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What Do Property Management Companies Do?

If you own one or more rental properties, you have probably heard of property management companies. But do you know what these companies actually do? Would hiring one benefit you as an investor?

Obviously, we think the answer is yes. But don’t just take our word for it! We’ve broken down the different jobs of a property management company, to give you a good look into what having one could do for your properties, your sanity, and your cash flow. Take a look.

Marketing.

Marketing your rental property can be very tricky. Where is the best place to post your ad? Is anyone actually going to see it? How can you be sure that the right people will see it? Making sure your property is not only marketed, but marketed well, can have a big impact on your success as an investor. Property management companies have had a lot of experience in the area, and know how to best get your property in front of the right people, to fill vacancies quickly.

Tenant communication.

Even if you really like your tenants, it’s definitely nice to be able to hand off the reins of tenant management to someone else. Property management companies can handle communications with your tenant, from scheduling showings, to maintenance requests, to complaints about the property. While it’s definitely important for you to form some kind of relationship with your tenants, you shouldn’t have to answer the everyday complaints and mundane questions they might have. Let a property management company do that instead!

Cash management.

If you don’t stay on top of your renters for their monthly payments…well, you might not get paid on time. However, it’s true that it can get pretty awkward to feel like you’re constantly chasing after someone to give you money. A property management company can take care of all of that—including late fees—so that it never gets personal and you stay ahead of the problem. A property management company may even be able to help you determine how much to charge for rent (which is always a good thing to get right!).

Managing repairs.

Part of home/property ownership is making regular repairs to your property and keeping it well-maintained. Whether it’s an emergency appliance repair or a routine landscaping, managing all of this can become time consuming and annoying. Property management companies know who to work with (and who to avoid) for these types of jobs, and can manage the projects without your help. It’s just one less thing for you to worry about!

Evictions.

It’s every landlord’s worst nightmare, but at least when you use a property management company, it doesn’t have to get awkward or personal. A property management company can handle notifying your tenant of their pending eviction, keeping in mind all the laws pertaining to evictions in your state. This means that your eviction will be handled correctly, and as quickly as possible, with little work to be done on your part.

If you’ve ever been curious about how a property management company might make property ownership a little easier on you, give Real Property Management a call at 480-719-1243. We’d love to chat with you about your specific property, as well as your goals for property ownership and investment. So contact us today for a free management quote; we can’t wait to help you succeed!

Filling Vacancies Quickly: 6 Easy Tips

As a rental property owner, a vacancy can be your worst nightmare. If your property is vacant, you don’t have any incoming cash from it—plain and simple.

This is why, if you have an upcoming vacancy or are ready to start renting out a new property, you should work to fill the vacancy as quickly as possible. We’ve listed a few tips below for making this process as quick and painless as possible.

Market early.

Just got 30 days notice from your current tenant? Closing on your new property in a couple weeks? Now is the time to start marketing. Chances are, you’ll find a new tenant that works with your timeline, and then you can move on to more important things, like prepping the house for move-in.

Market smart.

Just as important as when you market your property is how you market your property. Online listings can be effective, but only if posted to the right places. Make sure that you do what you can in your listing to weed out anyone who isn’t completely serious about renting your property.

Try an open house.

Particularly useful if the property is already vacant, an open house gives you the chance to show your property to multiple potential tenants at once, without having to schedule separate showing times. This could be a very efficient way to get your property filled quickly. But only if you…

Make sure the property is “show-ready.”

Don’t make your potential tenants imagine what it would be like freshly painted or cleaned. Take care of what you can in terms of updates and cleaning before you show it to potential renters. The look of a property that is “ready to go” will be much more attractive, and you’ll be able to fill your vacancy more easily.

Offer incentives.

If you’re feeling desperate to get a property rented out quickly, you might try offering some kind of incentive to your new renter. Maybe you’ll take a few hundred dollars off their first month’s rent, send in a housekeeper for the first two months, or throw in the first month of landscaping. Don’t go overboard (after all, you’re still trying to make money!), but do realize that a vacancy will cost you far more than these small incentives will.

Hire a property management company.

This is the absolute easiest thing you can do to fill your vacancies. A property management company basically takes over the reins for you, handling everything from marketing and filling your property, to lease agreements and payment collection. So sit back, relax, and let someone else deal with all the work!

So stop sitting on vacant properties and do something to fill those spots fast! Not only will you get more positive cash flow, but you’ll also get peace of mind.

