Skip to Content

9 Lessons Learned During Moving Season

A great blog by Elizabeth Colegrove about lessons learned



Do Not Hold

If a tenant wants it, they will complete it ASAP. No matter if it is the weekend — there is still Paypal, and they can go to the packing store or office store for scanning. Also, they can apply online and pay for the application online.

If you find that there a strong interest – push the right buttons.

Stick to Your Principles

I knew better than holding, as Rule #1 implies. I have a deep rooted “first come, first approved and all complete” standard. Well, guess what? I overruled those thoughts because I was tired, and it cost me a week’s rent and a lowered price. So no matter how hard it is or how tired you are, stick to your guns!

Problem Children Should be Handled Firmly

For the first time in my property management career, I had a problem child. I surprisingly (and this is said somewhat sarcastically) followed the book to the rule, and things went well. I was always professional, but didn’t give an inch, and while it certainly created ulcer-inducing stress, I was successful. You can be professional, successful and stand firm!

Always Have Contingencies in Place

For the second time in the past 8 months, one of the units broke the lease to buy the house. If you’re in an area that has a cheaper mortgage than rent, make sure you have contingencies in place. Charge a 2 months’ rent deposit and require 2 months’ notice. This way, I am covered no matter what is happening in my life!

Trust Your Gut

If something feels wrong, end it right there. Don’t try to make it happen. I tried to make a situation work long past when I should have because a friend was involved. The situation still went to pot, and I lost that friend/team member.

Be Prepared for When Your Out of State Team Falls Apart

Did I mention that one of my team members stopped speaking to me? So I suddenly was flying cross country to do a flip and show and then back in a weekend because my day job couldn’t give me any time off. If you are going to manage rentals long distance, be prepared for the “for worse” moments — because they exist! While it worked out fine in the end (both houses are rented, YEAH), it was slightly more painful than I would have liked.

Be Flexible!

No matter how prepared you are in life, things will still go wrong. We have been working on a short sale for 8 months. I had 6 POAs, yet a provision still wasn’t caught. We were able to make it work with a little bit of prayer and a COD delivering mail at the right time. It also helped that I am cynical and followed up on every detail. The point is, follow up on EVERY step no matter how many times you have done this because there is always a surprise! The key is to find it before it finds you.

Don’t Give Up

No matter what, don’t give up! I am not saying don’t call uncle when it is appropriate. I am saying that when life is too much and you are hanging off the roller coaster, don’t give up and let go. Keep fighting because I promise, you will figure it out! Even if that includes speaking in “strong” professional words to your out of state title company on why you need this deed NOW.

Think Outside the Box

I don’t know “in the box” thinking. My crazy red hair stereotype fits my style to a T. Don’t be afraid to look at things from all sides. This has been successful for me because I haven’t been afraid to look at a situation from every side! Don’t forget, you don’t necessarily have to be traditional to be legal.


We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details