Thursday, September 27, 2007

Property Manager Lingo

I can't wait to tell you about the disaster known as our other apartment property, but it'll have to wait until we close on the sale on Wednesday, Oct. 3. I don't want to do anything to risk this falling out of contract, even though it's as solid as a sale can be right now. At that time, I will post a picture and give you some details. I thought, since it's late, I just would spend some time telling you what I learned about communicating with property managers.

When a PM says, "I ran the application and he qualifies to rent," what they actually mean is, "I found this homeless person who I felt sorry for and told him that he could live for free in your apartment until you ask me why the tenant in #103 isn't paying." Who said PM's don't have a heart? At least it beefs up the rent roll, right?

When a PM explains that your expenses are high due to many repairs that month, what they're really saying is that they needed some extra cash, so they used the most expensive companies that give them the biggest kickbacks.

When a PM states emphatically that they are doing their best to work with tenants who are late on their rents, what they really mean is that the tenant who owes you $2,000 in back rent has skipped town and they have no idea where they are.

When a PM says that there's a little leak in the roof and it should cost only $200 to fix, what they do in reality is hire their brother to fix the leak for $1,500.

When the PM assures you that the gardening has just been completed, what he means is that he walked out the door of the office, picked up a piece of trash, threw it behind the overgrown bush, and went inside to listen to the phone ring.

When your PM looks puzzled at the motorcycle parked INSIDE a vacant apartment while you're visiting your distant property, what he's really thinking is, "Darn! I forgot to move my Harley before the Man came."

When your PM tells you that he couldn't answer your calls because his cell phone was in the repair shop . . . . . he's lying.

Don't get me wrong. I'm sure that there are some fantastic multi-family property managers out there. I just never found one, even after interviewing every PM in a certain area. It took me a while to realize that the person whose name is not on the loan docs will never be as concerned about my property as I am.

This is a good post on which to comment for those of you who can give some concrete guidelines for choosing a competent property manager.