Answers to Commonly Asked Questions
Yes, all of our property managers and showing agents are licensed to perform real estate services in the state of Florida. We are also members of the National Association of Residential Property Managers, the Florida Association of Residential Property Managers, National Associations of Realtors, and the Orlando Regional Realtor Association.
Yes, you may leave the property on for sale market while we advertise your property for rent. Once we have located a qualified tenant for your property it will need to be removed from the for sale market. The reason for this is:
- Would you rent a property where you would have to rent a truck, move furniture, un-box all of your possessions, hook up your DVD player, TV, stereo, game system, etc, and then in 3 months be told to do it again?
- During the time the tenant lives there, having other realtors calling them and buyers running though the house every couple of days would not provide a peaceful living environment.
Our approach is this (it is also typically the most important issue to an owner); you need a quality tenant, one that will have the property show well during the time it's for sale in the future. Finding a tenant that is willing to allow you to leave your property on the for sale market will probably not be a quality tenant and may end up creating issues in the long run making the sale even more difficult.
We want you to be able to leave your home on the market, but a tenant will not. Solution: Sell the property now. Or, locate a great tenant who will make the home show well, then in the latter part of the lease, place the property on the for sale market.
Yes, we have a wide array of vendors that can assist you in repairs ranging from general cleaning to general contracting work. For a small fee we manage this process to ensure the work is performed to the highest quality in the shortest amount of time, we then authorize payment to our vendors from your owners account upon its professional completion.
Please call to discuss what your home may need and for specifics on our "white glove service".
YES. We actually cut out the middle man (the U.S. Post Office) and only provide the direct deposit service for our owners when we manage their property.
- We have found that the U.S. Post Office would misplace a check every once in a while.
- Owners that are out of state/country, because they were out of Florida a bank would typically hold the check for 5-15 days.
- But basically it is as simple as, you are our client; we want to get you your money fast. We will have it to you at least 5-7 days faster then if it were mailed. Also, if the check were mailed, you would then have to drive to the bank and wait in line, so we cut out the middle man to get your money faster.
99% of the time the answer is yes. Blinds provide privacy, reduce electric costs (especially in the Sunshine State) and add cosmetic beauty to the property. All three of these reasons help create a positive living environment for the tenant.
Tenants are comparing your property to like properties that will have blinds. They will quickly discount your property because of the expense and hassle of installation.
You will not want tenants to install blinds in your property. At the end of the lease, they will want to remove them and could cause damage to your walls. Then the next tenant would turn around and install blinds again, possibly causing more unnecessary damage.
Yes. Please provide us with the necessary tools to assist the tenant into the property. We ask that you provide us with 3 front door keys, garage door remotes, gate cards (for a community pool or a subdivision gate), mail box keys, storage closets, shed keys, and any other keys that may apply. Unless you are currently living in the property you want to lease, please provide all keys, etc., at the time of listing.
Yes, for three basic reasons:
- Your property will show better when lights and air is circulating through the property. If the property rents faster (and typically it will) because the unit shows better, you will easily make up the cost of the utility.
- Especially during the summer time, it is important to not have the property not get too hot. Properties that do become warm have a higher risk for mold.
- When we do the pre-move in walkthrough, we need to verify that the appliances, sinks, showers, toilets, etc are all functioning properly. You want to set the right tone with the tenant by turning over the property to the tenant in a clean, ready-to-go property type condition.
Not many owners ask us about this, but when they do, we have to tell you the story of why we have this (and any property manager who been around since 2004 or before will have a fee like this). In 2004, due to the hurricanes that year, at least 40% of Central Florida homes had roofing issues. We were sending out our property managers left and right to homes to take pictures of roofs, damage to the inside of the properties, to ceilings, etc. Then contacting the owner, the owner's insurance company, sending pictures, etc. If the cost was $1000 to do all of that, we drive to the property, take pictures, do a report, send to you, send to insurance company for a small fee. That is just the start of the ball game. There will be coordination of sending out a Handyman to fix the issues, and take additional pictures, etc. Imagine during this entire time, we will most likely also receive an hourly call from the tenant wanting to know when it will be resolved. Trust us, we don't want to earn money this way, but it is a necessary fact when large maintenance issues occur.
