Tenant Screening:An Absolute Must

With property prices dropping to new lows, many more people are beginning to invest in real estate. Novice investors firmly believe that the key to success in real estate investment is to strike a ‘great deal’ after which the money will roll in. Many property managers are plagued by first-time investors who just want their property tenanted as soon as possible because the rent money is needed to meet the mortgage. But as any seasoned property manager will confirm this is not quite how it works, and being in a hurry to tenant a property often results in bad decisions which return to haunt the owner.

Who is this person?

To minimize the risk of making a bad tenant selection, tenant screening is an absolute must. It is only through tenant screening that a clear picture of the tenant’s background will emerge. You’ll be able to learn his/her rental history, credit report, employment record, and whether the prospective applicant has a criminal record. Based on this information, you as the owner or property manager can make an informed decision as to whether the tenant will be a proper fit for the property. This is something which shouldn’t be taken lightly because making a bad decision and signing a lease agreement with a bad prospect could well have avoidable and serious consequences.

Going No Where Fast

To cite an example, if an applicant has a track record of not paying bills on time then chances are that he will have the same attitude toward his rental obligations. A renter of this nature could easily turn a profitable real estate investment into a millstone within months.

Then there are tenants who neglect their rental homes resulting in big repair bills. A situation like this can be avoided with a quick call to their earlier landlords.

But a seasoned property manager will tell you that today’s tenant screening process is far more complex than ever before.

Talley Properties of Charlotte NC, which has been in the property management business for the last three decades, has developed a scoring system or its own to decide if an applicant comes up to the standard they set for occupying a property they manage. When the applicant provides details of all information required, points are awarded under the various heads, and based on the total the prospective tenant is advised whether or not he or she is acceptable.

Designing a Scoring System

A well-thought scoring system ensures consistency of tenant screening. This also protects the property manager from any Fair Housing claims a denied applicant could bring. Since the current economic situation is not improving and the specter of another recession looming and with high unemployment rates, you have to protect yourself because you do not want to have a lot of people living in your property who cannot or refuse to find work. This is another significant factor to bear in mind.

In the final analysis, an investor or owner should not allow the pressures of a mortgage payment cloud their judgment. As always, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Keep Your Hands Clean and Look to Talley

Talley Properties is the preferred choice of a property management company for many homeowners and investors with rental properties in and around the Charlotte region. It has achieved this status through experience, being ultra-careful, and developing a sixth sense for making the right choice.

Issues Arising Out of Property Management

There’s more to property management than finding and screening good tenants, maintaining “curb appeal”, and rent collection. Property management can at times be an exercise in frustration with a whole lot of issues arise which have to be attended to immediately by the property manager. Take for example an apartment complex housing multiple tenants. You are rarely without a problem of one kind or another which range from minor to major, but all these need instant attention.

Handing Over the Reigns

Because of all these niggling problems which never go away, an investor or homeowner soon realize that it is in their best interest to entrust the management of their rental property to a professional property manager and use their time more effectively.

Apart from routine issues like screening probable tenants, looking to the maintenance of the property, collecting rents, and supervising eviction procedures, a property manager has to submit periodic reports to the investor or homeowner and deal with a variety of other issues including tenant requests and problems.

Peace of mind for a landlord comes with the assurance that their rental home or condo is in the capable hands of a conscientious and competent property manager who has on call a list of reliable contractors to deal with routine problems such as blocked drains and toilets, leaking faucets and pipes, and slow draining showers and bathtubs.

Common Courtesy; The Basics

It up to the manager to recruit a reliable contractor whose rates are reasonable to paint and rehab an apartment unit when a tenant moves out and before the new tenant moves in.

Another issue that property managers routinely have to deal with is property damage. In the case of interior damages where the tenant is clearly responsible the repair cost can and is to be deducted from the security deposit paid at time of signing the lease agreement provided this falls within the laws which cover issues of security deposit. But this invariably becomes a contentious and sometimes unpleasant issue.

