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2016 Make it your Best Property Management Year Ever!

2016 Make it your Best Property Management Year Ever!

2016 Make it your Best Property Management Year Ever!

Being a landlord or property manager can come with its own set of challenges, however, 2016 is the year you can turn everything around in your favor. If you are someone who leases your property, you know that it can be very difficult to not only manage the financial aspect of the business but also the property itself. Luckily, there are many ways to manage both time and money, make sure that the potential tenants are happy with the property and increase profits.

Reduce Expenses

The first and most important part of making the best of 2016 is making sure the finances are in order. Reducing expenses can be a great way to free up some extra money. Finding more efficient ways of taking care of the property or easier ways to take care of all of the amenities involved will help accomplish this goal.

Screen Tenants

This is one of the most important parts of renting. Tenant screening is a good way to safeguard against disaster. If you are a renter, you know that tenant screening can be a great way to see who is fit for renting to. Potential tenants who have had a bad payment or criminal history can be a liability and can cause damage to your business and your property.

Winterize

Winterizing can be a very important tool in a property manager’s arsenal. Making sure that the property you are renting is nice and warm in winter can be a big draw for potential tenants. Winterizing will help increase your business and make sure everyone is comfortable in their rented property.

Tax Preparation

Very few people enjoy doing taxes. However, as the owner of a business, especially one that deals with other people and property, it is important to have your taxes in line and make sure you are squared away with all governmental agencies. Preparation ahead of time can reduce the headaches often associated with taxes.

Paperwork Organization

Organization goes hand in hand with tax preparation. Disorganization can be a costly and dangerous habit to fall into and can lead to many problems. It is important to have all important paperwork organized so that it can be grabbed at a moment’s notice or referenced. All of these tips will help reduce stress and make 2016 a great year to be a property manager!

What’s New in Social: Property Management

What’s New in Social Property Management

What’s New in Social: Property Management

The way in which people do business has been revolutionized by the digital world. In today’s business environment, social network plays a big part in promoting agencies and promoting products and services. Social media marketing has helped companies make more personal connection with people. However, in the property management business, property managers hardly try to get a client referral from Facebook or twitter. Social media has been criticized that it hardly benefits branding in property management. What these property managers don’t know is that social media is not just about branding the property business. It is actually more about strengthening communication with the clients, building relationships and sharing information. When a property manager joins the social media community, it is easier to connect with a tenant, residents, a landlord, owners and potential clients.

Why property managers would benefit from using social network?

Gain a competitive advantage

A property manager doesn’t need a huge budget to create a social network presence. To keep it updated, a property manager only needs a few minutes every day. It helps you gain better competitive advantage against your competitors from the social network activities. It doesn’t matter the size of the property business but social network aps definitely provides platforms to engage and meet new clients.

Market your business

Social network gives the landlord an opportunity to market his/her rental houses. You get a chance to communicate with a current and potential tenant. It is easier to address issues on social network. For instance, a tenant can post comments about his/her experience and can also report any issues about the property to enable a quick action to be taken. Facebook and Twitter are great apps to spread the word about the rental business even without making sales.

Provide quick customer service

Property managers are better off when interacting with their customers on social network because it helps them to listen and reply to their questions and concerns in the real-time. The idea is to provide quick customer service in order to advice or expedite help to the tenants.

Share information

Social network is the best place to share information. Property managers can share information about the industry news, tenancy agreement laws, and advice on industry topics. One of the way to socialize with people is through sharing information to improve the credibility of the business. Sharing the industry information improves the credibility of the business.

Social network apps

Property management professionals need to innovative ways to connect with clients and generate business through social network. There are various apps which may help property managers achieve their social network goals.

Instagram

Recently, Instagram opened up ad offering to business of all types and sizes. Property managers can take advantage of this channel to target potential clients through targeting specific interests and generate qualified leads. This would work well using photos targeting interested people.

Facebook for Business

Facebook has great features and pages with which property managers can increase efficiency when communicating with audiences. The recent updates on the Facebook app is intended to add more touch points for customers. Property managers can utilize these new features to create ads and keep in touch with clients.

LinkedIn direct messages

LinkedIn direct messaging experience has created a more relaxed way to connect with multifamily industry professionals in the property markets. It support back and forth communication and connections. The update has also included an email notification, group messaging option, chat-style interface and emoji’s.

Twitter

Twitter is an easy way to socialize with professionals and different people interested in property market. Twitter is both on PCs and mobile phones and has provided users including the property managers with great user interface to share content and engage in their audiences through business pages and individual pages. Since social network sites makes improvement based on individual preferences, property managers can take advantage of this trend to categorize users to get more prospects.

 

 

2016 Rental Forecast by the Numbers

2016 Rental Forecast by the Numbers

2016 Rental Forecast by the Numbers

What Will Rental Industry Look Like in 2016?

