property

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Property Manager?

Being in my seventh year of real estate, I have worked with a lot of Property Managers. Let me tell you that years of service do not equal a great staff member. Here are the top 5 things I look for when recruiting.

1. Attitude – I can teach skill; I cannot teach attitude so the right fit will always win with me. I recently chose a new team member with no experience over someone with two years industry experience because of the attitude of the new starter.

2. Process driven people – Property Management is largely about legislation, following procedures, ensuring work flows are followed as well as customer service. While it is nice to be creative and appreciate pretty marketing, if you cannot follow a process it will not work. I use a lot of checklists and task based work with my team to ensure we follow through on every step that we promise to take. Without processes, I can guarantee a failed promise.

3. Training – You must love training to succeed in our industry. While it is only a few days to get your registration, the training never stops. We complete on the job, legislation, customer service and new business training just to name a few. We continually improve and part of that is through our meetings and training. I also feel very strongly that conferences (industry related or not) are a great training tool. Sometimes they will be around motivation, which always gives staff a boost. Some conferences will be Property Management focused. I just attended a two-day conference on the Gold Coast and I will be returning with pages of ideas that we can discuss as a team.

4. Team work – Don’t we all work on our own portfolios? I Property Managers ask this question all the time. If you can’t work as a team, it is just not going to work! We must work with the sales team. We must support and be supported by administration. We must work with our Business Development Managers who bring in the new listings so that we can deliver what they promise. Most of all we must work and support others on our level. I have a task buddy for each team member. We can then help each other out with important tasks when someone is away or on holidays.

5. Loyalty and Culture – I know it sounds corny but if you do not live the brand, love your work and bring positive vibes to the team, you will not last. People who constantly bring down a team will just be making everyone’s days very difficult. If you don’t love your job, don’t do it.

I think overall, if you are thinking of becoming a career Property Manager, my best piece of advice is to ask to speak with the head of a few Property Management departments. Have a list of questions written down. Don’t be afraid to read from your list. While they may not have a position, they may know someone or keep you in mind when something when the team grows. You may learn this is not for you, which is perfectly fine, you won’t know unless you ask. Good luck on your journey.

Best Three Tips To Find Your Rental Property

With the rising cost of properties, It has been harder than ever to buy a new home. Of course, people cannot do without a roof, and there comes the choice of rental properties. Finding the right home isn’t going to be easy, especially in US and Canada, where landlords are charging insane prices for almost every single home. As a smart tenant, you have to go a step ahead and decide on certain things before narrowing down to certain choices. In this post, we will talk of some of the things worth considering before you find your rental property.

Start with an online check

Gone are times, when you would need to spend hours on the weekend trying to find ads for rental homes! Thanks to the internet, things are much easy today, and you can find some amazing sites that enlist rental properties for most states and areas of US. You can check properties based on your needs, and it is very easy to sort a few options. Some of the sites connect the tenants with the landlord directly, which makes the process of negotiation and discussion much easier. Just make sure that you choose the right website, which has plenty of properties.

Check the budget

It is essential to have a budget for your home, but don’t set an amount based on your whimsies. There are always a few trends in the rental market when it comes to prices, and hence, you should spend some time researching on the same. Make sure that you check for the actual rent, added expenses if any and other long and short term expenses. Typically, rental sites can give you a good idea of how much you may need to shell for a particular type of house, but you can also check on other sites too.

Know what the lease means

Many tenants don’t read rental agreements in detail, and that can have serious consequences. There are usually a few things that you should note. The first thing is the length of the lease, which should be clearly mentioned. Secondly, you need to check for deposit requirement, and how the landlord is going to deal with the refund when you move out. The third part is property maintenance, and you should know if there are any expenses that are payable every month.

Also, not all home owners allow pets, so if you intend to bring your pooch home, always discuss the same. Sometimes, homeowners and landlords don’t allow changes in the house, like adding of special lights and painting, and hence, you should talk on the same. If you are going to have roommates, you need to know the arrangements with them, and the lease sharing clauses, if any.

