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Property Management Blog

Who Should NOT Hire Us

Todd Ortscheid - Thursday, August 30, 2018


Video Transcript:

Hi, Todd Ortscheid here with GTL Real Estate. Normally, I spend these videos talking about why you might want to do business with us, the sort of things we can do to help you out with managing your property. This week, I'm going to do something just a little bit different. I'm going to talk about reasons you might NOT want to do business with GTL Real Estate, because no company is for everybody, even though we would certainly always take great care of your property.

The way we do business is different than the way other property management companies do business. Every company has their own policies and procedures and way of doing things, and every owner isn't well-suited for every management company. Some owners are better suited for a small boutique company that will be able to customer-tailor things for their individual needs. Most owners are much better off with a large company like ours with established policies and procedures that have stood the test of time, but not everybody fits well with that.

What kind of owners might not want to work with our company? Generally, if you want to be hands-on involved with the management of your property, you're probably not going to be a good fit for us because we've been in business for a long time. Most property management companies have only been in business for a few years. They don't really have a whole lot of experience. They haven't managed a whole lot of properties. They haven't gone through lawsuits with tenants and just dealing with all the different problems that we've seen over the years.

We've been in business over a decade. We've seen just about everything there is to see in this business at this point, so we're at the point where we've got our policies and procedures locked down. We know what works best managing property. If a property owner wants to do things their way and doesn't want to utilize our standard way of doing business, our policies and procedures that we've fine-tuned over the years, then that's just not going to work. We can't do business that way.

That's the kind of owner who I would say if you absolutely must do that, I don't recommend that you do that. That's going to be bad for you because the way you want to do things is probably not the best way to do them just because you don't have that benefit of all those years of experience managing so many hundreds of properties. You haven't gotten all that knowledge that you need to be able to make the best decisions on how to manage that property.

A large management company that has their established way of doing business, they do have that knowledge and that experience, and that's why we do things the way we do, so I don't recommend that you want to be personally involved in the management of your property. You should let a large experienced management company like GTL Real Estate handle that for you, but if you're just completely unable to let go, you want to be personally involved, you just can't pull yourself out of the management of that property, then you really need to have a smaller up-and-coming property management company that might be managing 50-100 properties. They're more willing and able to accommodate individual requests and doing things a different way than they would normally do with their other properties.

A company like ours, managing nearly 500 properties, not only do we have our way of doing business that is based on experience and legal guidance and everything else, but just because of the number of properties we manage is just not possible for us to custom-tailor a certain way of doing business for every single property. Each property can't be done differently than the others.

Number one, it's a legal problem. Somebody's going to come along and sue us if we do that and say, "You treated me differently than you treated somebody else," but number two, it's just impossible for us to keep track of it. We'll make mistakes, to be honest with you. If we're trying to do things differently for you than we're doing for another owner, and he wants it differently that's being done for another owner, it's just impossible for us to keep track of all of these different ways that people want it done. It just won't work with a large property management company.

Now, that guy that's managing 50 properties by himself, and that's all he does, he's a small boutique firm, that's what he does, just handles a small collection of a few dozen properties, he might be able to do that for you, but what I would warn you is, most of those people don't have a lot of experience. They're small. They're up-and-coming. They're trying to grow. That's why they'll take on the business of someone who wants to be personally involved in the management of that property so you're not getting the benefit of the experience, the knowledge, the attorneys that we have, all of that stuff, you're not getting those benefits. That's a trade-off, and that's why I tell you you're better off taking a step back allowing a large experienced management company to handle all that stuff for you so that you don't have a less experienced person managing your property who doesn't have all those resources.

But, again, if you are one of those people who just wants to be involved in the day-to-day management of that property, that's really where you need to go. You're not going to be well-served by large company because they're just not going to be able to do that for you.

The way I always try to explain it to people is think of us and other experienced management companies sort of like you think of a mutual fund manager. When you send your money off to a Vanguard fund to invest in the stock market or in bonds or whatever fund it may be, then that manager of that fund, he's going to make those decisions. He's going to decide what stocks to buy, when to buy, what to sell, when to sell, how to manage the taxes, how to take care of all of that. That mutual fund manager's going to handle that, and you can't call him every day and say, "I want you to buy and sell XYZ." That just doesn't work. Number one, he won't take your call, but number two, he's just not able to take calls from hundreds, thousands of people to do things the way they want to do it. If you invest with that mutual fund manager, you put your assets in his hands and trust him, he's going to take care of that, and that's how you should look at a property management company.