Yes. How often, depends on the property, issues that come up during the lease, etc.
Please see “Will you contact me on maintenance issues less than $250.00?” We will contact you on issues that will require work that will exceed the cost of $250.00.
3 instances in which we may take action before you are notified, these are:
- When the safety or well-being of the tenant is a concern.
- When there is only one viable option in consideration.
- In instances where the property is likely to incur damage if immediate action is not taken.
The other question, do you want to accept Section 8. Please call us to review the pros and cons of accepting Section 8.
Yes, we have a guaranteed protection service. Please call us for program specifics.
Yes. Statements can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through our online owner portal. We typically post these statements on or around the 15th of each month. Year end statements are also available at your convenience.
Sometimes. Have you heard the expression, “Pay me now or pay me later”? In the long run, a very cheap vendor will cost you more money. A vendor that provide quality workmanship for a fair price is typically best.
Example: A painter wins the job with the cheapest bid. But then uses the cheapest paint and does an ‘ok’ job (forcing a new paint job to be performed earlier than necessary). Did the owner in this example make out better because of using the cheapest vendor?
Because of the amount of properties we manage, we are able to provide quality licensed and insured vendors to our clients. Ones that also keep tenants happy by showing up on time and performing the service right the first time. All while charging a fair price. We typically hire vendors that give you the ‘best bang for your buck.’
Absolutely not. We will assist you in the sale of your property now or in the future if you desire, but we don’t bind you to that in the management agreement. This is a trick that discount property managers use. They manage your home at little or no profit knowing they have you locked into an eventual sales listing. We think, at the time you decide to eventually sell, you should be free to decide who the best listing agent will be for your property given it’s location and characteristics.
Like a grade school teachers, if there are too many children for each teacher, some students will be left out. We typically have a ratio of less than 40 properties for each team member on our staff. That is the lowest in Central Florida we could find. Some companies have a single manager managing, showing to prospective tenants, performing walkthroughs, of 150 properties or more. Property managers, a bookkeeper/accountant, rental showing agents, phone coordinators, new business development managers, field service agents, and upper management. All team members are hired to perform duties based on their unique professional qualities, an expert at what they do.
We can’t, however we will develop a strategy together to determine the best course of action for your home.
- Including the pool and/or lawn service in the rent. We will give you advice in how to price your property to get you the most for your property while encouraging the tenant to take the pool and/or lawn care for an additional amount so that if off sets the cost of you having it done professionally.
- We do not use a generic lease bought at Office Depot. This lease has been crafted, changed, updated through many years of property management service to ensure the language in the lease protects you the owner. There are specific lengthy provisions regarding the pool/lawn.
- Mother Nature, watering guidelines and unforeseen factors all contribute to why… no one can guarantee landscaping. Using our strategies we will help you minimize the risk you take when leasing your property.
We have had a lot of positive experiences with college students. Why? Because we follow 2 rules every time we lease a property to multiple college students.
1. Students must have a minimum deposit of two times the monthly rent (vs the normal minimum of 1 month's rent).
2. At least one parent must co-sign with the students.
With this policy in place, we feel very confident your property will stay in good condition and the rent will be paid on time.
We handle property management concerns like an ER handles patients. A patient having a heart attack will be seen before one with a sprained wrist. That does not mean that a garbage disposal repair is not important, but we most likely we will send out a vendor to fix a broken window at a property before fixing that kitchen appliance below your sink.
We strive to handle each request in a timely manner, hire licensed and insured vendors who will have the request performed correctly the first time at a fair cost to the owner (in cases that the tenant is responsible for the repair, the tenant will be billed accordingly.)
1. With our extensive advertising and screening process, we find quality tenants. As we market quality rental properties, we attract stable tenants.
