Prospect Tenant Complains About Their Slumlord Property Manager
Wikipedia defines a slumlord (or slum landlord) as a derogatory term for a landlord, generally an absentee landlord, who attempts to maximize profit by minimizing spending on property maintenance, often in deteriorating neighborhoods.
We recently rented one of our apartments. After it was rented, we received a call from someone that saw an old ad. We let her know that unfortunately it was no longer available. She’d allowed us to take her information in case something becomes available.
The conversation that proceeded is not unusual. One of the most common reasons for people moving, is lack of customer service and performance on maintenance requests from their landlord and/or property manager. If tenants feel ignored and not being attended, it’s only a matter of time before they leave for a better rental experience. Most tenants will not be patient and prior to their lease expiring will begin searching for a new apartment.
One of the main jobs of a good property manager is to keep units leased up as long as possible – “tenant retention”. We’ve owned properties with tenants living there for decades – the longest was 30 years. These are tenants that you want to give good service. They are loyal and comfortable living in your unit and are a good bet to stay there for a long time. This helps reduce unit turnover, one of your biggest expenses. Every time a tenant vacates, income is lost from the lack of rent and expenses increase because the unit needs to be made rent ready. If you’re doing this on a constant basis it can be very costly and impact your cashflow.
“I Can’t Live Here Anymore!”
Prospective tenants are great sources of market information because they are researching and viewing other apartments. My two favorite questions to ask prospective tenants are “why are you moving” and “what/how are the units you’re seeing out there”. When I asked this lady about why she’s moving she said “my property manager is a slumlord and I can’t live here anymore! They don’t do any repairs”! She continued to bad mouth them and shared their bad reputation. She vented her frustrations.
I google searched the slumlord and came up with negative reports on consumer websites with strings of bad reviews that included photos (see video below). I’ve researched other property managers but it’s unusual that the first things to come up are a barrage of bad reviews and negative comments. It was unbelievable that a company would allow their reputation to become so bad, especially in the age of the internet making – it easy for disgruntled tenants to publicly share their discontent.
If you plan to be in the business of providing housing, do a good job of giving service to your tenants. It’s very easy for tenants to let the world know how bad their situation is. You don’t want to be the next person being called a slumlord on the internet.
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