I was talking the other day with a friend of mine about real estate, shocker. More specifically over the property management side of real estate. I think it plays such a huge role here in Hawaii. In lieu of the recent Transient Accommodations Proposal I really have started to wonder what goes into an individual's decision to bring on a property manager. What are the pros and cons of having a property manager? What a better time than blog tuesday to go deeper into this? Let's dive in!
In the discussion, my friend told me what would be considered to be sort of a nightmare for a property owner. She told me a story about a property manager that was used for a property that had high traffic Short Term Vacation Rentals (STVR), paid a salary, and really put little to no work in managing the property at hand. The property manager was oblivious to certain needs that the property had, such as check in’s, check out’s, and cleaning schedules. All of which are VERY important for a property manager to have a knowledge of. Now this case scenario is a bit of an extreme on the poorly managed side. However, I also know of some other property managers who have gone above and beyond for their clients, even going to lengths to fix or clean the property until past midnight for a quick STVR turn around.
What is the difference between these two scenarios? I think the biggest difference is intentionality and care put simply. As with many other job candidates, not all property managers are created equally. It has been my experience that a lot of the downsides of having a property manager go hand in hand with having a property manager who does not take their job as seriously as the property owner would. It really is as simple as that. A great rule of thumb as a property manager is to treat the property as if it were their very own. This alleviates a lot of the possible contention that could grow between parties involved with a poorly managed property.
What are some signs of a poorly managed property? They usually work from the bottom up. For example, if you are an owner who has put a property manager in place on your property, yet you still are dealing with a lot of the cleaning, maintenance, and guest issues, then this is usually a tell tale sign that your property manager is under performing. These are below the line issues for homeowners with property managers. These issues quite literally are the property manager’s job description. As a homeowner, pay attention to who you hear from about the property most, while this seems very elementary, you would be surprised by how many folks don’t recognize this.
On the other side of the coin, what does a good property manager look like? In the simplest form, the less you hear about your home the better, as crazy as that sounds it actually is very true. You should receive a lot of high reviews from guests, but ultimately you almost forget about your asset entirely. It is also my opinion that there are many more good property managers than bad ones, especially of the folks I know here on Big Island. A great property manager can be a blessing, and when you have one, as I said before, you may forget about your property and its rentals, but the checks keep on clearing and going straight into the bank account. Everyone is happy.
When considering property management from either side as either an owner or manager, I think the golden rule of “treat THE PROPERTY as you would treat yours” should prevail. If you’re an owner looking for a manager and you get the feeling that this person does not ultimately care about my home but rather your business, proceed with caution. If you meet with a property manager who notices the little things that they would like to change/help with such as the vases for the flowers having murky and cloudy water in them. Small details are what tell you whether or not this person values your property as a whole and is not just in the game to get your business.
Written by Nate Konecky R-S