Reasons for Hiring a Property Manager

The dreaded phone call comes in that your tenant has a clogged toilet at 8pm at night. What now? So you scurry over to your rental property to determine if you can fix it. You check it out, maybe even try to plunge it. Nothing happens, still a slow drain and a gurgling noise. At this point you have wasted over an hour of your time, time that you should be spending elsewhere.

You shrug your shoulders and tell your tenant you will call a plumber as they will need to snake the drain. Giving your tenant the benefit of the doubt that there are likely roots in the main line which is causing the gurgling. You finally get a hold of a plumber that will be there sometime tomorrow between the hours of 1 and 4 pm… and you need to be there to authorize work. Ugh! Now what?

So you take the afternoon off of work and wait for the 30 minute courtesy call that they are on their way. You get the call! You head over to the rental property and meet the plumber, the tenant says that the slow drain and the gurgling is still happening. The plumber looks for the clean-out, but can’t find it and you aren’t sure where it is. So the plumber goes to the roof with his snake. 30 minutes later he comes down with a child’s small toy that had been flushed down the toilet. OK, not great, but at least it’s fixed for a couple of hundred dollars and not tree roots. The plumber goes back inside to test the toilet and comes back out with bad news… still won’t flush!

So now the plumber says, do you want me to pull the toilet? That’s another charge. You shrug your shoulders and say yes, because what else are you going to do. The plumber takes his snake inside and pulls the toilet. He starts his snake and out comes a headless child’s doll covered in toilet paper from about 1 foot down the pipe.

Now the plumber comes back out and says, here is what I found. Since the toilet is off do you want me to camera the drain in the case there are more items down there. Of course you say yes, cause if he puts the toilet back then has to come back to do it that is another charge.

Plumber comes back out and says the camera showed nothing else is in the drain. You sigh and he fills out his paperwork along with charges of around $300-400. He puts in his report the issues and the apparent abuse caused by the tenant. You ask him to put as much detail in the report as possible so that you can charge back to the tenant, and he obliges and says good luck with that.

At this point you are into this little project for over 4 hours of your time, half a day off work spent standing outside of your rental, and a few hundred dollars because your tenant’s child decided they didn’t want their toys anymore.

Property Management Made Simple

A fast, simple and effective way for landlords to manage their property portfolio with minimum hassle.

Being a landlord or a property manager can be an arduous task. There is usually an endless list of jobs that need to be taken care of, whether you’re managing a single property or a vast portfolio. There are several landlord property care apps offered by property management groups to help property owners in managing their property and keep everything running smoothly, taking the stress out of daily tasks.

WHY DO I NEED AN APP FOR THIS?

Downloading the app provides a simple and efficient way for you to manage your properties. It’s intelligently designed, easy to use features have been developed by the experts in app development to cater for your specific requirements. With its key features you can digitally take control of all tasks with a swipe of your finger.

KEY FEATURES:

Managing Tenants
Monthly rental payments
Utility management
Rent review
Property inspection reports
Annual safety tests
Lease management
Print yearly/ monthly taxable finances.

MANAGING TENANTS AND RENT

When it comes to managing rent owed and tenants the app couldn’t make it simpler if it tried! You go to the sub section you need, click the icon and straight away you can add new tenants, storing their personal information i.e. phone number and address, as well as their moving date and contract end. As for rent you merely need to select the property in your portfolio, specify the date, rental fee and Estate agents commission and you’re sorted. This saves a lot of time and productivity in the long run, meaning you’re not chasing any overdue payments or tenant details.

TAX MADE SIMPLE

Everyone knows that trying to keep on top of yearly tax returns can be a nightmare, but this is just another reason why this app is extremely beneficial. It allows you to do your own book-keeping on the move, by logging all of your income and expenses, when and where you necessary, to keep on top of your accounts. In the long run this will be more beneficial for your accountant or even for yourself if you organise your own accounting. Moving forward, this means you can review monthly and yearly reports with the tap of one finger, as well as track your taxes making your End of Year returns report easy to access, and print off for your benefits.