Need more help filling your rental property vacancy? Contact Real Property Management to take advantage of our years of expertise in managing rental properties. We can give you a free management quote that will show you how simple it can be to own your rental property. Give us a call at 480-719-1243 today!

Landscaping For Your Rental Property: Dos and Don’ts

With spring approaching, you might be thinking of sprucing up the landscaping on your rental property. It’s certainly not a bad idea: updated, inviting landscaping can help make your property more attractive to potential renters, from the minute they pull up and see the front yard.

Of course, you probably don’t have the time or energy to put into going “all out” on the landscaped areas of your property. So how to find the right balance? We’ve come up with a few tips for you as you’re considering what to do (and what not to do) to up your landscaping game this season.

DO add some color.

Adding some color to the yard can make a big difference in terms of how attractive the yard is. Look for low maintenance flower bushes that will be able to withstand the elements. If you don’t already have one, make sure you install a drip system to keep the flowers watered (because the only thing worse than no flowers, is dead flowers).

DON’T cut out all the grass.

Some landlords are tempted to go as low maintenance as possible, getting rid of all the grass and instead opting for rocks or other options that require no upkeep. While there are certainly things you can do to make this option more attractive, it’s going to be hard to compete with a nice, green lawn. If you’re worried about upkeep, consider hiring a professional service to care for the lawn for you. The weekly cost will be more than worth it when you consider convenience and payoff.

DO think about the lighting.

Outdoor lighting can really add to the feel of a yard. Think about exterior lights on the house, for sure, but also think about lights lining pathways. This is a fairly inexpensive addition to a yard that will make it look well-designed. In the backyard, you could even add floodlights, so that your renters have a way to light the whole backyard, if they ever need it.

DON’T forget your target renter.

What kind of renter are you trying to attract? If it’s a family, make sure your backyard is fenced in and has grassy areas. You could maybe even consider adding a play structure or swingset. Want to rent to an older couple? They’d probably appreciate pavers throughout the yard (for easy access), a gardening space, and maybe a fire pit. As you think about the type of person you want to rent your house to, you’ll be able to get a clearer picture of what the yard should look like.

DO add variety.

Trees, bushes, flowers, grass, rocks, river rocks, pavers—all these and more can be mixed and matched to create an oasis in your yard. While you do need to think about maintenance, you should be able to find some options that are fairly low maintenance and will thrive in your climate. Adding variety will up the curb appeal of your home and keep the exterior interesting and visually appealing.

DO build in storage.

In the backyard, even a small storage shed can be a big draw. If a shed is out of the question, small touches, like a storage bench or a garden hose reel, can still be very appealing and add a nice little feature or two to the property.

When trying to create a property that is attractive to renters, don’t neglect the landscaping! It’s often one of the first things potential renters see, and it can help you fill vacancies quickly and keep your property a shining part of its neighborhood.

Need help maintaining your rental properties? Give Real Property Management a call. We can help you market, fill, and maintain your property, and assist you with rent collection, tenant communications, and even evictions. Contact us online or at 480-719-1243. We look forward to working with you!

YPN Top 40 Under 40!

Real Property Management East Valley is excited to announce that owner, Clint Rowley, has been chosen as one of the winners of SEVRAR YPN’s Top 40 Under 40 award!

This award honors 40 of the top real estate business owners and entrepreneurs in Phoenix. The winners will be honored with an evening of fine dining and networking. For more information on the other individuals and teams to receive the award please click here.

The 4 Most Important Things to Consider When Choosing an Investment Property

If you’re thinking about purchasing an investment property, you’ve probably quickly discovered that there is a lot to think about. How do you find just the right space, for just the right price, in just the right location? What criteria are you looking at, and what should you be looking at?

While there are plenty of factors to consider, we’ve narrowed it down to the four most important criteria you need to consider when finding a property to purchase. Think about them carefully as you search for a property that is right for your needs.

Property Type

Are you looking for a single family home, or for a multi-family unit? When making this decision, consider the fact that for single family homes, turnover is usually lower, tenants commonly have a more stable income, and the property is typically easier to resell when you’re ready. On the flip side, for a multifamily property, you’ll be able to collect more rent, and you may be able to fill it more quickly when you have vacancies. In either case, a property management company can help you take care of marketing and filling your property, as well as managing the financial side of things.