2. We perform interior and exterior walkthroughs of a property each year. This keeps a small issue from becoming a large one.
With a quality tenant and walkthroughs, malicious damage is rarely a problem. In the event a tenant does damage to the property, we get the house back in rent ready condition as quickly as possible and re-leased. Once we are clear about the cost of the damage we assist you with obtaining judgments, filing complaints/collections if appropriate, and collecting on the judgment.
Absent any special considerations unique to you or your property, our rule of thumb is this: If something may cause a potential interruption in your ordinary cash flow (loss of tenant or non-emergency repair in excess of $250), we will let you know about it right away. Other than that, the saying "no news is good news" is most appropriate. Non emergency items will be communicated along with your monthly statements and, of course, we encourage you to contact the property manager anytime you have a question or wish to discuss something.
We know some owners desire a level of involvement that our property management system is not designed to accommodate. We try our best to make sure you are a good match for our style of property management. Part of that process is this Question and Answer page (please review our Owner's Handbook here) so you can obtain a sense of how we think and how the manager will manage your investment property.
If you are a worrisome property owner or someone who desires a high degree of personal involvement with the property or who needs constant communication from the property manager, such as a phone call before any repairs are completed, our property management services might not be a good match for your needs. However, we do have a solution for hands on owners, contact us for more info.
The property owners who appreciate us the most are those who truly want everything handled for them turn-key and don’t want to be bothered on every single event. They realize we have a vested interest in their interest and will work extremely hard to provide great service.
Typically an eviction in Central Florida takes 30-55 days. Several factors could possibly delay the eviction such as: the tenant disputes the eviction or a delay in the court process (i.e. December holiday season, a particular county court’s schedule). Property evictions are not always the same; contact us with questions on how we handle evictions and / or if you need us to recommend you to a good local real estate/eviction attorney.
From our experience, generally an eviction using one of our attorneys will typically cost between $450 and $650 (assuming the court proceedings are not long and drawn out). Because we give our attorney other real estate related services (i.e. closings, lease preparation, etc.) and have them on a large retainer, we are able to pass along the savings to our owners. If you managed the property yourself and had to evict a tenant, most attorneys will charge you $1000 and up.
Typically the industry standards are from 15-20% of the annual rental revenue. Again, please contact our office for an immediate quote based on your property and the scope of what services you are looking to have performed.
Maybe more, maybe no difference, but unfortunately MAYBE LESS. Each property is different, and each situation is different. The quality of the furniture plays a big part in this equation. Typically a family moving from a 4 bedroom home in Ohio to your 4 bedroom rental home in Central Florida does not need furnishings. But a recently divorced person may find the furnished property perfect. We may have to adjust the ads to state: “Can be rented beautifully furnished or unfurnished.” Please contact us on specifics regarding your property, because your property may be perfect rented as a furnished unit.
Some local property managers charge the tenant just a hundred dollars in a deposit. We feel this would pose a higher risk to you. We charge a MINIMUM of one month’s rent as a deposit (minus a small admin fee charged to the tenant). Some applicants will not qualify on just a one month (equivalent) deposit, and therefore we will require a larger deposit because of the applicant’s past/current information
Often real estate investors will set rents based on how much they need to cover their mortgage, or how much they want, or on what they heard another rental home is renting for. These methods almost always create problems. Arriving at the appropriate rent level can be a complex process that must take many factors into account. This is one of many areas where hands-on experience makes all the difference. Please contact us for an accurate analysis of your property.
The million dollar question! We can never say with certainty how long it will take to lease a rental home. There are far too many variables that come into play including location, season, price, applicant quality and just being in the right place at the right time. This is a numbers game and to win, you have to have as many potential tenants looking at your home as possible. They can't look at it if they don't know it is there, and advertising is the only way to let them know what you have for them. Rest assured that no other Tampa Property Management firm spends more on the advertising and promotion of rental homes than Universal Realty & Property Management. Although vacancies are unsettling, we follow our proven processes until we find the right tenant for your real estate investment.
