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As a remote real estate investor, I am reliant on my local team to help me with the management of my properties. With Hurricane Ike threatening the Texas Gulf Coast, I called early Wednesday to ask the property management firm to board up the property. I was particularly concerned about a row of windows set into the roof that faced east, as they had leaked in the past and were the most vulnerable part of the house.

Not only did was the answer, “we don’t do that“, but they couldn’t even recommend someone for me to call. The insurance agent, also local to the area, was also quite worthless, they couldn’t help me out either. Pointing out that it was in their best interest to help me protect the house got me nowhere.

I then called my tenant. She had also called property manangement and asked for help boarding up the house and gotten a similar unhelpful response. There was boards for the lower windows and she had taken care of those, but we were missing the boards for the clearstory and she did not have a truck to get the boards or a ladder to access the roof. She also had had recent surgery and wasn’t up to climbing up on the roof, and quite frankly I didn’t want her to. It was a job for a professional. We both agreed that the property management firm wasn’t living up to the spirit of what they were supposed to do.

It took me close to 48 stressful hours to get the problem resolved, only 8-10 hours prior to Ike’s arrival. The water had already started rising due to the storm surge and flooding some areas. Luckily my mother lives in the area and could pay the service provider .. as he wasn’t taking credit cards. Do you agree with my tenant and I that property management is supposed to take care of these sorts of issues? At the very least, you would think that a local business would have a list of contractors and handyman services I could call.

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