A Personal Upgrade

The manager has to protect the property from damage in other situations, like for example if the tenant wants to install a satellite dish which is permitted in the lease agreement. The property manager must be present during the installation to ensure that no damage takes place. Where satellite dishes are concerned, roof installations are generally discouraged or disallowed because of the possibility of damage which results in expensive repairs. Generally such installations are confined to the sides of a building exclusively.

A Management Company that Knows its Role

Talley Properties is a well-established property management company that operates out of Charlotte NC and manages properties as far afield as the neighboring counties. This company has established a list of reliable contractors across its areas of operation through which it is able to respond and attend to problems before they become serious issues. Talley Properties which manages high-end to mid-range commercial and residential properties provides the full range of property management services. However, it is flexible and customizes its services according to the needs of the property owner.

Is rental property management the way to go?

As a greater number of investors are beginning to appreciate the advantages of putting their money into rental property, more and more landlords are beginning to realize just how much time and effort it takes. Prospective tenants have to be screened, the property has to be maintained, an eviction has to be handled or a property cleaned after a tenant leaves.

Wide Degrees of Latitude

As a consequence many landlords resort to hiring property management companies to look to the day-to-day running of their. Some landlords have a pleasant working experience with the companies they hire, while others have horror stories to narrate, which underscores the need to properly screen a property management company before hiring.

Some rental property owners firmly believe that they can manage their properties themselves, often remotely. This is sort of how America tried to manage the Korean War which did not work until the generals and military brass actually went to Korea, changed management, and found out what was really happening. Moreover, if you are the one that would prefer to hire a property management company then you should know what it is they will and won’t do as part of their function.

Key Factors

When you hire a property manager or company, you could expect the following:

Vacancies to be advertised

Tenants screened and placed

Security deposits, rents, and late payment fees collected

Standard upkeep taken care of such as lawn and pool maintenance and trash collection

Common repairs like backed-up toilets and the like attended to

Units cleaned and prepared for rental when a tenant moves out

Leases renewed

Complaints from tenants about deficient facilities handled promptly

Complaints about tenants from neighbors (unsupervised children, noise etc.) handled swiftly and tactfully

Evictions and related paperwork done when required

Cash flow statement of income and expenditure prepared

Short term and long term budgets prepared and submitted

General reports at periodic intervals

Some managers might even make the mortgage payments

Micromanaging is normally Counter-Productive

When you hire a property manager you can ask him to use a superb and professional electrician or plumber whom you can recommend but you cannot insist on that. The same applies to the lease and the screening process. Most well-established property management companies will have their own established service providers, tradesmen, and standardized processes in place which they would prefer to use.

One thing you cannot ask of a property management company, and which no management company will agree to, is to assume your liability. As the landlord you are finally responsible for your property and whatever happens on it. Most property management companies will decline to manage a rental property which is not insured properly. The company might insist on a contract which releases it from responsibility for almost everything short of deliberate misconduct. The company might even ask the property owner to add the company on the liability coverage he buys.

A Company that has Earned its Stripes

Talley Properties is arguably the oldest property management company which manages rental properties in the Charlotte region of NC. It has been providing exceptional property management services for over three decades which has enabled it to now cover a wider geographic area. Talley Properties’ specialty is high end to mid-range rental properties both commercial and residential. It is flexible in its approach to the kind of services it provides but will not compromise on standards. For more details about the company and the quality of properties it manages, click on <http://talleyproperties.com/>.

What maintenance services does Talley Properties provide for rental properties?

Investors and landlords owning properties in and around the Charlotte region of NC often want to know what maintenance services does a property management company provide, before signing a management contract.

Responsibilities Defined

Here is broad perspective of some of the maintenance chores covered by Talley Properties when they take charge of a rental property.

Emergency Maintenance
24x7 emergency maintenance services are provided for which repairs are conducted on a materials and time basis.

Lawns
Existing lawns are fertilized and seeded annually
Lawns mowed weekly and edges trimmed
Fallen branches and trash collected
Lawns sprinkled within the framework of local restrictions
Dead trees cut and overhanging branches trimmed annually

Walkways and Paths
Existing walkways graveled and delineated once a year
Rock borders along parking lots and walkways realigned

Decks and Porches
Trash and debris will be cleaned off public decks on a weekly basis. Decks will be vacuumed if there are outlets provided or else they will be blown.
All burned out lights will be replaced.
Exterior fire extinguishers will be recharged.

