When I travel I always try to stay in a weekly corporate or vacation rental property. A few weeks ago I traveled to Chicago and did just that – stayed in a corporate rental managed by a property management company.
At first I was thinking that I would get wonderful service. Property management companies know what they’re doing. But from the minute I arrived, I had a gut feeling I was in for a disappointing experience.
This leads me to the title of this blog post, “What NOT to do as a corporate housing landlord”:
Don’t Forget to Provide Essentials: When I arrived, there was no toilet paper, tissues, hand soap or garbage bags, items I think are essential to any corporate rental. Tenants don’t show up to a corporate rental with toilet paper in hand so don’t skimp.
Don’t Leave the Property Dirty: I am a germaphobe and know I have high standards, but I was totally grossed out by long hairs I found on the towels and pillows – and the handles on the kitchen cabinets were sticky. I was also thoroughly grossed out by the nasty, dirty sponge left for me to wash dishes with. Ick! Probably the grossest part was the moldy shower curtain. Nice touch, right?
Don’t Leave Broken Things For Tenants to Deal With: I know it’s hard to keep up with what might break, but it’s honestly not hard to change a burnt out light-bulb, or make sure the closet is on the track. Just saying.
Don’t Be Unresponsive: When I complained there was no toilet paper, the property management firm delivered some within a few hours. But when I asked for spare sheets for the pillows (there weren’t enough sheets to cover all the pillows) and some extra towels, it took two days to get them. When I asked for a light-bulb, I was treated like I asked for something I should go buy myself. Lovely.
Don’t Lie, Embellish or Leave Out Important Details in Your Listing: The noise inside this unit was awful. While the owner of the property couldn’t predict a crying baby or construction across the street, he could have warned me that the unit was directly two stories above the “L” train – and I should expect noise. I would have liked to have been warned about that from the start. Good thing I carry ear plugs with me but I probably wouldn’t have stayed there if I knew it was a particularly loud unit.
Since I work for CHBO, I’m probably more aware of the dos and don’ts of corporate housing – I know that every property should be clean, include essentials like dish towels and toilet paper, and should never defer maintenance issues.
The impression you leave on your tenants is lasting. I travel to Chicago often, but will never stay in a property managed by this property management company. Never. Plus, I left a trustful and detailed review of my experience on their listing so others can avoid what I went though.