Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Property Managment Vs Asset Management



One of the biggest mistakes I see apartment and commercial real estate investors make is leaving their investment property in complete control of their property manager. Even the best property management companies will not look at things like the owner.

I have seen this literally cost investors thousands of dollars in lost cash flow and property value, so it is definitely a mistake you want to avoid.

In this article I want to discuss the importance of being an Asset Manager, rather than a Property Manager. First, let's define these two terms:

Asset Manager
Focus is on maximizing return and property value for the investor(s).

Property Manager
Focus is on day-to-day management activities for a property.

"Think Like a CEO..."
If you want to maximize your returns as an investor, you must think like a CEO, and not a property manager. Your focus should be continually on how to maximize the return from a property and increase value.

I see a lot of investors that lose track of this, and leave things up to their property manager, thinking that is their job. It is not.

Here are the things you should be focused on as an Asset Manager:

1) Increasing Income
2) Reducing Expenses
3) Improving Property Value
4) In short, maximizing returns and property value.

Continually ask yourself questions, such as:

- How can we increase rents? Are all of our rents at market levels? Can we charge higher rent for preferred units, such as near a pool?
- Can we reduce our property taxes by protesting the assessed value? Can we reduce our insurance expense by changing companies? How can we reduce every single line item expense - even by a small percentage?
- How can we increase the value of the property? What improvements would maximize value?

None of these activities should be done at the cost of deferring maintenance or reducing the property value over time. As the CEO of your investment you need to see the big picture - whether it is a duplex or several hundred units.

Your property manager, on the other hand should focus on the day-to-day property operations to keep things running smoothly, such as:

1) Property Maintenance
2) Marketing and Rental of Units
3) Collecting Rents and Paying Bills
4) Enforcing Property Rules and Procedures

Good property managers will also perform activities that could be considered asset management, such as performing regular checks to verify market rents are maximized, testing marketing results, and finding ways to reduce expenses.

However, I would caution against leaving everything up to your property manager, because ultimately, it is your responsibility to increase your returns and property value.


By the way, if you liked this article, you will probably like my new report and video series, "The 7 Biggest Mistakes Investors Make When Buying Income Property."

Monday, 28 May 2012

Hire a Property Manager and Save Time, Money and Frustration!



In this post, I am going to explain to you how hiring a property management can help to save the owner more than just the price of the management fee. Let's say we have a home that rents for $1600/month. As a real estate management organization our average fee locally is 6-10%. Therefore, let's use 8% of $1600 which is $128/month. For an example our company only charges a flat fee of $75 a month for monthly management, however I'll show you the way a property manager can help to save above $1200/year by using a professional in the business.

Five Concrete Ways in which a Property Management Company Can Save Time and Money for an Owner

1. The very first way a management company can save you money is by maximizing rents. These management companies comprehend rental prices and what a tenant would most likely like to pay for a particular unit in a certain area. Property managers in addition have a footing on advertising and featuring. They know all the suitable areas to market and are available promptly to show properties to have them rented for the best conceivable price. On average a property management provider can help to save at the very least $50/month over 12 months which is already $600

2. The next method that can help you save money is by means of reducing vacancies. Your average owner will take approximately sixty days to fill a vacancy with respect to the current market not surprisingly. Utilizing a property management company, they average under 1 month. All over again, with an ordinary lease of $1500, the specialist will save you over 12 months $1600 because of this one area.

3. The 3 rd area a management company can save you money is by marketing. Real estate managers possess lower prices through internet sites and newspapers. They usually can save no less than $150 during marketing and advertising through 1 year as opposed to an individual owner.

4. Your fourth place to save you money is usually as a result of maintenance and repairs. The majority of property management organizations get access to vendors at lower rates. Our organization helps you to save approximately 30% the normal cost for an individual owner. For a typical single family house the cost of maintenance as well as repairs over one year averages around $250-$400 depending on the residence. Some of our more recent properties never have any maintenance in the course of the year, a few of older properties can have more issues throughout the year. Along with a 30% savings this saves the owner $75 to $150 over 1 year. *Our partnership with the regional title company has allowed us to provide our owners with discounted home warranties as well for older houses with estimated approaching repairs.

5. The fifth method is through selecting a very good qualified tenant through our screening process techniques. Many property management organizations have fewer than a 1% eviction rate as a result of in depth verification measures that they already have executed. The "bad apples" realize that they can't successfully pass a management company's screening process so they will rent through the individual owners and sell them regarding how excellent of a tenant they are going to be even though they don't have credit history, or no leasing references, as well as no Id, or even a large amount of additional reasons they use. This on its own helps you to save the owner the price of eviction which within our region averages around $1,000, the price of loss rent of about 1 month of $1,600, plus the expense of repairs of approximately $1,500. This thorough screening practice on its own can help to save the owner $4,000!

The majority of owners mainly think about the management fee that they're losing but not concerning these 5 areas which a management company can help to conserve them money. Along with these typical estimates above, a professional management company can help to save the owner more than $6,000 in a year.


Vienna Property Management, Rocklin Property Management in Rocklin CA specializes in Single Family and Multi Family residential real estate management. Scott Schuhwerk of Vienna Property Management has vast experience in professional residential property management and tenant placement.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

E-Card Obsession ... Top 20!


Well hello there :)

If you are on Pinterest on a daily basis like moi...
 then I am sure you are just as obsessed with these hysterical e-card pics as I am.

They literally crack me up, I find myself laughing out loud at all most all of them!

So in an effort to make everyone laugh on this holiday weekend ... I have compiled my


TOP 20

most relatable, absolutely crack your shit up, e-cards!

Drum roll please .... In no particular order ...  Enjoy :) Ha.




Hahaha what did we ever do before Pinterest?? 


I literally hate Crocs... always have, always will ... I tolerate them on the kids ONLY at the beach ha!


