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Property Management Calculator

Uncertain whether or not hiring a property management company is worth the investment? Our new Property Management Calculator can help!

Property Management Calculator

Simply click the link above and fill out each section with the number of hours you spend managing your rental. Then enter your zip code and hit “get your comparison report” to see how much time you could be saving.

How to Choose a Good Property Management Firm

Investment property owners who are looking to hire a management firm will find that they have plenty of choices. Most of these firms will tout the same benefits and advantages they offer to their clients, including finding the best possible renters and getting the best return on investment. So what can a property owner do to ensure they are hiring the best possible firm?

Here are 4 tips and ideas on what to look for as you go searching for a property management firm to represent you and your investment properties:

1. Find out how much they charge.

On average, most property managers charge between 7% and 10% of the rent they collect for the properties they manage. You might assume that this percentage is paid each month that the management firm successfully collects the rent from the tenant. However, some firms require that you pay based on rent that could be collected instead of what was actually collected. Be sure you ask about this.

2. See how they handle maintenance issues.

You’ll want to have a pretty solid idea of exactly how your property management firm will handle any maintenance issues that might come up with your property. Specifically, find out what their policies are when it comes to spending your money for property repairs and upgrades. To help avoid overages you can set a limit that is not to be exceeded unless you give explicit permission.

3. How is their customer service?

You can learn quite a bit about a property management firm’s customer service practices by paying attention to how they treat you. Because they will be the ones that your tenants will directly work with, and because you want your tenants to have a good experience, be sure to pay attention to a firm’s customer service when dealing with you.

4. How many properties do they manage?

A general rule of thumb is that one experienced and knowledgeable employee of a property management firm can handle between 30-40 properties at a time. It’s smart to get an idea of how many properties are being handled and the staff to property ratio to be sure your property will be taken care of properly.

If you are looking for a trustworthy property management firm with a proven track record and a promise to put the client first, we invite you to consider RPM East Valley. Give us a call and let’s discuss your specific needs and desires.

The Pet-Friendly Dilemma

America is a country that is full of pet lovers. Did you know that pet owners spent over $60 billion on their pets last year? Even if you don’t have a pet yourself, you probably know someone who does.

So just where do all of these pets live? Take a look at almost any rental-listing website and you’ll likely see disclaimers stating that pets aren’t allowed. If you are a property owner, this leaves you in a very interesting situation. Do you keep your property pet-free to avoid potential damage and repairs? Or do you allows pets in order to attract tenants?

Some property owners feel very strongly that allowing pets is a bad move and are resolved to keep their properties pet free. For those who may be on the fence, there are a few advantages that we will point out below as well as some tips on how protect yourself and your property when pets are allowed.

Advantage #1 – Pet Rent

Most pet owners consider their pet as another member of the family. It’s important enough to keep their pet with them that they are willing to pay an additional fee each month on top of rent. For larger breeds, you can reasonably charge up to $100 a month and up to $50 a month for smaller dogs and cats. This pet rent can add up quickly over the span of a year lease.

Advantage #2 – Fill Vacancies

As a property owner, you know how important it is to avoid long vacancies between tenants. When you allow pets in your properties, pet owners will no longer automatically skip over your rental as they do their search. Pet friendly rental properties are in high demand, which means your property is likely to stay occupied more frequently and for longer.

If you do decide to allow pets in your rental properties, here are a few tips to consider that can make a difference:

Be Sure to Have a Good Lease

Take the time to review the current lease agreement you use and add in explicit details regarding pets. This might include what breeds and sizes are allowed as well as a plan for pets that become a nuisance to neighbors.

Plan Ahead for Clean-Up

Chances are, you may have some additional clean up to do at the end of a lease when a tenant has had a pet. Plan ahead so that you have funds available for this extra clean up.

Know the Law

When it comes to charging a deposit for a pet, be sure that you are in compliance with local laws. For example, in some states, you cannot ask for more than the amount of one month’s rent for a deposit.

Do you need more insight on whether it’s a good idea to allow pets or not? Give RPM East Valley a call at 480-981-7000.