We can literally start assisting you today.
With the increased amount of identity theft, the agreements that property managers have with credit bureaus, do not permit us to reveal personal information to the owner or any other party. We can not even give the tenant their own credit score, nor other information regarding their own report. We must direct the tenant to contact the credit bureaus themselves. So obviously if we can not give that info to the tenant, we can not legally provide that information to the owner.
But what we can do is this, see our application guidelines here, so that when we do find you the tenant, you will know just how qualified they are.
- A one month deposit means they have met our requirements.
- A higher deposit means, they did not meet our initial requirements.
- The following are a few examples of why an application could be denied:
- The credit score did not meet the guidelines and the tenant could not come up with a sufficient deposit.
- A poor reference from the prior landlord.
- An eviction in the tenant’s past.
- The income is not verifiable or is not sufficient to lease the property.
- The tenant (s) is unemployed.
- A felony background that is unacceptable (i.e. sexual offense, violent offense, arson offense, drug related offense).
By us following these rules, this will keep you the owner, and us the management company, from potential litigation regarding identify theft, Federal Housing Laws, etc.
Yes, some owners desire hands on approach to managing their home. We recognize that a home is a personal investment and a small percentage of owners are most comfortable doing the day to day managing themselves. These same owners also realize they cannot compete with our proven systems when it comes to tenant acquisition and qualification. Please contact us to develop the best strategy for your situation and to provide you with the level of service you would like.
Our job is to market the heck out of your property, your job is to present the property in its best possible condition. Along with the pricing of the property, those factors will get the property rented in the shortest amount of time at the highest price. Rental markets like all markets fluctuate depending on supply and demand and condition, that being said we will get you the highest amount the market will bear, we guarantee it.
If we were just placing your property on craigslist.com and other free sites, we may not care. But we will put a lot of time and money into advertising on day #1. Most of the marketing we will do for your property will come at a cost and maybe an additional referral fee to 3rd party agent. We have to pay for these sites on the day we list the ad and then again if necessary on day 31. We also spend a lot of time and effort. We drive to the property, take pictures, do a rental pricing analysis, download those pictures and place ads (placing that many ads will take 60-90 minutes), receive phone calls from prospective tenants, driving out to show property. To let an owner walk away from the contract at anytime is not something we can do. We are loyal to our clients and ask them to be to us. Have no fear, your property will lease with us to a qualified tenant.
We doubt you will find a company that does not charge a lease renewal fee or month to month fee; it’s a pretty standard fee. And ours is really low, in fact we should probably raise it for the amount of work we do.
1. Reviewing pictures, documents of the property while the tenant occupied the property will provide us information as to whether this tenant should be renewed. 98% of the time, we do want invite the tenant to stay for another year.
2. Research rental websites, and the MLS to locate comparable properties in the area to effectively then negotiate with the current tenant a possible increase of the monthly rent.
3. We contact the tenant regarding the renewing the lease.
4. After agreeing to terms with the tenant, having attorney prepared documents ready for the tenant and following up on its execution.
5. All while reviewing the process with the owner.
This minimal fee provides us the resources to effectively keep the vacancy of your property at a low and the quality of your property as high as possible.
Like having a pool/spa, each property/property owner is different. Again, the one fact that does not change is that we want the beautiful landscaping you have now to look that way in the future. Like the servicing of a pool, we will develop a game plan with you on what will work best for your property.
Each property/property owner is different. But the one fact that does not change, we want pool/spa to stay sparkling clean and for the pool equipment to stay in great condition. We will develop a game plan with you on what will work best for your property.
A lot of owners ask us whether or not to allow pets. We would recommend that you allow pets in most properties. Think of it this way, more than 50% of people have a pet. You would effectively double the amount of time it will take to locate a tenant. If it took one additional month to locate a tenant, would that be more or less money that the damage a tenant would create, in most cases the vacancy loss would be higher than the pet damage.