One word ... Hangry ha. I am totally guilty of this. 


Haha this is 100% COMPLETELY me ... I seriously would do this if I didn't think I would lose business lol I hate listening to voicemails! 
Hahahaha ... Patience is not something I am good with .. guilty again. 



LOL


So True!


If this were true, I would be so super skinny ha! 


Ha that is just funny period. 

Hahahaha I have several of those days. 


Love this ... LOL


Hahaha

Very true in the real estate business hahaha ;)



To all my 50 Shades friends haha ;) those books make you question if you are sane after you finish when you are slightly depressed you aren't reading anymore ha 



Hahahaah that one is seriously probably one of my top 3 favorites ever! 



Sad, but true ha  


Em this is for you :) It is true though, Lilly clothes make me happy ha :) 

And I have saved the best for last ... 
I think we can ALL relate to this one ... 


Hahahaha
anyone who knows me well, knows I can totally concur with this ha. 

Happy Memorial Day weekend :)
PS. I promise to try to get back into the blogging swing .. I have been MIA and it's making me sad!
post signature

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Is Starting a Property Management Company Right For You?



This article discusses whether starting and developing a Property Management Company could be for you or not. There are some personalities that this business is suited for, and equally some that are not. I will discuss each characteristic that lends itself well towards being a Manager, and more importantly doing it as an Entrepreneur. Below are the Top5 characteristics that will help you become a successful Property Management Business Owner:

1. Attention to Financial Detail. This characteristic is perhaps the most important detail for this business. Managing properties, especially once you start growing and increasing the number of properties that you manage, requires the ability to keep track of every penny. And believe me, as you grow, there will be a lot of them.

Think about it, if you have 50 properties averaging $1,000 per month in rent, you are then collecting $50,000 every month to deposit into bank accounts. Then from that $50,000, you are paying some utilities, mortgages, then disburse the remainder to the owner, etc. Now, I haven't even mentioned that 10% of the rents you have to collect will not pay on time. So you have to be very good at keeping records of those monies received and not received as you progress through the monthly rental cycle, not to mention applying the appropriate late charge to the specific account. As you can see, having a background in financials or accounting can go a long way in property management. And don't let this article scare you, just consider this more of an awareness of the field.And don't worry, it can be learned the hard knocks way, we did.

Once a month you will be required to reconcile your bank account statements to your accounting programs. If you are off even 1 penny, that is a problem. You will need to find all errors and maintain your books on track 100%. Many states actually regulate this activity with random inspections.

2. Excellent Communicator. This characteristic is just as important because Property Owners rely on you to communicate to them the status of their property more than just receiving a monthly property operating statement. They should be contacted by you personally at least once a month to let them know, at a minimum, that everything is going well with the property. Also, keeping in good contact with them allows you to further develop your relationship with them. Because if you don't, your competitor will.

This business deals with many time sensitive matters. If you are someone who procrastinates on getting back to people, then you will make enemies fast. Property Owners want to be heard back from you relatively quickly. In fact, this is the number 1 reason why we have picked up a lot of business. Larger companies allow their Managers to take on far too many properties than they should and they become bogged down and are not able to give the personalized service to Property Owners that they deserve. Tenants also, need to have a certain level of customer service in getting maintenance items repaired, etc. A good Property Manager will promptly return phone calls and emails.

3. Are you a people person? Kind of a vague question, but the bottom line is that you will be around all kinds of people 24/7. You will challenged with domestic problems, money problems, families that just had a baby and now cannot afford the rent. There will be a new challenge almost every day. Are you the type of person that can take on these issues and help solve them without getting too involved. Can you, at the same time, be able to file an eviction on that new family? This is a 'for profit' business and you cannot be in the business of charity. I know that seems harsh, but it is the reality of the property management business.

Lastly in the people person section, you will be making "sales calls" on Property Owners. And as such, you will need to be able to modify your personality to fit that of your Prospective Property Owner.Many people are good at being a Property Manager, but they are not so good at the people and sales skills and as such have a hard time getting business. However, let me say too that sales in this industry is a learned skill, it does not come natural.

Building and fostering long term relationships are very important in this business. You will be taking care of properties for your Owners for hopefully years and years. This is not like being a Realtor in that you will work with people for a couple months and move on. You will need to work on earning trust in your Customers and continuing to build on that relationship over time.

4. Are you a problem solver? As a Property Manager, all you have is problems. Tenants call you for one reason and one reason only: they have a problem. Either the window is jammed, or the neighbor is bothering them, or they can't pay rent. Either way, you will be plagued with problems. You will need to be someone who handles these "problems" as opportunities and deals well this type of stress.

Additionally, as you build your number of properties, you will need to be an excellent multi-tasker. More properties equals more Tenants which equals more phone calls. However it also equals more money, so bear that in mind as well! When you get big enough you can then look to delegate these responsibilities, but starting out many times it is a one person show.

5. Are you OK with paperwork...and lots of it?The first of the month is a very busy time for Property Managers, this is when you are collecting rent monies and disbursing funds. Also, you are creating monthly reports and sending them out to the owners. On top of that and throughout the month, you will have discussions with Tenants that will need to be documented. Discussions that relate to tenancy, following up on a request you made to them, or financial matters will need to be documented to properly protect yourself and the Owner. If you are not good at follow up with your communications, you could lose that conversation and if the Tenant took you or your Property Owner to court, since you didn't properly document the conversation, you could lose. The courts always favor Tenants when the Landlord or Property Manager don't follow the laws (or appear to not follow the laws because of lack of documentation). Documentation and administration is again a critical part of the communication aspect and can sink your ship if not percormed correctly.

There is one more characteristic that is paramount in any business, not just Property Management. That is being very positive and not listening to the nay-sayers. Other people will always try to burst your bubble. You will have plenty of days when it doesn't seem like building your own business is even possible. Persistence is the key to any business, and it can only happen when you are positive.

