It can be difficult to recover from a bad experience with a Mesa property manager.
Switching from one Mesa property management company to another may seem risky. You have all of your investments and financial information tied up with the company you’re currently using, so it can seem like a hassle and a headache to change. Or, maybe working with your current property manager has left you completely disillusioned with the entire industry.
We understand. We also believe you deserve unparalleled service from a Mesa 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 find a new management company. Start with some simple questions:
- Is maintenance responded to immediately? Are those repair costs reasonable or are you completely flabbergasted by what you’re paying?
- Are you comfortable with your tenants? Is rent coming in on time?
- Are you given regular performance reports or do you have to go looking for information?
- Does the manager fill vacancies with urgency or are you losing months of rent on an unoccupied property?
- Are the management fees reasonable and exactly what you expected?
- Is the manager willing to establish and maintain good tenant relationships?
- Do they communicate with you regularly?
If you are struggling to see the value in your property manager or you’re having a hard time reacting to some of the mistakes they’ve made, you might want to think about finding a better management partner.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you’ll know it’s time to get an upgrade.
Terrible Communication From Mesa Property Managers
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.
Before you begin working together, set your expectations. Your property managers need to know what kind of communication and reporting you expect. If they can’t meet those needs, you’ll know right away. Never stay in a property management relationship where you aren’t experiencing good communication. If you can’t get a phone call returned or a message written, your property managers are likely not communicating responsively with your tenants, either. That’s going to lead to a lot of frustration and tenant turnover.
Always prioritize communication and switch management companies if you’re not getting the communication you need.
Inaccurate Accounting and Messy Financial Statements
One of the things a property manager should do well is to provide you with accurate, detailed, and transparent accounting statements and reports.
It’s easier than ever with today’s property management software and technology. There’s no excuse for not knowing where you stand financially with your investments.
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.
Surprise or hidden costs and unanticipated fees are huge red flags. If your accounting statements have mistakes or you are being charged for things you didn’t expect, address these issues with your management company.
Find out why your rent isn’t being paid on time. If your 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.
Your Mesa Tenants Are Not Performing
You trust your property management partners to attract, place, and retain high quality tenants who pay rent on time, take care of your property, and follow the terms of the lease agreement. This is the whole point of working with a management company during the leasing period.
Tenant screening should be rigorous, consistent, and thorough. It should result in a well-qualified tenant who is easy to work with.
If you’re finding that the tenants your property manager has placed are falling behind in rent or leaving property damage behind or disputing every charge against their security deposits, you probably don’t have a management company that’s good at tenant screening or tenant communication.
There shouldn’t be evictions or lawsuits. There shouldn’t be a lot of turnover or long vacancy periods, 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.
Do Your Mesa Property Managers Know the Law?
New laws are always going into effect, and existing federal laws like the Fair Housing Act must be followed to the letter.
You need your managers to keep you in compliance. If they don’t know the difference between service and support animals or they’re making mistakes with security deposits and evictions, you could find yourself in a lot of legal and financial jeopardy.
Understanding the local Mesa 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.
Can You Really Switch Property Managers?
Yes. And, if you’re running into some of these problems that we’ve discussed, you absolutely should switch management companies. Your investments are too valuable and if your management company isn’t doing the job, you need to find someone who can.
Changing property managers doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or complicated. As long as your timing is right and your communication is clear, transitioning from one company to another isn’t going to be terrible. In fact, your new property manager in Mesa should take care of most of those details for you.
Here’s how to plan the switch:
- Decide when you want to exit your current management agreement. You may have to provide notice to your property manager. You should expect the transfer of lease agreements and financials to take a few weeks. Make the change mid-month instead of on the first, when rent is coming in.
- Cooperate with your new property managers. They’re likely going to reach out to your old company, request the necessary documents, and take care of integrating all your information into their system. Be available for any questions they may have as they take over your investment portfolio.
What about your current tenants? They’ll need to know that they’re getting a new property manager. They may have questions about their rental amount and whether it’s going to change. They might worry that their lease agreements will also be re-negotiated.
However, nothing will actually change, at least not right away. Your new management company will likely start by reviewing how your leases are written. If something needs to be changed, they’ll likely introduce themselves to your tenants and take care of it.
Finding a Better Mesa Property Manager
Now that you know what doesn’t work for you, how do you find a property manager in Mesa who will deliver what you need and provide a high level of service?
Here are some of the things to look for when you’re upgrading your property manager:
- Reputation for service. Reputation is important, and your property manager should be reputable not just with owners, but with tenants, too. This is important because if tenants aren’t comfortable renting from your property manager, you’re going to have a lot of vacancies between tenants. That comes with a large vacancy cost.
- Local and industry experience. You need someone who understands the Mesa rental market and uses that knowledge to effectively price and market your property. You want good vendor relationships and an understanding of all laws and regulations. Look for a management company that believes in continuing education and professional memberships.
- Talent and relationships. Try to find a company that’s large enough to have the tools and resources you need but small enough to make your property management experience a personal one.
- Investment in technology. Ask new potential property managers about how the company uses technology. They should make it easy for the tenants to pay rent and for the owners to receive payments, check their online portals, and communicate. Vendors should be able to receive requests and pay bills electronically.
There’s no need to stay in a property management relationship longer than you should. When you’re ready to move on, do it. We’d be happy to show you how you can have a better experience with Mesa property management. Please contact us at TCT Property Management Services. We manage homes in the East Valley, including Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, and Phoenix.