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Affordable Property Management

System - Sunday, September 29, 2013

With so many companies offering property management services now, it won't be difficult for you to find an affordable property management company. Keep in mind that not all companies are the same and the old saying " You Get What You Pay For" holds true most of the times. Whether you are a landlord or a property investor, Things tend to go smoother by hiring an expert. the first thing I would look for or ask is if the property management company is a member of National Association Residential Property Managers and National Association of Realtors. If the answer is no move on. Also don't expect the manager to do everything. Remember, it is your property and you should take some part in certain decisions. Let go over a few areas.

Legal Documents 

In a property management, there are legal, forms and contracts that you will have to signed.  The property management company will handle some of this for you once a management agreement is signed between you and them. The lease is just one of these forms and we highly recommend that you receive a copy of lease once all signatures have been applied to the lease. In today market, e-signatures documents is more commonly used in professional management companies.  This eliminates the need for everyone to sign at one time or bring the parties together. This creates a stronger bond between your property manager and the tenant from the beginning.

Monthly Financial Report       

The meat and potatoes of property management. Your financial reports should come to you once a month. Understanding that not all owners are financial analyst or accountants, if you don't understand what you are looking at call the management company and ask or hire an accountant who can explains them to you. These reports should show income, expenses, work orders and copies of all invoices. Also you should expect that your management company will provide you year end reports for your tax preparer.

Property Renovations OR Maintenance

A property Manager understands that this is an investment and has a duty to maintain the value of the investment well at the same time keep costs down. While some owners want to do the work themselves or use someone they know. We strongly recommend against this as this could create liability for the owner. Is the contractor (friend) licensed and insured? One mistake could cost you a fortune and everything you own. Normally the management company and you will agree to a set amount that the management company is authorize to spend on a repair. This helps in the timely repair of the problem and maintaining the property condition. Some owners request to be notified before any maintenance work is done on the property or without their permission or approval. These decisions should be spelled out within the management agreement. 

What going on at Your Property

Owners that own properties other then multifamily units should expect a quarterly/semi annual report letting the owner know that everything is ok. Some companies charge for this, others don't. Some provide written reports only if something is wrong, some provide one even if everything is ok. I think the important issue here is to know sooner then later that the property is still in good shape and don't find out later that the tenants have been destroying the property for months!


Property Management Rules of Engagement

System - Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sometimes tenants pester the life out of their rental property manager. However, one of the most important jobs of a rental property manager is to ensure that his tenants are satisfied. Often this includes times talking to a tenant, who for whatever reason is irate about something with the rental property. Before a rental property manager takes the next passenger train out of town, there are tactics for dealing with angry clients. A rental property manager does not have to be a retired mathematician to figure this one out. As long as he is properly trained to handle upset tenants, he can prevent a disastrous situation. Here is how.

Remember back in third grade when the teacher told your mother, little Johnny is a nice boy but he has trouble listening. Hopefully, the rental property manager grew up a good listener. Listen, listen, listen, and let the angry tenant air it out. If a rental property manager can take a few punches the tenant will calm down. Of course do not let the tenant become abusive verbally or physically. If this happens, the tenant needs to be told that his problems are understood, however, keep it professional.

Once the tenant finishes voicing his angers, be sympathetic. The rental property manager needs to put himself in the tenants shoes and understand the tenants frustrations. Restate the tenants complaint and tell him they are valid. Then ask questions to show interest.

As much as a rental property manager might hate it, he must apologies even though it is not his fault. This is not an admission of guilt, it is just simply saying sorry you feel this way, or sorry it happened. Though the tenant might not think this way, but it will calm him down a little like a cat with a scratching post.

Now it is time to get the problem solved. A rental property manager needs to reinsure his tenant that no problem can go unsolved and you are here, the king of the castle. A rental property manger needs to imagine that this happen to him and ask what he would want done. Then ask the tenant what he expects. The more courteous a rental property manager is with the situation, the more it will boggle the tenants mind. This means he is happy because he is not use to property managers being so good with people.

All complaints should be recorded in some type of journal. The notes should be clear and precise about the episode and the problem at hand. If follow ups were done by either party, they need to be recorded. It is not just a reference for the rental property manager who took and handled the complaint, it is also for other property managers who may work at the rental property.

Always follow up with the tenant after the complaint was rectified. It shows that the rental property manager still cares even after almost taking a trip to the cleaners. Who knows, maybe the tenant will thank the rental property manager with a basket of oranges. This will also prevent the tenant from becoming extremely angry the next time a problem arises. He will know that the rental property manager is a problem solver, the go to guy. The tenant may even apologies for being so irate with the rental property manager when he obviously did not have to be.

Story Posted by StorageMart Halsted & Chicago Ave Chicago, IL 60622


Why Renters Insurance Is Important

System - Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Your Stuff- traditionally customers purchase renters insurance to protect their stuff like clothing, furniture, dishes, pots & pans, along with the myriad of other things found inside a home..  

Your Loss of Use- When a major loss occurs the home may not be habitable. Loss of Use coverage pays for the extra expenses to stay at an alternate location.

Guests Medical- When guests get hurt in your home, there are funds available for the guests medical expenses.

Family Liability- This is the coverage that protects you from others and the landlord. When the unthinkable happens and you cause damage to the home or to other's, there will be a resulting lawsuit. Family Liability coverage is what protects you from the lawsuits. The term is called "Subrogation". 

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Tom Cowan
RE/MAX Center
1140 Old Peachtree Rd Suite D
Duluth, GA 30097

Office: 770-597-9082
Direct: 678-987-1964
Cell: 770-597-9082
Fax: 678-317-9048

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