I think you will agree when I say that…
“Finding a Regina property management company that you can trust to take care of your houses or apartments seems like a REALLY impossible task”.
Or is it?
Well as it turns out, you don’t have to sell your properties and eat a massive loss just to take the edge off. I know, Iv’e been the before, wondering if your current rental property manager is going to get your rent deposited on time, or…
…give you the runaround.
There is a property management company in Regina that will increase the rate your properties cash flow, reduce the turn over, and make the whole dang experience of owning income producing properties actually quite enjoyable.
But first off…
Who The Heck Am I and Why You Should Listen To Me
Howdy, My name is Victor Pidkowich and I have since moved from Regina, SK to to Calgary, Alberta and picked up a southern drawl..
I started my real estate investing journey at the ripe age of 19 in the Uplands neighbourhood North East of Regina, SK.
For nearly 7 years I managed my own properties. Much of what I learned came from being a member of the Real Estate Investment Network Canada.
I did really well, learned lots of things and was able to consistently get an above market price for my suites for rent from long term tenants that took good care of my homes.
I did it all in my spare time. Marketing, screening, preparing and signing leases, managing the tenancy, all of it. Which worked for a short while…
I added 4 more doors to my portfolio and my career simultaneously demanded all of my time.
It forced me to rethink managing properties on my own. Thankfully the experience of doing it on my own gave me high standards for what a good great manager should look like.
Many of the residential property management companies in Regina seem to put a lot of work into their image rather than focusing on what really counts…
Making you happy…
I have worked with several managers in Regina and have fallen victim to their costly mistakes. I survived, but just barely.
I’ll Share My Regina Property Management Tale So You Can Avoid Those Same Costly Mistakes
At one point I disliked my experience with the property management services being offered in Regina soooooo much that I even started my own management company at the peak of my frustration.
Yuup. I figured I could make a company and hire the right people… but the demands on my time were too much.
This company no longer operates as a management company but exists to simply set my properties apart from the competitors… which might even be you 😉
You can still see the website which I leave up as a reminder of my experience www.sunnysiderentals.ca
You’ll Get A Some-what Un-Bias Perspective
Although this article is on Oz’s website, which I did build, I am not an employee for Oz. The owners have quickly become good friends of mine and they asked me to write some content for them based on my experience as a property owner in regina.
I want to make it very clear that I do not own shares In Oz, and I am in now way compensated by Oz Property by way of commissions or referral fees for sending property owners their way.
I am a real dude with real experience living in Regina from 2009 to 2017 and still currently investing in Regina Saskatchewan real estate.
You can go look me up on Facebook and Linked In and see I’m not some BS Ghost Writter feeding you made up content.
I will not bad mouth or name drop and company in this article.
Just know that…
I have worked with nearly all of what most people in Regina call the “top Property Management Companies”. I still don’t know what “top” means because in my books there isn’t anything “top” about them.
My goal in this article is to arm you with practical information you can use to feel confidant in your choice of property manager.
Or, more importantly…
To asses whether it’s time to give your current manager the boot.
Let’s Make Sure That Property Remains An Asset
It’s no surprise that after the lengths I went through to make sure my properties were being managed properly that I see property management as…
“the single greatest component to your real estate investing success”
Think about it. Anyone can go and raise money, hunt down the building and get financing for a property. But none of that matters if the home sits empty.
Get’s trashed by a horrible tenant only to set you back many months in cash flow you’ve been diligently stockpiling and possibly years shaved off your life from the stress of dealing with Rentalsman disputes.
With poor management, that supposed “asset” can quickly become an alligator eating into your
and your dreams…
…I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who has lost sleep over an asset that isn’t producing.
We’ll I have some good news…
You Can Find Good Property Managers in Regina… It just Takes Some Investigating
I don’t know you personally, but I can make a safe guess that you got into, or are thinking about getting into, investment grade real estate for the same reason I did.
“To have my suites produce positive cash flow every single month and allow me to achieve the financial and lifestyle goals I’ve dreamt of ever since reading Rich Dad Poor Dad”.
Maybe your story read line for line like mine, but you could probably draw similarities.
Yet, I see so many property owners giving up on the vision, either by selling or just letting that alligator chomp them in the butt every month.
With a little know how, you can make a pair of boots out of the alligator and move on with your life.
Live The Lifestyle You Envisioned Real Estate Could Provide You and Your Family, Without The Stress
I’m going to take you through what I wish someone else had shown me before renting my income properties which would have saved lots of time, and lotsa moola.
