We sat down to answer a few of the most common questions that investors ask while vetting a new property management company. It is good practice for investors to interview potential property management partners before signing a contact with them. Property owners should learn about the company, its core values, staffing and workload configurations and general management experience. The goal is to ensure that the partnership will be positive and effective. We have taken a few minutes to compile answers to a few of the most critical questions asked by property owners. We hope that this is helpful in your property management vetting process.
How do you screen new renters for a property? One of the most critical activities in property management is screening potential tenants. Few companies get this process right, which will ultimately affect how successful you are with your investment. Your comprehensive screening process must include the following: examine credit reports of all persons over 18 years of age and or anyone who will be financially responsible on the lease, verification of bank statements to certify stated funds, nationwide criminal background checks, current employment verification, and reference checks from previous landlords beyond their most recent. Screening Tenants is one of the most critical tasks that property managers do and getting it right will drastically impact the bottom line.
What is your approach to property maintenance? To us property maintenance is simply asset protection and we are committed to excellence when it comes to this vital aspect of management. We utilize a broad network of service providers throughout the area to ensure that you receive the best service at the most reasonable rates! We have also recently established an in-house maintenance division for greater speed and quality of service. We provide a 24-hour emergency hotline for tenants and we work with tenants to address issues that may not require a costly after-hours service call. We also promptly notify our owners of any work that is requested. In addition, we conduct regular property evaluations in order to detect an ongoing maintenance issues. Regular maintenance will prevent more costly maintenance down the road.
How do you advertise the rental property? Our goal with advertising is to connect your rental offering to the perfect tenant as quickly as possible. To accomplish this we use every means available, which includes print ads, web-based resources and social media. Our advertising will expose your property to thousands of touch points and maximize our reach to the right tenant. We consistently enjoy a speedy unit turnover due to our proactive advertising approach.
What is your stance on accepting pets in rental properties? Many property owners do not like the idea of pets in their rental property while a large percentage of renters come with pets. The truth is, if managed properly, allowing pets in a rental unit can increase the overall performance of the investments. To our tenants, any animal brought on the premises must first be approved by management. These include dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, ferrets or any other animal kept for the purposes of being a pet. This policy also applies for any temporary period of time including visits and pet-sitting. Any animal on a rental property is restricted to only those pets that are listed on the lease agreement. At Beech Tree Property Management, we will often charge an additional pet deposit and pet rent for any acceptable animal in the unit. With regular inspections and proper admission protocol, allowing pets can improve the speed of leasing a property and therefore improve the financial performance of the investment.
What kind of insurance are owners/renters expected to obtain? Owners of investment properties are expected to retain a basic landlord insurance policy on their rental unit. This will provide for property damage but will not pay for or cover tenant property that may be damaged in an event. On the flipside, renters are encouraged to obtain a basic renter’s insurance policy. This will pay for any loss of tenant property in the case of fire, flood, theft etc. We remind tenants that the owner is not responsible for their personal belongings and that a proper policy is highly recommended.
How do you collect rents from tenants? We provide various means for payment to our tenants in order to meet their unique needs. This includes online payment, bill-pay, auto-withdrawal and the traditional check by mail. Our flexibility ensures that our tenants are able to be prompt and stay current on their rent payments.
What happens when a tenant does not pay their rent? Occasionally, and for various reasons, a tenant will not pay their rent. In these cases, we are quick to address the issue. Rent is always due no later than the 5th day of the month. If rent has not been paid by this time we will promptly call and contact the tenant. If the tenant still has not communicated or paid rent within 48 hours of the rent due date, we begin the eviction process.
What is your approach to providing documentation to investment property owners? The staff members at Beech Tree Property Management are detail oriented when it comes to your financial statements. We provide a personal online account, which will house all records related to your property. Monthly statements are posted to this account and sent directly to you via email. We post cash flow statements, work orders, and other individual statements to your personalized account as well. This will ensure that you always have access to the most up-to-date information on your property.
What expert advice can you provide when dealing with investment properties? Beech Tree Property Management boasts over five decades of combined property management and real estate experience. As we analyze opportunities in the marketplace we can provide guidance and recommendations on which properties will outperform others. We can also provide guidance on what locations are desirable for investments as well as what alterations can be made to existing properties to increase their attractiveness and value. Our goal is to work lockstep with you in achieving your investment goals.