Setting Your Rates

One important task for property owners is managing and setting rates. This is not always simple and often requires a bit of research and work. Because the profitability of your property relies heavily on its ability to remain occupied, you need to be sure your prices are right. While you want to avoid low prices that lower your ROI and attract the wrong tenants, you also want to keep them competitive so that your property doesn’t sit empty.

To help you determine the best possible rate for your rental property, there are a few key factors to consider. Here we list 5 tips that can help:

1. Community and Surrounding Area

One key consideration when determining rent rates is where your property is located. It never hurts to do checking on rents of comparable properties in the same general vicinity. Not every house will be the same and some may be in poor condition or in need of repair. Still, you can lose out by pricing your rent too high in comparison to other rentals in the same neighborhood.

2. Amenities

Your property may stand out from others because of the amenities that you offer. If your rental home has a swimming pool, for example, in a neighborhood where swimming pools are few and far between, then you are definitely able to raise the asking rent. Other amenities might include ceiling fans, window treatments, a garage or upgraded tile and carpeting to name a few.

3. Services

Do you require your tenants to maintain the landscaping of the rental property or is that a service you will provide? The cost of services like landscaping should be factored in when determining rent. Swimming pool service and pest control are other services that can be provided and should definitely be considered as you set your rate.

4. Your Investment

Of course it’s most important that the rent you charge covers your expenses. Consider your mortgage payment, property taxes and any other expenses you may have tied up in your investment property. The idea is that you should be able to at least cover those expenses when you collect rent each month.

5. Past Experiences

It never hurts to consider any previous experiences you’ve had with setting rent rates – both good and bad. For example, you may have dropped your rate slightly at one point to attract a new tenant and found that, even though you were getting a slightly lower rate each month, the tenant was solid and extended their lease more than once. Maybe a slightly lower rent was worth it in the long run.

Many investment property owners trust the expertise of an experienced property management firm when it comes to setting rent rates. At RPM East Valley, we can help you set a solid rate that will get you maximum return on your investment. Find out how by calling us today.

Renting to College Students

There continues to be a debate amongst property owners on whether it is a good idea to rent to college students. Some would argue that it is a bad decision – that more often than not, properties are left damaged at the end of a lease and the ensuing repairs take too long. You risk not only the cost of the repairs, but also additional costs of having to let the property sit empty while the repairs are being completed.

Still, others see renting to college students as a great opportunity that provides some key advantages. If you own a property in a college town and are considering renting to students, there a few things you should know and understand. Here, we share a couple of the benefits to renting to students as well as some tips to make sure the experience is good for everyone.

Advantage #1 – Premium Rent

The competition for a place to live in a college town is fierce. Often, the school itself has no more dormitories or on campus living options available and surrounding apartments tend to fill up quickly. This puts your rental property in high demand. You are able to ask for a premium rental rate without batting an eye. College students are used to living with roommates and are eager and motivated to find others to help split up the rent.

Advantage #2 – Keep Your Property Occupied

One thing you can definitely count on when you live near a college is that each school year brings a fresh batch of new potential tenants. If your student-tenant is in a 4-year program, there’s a good chance that you can keep them for all 4 years.

While most students make great tenants, there are some that cause trouble. Here are a few tips for dealing with student-tenants:

1. Have a Strong Lease Agreement

You can avoid disasters and unpleasant confrontations by having a crystal clear and explicit lease agreement in place as the lease begins. You may want to add additional terms that will protect you from extensive damage or subletting.

2. Have Parents Sign Lease

One of the biggest concerns with student-tenants is that they will be unable to pay their rent on time. You can avoid this situation by requiring the parents to sign a guaranty on the lease so that your rent gets paid either by the student or their parent.

3. Keep Your Property Durable

Plan ahead for less careful tenants who can easily damage flooring, cabinets and windows. Remember that durable doesn’t mean cheap. Low quality carpet or tile will wear out quickly and you’ll end up having to pay to replace it.

For more tips on renting to students, call RPM East Valley at 480-981-7000.