Since the real estate collapse a few years back, the idea of home ownership went to the wayside for a lot of people. Because of that, the rental industry will be on the rise through next year by an average of 8%, with single family homes being the largest rental alternative choice. Rental prices, however, have been on the rise due to an increase in the demand for rentals and not much available inventory for qualified tenants who can pass the tenant screening.

The greatest rental housing growth will include rentals in the single-family rental sector for the major institutional investors, being simultaneously present in multiple cities and states. These investors are targeting areas with harsh downturn through the housing crisis, and are now setting their sights on areas like Las Vegas, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida. With approximately 13.5 million vacant homes currently on the market, the rental industry for homes will be on the rise between 2% and 4% nationally over the next two to three years, providing a wide market of availability in a diverse assortment of locales and neighborhoods.

In the second quarter of 2015, vacancy rates dropped to 6.8%, marking a 20-year low, and with home ownership dropping to historic low levels, landlords truly do not have any need or incentive to lower their rental prices going into a new year. A 4% hike in rental rates is predicted for 2016, with the demand for rental housing expecting to grow by approximately 6.6 million units throughout the year, with 4.2 million renters entering the rental industry over the next decade.

It does remain cheaper to rent than to buy, however, by about 38% on a national basis. The vacancy rates for apartments are predicted to rise to about 5% in 2016, and then again to 5.3% in 2017. Despite increasing rental rates, renters can use the knowledge that rental prices can vary greatly, making it easy to research whether or not an apartment is fairly priced and giving the renter some negotiating power before signing a lease.

Instead of trying to sell a home at a lower price just to get it to sell, now would be a great time to engage some stringent tenant screening processes and rent out a vacant home while the demand is strong, and on the rise. Renting an apartment or a home will remain a more attractive option for those consumers who do not have the credit or confidence needed to buy. In the United States, multifamily rent growth is expected to reach 4.6% in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Accessing Tenant Credit Reports

Accessing Tenant Credit Reports

Accessing Tenant Credit Reports

Accessing Tenant Credit Reports

Nowadays many landlords will check the tenant credit report before agreeing to rent to someone. This is because this practice lowers the risk of them renting to someone who has a high debt to income ratio, has past collections, or has an extensive history of late payments. Learn how checking the financial history of a rental applicant can alert you to the potential problems of a future tenant.

Before the Credit Check

Before you can check a potential renter’s credit report, you will need to ask them to complete an application. There should be a space on the application where the potential renter puts in their Social Security number, current address, full name and date of birth. The Social Security Number must match the name on file at the credit bureaus for a credit report to be returned.

Even if you already have a person’s Social Security, you still will not be able to run a credit check without the rental applicant’s permission. The two ways that you can do this is to either put in a permission clause somewhere in the rental application, or to provide a separate form for this purpose. Whichever option you choose, you will need a signature from the applicant that expressly allows you to check their financial history.

Defraying the Costs of Credit Checks

Performing a credit check for an applicant is not free. However, you could pass the cost of the tenant credit report onto the rental applicant. You will need to know which type of credit report you will need. At this time, landlords can order a credit report through Smart Move and receive the full credit report with FICO score (you and the potential renter have to have an email account and this does require action on the renter’s side), or you will need to choose a tenant screening service such as StarPoint Tenant Screening. The benefits of choosing a tenant screening service includes free membership, you only pay for the reports you order and you can order 24/7 tenant screening.

While performing credit checks on potential renters are a good way to protect yourself against people who can’t or won’t meet their financial responsibilities, a bad financial report doesn’t say everything about a person. Good and responsible people go through rough patches all the time. Use the combination of a credit report and score, current ability to pay the rent (such as a new job), and other screening reports such as a criminal background check or eviction search to discern whether a person will be a great tenant for your property.

 

 

 

The Financial Perks of Being a Landlord

The Financial Perks of Being a Landlord

The Financial Perks of Being a Landlord

Being in the property management or landlord industry has many financial benefits to it as well as a ton of social benefits. Landlords get to continuously meet new people and form meaningful relationships and long-term tenants. They can network with their tenants and find additional people who will rent units from them. The following are some of the financial benefits that such people receive from the property management businesses:

Steady Income

The biggest perk that people get from jobs in property management field is the steady income that it provides. Landlords can sometimes purchase foreclosure properties and then make a heap of money off them in monthly rental income. Rental properties are like a gift that keeps on giving. A landlord can earn thousands of dollars a month if he or she owns several properties.
Tax Deductions

Tax deductions are available to persons who own rental or investment properties. An individual can receive a tax break for any property tax interest that he or she has to pay for a home that is being used for rent. Landlords can take as many as 10 deductions for the properties that they own. They can take deductions for any repairs that they made on a home at any point during the year. They can take deductions for home office expenses that they put forth throughout the year. They can deduct any fees that they spend on legal services throughout the year, as well. Insurance premiums are another deduction that a person may take as well as deductions for any thefts or casualties that one may suffer.
Investment Opportunities

If the property manager or landlord keeps the rental property in excellent condition, he or she can then resell it to someone and get back nearly the same amount of the purchase price.

