Property Management Blog

Treating the problem versus the symptom

Ironclad Property Management - Monday, June 22, 2020

For you to be a great owner/landlord or property manager, you must learn the difference between treating the problem versus the symptom. When a tenant informs them of mice in the property, a good property manager will first get them to lay down traps and see how many are occurring and then treat the property with a professional when determining there is an infestation. The truth is while mice is the problem for the tenants, it is actually the symptom for the owner. What a great property manager will do is question how the infestation occurred; mice naturally live in the grass and only come into properties because of the warmth. Great property managers will then walk the exterior, noting any obvious and less than obvious places where mice can squirm through and get into. They will dispatch a handyman to fix the holes, treating the true problem so that mice do not pop up again six months later.

For squirrels in the attic, it is the same thing. Bad property managers would just trap the squirrels. Good property managers would trap the squirrels and have any entrances to the attic from the roof and soffits fixed. Great property managers would understand that it is really most important to prevent the squirrels from having easy access to the roof and cut down or trim back trees, fix the entrances and then trap so that there are no remaining squirrels that know the attic as their home. In that case, the trees are actually the problem and the squirrels in the attic are the symptom of the problem. Squirrels will simply find new ways in or make new ways into the attic if the trees continue to allow them that efficient access.

There are plenty of additional things where there are symptoms versus problems. Backups are a symptom of tenants either flushing things down the sewer line or a disconnection of the sewer line somewhere. We as property managers do our best to educate tenants when they could be the problem or hire professionals to fix the problem when not caused by the tenant. This will save the owners lots of money in the long run by either saving real money from frequent treatments and/or keep the tenants in the property longer. Are you treating the symptom or should you hire Ironclad Property Management to treat the problem?