“I have my own guy that takes care of my properties for a GREAT price”

This was the exact statement from an owner that hired us to manage their units.  Now, we don’t have a problem with this as long as their “guy” provides us with the proper documentation that we require of vendors.

Normally, this works out okay and we have even found a couple of good vendors to use from time to time by being accommodating. 

This is how this story unfolded with this property and “guy” that takes care of his properties for cheap. 

December 23, 2018 a very good tenant comes home from work and reports that the water heater is leaking onto the floor and with Christmas vastly approaching, she is worried about not having hot water while family is in town.  The maintenance notes for this property specifies to contact the “preferred vendor” first and if not available, to follow up with our normal vendor in the case of a water leak.  

As luck would have it, the property owners preferred vendor was able to get to it and get us a quote to repair.  At least, we thought he made it out to inspect.  He promptly responded to our urgent maintenance request with an estimate to replace the faulty water heater for $1,125 and could do it first thing Christmas Eve morning!!  

I personally thought this was a little high for a 30 gallon water heater to be removed and replaced without any water damage.  It was in a storage room concrete floor with a drain system in place for these issues.  

So, on the night before Christmas Eve, I called our main vendor, Eric Quinn, of Quinn Construction and asked if he could do me a favor and swing by and check it out to be sure it needed replacement and to verify that water damage was not present.  He obliged and texted me quickly upon arrival with pictures of the leak. See attached the small puddle of water at the base of the unit and the rust/corrosion on the pop off valve. 

Eric says “call me if you have a second” since it is Christmas Eve.  I called within minutes with anticipation that the original diagnosis was correct and now I was going to have a perturbed tenant with the potential of no hot water at Christmas and trying to contact an owner for approval of an expensive repair on Christmas Eve.  As you see, our maintenance limit for repairs is $250 and the original estimate would far exceed that meaning the owner was going to have to approve. 

Our conversation is short and simple.  He tells me that it is just the pop off valve that is corroded over and has a small leak.  The tank is not that old or rusty and therefore should not be replaced.  The water in the unit is hot and normal.  He states that he can replace the pop off valve and get up the water for less than $100….That’s right, a $1,000 difference!! You heard me right…. ONE THOUSAND DOLLAR difference!!  

Now, you tell me how this preferred vendor “takes care of my properties real good” was really looking after his customer???  

Often times, we are asked to use a specific vendor for this or a specific vendor for that because they have always done work for the property owners. There is nothing wrong with this fact and certainly doesn’t mean that they aren’t good or even great vendors, but we have great vendors too that we work very closely with that gives us great service.  You see, with the volume of work that we offer our preferred vendors we get fantastic and trustworthy service from them along with great pricing.  

Moral of the story? If you are hiring a professional to manage your investment, then let them completely manage the investment property for the best service possible in my opinion.