What I am about to share with you is all based off of my real life experience with my 6 suites in Regina.
I am going to share real world experience as a real world person. Buckle up, and be prepared to scribble down notes.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
Tell Tale Signs Of Lousy Property Management in Regina
We’ll start by identifying what your Regina based property management company of choice should NOT resemble.
These are characteristics that I have experienced first hand and any one of them are enough reason for your inner voice to raise the red flag and steer you clear of the danger ahead.
Tell tale sign #1 – Louzy Staff
Property management at it’s core is the art of managing people.
Think about it. Your house for rent in Regina is simply four walls and a roof. The asset isn’t really the property…
…it’s the person renting.
If you don’t have good ethical, friendly people looking after your property, you won’t attract good ethical people to rent to.
Just go hire a drug dealer/property manager if you don’t believe me. (by the way how do you think i found that one out… she seemed professional on the exterior)
If they seem ethical, then the next thing to watch for is their level of accountability.
If they pass the buck…
They ain’t worth a.. Well you get my point. You would not believe how many people that call themselves a “professional property management company” will not own up to their own mistakes or laziness.
Keep an eye out for blaming of other staff in the company or blaming the tenant for everything.
Next, you should watch out for…
Yuup, you read that right. But not the version you see in movies or on AMC each week, but the ones that are working for property management companies in Regina.
These are the folks who are absolutely burned out. It’s not unusual to find a staff member or even the owners so overwhelmed because they usually don’t have good systems in place, which we will get to in the next tell tale sign.
I once worked with a management company that had their hand in a total of 7 different companies!
Needless to say, they were spread extremely thin and their tenants and owners suffered dearly from this.
When people’s focus is spread this thin, bad things happen and important things get forgotten.
Leaving every single door wide open on 4 brand new built suites while it is raining cats and dogs.
It is a good idea to go a step further…
You don’t have to be as hard core as me to find out if you have hired zombies, just hang around and watch how people operate in the office and when at your suites.
I once did some recon at one of my homes for rent to see how well the showing agent performed.
They showed up 20 min late, whipped up the road at 80km/h with ghetto tunes blasting and then just about showed the wrong suite until I stepped in and had enough.
That’s just not cool…
You didn’t pay several grand and put in the hard work of buying income producing real estate for someone, usually severely un-trained, to represent your “what would be asset” in a manner that turns off interested – money in hand – respectful tenants.
I later found out this young lady showing the suite was managing over 150 suites all by herself and had barely any training.
She was essentially thrown to the wolves by the owners…
Tell tale sign #2 – Louzy Leadership
All the signs of a poor staff member can be traced back to the root issue. Louzy leadership.
It has been my experience that nearly every one of the property management service providers in Regina are complacent.
The simply don’t care…
They are at a level that is comfortable, and they never go out of their way to ensure top talent is hired and trained, or to put in place systems that make your life easier.
Always interview the owner and get a feel for who they are and the values, or lack thereof, they hold.
Tell tale sign #3 – Louzy Systems and Procedures
Property management is simple. Take over the owner’s responsibilities and treat the asset like it’s thier own, while attracting great quality teants to occupy the homes.
Yet, every single one of the louzy managers in Regina that I worked with were hell bent on making the whole experience as complex as possible under the guise of “simplicity”.
Let’s look at 2 of the most common examples…
|Simple||Made to look simple|
|Excel spreadsheet showing money in and money out||Fancy accounting software like QuickBooks Online 14 column report showing money everywhere|
|Phone call or email ticket||Fancy project management tool that burrys conversations and fails to notify the right people|
I’m not hating on software. I make a living using software each and every day. I am hating on tools and procedures that end of making more confusion rather than solving it.
Other areas that should be made simple…
- Agreements should be straightforward and easy to read without a lawyer being present.
- Agreement shouldn’t lock you into more than 30 days notice – anything else is unnecessary.
- Fees should not be charged when the suite is not producing an income. This is a disincentive to market and advertise the suite as effectively as possible. Complacency sets in and next thing you know they are putting an air freshener into a new and clean suite as the solution to renting it out… true story.
- Money deposited on time. This is a no brainer, but everyone of the louzy managers I worked with was late disbursing rent. And not just days but weeks and months. There is no excuse these days, not with all the tools and technology that makes dispersing rent a breeze. Take Tenant Pay as an example.
