Why is it so bloody hard to get a decent PM? Or am I just over reacting?

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by spludgey, 24th Jun, 2021.

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  1. spludgey

    spludgey Well-Known Member

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    I've got a tiny one bedroom house in Woy Woy (NSW Central Coast), I'm not great at self managing and the alcoholic that lived there previously did a runner and did a lot of damage.
    So, I renovated the place, every surface was painted or replaced, new bathroom, new second hand kitchen, new carpets, etc.

    I thought to myself that I'm not going to make that mistake again and get a PM. He seemed very good at first, but I'd now say he's pretty much abandoned managing it, or am I just expecting too much?

    There were a few minor issues with the house after the tenant moved in, including a cockroach infestation, but the tenant asked for some things that weren't reasonable in my opinion, like having the back stairs replaced (old and ugly, but functional and safe).
    The PM organised a single quote, so this is where our conversation starts:
    (PM is in maroon(?), I'm in blue)


    14 Apr 2021, 12:34
    Hi spludgey,

    Are you happy to go ahead with the quotes that I send in my last email

    Thanks
    PM



    14 Apr 2021, 13:41
    Hi PM,

    Are you able to get it itemised? What is the issue with the back steps, for example?

    Thanks,
    spludgey


    17 Apr 2021, 10:02
    HI spludgey

    I have gone back to handyman#1 to get more details

    Thanks
    PM

    A few weeks pass

    Mon, 10 May, 10:52
    HI spludgey

    Did you get the itimised quote?

    Thanks
    PM



    Mon, 10 May, 11:12
    No, I did not.


    10 May 2021, 11:32
    [​IMG]
    HI spludgey

    I have sent off to handyman#1 for the update, Sorry I thought it had come through

    Thanks
    PM

    A month passes

    Sat, 5 Jun, 09:32
    HI spludgey

    The tenant has brought up the following issues


    - Bathroom floor is flooding still from the shower/ shower screen
    - No lock on the back door – she has to block it with a chair
    - Doors aren’t the right size for the frames – weather strips are needed
    - A leak from the window/wall has caused a hole in the wall
    - Cooker knobs aren’t working again – only one ring is useable
    - There was a leak a week or two ago under the kitchen sick that soaked the carpet - it has been fixed but the house is still wet and Izabela is struggling to get the place dry.

    Did you want me to get someone to look at this or did you want to come down?

    Thanks
    PM



    Sat, 5 Jun, 10:00
    I'm still waiting on a breakdown of costs from over a month ago.


    5 Jun 2021, 10:01
    Please provide details on the leak.


    9 Jun 2021, 22:44
    PM, I'm a bit disappointed by the lack of progress and communication on this.


    10 Jun 2021, 15:31
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    HI spludgey

    Sorry for the delay, I have asked a second handyman out to have a look and give me a full break down of the works that need to be done, including what the leak is

    I will get back to you as soon as I can,

    Thanks
    PM
    Two weeks pass

    23 Jun 2021, 07:21 (1 day ago)
    PM, I believe this inaction is not sustainable. I have no information on the leak that flooded my brand new carpet and I still don't have a breakdown, even after asking multiple times over the last two months!

    [​IMG]23 Jun 2021, 15:09 (19 hours ago)
    PM, handyman#2 the handyman just informed me that half the gutter at the back has come off (see attached photo).
    Please get the tenant to pay for this to have it fixed. She had attached a sun sail to it and it's obviously not made to carry that sort of load.
    She also asked to have the blinds replaced, that were brand new when she moved in.

    Please give me a call once you've read this email.

    Regards,
    spludgey
    image (3).png
    [​IMG]
    upload_2021-6-24_10-57-50.png
    upload_2021-6-24_10-58-7.png



    23 Jun 2021, 15:52 (19 hours ago)
    Please also send me pictures of the outside from the inspection.
    (The inspection report didn't have the tick boxes done for the outside and there were only a total of 4 photos in it.)

