Maintaining Rental Property

All in a Day’s Work | Author: Derek Kattenberg

I’ve heard it said once, “The problem with property management is it’s all tenants and toilets.”

Of course I don’t agree that tenants are a “problem.” Here at Real Property Management Express, tenants are our life source. If we didn’t have tenants we wouldn’t be able to collect rent, make repairs, or pay bills. In our world, the tenant is our customer. Similar to any other businesses, we also want our customers to be happy and to become repeat customers.

But toilets, on the other hand! Toilets can be THE problem with property management.

The most common concern I hear from rental property owners is, “I don’t want the late night plugged toilet calls.”

Now, I’m a salesman, so of course I don’t give them the “late night toilet call” statistic, because that number is extremely low! A property manager is much more likely to receive late night calls for issues like no heat, broken pipes, loud neighbors, and beeping smoke alarms. Even in the event of a plugged toilet, there are lots of good vendors in Sioux Falls, SD, that make their living getting out of bed and plunging poo. So typically toilets aren’t such a bad deal.

But when a “toilet event” goes bad, it can go REALLY bad! Here’s an example:

A wet spot was developing in a lower level apartment. One of our handymen was sent over to diagnose. When he arrived, he realized that he needed to cut a hole in the ceiling to see what was leaking. As soon as the chunk of sheetrock was cut out and he had a head sized hole, the upstairs tenant flushed his “you know what” and the pipe broke the rest of the way. You know where this story is going!

The tech was covered from head to toe in what had recently been considered waste to someone upstairs. I can imagine him standing there on his ladder sputtering and trying to breathe, in a state of shock and disbelief of what had just happened. And then it sinks in what he is covered in.

This is a good tech and I haven’t asked him, but I do wonder if life choices and the decision to be a handyman flashed in front of him at that moment.

In conclusion, property management is a lot about tenants and a little about toilets–and we wouldn’t be here without them both.