Being a property manager can be a dream job. You work unsupervised while having the opportunity to meet new people, engage in a community and make a difference. It is risky and rewarding all at the same time.

But sometimes, the dream can turn into a nightmare. Unless you are careful, all sorts of unpleasant things can happen and unwelcome people suddenly show up. Here’s what to avoid:

Unsavory Characters

Look for signs of drug or other criminal activity in your neighborhood, such as shoes hanging from an overhead wire or unfamiliar individuals frequenting sidewalks and apartment buildings. If you think something is amiss, it probably is so take appropriate action.

Scary Possible Tenants

Bad credit histories and criminal backgrounds can hide behind the most innocent of faces. Be diligent on your background checks and make informed reasonable and unbiased choices when selecting tenants. Abide by your own rules and you should be okay.

Bad Bugs!

Pests are the worst and once they take root, they are hard to shake loose. Whether its bed bugs, mice, cockroaches or termites, you need to exterminate them hastily and with no mercy. They are a huge problem that can spread quickly, costing you money in eradication techniques, lost tenants and bad word of mouth.

It’s Electric!

No, it’s not a song. It’s two-pronged attack on safety and fiscal responsibility. First, properly train your maintenance staff on Lockout Tagout and what to do in the case of an exposed wire. Electrocuting maintenance personnel shouldn’t happen. Secondly, keep an eye on utility bills. Energy tracking is a standard duty for today’s property manager.

Withering Websites

If your site has stopped attracting traffic and possible tenants, do something to revitalize it. They go out of date quickly. Optimize it for mobile viewing, change the order of pages, update pictures and add widgets or a blog. Anything to give it a new appearance and new visitors means only good things for you.

Lively Landscapes

An overgrown lawn or untended flower bed sends the wrong message about your property. Make sure you keep up appearances. Potential tenants drive by new neighborhoods looking for curb appeal and judging you and your property by the length of the trim around your buildings. If you look nice, they will think you are nice and look into your property a little bit more.

Engaged Employees

They may look good on paper but that doesn’t mean they will fit in with you, your tenants and their co-workers. Try hard not to make a bad hire but if you do, deal with it, and them, as soon as possible. Nothing pulls down a team like a dead weight doing the bare minimum for a paycheck. It isn’t fair to your other employees, your tenants or you to have to contend with it on a recurring basis so cut the cord and look for a new fit.

If you pay attention and stay ahead of the trends you see developing, you will never wake up in a nightmare that began as a pleasant daydream.