We have a few options regarding pet fees / deposits for the tenant and rarely do we find a property after the tenant moves out that there is an issue. Please call us to review.
Our rental home property management agreement is designed to focus on each rental property and the resources it will require. After your review of the agreement if you have additional questions please don't hesitate to contact us.
Follow Florida statutes and follow them quickly. Immediately issue the tenants a “7 day notice to cure”. Per Florida law in most cases we must give the tenant an opportunity to mend their mistake. If they do not fix the issue, a number of different resolutions may occur up to and including the threat of eviction, and then be willing to file the eviction.
The owner escrow must be in a cashier’s check form or through PayPal if a vendor is going to be immediately dispatched (if you pay through PayPal with a credit card, a transaction fee is charged by the credit card company for doing so). Otherwise a personal check is ok, but work can not be performed immediately.
We manage properties in most areas of Orange, Osceola, Lake, Volusia, and Seminole counties.
See “What happens if the tenant pays the rent late?”
99.9% of the time, the payment is made. Upon the expiring of the 3 day notice, we make one final attempt in contacting the tenant. If no immediate payment is made, we contact the owner and discuss whether to immediately file the eviction paperwork or allow additional time.
Our track record has been phenomenal; a few tenants per year. A rate that is less than 0.5% of all of the property we manage. Pretty incredible when you think of the amount of property we manage. We pride ourselves in selecting the right tenants for our owners.
Why do we think that we have had a great track record? There are two types of tenants, good and bad. Good tenants unfortunately sometimes have bad things happen to them like divorce, job loss, and family tragedies. In these unfortunate circumstances our effective open communication between owner, tenant and property manager we have been able to resolve these instances. Unfortunately there are bad people out there that know the system and how to manipulate it. We have reduced our exposure to these types of individuals through our aggressive marketing; i.e. advertising typically 60 days out and a thorough application process.
Although a rare occurrence, we will handle the process for you through our legal resources and have the attorneys prosecute the tenant to the fullest extent of the law and in the quickest manner possible. Then, placing a quality paying tenant as soon as possible is the main focus.
Great property management doesn't cost a lot of money, it actually pays, and in this case, not understanding the tenants rights can cost a small fortune. We keep the tenant if possible, evict if we can't keep them current, and get the house vacant and rent ready as fast as the law allows.
Again, with so few evictions our systems are obviously working, wouldn't you agree?
We take the payment of rent very serious. A tenant paying the rent late will have immediate and swift action.
- As per Florida law, a 3 day notice is the first action a property manager/owner must take prior to evicting. The 3 day notice gives the tenant written notice that rent must be paid in 3 business days or further action will be taken.
This is unlikely for two reasons:
1. With our extensive advertising and screening process, we find quality tenants. As we market quality rental properties, we attract stable tenants.
2. When we visit a property we are asking the tenants if they have any unreported maintenance items hoping to prevent a small issue from becoming a large one.
This type of malicious damage is rarely a problem. In the event a tenant does damage to the property, we get the house back in rent ready condition as quickly as possible and re-leased. Once we are clear about the cost of the damage we assist you with obtaining judgments, filing complaints/collections if appropriate, and collecting on the judgment.
We will gladly accept the names, and numbers of your licensed, insured, and bonded vendors. We do reserve the right to use vendors that have a long term track record of providing quality work at a fair price. Why can using our vendor actually be better for you? The vendors we provide business to have an obligation to our clients because of the sheer volume of business given to them and insisting of on-time work at a fair price.
1. We want to answer any additional questions you have so you are comfortable with our firm.
2. We will email / fax / mail to you the appropriate documents.
3. If after you review, you have additional questions, flip the contract over, write down any questions so you don’t forget to ask them.
4. In the mean time, gather up 3 front door keys. 1 for us and 2 for the future tenant. Also, garage door remotes, HOA remotes, mail box keys, etc.
