Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Who's The Idiot This Time?

If you've read some of my earlier posts, where I explain my disappointment (to put it lightly) in our choices of property managers, you'd know that I don't think too highly of them. Frankly, most have no brains or just don't use them.

Our first apartment PM in KY was also the agent who sold us the slum. She was referred to us by another agent, who was trying to sell us a different shanty, as a good manager with lots of experience in big companies. Her professional demeanor was actually a front for her Sybil personality. She was a scary witch and dealing with her, when we were able to find her in the office, which was rare, was one of the least enjoyable episodes of my (and my husband's) life.

Two months before I fired her I received this e-mail out of the blue:

"honsetyly who cares. we did the dealit over who cares anymore, theygot stuck with them let them deal with them. whatever"

I'm not making this up. I wouldn't be capable of making it up. So, with all the sensitivity that I could muster (and those of you who know me know how sensitive I am), I wrote, "What are you talking about?"

Her reply? Forced to think quickly, she explained, "I dont have a clue. Sorry about that." Maybe it was the ole' "someone hacked into my e-mail account and sent my client an unintelligible message." Or maybe she was just drunk.

And so it went, until I released her from her contract five months early (I kept her on-site manager because he was a hard, honest worker). She was a Kentucky train wreck. A head-on collision at the derby. A horrible rotten PM. An idiot!

I currently have a PM for our Texas SFR who does a reasonably good job for us. The checks come like clockwork and I don't get dinged for silly charges too often. We have a tenant in the house whose lease expired in October, or so I thought. Last week, we received a lease extension from the PM until December.

Being the responsible investor, I e-mailed him and asked him what his strategy was to advertise the house and how much he thought the rent should be this time (we've been getting $1,550/month GSI). He never responded. It so annoys me when they do that. PM's seem to dread communicating with owners.

So, yesterday, I e-mailed him a harsher message saying that I didn't receive a response to my first inquiry and I want to know what he intends to do to rent out the place because I need to decide whether or not to retain his management company. I figured that would garner his attention.

Also, I had received the rent check for October, but my husband said that it didn't go into the account for the LLC we have for that property. Uh-oh. I don't know where the check went. Does he expect me to remember all the way back to mid-October? So, I needed to ask my PM if the check had been cashed and to what account.

This was his reply:


I'm not sure where you got the idea that the tenants were not renewing. They have in fact renewed and we have mailed the renewal to you for your signature. the (sic) market did not warrant an increase at this time but we are noticing an increase in demand and that our inventory level is about as low as any of us can remember. That usually translates into gradually increasing of leasing rates.

Let me know if you do not receive the renewal in the next few days and we will send another out. We sent you the original so hopefully you will get that and sign and send it back.


Huh? I pulled the file and, this time, I looked closely at the expiration date on our copy of the lease extension that we just signed. Gulp! It's December, 2008. Plus, the lease doesn't expire until the end of this month. I don't know why I thought it was in October. Also, he was able to tell me that the check was cashed and gave me the account number that it was deposited into. I apologized profusely because here I was attacking this guy, when he was doing his job by the book. I'm not used to my PM's being on the ball. I'm also thrilled that we have the tenant locked in for another year!

Who do you think felt like the idiot this time around?