Property Management 101 – Branding Rental Properties

From a Property Management point of view, branding covers personal branding of the Property Managers. This includes signage (office and street sign boards), the office, the website, profiles, uniforms, brochures, window cards and the properties that they are leasing out.

If a home is not well presented it will reflect on the property manager and owner as well as the real estate business and will not attract the desired tenants. While some Landlords understand this and keep their homes well presented, others do not see the relevance.

I always suggest that our Landlords, where possible, do a drive-by or visit their property at least once a year. Things like faded paint, overgrown trees, leaning fences etc. really do put off tenants and your investment becomes ‘the rental' in the street. It can also mean the difference between good tenants and the not so desirable applying for your property.

Most repairs and upgrades are tax deductible and actually prevent further high maintenance costs. Your tenants will also appreciate the upgrades ensuring the tenants stay longer term which minimizes costs and gives you security. You can also consider that tax depreciation will ensure higher tax returns on your investment.

It would be worth considering some internal works between tenants as well. You may consider painting throughout the property, changing carpets or window fittings or re-laying tiles or even staining wooden floors. All of these items are really difficult to do with tenants in the house. It is hard to predict how long someone will live in your property and no-one wants to move a great tenant out to do renovations. Just doing one of these things between tenants at each change can boost your rental income.

While a good Property Manager will inform you of this, it still sometimes helps to see it for yourself so you can make an informed decision on routine maintenance and future preventative or upgrade maintenance. Ask them to help with quotes, arrange tradesmen, organize key collection, even to pay invoices on your behalf.

I believe there are three types of maintenance on your investment property:

1. Routine repairs: These are run of the mill, wear and tear items. Routine repairs could be dripping taps, broken down air conditioners or a garage door that does not roll smoothly.

2. Emergency repairs: These are unexpected and usually require immediate repair. Emergency repairs include hot water systems splitting/exploding, a gas leak, plumbing backing up or bursting or securing the property.

3. Future repairs: This is your long term list for things to do when you have the money or between tenants. Future repairs include things like carpet replacement and painting as above.

There is also another side to consider. Don't spend so much that you don't have an income. While it is lovely to make everyone happy, it is still an investment so every bell and whistle is not necessary.

Did you know you can attend a routine inspection at your property? It might be worth considering.

Property Management 101 – Rental Property and Pets – Yes or No?

We are finding more tenants to be lifestyle renters, meaning they want to rent long term or sometimes forever and they want the property to be considered as their home.

A lot of tenants consider their pets to be part of the family and will not move to a property where their fur-baby is not welcome. Some people never have children, considering their pets not just part of the family, but their actual family members.

It is my experience that the majority of tenants do the right thing and maintain their property even more closely if they have pets. Once they have a quality home where the pets can stay, they want to ensure they can keep it. They ensure the pets are clean, they clean up their mess and ensure the pets and surrounds are controlled for fleas.

Upon application your Property Manager can ask for a pet reference, photos of the pet (to get an idea on size and grooming) as well as ensuring the sleeping and living arrangements of the pet. Tenants also ensure the property is flea free for their own comfort as well as to look after the home which makes up part of their lease agreement.

Before declining all pets, remember that it is not just dogs and cats that are considered as pets. Families now have birds and fish, guinea pigs, rats and mice as traditional pets and times are changing. It is not uncommon to have lizards and snakes now as pets, so if you are open to one, maybe consider not advertising the usual ‘sorry no pets' in your marketing. Why not wait and see what people consider pets?

We have found that Landlords who consider pets do have an advantage with the amount of people viewing as it is increased in these homes. It has been found that tenants with approved pets tend to stay for longer so it is worth bearing in mind that pets are part of the extended family. It also decreases the costs of changing tenants.

We have all experienced something that changes our views. This could be a bad experience with damage from a pet, fleas left from a previous tenant or the noise from the dogs next door. I believe that pet ownership is considered to be much more responsible these days and the people who do not look after the properties are the minority.

While not all properties can hold traditional pets, there is some variety to choose from. It is worth asking!

The Best Qualities of a Property Manager

The importance of property managers is not new to anyone, especially to the landlords, buyers, sellers and tenants. Real estate management is a career profession and is booming in every corner of the world. The manager works either directly for the owner of real estate properties or works for a real estate management firm. Nowadays, owning a rental property anywhere on this planet requires the assistance of property management services which are professional and efficient. Not all managers have the same competency to find you a rented house or a house to buy. Hence, you need to consider certain things before hiring a manager:. Wondering what are these? Check out here:

Reliable and ethical

Property managers need work on a code of honor while they deal with other people's trust and money. While collecting rent, laundry machine money, maintenance charges, security deposits, etc. the managers should maintain a fiduciary relationship with the property owner. While the owner entrusts his money and property, the manager must be honest with these. The managers must perform at the highest level of integrity.

Local ordinances and state laws

There are separate land laws of every place and every country. The Government usually decides on how the real estate is to be managed. The manager needs to stay updated with the legal requirements of managing real estate so that he or she can take right decision and correct action whenever required.