    Congrats if you've made it this far! I'm not saying I'm completely without fault, I should have been much more proactive, but in my mind, that's what I pay a PM for! And my emails don't read particularly friendly, when reading them back to myself now.

    Second big mistake I've made is that I thought all my IPs were insured in one lot. Seems this wone and one other one were separate, so I just paid renewal for 8 IPs, but the insurance for this one and another property has lapsed.

    Worth noting that I haven't heard from the PM yet either, but clearly since I heard from handyman#2, he read my earlier emails.

    What would you do in my situation, if you had this mess to deal with?
    Thanks!
     
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  2. Gen-Y

    Gen-Y Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the headache.
    Get a better PM. He's freaking useless - as good as wet paper bag. :rolleyes:
     
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  3. Wiz

    Wiz Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that your emails sound unfriendly at all. They are simple, polite, and to the point.

    The length of time it has taken the PM to respond to simple questions and lack of action by the PM are unacceptable. I would search around for a new PM and switch. The new PM will handle everything. The switching process is pretty simple. From memory you have to give the existing PM written notice that you are changing PMs, but the new PM can even write that for you if you ask. You can just copy and paste it into an email and click on send.

    Are the steps in question the ones shown in the photo? I can't see why they would need replacing. They are just basic timber steps.
     
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  4. The Y-man

    The Y-man Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry to hear. How did you qualify/select the PM?

    The Y-man
     
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  5. Traveller99

    Traveller99 Well-Known Member

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    Really sorry to read. When I first started out investing over a decade ago, my first PM was a walking train wreck. I've been really lucky since getting rid of him.

    Years ago, I used to cringe at the idea of communicating via messaging programmes such as WhatsApp, as it presented as unprofessional. Over the years I've warmed to it - mostly because I get real-time updates with the ability to quickly respond and follow up instantaneously but also that it remains a written form of communication if I need to pursue any legal action. Maybe think about agents that work with this method.
     
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  6. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    How well were the renovations done?
    Why is no deadlock on the backdoor? A twin pack from bunnings is $130 and they are keyed the same.

    Gaps that are bigger than 5mm should be have a weatherseal on them ($5 a pack at bunnings). If the gap is smaller the PM should be telling the tenant that its a non issue.
    Search results - Bunnings Australia

    Cooker knobs? This is why i put in brand new appliances. They aren't expensive and saves me the call out fees (especially because i can get Westinghouse to come out for free if there is an issue, then if its the tenant faults, Westinghouse will bill them).

    Bathroom floor flooding. You need one of those strips stop water from flooding out of the shower. They are self adhesive. If the adhesive is gone, they also stick down with silicon. I leave the shower running for a good 10 mins to see if any water floods out as part of my checks between renting.
    Sandleford 12 x 1000mm Clear Shower Floor Channel - Bunnings Australia

    You need to remember a PM acts as a conduit between you and the tenant. If the place isn't great, the PM is going to rely the issues. The PM isn't there to tell the tenant to go "deal with it" if things haven't been done properly in the first place. You cannot expect your PM to be your handyman and fix odd things here and there because the tenant is incompetent.
     
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  7. Dan Wood

    Dan Wood Well-Known Member

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    Where did you digest that from? Or are you speaking generally?
     
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  8. Firefly99

    Firefly99 Well-Known Member

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    In general terms, PMs are paid poorly for the amount of crap they have to put up. I’m not surprised there are not-so-great ones around, I’d think such roles would be hard to fill hence they don’t often get moved on.
     
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  9. boganfromlogan

    boganfromlogan Well-Known Member

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    Property Managers as a group are not very good receiving feedback on their service. You would think the expectations they have is collecting sometimes 11% and doing nothing for it. Number 1 their hearts are not in it. Number 2 they don't respect their customers ( tenants and landlords ). Number 3 they don't accept feedback and try to improve.
     
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  10. spludgey

    spludgey Well-Known Member

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    I'm a decent DIYer, but I definitely did not put as much effort in as I would in my own home. I'd describe it as livable now and I've definitely been to AirBnBs that were worse, but it's very far from being a palace.

