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The reason I try not to use agency tradies?

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by TMNT, 16th Sep, 2015.

  1. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

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    although I do rant about PMs every now and again, I generally respect them and the work they do,

    I dont have anything personal against them, but sometimes their behavior is unconsciable (DT will probably have something to say about this :)

    eg signing me up to a smoke alarm service that Ispecifcally said not to, (no signature or anything) and giving me some ridiculous lame excuse about how they cant remove me from that service because some other landlord told the agent that the smoke alarm to their property was new but it wasnt......... so they are protecting themselve

    anyway, I had a leaky water pipe that had been attented to a few times by the agency plumber, so the PM suggested that I simply replace the pipe (not sure if it was the PMs idea or the tradies), they got a quote from the usual plumber and it came back at $3k because of being in a hard place, its old, its smelly, bla blah blah blah blah and they tried to push it very hard, that it was the only option

    quick search on yellow pages for a plumber, he went out, got told the pipes never been atteneded to because its underground and not been touched , and that the leak is from the joint of the pipe.

    $200 plus parts later ( job has been done, obviously we wont know if the problem is fully fixed) the job is done ,

    ive saved my self $2.8k, it was a bit of stuffing around, but its a no brainer.

    hence any big job, agency staff dont get a chance with me
     
  2. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    I'm not sure if unconscionable is the right word but in general I agree with you. Even when I was an employee PM I noticed some of the same. This was part of the impetus to start my own.

    Some of what you mention is just laziness. Sounds like they didn't clarify with tenant where it was coming from or check themselves during inspection. Sounds like they didn't get more quotes either.

    Here's a couple of examples I've heard:

    1) tenant reported shower leaking. PM arranged quote for it to be resealed. Still leaking, PM arranged for plumber or tiler etc. Turns out it was just the frame not joined properly, fixed with a dab of silicon.

    2) tenant complained garage roller door not working. PM called some place who told him just to replace whole thing. Owner made their own calls and got it repaired for $80

    Hardly any PMs are investors so they don't understand that we don't have buckets of money to throw at issues. It's important to have experience on the investor side of the equation to understand expectations properly.
     
  3. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

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    it also comes down to my other PM thread and having a conflict of interest or ulterior motive,

    If the agent had said this is the quote, the job needs to get done, then id make a judegment call. however in this case, they were really pushing it hard and I got suspcious.

    this also happened to a different property and I found out that the handyman company was owned by the husband of the Properthy manage which made a lot of sense as to why they were pushing the jobs really hard and despite the fact they were hopeless in returning urgent calls and emails, they were on the ball in arraninging repair carpentry jobs
     
  4. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    Do PM's do any form of training? Apart from in house or on the job learning?

    Is a tough gig dealing with nasty tenants and tight ass landlords and they're stuck in the middle! Their management skills and experience will make their life easier or harder which then feeds into both other parties.
     
  5. KMD

    KMD Well-Known Member

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    That happened to me earlier this year. PM sends out a letter stating that my property needs carbon monoxide testing and the cost is $165. I query whether I have any gas appliances in the property and she responds that I don't. So if I hadn't made the initial enquiry does that mean the plumber would have gone to the property only to find out that there were no gas appliances and charged me anyway?
     
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  6. Allgood

    Allgood Well-Known Member

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    We've just had a quote for $800 to install a power point in an IP to connect a split system too. Thought that was a little rough.
     
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  7. Jacque

    Jacque Buyers Agent and Bookworm, Sydney Business Member

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    It ultimately depends on the tradie doing the job, regardless of whether or not they've been recommended by a PM or not. We've had some excellent tradies in regional areas, used by our PM agency and some other mediocre ones. If in doubt, get a couple of quotes.
     
  8. Newyproperty

    Newyproperty Well-Known Member

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    Do PM's get kickbacks from tradies?
     
  9. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Some may and they have to declare this when they do. Vast majority do not.
     
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  10. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    They need to hold a certificate of registration but that's all.

    In the real world, commercial agencies often have a facilities Manager ie someone who understands buildings, services, maintenance, compliance etc.

    Yes, you pay for it but at least it's not the fresh faced kid with a certificate whose ink hasn't dried.

    @Newyproperty unless the management agreement states that they receive commissions or charge a % of the works, no they don't get kickbacks.
     
  11. Domus

    Domus New Member

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    A good property manger has a wide skill set, this should include basic building knowledge and how/why things work amongst many other areas of knowledge.

    An ability to detect BS from a tradesperson, or to know when I tradesperson is out of their depth also helps.

    It appears from your comments that the above may be lacking in you PM.

    Do we get kickback ? No. I may receive a Christmas gift.
    If there is a formal compensation it is noted as per DT comments.
     
  12. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    It would be of benefit to the pm agencies out there to look at training up their people, it is a cost but well worth a short course or like a cert 4, there are a multitude of courses out there but it could greatly improve quality and service. No doubt there are good PM's out there but for the new kids on the block it would be a huge advantage especially nowadays understanding the legislation side with smoke detectors, blind cords, and all the "green" changes coming in
     
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  13. Richard Williams

    Richard Williams Buyers Agent - Southeast QLD Business Member

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    How do we know if the PM is getting a kick back without declaring it........?? I'm sure that has to go on. I got a quote from the PM recently for a hot water system, $2600 to replace a 250L off peak unit, I got it done for $1300...
     
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  14. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    It'll be written in the management agreement. Can't really tell how many do it illegally - there's penalties involved though.
     
  15. HUGH72

    HUGH72 Well-Known Member

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    I was told a 5 year old $1600 A/C needed replacing as it was not working and parts were not available.
    Got a 2nd quote, a rodent had chewed through some wiring in the wall. Fixed for $80..? :eek:
     
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  16. legallyblonde

    legallyblonde Well-Known Member

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    Whilst there may not be kickbacks persay... I cannot imagine many REA are paying full price when they need said preferred tradies to help them out at home ;) This is probably more applicable in places like Tassie with the 'mateship' mates-rates culture.
     
  17. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    I would guess it may be like when you get two quotes for a car repair. The "insurance" quote is always higher than a "paying for it myself" quote as they know you aren't going to shop around if the insurer is paying. Similarly, a busy property manager is less likely to have the time, nor the inclination to shop around for a couple of quotes. An unscrupulous repairman or tradie could easily take advantage of this. I would think it is more a case of the tradie pocketing the "extra" than the PM.
     
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  18. JASA

    JASA Member

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    Most PM's are dolly birds with no experience in much at all. My ex husband had a property maintenance business and charged $100 to change a light bulb. Most PM's are lazy and will spend the LL money without batting a false eyelash.
     
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  19. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    I talk to the trades going to do work, or try and get it done when I am there, with a job like that at that cost, I would ask for multiple quotes.

    One of the PMs I use has a office members family attend to some things, but the guy is so reasonable and did such a good job I am happy if he is sent.

    Would not wear someone using a person who over charges or if suspect they are getting something extra from it.
     
  20. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    I've seen the same tradie give higher quote to a PM. Its because a) they have to arrange with multiple parties, b) they prob won't get paid til end of month c) PM doesn't usually care what LLs are spending.

    So, its about developing relationships with good ones and keeping them. Good communication and being investor savvy definitely helps.
    Exactly this ^ :(
     
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