It is not uncommon for an owner to become weary with a property manager. It happens all the time. But it doesn’t have to with some basic understanding. Here is some insight (for owners) on how to avoid that dreadful situation.
When an owner gets frustrated, it is usually from unmet expectations. This discord has its root in poor communication. It is important for BOTH parties to communicate clearly. If there is poor communication between the owner and property manager then frustration is inevitable.
Poor communication arises because what I say is filtered through my 68 years of experiences, and what you hear is filtered through your 30+ (or 40 or 50) years of experience. It is important to ‘circle the wagons’, and describe the intent from different angles in order for the listener to fully grasp the meaning. Simple things like “What’s your contact information?” are easier than complex situations like “When will it be fixed?”
At Full Service Property Management we unabashedly admit that our goal is to set your expectations as low as possible. That way we have a much better chance of exceeding your expectations, and providing a positive experience for you. We would rather give you the bad news up front and improve on the situation as time progresses, than tell you what you want to hear and watch things disintegrate thereafter.
As a property manager, it is our task to be your eyes and ears. In order to accomplish that we must be transparent. We are obliged to tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. On top of that, we aren’t perfect! We make mistakes. Everyone does. The last guy to be perfect lived over 2,000 years ago! That means we need a little understanding and compassion. Hey, we are doing the best we can.
The difference between good property management and mediocre property management is a matter of a few percent. A good property manager still makes mistakes — he/she just makes fewer than a mediocre one. Property management is a very unique business. The various tasks we perform daily run the gamut from marketer, salesman, policeman, handyman, accountant, financial adviser, and lawyer. To perform all of these functions well, all the time, is nearly impossible.
We are constantly challenged at balancing customized service to each of our clients with standardization and efficiency. We want to give the best service possible to you, while also maintaining efficiency and conformity.
As a WA state Limited Liability Corporation, we are given the designation of ‘PLLC’ or Professional Limited Liability Corporation. Interestingly, only three industries are given this designation in WA state – accountants, attorneys, and property managers. Most people will accept the advice of an accountant or lawyer at face value, without any second thought. They are considered the experts, and their word is final. Unfortunately, property managers are oftentimes questioned and second-guessed. When that occurs by a (usually inexperienced) owner, then issues often arise.
We recognize that trust must be earned. At the same time, we were chosen to manage your property because at some level you trusts us. And by signing the management agreement, you instilled a certain level of trust in us. We ask for that trust to run its course by trusting our accumulated experience. The best advice we can give you is to get out of the way, and let us do what we were hired to do — much like the accountant or lawyer.
We want you to succeed. When you, we succeed.