Nicklin Property Management – Las Vegas = BAD experience

22 comments so far

This story isn’t just for people interested in Nicklin Property Management, but it can give you some information about property management companies in general and about their bad practices. When searching for a Property management company in Las Vegas, I got a recommendation to Nicklin Property Management on Trulia. When I came to Las Vegas, I went to visit them and the people there were very nice. They explained to me that they are the biggest Property Management company in Las Vegas with over 4000 properties and that they have very low average vacancy rates etc etc. It sounded all so good and so I made a mistake – I didn’t ask for references to call. Also I didn’t follow the rule about big property management companies, which says to choose a small property management company rather than a big one, since (in most cases) your property will get more attention.

They didn’t charged me any monthly fee, however they charged $50 per week for advertising. They said that they would post my property on the rentalhomesplus website and that they would post it on a “one page” general ad in the local newspaper every 2 weeks. Not as a classic listing, but just as a part of their huge ad.

Their fees were a little bit higher but still ok. The set up fee was around $200, 20% of the first rent and then 10% from each rent following (but at least $70).

They also said that since they are so big, they have really favorable prices with external handymans and other companies.

I signed the papers and sent them $500 (set up fee and money for advertising) and then the problems started.

1) Even though the condo was in really good shape, they inspected it and said that there are few things which needed to be fixed. Not anything big, some touch up paint, carpet cleaning, fillings around bath, new electric outlet and general all over cleaning. They said that this needs to be done before advertising can be started. I asked them for a quote. They got back to me with a quote for $1,200! Just $600 was for the touch up paint, because there were 3 colors of paint in the condo and so the material is going to cost so much!

I was shocked. I called right away to my Real Estate agent who become a really good friend of mine. She recommended to me her own handyman. This handyman (Jack) works in one property management company, but during the weekends he works on his own. He checked the condo and gave me his quote:
overall cleaning: $95
Carpet cleaning: $120
touch up paint, fillings and other small repeairs: $150
Total of $365!

He did the whole thing (including the external people for carpet cleaning and general cleaning) in 2 days and I was happy to pay him $400. That means that I paid 1/3 of what Nicklin Property Management and their external contractors quoted me!

2) Then we were ready to start advertising. I did my research and I wanted to have the property rented asap, even for not the highest rent. Waiting for a tenant one month is the same thing as if you would discount the rent $50 and find him right away. However the agent in Nicklin Property Management said that we should start with high rent of $750. I said that I don’t think it’s a good idea, that $700 would seem to be more appropriate, but she said: “Let’s try it for a week”.
Obviously we didn’t get any response, so after a week, she called me and said that she would lower the rent to $650. I told her that she has to be kidding me – if she wants to go $100 lower, that means she didn’t do good research before, because it’s such a huge difference.
In the end I agreed on that though.

3) I wanted to advertise the property by myself on Craigslist. They don’t like craigslist in Nicklin Property Management, because they are saying that no appropriate tenants ever come from it. I really wanted that, so in the end they agreed, if I will use their number only.
Then I found out that what I am paying for the advertising ($50 a week) isn’t really worth it. I found out that if I would put the add for my property on Rentalhomesplus by myself, it would cost me $40 a month. That means that more than $160 that I had payed them was used for the ad in the newspaper. Then I found out that, the huge general add for Nicklin Property Management in the local newspaper included my property a total of..only ONCE a month!! For sure that was not worth the money..

4) After 4 weeks when I talked to the agent again, she told me that the rent is already really low, so we have to come with some other iniciative. She proposed that I pay an extra $100 (total of $350) for an external rental agent to show my property. I was suprised when she told me, that Nicklin Property Management company doesn’t have enough rental agents and so if somebody calls to the office and would like to see my condo, they would call an external rental agent who would show the property and I would have to pay him an additional $250 – $350! That was a huge dissapointment. I searched that in the contract, and it was really included there in small letters – in a situation of using an external rental agent, the $250 fee will be applied. But nobody told me that this situation happens almost 100% of the time! It was an ugly trick played on me that I missed in the beginning.