You're taking probably what is your most valuable asset, your house, and you're handing that over to an asset manager or a property manager who you're trusting to manage that asset to put tenants in there, to get repairs done, to renew leases, to handle evictions. That's all off your plate, and that's on the manager's plate. That's their responsibility to handle the way that their experience, their training, their attorneys, all of that, the resources and knowledge and experience that they have, let them handle that. That's what's in your best interest, and just no differently than if you handed $100,000 or $200,000, whatever the value of your house is, over to a mutual fund manager to invest in stocks, bonds, or whatever else it may be for you. It should be looked at the same way. That's what you should look at that property as. It is an investment that needs to be managed like an investment by a professional.

That's why we say if you can't do that, if your personality is just one where you have to be personally involved, you can't trust somebody to manage that investment for you, then it's probably best for you to not work with us. It's probably best for you to either try to accumulate the knowledge and experience yourself to manage that property directly yourself, which we don't recommend, but that might be something you want to do, or find a small boutique up-and-coming firm and try to work with them. But again, we don't recommend doing that, but if you're the type of owner who wants to be personally involved in the management of your property, that's probably what you should do.

The other type of person we say probably shouldn't work with us is someone who either just doesn't want to spend the money on repairs or who doesn't have the money, frankly. We run into this on occasion. It's not too often, but occasionally, we'll take on a client, and even though the management agreement says you have to keep the property in good condition, you have to get things repaired, even though the law says that in the states we operate in, that owner will get upset that we're fixing something that's broken because he just doesn't have the money to fix it. The problem is, the law doesn't distinguish between landlords who have money and landlords who don't. The law just assumes that everybody who's a landlord has the money to get things fixed when it's required to be fixed.

If that's not you, if you don't have the money to get repairs done when they're required, then, number one, we're not the company for you because we don't manage properties that aren't kept in good condition, but number two, you probably shouldn't be a landlord. You should probably sell that property because you have legal obligations to get things fixed. If you can't do that, it's better for you to just sell that property than it is to be a landlord and get yourself in trouble to be honest with you because that's what's going to happen if you don't get repairs done.

If you just don't have that money, sell the property. That's your best thing to do because a landlord has to get repairs done. Definitely do not hire us if you don't have money to get repairs done because we will fix the property if something's broken. That's, number one, the legal thing to do, but number two, the right thing to do, and that's what we do.

The other thing is owners who just don't want to get repairs done. They have the money, but they're just, every time a repair comes up, they want to get mad that the tenant requested the repair even though something's really broken. If that's you, again, don't work with us because that's not how we're going to do business. We don't represent slumlords. Frankly, that's what someone is who doesn't want to do repairs, even if they have the resources available to them to do it. That's not an ethical landlord, and that's not the kind of person we want to do business with, and again, I would say you probably shouldn't be a landlord because you're going to get yourself in trouble if that's how you feel about repairs and maintenance.

Those are really the clients or potential clients that we would say you're better off looking elsewhere. For everybody else who wants to do the right thing, wants to have their property professionally managed, definitely come to talk us. We've been in business, like I said, much longer than most of our competitors. Most management companies have only been in business for a few years. They were real estate agents before they were just doing property sales. They don't have a lot of experience managing property.

We've been doing this for a long time. We manage hundreds of properties. Right now, we're just short of 500 properties, and still growing. We're both in Georgia and Florida, so we've got multi market experience. We own properties in other states also. We've got the experience. We've got the attorneys on hand. We have retainer agreements with three or four different law firms that we keep up at all times, so we have a lawyer that can be available any time on a moment's notice to deal with the problem with your tenant, to deal with a problem with the city, whoever it may be where an issue comes up with for your property. Those resources are available to you because we've built those up over the years. We've got the vendors. We've got all that stuff taken care of for you.

If you don't fall into one of those three categories of people we say probably shouldn't do business with us, then you'll do great to work with us because we'll take great care of your property. We've got many clients who've been with us for that entire 10-plus years that we've been in business. This summer was our 10-year anniversary, so we've been in business over 10 years now. We got lots of long-term very happy clients. We'd be happy to manage your property for you. Give us a call, or send us an email, support@gtlrealestate.com. We look forward to talking to you.


GTL Real Estate
120 Village Circle
Senoia, 30276

(678) 648-1244

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