5. Also gather up any other important info like HOA phone numbers, your bank information, etc.
6. Once we have executed documents and keys, typically we are over to the property, have taken pictures, run the rental price analysis, reviewed with the owner and placed ads in less than 24 business hours. Is that quick enough?
Call today, so tomorrow your property can be leased!
Of the nearly 20 team members, and 4 have a Broker Associate’s Licenses. The others that perform real estate service functions, all have real estate licenses. All are licensed and regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. We are also members of (NARPM) National Association of Residential Property Managers, (FARPM) Florida Association of Residential Property Managers, (NAR) National Associations of Realtors, and the (ORRA) Orlando Regional Realtor Association. We have well over 100 years in real estate / property management experience.
A short list would include:
- Repairs and maintenance
- 24-hour availability
- Property management forms
- Full-service office
- Direct deposit and auto debiting
- Eviction services
- Tenant screening and selection
- Security deposits
- Lease preparation
- Attracting tenants
- Move-in/Move-out inspections
- Periodic Inspections
- Rental comps
- Property investments
- Monthly reporting and annual statements
- Property evaluation
- Residential leasing
- Financial reporting
- Accounting services
- Rent collection
- Property inspections
This is one of the most important aspects of successful management of a rental property. Application processing (see our application guidelines here) is done by us in-house (unless mandated by an HOA). We don’t send the application to a third party for processing as do most other property managers. In general, we look at an applicant’s past behavior and evaluate with their future behavior will be the same. An applicant must demonstrate a history of being a responsible tenant or homeowner as well as meeting credit standards. Nobody in Central Florida screens their tenants as well as our property management team.
LANDLORD REFERENCES – We attempt to speak to each tenant’s past landlords and ask detailed, open ended questions about the applicant’s past performance.
CREDIT REPORT - Our property managers and leasing agents have a direct connection to all 3 credit reporting services. We obtain a credit report which tells us the applicant’s current and past performance toward meeting their financial obligations. It also tells us their monthly debt, credit score, and shows their previous addresses (which we compare to addresses listed on the application). An applicant must meet established credit standards.
CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK – Each applicant has a national criminal and sexual offender background check run.
EVICTIONS BACKGROUND CHECK – We run an national eviction check on each applicant. If they did not pay a previous landlord, there is a higher risk they won't pay their next landlord.
EMPLOYMENT/INCOME – An applicant needs to earn at least 3 times the monthly rent in gross income to qualify for rental and we will want to see a copy of their most recent paystubs, as well as contacting their employer to verify employment.
PETS – We permit animals/pets into managed properties as long as you allow us to do so, however, more than 50% of renters have pets. When we make the decision to accept an applicant with pets, we minimize your risk by limiting the breed, age, number and size of the pets. We also use a special pet addendum for your protection. We are careful in selecting tenants who wish to bring pets with them.
OTHER FACTORS – Many of our managed properties are subject to Home Owner Association restrictions such as no boats or trailers, and limits on the type and number of vehicles. As well as going through an approval/application process with the Home Owner Association. An otherwise qualified applicant may be unable to lease a property if, for instance, they own a boat and want to park it in the driveway or do not meet the Home Owner Associations application standards. We make sure issues like that are covered up front to avoid surprises after move-in.
With many years in Tampa rental property management, we know what works and what doesn't. We've developed a comprehensive rental home marketing program that enables us to keep rental properties leased every year. Among other things we use many national rental websites (i.e. Realtor.com, Floridarentalads.com, Trulia, Zillow, the MLS, Facebook, Twitter, a variety of other advertising venues and our top ranked “Tampa Property Management” site. No matter where prospective tenants go to find their next rental, they will find our ads! Throw in yard signs, extensive property preparation, and neighborhood signs and there is simply nobody out there who can get as many tenants looking at your property as our property management firm.
Our Central Florida property management services are catered towards single family rental homes, townhomes, and condo rentals.
Great question. As this is ever changing, please call us to review. Each property is different. As you know, location, location, location.