In summary, I wanted to highlight those characteristics that could become a challenge in becoming a Property Manager. If you see some of these qualities as being a challenge with you, it doesn't mean you couldn't become a Property Manager, it just means that you have an opportunity for improvement. Property Management definitely is not for everyone, is it for you?

Friday, 25 May 2012

The Basics of Property Management



Purchasing properties for the purpose of renting them out has become a good source of income for some individuals. This article takes a look at the basics of rental management for those who are interested in entering this venture.

What is property management?

Property or rental management, as the name suggests, is the process of taking charge of real estate, be it for residential, commercial, or industrial purposes.

Managers are either the owners of the properties being offered for rental or third-party individuals who are tasked with overseeing the care and maintenance of the rental properties in behalf of the owners.

What do property managers do?

Property and rental managers are given several tasks, which can include:

• Maintenance of the property. No tenant will want to stay at a ramshackle residence or place, so it is the manager's responsibility to make sure that the properties that are being offered for rental are well-maintained.

• Getting tenants. One of the main responsibilities of property or rental managers is to make sure that the rental properties are occupied by tenants, which is why they are also responsible for finding good tenants who will not only occupy these properties, but take care of these well.

• Collecting rent. Not only do managers need to make sure that the right amount of rental fees are being paid by the tenants, they will also need to ensure that they are paying these regularly. Property managers should always be on the lookout for tenants who make delayed payments.

• Handling any issues that may be experienced by the tenants about the property. There are several issues that may be experienced by tenants during the course of their lease, such as busted pipes, peeling paint, and other such maintenance problems. The manager is responsible for seeing that these issues are resolved quickly and effectively.

Is it better to do property management yourself or hire someone to manage the property for you?

It depends on where you are, since there are some states that have imposed regulations on who can work as property managers. In most states, only those who are licensed real estate brokers can work as property managers. Alternatively, those who aren't real estate brokers can work under these professionals in order to continue practicing.

Practicality-wise, it's better for those who already have experience in management of property to maintain the property and take care of all of the necessary tasks in managing it instead of someone who doesn't have that much knowledge in it. This is because someone who has already managed properties in the past will already know what possible issues or problems may be experienced by the tenants, and will thus be able to come up with remedies to fix these.

Property management can be very profitable, but this isn't necessarily the best career path for you. If you're interested in entering this industry, be sure to check what your options are and do some research about this so you can better prepare yourself for the work awaiting you.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Birthday Scrapbook

I ran across this cute idea for documenting each year of your child's life. I wish I had seen it sooner but am going to try to keep it up with Clyde and Camille as they get older. I use Picasa to edit my photos and they have an add text feature so I quickly typed right on the photo. Then I had it printed as an 8 x 10 at Walgreens and am now on the lookout for a book to store them in. It was super easy to create and fun to think of all the things that interest my 3 year old.
ClydeAge3ScrapbookPage

Significance of a Property Management Business



Property management is typically a cumbersome task that can not only eat away a major portion of your precious time, but can also burn a big hole in your pocket. By hiring a good Westminster (and surrounds) property management firm, you can protect yourself from all the intricate hassles that are associated with real- estate management. Additionally, you can also increase the value of your investment. Here are 7 more reasons to engage a reputed property management company.

  1. Do you have time to manage your property?
    To prolong the life of your acreage, you would have to regularly inspect it to find out the areas that need repair, and thereafter, you would have to initiate and supervise the rehabilitation work. If your property is closer to your residence, then, to an extent, regular visits can be managed. However, if you live far away, then you'll be tempted to keep your eyes closed due to shortage of time, and negligence can be a recipe for disaster. A good Westminster (and surrounds) property management firm can proficiently deal with all the upheavals without your assistance.

  2. Do you know how to cope up with tenant problems?
    No matter how tolerant you are, tenant problems can easily cause you unnecessary stress. Experienced property managers knows how to deal with irrational tenant activities such as:


    • Prepare the property for the next tenant

    • Find out what is the best rent rate for your estate

    • Market your property extensively


  3. Are you well-acquainted with the procedure of evicting and finding tenants?
    Tenant eviction is a complicated process, which should be handled delicately. If done incorrectly, you can find yourself in the centre of a ghastly legal muddle. A first-rate property management company has in-depth knowledge of rules and regulations pertaining to tenant eviction, and for this reason, it can carry out the process smoothly without any legal hassles. The process of finding new renters is equally complex. A superlative property management firm has the expertise to examine and evaluate thousands of applications within a short span of time. The flawless screening process helps in the selection of a tenant who would use your property appropriately and pay the rent on time.

  4. How much experience do you have with property renovation and rehabilitation?
    Prior to the arrival of the new renter, you have to ensure that all the broken items have been replaced, cracks and crevices have been repaired, and floors and walls are dirt-free. All these deeds are not only time-consuming, but also expensive. By engaging trustworthy property management firm, you can take the burden of house maintenance from your shoulders. The company has in-house maintenance staff who have extensive information about the latest building techniques and construction materials. In addition to this, the firm also has access to a network of independent contractors who readily provide top-class services at an affordable price.

  5. Are you willing to be available 24-hours a day and 7-days a week?
    With a dependable property management firm for your Westminster (or surrounds) property on your side, you can lead a stress- free life. The company will represent you 24-hours a day and 7 days a week. Apart from handling day-to-day work, it will also competently tackle emergencies that usually arise in the middle of the night.

  6. Do you have thorough understanding of property laws?
    As the owner of the estate, you are expected to abide by the property laws stringently. However, if you're not familiar with the law, you are bound to get trapped in one of the many loopholes. A property management company, on the one hand, can protect you from lawsuits, and on the other hand, it can ensure that all the rental and lease agreements are up-to- date.

