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Property management trouble

The snowbirds are coming back and they often don’t like how their property looks. They thought they’d paid a management company to take care of their property, but it looks like hell. 

Did it happen to you too – or not YET???? Chances are, it might happen to you as well. I heard the excuse it seems to be in human nature to mess up. Crap. These boys are simply lazy and getting paid for not doing a ( good ) job which is better than working hard. Yes,  I agree: The summers in Florida are brutal. It ain’t funny to work. You sweat like hell whatever you do. But as a management company, you do have a responsibility towards a property owner who has often paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase a lovely home and who also happens to pay a lot of money for regular maintenance to keep it up.

Here’s the problem: There are a few jobs where people think EVERYONE can do them. Cleaning homes and pools, yard work and of course property management. How hard can it be to look after a ( vacant ) property once in a while? Exactly!! It can be darn hard and very challenging if you aren’t in the real estate industry, if you aren’t very organized and if you aren’t detailed in your communication with the owners.

  1. Managers who aren’t in the Real Estate business: it’s not an obligation to be a RE specialist, but it sure helps. When it comes to repairs, it’s always good to have some background knowledge. It happens often that unexperienced customers don’t get the best price for repairs. Since I’m in this business since 1984 and since I’ve built any kind of homes imaginable, I think I can get you a decent price for any repairs.
  2. being organized: Let’s look at the fact of being organized: the property owner pays a monthly fee for management services. He expects whoever gets the money will look after his property on a regular basis. YOU THINK!! Let’s talk about a few stories I’ve personally witnessed with or heard from property owners that tell a different story:
    • Pool pump shot: This tells us the pool company responsible for the regular cleaning did not do what they were supposed to do AND the property management company did not check the property and the pool company. I can’t tell how many owners have complained about green pools and shot pumps.
    • Mold in the home: The owner comes back after several months up north and enters the home. Mold everywhere. As a fact, the company responsible for his home never went inside and therefore never noticed a water leak. Damage: Severe!!
    • Water invoice incredible high: Management companies are supposed to check everything. A leaking toilet can cause a serious amount on the next water bill. It happens often
    • Electric bill extremely high:  Pool heaters use a lot of energy. It’s the responsibility of the management to check they are off after tenants or even the owner left. Unattended they run every day for sometimes over a month and the owner has to pay for.
    • House dirty: Now I sure got your attention: It happens to the best and I know it’s hard to check the cleaning crew after each job. But we get paid for these services and we have to.  Vacation homes experience it most often, but it can be avoided. It’s tough to find a good crew, but people with honor and pride are out there
  3. Detailed communication: Snowbirds and European owners are often far away from the properties for a long time.  They need to know what’s going on. The easiest way to make them feel comfortable is to talk to them. A phone call from time to time works wonder.  But even better are written reports. A simple email every week after each visit with information what was found ( or better what was NOT found ) gives owners peace of mind.  Since it’s hard to write detailed emails, I, for example, spent nearly $1.000 for the best speech recognition software you can find on this planet. With this, I can write detailed reports in minutes. My owners love it and it gives them peace of mind their property is in good hands.

I could go on for another few pages, but I guess you got my drift. A supposedly simple job turned out to be a nightmare for the owner. How can it be done better?

This business is based on trust and referral. People doing a good job are tough to find because they are busy. Never sign a long-term contract with a new company. Let them explain what they are doing and give it a try. 2 months should give you a good idea with whom you are dealing with.

Why is it owners don’t switch services to other companies even when they are unhappy?  I’m in this industry since 1984 and in Florida since 2004 and after talking to lots of people it’s often for the same reason: owners don’t know what happens with the next company and therefore give the old manager another chance…. And another…. And another. Until they got really frustrated.

If you are not ready to move, but still aren’t 100% happy, then why don’t we start working to build a business relationship with another topic. I can help you with getting more tenants. Our biweekly newsletter with news about Florida, vacation, real estate and other interesting topics goes out to about 800.000 business customers worldwide.  I’m not kidding or exaggerating. This is for real. I found a way to make this happen. This number of emails nearly a guarantee we will find people interested to rent your home.  Of course, we only charge if we find a tenant. You can list your home right on this website. Call or email me for further questions.

We are not saying we are the best. Nobody should say this. Mistakes happen. We all have good and bad days. We are all humans.  But maybe it has something to do with how we’ve been raised. We were born in Germany and we have been trained common sense, reliability, punctuality, and politeness.  That’s what we stand for and that’s what our customers appreciate and honor.  We are also not saying we are the only ones working this way in the area, but if anything of the above got your attention, right now  I’m the closest thing for you to get more bookings and probably a better service with managing your home.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you  

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1 thought on “Property management trouble”

  1. For many years we rely on the services of Michael with fullest satisfaction. He manages our property with care and attention to detail from screening tenants, organizing pool and yard services, to ensuring repairs are done properly. He lives his principles of communication and keeps us informed at all times. He is our trusted one-stop shop for hassle free property ownership in Southwest Florida.


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