Why hire a good property manager? So you don’t have to deal with drug dealers and prostitutes

An experienced property manager would never have let this one landlord’s tenant situation get so out of hand, he argues.

“I ended up having two or three, apparently, prostitutes living in my basement and a drug dealer on the main floor. I had a property manager at the time, but he wasn’t good,” Tyler Soulliere, president of TySoull Real Estate Group, told Canadian Real Estate Wealth. “He basically found me two tenants and then he went MIA. Eventually after a month or two without rent and then I got a call from my brother in law (who was renting the garage) who told me to get to the property right now.”

That horror story – which included a clutter of sleeping bags and cots within the home’s unfinished basement -- occurred in one of Soulliere’s first investment properties at a time before he fully grasped the value of an experienced property manager. 

He eventually had to evict the tenants himself, paying cash for the keys and changing the locks in a bid to end the nightmare as quickly as possible. 

But he’s since learned his lesson. 

“I wish I had a property manager at the start; the difference is night and day,” Soulliere said.  “When I had one or two properties it was OK, but by the third property it started to get to be too much.” 

And it isn’t all about handling troublesome – and, at times, uninvited – tenants, Soulliere argues.

Property managers also help free up an investor’s time – so he or she can focus on the next deal.

“I factored in what my time was worth. Even living only 20 minutes from a property, having to deal with an issue myself it’s $40 and any headaches of dealing with the tenant, having to stay an hour. Even just once or twice a month or a phone call here and there [makes it worth having a property manager],” he said. “They charge 6-8% based on who you hire; say on a $1000 a month rent, that’s $80 a month. I figured my time was worth more than $80 an hour so it’s worth it.”

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  • by MaryAnn Calgary 2016-08-31 1:28:43 PM

    Well Justin, I manage 3 properties myself and have members in my family that have multiple properties. This is one.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/red-deer-drugs-bust-cocaine-marijuana-rcmp-1.3542457 was in less than 45 days and the
    main applicant was an RN. Over $7,000 in damage, and the landlord had to follow the RTA to the letter to evict.

  • by Mr. Bigglesworth 2016-08-31 5:29:01 PM

    Mr da Rosa didn't, but he needs to emphasize an extremely important caveat to his seeming blanket endorsement of "professional property managers". That being, that, (like almost professions), there is a vast spectrum of ability and conduct, along which those calling themselves "professional property managers" exist. Mr da Rosa presumably understands this, and I would encourage him to warn those considering such a liaison, to do their due diligence very carefully indeed. I can personally attest to the perils of enlisting the services of even the most legitimate-appearing PM's.
    On 2012, after taking a work assignment for 3 years in Toronto, I entrusted my four condos on the Westside of Vancouver to an offshoot of a well known Vancouver PM company that we'll call CP, for brevity. CP was the PM of one of my buildings, and their agent reccomended the offshoot company. This "company" was a complete and utter disaster..numerous unexplained charges on my leger, abysmal attention to tenant matters, pathetic communication with me, non-existent care and diligence in finding new tenants...in one event, I had to fly out to Vancouver to take over the tenant-change at my Oak street property. I met the agent assigned to my portfolio at the condo. This fellow pulled up in his 1987 Pontiac slum-mobile, parks illegally, gets out, dressed in full-on Trailer Park Boys white rayon track suit, ( yup, top and bottom), and j-walks half way accross Oak before figuring out he's forgotten the keys, goes back to his car again, ..and I'm shaking my head looking at this clown I'm paying to represent me, and be the custodian of 2.5 million dollars of my real estate....Needless to say, he was a disaster, much like the rest of this bunch of charlatans. In 25 years of renting out properties in Langley, Nort Van, Kits and Downtown I have NEVER had a property sitting empty, but had I not intervened in this case, it would have...in a city with a vacancy rate of less than 1%. Paperwork missing or incomplete, ( they didn't know what a form -K was), unsubstantiated erosion of my revenue, basically, every aspect of administering these properties was bungled due to lack of knowledge, diligence, ability, or integrity. Importantly, I asked to be released from the 1-year contract I had signed with these incompetents. That request was refused. It was only after a 9-month legacy of mismanagement, mistakes, and complete loss of good will between me and these "professional property managers" that we finally agreed to go our separate ways. For the balance of my years in Toronto, I managed my condos myself, infinitely more effectively, and professionally, with zero grief, mis-steps, or money leakage.
    So yes, I am guilty of not researching these imbeciles thoroughly: I had a reasonable expectation and a good reference from a known industry professional, so I assumed the service would be reasonable. Lesson learned. Thus, I wish to make it abundantly clear to all of our colleague landlords, that there are some truly disastrous, bordering on criminally so, "professional property mangers" in Vancouver, and some of them present themselves very deceptively, as the embodiment of ethical and competent managers. Be afraid. Do your diligence. Don't sign anything that locks you in...if they won't undertake a trial-period before deciding, walk away. Keep your own sets of keys, fobs, etc....itemize your preferences, and put it in the contract...( ie revenue goes to YOU, and you pay them upon receipt of impeccable bookkeeping in a format you are comfortable with)... Supervise them, initially, anyway... Remember, YOU are in the drivers seat: if it isn't exactly to your wishes, walk.

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