  7. Do you have the capability to handle all the financial aspects of your property?
    From tax to insurance, a good property management company can handle all the financial aspects pertaining to your real estate dexterously.


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Sweet Camille loves to draw

Camille's preschool organized a spring program last week for 4 and 5 year olds. The group sang 10 songs and many of them had sign language or Spanish incorporated. It was impressive to hear and see all that they had learned. There was also an art show afterwards in the hallways of the school. Here is Camille with her family portrait. It goes without saying that we are very proud.
CamillePicture Read about her other artwork here, here and here.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Property Managers Can Make or Break Your Real Estate Business!



It is extremely important to find a good property manager. Even then you should keep track of everything that is being done with your property. Remember this is a business...your business. If you aren't careful, you'll see your investment become a liability.

Although what a property manager charges is important, even more important is what you get. On average we pay 8% a month on collected rents. You may find someone that will charge you only 5%, saving you money, and in return they may destroy your business. To date, we have not found a good property manager that only charges 5%. Saving money isn't as important as hiring the right property manager that will properly take care of your investment.

Your goal is to:
• Decrease expenses - utilities, repairs, etc.
• Avoid tenant turnover.
• Raise rents to keep up with current market rent rates.

Property managers are not your business partners. They work for you! They can make recommendations but that's it. Consult them as a resource but you must make the final decisions.

It's very important that you explain to them how you want things done. Then you must pay close attention to be sure they are doing what you've asked.

Every time a property manager says you need to repair something you should ask why. We were told once that the kitchen light was broken. Before sending the handyman to repair it, I asked them to first ask the tenant to check the light bulb. Believe it or not, simply changing the light bulb fixed the problem. You want your property managers to only send repair personal when absolutely necessary.

Anytime a repair is made on your property, be sure to get a copy of the invoice from the property manager. Look at the invoice to verify that your properties address is on it. If you have any questions about the repair, the contact information will be on the invoice allowing you to call the repairman. Unfortunately there are dishonest property managers. They will charge you for things don't exist so that they can make some extra money. Keep track of everything and verify it all.

The repair people can be your eyes. Be sure the property manager has them pay attention to how the property looks and report back.

You want tenants, but only good tenants. Be sure the management company is only bringing in qualified tenants that will pay the rent and take care of the property. Always approve the tenant yourself. Don't trust it to someone else. Have the property manager discuss the potential tenant with you. Talk about their credit score, if employment was verified, how much money the tenant makes, the back ground check, etc.

You will get bad tenants, it's part of the business, but you will lower the number of bad tenants that you get by doing proper due diligence on them before allowing them in your property.

Be Sure That Your Property Manager Is Strict! No excuses should be accepted as to why the tenant hasn't paid rent. The bottom line is they should pay rent or move out. Otherwise the property manger must evict them immediately.

We own a 4-plex in Arkansas. One tenant was late one month. Then two tenants were late. I was busy at the time so I let it go. Then three tenants were late. At this point, busy or not, I needed to call my property manager to see what was going on. She said, "well they're all having trouble paying the rent....but they called me to say they'd be late!" I told her I don't care if they call to say they're going to be late. If they are late you must start the eviction process. That sounds harsh but over the years we've learned we have to be. Tenants will take advantage of you if you let them. I told the property manager to send all four units a letter stating that if they were ever late they would be evicted. No excuses. The next month every unit paid on time and they have ever since.

Most tenants understand that the most important thing is to keep a roof over their heads. However, if you let them make another expense the priority, they will. They'll pay that expense first and hopefully pay you when they can if there is money left.

The other thing we've learned over the years is that by allowing the tenant's to pay the rent late each month you are actually hurting them. If you let them get behind and pay late one month, then usually it will be harder for them to pay on time the next month. What happens many times is they'll pay later and later each month and eventually get so far behind that they can't catch up. At that point you have no choice but to evict them, and in my opinion it's your fault because you set them up to fail. The rule of thumb is they must pay the rent on time, or at least by the 3-5 day grace period. If not, then your property manager needs to understand that they must start the eviction process. When tenants see that you are serious, they'll usually pay on time.

Be sure that your property managers understand that they are not ever to give the tenant your name or contact information. Make this very clear!

We like to always add fire extinguishers in each home or unit we own. Just be sure that you know how long the extinguishers should last and replace them as needed. There may be legal ramifications in your state when adding fire extinguishers so be sure to discuss this with an attorney that practices real estate law in the state the property is located. You should also run this buy your insurance carrier.

Most tenants will forget about changing the smoke detector batteries and replacing heating and AC filters so it's a good idea for you and the property manager to keep track and have them regularly changed. Whoever replaces everything should also inspect the property while they are there to verify that the tenants are taking good care of your property.

It can be very helpful for you to use a property manager to manage your properties, however, you must oversee them. Don't make the mistake of not paying attention to what is happening to your investment.

Copyright © 2010 / Michael Gier & MHVProperties.com

Monday, 21 May 2012

Spiderman Party

I can't believe it but Clyde turned 3 last Tuesday. We planned a Spiderman party in the park. Unfortunately, threat of severe thunderstorms forced a change of venue so we hosted at our house. Side note...it never rained but of course if we had moved forward at the park we would have had the hail the weatherman predicted.

