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What Services Do Property Management Companies Offer?

If you own rental properties, you have probably crossed paths with property management companies in the past. They may have even tried to see you on their services. But do you really know what those services are?

The fact is, many property owners aren’t quite sure what a property management company would actually do for them. If you want to know more, you’ve come to the right place. Here are just some of the services that property management companies can provide you.

Marketing.

Property management companies are a great solution for owners who want or need help getting their properties in front of the right people. Keeping your property full is key when it comes to staying profitable, so this isn’t something you want to take a risk on. Property management companies can help you:

  • Craft the perfect listing
  • Create an advertising strategy
  • Advertise to appropriate audiences
  • Give people a professional contact point if they’re interested in your ad

Showing.

Letting people see your property can get overwhelming really fast, especially if you have a decent response to your marketing efforts. A good property management company can help you show your property efficiently and effectively. They can:

  • Get the home “show-ready,” with cleaning and staging
  • Take care of landscaping
  • Field phone calls and other queries about the property
  • Meet interested renters to show them the property

Finding the “perfect” tenant.

It can be hard to know if a tenant is going to be a good fit or not. Property management companies can help you screen tenants in appropriate ways that will help you find someone who is the best fit for your property. This usually entails:

  • Explaining the application process to prospective tenants
  • Collecting application fees
  • Background checks and screenings
  • Verifying income and rental history of tenant
  • Drawing up rental agreements with the new tenant
  • Reviewing the lease with the tenant

Managing tenants.

Tenants often have questions or concerns for their landlords, but landlords don’t always have the time to deal with them. Likewise, landlords may have difficulty staying on top of payments and collection. Property management companies step in to:

  • Field questions about property condition, maintenance, or repairs
  • Handle rent collection
  • Collect late payments
  • Help the owner with legal representation in case of a dispute
  • Help the owner manage an eviction, if necessary

Maintenance and repairs.

Property management companies can help keep your property in tip-top shape. With connections to licensed local vendors and businesses, they can help with:

  • Landscaping
  • Interior renovations, including paint and flooring
  • Plumbing or HVAC issues
  • Pool maintenance, if applicable
  • Overseeing and inspecting before, during, and after maintenance or repair projects
  •  
    In short, property management companies can help with any and all aspects of property ownership. By maintaining constant communication with the homeowner, they can make owning a rental property, or even several rental properties, a far less painful process.

    Real Property Management has been helping homeowners manage their properties for years, making property ownership less of a hassle, and more of a profitable venture! We’d love to help you rediscover all the good parts of property management, while handling all the downsides for you. Visit our website for a free management quote, or call us at 480-719-1243. We look forward to working with you!

    SEVRAR’s 2017 40 Under 40 Award

    Real Property Management East Valley is excited to announce that owner, Clint Rowley, has been chosen as one of the winners of SEVRAR Top 40 Under 40 award!

    This award honors 40 of the top real estate business owners and entrepreneurs in Phoenix. The winners will be honored with an evening of fine dining and networking. For more information on the other individuals and teams to receive the award please click here.

    Short-Term Rental or Full-Time Lease?

    You bought a rental property to be a good investment, right? But how can you make sure that you’re renting that property out in the right way? These days, there are many options when it comes to leasing out your property, but the biggest choice you need to make is whether to rent your property out using short-term agreements (through places like Airbnb or VRBO), or full-time leases.

    There are many things to consider when you’re trying to make this decision. We’re here to walk you through it. Here are some questions you should ask yourself when trying to decide how to rent out your property.

    What is better for the location?

    The location of your property makes all the difference when you’re trying to make this decision. If your property is in a popular vacation destination, it probably makes more sense to rent it out on a short-term basis. If it’s located in an area that has a high demand for rental properties, on the other hand, you won’t have too much trouble finding a good renter, and a long-term solution might be your best bet. Do some research into what’s in demand in the area, and use that information to make your decision.

    How available can I be?

