Property Managers, An Open Letter

Dear Property Managers,

I write today to implore you to help effect some change that is well past needed. I am a renter, and by process that means I am a customer to your services. I have over 7 years of experience as a renter, living and renting multi-family housing (apartments).

Our first bullet point is friendliness. I get that you deal with difficult people, and I am sorry for that; however, this is not an excuse to verbally execute your residents. I do not need the overly peppy cheerleader to answer the phone, but I also do not need the sullen angry millennial too either. I need someone who is understanding, cares about what I think (I am the one contributing to salaries), and who is willing to help get it resolved. I understand the colloquialism that good help is hard to find, but decent help is not. Let us step up our game and try to entice residents, like me, to stay because the service is top notch. While a nice property and a decent rent are key, so is the customer service. If I pay $800 a month in rent and it is a five star resort style property, but your staff is mean, guess what? I am moving.

This leads me to my second point, maintaining your property, and in a way your residents too. The grounds you keep really will determine how I, the renter, will view the property. If you have beautiful green lawns but run down outdated interiors, I likely will not stay long. The reverse opposite is true, my apartment can be a luxury style of living, but if the pool is green and the grass is brown, I am out of there. I understand that wear and tear happens, but you have profit for a reason, use it to fix the place up. Nothing kills a rental for me more than when it goes downhill and the managers response is “sorry we don’t have money for that”. Seriously? Renters are not stupid, if you have 200 1-bedroom units at an average price of $900 a month we can do the math. Salaries and expenses should not be eating up ALL of your monthly cash flow.

Lastly, the cost and the money involved. Please, I implore you, stop screwing over your long term tenants. All of us know that your cost did not go up 3% in a matter of one year. This is especially true if you are not maintaining the property to a high degree of making necessary repairs. I honestly wind up moving for this the most. You go out and increase my rent by $100 claiming it’s because the economy (when it’s not) and then offer something trivial like a carpet cleaning. What would keep me is offering to upgrade my fixtures, new carpet or flooring, painting, etc. because it makes things feel nicer. If my rent increases but your service stays the same, then all I am doing is getting someone in your chain a larger bonus.

I understand that there may be mitigating circumstances I don’t know about, but those are edge cases. One day the economy will shift and when it does over-pricing your rental so you can have a larger bonus will come back to haunt you.

Sincerely,

Your Average Renter