I designed this invitation in Publisher and printed on card stock to mail to our guests. We decided to include family only because Clyde's best friends are his cousins, Sammy and Winters, so I didn't need too many invites and it was easy enough to print from our home computer.
ClydePartyINvite

I was planning on a picnic dinner at the park so I personalized a bag for every guest. We grilled hot dogs and the adult's bags contained a bottled water, hot dog bun, pasta salad, chips, fork and Spiderman napkin. The kid's bags contained a Spiderman Tummy Tickler, chips, fork, napkin and cut strawberries. Countertop
Bags

WaterBottle
I also created these labels in Publisher and printed at home. 
TummyTickler
PastaSalad
Napkins

Cupcake inspiration was found on Pinterest and I used a local baker to create. I think she did a great job!
SpidermanCupcakes
Inspiration Photo
CupcakeStand
CupcakeUpclose
ClydeCupcake
  I bought my shirt for $7 from Walmart in the boys section and ordered Clyde's on etsy.com. I made Camille's skirt from Spiderman fabric and added a polka dot ruffle for a girly touch.
ClydeMommy 

CamilleSkirt

Pinata are always a hit and ours was from Party City! ClydePinata

 
Candy

 Goodie bags included a Spiderman paint set, puzzles and candy from the Dollar Tree. I also made a personalized coloring page.
GoodieBags GoodBagsUpClose

ColoringPages
I found these cute spiderman masks at Joann Fabrics and we used as a coloring activity at the party.
VailCamilleMask
SpiderManMask

  The spider was a Halloween decoration that I pulled down from the attic. Spider

It was a fun party...still can't believe he is 3! 

The Benefits Of Property Management



Countless landlords elect to manage investment properties by themselves but occasionally landlords require more assistance, and that's where a property management business will make sense.

Management companies work directly with potential and existing tenants, helping you save time along with marketing and advertising your current rentals, collecting rent payments, dealing with routine maintenance and repair problems, answering the different renter issues, and in many cases seeking evictions. A property management service can help you stay away from the headaches of being the property manager and concentrate on experiencing and enjoying the rewards.

Why you need to retain the services of a management company?

A management firm will primarily be dealing with the maintenance of your investment property or home. Just about all properties need routine maintenance however if you have a paying tenant you are required to solve maintenance problems immediately. Normal property maintenance helps keep the value of your investment property up and in many instances keep your property safer. This can really help you save cash over time since it will increase the life of your investment property.

Based on the age of a home you will probably discover more problems. For this reason it is very important your property is carefully examined prior to tenants moving in. Any issues that are found will be fixed in hopes to reduce the amount of problems and complaints which will arise once the property or home has been leased out.

There are many types of property maintenance which will need to be examined and this maintenance vary from becoming major issues like roofing repairs to small jobs like interior painting, carpentry work along with yard projects.

When should you employ any management company?

*You do not live close to your rental property.

If the rental home is located far from where you live, working with a property management company may be important in working with the many challenges that you won't be able to manage from very far away.

*You just are not serious about hands-on management.

A number of property owners enjoy the challenge of locating good renters and the advantages of having a secure and desirable property or home on their own. However, if you look at rental property ownership purely being an investment and desire little or nothing regarding the day-to-day managing of the properties, think about employing assistance to manage your property.

*Your time and energy is limited.

Even though you appreciate hands-on management, you might not have enough time to be able to spend on your business, particularly if land-lording is not your day job.

Getting a property management company is definitely an appealing option if you're able to afford the service fees. Many companies charges you a percentage of the rent or lease, while various other property management companies charges you a flat rate fee.

Should you decide to retain the services of a property management firm, be careful in choosing one and ask questions to evaluate the services provided.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Queries About Property Management



The decision of allowing a third party to manage your property is not always a simple decision to make. It can be quite difficult if you are a first time investor. However there are certain benefits that come with hiring the services of a property management company. Managing your property personally can make your entire life very miserable. But hiring someone to do it for you leaves you with a lot of free time and you can use the free time to close more deals. Before hiring any property company, you should ask yourself a few things and they include the following;

Cost of the services. The cost charged will vary from one state to another. Some of the management Fort Worth companies will charge as low as 4% of the gross rent while others will charge as much as 12 %. Hence you should understand the cost before hiring a property management company. If the cost is not ideal for you and your property, then drop that company and look for another.

Properties by the company. You should ensure that the company manages rental apartments that are like jut the ones you have. You can do a thorough research on the type of properties they have managed and this will help you know the credibility of the company. If you are not sure of the management company, Google it and check out their profile. After all if you are to entrust someone with your property, then you might want to know more about that person or that company.

Method of fee collection. You should know when the fees are to be collected. This will allow you to prepare on time. You should also ask the property management Fort Worth managers whether the fees will be deducted directly from your bank account or not. Some of the companies collect their fees quarterly while others collect annually. Hence you should be aware of the fee collection methods.

Advertising methods. Advertising methods used by the property managers should be effective. Therefore you should go for the property management company that has effective advertising methods. This will make your property to attract the best buyers.

General efficiency. The property management should be efficient in all ways. When a client vacates the premises, it should take a very short time for the apartment to be cleaned and rented out again.

Hiring the services of a management Fort Worth company will help you increase your overall profits. This can be as a result of reduced cost of managing the property. When you hire the services of the property management Fort Worth companies, you will have a lot of free time and you can use this free time to close more deals that will get you more property. You can even relocate to another country and let the property management experts run all the errands for you. If you are incurring a lot of costs while managing your property, then you might want to consider hiring the services of a property management.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Tips For Ensuring Quality Investment Property Management



You will have heard educators say that 'property investing' should be treated as a business and that is so true. There is one aspect of owning investment properties that needs special attention and that is the area of property management. After all the looking after a property is the process of looking after your growing wealth.

I have heard investors say, "the property was a in a real state, it was unkempt, there was damage to walls and the gardens had not been looked after at all...."

The point is that a property investor needs to ensure that even if they have contracted a property manager that they are getting reports from their property manager and are aware of what is happening at the property at all times. It would be nice to think that you could contract a property management team and sit back and relax, but the reality is not quite so real.

What I mean by that is that the investor needs to make sure that they are kept informed at all times about the state of the property and if an absentee owner, then digital photos should be sent with every inspection.

Where I live property inspections are carried out every 3 months, but that will depend on the management laws where your property is located.

As a property investor ensure that you are getting up-to-date and detailed reports on the property and on the finances of the property on a regular basis. You don't want to hear 6 months later that you have a problem.