Location

When considering location, you’ll have to find a good balance of proximity and value. The truth is, if you have help managing your property (again, from a property management company) it doesn’t really matter where it is—your rent collection, maintenance, and repairs will all be taken care of for you. If you have this flexibility, you are more able to look for a location with a thriving market and good appreciation potential. Make sure that no matter where you look, you take neighborhood into consideration as well as town or city. Especially if you’re planning on a single family home that may house a large family, make sure you consider nearby schools and community features.

Price

Obviously, when purchasing property, price is a big factor. You want to find something within your own budget, of course; make sure you consider taxes, closing costs, and other fees when determining if the property is something you can actually afford. Along with this, you also want to find something that will turn a decent profit when you rent or sell. Make sure you know what comparable homes are renting or selling for in the area. If the monthly rent you’d be able to charge on a property won’t cover your mortgage, plus maintenance, while still leaving you with a worthwhile profit, it’s probably not worth it.

Condition

Along with the price of the property, you need to consider what condition it’s in. If the property needs considerable upgrades or repairs, that will add to your cost significantly. Don’t let a property in poor condition scare you, but make sure you are up to the challenge of fixing it up, taking both time and cost into account. Fixing up a property is no small task, but it could pay off big time. Knowing whether or not you are willing and able to fix up a property may change your shopping process. If you are specifically looking for a fixer-upper, for example, you may be able to search for properties within a lower price range.

As you keep these four criteria in mind, you’ll be well on your way to finding an investment property that meets your needs perfectly. If you need more advice or help finding or managing your investment property, call Real Property Management at 480-719-1243 today. We can help you keep your property in good shape, your cash flow high, and your stress level low. You can also contact us online for a free quote and to see how we can help you. We look forward to working with you!

Should I Invest in Real Estate? 3 Reasons You Should Consider It

Making any investment can be a little nerve-racking. You are putting your hard earned money into another’s hands, and hoping for the best. Sure, there are things you can do to hedge your bets, but still, you’re at the mercy of the market, and your investment could be profitable, or it could fail miserably.

Even though real estate investments can be just as unstable as other investment types, it is still a popular investment choice for those looking for a way to grow their assets without messing with the stock market. While many people feel nervous about the lending circumstances that led to the market crash in 2008, there are still great reasons to invest in real estate. Here are three big ones.

Money, Money, Money

Obviously, this is the biggest reason to make any investment, right? Well, in real estate, the money comes in a little differently. For example, if you were to buy a property which you then rented out, you would have a monthly influx of cash from the rental payments, as well as the potential long-term increase that would come from the appreciation of the property. If appreciation works in your favor, you may be able to build substantial equity in the property, which could lead to payout should you ever choose to sell.

Alternatively, you might choose to purchase a “fixer-upper” home for a low price, renovate it, and sell it quickly at a higher price—otherwise known as “flipping.” If you have the right connections to help you get your repairs done quickly and affordably, this could be a great way to make cash quickly.

More Control, More Freedom

Unless you want to get very technical in your stock market knowledge, chances are that any stock investments you make will be managed by someone else. This requires you to give up control over your investment. Alternatively, with real estate, you can still be in close control over your investment decisions and purchases. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t get help (i.e. from a property management company), because you definitely can. But even then, you are more in direct control over your investments than you might be in you invested in something else.

Additionally, successful investments can bring you financial freedom. Many people dream of being able to break free of the 9-5 office job, and smart real estate investments could help you do just that. You also have some measure of freedom when it comes to what kinds of real estate you invest in; that is, you can try a couple things until you find just the right option for you.

Taxes

Real estate creates many scenarios that work in your favor when it comes to taxes. Depreciation, for example, which basically happens automatically based on aging properties and fixtures, can result in a net loss on the property for the year, which creates a tax benefit. Also, if you plan on purchasing multiple properties, doing a 1031 exchange allows you to use the cash you gain from the sale of one property towards the down payment on another property, without having the money be taxed as income. There are certain guidelines that must be followed in order to use this benefit, but it can really come in handy when trying to grow your investments.

These are just a couple specific examples, but you may have more benefits coming to you if you pay for mortgage insurance, or if you use the residence as your primary residence for a specified period of time. These benefits should all be discussed in detail with a tax professional, but in the end, it adds up to real estate being an investment strategy that lets you grow your assets, tax-deferred.