The same format is used when logging Expenses, again these are all kept in one place, and you can easily input property expenses through their individual property details and log important expenses such as Interest only mortgage, Capital Mortgage, Repairs, Insurance, Cleaning, agents involved etc.

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT

An additional benefit is that you will have a dedicated support team which promises to assist you with any technical and non-technical help that you may require. This gives you reassurance and trust that your portfolio details are in the right hands, and that all information is deemed confidential, to which you will only have access to, and none of which will be shared to other Property Managers.

In conclusion the Landlord Property Care app is truly a sensational digitally advanced way to manage all your business related requirements from your phone, and is considered to be the way forward in Property Management advancement.

10 Property Management Tips

Are you looking for some useful property management tips? If so, you may want to read the following 10 tips from experts in the field. With these tips, managing property will be a lot easier for you. Read on.

Provide Important Information

Make sure your customers and clients have access to the information about the properties. If you really want to get the listing, you should be able to share all the relevant information in an efficient manner.

Be Punctual

You should be committed as far as making arrangements for a meeting or appointment is concerned. Try your best to get to the meeting point at least a few minutes earlier. This is a good way of leaving great impression on your clients.

Presentation

You should be well dressed when seeing your clients. This will encourage your clients to treat you well. Moreover, your dress code will tell a lot about you.

Honesty

You should be honest while providing reports and statistics about your properties. Providing misleading or false information to clients is the best method to destroy your business. What you need to do is find a strategy to deal with the situation and get a solution instead of providing false information.

Marketing

You should market your property in an effective way. The vender may have unrealistically high hopes, but you should be realistic and shouldn’t agree to the price offers without taking the time to think about everything. After all, you don’t want your property to sit vacant for months just because the price tag was too high.

Advertising

Advertising your property is of great importance. Make sure the advertisement is available at the right time. Therefore, you should be ready with a draft on time. Aside from this, it’s better that you get approval from the vender prior to uploading the advertisement on your site.

Photography

Make sure you take some professional photos of the properties and upload them on your site. Ideally, it’s a good idea to take at least 4 pictures of each property. The pictures should be taken from different angles. Putting a few videos along with photos is also a great idea.

Stay in Touch

You should send updates and reports to the property owners on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, maintaining great relationship with your clients pays. Losing a client is easier than gaining a new one. Therefore, you should stay touch with your clients.

Database

You should know your database. Your prospective clients should receive the same level of respect as do your existing clients. Therefore, it’s a good idea to take a look at your list of clients from time to time.

Background checks

Make sure you do background checks on your tenants. What you need to do is do rigorous background checks on the personal information, tenancy history and employment history of your tenants. This is a great way of making sure you are on the safe side.

How to Simplify Accounting Statements for Rental Property Owners

It is very important that rental property owners understand the activity in their account each month. This is, after all, their money and they should feel confident that their property management company is portraying to them an accurate and easily read accounting of where their money is coming from and what it is being spent on.

One of the most common reasons I have seen rental owners change Property Managers is due to lack of communication in regards to their financials. If their funds are not being reported to them in a logical fashion, on a consistent basis, it creates a lack of trust with their Property Management Company. This can also lead to the rental property owner feeling that they are being taken advantage of, even to the point of them feeling like they are being robbed!

So, how can this be prevented? We prepare not only monthly financial reports, which rarely make sense to anyone who is not an Accountant, we also take a little extra time to give our reporting a personal touch. This includes providing all the transactions that have taken place in their account each month in a simplified, easy to read and understand Owner Statement Summary Sheet.

It is a great way for the financial team to become familiar with each owner’s properties and cash flow so when you do receive an occasional call you will already have the knowledge of their account.

Here is a list of items that can be extremely helpful to a rental property owner, when viewing their summary sheet:

• A section that includes a total dollar amount of revenue collected that month, broken out between rent, utility reimbursements, late fees, etc.
• A listing of which units have outstanding balances owed at the end of the month.
• A section that includes all expenses for the month. This doesn’t have to be detailed, a simple line marked electric bills, or maintenance costs is sufficient. If they do need more detail of the specific charge and what it entailed, they can reference the financial reports, which will provide this information for them.
• A total amount of owner disbursements that were paid that month.