Appointing a Property Manager

Before appointing a property manager make enquiries in the area and find out the services that are being offered, at what cost they are being offered and also get some feedback from local sources if at all possible.

When signing your property management over to a company, make sure that the property management forms are filled out and signed by both parties. Make sure that you clearly list your requirements regarding the let, such as costs to be paid by the tenant, whether they can have pets and other requirements you may consider important.

Maintenance and repairs

Properties should be kept in a habitable condition at all times. Not only will your tenants appreciate a well maintained property, but when 'repairs' are left to become 'replacements' then the whole exercise can become very expensive.

It is a well known fact that, in most cases, if tenants are given respect by the landlord they will reciprocate and give respect to the landlord and the property.

Self-managed properties

Some property investors prefer to manage their properties but this can be a problematic area if laws and regulations are not adhered to. If you choose to self-manage your properties then ensure that you know the rules and regulations so that you do not end up in the court unnecessarily.

Understand which forms need to be filled out and signed, and the times that certain forms need to be handed out if required due to the particular circumstances, such as late rent or property damage.

As mentioned earlier, make sure that all responsibility is taken with caring for and managing your investment properties. Good property management helps grow your wealth and when a property is in good order you will have a better chance of borrowing against the equity to continue building an investment property portfolio.




At Property Investment Know How you will discover a lot more information on how, when and why to invest in property, the different strategies to use and how to deal with the many different situations that arise. Kaye Dennan is an experienced property investor and an ex real estate office principal so can guide you with views from both sides of the property investment view point. Visit http://propertyinvestmentknowhow.com

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Commercial and Retail Property Managers - How to Tell If the Landlord Hates You - Part 2



Knowledge and detail

Some property managers really do not have the attention to detail and extensive knowledge that commercial and retail property management requires. This is a common problem in the industry where property managers have been sourced from residential property management with little or no training for the new commercial and retail properties they are being asked to manage.

If they do not have the required knowledge for the tasks that they undertake, they then should be trained (and fast). There is a major difference between working on residential property and then moving the same person to take over and manage commercial or retail property.

Losing the landlords trust

When the landlord is getting to the point of not returning your calls and not taking your recommendations, you have in effect lost their trust. They may tolerate your poor management style for the immediate future but it is quite likely they will move property managers soon.

The situation can be reversed, and it will take effort and focus to do so. Understanding the landlord is part of the process to fix the problem.

So what is property management all about?

Successful property management is not just a matter of controlling tenants and cash flow; it is mainly about strategy and forward looking control processes that improve the landlord's property for the longer term. The landlord's targets should be respected and pursued.

To achieve this goal, know what you are doing and have reasonable knowledge about the industry, the tenants, and the property type. Local knowledge is essential here.

These are some of the critical factors that every property manager should totally understand and control as part of the services they provide to the landlord:


    • Lease implementation and administration for the tenancies throughout the property is foundational to services you have provided. This will include the types and levels of rental that achieve the returns that the landlord requires. Add to this the methods of leasing in the current market, the lease incentives, and the terms and conditions of a competitive market lease package.





    • The vacant tenancy marketing should occur to all local businesses so that any vacancy downtime is minimised. If any lease expiry is identified early, the vacancy downtime can be minimised.





    • The income optimisation of the property asset is achieved through your efficient management of rent reviews, lease negotiations, rental adjustments, and the timely processing of all rental matters.





    • Maintenance processes are to be controlled and budgeted; this is associated with good property performance including the obligations that stem from essential safety measures, risk management, environmental, and heritage. This includes the management of maintenance contracts and tendering where appropriate to achieve cost efficiencies with all your selected contractors in balance with correct levels of maintenance needed in the property.





    • Lifecycle management is a special skill. It includes the impact of property maintenance on the current occupants, machinery maintenance including the older plant and machinery, refurbishment and renovation strategies to maintain the physical appearance of the property, and the optimisation of rental given the quality of the property presentation.





    • Monitoring of the comparable properties in the local area will have to occur. This is so they have minimal impact and disruption on your tenancy mix, leasing strategies, and income stability.





    • Management of not just the leases, but of the tenancy mix should occur in balance with the property business plan. This is so any relationships between the tenants can be shaped to improve the performance of the property. This is highly relative to retail tenants and shopping centres. The surrounding demographics of the community and businesses will need to be considered here as part of the process.





    • Communication with the tenants in a comprehensive and detailed way will improve both the property performance and the property income. Good tenant communication allows you to minimise any difficulties of occupancy and potential future vacancies.





    • A sound and detailed knowledge of legislation, rules, and all regulations that impact the property from an occupancy perspective is required of the property manager. Compliance with all of these factors will keep the property functional as an investment.





    • Detailed reporting to the landlord should occur so they are kept appraised of all property strategies and events. This will include all budgets, forecasts, tenancy mix, and lease strategies.




  • As a property manager you should be comfortable with technology and the concepts that involve technology in building operations and performance.


These are some of the major factors involved in professional commercial and retail property management. Failure to provide these services will jeopardise the relationships that you have as a property manager with the landlord that you represent.

You could say that the person to provide these services will need to be intelligent, articulate, confident, knowledgeable, and accurate in their job role; you would be correct. Good commercial and retail property managers are special people.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Systematize Property Management With Online Property Management Software



Online property management software makes the job of property management much easier which otherwise is a Herculean task. Online property management is used to perform all the tasks from finding tenants to collecting debts. Its provides additional features which makes it a necessity in the real estate management business. Choosing best property system from different developers is a tough task requiring good decision-making.

Must look for the following characteristics in the online property management software:

Flexibility
Property administration tool must be flexible enough to meet all the present requirements of property owner. In case of change in requirements in future property management software must be capable of meeting them easily.

