Your Property Manager is Not Your Personal Assistant

Would you take legal advice from your dog-walker? How about letting your house cleaner legally bind you to a multi-year, lease contract for your office space? Most likely the answer is "no." So why are you treating your property manager they are one step above these service providers? 

I'm not a lawyer, but I'll keep you out of court. 

Many times property managers act like an attorney by advising property owners and tenants alike on how to navigate the stormy waters of landlord/ tenant disputes. While we can't provide legal advice, we can help both parties based on industry knowledge, past experiences, and known civil codes. 

In the rare cases that we need to represent you in court, you provide us with the authority to settle a case on your behalf. I bet you wouldn't let your dry cleaner make that level of decision for you. So make sure that you treat your property manager accordingly. 

I'm an Industry Expert. Period. 

Second guessing your property manager is like saying, "do you really know what you're doing?!" If the property manager is an established and licensed expert, trust that they're providing you with expert advice to give you the best possible outcome considering the situation. 

It is not prudent for a property manager to give you bad advice as it doesn't benefit them to do so. They want you to remain as a client and prosper, in an effort for you to refer family and friends to do business with them. Besides, how would you feel if someone second-guessed your work? Or even worse, told you how to do your job? 

What do you really do?

Your property manager is responsible for leasing and managing your property, coordinating maintenance and making sure that the property is maximizing it's income potential. Many times the line is blurred between that and being a personal assistant.

Your property manager is not responsible for calling insurance companies to get quotes, managing capital improvements, or other activities their assigned duties. Now, a property owner can ask their property manager to use their connections to help the owner out, but don't be surprised if you're charged an hourly rate as the duties are outside of their contracted responsibilities. 

Remember, the main reason a property owner hires a property manager is to handle the tenant screening, leasing, rent collection and general maintenance supervision of the property. Anything above and beyond this is usually extra, so don't be surprised if you get pushback when you ask them to let your mom in to the house so she can plant her award-winning roses. 

Lee Arnold is a California BRE Licensed Broker in Southern California. Whether you're looking to buy, sell, or lease real estate, Lee has 15 years of experience in this field. Lee is available for speaking engagements as consulting opportunities. To contact Lee Arnold: www.benchmarksocal.com.  

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