The Showdigs team sat down with property management pro, Lindsey Montoya Mozeika of VerraTerra, to pick her brain about the good, the bad, and the shocking.
Whether you're renting your house without an agent, you're just getting started with your first rental property, or you're thinking about getting into property management, here are some valuable insights straight from a professional PM.
SD: What has been your biggest challenge as a property manager?
LMM: Time management, especially when it’s busy season, it never feels like there’s enough time for everything!
SD: What is the most time consuming part of property management for you?
LMM: Driving from property to property-- you can’t really do anything else while you’re driving! Summer is the busiest time for property showings, that combined with the occasional move in/move out inspections, it ends up being a lot of car time.
SD: What has been the biggest surprise you’ve encountered as a property manager?
LMM: I hate to say it, but sometimes people are jerks! It seems that people sometimes forget that I’m a person with a life outside of property management. It shocks me when tenants expect me to resolve problems that arise immediately and it feels very disrespectful of my time and my schedule. I don’t do this 24/7, I have a family, other responsibilities, and I am human! Most people are great, but every once in a while I encounter someone that isn’t respectful.
SD: In your experience, what are the qualities that make for a great tenant?
LMM: Obviously, they pay rent on time. Also, they are reasonably self-reliant and can figure out simple issues themselves without calling me. I’ve had people call me with problems like “my light won’t work,” so I ask them “did you replace the lightbulb?” It’s always nice when people can be a little self-reliant to figure those things out on their own, or at least try a few simple solutions before calling.
SD: What are the qualities that make for a bad tenant?
LMM: The opposite of that. Someone who doesn’t pay their rent on time, or when they contact me for every little thing. Someone actually did once asked me to come change out their lightbulb, and I just had to say no. Additionally, I’ve had tenants that are just really hard to work with. There were maintenance issues at their property and we had to have a several vendors go to their home to fix things, and they were really difficult about letting people in and gave only very small time frames during unreasonable hours for them to come by-- even when they pay rent on time, if they’re excessively time consuming or difficult to work with, it’s almost not worth having them as tenants because it’s so difficult and wastes so much time.
SD: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
LMM: Sometimes I get to meet really fun people and we become friends! Sometimes it’s helping someone find their dream house, but it can be rewarding just meeting people and interacting with people and feel like I’m making a difference even its on a small level-- ease their worries or help them find something that fits their families needs.
SD: How has Showdigs helped you fill vacancies?
LMM: I love the fact that tenants can schedule a time that works for them online without having to coordinate with me-- it makes it so much faster. Before Showdigs, people would have to deal with my schedule only, and I have a family so it’s not that I don’t want to schedule showings on the weekends, but I have other responsibilities and it’s hard to drive from place to place and get to everything that I need to get to on time. I live on Mercer and a lot of my properties are in Redmond and Renton, and it saves me so much time to not have to drive around all the time. Now, tenants don’t have to work around my schedule and it saves a lot of time for everyone.
SD: How have you been able to reallocate your time now that you use Showdigs for property showings?
LMM: Now that I’m not driving around as much, I’m able to get a jumpstart on other things that I would normally have to do more last minute. For example, I’m able to be more proactive about communicating with owners when their leases are going to end and make sure I send renewal leases over sooner ahead of time. Essentially, being at my computer more often, instead of driving, allows me to prepare more in advance and stay on top of things.
For more information and property management solutions, check out Showdigs!