Fourteen PAINFUL Reasons Why Owners Terminate Management (Part One)

Thursday, December 07, 2023


Landlord clients leave for all sorts of reasons. The following is a list compiled from a recent post on our Facebook page that asked property managers; what are the main reasons that landlord clients end their management and leave your agency? – aside from unavoidable reasons like the owner moving back into the property, or the property being sold.

Here are the top fourteen reasons our fans gave and we hope that you use this information to ensure that you do not make the same mistakes in your agency – wherever they can be avoided.

#1 – Lack of communication

Let’s start with the biggest reason globally and the biggest complaint that owners have about property managers. When a client feels that you are not communicating when you should, it can sometimes cause ‘insult’ and the feeling of unimportance and that they are not worth anything to your agency despite paying a fee.

Whether it’s calls and emails not being returned or returned much later than expected – an effective property manager ensures they are continuously communicating and returning their emails and calls on time. Also using auto-responders and changing their message bank regularly, they manage expectations effectively.

#2 – Vacant property

If a property manager is not regularly communicating with their client at least twice per week when their property is vacant they run the risk of the client feeling that the property manager is actually doing nothing.

The client is funding the mortgage during this period as there is no rent being paid, causing financial stress, and any perception that their property manager isn’t doing their best to re-rent the property is sure to result in them pulling the property and giving it to another down the road.

#3 – Dealing with more than one person in the process

When a department decides to have a system that may involve a leasing manager, repairs officer, assistant, and also a senior, if all people in the process all communicate with the owner, you run a serious chance of the owner becoming confused with who to actually deal with. Further, the chance of a breakdown in communication between parties is far greater when more than one person is involved with the management of a property.

Most owners only have one property and want to have a business connection with just one person. This should be the most senior person assigned to that management, and this person has others like the leasing manager report to them, but not to report to the owner.

#4 – Tenancy going too well

Sometimes you do such a great job, select the best tenant who looks after the property well, maintains the gardens and lawns to a high standard, and pays the rent on time and you know you’ve done a great job, the way it should be done! But then the owner may think you don’t do anything for your fee and perceives how easy it is for you, pulls management, and manages it themselves!

In these cases, all you can do is hand over the file and keys, ‘smile and wave’, and wish you have given them a bad tenant instead!

But as you know, that wouldn’t work well either! Not much you can do, but just move on!

#5 – Not fixing mistakes quickly

I like property management to juggling 500 balls at once. Sometimes some will get dropped and fall to the ground. It’s not so much about the mistake but more about how quickly it is fixed.

If an owner perceives mistakes have occurred and you are doing little to nothing about it, this can result in the owner pulling their business as trust has been broken. Acting quickly and decisively, but also owning up to the mistake and communicating with the owner clearly on how it will be fixed is key to maintain the trust between you and your client.

#6 – Differing values

Sometimes owners have different values than what they do! For example, some owners believe it’s OK to have a run-down property, keep it in poor repair, and do little to nothing to rectify the issues and they are happy for others to dwell in such a property.

If your values don’t align with this (if they do, you shouldn’t be a property manager!) then you are in for a clash and frustration when the owner won’t do what you want them to, and the end result can end up with the owner pulling management.

Sometimes you shouldn’t assist this type of client, and you should simply hand back management with a smile, knowing it’s your problem no longer!

#7 – Wanting to self-manage the property

Some owners believe they know property management better than you do, have the time to manage it themselves, want the control, are tight with fees, and just are painful as clients.

This can result in them simply pulling management to look after the property themselves, and can occur after the end of a tenancy, or when you’ve decided to review your fees.

Look out for part two for the next seven reasons why clients end management.

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