Don’t Fear Change

From my observation, numerous rental property owners who have owned their properties for an extended period tend to retain control of property management, not because they have a preference for control or believe they can manage the property more efficiently than a management company, but due to their attachment to the status quo and their resistance to change. Please note that this isn’t merely an assumption made by a property manager who is unable to persuade an owner to relinquish control.

I have heard from several apologetic property owners that they dislike managing their properties on their own, but the prospect of change causes them significant concern. I believe that self-managing property owners should learn to embrace change to enable professional property managers to enhance their ownership experience. Similarly, I urge professional property managers to communicate their commitment to minimizing any discomfort associated with change for their prospective clients. In this article, I will outline why change can be beneficial for owners and suggest ways in which managers can help facilitate the transition. It’s worth remembering that without embracing change, we would never have acquired the ability to speak or walk, demonstrating that change can be necessary to achieve a higher level of performance than we are accustomed to.

The property management industry is continually evolving, with the direction often determined by cutting-edge systems and technology. Over the past decade, software such as Appfolio has revolutionized and streamlined the way most professionals oversee their properties. By enlisting the services of a team of experts, property owners can enjoy convenient access to all their property’s data, as well as user-friendly financial reports. The complex web of rent control laws, which exist at the federal, state, and local levels, are also in a constant state of flux, and compliance with these regulations is essential to avoid potentially catastrophic lawsuits. By handing over the responsibility of property management to professionals, owners can avoid the need to continually modify their approach to keep pace with the latest developments and amendments. In many ways, making a simple change from self-management to entrusting your property to a professional can save you from significant inconvenience and keep your property up-to-date with the latest advancements in the industry.

A significant reason why property owners are often apprehensive about change is that they may have previously tried hiring a property manager and found the transition to be more trouble than it was worth. This is a valid concern, and if an owner selects a manager who doesn’t prioritize their peace of mind, the transition can quickly become a chaotic experience that defeats the purpose of hiring a manager. As a property manager, it’s crucial to focus heavily on ensuring a smooth transition for your new clients. On the other hand, as an owner, I would recommend seeking out a company that places a premium on seamless transitions and has a well-defined plan that they can outline for you before you sign any agreement. You may also consider asking if they have a dedicated onboarding specialist on their staff who can guide you through the process.

As a property manager, one effective way to alleviate the difficulties associated with change for your clients is to tailor your services to their specific needs instead of expecting them to adapt to you. If they require assistance reviewing their owner’s statement every month, you should provide that service to ensure they have a smooth transition.

David Bowie, a well-known advocate of change, remained at the forefront of his art for five decades and advised us to “turn and face the strange.” As a rental property owner, I recommend that you follow his example and confront any discomfort that may arise from making changes to put yourself in a better position. To improve your ownership experience, including your overall sense of well-being, I suggest entrusting a property manager who stays up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the industry. By embracing change, you can stay ahead of the curve and take advantage of new opportunities that will ultimately benefit you in the long run.