Despite being a huge industry, property management is highly fragmented, with major property management firms having only a handful of employees. Initially, getting into the business might be easy, but keeping up and achieving success in the property management industry is a big challenge. Not many property management companies survive in the long run. As we look closely, we can find visible patterns that are prevalent in nearly every failing property management company.
Following are the top 5 reasons why property management firms fail:
1. Quick Expansion
Many property management companies do not know their market and potential. They try to expand quickly by charging lower than their competition. They also add too many units to their portfolio without realizing whether they have the potential or the crew to handle the added features or not. Instead of quick expansion, the right decision would be to expand gradually with trustworthy and flexible employees. Without an adequate workforce, quick expansion hurts the reputation of a firm that provides a lot of features, all of which are either rudimentary in form or misleading in nature.
2. Properties are Far Apart
Property Management firms have to search for properties and investors, and often agree to manage properties that are spaced far apart. With a limited workforce, managing properties that are far apart from each other is a challenge. It is not possible to manage one property in one part of the town, another property at the other end of the town, and a few more properties in different neighboring towns. Furthermore, every property is based on a different demographic community and hence, needs different management strategies.
3. Delay in Basic Operations
Suppose you haven’t collected rent for a few months, and when you finally arrive, you find out that the tenant and the room keys are absent, leaving you in a state of shock. Property management firms often do not have a proper system in place. Hence, they can’t complete basic operations like collecting rent, responding to service requests, leasing properties, and tracking ongoing repairs and maintenance. As a result, they often try to play catch-up and fail miserably.
4. Fear of Technology
Property Management firms fear technology so much that they hardly ever use it. Modern technology can solve most of the problems. For example, a simple 3D video could give a tour of the property, or a reservation system could prevent people from canceling at the last moment. Technology allows you to do a rough market survey of the locality and provide a snapshot of the properties that are selling well, what they offer, and how much neighboring properties are charging for the same services.
5. Overspending on Maintenance and Repairs
Property managers often fail to balance their expenditures. While one needs to look at earnings, expenditures play a crucial role in the savings and profitability of a company. Property management firms often do not know the neighborhood well. Either they make a huge one-off payment to the contractor or sign a contract to follow up on numerous property maintenance and repairs.
Property management is a big industry. However, property management companies fail to capitalize on the renters due to a myriad of problems. They do little market research, are afraid of technology, are thinly spread out, try to expand quickly, overspend on repairs, and delay basic operations. Most of the property management firms aren’t able to keep up with the competition. Eliminating these problems is an absolute necessity if you want to thrive in the industry.
OHI is a thirteen-year-old real estate services company working with 50+ commercial and residential real estate developers, funds and property management companies across USA. Our deep expertise in real estate accounting, financial analysis, lease administration and asset management has helped clients cut associated costs by 40-50%. We currently provide these services to a portfolio of 75000 units across clients.
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