Tenants: Why You Should Never Call Your Property Manager!

Well…almost never.

The first impulse of many people when dealing with problems or issues that come up is to pick up the phone and call the person or company to seek resolution. In Property Management, the phone may not always be the beFrustated Callerst or most efficient method of handling your issue.

Throughout the day, a Property Management company is constantly fielding calls and e-mails, meeting with clients in the office, and may be out of the office on appointments. Even the best Property Manager, Receptionist, or Maintenance Coordinator is still human, and is prone to being overwhelmed, distracted, or just making a mistake. Most of the disputes that occur during move out, missed maintenance items, or problems that occur during tenancy can be attributed to miscommunication or failed to act upon calls that get over-looked or forgotten about once the call has ended.

Take for example a call made to an office to report a minor maintenance issue. You report the issue and the agent who answers takes the message and lets you know that someone will be out as soon as possible. What you did not realize when you were on the phone was that the agent had 2 people in her lobby, a call on hold, and a stack of files that were in the middle of being processed. After handling the other call, the guests in the lobby, and sorting out the files, somehow the message about your maintenance item was lost. Now you are frustrated because the technician never shows, and when you call back, you don’t remember who you spoke with.

A better, and usually more responsive alternative is to make sure that you submit requests and information in writing to your manager or agent. Whether the issue is maintenance, move out notices, lease changes or alterations, someone can receive the message when they have the ability to concentrate on your issue specifically. Also, in the event that a major issue has come up, you have written proof that you notified the manager, and hopefully have written confirmation of receipt by the manager as well.

In keeping your correspondence in writing, both parties can be kept up to date, and have a clear understanding of the expectations from everyone. Also, as the tenant, you have proof that you reported issues, and more than likely, you will have a written response from the manager so in the event of a dispute, you can always present the information back to the manager. If you have to defend a case based on a phone call that no one remembers having, or based on information you “think” was presented, there is chance that the manager will not negotiate or concede, where had it been in writing the resolution could have been much smoother and faster.

In all of your written correspondence make sure to also include ALL of the relevant information. The more that the manager knows, the faster most issues can be resolved or dealt with. Make sure to always include the following:

–       Name and Address of your rental unit: This should be obvious, but you would be surprised how many requests we get and have no idea who sent it.

–       Contact Information: Again, this should be obvious, but if you forget to tell your manager that you changed your phone number, techs or agents may have a hard time helping you.

–       Type of problem or request: Make sure to include any important information the manager may need. (Master Bedroom Sink Leaking vs. Sink Leaking)

–       Relevant Dates: Be specific, stating that you are moving out in about 2 weeks is not a sufficient “date”. Be sure to give an actual date.

Obviously emergencies and issues that need to be dealt with in person or over the phone should be, however, I would also recommend sending an e-mail or dropping a letter off to the manager with a summary of the phone conversation or meeting. This will ensure again that you have proof of the conversation and the specific resolutions that were reached.

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS BEFORE OR AFTER CALLING A PROPERTY MANAGER:

  1. Is this a real emergency? If not, try sending an e-mail first. This allows you to track that the message has been sent, and allows the manager or staff to forward the message directly to the party responsible for handling your issue without worry of being distracted.
  2. Does your call involve money? Setting move-in or move-out dates, changes to rent for repair reimbursements, or approval for cosmetic changes can directly affect your bank account due to concessions or prorations being given. Make sure you have a written record of what has been approved or requested.
  3. Follow-up phone calls with a quick e-mail highlighting the topics discussed. The manager will be able to pull up and be reminded of conversations and agreements made. This also keeps everyone on the same page, and there will be less confusion or misunderstandings.

RE/MAX Infinity Property Management is a full service property management company located in Pace, FL. We proudly serve Homeowners, Military Personal, Investors, and Renters in Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties. If you have a rental property or are seeking a rental property in Pace, Milton, Pensacola, or Gulf Breeze, give us a call. We are proud to be the #1 Property Management Company in Santa Rosa County.

Written by RE/MAX Infinity

Jason has been involved in Real Estate since 2005 where he quickly became a multi-million dollar producer within his first full year. He graduated from the Realtor Institute a few years later and then went on to achieve his Broker’s License in 2009. In 2008 he was asked to start up and lead the Property Management Department. He served on the Board of Directors as President for the local chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers for 2014 and is readily available to meet and speak with clients.

Written by RE/MAX Infinity

Jason has been involved in Real Estate since 2005 where he quickly became a multi-million dollar producer within his first full year. He graduated from the Realtor Institute a few years later and then went on to achieve his Broker’s License in 2009. In 2008 he was asked to start up and lead the Property Management Department. He served on the Board of Directors as President for the local chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers for 2014 and is readily available to meet and speak with clients.