Landlords can most likely receive loans and cash advances because they can prove the income that they can generate each month. They screen tenants so that they can be absolutely sure when they tell people that they have a certain amount of income. Lenders like to see stable income so that know that they will receive their proceeds back along with any fees that they charged the borrower. Property management is an excellent field to work in.

 

Pro, Cons and Tips to Become a Successful Landlord

Pros, Cons and Tips to be a Successful Landlord

Pros, Cons and Tips to be a Successful Landlord

Pro, Cons and Tips to Become a Successful Landlord

Today’s real estate market is encouraging many people to consider the opportunity of becoming a landlord. Owning real estate rental property is an exceptional way of earning passive income throughout the entire year. Home prices and interest rates are extremely low. This presents one with a golden chance to become a successful landlord.

Running a rental property business is not as difficult as you may believe. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of being a landlord. Taking heed to these tips can help you generate monthly passive income from your rental property.

Pros

The Tenant Will Pay Your Mortgage

Your outstanding loan balance will decrease over time. This will help you accumulate equity in your property. You will be in position to make more money when you decide to sell your property.

Tax Breaks

Renting allows you to take advantage of tax deductions for depreciation and interest expense. This will help you avoid paying a hefty capital gains tax on your profit when you decide to sell.

Inflation

Inflation will work for you. You can increase your rental rates when inflation rises. Your monthly cash flow will increase while your mortgage remains fixed.

Dependable Monthly Income

You can earn dependable monthly income as a landlord. Your monthly income may be small at first, but it will increase over time.

Not Demanding

Owning rental property will not consume too much of your time. You can sit back and collect your monthly checks after completing the upfront work. Finding the ideal tenant is the key to earning consistent cash flow.

Cons

Becoming a landlord will expose you to some risks. For example, you may have heard stories about tenants not paying their rent. Let’s examine the cons of being a landlord.

Can’t Find a Tenant

This is a big concern for many prospective landlords. You can find a tenant if you are renting a decent piece of property at a reasonable rate.

Selecting the Wrong Tenant

This is probably your biggest risk. Selecting the wrong tenant can lead to late rental payments and damaged property. You should do a criminal background check and a credit check on each prospective tenant. Tenant screening will protect your investment.

Unexpected Expenses

You should be prepared to cover periodic repairs on your rental property. You should set up a reserve fund from the monthly cash flow of your property. This will help you cover repair costs.

This is the perfect time to own rental property. Following the advice in this article can help you run a rental real estate business like a true professional.

Why Credit Scores Fluctuate During the Year

Why Credit Scores Fluctuate During the Year

Why Credit Scores Fluctuate During the Year

Many people who decide to purchase a vehicle or property find out that their credit score is more important than they think. A lot of people wonder why their credit scores tend to fluctuate throughout the year. There is no single reason for this, but it could be due to a number of different variables. Credit reporting agencies analyze ridiculous amounts of consumer trends to determine whether issuing a loan is a good idea.

The first thing to consider is the fact that there are three different credit reporting agencies. Each of these agencies can demonstrate different fluctuations. You may have an unpaid medical bill. The bill gets sent to collections. Collections reports to one or two of the agencies. Your Experian credit score may now seem to randomly fluctuate because of this.

Many people also don’t realize that pulling credit often drops a credit score a few points. This seems like a strange idea. You may get approved for a credit card or auto loan, but your credit still drops three points. The real reason for this is a bit more complicated. Many people believe that it is simply because these agencies know people that constantly inquire for credit are a greater risk.

The biggest reason that credit scores fluctuate is usually because of credit card debt. Credit card debt decreases over time because the debt is paid over time. You may see a sharp drop in your credit score because you spent $300 on your credit card one day. You may see it gradually scale upward over time as you inevitably pay the debt off. Defaulting on your payments is the best way to let the credit reporting agency know that you are a risk. One way to reduce penalties from using credit cards is to pay off the debt. Another way requires a bit of rigging. It’s thought that you can open multiple accounts with high credit limits. Your credit limit is compared against your credit spending. It’s important to note that having an extremely high credit score usually isn’t more beneficial than having a good credit score.

Many people don’t realize that credit scores only work in theory. There is no way for a bank to ever know if someone is going to default on a loan. Banks have to make their best judgement calls with the knowledge provided.

 

Why Do I Have Different Credit Scores?

What does the Credit Score really mean

Why do I have Different Credit Scores?

Why Do I Have Different Credit Scores?

