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What is Property Management?

What is property management?

Property management is a scalable service that helps real estate property owners manage successful investments. Property management companies come in many different sizes, from a single property manager who lives on-site in an apartment complex to a large-scale company that manages properties for many different landlords for a fee.

What does a property manager do?

Property managers work to keep properties maintained and rented within a fair and profitable business model. From marketing to general repairs, managers work for both the property owner and the tenant to provide excellent customer service.

It all begins with establishing a relationship and management contract with the property owner. Property managers then set the rent, market the property to find and vet the right tenant, and work with the tenant to make sure the property stays in good working order and that the rent is paid on time.

Benefits of property management

Landlords who manage their own properties sometimes end up spending most of their time finding tenants or performing maintenance and repairs. Property management companies can ease that burden by employing industry best practices and leveraging resources not available to property owners. These companies often have rental applications and contracts designed to protect property owners and tenants from unfair practices and litigation, which is a win for everyone involved. Property managers also maintain real estate properties, which preserves their value. In addition, a good management company will provide a landlord with detailed expense reports and documentation that help simplify taxes for owners.

How to find a good property manager

The best property management companies offer consultation services even before purchase, helping prospective property owners through the vetting and real estate purchase process. Comprehensive property management services include marketing, operations, maintenance, accounting, and even disposition consulting when it’s time to sell. Ask any property management company you’re considering about their professional affiliations, what their occupancy rates are, and how they approach tenant disputes or non-payment issues.

Whether you’re hiring a management company or looking for a great rental property for your next home, finding a company with a great track record is essential for long-term success. Class A Management offers comprehensive management services, and our seasoned professionals are committed to serving our landlords and tenants fairly and efficiently. Contact us today to learn more about how we can customize a services package for your single-family or multifamily property. Maximize your investment with a team that offers the respect, value, and experience you and your tenants deserve!

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Renting to Baby Boomers

There’s an undeniable truth: Baby Boomers are not the economically stable generation they were predicted to become. In fact, the majority of those with parents still living find their mom and/or dad are better off financially than they are. A few stock market and real estate market slumps have meant significant declines in retirement funds and savings accounts, and property values far beneath what was expected.

The unfortunate side effect is a rise in the average age of retirement, with many Boomers saying they simply can’t afford to quit working at age 65. But the Boomers aren’t a generation to lie down and take it. They may have to work later in life, but they’re making it clear that, if they must do so, it will be on their terms. They will show up, give it all they’ve got, and then return home at the end of the day, not to a retirement village in the Florida Keys, but to a flat in middle of downtown.

According to a recent survey conducted by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Boomers have little intention of living in the traditional retirement village once they sell their primary residence. Instead, Boomer respondents have the following intentions for their Golden Years:

  • 57% of those ages 49 to 67 plan to move out of their current home
  • A whopping 70% believe the home they retire in (and move out of) will be the best they’ll ever have
  • 25% intend to buy a second home or cottage now that they will hang onto until retirement; at which time, 69% will invest in significant renovations to make it their dream home
  • 39% want to live in a small town or rural community
  • 26% want to get in on all those great little flats that are popping up in cities across the U.S., offering great amenities and little work

What does this mean for property owners? Opportunity. There’s a great big opportunity now to create and market properties specifically for this up and coming generation. A significant portion of them will be selling, and when they do, owners with properties in small towns and rural areas, as well as those with flats or flat-like offerings, will stand to benefit a great deal. Just don’t forget to tailor your marketing materials and marketing channels directly to this demographic if you expect to catch their eye.

Need some help accomplishing this? The professionals at Class A Management can help. Call us today at 817-284-1411 or drop us a line to .

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Managing Multifamily Properties with Pools

 

Wi-Fi may have taken the place of complex pools as the #1 most important amenity to tenants, but you can be sure they are still very much appreciated. You can make it into the amenity for which your property is known and brings the tenants in by the droves with just a few simple and inexpensive changes. The following are our top-3 recommendations:

Make it eco-friendly

The cost of chlorine has increased by 40 percent over the past year. And, while a chlorine pool is increasingly hard on the wallet, it is also hard on the environment, demanding harsh additives on a regular basis to keep the chemical balance. Do we dare think of what some circumstances could do to the bodies swimming in it?

Do your tenants a favor and make the switch to the eco-friendly saline option. Brian O’Connell of Homeminders says the average conversion cost is about $1,500 for conversion kit and installation.

Make it kid-friendly

How well is your pool area designed to meet the needs of families with young children? If you market to people or families in younger age groups, then a kid-friendly pool is a necessary amenity.

  1. Security is imperative, so make sure there are complete gates all the way around that stay locked when the pool is closed.
  2. Provide a shallow pool for toddlers. If it’s cost prohibitive to have one installed, purchase a durable above-ground shallow wading pool that can be used instead.
  3. For somewhere in the neighborhood of $10-$20, you can offer your tenants a little something extra by going the extra mile to protect their children with life vests, puddle jumpers, and/or floaties.

