for more true
the life of a
Make sure every door has a doorstop.
The most important rule in the property management business is to make sure that every door has a doorstop. Many homeowners or other management companies would say that collecting the rent, getting the money to the bank quickly, credit reports, checking on the home or being accessible is the most important aspect of property management. Well wrestle you to the ground arguing that a quality, commercial-grade, broad base, bright brass, 3-inch, spring doorstop is what you need to get started on a successful rental investment.
If it is possible to get homeowners, renters, contractors, property managers and the rest of the team thinking of minor details such as doorstops, the big ticket items like collecting rent take care of themselves.
Picture an entry door without a doorstop. The home is vacant and being made ready for a future tenant. The smoke alarm is not working properly so Clarence the Contractor goes out to fix the smoke alarm. Clarence drops to one knee in front of the door and punches in the combination to open the lock box. After three tries and few comments about the small numbers on lock box dials, he opens the box and takes the key out. Clarence unlocks the door and pushes it open. Rising from his one-knee stance he drops a screwdriver in the entry and as he bends over to pick up the screwdriver, his rear end hits the front door and pushes the doorknob into the Sheetrock.
Clarence completes the smoke alarm repair, walks to the front entry and reaches around the handle to lock the front door. He notices the three-inch dent in the wall and thinks, "Somebody ought to put a doorstop on that baseboard." Clarence exits the home, puts the key in the lock box and with great satisfaction spins the combination on the lock box and strides back to the truck, another job well done.
That three-inch door dent is a property management nightmare. Its a big, flashing siren that says this landlord doesnt care about the property. Prospective tenants will open the door slightly and point at the wall and say, "Are you going to fix that?"
"Yes, maam," we mumble, as we flip through the list of contractors that have been in the house, seeking to think of the culprit. The repair can be a nightmare as well as it is labor intensive. It will take a contractor two to three trips to repair the hole as they have to float and tape the injury, re-apply texture and then paint to match the existing wall. To avoid these embarrassments and expenses, we are doorstop, commode seat, light bulb and caulk fanatics.
At Folkerson Property Management Ltd., we bypass the skinny base, cheap, 27-cent doorstop for the commercial grade, wide base, bright brass model. It costs more, but itll take more than Clarences rear end to override that doorstop. We buy these doorstops by the thousands and keep them in our trucks, installing on doors on very home we enter. And, we leave four extra doorstops at every home for further use by the tenants or for our use in case a door stop breaks off or trial and error points out another use.
Once everybody starts thinking door stops, that translates into replacing every scarred and stained commode seat, caulk every bathtub, shower, sink and linoleum floor, check every flapper valve, test every vegetable sprayer,, .. (PROPERTY MANAGERS HINT: We leave the cellophane wrapping on the commode seat after installation. It may seem like a little thing, but it says "this property management team and landlord care about this home and your comfort.")
We can sum up our doorstop rule with a showing last Tuesday. After looking at three properties with us, a young family just in from Germany told us, "We havent decided which home well rent, but we will rent from you Mr. Folkerson. Everything you have shown us is clean and in great shape."
I figured that one of those doorstops we installed just made some property owner several hundred dollars in less vacancy.
|Folkerson Property Management Ltd.
1801 Trimmier, Suite A-5
Killeen, Texas 76541
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