Our management agreement reads that between the 11th and the 18th of each month. Typically, the rent is paid to our owners on the 11th or the 12th. This will give the check paid by the tenant time to clear our account (and as per Florida Statutes it must clear the account of a property manager before an owner can be paid) and for us to collect any vendor invoices so they are accurately paid as well. Delays: Holidays and weekends might delay the time to clear a check. Also, if the tenant pays the rent late, we would then get the payment to you as promptly as possible. We don't get paid, until you get paid.
We hold all deposits for any properties we manage in our trust account. (Per Florida Statutes, security deposits must be held in a Florida based bank).
Generally tenants are responsible for utilities upon the commencement of the lease through termination of that lease. Prior to move in and upon the tenant’s moving out, the owner is responsible for keeping the utilities on (We can assist you with the turn on/turn off of a utility). Some HOA’s and COA’s provide various utilities in their community fees. Please consult your HOA or COA for specifics.
We need the written permission from all owners in order to lease/manage a property. Per Florida law we need all owners of a property to agree in allowing a tenant to move in and authorize our property management company to place a tenant.
An owner can turn on utilities on their own property in probably less than a 10 minute by a phone call or even less by doing it online (). A company like ours can not turn the utilities online; we must call, use our credit or pay a large deposit. We must then account for all charges, ensure we have sufficient funds to pay for current and future utilities bills and then go ahead and actually pay these bills. For international owners, some utility companies require a U.S. social security number. Please contact us for more details.
This is not a fee. These are funds we hold on the owner's behalf for:
1. Possibly your property has a lawn, pool, or something else that needs monthly service.
2. Or you have asked us to turn the utilities on in our name at your property.
3. Possibly your property is not in rental ready condition. It needs a carpet cleaning, general cleaning, or some other repair.
4. Basically anything that needs to be handled at your property we will have the resources available to help you / have the service performed. Once we no longer manage your property, you decide to move back in or sell your property, monies in your Owner Escrow Account are disbursed back to you. Again it is not a fee, it is money we hold for owners so that vendors are paid on time. Our experience has shown that when a vendor is paid on time, they perform the work quicker (which will keep the tenant happy), for a good price (which will keep you happy), and will do a good job (which again any owner will like). Also, per Florida law, we can not use the tenant's security deposit to pay for any maintenance issues at the property. That is the tenant's money we hold in escrow until it is lawfully and properly disbursed to a party.
‘Breaking bread’ as we call it is a dangerous thing. Example:
An owner of ours in 2004 drove by his property on a Saturday afternoon to take a quick look. He later stated he wasn’t intending on stopping or speaking to the tenant. But he noticed the tenant in the backyard grilling food with their family. The owner decided to speak to the tenant to see how things were going. The tenant said everything was going fine, and asked the owner if he would like a drink and burger. Two hours later the owner said he left, all was great because the tenant was nice. Two months later though, the tenant was late on the rent. Our office called the tenant, the tenant stated he had already called the owner and the owner said it was ok to pay late.
If your mother told you as a child, you can not watch anymore TV today. Then, when your father came home from work and said to you ‘go ahead and watch TV’... what that kind of mixed message did that send? When it comes to property management, a clear, concise professional answer is best. As tempting as it may be, the additional liability an owner could face is not worth the brief conversation with a tenant.
Home warranties look really good on paper, and we wish they were that great. For some owners / properties they are a good solution. The fact is many owners complain that they don’t cover nearly as many items as the owner thought when they bought it. Here is an example of another potential issue. Let’s say it’s a July Friday afternoon, and the tenant contacts their property management company.
Call #1: From the tenant: Our a/c is not working, can you send someone over?
Call #2: Knowing that property has a home warranty, a property manager immediately calls the warranty company and is placed on hold (the average home warranty company has a 15-20 minutes wait time for a property management company). When the home warranty person picks up the phone, the property manager must then verify with the warranty company that they have the right to initiate the contact. The property manager is then told the warranty company can dispatch someone first thing….. Monday morning. If you the owner were the occupant, how would you feel about waiting nearly 3 days for cool air?