There’s no such thing as a sure thing when it comes to investments, but if you’re smart about it, investing in real estate could end up being very profitable for you. If you’re considering real estate investment, or you’d like more help managing your investment properties, contact Real Property Management online, or give us a call at 480-719-1243. We’d love to help you make the most of your investment!

APM 2016 Visitors’ Choice Award

We are pleased to announce that Real Property Management East Valley has received the APM 2016 Visitors’ Choice Award. This award indicates that RPM East Valley was one of the most frequently selected property management companies, selected by the millions of visitors AllPropertyManagement.com received in 2016. The Visitors’ Choice Award was created to bring attention to the best property and association management companies in the industry. These companies have each differentiated themselves from the competition with outstanding customer service and returns on investment for their clients–many of them for several years running.

If you’re a homeowner looking for a renowned property management company to take your goals to the next level (and to clear some space in your schedule), this list is the perfect place to start your search. For more information and a list of winners in other regions, click here.

To Flip or To Rent?

If you’re thinking about investing in real estate you have probably already thought a bit about whether to flip properties, or rent them out. Investing in real estate can be a very profitable venture, bringing you more predictable returns than the stock market while also building equity in the property. Flipping and renting can both bring you these benefits, but they are different strategies that involve different tactics, and you should think carefully before jumping into either one.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself when deciding if you should flip a property, or hold on to it and rent it out.

Are you looking for quick cash, or a long-term, steady income?

If you’re looking to make a large amount of cash quickly, then flipping a home might be your best bet. When you purchase a home to flip, you’ll probably purchase one that isn’t in great shape and needs a lot of repairs or updates, which means that, most likely, you’ll get a great price on the property. As long as you manage your spending while fixing it up, you’ll probably be able to sell it for a much higher price than you purchased for, making a good amount of money on a single sale.

On the other hand, renting out a home may cost you a little more up front, since you’ll have to purchase a property that is in livable condition (or very close to it). However, renting will provide you a steady source of income for an extended period of time. Ideally, the property value will increase as well, which means that your equity will also increase.

How much time do you have?

Both flipping and renting require investments of your time and money in order to be successful. Flipping a house will keep you very busy for several weeks or months. Besides finding and purchasing the property, you’ll have to manage the home improvements and repairs, to make sure everything stays on time and on budget. You’ll also have to put some work into selling the property when you’re ready.

Renting will take some time and effort as well. You’ll have to market and show your house to potential renters, perform any necessary repairs or maintenance, and be available to handle any problems that arise when your tenants need you.

If you’re looking for a more hand-off experience, consider using a property management company to help you with these hassles.

What do the numbers say?

Ultimately, your goal is to make as much money as possible, right? If you have a specific property in mind, and you are trying to decide how to use it, run some numbers to help you out. How much could you buy it for? What are comparable homes selling for in the area? How long might it take you to find renters? How long would you plan on holding on to the property before selling, and what will the housing market do in that time? Knowing these numbers will help you greatly as you decide whether to flip or rent. If you’re unsure how to find the answers to these questions, talk to a realtor, or better yet, a property management company, for a better perspective.

Flipping and renting can both be profitable ventures, if you know what you’re doing. Decide what your end goal is, run a few numbers, and get ready to reap the benefits of real estate investment.

Want a great property management company to help you market and manage your investment properties? Contact Real Property Management at 480-719-1243 to discuss your options. We’d love to help you make your investment profitable!

Is It Time to Buy Your Next Investment Property?

If you own an investment property, you’ve probably already seen the advantages at work. If you’ve done your homework, you are probably making a decent side income from renting out your property. So much so, in fact, that you might be considering purchasing another property to ramp up your profits even more.

If you’re considering taking this big step, don’t do it lightly! Property ownership can be lucrative, but you should also make sure you are ready to commit to the investment you’ll need to put into it. Here are a few things you should consider before you purchase your next investment property.

What type of property are you looking for?

Don’t think that you have to buy the same type of property you already own. You could think about buying a single-family home, a condo in a complex, or a vacation home. Do some research to determine what’s available in your area, what pricing is like for each of these options, and what you can charge for rent.

Figure out the finances.

You might want to talk to a realtor or property management company to help you out here. You’ll need to think about your down payment, tax implications, insurance costs, and available cash before you consider taking real action towards purchasing anything. The ultimate goal is for your property to be a great investment, so make sure you don’t put yourself too far behind, right from the beginning!