The summary sheet should always include the beginning balance in the owner’s account, as well as the ending balance. The rest of the information doesn’t do much good if the owner doesn’t know where they stand when the month is over.

As I mentioned before, not all rental property owners are Accountants and do not want to take time digging through debits and credits. That is that the reason they chose a Property Management Company in the first place! They want to know what rent money came in, which tenants are delinquent and the biggest question: Where is my money being spent?

Real Estate Agent Job Description

Real estate agents liaise between home owners and buyers to conduct the sale, purchase or rent of properties. They work for brokers and play a major role in assisting people buy or sell residential, commercial or industrial property. They keep and maintain an up-to-date account of property listing and other relevant housing information to stay abreast with properties available on the real estate market. They subscribe to several listing services to advertise and market properties up for sale. They also contact property and market properties up for sale. They also contact property owners to obtain information regarding a property.

As part of their responsibilities, estate agents present sales and purchase offers to clients for consideration. They advise them on property rates, legal requirements and general market trend. They also interview clients to determine their property preference or specification. Usually, they prepare a list of properties that best match the needs and requirements of clients. They visit and inspect properties in order to establish precise property value. They also proffer recommendations to clients on properties that best suit their budget and preference.

Most estate agents oversee the preparation of closing statements, purchase agreements, representation contracts and other necessary documents required for estate trade. They conduct negotiations between property sellers and buyers to establish price and other terms of sales. They also liaise with pest control operators, home inspectors etc. to ensure the terms and conditions stated in a purchase agreement are met prior to the closing of sales.

In fulfilling their role, real estate agents oversee the closing of property sales, they ensure payment is complete and appropriate documents signed. They maintain contact with clients to offer them real estate services/products and assist with the resolution of issues. They also provide consultation services to clients to recommend strategies for the speedy sale of property. They often conduct training programs for junior/trainee sales agents to enhance their sales skill. This job position requires at least a high school diploma, state license for practice and an aptitude for sales. Qualities needed for the job include persuasion, interpersonal skills and problem-solving skills.

Real Estate Agent Job Description Sample

Given below is a sample of the job description usually handed real estate agents by most employers:

Act as liaisons to conduct real estate trade between property buyers and sellers
Present sales offers to clients as well as bid on available properties
Carry out investigations to determine client credit status and ability to complete payment
Inspect properties to appraise its value and estimate the worth on the property market
Interact with clients to identify their requirements and proffer recommendations on properties that best suit their budgets
Assist home sellers in promoting their buildings on property listing services to attract clients for purchase
Prepare and deliver sales pitches to clients in order to secure real estate contract
Provide clients with a list of properties available for sale to assist them in making choice selection
Conduct price negotiations between property buyers and sellers to ensure a fair bargain for both parties
Provide clients with a tour of residential, industrial or commercial properties to showcase and explain property features
Carry out investigations to confirm clients have clear property titles
Provide appropriate reply to client’s enquiries concerning property appraisals, financing, maintenance etc.
Examine property premises to recommend maintenance measure required to improve the face value
Assist clients in evaluating mortgage options to obtain the best rate and terms
Attend conventions, conferences and seminars to improve existing job knowledge and expand personal network.

4 Easy Ways to Increase Profits and Your Rentals

Cha-Ching! It’s the first week of the month and time to cash these checks. It is not always easy, but I love owning rentals; especially now when rents are through the roof. The challenge now is finding property to buy. If you were lucky enough to pick up a few properties the last few years you are likely doing very well, but maybe you could be doing even better! Here are four ways to do even better on your rental portfolio.

Consider renting extra space separately. There is a tremendous amount of upside in this. Garages immediately come to mind, but I have also rented storage sheds separately and have heard of people renting sections of the lot for horse boarding or additional storage.

