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Before I began my illustrious career in property management I used to work in retail. Most of the customers were fine, some were great, a dedicated minority were astonishing – but not in the good sense of the word. They would ask things like “how many items are in this six pack?” or “how much are the items in the $2 bin?”

There is a very popular website called It’s basically a collection of stories from staff members about their customers. There is a customer at a supermarket demanding to know if the live fish swimming in the tank is “fresh”. Another repeatedly insists they want to buy a “paedophile” when they actually meant a “pedometer.” How about the client who can’t understand why her home wireless internet system in Los Angeles won’t connect to her laptop when she is on holiday in New York?

Urban Myths?

Some people believe these stories are urban myths, made up or exaggerated. Me? I’m a believer. Put the jug on, make a pot of coffee and be prepared to spend a while on the site laughing and nodding. A couple of similar sources can be found at and

The field of Property Management is no exception. Here’s my Dirty Dozen of (false) statements which never fail to amuse me. I’ve including my immediate responses to each in brackets:

  • Property management is just money for jam (Ah… no)
  • I can do all that myself (Unlikely, especially at 3am on a rainy Sunday)
  • I’ve managed properties before – I know all this stuff (Also unlikely, because regulations and rules change frequently)
  • They seemed such nice people (Possibly true but…)
  • Oh, they’ll catch up with the rent. I know they’re good for it (Road to ruin, good intentions, some sort of paving system)
  • What’s an inspection? (Oh dear)
  • Haven’t visited the place for years! (Unpleasant surprise inevitable)
  • Nah, I wouldn’t put the rent up because they’ve been good tenants for years (Unwise)
  • I just chuck their stuff out and change the locks (Unwise and dangerous)
  • Never took a bond (Dangerous and dumb)
  • I always keep my rents lower than anyone else (Unwise and/or dumb)
  • Yes, I visit the place every week – my tenants LOVE me (You’re probably not nearly as LOVED as you think you are…)

Do I really need to say any more?


managemyproperty is an independent Property Management company based in Wellington, New Zealand.

Richard Horne remains a tireless and energetic investor and commentator, running an experienced eye over the property market. Visit the website at

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