Ever get the feeling your constantly paying for maintenance on your investment properties? I know I do. I seemed to forever be receiving requests for permission to send electricians and plumbers out. It got to a point with one property that I honestly thought I’d replaced everything in the house twice over. However it wasn’t that the property was in disrepair it was simply bad management.

A typical scenario is a tenant calls up in panic about the electricity keeps shorting out. The property manager reacts immediately and sends an electrician out to inspect. The property manager didn’t stop to ask if the tenant had checked the fuse box, or ask if about the nine appliances the tenant has plugged into three adapters in the one outlet. They simply did what they get taught to do and send an electrician. $180 later and a fuse had flicked, not blown and the electrician told the tenant to only plug in two appliances per power plug so it doesn’t over load. Nothing broken just a lack of common sense. Now had the property manager asked about the excessive appliances and if the tenant had checked the fuse box to see if a switch had flicked they would have saved you as the landlord $180.

Now had this property manager known the tenant well enough and seen the appliances on their last inspection and used a bit of common sense, this expense would not have been incurred. But that’s the exact problem. Today property management is broken into tasks where the person you speak to in most real estate offices has never even visited the property. Little lone understand the cost of owning a property themselves. It’s not their fault, they’re just doing a job. It’s the model that business has chosen to operate.

In my case, it was only a day later that I got another request for maintenance but this time for a remote controlled fan. $180 later again and the remote needed a new battery. Now again, the property manager didn’t trouble shoot this situation either. The tenant forgot to mention this when they called about the electricity shorting out the day before. The property management hadn’t asked if there was any other maintenance issues they could help with either, so you can decide who’s fault that was.

We all pay our property managers between 8-10% of the rent to ‘manage’ our investment properties. But what are we actually getting for this money. Most real estate agencies claim they build wealth for their investors and maximise rental returns. I’d just like my property manager to minimise maintenance requests. So you have to ask, what am I getting for my money but more importantly how much is it costing me in bad management.

Not all property managers are created equal. Good ones will saved you thousands by managing