I have a property now that I rent the garage out separately. It is a two car garage that I rent for $200 a month. This one strategy increases my revenue by 10% and there is little to no expenses with the garage lease, so it actually increases profits by more than that!

Rent extra items. I have heard of rental property owners renting out items such as TVs, computers, or furniture to increase revenue. I have not done that, but I have rented washer/dryers separately. Washers and dryers tend to break down so I will never include them with my rental units. If I buy a property with a washer/dryer or I get one from a tenant that has moved out, I will typically either offer it to the tenant for free or rent it to them. Obviously, renting the washer and dryer will increase the monthly cash flow, but you will be responsible if something goes wrong. It could increase your headache, but it will also increase your profits. If the tenant does not want to rent them from you, you can offer it to them for free or you will want to remove them. The last thing you want is the responsibility of insuring the washer and dryer works without any income for the additional hassle.

Bill tenants for utilities. For some reason this was a hard one for me to do. I was taught early on that I, as the landlord, should pay for the water. The argument is that water is the one utility provider that can lien your property for nonpayment. Although that is true, it still makes since to have the tenant pay water. The worst case is the tenant does not pay and you have to.

In my market, it is becoming more acceptable to ask the tenant to pay all utilities, so why not give them what they expect? The two benefits are increase in cash flow for you and they will use less. I just spoke to Travis in my office about this. He has a tri-plex that had extremely high water bills. He was having trouble figuring it out and was paying that bill each month as the landlord. This was cutting into his profits by more than $300 a month!! The solution for him was to pay a company $2,500 to put in a system to individually meter each of the 3 units. Within one month, he discovered that one unit was responsible for most of the water usage and discovered that they were growing marijuana. Those tenants were asked to leave and were replaced with a much better tenant saving Travis over $150 a month. His next step will be to start sending invoices to each tenant for their water usage, which will increase his revenue by another $150.

Reduce turnovers. This one might sound obvious but is often overlooked. Turnovers can be very expensive. In fact, it is not uncommon for one turnover to ruin your profits on a unit for two or more years. The cause includes loss rent, marketing for a new tenant, repairs, and more. Reducing turnover can be complicated. Here are just a few ideas to help.

Screen tenants – This is the single best way to keep your turnovers low. It is extremely important to get quality tenants, and the only way to do that is to screen them properly. Obviously credit and criminal checks are essential, but it is also a good idea to interview your prospect about why they are moving and why they want to rent from you, call references, insure they can afford the rent and utility payments, have a stable drama free lifestyle, take care of their stuff (look in their car when you meet them), and have an emergency contact that will help them if they get into financial trouble.

Smaller rent increases – In a hot rental market like we are in, it is challenging to keep up with the pace in which rents are rising. Often times rent in the area is going up faster than I can raise the rent, which is a very positive thing. The reason this occurs for me is that I do not want to increase rent more than a tenant can afford. My experience is that if the tenant cannot afford the rent increase, they will not tell you. They will attempt to make it work and will eventually fall behind, creating a costly turnover. It is much better, in my opinion, to work with your tenant with reasonable increases and keep them happy and paying their rent each month.

Maintenance – I just had my maintenance team go out to a rental to unclog a shower drain. I got a bill for the service for $125. On the invoice it mentioned that he found hair in the drain. Why is it my responsibility to clear a drain that the tenant clogged? Well the answer is… it’s not. My lease states that I am not responsible for any clogged drain, so when I got the invoice I created an invoice that I sent to the tenant with a copy of the lease and a copy of the invoice I received for the maintenance call. I just got the $125 check in the mail today. Now the tenant is conditioned to take better care of the unit because I am not paying for issues they create.

The other thing about maintenance that has worked really well for me is to take care of items that I am responsible for right away. I do not delay at all. When I get a maintenance call, I will get my team on it right away. The tenant will normally hear from the person scheduled to fix the issue the same day. This has really helped me keep tenants. I have had tenants tell me several times how much they appreciate that. It is not uncommon for a tenant to ask me to rent them another place when they decide to move, and it is also not uncommon for me to hear that a tenant stayed longer than they wanted simply because I took care of them.