Call #3: Now the property manager calls the tenant back.....the warranty company won’t have anyone out there till Monday. How do you think the tenant will feel....react?
Example: Many property managers start advertising a property 20-30 days prior to the end of the lease because they think they will pay less in advertising costs. Some do not advertise until a tenant moves out as it will then be easier to show the property. In realty, they are saving themselves money, but costing you money, lots of money. Not receiving money because your property is vacant is typically the biggest cost an owner has in owning a rental property. We typically place ads at our expense typically 60 days before the end of the lease so that we can hopefully go from one fabulous tenant to the next.
We ask an owner, who for example, decides to move back to Florida and back into their property to notify us 60 days in advance so we don’t spend money on advertising to re-lease the property.
Because we are the best! We communicate effectively, advertise more than others answer calls/show properties more than others, consistently updating our technology and are continually staying ahead of the current rental market trends. We offer Hassle-free Property Ownership.
We would encourage you to review our Owner Handbook that we spent a tremendous amount of time preparing for you and give us a call to learn more.
We will get right to the point on this question. We recognize that you lose money when the price is adjusted, but you lose more money when the property is vacant. You also increase your chances of a great tenant when the price is appropriately adjusted. Keep in mind, we manage hundreds of properties, if we took off $50 on each unit per month; imagine what our bottom line would look like. We don’t want to take off any money either. We want as much as you do to rent the property fast and for the most amount of money. But most importantly is placing a quality tenant, a quality tenant will do less wear and tear on a property, will live in your property longer and therefore you will make more money.
We have your best interest in mind. If you don’t feel that way about us before hiring us, then please don’t hire us. At the same time, we need the ability to do our job and that is to manage the issues that can happen at a property. If we don’t, we are going to lose you as a client. We are not like most companies with a $350 or $500 maximum repair limit. We have found through many years of doing this, that $250 will not ‘handcuff’ us, yet will give us the opportunity to earn the your trust. If we have a larger issue, like an a/c compressor that needs to be replaced or roof issue, we will contact you. We will then review the circumstance, and help you make the best decision on how to move forward. It is in our best interest to get you the lowest price for the repair and have it done right the first time so you stay happy.
Yes, we will provide you advice on your property’s condition and develop a pricing strategy to get the highest rent amount the market will bear in the shortest amount of time. Along with our aggressive advertising and answering calls/showings 7 days per week, we will rent your property at the highest the market will allow.
Yes. But contact us for recommendations on which are typically the best warranty companies.
Well, we’ve been property managers long enough to have seen and experienced everything imaginable, and we prefer to anticipate and avoid common problems rather than deal with the same ones repeatedly.
We believe you and your investment property are best served by a property management system that is as free of problems and chaos as possible. We don’t accept ‘run down’ properties. We do not accept properties that will not lease / will not attract qualified tenants. Those type of properties would consume a disproportionate amount of a property manager’s time and distract from the care and attention that your good property deserves. We strive to maintain a group of "like-minded" clients with properties that are at the same time diverse, yet homogenous enough that our systems, methods and style can be applied uniformly across all properties we manage. The worst property manager you can hire is one who good heartedly tries to accommodate every special circumstance or request from his various owners until his operational system is so scattered and ill defined as to be dangerous. We like the consistency and predictability that comes with welcoming owners and properties that are compatible with our systems of property management.
If you think about it, when you hire a property manager, you are for better or worse, employing that property manager’s system (or lack thereof). We promise you our system of property management is mature, stable and time tested. We will make good decisions for you. Your property will receive professional care and maintenance. Your lease agreement with the tenant will be enforced in a cordial businesslike manner, and we will always act in your best interest while at the same time insuring that your tenant receives fair and ethical treatment. You can expect also that we are always looking for ways to improve our service.
We do want you to thoroughly examine our company, ask any questions that are not answered for you on our website, Owner Handbook, and make sure that ours is the property management system you want serving you and your property.