Canada's Property Management Podcast

Transparency in Property Management

November 08, 2021 Carla Browne & Adrian Schulz Season 1 Episode 8
Canada's Property Management Podcast
Transparency in Property Management
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode we discuss the importance of transparency when it comes to managing a rental property as a property management company and as a property investor. We also speak about the benefits of rental-owner portals. 

Intro  (00:02):

Welcome to Canada's Property Management Podcast, your number one resource for investing, managing, and maximizing the value of your real estate assets. And now here's your hosts, Carla Browne and Adrian Schulz, Canada's rental property experts.

Carla Browne (00:19):

Adrian, we're back again.

Adrian Schultz (00:21):

Hi.

Carla Browne (00:22):

We're going to talk today about transparency and property management. But now that I'm looking at you, first I really want to dive into a little bit ... I want some transparency from you. What's with the suspenders today?

Adrian Schultz (00:33):

Well, I shared this with you in the past that my tailor suggested, with my oncoming dad bod, the way to present that pork belly that develops from perhaps too much beer and bratwurst, that I invest in some suspenders. Ironically, I was having some belly aches lately, and at the doctor for my checkup and I said, "I get these stomach aches." And he said, "Well, let me look at your pants." And he's like, "Well, your belt's too tight." And I said, "But if I don't tighten my belt, my pants will fall down." And so he jokingly said, "Maybe you should get some suspenders." So my tailor and my doctor suggested it for my good health that I wear suspenders.

Carla Browne (01:20):

So it's like a medical intervention then, isn't it? So-

Adrian Schultz (01:24):

Some would say.

Carla Browne (01:24):

I thought it was just going with the German look, sorry. So I wasn't even expecting that. I just thought you're looking super German today, so ...

Adrian Schultz (01:33):

Yeah, I never thought ... I'm not wearing leather pants, as good Germans would. But back to property management.

Carla Browne (01:40):

Yeah, well, first I want to say, so if anyone really wants to see the suspenders, I guess they're going to have to check out our YouTube channel because those that are on the podcast channel may not be able to see this. So I just realized as we're doing an audio-cast that I'm talking about things that I can see in you, but let's get back to the property management part, okay?

Carla Browne (01:56):

So why is transparency so important in our industry?

Adrian Schultz (02:00):

Well, first and foremost, trust. Can you work with a property manager, or property management company, if you can't trust them? How can you trust them? Well, communication, and of course, transparency.

Carla Browne (02:16):

Yeah, it's really a people business. And people want to do business with people that they trust. Unfortunately, some of, and we rely a lot on the automation of a lot of communication through email and through SMS and a lot of communication, and that's how I think we gain some of that trust. But we have to be careful in how we're doing that, too, because in order to have real good trust, every once in a while, they do need to hear a voice. So video can give that to them, so several ways that we can do that, but high level of trust and through that transparency is super important. So how do we go about doing that?

Adrian Schultz (02:56):

Most modern property management companies, such as RPM Canada, have live rental owner portals, and even rental owner mobile apps, where property owners have live access to their financial statements, have live access to copies of the invoices associated with their property. In some cases, some will have access to rent rules, of course, and potentially service agreements. But there's no excuse anymore why you can't fully see everything that's going on with your property if you're in fact working with an advanced technological property management company.

Carla Browne (03:47):

100%. And I hear that all the time from investors where they have said, "It's so easy to access the data," or, "You give me such peace of mind because I can go in and see what's happening." A lot of our investors in the Real Property Management Canada landscape are not investing in their own backyard. They have a property but may live in another province, and so giving them that peace of mind to being able to get on their phone or their computer and check things out when they want to, without feeling like they're bugging us. Because that's what they feel like, unfortunately, that sometimes, "Well, I didn't want to bug you with that question," or whatnot. And they're never bugging us. We love to hear from our investors, but that does give them just a hands-on view of what's happening.

Carla Browne (04:25):

And we post all of our inspections there, too. And we're going to talk about inspections in another future podcast, but that also is something that we always hear back from. So we have a move in and a move out, or a regular inspection that happens throughout the year. They can go in and see that. And that is a huge peace of mind for them on what's happening with their property.

Adrian Schultz (04:45):

Yeah. One of the other things about transparency, and I know at RPM we have this, is tracking and logging of resident requests. So sometimes a rental owner will say, "Why did we replace this?" Or, "Why did we fix this?" And we've now got the full interaction between us and the resident to in fact provide evidence of why we took the action that we did. It's not just sitting in emails, it's not just sitting in voicemails. We're actually logging resident tenant communication in the system that assures full transparency between the resident and us. And then of course, with the rental owner and ourselves.

Carla Browne (05:32):

Yeah, so I'll tell you a story on that, that just actually happened this week to me, is that was a major water leak in one of the condo units that we manage. So just one of those freak accidents and they happen. So now we have a few levels of insurance involved, and you do a lot of condo work so you know that you can get three different levels of insurance involved when you have a unit rented. And one of the insurance companies said, "Well, the manager on site, not our staff, the manager of the complex, said that the tenant actually told you about this incident a month before, and that you didn't react on it and that's the reason why this has happened."

Carla Browne (06:12):

So we said, "Just one second." So we just go to our little log and we can easily see no, actually the tenant submitted the work order that this happened on this day, our plumber went a half an hour later. We can see the dispatch and the communication back from there. So transparency plays a big part in being able to help solve problems, to help better represent our investors. It's not to say, "Hey, we're right and you're wrong," but it's like, "We can show you what happened in this situation," and we're not relying on the he said, she said stories which often can happen if you don't have those processes and systems in place.

Carla Browne (06:47):

So to me, it's all about systems and processes and allowing them to work properly. And that is something that I think we really pride ourselves on with Real Property Management across Canada, is that system we have in place.

Adrian Schultz (06:58):

Yeah, that transparency also really can help to mitigate any insurance risks and liability risks. If a rental owner is always aware exactly how the money was spent and why, if a resident is aware what we're doing to resolve their concerns, that transparency has great, frankly, legal value from an insurance and liability perspective, as well. So I would certainly recommend that anyone who's working with a property manager, follow up to assure that they do have that modern technology that allows them to both protect and to grow the value of their real estate asset by using technology, AKA transparency.

Carla Browne (07:50):

Yeah. It's all about the transparency, and then that added layer of protection. So 100% believe in the systems that we have and what they can do for our investors.

Adrian Schultz (07:59):

Carla, I think we've done it again. I think that's Real Property Management.

Outro  (08:04):

Thanks for listening to Canada's Property Management Podcast. If you liked this episode, please subscribe and give us a rating which will help us reach more listeners. Until next time, connect with us on social media and online at realpm.ca.