    A short-term rental requires a lot more “hands on” work: someone has to be there to check guests in and out, manage maintenance and repairs, handle cleanings, and other management tasks. For many short-term rental property owners, the only person they really trust with this job is themselves. If you’re able to make frequent visits to your property, a short-term or vacation rental may work for you. If not, stick to something more permanent, and let a Chandler property management company handle everything for you.

    What will be the difference in my earnings?

    Answering this questions is going to require some research on your part. Look at how much vacation or short-term rentals are being rented for in your area. If possible, talk to someone who already owns one of these properties, to get some idea of how often the property is booked, how much it costs to clean, what sorts of damages guests might incur on the property, etc. On the flip side, check out how much comparable rental homes with long-terms leases are going for in the area. Your decision may end up being nothing more than a numbers game.

    What are the laws in the area?

    Make sure you know the city’s laws about short-term or vacation rentals. If you decide to go that route and end up violating those laws, you would have a whole new set of problems on your hands. If you can’t find a straight answer yourself, it may be worth talking to a lawyer to get a firm grasp on the situation.

    Do I need predictable income?

    Both strategies have proven effective for different people when it comes to earnings, but a long-term lease agreement is going to be far more predictable than relying on short-term rentals for a steady income. For example, a long-term lease is going to have a fixed payment amount for the life of the lease. Multiple short-term agreements, on the other hand, could vary in price, based on demand. You may be able to charge a premium for busy times, but you might have to offer a discounted rate during any slow seasons.

    What business do I want to be in?

    Consider the fact that short-term versus long-term renting offer you the chance to be in very different businesses. Short-term rental services, like Airbnb, give you the chance to explore the hospitality industry: you act as a host, you get to meet people visiting your area, and you’re expected to offer certain things to your guests to make sure your stay in pleasant. With a long-term rental, you’re much closer to the real estate or landlord business, putting your effort into keeping your property occupied as it appreciates in value, while being less occupied in the day-to-day goings on.

    Whether you choose a short-term rental or a full-time lease for your property, know that you’ll be putting a lot of time and effort into making your investment profitable. Good luck as you search for the strategy that is right for you!

    Want help managing your rental property? Real Property Management is here for you. We can help market your rental property, keep it occupied, collect payments from renters, and so much more. We take the guesswork out of property ownership, so all you have to do is enjoy the rewards. Give us a call at 480-719-1243 or visit our website to get your free management quote.

    How to Make Your Rental Property “Tenant-Proof”

    You want your tenants to love living in your rental property, but you also need your rental property (and everything in it) to last a while. If you’re constantly having to make repairs or purchase replacements, that’s going to eat into your profits—the last thing a landlord wants.

    Luckily, there are some things you can do to make sure your tenants can’t do too much damage to your property. Here are some of the best ways to “tenant-proof” your rental.

    Choose paint wisely.

    If you use flat paint, it doesn’t really matter who’s living there: the walls are going to end up scuffed and scraped. Even glossier finishes may still have this problem, but it’s much less likely to be an issue. Paint the main areas of the home in a satin or eggshell finish, and use a semi-gloss in bathrooms and laundry rooms. This might save you from having to repaint every single time you get a new tenant.

    Find the perfect flooring.

    Flooring is something you definitely don’t want to replace often; the cost would be unbelievable. Instead, take some time to find flooring that is extremely durable and will be able to stand whatever your tenants throw at it. Use a hard (non-carpet) flooring in as many areas as you can; it will hold up much better. Choose a tile or super durable laminate to keep things cost-effective. In areas that you really want carpet, choose a low pile that will be able to handle high-traffic well. You should plan on cleaning the carpet between tenants no matter what, but choosing the right carpet may prevent you from having to replace it regularly.

    Hang with care.

    When hanging fixtures in the home, like towel bars or toilet paper holders, take the time to find a stud to drill into. This will make sure the fixture is securely anchored to the wall.

    Make sure things are professionally installed.

    Don’t leave it up to your tenants to install blinds, ceiling fans, light fixtures, or appliances. If any of these things need to be installed, do it yourself (if you’re handy with that sort of thing) or hire a professional. Allowing your tenants to do this kind of work may do more harm than good, causing major damage to your property.