If you currently work with a manager that displays any of this behavior, it is a sign that it is time to move on to greener pastures.
What Makes A Great Property Property Management Company?
In order to find the right manager, you need to know what it is you’re looking to achieve.
This might sound silly, but every residential real estate investor has different goals and a manager that is a great fit for one investor may not be the best for another.
If the property management staff cannot respect your goals then you should not work with them. Period.
There are 4 common goals that a property owner should be able to fulfill on.
- Increase your income
- Lower your risk
- Free your time
- Remove your stress
You might think “isn’t Free your time and Releive your stress the same thing?” Not at all. You can have a manager that can free your time, but if they are always late on dispersing your rent then this can cause you unnecessary stress.
Let’s break these down and get a better sense of what they mean for you and your properties.
Increase your income
The Regina market is relatively stable with a variety of industry, Government and a University. However, as of writing this and in the past there can be factors the place downward pressure on your rents.
With the right rental property manager, this will impact you a lot less. A good manager knows how to post on Kijiji (and so do you..) but a great manager know how to write effective ad copy and position your suite effectively on multiple platforms.
Marketing is at the core of everything. With a manager giving careful attention to marketing your property you will be positioned to have:
- Better quality tenants
- On time rent
- Increased asking rent
- Reduced vacancy
Plus, with better tenants you’re less likely to have suite destroyed. My partner and I indirectly know someone in Regina that recently wen’t through over $40 000 in damages from a bad tenant.
You can read the news story here tenant damages. Worst of all, the insurance company didn’t cover any of it.
Lower your risk
When I started out managing my own properties the biggest fear I had was not knowing if I was legally saying the right things and presenting the right language in my documents.
Having a property management team on your side that thoroughly understands the Residential Tenancies Act can save you lots in way of possible litigation. The common pitfall most new landlords managing their own property fall victim to is discrimination.
Other issues can also be liability issues such as the famous slip and fall case. Having roles and responsibilities clearly laid out and adhered to by a great property manager can save you years of court cases, lawyer fees and nights of lost sleep.
Trust accounts are another must have from a great management company. A trust account demands accountability. It’s not a good feeling when a louzy property manager walks away with tenant rents never to be heard from again.
Free your time
Maybe you are across the world living in a different country. Maybe you are just down the road from your rental properties but have other demanding responsibilities to adhere to.
Whatever your scenario, a great residential property management company will do everything they can to make sure you are not bother with the tedious day to day occurrences with your
This includes the small things from fixing the door knob, or the big things of fixing a furnace at 3am.
What ever life throws your way, you will be much more prepared to handle it with a great property manager there to free your time to focus on what’s most important to you.
The whole point of hiring someone to manage your income properties is really to do one thing…
Drop your shoulders…
And feel muscle melting relief…
Knowing your properties are in good hands.
These points are an absolute must for making that a reality:
- Rent in accounts on time – no thinking about it, it just happens without your involvement
- Easy to read monthly statements that won’t leave you scratching your head
- Clear and detailed invoicing that won’t won’t piss of your accountant
- Handle ORT Rentalsman complaints, disputes and hearings on your behalf
As you can see. Property management can be the biggest “insurance policy” you could ever purchase. But like any insurance, it takes some investigating.
If you have made it this far, you should feel a sense of renewed hope that you can continue to own your property without waking up in the middle of the night in a hot sweat wondering if the mortgage got paid from rent or if you have to float it once again.
When I was finally settling on my most recent property management company in Regina, I came across a list of questions online that helped me grill Oz Property Management and get the answers that allowed me to feel comfortable handing my keys to them.
Checkout the list of questions here.
Where To Find A Property Management Company in Regina
Phone book: Who even owns these anymore… Even if you do, the majority of managers are no longer advertising in it any more
Look at property listings: Use kijiji to go see who listed a property that catches you eye. This can work but is time consuming and it is not a good representation of if they are a good manager. They just paid to be there.
Ask for referrals: This is a tough one… all my previous experiences with horrible managers came as referals. Everyone has their own opinion and standards.
Google search: This is ok but so much of the reviews out there are absolutely fudged… I do Google marketing for a living, I can smell a fake review miles away.
Your time is valuable, so why not leverage my experiences and get in touch with Oz Property Management pronto.
They only have so much staff and can only grow so fast. Get working with them before they stop accepting properties to manage.
You can read more about what sets Oz apart from other managers and start the conversation by filling out their property owner request form.