5 Tips To Choose a Property Management Strategy

Investing in a good rental properly may not be a good decision for everyone. If you want other options or you want to be a passive manager, you are not alone. To choose the best property management strategy, what you need to do is know your lifestyle and goals. Given below are some tips that may help you make the right decision.

1. Distance From The Property

How far is your residence from the property? Luckily, if you live a few minutes away, you can go over there on a regular basis to remove garbage, carry out required maintenance, resolve issues with the tenant and collect rent. However, if you live far away, this strategy may not be feasible for you.

In this case, you may want to go for a hands-off approach. In other words, you can hire a local company or individual to take care of the day-to-day tasks. Just make sure you can do so.

2. Number of units

You can manage one unit without any problem, but you can’t handle if you have over 50 units. As a matter of fact, for more units, you have no choice but to get outside help. With this option, you can still stay in charge of the major operations, but the other tasks are better left to another person.

3. Skill level

Make sure you know your strengths and weaknesses. If you have a rental property, you have a business to manage. However, for managing a business, make sure you know how to organize things. For instance, you should know the dates of rent collection, bills payments, lease expiration, and other payments. If you are like most people, you may not be able to take care of all these matters.

If you don’t know much how to do business, you have two options to choose from: you can learn it or you can get help. Being a property investor, there should be a solid business plan in your head. Besides, you must have a powerful strategy to deal with the routine operations.

4. Time Commitment

Do you like to become a rental property owner or landlord? If you already have already have things to do, it may not be easy for you to manage a rental property. You can choose any investment strategy provided you know your goals. For instance, if you know how to manage a property passively, then hiring a property manager is a good idea. But if you are into active management, you should do everything on your own.

5. Personality

It’s a fact that owning a rental property is an appealing investment as far as most people are concerned. However, not everyone can manage a property actively. So, it’s based on your personality type as well. If you can handle stress, can handle conflicts and can use your skills effectively, you can go for the DIY route. But if you are not that type of person, you should choose the other option.

8 Things to Consider When Choosing a Strata Manager

Our insider tips to the questions you should be asking your prospective Strata Manager.

Good or bad, most people judge an entire strata agency on the working relationship they have with their strata manager.

We have prepared this short list of questions that you should be asking prior to making a decision to appoint a new Strata Agent.

How many buildings does your proposed new Strata Manager already look after

Your entire strata experience depends on this simple question. Most agents manage large portfolios, to the point where they can spend most of their time putting out spot fires rather than giving you the proactive service that you are looking for.

What’s included in the monthly management fee

Most agencies charge a monthly management fee which covers agreed services. Works performed outside of the agreed services are charged as an additional fee. You can negotiate with an agency to have fixed price disbursements to give you a clearer understanding of how much your scheme will be paying per year.

Qualifications

The Strata Manager that will be managing your building should at least hold a Certificate 4 in Strata Title Management. Ideally this would have been gained through a Tafe course. It is possible to get a Certificate 4 in Strata Management by paying to do a 2 week course. It is also a good idea to ask how long they have been with the agency.

Experience

When approaching a potential new agent, it’s a fair question to ask how much experience the strata manager has that will actually be managing your building and in case things do go wrong, how much experience they have in attending mediation and tribunal hearings.

Reporting

How often are financial reports generated and are they delivered just the treasurer to the entire committee? Ideally this will be available on a monthly basis.

Service Level Agreements

Strata management is customer service. Your new agent should be able to provide you with time frames of when your requests will be actioned, emails replied to and telephone calls returned.

Your money, your input

It’s your building and you don’t necessarily want the Strata Manager to do everything, so it’s important to clarify how much input will you have in approving creditor payments and what level of input will the committee have when the agent is preparing the proposed budget.

Agreement terms

When appointing a new agent, most will try to lock you in for the maximum period of 3 years. If the services doesn’t meet your expectations you are locked in for the term of the agreement, unless your scheme decides to pay out the remaining term of the agreement. It is a better option to sign a one year agreement and see how things go.