Property Management: Prevention Trumps Cure Every Time

Prescott property management by Far West Realty We at Far West Realty in Prescott would like to share a story about how prevention trumps cure every time when it comes to managing rental properties.

Back in the 90’s, before I got into Real Estate and Property Management, I served 8-years as a constable in Yavapai County, Arizona.  One of my many duties then, was executing eviction orders, or writs of restitution, as they are officially known.  These were orders issued by a judge, requiring that I remove tenants from a rental property they were occupying and restore possession of that property to the owner thereof.  The circumstances involved were varied and I saw all kinds of situations, some I could feel sympathetic with, and many with which I could not.

I remember one eviction, in which the tenant probably knew I was coming and packed what they wanted, leaving all the rest, and was gone by the time I got there.  As I entered the unit, I was amazed, outraged, and ultimately saddened by what I saw.  Windows were broken and there were holes in the walls.  There were piles of trash, clothing, and just junk in general in various places throughout the house. There were two sinks in the kitchen and both were filled with dirty dishes that had been there so long, that there were maggots crawling over them.

Now, it is really not my intent to gross you out, but I thought it important to thoroughly convey some of the risk that attends not being careful, diligent and thorough in screening prospective tenants before entering into lease agreements with them.  Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not casting aspersions on tenants in general.  In fact, it has been my experience that the vast majority of people I have rented to over the years have been good and responsible tenants who have taken pride in their homes, faithfully maintained them, and paid their rent like clockwork.  By far, I would rent to the majority again, given the opportunity.

Still, the point is, that a little carelessness or, even just an honest mistake in judgement caused by inexperience, can result in such a nightmare as the one I just described.  On top of that, even if you select an otherwise decent tenant, failure to regularly monitor his or her treatment of the rental, can cumulatively amount to something just as bad.

So, my intent with all this is simply to highlight the value of an experienced and dedicated property manager.  We truly believe we can offer a solution.  We’ve all heard it before: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  My version is, prevention trumps cure every time.

In this context, Far West Realty’s property management division offers just that – disaster prevention, because we thoroughly screen every applicant, using a professional background investigation service.  We also speak personally to previous landlords, and current employers to get first-hand input as to the level of trustworthiness and responsibility of our prospective tenants.  Now, admittedly, there is no 100% fool-proof shield against bad behavior, but experience and track record says loud and clear, that care and caution up front are greatly preferred over cleaning up after it later.  Then, once we’ve found the best and most qualified applicants, we execute leases with them and put stable, steady & reliable tenants in your property.

But, as valuable as good tenants are, at that point, the job is just beginning.  We maintain on-going communication with each one and monitor their treatment of the property by, among other things, quarterly personal walk-throughs of each property.  Very simply, this means that either I or another of my property managers will personally walk through the dwelling, laying eyes on each room, to verify current condition, identify and correct any issues before they get out of hand, and to address any concerns the tenant may have.

All these services are designed not only as preventive measures against abuse and damage of the property, but also, to promote peace of mind in our clients.  At Far West Realty, we believe that this may be the most valuable benefit we can offer our clients – peace of mind.  Basically, it’s why landlords hire property managers.  And it’s a trust we take seriously. Contact Far West Realty in Prescott today at (928) 772-9400.