Talk to others who have been there and done that.

All the online research in the world can’t really replace solid, first-hand experience from someone who actually owns multiple properties. Ask around—chances are you’ll be able to find someone that can give you a little bit of advice and get you started on the right foot.

Don’t go it alone.

Since you already own your first property, you probably have a decent network built up of people who are helping you maintain and manage the home. Use this team to your advantage when it comes to buying your next property. Talk to your realtor about property values, or ask contractors and repairmen about costs to fix up a potential property.

Get all the right tools.

Going from a single property to multiple properties can get pretty complicated, pretty fast. You are most likely going to want help managing your finances, drawing up rental agreements, determining lease terms, and qualifying for good loans. There are many decent online tools available to you, but your best bet is going to be help from real people.

Finding a great property management company can make all the difference when it comes to making sure your investment properties don’t turn into a giant hassle. These companies help you with everything from marketing and contracts, to rent collection and evictions. Don’t ignore this great tool that’s available to you; it’s more than worth it!

Investing in real estate has long been a popular option for those looking to beat the stock market and become financially independent. If you’re ready to make the jump from a single property owner to a multiple property investor, follow these tips to stay on top of things and get your new career off to a good start!

Real Property Management has been helping investors manage the investment properties for years. With an experienced team and a proven process, RPM can help you with your expenses, your tenants, your maintenance, your inspections, and many other aspects of property ownership. Contact us today, or give us a call at 480-719-1243 to find out how we can help you make the most of your investments.

A Quick Safety Checklist for Your Rental Home

Whether you’re just getting ready to rent out your property for the first time, you’re in between tenants, or you just want to make sure everything is in order for the new year, it never hurts to take a quick look at the state of your property when it comes to safety. In fact, because tenants have a right to a safe home, you are required to make sure your property meets certain safety standards.

While you’ll definitely want to talk to a property management company or similar expert to learn the specific requirements for your property, there are some basic things you can (and should) do regularly to make sure your property is safe for occupancy. Here is a starter checklist of things to keep an eye on.

Structural elements. These include the very basics: floors, walls, ceilings. Check for anything that is out of order either visually or functionally. If the floor slopes or bends, there could be foundational issues. If there are any “soft spots” in hard floors, or stains that don’t go away or that keep coming back, that could be a sign of water damage. Similarly, unevenness, cracks, bulges, or stains on the walls or ceilings could indicate a serious issue that requires immediate attention.

Electrical components

Non-working outlets or switches could be a sign of faulty wiring, and they should be examined by an electrician to avoid the possibility of electrical fires.

Heating and cooling systems

Not only are HVAC systems important for your tenant’s comfort, problems with these systems could create safety issues if left unchecked. Regular cleaning can avoid a lot of problems, and will be much cheaper than handling water or fire damage caused by a neglected system.

Appliances

This is as simple as making sure things like the refrigerator (if your property includes one), microwave, stove, and oven work properly. Do they reach appropriate temperatures? Do all the burners work as they should?

Plumbing

You definitely want to make sure there are no plumbing leaks in the house, as those problems can cause water damage—whether that’s structural damage or a health risk (like mold). Check faucets, showers and tubs, and toilets.

Exterior environment

You’ll want to make sure the exterior of your property—both in the front and back of the house—is well lit. This is a big safety benefit to tenants who may be outside at night, and it also could deter criminals from trespassing on the property. Also, make sure all pavement is well kept and no repairs are needed, and that there aren’t any large holes or problems with the landscaping.

Windows

Cracked windows could be a big safety hazard to tenants. Similarly, all windows should have working locks on them; this ensures that children do not open (and potentially fall out of) windows from the inside, and also takes another step in deterring criminal activity on your property.

Alarms

Check smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, water detectors, and any security alarms or cameras you have to make sure they are in good working order. Also, make sure your rental agreements clearly outline who is in charge of maintaining these alarms and paying for repairs/replacements.

Creating a safe place for your tenants to live should be priority number one for all landlords and property owners. Keeping to this basic checklist will help you stay on top of any safety related issues at your property, before someone gets hurt.

Need a hand with maintenance or repairs? Want help finding the perfect tenant for your space? Real Property Management can answer your questions and help you prepare, market, fill, and manage your rental properties, saving you time, money, and headaches. Contact us today at 480-719-1243 to see what our years of experience can do for you.