    There is, it's very sticky though. It worked fine after I had lubed it up, but it seems this was short lived.

    I'd say they're smaller than 5mm, but there's still a draught.

    The knobs are fine, but if you apply upward pressure, they come off. I suspect the problem is the 3 year old that lives there pulling them off. I glued one down, so you can't pull it off anymore after she complained about one, but seems she wants all of them done now. The reason I went on a budget is that I'm planning to develop this property in the medium term.

    Yes, good point. This is definitely one of the things that need fixing.
    Perhaps I didn't quite communicate what I meant. I'm definitely not expecting the PM to fix anything himself. Nor am I opposed to most of the maintenance requests and am happy to pay for the work to be done. But I don't want to pay for things like replacing the back stairs. You can see them in one of the pictures. As I said, they're old and ugly, but they are sturdy, so they won't be replaced.

    True, but he is the principal's brother and he seemed commited and knowledgable when I met him, so I am surprised of how lacking his responses have been.

    Someone (can't remember who) mentioned him to me and when I met with him, everything I saw, I liked. He even told me something about the area that I wasn't aware of yet.
     
  11. Mel Morgan

    Mel Morgan Sydney Property Manager Business Member

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    There are PMs that pass on problems and PMs that come up with solutions when problems arise. Unfortunately it looks like your PM is just passing the problems onto the handyman and expecting that they solve them for you.

    I think you need someone who has a bit of experience and sense of urgency in working through the issues - resolving those that are actual problems and pushing back onto the tenant the other issues.

    Also I'd look closer at the routine as from the unkept yard and damaged blinds I'd make sure the new PM keeps a close eye on the tenant.
     
  12. Firefly99

    Firefly99 Well-Known Member

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    The real estate agency may be collecting 11% (normally less) but the managers themselves are usually pretty poorly paid.
     
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  13. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    Graphite Lube is what you should be using.

    You need someone who has a clue on what is reasonable and what isn't.
    Eg. With the knobs, they should have asked what exactly is wrong and why it doesn't work as opposed to just "passing the message on" (which is what you asked of him, but he doesn't seem smart enough or bothered enough to do so).

    I remember I had a tenant complain the ignition wasn't working. PM told them to get one of those click lighters. lol. Hardly handyman stuff... more common sense.

    Probably worth a sand and a coat of varnish on it. Untreated it would weather and look unsafe. If its wobbly, probably secure it with some L brackets
     
  14. datto

    datto Well-Known Member

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    These tenants sound troublesome.

    They know it’s an old house and it’s sounds like they want the Taj Mahal.

    I’d say no to the back stairs.

    Whatever they damaged, they fix eg look at those damaged blinds FFS.

    Whatever needs fixing and IS reasonable eg maybe water leaks then you fix.

    My 2 cents.
     
  15. datto

    datto Well-Known Member

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    Yeah graphite powder for door locks.

    Mine are good for years after a decent powdering.

    Put some powder on the key as well and slip it in and out the lock a few times. Locks work like magic afterwards.

    Under 10 bucks from Bunnings.
     
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  16. Piston_Broke

    Piston_Broke Well-Known Member

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    Seems like no effort whatsover from the **** PM. Anyone else asap I would suggest.
    May be tough if it's out of town with few choices in PMs.
    But the PM is just being bad to both tenant and owner.
    And the PM is probably telling the tenants that you are delaying the repairs!
     
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  17. snoopy

    snoopy Well-Known Member

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    PM is obviously not doing their job but it is usually better to clearly set expectations with PM before firing them ie happy to fix if something is broken but please qualify the tenants requests.

    You have to manage your PMs and if you fire them there is no guarantee the next one will be any better. But if they don’t improve then definitely fire them
     
  18. boganfromlogan

    boganfromlogan Well-Known Member

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    From a customer perspective it doesnt matter where the 11% goes to. Although I take Ur point that 'collecting' is what the agency concentrates on whilst servicing is done as cheaply as possible. Quite parasitic really.