5 common mistakes landlords make

How to ensure good management:
  1. Get familiar with the provincial tenant legislation and understand your obligations and rights.
  2. Find your local trades before you need them.
  3. Create the property plan of action before firming up your offer and ensure the right people are in place to execute that plan effectively.
  4. Accept and embrace the fact that you cannot be a “one man show".

  1. Managing without systems.
Systems are something that very few people talk about. Many of the “gurus” point to how important it is to have a team, but very few talk about the systems needed to create said team and continue to grow.

Your system should encompass:
  1. Tenant communications tracking
  2. Vendor/trades communications
  3. Work-order requests tracking
  4. CRM -- waiting lists and wish lists, current opportunities, current leads etc.
  5. Document management
  6. Bookkeeping and financial management
  7. Joint-venture communications and reporting

  1. Rushing to fill vacancies.
It’s mid-October and temperatures are dropping. Your tenant is scheduled to move out at the end of the month and you don’t have a single applicant in sight. To attract tenants, you decide to relax your ‘normal’ requirements and reduce the rent or skip the credit check. While the costs of carrying a vacant property are high, they are nothing compared to the stress of non-payment of rent, damage to property and frustrating tribunal hearings.

Simple ways to avoid the vacancy pressure include:
  1. Have three months of expenses tucked away in case of a vacancy. This reserve should be contributed to monthly, and should be a part of your initial financial calculations.
  2. Have your ads ready and posted when you receive notice.
  3. Have a waiting list of pre-qualified prospects ready to call.
  4. Ask your tenants and the neighbours for referrals and reward them for a successful applicant.
  5. Get creative and stand out.
LENA GUIRGUIS is a real estate entrepreneur, asset management consultant, coach and author. She is a managing partner at New Venture Solutions, and a co-founder of NV Property Management, a boutique-style property management firm. Guirguis also founded Stilettos & Hammers, an all-women's investment network focused on educating women on how to plan for retirement, manage their cash flow and assist them in the purchase of their own investment properties. Contact her at 800-454-1095 ext. 206 or lguirguis@nvpm.ca
This article was originally published in the October/November 2014 issue of CREW.

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