    Keep landscaping simple.

    This is especially important if the tenant will be responsible for maintaining the landscaping. Asking them to do too much work will probably backfire bigtime. Instead, keep the yards simple, with little (or no) grass, and bushes and plants that are easy to keep alive. This is the best way to ensure that your lawn survives your tenant’s stay.

    Choose low-maintenance appliances.

    While it may be tempting to choose the nicest, fanciest options when it comes to appliances, many of the models that have “all the bells and whistles” tend to break down more easily. Instead of choosing flashy appliances, choose workhorse appliances that will last a while. Do some research on the best brands and choose simple models that won’t require much maintenance.

    Taking the time to tenant-proof your property will pay off in the long run. Don’t let a bad tenant (or two) destroy your profits!

    Real Property Management can help you as you work to maximize profits on your rental property. With years of experience, we can help you market and fill your property, and help manage your tenants. Fill out our online form for a free management quote, or call us at 480-719-1243. We look forward to working with you.

    Finding Tenants for Your Property in Gilbert, AZ

    Gilbert is a fast-growing suburb of Phoenix that attracts families and singles alike. With great schools, plenty of housing, and up and coming shopping and dining areas, Gilbert is becoming the place to be in the East Valley.

    So what’s the best way to find tenants for your rental property in Gilbert? We’ve got some ideas.

    Know Your Market.

    You need to know what kind of renter you are looking for before you can start effectively marketing to them. Is your property a single-family home? A condo in a complex? Are you looking for families with children, an elderly couple, or a college student? Knowing the answer to this question will guide your marketing decisions.

    Join Facebook Groups.

    Like many towns, Gilbert has its fair share of community Facebook groups. Many people use these groups to buy and sell goods, discuss important matters in the community, or simply connect with their neighbors. Depending on the rules of the group, you may be able to post a listing for your rental home in one (or several) of these groups to increase exposure.

    Get to Know Realtors.

    Meeting some realtors in the area will only help you as you try to keep your Gilbert rental consistently full. The more you know, the more connections you’ll have when it comes time to find a new tenant.

    Use a Gilbert Property Management Company.

    Looking for a more “hands-off” solution? Hiring a property management company can make marketing your property much easier. If you’re concerned about the cost, compare it to the cost of having your property empty for months; a full property is worth a little investment.

    Create a Killer Listing.

    All your marketing efforts will go to waste if you don’t have a great listing for your Gilbert property. To get your listing up to par, make sure your property is ready for showing. Make any necessary repairs or replacements. Paint or replace carpet if necessary. Once the property is show-worthy, pay a professional to take pictures of the property for the listing (trust us, don’t skip this!). After you have great photos, take some time to list out the best features of the property, and make sure to highlight those in the copy of your listing. If you make sure your listing is great, it’s going to appeal to more prospective tenants.

    Hold an Open House.

    An open house is a great way to get a lot of eyes on your property. Advertise it well (social media, signs in the neighborhood), and be there to personally welcome people to the property and show them around. This gives you a great opportunity to show off your property and make a personal connection with your new renters.

    If you’re trying to rent out your property in Gilbert, Arizona, there are plenty of great marketing strategies to put to use. Hopefully these tips will help you keep that property full (and profitable)!

    Looking for a great property management company in Gilbert? Look no further than Real Property Management. We can help you keep your Gilbert property occupied and well-maintained, and we can help manage your tenants’ payments and questions. It’s the most convenient way to manage your property in Gilbert. Give us a call at 480-719-1243 for your free management quote.

    Common Problems Landlords Have with Tenants

    Searching for the perfect tenant? Hopefully, you’ll be able to find someone great. But chances are, something, at some point, will go wrong.

    There are some tenant problems that are more common than others. Here are some of the ones landlords see more often. Hopefully being aware of these problems will help you avoid them before you get stuck in a bad situation.

    Not Paying Rent on Time

    This is probably the most common complaint landlords have with bad tenants. Renters who don’t pay on time can throw off your cash flow and make your once-profitable venture not worth your time. Make sure you have late payment fees expressly outlined in your lease, and be ready to enforce them if needed.