Ease of use
Managers are not professional software developers and users hence the user interface provided for the property management system must be easy to use. Software must be easy to use and should have good response time.

Platform Independence
Real Estate management software must be platform independent so that it can be used from any machine irrespective of operating system used.

Security
The most desired characteristic in real estate software is security. Software must have access authorization in order to avoid information leak. Tenants software must be capable of supporting online money transaction.

Best prices
Property administration software must be available in best prices. Tools are available in free trial version. You can download paid version after successful experience with trial version.

Fundamentals of Online Property Management System

You can do all the tasks using online real estate software. You can post advertisements of vacant rental properties on the website. You can accept applications online and can screen tenants online. You can manage all the rental property units simultaneously without mixing details of two property units.

You can collect rent online on the specified payment dates. You can process all the repairing requirements from tenants. You can generate reports of individual property units in order to find their financial worth at any point of time. You can seek help from third parties in case of discrepancies with tenants.

Choosing the Best Online Property Management Software

If you have decided to purchase property management software then you must do some research before purchasing a software. First of all identify all your requirements and note them down. Second, find out different assets management software tools available using the internet. Third, match all your requirements against features provided by them. Fourth, go through the testimonials or user reviews of the software that satisfies most of your requirements. Fifth, download or sign-up for the trial version if available. Sixth, use software support for customization. Sixth, if satisfied go for the paid version of the online property management software.

Advantages

Online property management system stores and manages the data online hence requires no disk space on your desktop machine. It reduces the use of paper and helps in going green. It should be cloud based. you can access by your cell phone also. It performs certain tasks automatically such as payment and due date reminder, rent calculation, online rent collection, pay rent online, debt management, and other financial management activities.




Online property management software helps in finding the current financial status of all the property units and the business by generating customized reports. You can generate reports for both staff and clients.

Rentpost's cloud based real estate management tool assures you the accuracy and being secure it disallows the chances of information leakage. By automating tasks it save you time which can be utilized in performing other tasks. By saving time it saves you money and lets you live as trees free life. You can collect rent onlineon the specified payment dates.

Monday, 14 May 2012

What Does a Commercial Property Management Company Do? (Part 1)



Have you ever wondered what a commercial property management company does? Or better yet, what they should be doing?

If you're asking either question and reading this article, then it's safe to say you probably own commercial real estate or are considering purchasing commercial investment property. The answer to this question is simple, "Whatever you want them to do". Ok, it's not that simple. Practically speaking, the range of service varies quite a bit from company to company, depending on who you speak with. However, there are some basics that are essential and necessary regardless of your reason for needing or wanting professional property management. In this article you will find the answers to what you should expect from a commercial property management company.

The basics:

Accounting Services

Reporting- Monthly accounting reports that include, a balance sheet, income & expense statement, general ledger, rent-roll, rent ledger, expense ledger and a copy of the bank statement are the basics. There are various other reports you may want or need depending on the property and ownership type. For instance, with a self-storage property you will want in addition to the above, a copy of the audit and daily deposit report.

Narrative Report- This is a narrative monthly summary of exceptions in the budget, income and expenses or any unusual activity on your property, this report should be prepared by the property manager responsible for your property.

Collections (AR - Accounts Receivable) - Collecting rents and other monies owed. This function is generally considered an accounting function, until the point there is a problem (which is quite frequent these days). You will want a company that has a clearly defined process and system of responsibilities when it comes to collections, ask them, Who? - who will do what in the collection process. What? - what will be done. When? - when will it be done.

Payments (AP - Accounts Payable)- Now that they have collected your money, you will want them to pay the bills. Again, you will want them to clearly define, Who, What and When this will occur. You may want to define for the accounting staff the details on payment of your expenses, including when and how much to disburse to you, as well as other details such as reserves for taxes, insurance or capital improvements.

Lease Processing - This task is generally a group effort, with a defined patterned or specific routing to a number of people within the company, including the accounts receivable department and property manager. Each has a specific function and items they are looking for. However, one person generally inputs the lease into the computer. This part of the process is extremely important, as a missed date or dollar amount could result in serious repercussions down the road. Detail and a process that includes multiple layers of people checking the input process is Key.

Management Services

The Property Manager - This person is "One" of the focal points by which you make your decision on whether you hire a company or not. The property manager is the person that will make the critical day-to-day decisions that go into operating a property. Their responsibilities include - relationships with your Tenants and Vendors, physical condition of your property, oversight of the collection process, payment of bills, budgeting, lease administration, monthly reporting, generally all aspects of the operation of your commercial real estate. Most importantly they will be your contact and source of information about your real estate investment. Make sure you feel completely comfortable with this person and their abilities.

Site Visits - site visits are a critical part of any property management contract, minimally you want your property manager on your site once per month, weekly is preferred. Many things happen during the course of a week on a commercial property. The frequency of the managers' visits will depend on the type of property they are overseeing. The purpose of the property managers' visit will vary from property to property as well, however, here are a few tasks your manager should attend to while on your property:

  • Checking Vendor performance

  • Checking for Maintenance / Health and Safety issues

  • Be seen and talk with Tenants (this topic needs more discussion than is possible in this article)


Well, those are the basics of What a Commercial Property Management Company Does - remember you have a choices and your choice on the company that manages your commercial asset has a profound impact on the success of your commercial real estate investment.

Life

Life has been busy. We have been eating dinner but I haven't had a moment to sit down and type up the menu planner. I will get back in the swing of things soon. Here are some cute and funny moments from our past couple weeks....

CamilleClydePrincess
Princess Camille & Clyde...yes that is a toy gun in Clyde's hand.
Clyde Princess Watering Can
Okay...still all boy even in gown and princess shoes.
AlysonCamilleClyde
Mother's Day Lunch at the Boathouse at Rocketts Landing
Have to run...Camille just informed me that Clyde pooped on the floor. That is really what I have been up to the past few weeks. I would not say we have potty training mastered quite yet.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Should You Hire a Property Manager Or Not?