Timers of security lights will be reset.

Roofs
Roofs will be cleaned and repaired by hiring the services of a professional roofing contractor.

Heating and Water Systems
Thermostats will be checked and reset. The operation of the heating system will also be inspected. This will be done as often as the weather demands.
Heat and water pumps will be lubed quarterly.
Airlocks will be bled from the heating system and pilot lights relit if extinguished.

A bi-weekly log will be maintained on boiler pressures and temperatures. Furnaces will be reset for correct temperature and pressure.
Will liaise with State Boiler Inspector for annual boiler inspection and license.
The boiler room will be swept and cleaned as needed.
System will be checked and attended to in any emergency.

Chimney Cleaning
Will contract with chimney cleaner for excess soot removal in homes with chimneys. Tis will be done every three years.

Security

Security check will be performed twice-monthly. This will include checking doorknobs and the locking mechanism and switching on security lights when the property appears to be unoccupied.

Will liaise with local sheriff or law officials to prevent disturbance and report disturbances.

Building Inspection

This will be conducted semi-annually and a detailed report provided to the owner with recommendations and estimates.

Miscellaneous
Replacement of lights in crawl space and furnace room.

The replacement of electric plug outlets which are burnt out in parking areas.

Unplugging disposals and toilets and re-hanging doors of sliding closets.

Obtaining bids when required for replacement boilers, exterior painting, deck flooring, and so forth.

Experience and Tact

Talley Properties provides a professional service for which it is accountable to both renters and homeowners. This is what has made Talley Properties the leading property management company in the Charlotte region and in surrounding counties. The company manages commercial and residential rental homes and condos in the mid to high range region which it has been doing for three decades now.

How does a property management company work?

The economic recession of the preceding few years appears to have ended but not by much and it could easily return to America in 2013. If you look at the unemployment and debt figures of America, this country could be in a depression. There are a few states doing well though such as Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Time to Buy Still

But the housing market is showing signs of sustained recovery, albeit at a very slow pace. Foreclosures continue, though at a lesser pace. The housing market debacle however has thrown up the dark underbelly of housing financing exposing lax procedures and indiscriminate financing without proper screening or scrutiny of documents. Nonetheless investor confidence has returned with more homes and houses being sold, and the building industry is slightly upbeat.

But the recent debacle has had a different dimension. Many people are returning to the housing market for investment with renewed confidence. This has resulted in a plethora of investors who now as landlords, find themselves in crying need of property management services.

Painting a Picture

A property management company is the ideal solution for investors making their first foray into housing investment, as well as seasoned investors with several properties that need managing. Most first-time investors haven’t the faintest notion about how to manage a property and what it involves. Veteran investors on the other hand know how difficult property management can be and what it takes and prefer to hire this out. They are aware that a well-established property management company has all the resources in place not merely to manage the property better but also to keep the property well maintained with optimum occupancy. Many agreements with property management companies link their fee to the annual rent collected. So it’s in the best interest of the company to ensure that the property has the maximum occupancy rate.

So how does a property management company work?

A property management company is the liaison between the tenant and the landlord. In fact, the company is the representative of the landlord and much of what the management company does binds the landlord. This management company – tenant relationship holds good even for commercial rental properties like housing developments, warehouses, strip malls, condominiums, and independent houses.

A property management company has a variety of duties and obligations, both to the landlord and the tenant. Some of these are:

Advertising a vacant property and showing it to prospective tenants

Collecting the rent when due and remitting it to the landlord

Responding to tenant issues of any sort and handling them effectively

Screening tenants before entering into lease agreements

Ensuring that the property is well maintained and that all appliances are in good working order

Ensuring that tenants maintain the property as is expected of them

Tactfully handling behavioral issues by tenants

Evicting a tenant should the need arise

Maintaining proper books of accounts on behalf of the landlord and keeping the landlord updated with periodic reports

Preparing a short-term and long-term budget to ensure that the property retains its rental value

Complying with all federal, state, and local statutory regulations

Requirements

In most states, property management companies are required to hold a real estate broker’s license to advertise property and to collect rent.