If you have rented an apartment recently, you probably aren’t surprised to learn that the property management company or landlord is going to pull a credit report. Almost anywhere you turn, someone will be pulling credit information on you to determine if you’re  risk. That’s why, it’s important for you understand the basics about credit scores and credit reports.

Credit Bureaus

The three largest credit bureaus are Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. All three bureaus collect credit information, credit histories and tabulate a credit score (FICO score). Landlords, banks, credit unions, auto insurance companies, utilities and a variety of other companies can use credit bureaus as a resource to pull a credit score or tenant credit report.

It’s not unusual for all bureaus to have different credit scores for one individual because of a variety of reasons:

• Lenders and creditors may only report to one bureau or all three credit bureaus, which means a score could be very different at each bureau.

• Each bureau has its own scoring model for determining scores.

• Credit bureaus receive credit information updates daily. Therefore, credit scores may change from day to day.

Credit Scores

Credit scores on individuals are derived from:

• The amount you owe

• New credit accounts

• Payment histories

• Length of your credit history

• Varieties of credit currently used

Landlords

Landlords will run a tenant credit report to check your financial stability, whether you pay bills responsibly and would be a good candidate as a tenant. Credit reports might give them insight into:

• Bill paying habits

• Debts

• Bankruptcy, Liens and Judgements

Renters

It’s very important to pay your bills on time and maintain a good credit score, so you’ll have good credit when applying for rental property, loans, credit cards, or other types of financing.

3 Ways to Protect Against ID Theft During a Move

3 Ways to Protect Against ID Theft During a Move

3 Ways to Protect Against ID Theft During a Move

You have a lot of things to worry about during a move, but one thing that you shouldn’t have to worry about is identity theft. Unfortunately, due to allowing people into your home, such as movers or people who you know who are going to be helping you, you could be put at an added risk of ID theft. You also have to worry about your documents becoming compromised before, during and after your move. Luckily, following these three steps can help you keep yourself safe from ID theft.

  1. Shred Unnecessary Documents

First of all, you might be thinking about getting rid of unnecessary documents during your move. This is a good way to purge and avoid bringing a bunch of clutter into your new home, and it can also leave you with less to transport from one house to another.

However, you should be very careful about getting rid of these documents. If you just throw them in the garbage, they could be compromised. Instead, shred them thoroughly with a paper shredder, or tear them up into small pieces with your hands. This includes anything that might have your personal information on it, such as old bank statements, paycheck stubs or tax documents.

  1. Keep Documents Secure During the Move

There will probably be different people handling your documents and items during the move, such as your moving crew or your friends and family. To protect yourself from ID theft, you will need to secure your documents.

Before inviting others into your home to help you with packing and moving, you should first find all of these documents. After sorting through them, consider putting them in a safe or another secure box with a lock. Consider moving your important documents yourself rather than having them moved by your moving company or your friends.

  1. Monitor Your Credit Report

After your move, you should make a point to monitor your credit report. Don’t just check when you first move; instead, consider signing up for a credit report monitoring service so that you can keep an eye on your score over the next few months. If you find any discrepancies, you should report them to all of the major credit bureaus.

Identity theft is a serious thing, so it’s important to protect yourself against it at all times. It is particularly important to do so during a move, so follow these three steps to protect yourself.

 

Questions your Rental Application Should and Should Not Have

Questions your Rental Application Should and Should Not Have

Questions your Rental Application Should and Should Not Have

There are many things to think about as a landlord or a property manager when you are getting ready to rent out your property. But one of the most important items on your checklist should be making sure you have a good Tenant Application Form. Having the right form handy for you applicants to fill out will save you valuable time and money and some cases, costly and stressful legal headaches.

Your Tenant Application Form should ALWAYS collect the following:

  • First, Middle and Last name of your applicant. The more info you have, the better for tenant screening purposes.
  • Current address of the applicant.
  • Current landlord information for reference purposes.
  • Current employer for employment verification
  • Social Security Number of the applicant. This is a must have for doing a tenant credit check.
  • The date of birth of the applicant. This is a must have for the tenant credit check and the tenant criminal background check.
  • Detailed list of other potential occupants
  • Disclosure and details of any pets
  • The applicant’s signed authorization and acknowledgement for a tenant credit check, a criminal background check and other tenant screening. It is the law under the Fair Credit Reporting Act that you have to have the applicant’s signed authorization before you can attain credit history or background information on the applicant.

Your Tenant Application Form should NEVER collect the following:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual Orientation

Getting the right information the first time and side stepping legal pitfalls will help you expedite the application process and allow you to get a qualified applicant into your property faster. Many sites offer a Tenant Application Form Template to help you get started. Be sure to check with your state laws to see if additional modifications need to be made to any template you find. Attached is a Tenant Application Form Template you can use. Best of luck and happy renting!