Saturday, July 25, 2009

Is the Property Manager doing his job?

Dear Property Manager:

I own a small block of commercial properties just outside Charlotte and I have now gotten two "complaints" about how the property manager has handled certain situations in the last 6 months. I do not have time to deal with the unhappy tenants (that is why I hired the property management company in the first place!), but I feel like I need to step in.

What should my first step be? How to I address this with the property manager without making it seem like I am micro-managing their ability to handle the tenants? I have had no problems up to this point (3 years now).

Ralph H. Charlotte, NC

Dear Ralph,

It can be difficult to know if your property manager is doing his job well, especially since the whole point of hiring a property manager is for you to NOT be involved in the day-to-day operations of your property. I understand that you do not want to micro-manage, but at the same time you need to have content tenants or you will be out of business. Since you have had 2 complaints in a short amount of time, I think that you need to take them seriously.

Your first step should be to ask the tenants if they have tried to go through the property manager regarding the conflict. If they haven't, you can direct them to the property manager and hope that it was just a miscommunication. You need to give the property manager the chance to resolve the issue themselves.

If they have already gone to the property manager, you will need to get the details of the issue and how the tenant felt it was mishandled. Then you should sit down with the property manager and work through how they can resolve the situation directly with the tenant. You need to give the property manager the opportunity to make this a positive situation.

And then, if the complaint still isn't resolved, you will need to intervene directly yourself, and either re-train the property manager to handle this kind of thing better, or look for another company to better represent you.

Best of luck,
Kuester Property Manager

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