Make it sun-aware

Help your tenants be smart about sun exposure by giving them options for staying out of it while enjoying the outdoors. The good news is you don’t have to fork out a small fortune to give your tenants some much-needed shade. Consider weighted awnings or cabanas that can be purchased for under $500. Even tables with big umbrellas will do if nothing else is available. Of course, if you’re in the planning stages and have some flexibility of where to place a pool or how to strategically place landscaping, trees are the best all-natural shade option.

At Class A Management, we know how important amenities are to tenants, which means maintaining their upkeep and marketing them in creative ways. Learn more about how we work together by calling 817-284-1411 or sending an email to .

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5 Tips for Keeping Tenants Safe

Keeping tenants safe isn’t as easy as it might have been at one time. Each year, the FBI releases a list of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. How a city qualifies is actually more terrifying than the name implies. We aren’t talking about purse snatchings and carjacking. It’s determined by the number of homicides within a calendar year. This would definitely give pause to anyone calling these areas ‘home,’ including local officials, business owners, tenants, owners, and property managers.

On the list of 15, our very own Houston takes the #7 spot with a total of 217 homicides, while Dallas also makes the cut in the #9 spot with 154. Other cities include: Chicago (500); New York (419); Detroit (386); Philadelphia (331); Los Angeles (299); Baltimore (219); New Orleans (193); Memphis (133); Oakland (126); Phoenix (124); St. Louis (113); Kansas City (105); and Indianapolis (101).

Keeping Tenants Safe

How do you help protect your tenants living in these cities, or any other city for that matter? Here are some simple tips:

  1. Lighting. One of the easiest ways to help protect tenants on the property is to ensure it is well lit at all times. This includes street and parking lot lights, pathway illumination lights, and patio or porch lights at front and back entrances. If there are any common areas on the property, such as fitness areas, swimming pools, or gathering areas, they should also be well lit.
  2. Gates. If possible, a keypad gate goes a long way toward keeping the wrong people out. With a secured, and always-armed gate, only those with the correct passcode are allowed in and out of the property lines. Taking this one-step further by having it monitored by camera and with an intercom to the office provides greater enforcement.
  3. Security Systems. It’s often thought these systems are cost prohibitive to most complexes. The truth, however, is that many service providers will knock a significant amount off the cost of installation in exchange for the long-term monitoring packages. These costs can then be deflected by working them into rental rates. And, added security is something most tenants are willing to pay a bit more for. Security system signs on their own are good at warning off predators, so always ensure the property is adequately marked.
  4. Patrolling. The ability to pay for guards or security officers to patrol the property is often a luxury property managers or owners can’t afford. In these cases, volunteer groups, such as community crime watches, are a good substitute. In these efforts, tenants register to participate, often accepting a time allotment where each individual is responsible for actively patrolling the grounds and making notes of irregularities. The entire group is responsible on an ongoing basis for ensuring the safety of the property and its tenants, and watching for and reporting anything out of ordinary. Posted signs of the community crime watch is also a smart idea.
  5. Property management. Ensuring you have the right property management company in place also goes a long way to helping keep tenants and visitors safe. A good property manager is aware, accountable, and on top of the best ways to keep the property free of issues and attracting the best tenants. Class A Management can help provide this assurance for your property. Call 817-284-1411 for more information today, or email us at .
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5 Surefire Places to Find Good Renters

Find Good Renters

If there’s any money to be had in property ownership, it comes directly from the tenants who pay their bills on time and treat your property responsibly. Find good renters in five places you should definitely be advertising:

  1. Property listing sites online. According to a recent Multi Housing News article, 73 percent of renters start their search with a search engine. Do a Google search for rentals in your city, and see which property listing sites pop up first. Advertise there, and provide an outbound link to your site.
  2. Your own Web site. Use QR codes in ads and on “For Rent” signs so that people with smartphones can navigate directly to your home page, and include a direct external link to specific listings on every print and online ad you post. Blog about vacant properties, link to local attractions and businesses from within the text of your blog posts, and be sure to include all social media plug-ins and a Twitter feed on your home page. Update content at least weekly.
  3. YouTube. YouTube videos consistently rank at the top of search results, so put together a video tour of your property and post it on YouTube. Embed that video in your Web page.
  4. Newspapers. Many people who are actively looking for a new place to live will look through local classified ads first. Maximize your print advertising dollar by sticking to Sunday papers only, and make sure your ad will appear on the newspaper’s Web page classifieds.
  5. Craigslist. The ads are free and give you almost unlimited space, but keep the ad short so that your attractive, full-color photos pop up near the top of the screen and entice your next great tenant to keep looking. Provide a link to your web page, and give all contact information above the photos in the ad: you don’t want the viewer to have to scroll much to take in all the vital information.

The professionals at Class A Management are well schooled in finding great tenants. Call us today at 817-284-1411 or e-mail, .