5) One month went by and nobody had even called to see my property (or that was what they told me at least). However a new surprise came with a bill. I got a bill for electricity and gas for $200! I called to Nicklin Property Management, and asked how that was possible, how I could have such high bills when nobody even visited the property. What I found out is that the agent left the heat and light on the entire time! That made me mad already. The temperatures in Las Vegas in October isn’t so low that the heat should have to be running the whole time, and leaving the light on is just a waste of the owner’s (my) money.

6) I got really suspicious that nobody was calling to ask about the property. Especially because I was putting 1 or 2 ads on craigslist per day. Once I decided to test it by myself, and I changed the phone number in the craigslist ad to my American phone number (which I have on my skype account). I received two calls that first day! I talked to the potential tenants and then gave them the number to Nicklin property management to call them. Next week I called Nicklin Property Management and asked if they received any calls about my property. The answers was: “NO. Nobody called about your property.”! I called back to one of the numbers and the guy told me that he called them, several times! He said that they always forwarded him from the front desk to some agent’s phone and that the agent never answered. He always left a voice mail, with all the information and his number and still nobody ever called him back. He tried it a few times and then he gave up.

That was obviously the last thing I needed to know. I called Nicklin Property Management the next day and asked them to cancel my contract. It was a very bad experience, which cost me $500 (for their fees and bills) and $650 for the waste of one month rent. On the other hand it was a valuable experience for me and I hope some more people can learn from it.

Don’t use too big of property management companies and don’t use Nicklin Property Management if you are an owner buying property in usa – in Las Vegas.

Monday, January 25th, 2010 at 11:16 pm and is filed under #1 - Condo in Las Vegas, buying property in usa. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

22 Responses to “Nicklin Property Management – Las Vegas = BAD experience”

  1. Posted by Armijn 27th January, 2010 at 9:39 am

    What a story to read. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Posted by arun 28th January, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Thanks for sharing your story with us.

  3. Posted by Laura 28th January, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Wow, that’s awful. So what can you do differently with the next property manager to avoid this again? Is there something you could put in the contract maybe?

  4. Posted by Ann 14th February, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks for sharing and letting us know of the pitfalls. Will avoid your ex-agent like the plague!

  5. Posted by lachlan 4th March, 2010 at 9:35 am

    great story….about to complete on condo….wont be using nicklin….who are you with now?

  6. Posted by Justin 21st March, 2010 at 2:59 am

    Nice one, thanks for sharing!

  7. Posted by peter 5th June, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Wow – what a bunch of unprofessional jokers these guys turned out to be! Thanks for the warning – atleast we now know who NOT to use!

  8. Posted by Courtney 21st June, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Hey, thanks for sharing your experience with us.No knowledge is too much

  9. Posted by Stanley 28th June, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    I can believe this! I own a small property handyman business and I deal with a lot of properties. I rent from Nicklin and I have a beautiful 2 story home and they dont really bother me they do a 2 x a year inspection on the property and the last one was in april and they were goin to do some small minor repairs like the sliding door lock was broken and a few other things it is july and It still has not been addressed. I like the house and the rent is very workable. so as a renter it has been ok. I have delt with another company and I would say stay away from American Property Rental !!!!

  10. Posted by Glenn Barnier 25th July, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    I am a Licensed Property Manager in Australia and if we got up to these shenanigans we would definitely be sued.
    We would have to pay all the moneys back to our landlord plus all his out of pockets.
    The reputation of the firm would be shot to pieces and we would loose business so fast our heads would spin.
    The whole event would get shown on national television on Current Affair and that could effectively close the business.
    Then there is The Department of Fair Trading, Fines and possible loss of licenses’.
    I am sure word will travel fast in relation to this agency and it won’t be long before they start to show signs of a slowing business.

  11. Posted by Sandy 4th September, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Hi, I just want to thank you for taking the time and trouble to create this blog. It is enormously helpful for anyone considering investing in property in the US. I’ll continue to follow it, and someday, when I have something to add, will happily do so. All the best.