Ahead of the Pack

Talley Properties is one of the leading and oldest property management companies in the Charlotte region of NC. Because of the efficient and responsible way it operates it has expanded and manages rental properties in many of the surrounding counties as well. If you need a top-of-the-line property management company in the area, call Talley Properties at 704.332.2206 or visit http://talleyproperties.com.

The Marketing and Financial Functions of Property Management

The Marketing and Financial Functions of Property Management

Operations Budgeting

One of the prime responsibilities of a property management company is to prepare a detailed budget for the successful operation of the property on a daily basis. This encompasses a study of all functional areas of the property for which required funds have to be assigned for optimal performance. The incoming revenue from rent has to be estimated and a realistic estimate of costs prepared for three other principle functional areas of operation. These include cost of tenant services as well as cost of maintenance and repairs, and administrative expenses.

Capital Expenditure Budgeting

If a property is allowed to deteriorate and become dated its rental value will decrease which in turn results in a compromised return on investment since the property becomes older. To counter-act deterioration, a long-term budget has to be developed. This has to cover the replacement of appliances, remodeling, and renovation to help maintain the property in pristine condition, and to enable it to command a high rental at least on par with equivalent newer properties. Capital expenses are not generally incurred in the years during which the expenditure is budgeted. Your accountant generally allows for depreciation which is provided for over the estimated useful life of the property. A depreciation account, which is set up for financing improvements and upgrading, carries tax advantages.

Budgeting for Advertising and Marketing

Though new tenants can be found and obtained through word of mouth, a more effective procedure is to develop an aggressive marketing plan which will need its own advertising budget. When you advertise a property, consistency is the key. A company should establish itself with periodic ads at regular intervals in the media which is known to be a source of information which prospective tenants subscribe to. Such media will also have established itself as a prime spring or well from which to generate tenants. It is also prudent to budget for enhanced marketing during a lean period of vacancy. A fabulous marketing strategy is to advertise and announce improvements, renovations, and remodels. And nothing is better than this than Facebook.

Putting the Act Together

A property management company is the representative of the owner and works with the owner toward a common objective, which is, to optimize rental income which by extension improves the return on investment. A primary strategy to achieve this objective is through preparation of a comprehensive budget.

The property management company must have complete knowledge of comparative properties in the neighborhood, what their features are, and the rental rate they are able to command. When preparing a budget the property management company must be realistic and dispassionate. All heads of expenditure must be catered for which include expenses for administration, repairs, and maintenance. All budgeting should revolve around maximizing rental prices.

A Sterling Company

Talley Properties Inc., is an old-established property management company which operates in the realm ofresidential and commercial properties in the Charlotte region of NC and its surrounding environs. Talley Properties has decades of experience in preparing budgets for optimizing rental values of properties and maintaining them in peak condition. If you are looking out for a property management company in the Charlotte region with a proven track record, then click on http://talleyproperties.com/.

Successful Advertising for Rental Properties

One of the reasons why a landlord or investor hires a property manager is because a property management company has better contacts in the business, and is better placed to ensure that the rental property lies vacant for the least amount of time. A property management company relies on effective advertising in the right places to help fill vacant rental properties as soon as possible. A vacant rental property is a disaster which can quickly become a financial drain. It can also place the owner in a tight spot if he/she is relying on property rent for mortgage payments.

Focusing on Your Target Market

Advertising is one of the best ways to let prospective tenants know that your property is available for renting. But to make it effective you need to develop a clear advertising strategy. This will become your road map about when, how, and where to advertise to reap the best return on the money you spend on advertising and to ensure that you have struck your target market.

Marketing Strategies

Here are some thoughts when formulating your advertising policy:

Location counts. Your property location will determine where you should advertise. If the property is in the vicinity of a business district, your ads should be placed in local business publications to the business section of the local newspaper (of course you should have a winning website that contains SEO friendly content on it as well). Location could be your biggest selling feature.

