Have you ever heard that old saying that the customer is always right? Well, if you’re a property manager or run a property management business, owner behavior will certainly set the tenor of the relationship. It may even decide whether a property owner client stays a client! Not sure what I mean?
Here’s an example
The family has given you, the property manager, no indication that they have a pet. You inspect the property regularly and don’t find any. Unfortunately your client has it in his head that the family has a cat, dog and other various pets in the home and won’t take your word for it that they don’t.
Their lease also says they, the tenants, are entitled to quiet use and enjoyment of the property and advance notice for inspections. Now guess who keeps showing up unannounced to “inspect” the property? Yes, the owner, their landlord.
A ripple effect
Whether there is a problem or not, the landlord can’t just drop in unannounced. Neither can you, the property manager. You know that. You’ve tried to explain it to your client. What the client’s behavior will cause is a ripple effect.
First, if he has you try and evict the tenant, they will have a claim against both you and the landlord for violating the lease as well. Down the line it could damage your business. You, as the property manager, will suffer. In the eyes of the tenant you are the landlord. You are an agent for the landlord and his bad behavior will reflect on you.
Do some initial screening
The answer? Screen your property owners. Set ground rules for what they may do if you are managing their properties. If they don’t like them, don’t take the client on. If they can’t abide them after you take over management, fire them. Don’t let your business suffer because of a bad client.