    Unauthorized “roommates”

    Bringing in an unauthorized roommate can be a huge problem for a landlord. It can also create an awkward situation that can be difficult to manage. In these cases, use your lease to make your case. Make sure you document everything so that if the case goes to court for some reason, you’ll have evidence to support your claims.

    Loud Tenants

    Getting complaints from the neighbors? Your tenants might be too noisy. Make sure you communicate about city and neighborhood noise ordinances when they move in. If complaints occur, document them and notify your tenants. Give your tenant the opportunity to fix the problem before taking more serious action.

    Suspected Illegal Activity

    If you suspect that your tenant may be participating in illegal activity on your property, that’s a situation that should be taken care of right away. Make sure you document whatever evidence you have, including witness accounts from neighbors. If you feel your case is solid, you probably want to contact the police.

    Tenants Destroying the Property

    If your tenants are destroying your property in some way, whether inside or out, you may be able to take action against them. Again, make sure you document any evidence you have, including pictures if you can get them. Give your tenants a chance to rectify the situation, whether by repairing the problem themselves or by paying a vendor of your choice. Whatever you do, make sure you take care of the problem quickly. Keeping your property in good condition should be your top priority.

    Tenant problems are almost a given when it comes to renting out a property. With any luck, your problems will not be as severe as any of the ones we’ve listed here. As long as you stick to the terms of your lease, even bad tenants shouldn’t be able to derail your financial goals for your rental property.

    A property management company can help you find great tenants—or deal with bad ones. Real Property Management has years of experience helping landlords deal with common tenant problems, including late payments, lease violations, or even evictions. Get a free management quote for your property by visiting our website, or calling us at 480-719-1243.

    Is Buying a Foreclosure a Smart Investment?

    As you search for available properties to add to your portfolio, chances are, you’ll be tempted by a foreclosure or two at some point. There are usually a steady flow of foreclosed homes, no matter what the market is like, so if the idea of a foreclosed home appeals to you, you should be able to find one. The question, though, is if you want to.

    Foreclosed homes often come with a bad reputation. In some ways, that reputation has been justly earned. We’ve all heard horror stories of the terrible state of a foreclosed home. If the risk is so big, why would you ever consider taking the chance?

    We’re here to help you make this decision. We’ll give you some tips about purchasing a foreclosure as an investment property, so you can make an informed decision about whether or not this might be a good option for you.

    You Can Get a Great Deal

    This is, almost universally, the most appealing thing about buying a foreclosed home—they are usually dirt cheap. Even if the price is a little above what you’d be willing to pay for the property, if the house has been on the market for a while, you may have some room to negotiate. When all is said and done, you may be getting a steal on a great home.

    Beware the Condition

    As mentioned before, this is the main thing that might scare people away from buying a foreclosure. In certain situations, you may not even be able to see the inside of the home before purchasing, meaning the buy is a total gamble.

    Opportunity for Upgrades

    If you do buy a property in poor condition, you may still be able to come out ahead. When a home is in bad shape, it gives you a good opportunity to make significant changes to the home, adding upgrades or new features that will make the property easy to rent out.

    You’ll Have Competition

    One tricky thing about buying foreclosures is that they seem to go quickly in a healthy market. Many real estate entrepreneurs (such as yourself) are probably jumping at the opportunity to invest in low-cost homes. This might mean that it is more difficult for you to actually purchase the home you are interested in.

    Use a Realtor with Specialized Experience

    Some realtors have specialized experience in foreclosures. If you decide that a foreclosed property is what you’re looking for, using one of these realtors could help ensure you get a great deal on a great house.

    Location, Location, Location

    Even a property in sub-standard shape is a worthwhile investment, as long as it is in a good location. A home in a good location will be much easier to find a tenant for. If you find a foreclosed home in a prime neighborhood, it is probably worth looking into.

    Related: What Changes Should You Allow Your Tenants to Make to Your Property?

    Foreclosures can be great investments, if you know what you’re doing. Take some time to think about whether or not investing in a foreclosure is a good move for you, and then do everything you can to make your investment a success.