Organised and detail oriented

The property manager, while collecting rent, must also ensure that the rent is paid and updated in the tenant's account as “Received”. He should maintain financial records with details of each and every transaction. Also, it is their duty to remind the tenants about the rent increase, lease renewals, lease expirations, etc. In short, the manager must be able to multi-task based on priorities.

Technical competency

In today's date, a property manager should have computer competency along with other technical skills like typing, driving, etc. The methods of mail merging, emailing and faxing need computer knowledge. Also, he or she should be in complete command of basics of computer usage. Only then they can efficiently handle all tasks.

Communication skills

The property managers must have good communication skills as they have to deal with people coming from all walks of life and all corners of the world. Hence, the managers must be able to document their cases in front of judges, negotiate with vendors, and talk to owners and tenants even when they are in bad state of mood. They should always deal with their clients in professional manner.

Flexible mind

The managers must have a flexible mind as this is a volatile profession. They should have ability to accept changes of law and have positive and unbiased attitude, obey fair housing laws, etc. They should not mistreat tenants.

Hence, hire the one who will completely understand the priorities and interests of the homeowners, landlords or home sellers. Make sure you hire a professional who had all these competencies and abilities.

Why Is Your Property Safe When You Contact Letting Agents?

It does not matter how the current housing market is, when we plan to invest on property. This is because investing on property is one of the most stable ways to gain a good profit. If you need to get good profit out of the investment made, it is very essential to maintain the property the right manner. If you need to rent your property to someone, and if he is responsible for the taking care of the property, then the risks of maintaining it will be lesser. Since at times it is not possible, the wisest move would be to contact the leading in your neighbourhood for taking care of your property and to give you better returns. Such agents will help you a lot when you are living not so close to your property and if you are not able to take good care of it on a regular basis.

Why to contact a property management company

When you contact a property management company, you will be assured of getting the right service that will take care of your property in a much more responsible manner. If you are planning to shift to another state or region, and if you need someone to take care of your property and rent it to the proper tenants, checking the maintenance work and other related things, then you can rely completely on such property management companies.

What does a letting agency do?

A letting agency makes sure that your property gets the right tenants of your choice. They will give advertisements in the local newspapers or other media and then contact the people who are interested to rent your property. You will be informed about the ones who are interested to rent your property so that you will be able to make a good decision regarding choosing the right tenant. All the paper work related to the renting procedure is handled by the property management company without any fail.

Internal audit to ensure that no damage is caused to the property

An internal audit is conducted as soon as the house is about to be rented. This audit is conducted as soon as the tenant moves from the property so as to ensure that the property is maintained and that no damage is caused to it. Thus this will give complete relief for the land owner who need not take complete responsibility of the property as a whole. Regular maintenance work will also be taken care of by the property management company. Tenants too will be getting a lot of benefit if the property is taken care of by a property management company.

Who will get maximum benefit?

The management company will also make sure that the monthly rent will reach your account without any fail. In short, the complete responsibility of the property will become theirs, as soon as you decide to come in terms with a management company for renting out your property. People who are living far away from their property and people who own multiple properties will find a lot of benefit when they contact a property management company.

Landlord-Tenant Relationship

Be approachable: Make sure that your tenants can contact you by phone or by e-mail if it is more convenient, should they need to. Responding to requests promptly will help tenants to feel listened to and supported.

Give advance notice: As the property owner, you may feel you should be able to visit regularly to ensure all is in order. Bear in mind, however, that while it is your house, it's your tenants' home, and it's not sensible to enter the property without their permission for any reason. The law states that you should give the tenant reasonable notice (which is deemed as at least 24 hours) should you need to view the property.

Be fair: It is only natural that items should break through wear and tear. If this happens, consider whether the item was old and needed replacing anyway. If so, it might be your responsibility to replace said item, not the tenant. Equally, it's important to convey to the tenant what breakages they will be liable for in the tenancy agreement, with costs if possible.

Property Maintenance: Make sure that you fulfill your duty to tenants by fixing problems as soon as they happen. Communication is important here. If your tenants feel they cannot come to you with a problem or breakage, they may try to fix the problem themselves and make it worse, or leave an issue for a long time, which could compound the problem.

The importance of proper insurance: You do not need to have specific landlord insurance, but it is definitely worth considering, as there are a host of benefits. Some companies offer Legal Expenses Cover that gives you financial reassurance should a dispute with tenants lead to legal action, as well as cover for any malicious damage or vandalism by tenants. It's also worth looking at providers who offer optional rent guarantee cover that protects you in the event that your tenant fails to pay their rent. This could also give you the peace of mind needed to take a tenant who perhaps appears less ideal – financially speaking – in the first instance.

EPC: Every property has to be let with an Energy Performance Certificate. EPCs also include an estimate of the size of the property, which can be useful when comparing properties. As a landlord, ideally you want a property with a high rating or one that is easy to increase the energy efficiency. If you have a good EPC rating (within A to C), this should appeal to prospective tenants as it means lower heating bills. New builds should have an A rating and the worst properties will be those with no loft insulation, double glazing or cavity walls.

You can organize your EPC by choosing an energy assessor from epcregister.com or your letting agent should be able to do this for you. Property management companies like assured properties have included this under landlord services. When buying, check that you can use the EPC from the vendor.