate electronically with more frequency. Hopefully, you work with property managers who use technology to communicate more effectively and efficiently. If you don’t, it might be time to switch. 

Your property management company must communicate well. They must be responsive and accessible to you and your residents. They should also communicate well with vendors and contractors and be proactive about their responses to prospective tenants when your property is vacant.  

When phone calls aren’t getting answered and messages aren’t being returned, you should find a management company that takes communication seriously. It’s hard to trust people who refuse to talk to you. If they’re not investing in owner and tenant portals, you’re not keeping up with tools and resources that can lead to better management. 

Legal and Local Market Knowledge 

Rental LawNew rental laws are always going into effect, and existing federal laws like the Fair Housing Act must be complied with consistently. There are constantly new developments with service animals and support animals. In Philadelphia, you need a rental license before you can even begin leasing a home. Will your property manager help to facilitate you obtaining one? 

Understanding the local Philadelphia rental market is also essential. If your property manager doesn’t have a lot of experience here, it will be difficult for them to price your investment property competitively or market it strategically to the pool of tenants looking for homes. 

We aren’t suggesting you fire your property management company without cause. But, if you’re noticing that you’re not getting what you expected in terms of service and support, we encourage you to compare what other companies have to offer. We’d love to tell you more about what we can provide, so please contact us at Innovate Realty. We work with investors of all experience levels in the greater Philadelphia metro area as well as surrounding suburban areas in Montgomery, Chester, Burlington, and Delaware County, to the Delaware River.