Managers & Cell Phones

Hi there,

Wondering how you handle cell phones for your on site park managers…

Up until now our manager has been using a flip phone. We’re thinking of moving him to a smart phone (ease of use re: pics/ video, texting, emails etc), but after problems with a previous manager racking up a large cell phone bill under our company name/account using a smart phone, I am wondering how you guys handle cell phones for managers:

  1. Do you use flip phones or smart phones?

  2. Do you buy and put the cell phone & cell phone plan under your company name, or does the manager pay for it and put it under their name?

  3. If the manager pays for the cell phone and plan, do you reimburse them for the full amount from the invoice, or simply give them a cell phone ‘allowance’ (ie $50/mo)?




We have a land line phone in our manager’s house which we pay for, but also have call forwarding to their personal cell phone. That way they can take calls from tenants or others when they are away from the park. We don’t require the manager to keep “office hours”, so part of their job description is to be on-call and use their cell phone.


Jimmy -

We require our managers to have smart phones at their expense. This is 2013, not 1993. Everybody has smart phones for their personal use. One of our mangers just got the iPhone 4 from Verizon for $0.99 (ninety nine cents!). She, of course, uses the phone for all her personal affairs too and has unlimited calling, so there is not an incremental expense for us to reimburse. We are paying her a more-than-fair salary, so we consider the phone paid for many times over. (We did, however, buy her a printer which she did not have, and mostly uses to print leases.)

There is tremendous efficiency to having a manager with a smart phone be able to go snap a photo of damage in a home and send it to you in real-time so you can discuss it while the manager is standing infront of it. Or, similarly, we have our general contractor go inspect a mobile homes for sale and snap/send us photos while he is standing in the home.

When interviewing to fill vacancies in our organization we always ask candidates what sort of personal technology they have. We test them - we make them send us a photo or short video clip by email or by text during the interview. If they are unable to do this, or unwilling to at least learn, then that is not someone we hire.

To your continued success,


Good hiring, info, Jefferson. I’ve just added that to my list of interview techniques.

As for cell phone usage, it’s critical that you have a strict no calling or driving while texting policy. Immediate termination for any violations. Today’s juries are showing zero tolerance for any accidents caused by a cell phone user (we all hate people who drive while on the phone - though most of us do it too). Park managers often run errands for the park in their own vehicles and this creates a liability for the park owner.

In the Loss Control section of our website, there is a form titled “Loss Control Driver Safety Agreement.” I recommend you have every employee you have that ever drives on any company errands, whether in their own car or yours, sign this agreement.