What Questions Should You Ask Your Property Management Company?

Congratulations! You are now an investment property owner. Now you need a property management company to help you with your property.

What Questions Should You Ask Your Property Management Company?When you are interviewing prospective companies, do you know what questions you should ask? Here are some good ones.

Questions To Ask Your Property Management Company

About The Property Manager

  1. How long have you been a property manager? The longer they have been in business, the better their track record can be proven to you.
  2. What kinds of properties do you manage and how many are you currently managing?Ask this because you want to have a property management company that is familiar with the ins and outs of leasing out your property. If they mostly manage apartment complexes and you have a single family home, that could be an issue. You also want to be sure that they aren’t over extended meaning response times will be slow.
  3. What associations do you belong to? This could include local chambers of commerce, Better Business Bureau, etc. They can be a font of information about their business practices.

Vacancy Questions

  1. How many vacancies do you currently have and how long does it take you to fill each? Obviously, a higher vacancy rate will mean something is amiss. Also, it will tell you how long your property may remain unrented.
  2. Can I see your current lease or have my attorney review it? If they aren’t willing to let you see or have their form lease look elsewhere. Violating local and federal laws with tenancy can be a huge problem.

Inspections & Repairs

  1. How often do you inspect properties? Keeping a regular inspection schedule will mean your property will be maintained properly.
  2. What process do you follow for repairs to the property?
  3. Do you set the limit for repair costs before consulting me or do I?
  4. Do you get competitive rates from your contractors?
  5. What is the bid process for large repairs?

Payment Questions

  1. What are your policies surrounding collecting rents?
  2. How late do you allow people to pay?
  3. Do you allow them to pay electronically?
  4. When will I receive payments?
  5. What are your eviction procedures and how often do you have to evict?

Property Management Fee questions:

  1. What are your management fees?
  2. What other fees do you charge (i.e. for eviction, renewal, marketing, contract cancellation and/or account set up)?
  3. Do you charge to find a new tenant? Is there a fee when the unit is vacant?

Selling Questions

  1. If I sell the property, do you handle notices to the tenants?
  2. Do I have to list it for sale with you (if it’s a real estate company that is managing it)?
  3. What is your screening process for tenants?

This is a really good list to get you started picking a property manager! If you are looking for a Denver area property manager, give Tena D a call today! 303-452-5853

Should You Use Your Rental Properties As An Airbnb

You’ve seen the commercials for things like Airbnb or HomeAway and others. It makes it seem to be a good decision to offer your second home or rental property using their service. Maybe, maybe not. Should you offer your property on sites like those?

How does it work?

Basically, the sites allow owners to offer properties that are Should You Use Your Rental Properties As An Airbnbavailable for rent. Owners set up a profile and list their property. They decide whether to accept or decline a guest, often based on the guest profile.

Sites often offer protection for up to varied amounts in case a guest damages the property. Owners and guests can leave reviews of each other. Payment is made through the sites. Sounds great, and when it works it can be.

When it doesn’t…

Well, you as the owner need to make sure you are insured beyond homeowners insurance. Beyond damages to the property, you as the owner may be responsible for the liability of injuries that may occur.

Laws

Then there are local and state laws about short term rentals can trip you up as well. That extra money you make may just be dwarfed by the fines levied for operating a business in a residential area. This is especially true if your neighbors complain about people coming and going or being noisy, etc.

Another local or state law issue: landlord tenant law. Be careful how long you offer rental terms. In many cases if you rent your property out for a month, you need to go through the eviction process to get a renter out of your property. In the meantime, they are living in your property, rent free, and possibly damaging it.

Do your homework

If you do your homework and make sure you aren’t stepping into a mess and look closely at the profiles of prospective renters, offering your property on sites like Airbnb can be a great way to make some extra money and keep your property rented.

Do Property Management Companies Handle Evictions?

It’s a sad reality when you have an investment property, having to evict a tenant. Whether you are evicting a tenant due to nonpayment of rent or violation of other parts of their lease, landlord/tenant law can be confusing.

If you don’t get it right the first time, it can become a colossal mess that leaves you with all of the problems. Since you don’t have a law degree, or the time to understand the ins and outs of the system, what can you do?

Property management company helps

Do Property Management Companies Handle Evictions?Your best bet is to hire a property management company. Part of their job is to help you not only find tenants, but handle evictions as well.

You know that a property management company handles your property upkeep and maintenance. That is a big part of what you hired them to do. It’s also an important part of keeping your property in the green and improving its value.

Property management duties

Part of that upkeep is making sure that your property is making money and keeping non-paying tenants from doing damage to it. That means knowing how to evict them quickly and legally.

Property management companies are experienced in these matters. They have handled many of them and have lawyers to make sure they are done correctly and to the letter of the law. They will have that bad apple out of your way in record time!

Don’t leave this important process to chance. Have a professional handle it for you and get it done right.