Using a property manager has both pros and cons. There are no hard and fast rules regarding whether you should hire one or not. You have to evaluate the answer based on your own situation. The following are some considerations to take into account before you jump to a conclusion.

Time Commitment

A lot of real estate investors have a full time job so they do not have enough time or energy to manage properties. Especially if the house is situated remotely, many investors might feel they cannot manage on their own or do not want to travel. If fact, you can manage on your own.

Cost Benefit

If you have several properties or an apartment complex in one area, using a property manager to manage all the property may be economic. The manager will be able to combine expenses and costs. For example, they can purchase maintenance materials in bulk for all the rental units. If you don't have several rental units in one area, but together with your friends' or families' rental units you do. Then you can afford to hire a professional dedicated property manager.

The Nature of the Rental Market Where your Property is Located

If your rental property is located in an area where renters mostly check out the rentals through the local property management companies, then you have no other choice but to hire the company. This may happen in small towns where there is only a handful of management companies.

Tenant's Characteristics

Some tenants are not easy to deal with. You may find some tenants that are constantly paying late, asking for a lot of unnecessary repairs, complaining about everything, or having difficulty keeping up the premises. A property manager may handle the situation better than you as you might be emotionally attached to your property and less likely to handle many issues impartially. What's more, the tenant might try to take advantage of you. They may take it more seriously if they are dealing with a professional property management company instead of an individual.

Does your Property Need Frequent Repairs or Maintenance?

If your property needs frequent repairs due to its age or other reasons, having a property manager may help you if repairs are a burden. Usually the property management company either has its own in-house repair service or contracts with outside vendors. In any case, you should ask about it before hiring them and understand how much they charge.

What Kind of Service do you need from a Property Manager?

Do you need a full service property management, which includes placing tenants and ongoing management service? If the condition of your property is good or new and not much repair is anticipated, you may save your money on the ongoing management service part. If you already have a tenant but you are moving out of that area you can use a local property manager to collect the rent and do the maintenance work.

Lack of Interest in Managing

Some rental property owners just do not want to get involved in managing the property at all. They rather have someone look after their rental properties so they can enjoy their life doing other things. That is absolutely ok. Enjoying life is also very important.

The purpose of hiring a property manager is to free up your time and make your rental investment successful. Nevertheless, hiring a poor one is worse than hiring no one. You can end up spending more time and money to rescue your property.

If you hire one, keep in mind it does not mean you have to be a completely hand-offs owner. You should keep in regular communication with your property manager so he understands you do not treat your real estate business lightly. How to hire a good property manager belongs to another blog we will write about.




RealInvestorTips.com specializes in investment property mortgage loan modification (Chase / Wanu, Wells Fargo / Wachovia, Citi, Bank of America / Countrywide, American Home Mortgage, and more), short sale for investors and rental management. The website also provides extensive resources on various owner financing tools like Lease To Own / Lease Purchase Option, Land Contracts / Real Estate Contract, and latest real estate trends.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Summer Must Have's/Obsessions


Summer is basically right around the corner (June 20th to be exact!) so I figured it would be a good time to let yall in on my favorite Summer items :)

My faves ... In no particular order ....

Neutral Lip Gloss... 
MAC Pretty Plush 

Obsessed with this stuff, can't live without it! It's kind of a plumper so has a little tingle, be prepared ;)

Summer Pink Nails... 


Essie "Muchi, Muchi" and then the Sparkle is Essie "A Cute Above" 




A Cute Dress & Cowboy Boots :) 


One of my favorite Summer outfits ... so comfy, cute and easy! 

Non-Greasy, Smells Yummy, SPF ... 

This is my absolute favorite, you won't use any other SPF after you use this one! Smells so good and isn't all greasy and nasty feeling. Plus it kind of has a shimmer which is a plus :) 


A Good Summer Playlist for the Pool/Beach ...


This is my current playlist on my phone which constantly is on repeat (With the exception of Andy Grammer, that song drives me insane but it's Ava's favorite so I tolerate it lol, and yes that is Justin Bieber and yes that is for me and not the kids ha!) :) 

A Baby Pool in Your Backyard ...


No explanation needed ... Frankie and I love to lay out in the baby pool when we're too lazy to go to the real pool, lol :) 

Speaking of Frankie ... 

Summer Polo's for your Furbaby ...



Yes, Frankie has almost every color Polo shirt that he wears to cookouts, parties, etc in the Summer
Don't Judge Me. ;) He looks so handsome in them.

OK, these are major ... brace yourself... 

Monogrammed "Havaianas" Flip Flops from Swagstamp ... Order them NOW! 


Are those the absolute cutest thing you've ever seen in your life? I'm pretty sure they are!

Go to www.swagstamp.com .. they have different colors, and the "Swag Stamps" you can order different ones of and switch them out :) You're welcome, they're amazing ha. 

I was so excited when mine came in the mail this week ... 


Love them! Obsessed! I want every color :( 

Arm Candy...


I can never have too many bracelets on ... especially in the Summer w/ a tan and a cute tank top or dress :)
Cross Bracelet can be found at http://www.styleloveliving.com/studded-crystal-cross-wrap

Pink Grapefruit Margarita ...


1 cup ruby red grapefruit juice
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 4 limes)
1 cup triple sec orange liqueur
3 cups ice
1 cup silver tequila
1 lime cute in wedges, optional Kosher salt around rim 

Looks pretty and tastes yummy :) 

That sums up my Summer favorites at the moment :) Hope you enjoyed! Now just for fun two things that made me laugh outloud today when I read them ... 


hahaha funny thing is I say all of those lol 

And everyone needs a good dumb blonde joke every now and then ... so here ya go! 


LOL :) 
Hope you're having a great weekend!! 

post signature