12 Bad Habits of Inefficient Property Managers

September 29, 2020

What does it take for an owner to replace a property manager or a tenant to leave one?

The situation is usually complicated, but bad habits accelerate the process.Efficient property managers can deliver a superior result to owners, helping them realise maximum property value, reduce risk and improve cash flows. However, things start to fall apart when bad habits come into play.Bad habits are bad for business, so it’s best to quit them, fast. Of course, the first step to quitting one is realising when a once good practice is now inefficient. Bad habits are like bad eggs. Once you realise they’re past their use-by date, the best thing to do is throw them out, pronto. Quit bad habits before they go rank. After all, no clever arrangement of bad eggs will ever make a good omelette.Got any bad eggs?

inefficient property managers - bad egg

Here are 12 bad habits property managers should throw out:

1. Lack of communication

Playing “phone tag” or “email ping pong” is one thing. Slow communication, or worse, going incommunicado because you’ve accidentally let a request drop, is another. This is a big red flag for owners. Likewise, not giving tenants the tools they expect to log, report and track repairs makes it easier to get them offside.

2. Letting tenants go directly to owners

These days it’s easy to find someone. Accidentally overlooking a tenant request can happen, but do so at your peril if they end up going directly to the owner. Learning about a repair from the owner is a telltale trigger for them to start wondering why they’re paying you to manage their property in the first place.

3. Poor follow-through

Lazy? Probably not, but it’s how it seems when you don’t deliver on time. After all, perception is reality. You may be run off your feet but owners and tenants see it differently. Do your maintenance inspections fail to report costly future problems? Are tenant complaints addressed too slowly? Are property repairs done too slowly? It all adds up very quickly. Soon enough slow performance will cost you business.

4. Not creating enough owner value

Are you reactive, or proactive? Responding efficiently is one thing. Not presenting opportunities to owners that maximise their return is another. Honestly, it’s a lost opportunity. Why not help an owner understand how non-urgent repairs during vacancy can improve owner value? Find time to identify property hazards, suggest remedies and trigger claimable capital works to attract great tenants, all along while also maximising property equity.If you’re not confident assessing hazards yourself, find an insured maintenance pro who is. Use their review to produce a preventative maintenance report. Help owners plan for success by enabling them to forecast their future cost of ownership.

5. Irregular inspections

Too busy to do a proper inspection? Regular inspections help prevent hazards from becoming problems. Let a property go without inspection too long and issues pile up, resulting in avoidable repair costs. An efficient property manager avoids ticking timebombs by using regularly scheduled inspections to identify potential hazards, not emergency problems. Fix it before it needs fixing and the owner will not only pay less because you’ve had time to get quotes, but they’ll do it when it suits them.

6. Failing to detect hazards early

No one likes bill shock, especially stretched owners, but that’s what you risk if you let hazards go unreported. Every owner knows a well-maintained property is like having well-rained-on soil. Do just one comprehensive inspection per year and turn hazards into opportunities. How? Forearm an owner with a preventable maintenance report and you’ll help them forward plan future repairs, capital works and cash flows. This will let them do repairs when they can afford it, not when tenants demand it.


How good are you at spotting hazards? Take our spot quiz and find out.Pick the hazard below:

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HAzard 5
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Did you spot any hazards?

Sadly, not all hazards are easy to spot. If you want help listing hazards, just order a SafetyReport. Want to get more from an upcoming property inspection?

7. Poor relations with tradespeople

A property manager too busy to build relations with tradespeople could get stuck with very expensive costs from suppliers who aren’t even available for quick repairs. Not having time to cultivate relationships with tradespeople is a red flag. Efficient property managers regularly draw from a network of certified tradespeople who are available 24/7 for quick repairs at competitive prices.

8. No quotes

Trying to show owners your worth? Squeezed owners want evidence they’re getting value-for-money. It’s no surprise a lack of disclosure, transparency and end-to-end repair visibility is a red flag that angers many owners. A perceived lack of competitive tension will work against you. Be upfront. Take every opportunity to show owners that repair quotes are hungry and represent fair value.

9. Late reports

Regular report running late? No matter your reason - overwhelmed, unorganised or otherwise - owners see it as a red flag and rightly ask, what are they paying for? Once owners advise how frequently they want to get paid, consistent reporting becomes paramount. Most owners will want to see, in detail, income, inspections, quotes, expenses, invoices and a raft of other property information, consistently.An inefficient property manager may send owners just a regular statement focused on fees alone. An efficient one will use a statement to keep owners informed about a raft of related topics, all intended to prove their value and grow the owners’ worth.

10. Compliance issues

Not using an inspection to detect property hazards can be a red flag to owners, especially if subsequent regulatory-driven inspections find problems that expose owners (and agencies) to risk of litigation, drawn out tribunal hearings, lost bond disputes or rejected insurance claims, let alone potential tenant harm and injury.Efficient property managers tell owners when they’re in breach of any rules. They also suggest remedies, tradespeople and suggest timeframes. On the other hand, inefficient managers have a poor grasp of property regulations, standards and requirements, forcing owners to find alternative solutions.

11. Inconsistent cash-flows

Inefficient property managers screen tenants poorly, show vacant properties badly and handle repairs inconsistently. All of this tends to make the owners’ cash-flow lumpy, which most say is a red flag.

12. Using the wrong tools

Working one way is great until it’s not. We all have a favourite way of doing our job, but like eggs, some ways can get stale. Processes honed after many years practice can become cumbersome, step-heavy and inefficient. Others can get whittled down until they’re useless. In either case, workflow problems end up getting pushed onto agents to solve directly instead of giving them tools to get the job done properly.No matter if you just want to protect your existing rent-roll or grow it, manual repair processes expose you to human-error and various risks. They also don’t scale as you increase your properties under management.One bad habit many property managers have is being afraid to adopt better ways of working. It’s easy to understand why. Can you trust technology to get it right? The best way is to blend bespoke processes with automated workflows so you can get the best of both worlds - guaranteed quality at your own hand, safeguarded by the hand of automated workflows. Use a blended approach to mix and match manual processes with automated workflows as needed, so you can manage by exception.

Perfectly imperfect?

Don’t panic if you’re guilty of any of the above ‘bad habits’. Truth said, most come from a desire to do perfect work. However, as we know, a perfectionist mindset is less than perfect, whereas a balanced approach makes perfect sense.If you're a property manager whose performance is crippled by perfectionism, don't pay the ultimate price for your bad habit by losing business. The burden of having high standards is heavy. We get it. We suffer from it too. That’s because everyone at Console is united by the common ambition of doing great work to help you, the property manager who sweats their guts to serve owners and tenants alike.Nobody is perfect, but a team of well-coordinated people gets pretty close.Our story is simple - we don't want you to suffer alone. We want to help you carry the burden that comes from being devoted to doing exceptional work. Let us suffer for you so you can be free to do your best work, make more and do less.If you’re already a Console client, start by activating Maintenance Pro and partner a team devoted to property. Who is this team? Console Cloud and Maintenance Pro isn't just software, it's the sum of smarts from people dedicated to doing the best work possible of their career, just like you.

Your experience, our smarts

There’s nothing artificial about what goes into Console.Our hand-made human-code is lovingly designed, written and published by truly amazing developers, engineers and product folk who every day strive to improve the lives of property managers, tenants and owners.It's our people who make Console Maintenance Pro better than the rest, who will make you the best of the best in property maintenance management.Looking for me?

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