What Is The Best Way To Invest In Real Estate In Denver

You live in Denver and want to get into real estate investing. So do you try to buy a multi unit building? What about a single family home? Your best bet is a single family home.

Less cost to get started

What Is The Best Way To Invest In Real Estate In Denver...You live in Denver and want to get into real estate investing. So do you try to buy a multi unit building? What about a single family home? Your best bet is a single family home.First and foremost, a single family home will cost you less to get started. The cost of purchasing a single family home is significantly less than a multi home unit, like an apartment building or duplex/triplex, etc. Beyond cost, for bigger buildings you would need special financing for multi units, as opposed to a typical mortgage for a single family home. The cost savings in that are big.

Multi unit property

Next, if you are purchasing a multi unit property the chances of buying all the multi units together can be challenging. This is especially true in a duplex/triplex property. If the homeowner in the other unit or units aren’t selling, you’re stuck with the challenge of trying to rent out a single attached unit.

Inventory concerns

Another plus to investing in single family properties is there is more inventory to choose from. Think about it, when you look online for single family homes, how many are available? A lot. Search for an attached unit or multi unit, and the choices suddenly get a lot smaller, which helps make those prices higher. Even in a buyers market there is more inventory of single family homes.

Preparing units for rent

Lastly, there is the cost of preparing multi units for rental, and the fact that you have a larger pool of tenants to choose from. Preparing several units for rental, updating, cleaning and repairing, can be very costly. Think about how much one home renovation costs and multiply it.

When you have a single family home, those updates and other expenses are less, even though the home probably has more square footage. Also, smaller multi units limit your tenant pool to singles, newly marrieds and so on. Renting out a single family home opens that pool of tenants up to families who may need more room than an apartment or smaller multi unit, but can’t or don’t want to buy.

If you are interested in learning more, give Tena D a call today to talk about your real estate investing options! 303-452-5853

Should You Get Into Real Estate Investing Now When the Market is so Hot?

Some say that getting into real estate investing when the market is hot is a bad idea. I disagree. Not only can you get into it without losing your shirt, but you should.

So why is it such a good idea?

Should You Get Into Real Estate Investing Now When the Market is so Hot?Well, think about it. Does everyone own a home? Of course not. In a hot market it is really hard for first time buyers to find an affordable property. They often get out bid on those that they can find. That leaves a large segment that still need a place to live.

Not everyone wants to buy a home

Often times those looking for that first home are doing so because they need a bigger space.
So how does that help you, the real estate investor with a single family home to rent? You have that bigger space they need. Since they can’t buy, they can rent. That means that your property will be in demand.

True too is the fact that not everyone wants to buy a home. That means more prospective tenants for you no matter the market.

Use a property management company

Now, as a smart real estate investor, you have a property management company working for you and they will vet prospective tenants and get your property rented in days and keep it rented for you.

So don’t listen to the naysayers. You can and should invest in a hot market. Help out those renters.

How To Find Real Estate Investment Properties In A Hot Market

Want to get into real estate investing but are afraid the market is too hot to get you a reasonably priced property? Well, there are some things you can do in order to find good, solid properties that aren’t over priced.

Have a Realtor help

Your best bet is to start by having a Realtor help you find good prospective properties. Be sure to ask if they are experienced in investment properties. If they do, they will understand your needs and they will be invaluable helping achieve your objectives.

Not only are they a good resource, but once you establish a good relationship with them they will be more likely to seek you out when a great property comes their way.

In fact, I work with a number of investors who have different goals and objectives. I let them know as soon as I find something that will fit their needs!

One resource can be foreclosure lists

It can be a bit hit or miss in a hot market, but foreclosures happen all over for varied reasons. Checklists for your area, which may require a subscription, can be useful and be sure to look for properties that haven’t been listed for long.

Look for properties in nicer neighborhoods. Once you find one or some, have your Realtor help you see the property. The caveat here is that they may not be kept up or may have been vandalized by a disgruntled owner or scavenge artists looking for anything of worth in a vacant home.

Finding a property in a hot market isn’t impossible. With some work you can start a profitable venture.

If you are thinking about working with a Realtor, give Tena D a call and we can get to know each other a little bit! 303-452-5853 

Three Must Dos Before You Sell Your Home

You want to sell your home but the things to do before listing seem daunting. So what are the three most important things that you should do?

Do a walk through

The very first thing you should do is walk through your home as if you were looking at it to buy. Use a critical eye and see what needs Three Must Dos Before You Sell Your Hometo be updated, fixed and decluttered. If your home isn’t spacious and inviting then figure out why. If there is too much stuff, pack it up or throw it away. If there is too much furniture or the furniture is too big for the space then move some out or replace it with new. Put the old stuff in storage, sell it or donate it. Make any fixes that are necessary. Repaint, update and spruce up the space.

