Communication is essential in the business of property management. In order to keep property in the best possible condition, both physically and financially, property managers need to have open lines of communication with homeowners, HOAs or tenants at all times.
If there is a maintenance issue at the property, we need to know about it. And if we do work on a property or deal with a matter, we need to keep the homeowner, HOA or landlord informed throughout the process. Property management is a partnership — and communication is a bridge that keeps both sides connected and on the same page.
1. Set an Agenda before the meeting.
This is particularly important when working with HOAs, where there may be a number of different issues that people want to discuss. To keep the conversation going, it's always a good idea to organize themes and talk points ahead of time.
2. Follow the established communication process.
Homeowners must have trust and trust in their property managers. Sometimes HOA members or rental tenants will try to get around the property manager to their landlord or to the HOA board. This is just creating extra steps and delaying the process.
It's all right to copy others to emails and keep them in the loop – actually, we encourage them. Just remember, it's your property manager's job to do these things. Let your property manager be a mediator, and things generally get done faster. If you have a problem with their response time, ask your property manager to discuss it.
3. Be informed about your agreement.
It may take a little time to read, but it's helpful to know what your property manager is doing and what someone else's responsibility might be. Some things that frustrate you, such as peeling paint on your condo building, may be outside the scope of the property manager.
Make sure you know the responsibilities of your property manager. In the long run, this will save you time and frustration. If you are concerned or have more things to do with your property manager, talk to your manager about adjusting or renewing your agreement.
4. Prioritize what you want to be addressed first.
If you are a member of the HOA Board or own a rental property, you may have 1,000 items that need to be addressed. When it comes to property, it's not unusual to have a very long list of things to do. But in order for your property management company to do all of these things in the way you want, it's helpful to prioritize your list.
5. Put everything in writing.
The best way to ensure that your communication is properly monitored is to follow the process set up by your property management company. If you email the right person or use the software that your property manager has set up to make requests, they will have a consistent paper trail to advocate for you to the landlord or HOA board.
While phone calls are fine in most situations (such as emergency situations), emails have the advantage of being very easy to track — which is beneficial to both you and your manager. If you use a variety of communication methods, things can get lost in the shuffle.
6. Include as many details in your requests as possible.
The more information the property manager has, the easier it is to make decisions and to take action. When you send a request to your property manager, provide as much detail as possible about the situation. This may include:
Since visuals can often be more useful than words, include pictures of the problem if possible. Diagrams are helpful, too. Showing a diagram of where the issue is on the property will make it easier for your property manager to locate the issue.
Sexton Group Real Estate Property Management in Berkeley and Lafayette, California is a boutique property management company specializing in residential sales as well as property management services for properties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. We have 2 offices to serve you, one in the heart of Berkeley and the other in the heart of Lafayette, California. The Sexton Group understands that many of our clients buy properties for investment purposes. Our clients are the reason we come to work everyday, and we pride ourselves in delivering exceptional care to them, their properties, and their tenants. Our focus is on maintaining the economic health of our clients’ properties and creating the perfect combination of tenants and properties. We go above and beyond qualifying our tenants; we make sure that we meet the needs of both tenants and property owners to ensure a high-quality, respectful, honest, and long-term relationship. We anticipate both our tenants and our property owners’ needs and work 24/7 to select the perfect pairing. Contact us today for your free consultation!