    Need more help managing your rental properties? Call Real Property Management. We have years of experience helping investment property owners make the most of their rental properties, whether it’s your first property, or your twentieth. We’ll handle the tough stuff, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the profits. Give us a call today at 480-719-1243.

    What Changes Should You Let Renters Make to Your Property?

    So, you’ve found a great tenant (hooray!). You’ve done your background check, they’ve given you all upfront payments, they moved in, and everything is going well. And then, one day, they ask that dreaded question:

    “Is it okay if we paint?”

    Hopefully, such things are already outlined in your lease, making the answer much easier on both of you. However, if you haven’t already set your terms on “improvements” your tenants can and can’t make to your property, you may have a troubling situation on your hands.

    If you regularly have tenants who are asking to paint, replace fixtures, or change otherwise permanent features of the house, you might be reconsidering your policies on what improvements you’ll let them make. Here’s a quick look at some of the common changes tenants want to make, along with the pros and cons of each.

    Paint

    Paint is probably the most common thing that tenants want to change. Paint color can make a world of difference in a room, so tenants may feel like the property is more personalized if they’re able to put a color they chose up on the walls. Fresh paint could be a good thing for your property in the long run, but it could also go horribly wrong (not everyone loves a lime-green bathroom).

    Allowing your renters to paint isn’t the end of the world, especially since it’s a fairly simple fix if the color they choose is terrible. To mitigate the damage, consider giving them a list of color options to choose from, or agree to a fee they’ll pay when they move out to have the house re-painted back to the original color.

    Changing Light Fixtures

    Light fixtures can add a lot of personal style to a room, so if your tenants aren’t in love with the ones you had installed, they may want to put in their own. Again, this could be just fine, as long as you communicate well. Do you have to approve the fixtures they choose? Will the fixtures stay behind after they leave? Will the tenant be responsible for putting back all the old fixtures when they move out?

    Also, you may want to require that a professional electrician does the job of hanging all the light fixtures. It’s a job that can be tricky and dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

    Swapping out the hardware

    Whether it’s the cabinet pulls or the toilet paper holders, hardware can make all the difference to the look and feel of the home. Additionally, most hardware changes aren’t that difficult to do yourself. This makes hardware swaps the ideal project for your tenant. But should you let them do it?

    Thankfully, the change is easy to make either way, so if you hate what they put in, you can always go back. If you’re concerned, consider requiring the tenant to agree that they won’t drill any new holes, or that they will hire a professional to take care of anything attached to the walls (a towel rod, for instance). This could give you some peace of mind while still allowing the tenants to put a personal touch on the space.

    In the end, it’s all about compromise. Consider how these changes might affect your property in the long run. If they might cause expensive damage, steer clear. If they’re easily reverted, you might want to be more lenient. You can always specify in your lease what changes can be made, and how they should be done. Be careful, and specific, and you shouldn’t have any major problems.

    Real Property Management can help you as you make decisions about your rental properties, leases, and tenants. We can also help you market and fill your property, and take care of rent collection, late fees, or even evictions. We take the guesswork out of property management, so you can enjoy the profits, without the hassle. Get a free management quote by calling us at 480-719-1243. We look forward to working with you!

    HVAC 101: What Every Property Owner Should Know

    An HVAC system plays an important role in keeping a property comfortable for its occupants. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, so you can imagine how crucial this system is for making sure a building is usable (and livable) year-round.

    While there is quite a bit that goes into the science and technology behind HVAC systems, most property owners don’t need an extensive knowledge of how everything works. What they do need, however, is a basic understanding of what an HVAC system can do and how it needs to be cared for. Here are some common questions about HVAC systems, along with the answers you need to make informed decisions.

    How much does an HVAC unit cost?

    Replacing a broken HVAC unit will cost, on average, $2,000-$3,000, installed. This could vary based on the brand of unit you use, as well as the company you use to install it. There may also be price differences depending on the related work you need done, like duct work maintenance.