Decide on the price

Next, decide on the number that you think is fair for your home. You aren’t going to be objective about it, but if you do some research into recent sales in the neighborhood you’ll get an idea of what to start with when discussing it with your Realtor. Sites like Trulia and Zillow can give you an idea of what comparable homes in your area are going for and what the market is like. Just keep in mind that asking prices are not always selling prices.

Choose the right real estate agent

Lastly, choose the right real estate agent. Do your homework there as well. Ask friends and neighbors for referrals. Then take the time to interview prospective agents. Be sure to ask them about what services they provide, how often they will show your home, what their listing/sales average is and if they are a Realtor. Realtors follow a stricter set of ethics and have MLS access.

Then be sure to take their advice and your house will be sold and next home inhabited.

Single Family Homes Make The BEST Investment Properties!

Did you know that single family homes really do make the best investment properties? They do and here’s why.

Big city

Unless you live in a big city where people are looking more for condos or apartments, people Single Family Homes Make The BEST Investment Properties!wanting to rent look for a single family home. There is something more “family” feeling about living in a single family home than in an apartment.

Many families not able to buy a home

Despite the improvement in the real estate market, many families are still not able to buy a home. Yet they still need something larger than an apartment to house them. Two or more bedroom apartments are expensive to rent, sometimes even more so than a single family home.

Fewer repairs!

Another good reason is invest in single family homes is that families or even singles living in a home tend to take better care of them. That means that your property will be better taken care of and will gain value while there would be fewer repairs.

Smaller investment

Your investment into a single family home will also be smaller than into a multiple unit property. For first time investors this is important. Most first time investors don’t have as much capital to purchase a multi unit property.

Don’t think that you can’t get into real estate investments with single family homes, you can! See a Realtor and get started today.

The #1 Way To Keep Your Renters Happy

You have one or more investment properties that you rent out. You’ve been lucky enough to find great tenants. They take good care of your property, pay their rent on time and aren’t a problem. The last thing you want to do is lose any of them as a tenant. So how do you keep your renters happy and staying?

Be responsive

The #1 Way To Keep Your Renters HappyThe best way to keep your renters happy is to be responsive to their needs. How do you do that?

Well, there are quite a few things you can do, starting with don’t let them go to voicemail. Pick up the phone and if you can’t, be sure to return their call soon thereafter. It’s called being professional. Being prompt in answering their questions, respectful of them and responsive to them.

Next, take care of any repairs promptly

That doesn’t mean dropping everything if they need some non-emergency repairs. It does mean that if they call you on a cold January night and say the heat is out, you do drop everything and get a repair person there to help them.

If they do request any non-emergency repairs or updates, do them in a timely manner. Don’t make them wait weeks or months. And be in touch with them to keep them in the loop. Even if there is a delay, knowing you care enough to let them know will go a long way.

Related Post: 3 Ways To Reduce Your Vacancy Rate 

If you do have a trouble or disruptive tenant, deal with them now

Letting a problem tenant get away with disrupting everyone else will lose you those good tenants in a heartbeat. Pay attention to complaints. Deal with it at that time. If the police have to be involved, get them out and fast.

Always be sure to respect the privacy of your tenant. They have a legal right to quiet use and enjoyment to their home. You may need to come in and inspect or repair something, but you should give them plenty of notice in the form called for in the lease.

If you appreciate your great tenants, let them know. Be responsive to them. Show them courtesy and respect and you’ll have them for a long time.

If you are looking for a great property management company in the Denver Metro area, give Tena D a call today! 303-452-5853

Is It Better To Buy “Cheap” Investment Properties

All those “flip it” shows on TV make it look so easy. Buy a Is It Better To Buy "Cheap" Investment Propertieshouse on the cheap, fix it up and then lease it or sell it for a huge net gain, no problem… except for normal people who aren’t on TV it can be a problem, a hugely expensive one. So is it better to buy cheap investment properties?

Probably not

You know you’ve heard the commercials and infomercials about buying cheap and flipping properties. It’s the old if you buy cheap you have room to fix it up and if you rent it for more than your mortgage payment, you make more money. That may be true, but as a new investment property owner or one that doesn’t regularly fix up houses, what do you know about how much it will take to fix the problems in a cheap house?

Here’s the downside

If you buy a house to fix up and rent you start out at a disadvantage. You are paying on a mortgage, paying a contractor and hoping that the refurbishments don’t tank your budget. On a cheap house it’s more likely than not that it will. Foundation issues, termites, bad former fixes, you name it. Rip out a wall and find out there is bad plumbing, electrical or structural issues. All of these can severely impact your budget.

The solution?

Pay more up front for a solid house that needs minimal or no work (such as replacing an appliance over tearing out the whole kitchen) and you can rent it out immediately. Now you have income at or before you have to start making mortgage payments. Even if you can only get most of your mortgage payment covered by the rent, you’ll still come out ahead come tax time.

The more important thing is to maintain that solid property and build equity through value as well as through paying down the mortgage.

Don’t buy cheap or you’ll get cheap… and all the headaches it brings with it.