My name is Tia Vincent and I'm the broker and owner of Roundtable Property Management. I've been in this business about 17 years now, and a lot of times I get property managers and real estate agents that say what was something that you did wrong when you first started in property management? What mistakes did you make? So that they don't make them themselves. So I want to talk about the five biggest mistakes that I made when I first got into property management.
- Mistake number one, showing property without properly pre qualifying and screening those tenants. First of all, if you're not asking them, when are you looking to move in? How much money do you make? What is your credit score? Have you been evicted in the last seven years? If you're not asking him your application qualifiers, you're wasting your time and their time. And if it's a tenant occupied home, you're wasting that tenant's time scheduling that showing. You're going to drive out there and you're going to find out that they've been evicted two years ago and that it's worthless to put in an application. Not only that, but a couple of years back. I'm sorry to say that I took myself out into the middle of nowhere to a property way out side of the city and I showed it to a man who then told me that he was a sex offender and had a felony on his record in the last six months. I was there as a young female by myself in the middle of nowhere because I didn't pre qualify that tenant.
- The second mistake I made was letting the tenant attend the move in and then move out inspections. Again, this is a time waster. You're going in. You're documenting the condition of the home. It doesn't matter how it happened, what happened, what was going on. Either the stain is in the carpet or the stain wasn't in the carpet. And either it was there when they moved in or wasn't. Having them there, they're going to argue with you. This was not there. This is what happened. This wasn't my fault. You want to just do the inspection? Document the condition. Send the claim out. And then if they have anything to dispute, let them dispute it within the 15 days that they're allotted Taking them to the move out inspection with you, you know, you're doing a 20 minute inspection can turn into a two hour inspection with the right tenant following along. Not to mention while they're there, if you say, well, this AC filter is dirty and I'm going to have to send the guy to set to replace the filter, they want you to wait at the property while they run to the grocery store to pick up an AC filter to save themselves the extra 20 bucks.
- The third thing that I made a mistake on is not doing group showings from the get go. I can't tell you how many times I've wasted my time driving out to a property to show it and get there and no one shows up. You've got a call ahead of time to confirm that those tenants are still planning on meeting you there. But it helps if you have, say, five people lined up for the showing because then if two of them show up, you haven't wasted your time driving out there. Not only that, but when there's more than one tenant at the property or potential tenant at the property, when one ask a question, you're answering it for all of them. So you're making sure that you're covering your bases as far as fair housing and your answering all questions, the exact same to every tenant, but also creates a sense of urgency against the tenant. I better get my app in if I really like this house, because he seemed really interested in I don't want him to get in there before me.
- The fourth mistake that I made was not getting involved and joining NARPM from a very early age, I didn't get into NARPM until somewhere around the age of 26 or 27. So I'd been in property management for eight or nine years at that point and NARPM really keeps you abreast of the new laws and landlord tenant code that is changing. But you're also sitting around a room with other property managers who are having experiences that you can learn from. So you don't have to make mistakes to learn from them. You can let other people make mistakes and learn from them.
- And last but not least, the I'm going to call this number five. That is actually the number one mistake I ever made. And that is saying yes to a property that I should have said no to. We all know those red flags that you feel the owner wants to screen the tenant. The owner wants to do his own maintenance. The owner wants three hundred dollars overpriced. When you first get into property management, you're hungry, right? You're a realtor. You're not making a steady paycheck and you're eating peanut butter jelly and you really want to eat steak. And so you say yes to that property. But in the end, you wind up with a tenant that's unhappy, an owner that's unhappy, and you are managing a home that you really had no business saying yes to when you should have sent them off to someone who was better suited for whatever the situation was.
Those are my top five things that I did in early property management that I wish I had done differently. If you are just getting into property management or if you're managing your own homes and you have questions on how to do things, feel free to give me a call. My name is Tiea Vincent and I am the broker and owner of Roundtable's Property Management.