What is the unique selling point or USP of your property? Check out the defining features of your property like a splendid view, the latest appliances or its own pool, and highlight these in your ad. What is the feature that your property has which is likely to make it appeal to the largest spectrum of potential tenants. If there are no clear defining features then look to the quietness of the neighborhood, proximity to schools, hospitals and shopping, or ease of access to public transportation.

Is your rental rate competitive? A winning strategy and to undercut the competition is to offer market-prices that are below rental. This is a sure-fire way to fill your vacant properties. Check out what is the going rate in your vicinity and how much you can discount your rental rate and still make a reasonable profit margin.

What sort of lease dohave you in mind? If the standard lease format where your property is located is for one year or more, you could offer an advantage with month-to-month leases. This will attract many renters who are averse to long-term leases for rental homes or condos. But before you make this decision you should know this strategy could also prove troublesome because you have to expect a higher turnover in tenants which means additional screening and lease agreements. You may alternatively consider other options like allowing pets in a non-pet area or permitting a tenant to sublet.

An Outstanding Company in this Field

Talley Properties of Charlotte, NC is one of the oldest and leading property management companies in the area with a reputation for high occupancy and minimal vacancy. This company has earned the reputation because of the excellence of service it provides to both the landlord and the tenant. It is also the reason why it has been able to expand its area of activity and now manages residential and commercial rental properties in all surrounding counties.

Responsibilities in Property Management

Responsibilities in Property Management

A property management company has four principle areas of responsibility which are:

Financial and Marketing

Occupancy and Tenancy

Administration and Risk Management

Facility

The property manager, as the owner’s representative is a stakeholder, and party to optimizing the return on the investment in the property by efficiently executing the four prime areas of responsibility.

The property management company is responsible for appropriate maintenance of the property, keeping it occupied, collecting rents, maintaining records, and carrying out improvements within the allotted budget.

Difficult Job

Property management is a challenging assignment. Many real estate professionals have ventured into it and backed out swiftly after a more detailed appreciation of what it entailed.

Financial and Marketing: Property management requires a detailed understanding of financial accounting including budgeting and control of operating expenses. This forms the basis of setting an appropriate rental rate commensurate with the prevailing market. The manager must have a detailed knowledge of the area and comparative rentals. Advertising strategies and promotional programs may be recommended if they are likely to maximize rent and increase occupancy. Periodic financial reporting to the owner is critical to the relationship.

Occupancy and Tenancy: The manager must have a full appreciation of the tenant’s needs and respond to requests. Rents should be collected in a timely manner and tenants’ activities monitored to ensure that they do not violate the lease agreement. All amenities should be maintained and be commensurate with those of equivalent properties in the area. Part of the manager’s function is the eviction of tenants should they violate or transgress their boundaries or fall behind in the rent.

Administration and Risk Management: The manager is required to maintain all files and records related to the property and comply with reporting requirements as required by local, state, and federal governments. Records maintained should be meticulous which should include tenant activities and interaction for liability reasons.

Facility Management: This covers the management of outdoor areas and structures and also includes maintenance of plumbing and electrical, landscaping and the entire building and appliances it contains, in fact everything connected to the physical property. The property manager has to know local repair companies and contractors and be conversant with rates. The manager should ensure that all work is carried out to the desired standard. A budget should be made for short-term and long-term improvements to ensure the property does not decline and is able to maintain its rental value. A well-maintained property is an assurance of tenant-retention.

Heavy Responsibility

Anyone looking at property management as a business option should understand what is involved and be confident of being able to meet the challenges it poses. Property management is not for the faint hearted and far more demanding than selling real estate.

A Leading Rental Management Company

Talley Properties of Charlotte, NC, a well-established and much requested company has been in the real estate business for over three decades now. However, its true expertise lies in management of residential and commercial rental properties. The high level of professionalism and efficiency it has displayed has enabled it to expand geographically and it now manages rental homes and condos in and around the counties surrounding the Charlotte region.

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