    If you are adding a unit to a home that previously did not have one, the cost will go up significantly, since infrastructure changes will probably be needed to distribute the air throughout the home. In fact, your cost to add an HVAC system could be as high as $12,000, depending on the size of the home.

    How often does maintenance need to be done on an HVAC unit?

    When it comes to maintaining your HVAC unit, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Taking care of your HVAC unit regularly will make sure it’s running property when you need it most. Your unit should be maintained at least once a year. Ideally, if the system does both heating and cooling, it should be checked before the peak of the season, so in the spring and fall.

    Can I do HVAC maintenance myself?

    Unless you have prior professional experience, you should really leave this job to the pros. Mistakes could be very costly.

    What maintenance needs to be done on an HVAC unit?

    There are several things that go into regular maintenance on your HVAC unit. A technician will inspect and clean coils, the control box, the blower assembly, the drain pan, the air filters, etc. They will also check refrigerant levels, ductwork, and the fan motor and blades. This is only a small part of the regular maintenance required on an HVAC unit.

    Who is responsible for HVAC maintenance: myself, or the tenant?

    Usually, HVAC is considered to be the landlord’s responsibility, since it keeps the property habitable. However, you may be able to work something into your lease that requires your tenant to pay for certain repairs. This is something to discuss with your lawyer or property management company.

    You don’t need to know everything about HVAC systems, but knowing these basics will hopefully help you make informed decisions about buying and caring for your unit.

    Have more questions about managing your property? Real Property Management can help. We’ve got the answers to all your questions, including how to market your property, how to communicate with tenants, and how to handle tricky situations (like late rent!). Give us a call at 480-719-1243 to get started down the road toward simpler property management. We look forward to working with you.

    What You Need to Know if Your Rental Property Has a Swimming Pool

    If you’re lucky enough to own (or have the chance to purchase) a rental property with a swimming pool, there are a lot of things you’ll love about it. A private pool is a big draw for fun-loving families and singles alike, potentially making it much easier to rent out your space. However, a pool might mean additional work (and cost) for you and your tenant.

    Here are some of the basic things you should know about owning a rental property that has a swimming pool.

    Maintenance is huge.

    The pool becomes more of a headache—and less of a fun feature—if it is dirty or otherwise not maintained well. The pool constantly needs to be cleared of debris, including leaves and rocks, which could damage your filter or vacuum system. You’ll also have to regularly check the chemical levels of the water, to make sure it is balanced and healthy for swimming. In addition, you’ll need to maintain the pump and motor, and perform any repairs on it.

    You’ll want an addendum in your lease.

    Add an addendum to your rental lease to manage liability and cost associated with a pool. In this addendum, you should specify which maintenance tasks the tenant is responsible for, and which you will provide as an additional service. You should also outline any pool policies, including policies about the fence, additional maintenance, and any manufacturer information associated with the pool equipment.

    Safety first.

    You need to know about your neighborhood and city policies when it comes to pool ownership. Many communities require private pools to be surrounded by a self-locking fence for safety purposes. Making sure the fence and lock are constantly in proper working order will help you avoid any liabilities associated with the pool. Make sure your tenant knows to keep an eye out for any malfunctions, and notifies you immediately if there are any problems or concerns.

    You should also consider safety when it comes to the areas immediately surrounding your pool. Make sure the deck is free of obstructions or hazards. Keep plants and trees trimmed so they aren’t protruding into walkways.

    Consider liability.

    Ideally, no one will ever be harmed in your pool. However, you need to make sure that if an accident were ever to occur, you would be protected financially. Make sure that your liability insurance coverage is adequate to cover pool ownership, and make sure a pool is covered by your policy. Talk to an insurance agent to make sure that the insurance is taken care of. You may also want to speak to a lawyer to discuss your options, were something to happen.

    Having a pool at your rental property can be a great asset, but it also could pose challenges you hadn’t yet considered. Make sure you think about these things while considering if you want to rent out a house with a pool.

    Have more questions about property management? Contact Real Property Management at 480-719-1243 for help knowing the best way to manage your investment property. With our years of expertise, we can help you market and fill your property, and even take care of rent collection or evictions. Get a free management quote today!