  12. Posted by Paulette 5th September, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Really thinking of an investment property in the USA. This is really an eye opener and a shocker for me. Sorry about the bad deal you got.

  13. Posted by admin 9th September, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Hi, thanks for all the comments guys! Sorry for not being around for a while. I have been developing a new free online Real Estate Analysis tool. I will keep you posted about that! It’s pretty cool stuff.

  14. Posted by Jindou 22nd September, 2010 at 10:28 am

    That is amazing.
    I feel for you truly. I just purchased my first US property and looking another deal with 4 condos for around $60k!

    But it does make me think twice with who I am dealing with.

  15. Posted by Rosanna 28th September, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Hi , am looking at buying a commercial property in usa to rent out.
    we will not need financing however would like to know any information ie taxes etc regarding foreigner buying and owning prop in usa.


  16. Posted by Melony Panzarino 1st October, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Wassup, just found you through Bing. The site looks superb and i’ll be sure to come back often.

  17. Posted by Amy Walthall-Wellman 10th October, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    I feel your pain. My mother lives in a condominium in LV managed by Nicklin Property Management. They are going on their 3rd Management Company and she says they are the worst. She has lived in her condo for over 20+ years and they have nothing but trash living there now (section eights and drugs dealers) but she can’t afford to move because they’re are too man foreclosures. Today she told me something that made me want to hop on a plane and kick some Management Ass. Nicklin Management is in BED ($$) with Ashley Towing of Las Vegas. My mother is 80 years young, she still drives can take care of her self and gets around just fine. She doesn’t get out every day or sometimes maybe all week but she had a towing sticker placed on her car in her assigned parking spot that read if your car is not moved every 72 hours it will be towed at your expense. WTF!! Her vehicle is brand new it runs, its licensed and tagged what gives them the right to tell her she needs to move it every 72 hours. As I said she’s been there 20+ years and this has never happened. She called the towing company and told them that if they touch her car she will call the police, then she called Nicklin Prop. Management and spoke to some idiot that told her she had to speak to the Board Members of the Assoc., they make the rules. So she spoke to a BM and they didn’t know what she was talking about as well as checking her CC&R’s and nothing is listed there referring to moving your vehicle every 72 hours. They will harass an 80 year old woman that pays her Association Dues on time and keeps her place neat and clean, walks her dog on a leash and picks up after it but they won’t do anything about the surrounding area of the condo’s the trashy non-homeowners and section 8’s…I’m still so mad I could spit nails at them…They are just damn lucky I wasn’t in town visiting when this happened. Nicklin Management Sucks and I’ve worked in Property Management and for Property Management in Vegas and they are the worst!!!!

  18. Posted by Mark 13th October, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Thanks very much for sharing and alerting us to the problem. Stories like yours on websites like this is what makes internet research fantastic.

  19. Posted by Paul Wayland 1st November, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    Some one should start getting their own back set up fake transactions with these fools at Nicklin prop Management and mess them around a bit, make them do work for nothing and have a laugh.
    Any how karma eventually comes around, some times it just takes a little longer than we’d like?

    thanks for the heads up and all the great advise guys

  20. Posted by kevin 29th March, 2011 at 1:56 am

    You’re right, is the best thing is to avoid the best company, because there the sharks will eat you…… In Vegas I work with people from Triumph Property Management and I’m very glad that I chose them. The haven’t even tried to trick me and when I told them something, that something was like a law for them…

  21. Posted by Adam 5th May, 2011 at 5:09 am

    I like rule number 1 when it comes to large property management companies – do not use them. I use a small chicago property management company and they are excellent. Yes they are small, but they rent my places quickly, collect the rent and provide excellent costs for maintenance.

  22. Posted by Buying Property in USA » One year after buying property in USA (Las Vegas) – numbers, thoughts, strategy 12th May, 2011 at 7:30 am

    […] because in the end I had to fire them after more than a month of not doing anything (see my post: Nicklin Property Management). After that I changed to RPM Las Vegas, and the set up fees are included in December 2009. After […]