Molly Landreth is an assistant Property Manager with Maple Leaf Property Management. The team at Showdigs wanted to pick her brain about the highs and lows of property management, of handling tenants, and the tools she uses to manage it all.
She enthusiastically shared with us her biggest challenges, her ideal tenant, the good and bad surprises, and the most rewarding aspects of her work. We hope you enjoy reading Molly's insights and take away some property management tips!
SD: What has been your biggest challenge as a property manager?
ML: The biggest challenge is multi-tasking. There are always so many things to get done. A colleague of mine equated property management with the game whack-a-mole. Just when you think you’ve tackled everything, something else pops up. Part of my job is to be responsive, and being connected to email and phone all the time has been challenging. That’s why Showdigs has been so phenomenal— I can spend less time on the phone and on the computer and create space for meaningful engagement. Having someone else answer all the emails and inquiries about properties that are listed has freed up so much time during the week to tend to other tasks and be responsive to tenants, and frees up weekends to be able to spend time with family and friends.
SD: What is the most time consuming part of property management for you?
ML: Emails back and forth. Recapping issues, sending out work orders, communicating with prospective tenants-- it’s a lot. Not having to respond to every inquiry that comes in or answer the phone for every inquiry gives me time to take care of the things I need to, and it gives me peace of mind that the inquiries are being responded to.
SD: What has been the biggest surprise you’ve encountered as a property manager?
ML: The biggest surprise— which is a nice surprise— is how much I enjoy the work. I enjoy my colleagues, the vendors we use, making great contacts with handy people and fantastic third-party showing agents like Showdigs-- the good, quality relationships you can develop throughout this work.
SD: In your experience, what are the qualities that make for a great tenant?
ML: Being a great tenant is all about being a great communicator. The people I really enjoy working with are transparent, communicative, and straightforward about what they want. They may have some boundaries around vendors coming over, but they’re really clear in setting those and defining what they want in a home. Great tenants are open to communicating through things like billing, lease agreements, and other needs and important matters. Working with people who are great communicators has been great.
SD: What are the qualities that make for a bad tenant?
ML: Honestly, just the polar opposite. One of my most current, really challenging tenant situations is someone who refuses to communicate, and it’s really hard to get ahold of them. They ignore calls and emails, reply briefly in texts, and doesn’t communicate about what they understand or don’t about the lease agreement and other important things. Those are the most challenging tenants— the ones who don’t like to communicate with me. They take a lot more time. When you have to try to chase down tenants who don’t answer questions, don’t answer the door, don’t show up when a vendor does, it takes a lot of time that we just don’t have.
SD: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
ML: When you can just tackle problems, get things solved, and make everyone happy. That’s a perfect day, when the owners are happy, the tenants are happy, you got to address everything right away, and you just got everything done. That’s the most rewarding thing for me.
SD: How has Showdigs helped you fill vacancies?
ML: Showdigs has been my personal savior. I’m a huge fan, and, obviously, a huge user. Showdigs is helping me fill vacancies-- it’s been a huge for me. I work full time, I am a single mom of a toddler, and I want to create space in my life where I actually have free time. I can’t do that when I have to spend every weekend showing properties and constantly responding to inquiries. I’ve gotten so much of my time back, and the great thing is, Showdigs is always available, even when I’m not. As a result, I’ve leased things up so much quicker, and I’ve had really positive feedback from the owners, the tenants I’ve placed, and the tenants that have moved out-- it’s been a really quick and efficient process for me and has allowed me to do everything so much faster because it’s constantly available.
Now I can be a mom on the weekends, which is phenomenal. Some people are worried about the price and about not getting their full leasing fees, but paying someone else to do those showings has been beyond worth it to me because, it may sound cheesy, but I get back moments that are priceless-- it’s just so worth it.
SD: How have you been able to reallocate your time now that you use Showdigs for property showings?
ML: With Showdigs, I’m now able to allocate daytime hours to responding to owners more efficiently, responding to tenant needs more efficiently, taking care of operations without having to take so many inquiries. It can feel like playing a game of ping pong responding to inquiries, sending qualifying questions and additional information back and forth. On a more personal front, evening and weekends that used to be blocked off for showings can now be reallocated to family time, closing the computer, putting the phone away, being a mom, and having human interactions, spending time with friends, being outside. The other weekend, I got 2 properties leased, yet I spent 8 hours in my yard with my friends and it was phenomenal— I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
For any questions about property management or how Showdigs can help you fill vacancies faster, reach out and say hello!