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Property Management Blog

Published on Monday, January 26, 2015

Do You Appreciate Your Tenants?

Many times, we’re so focused on dealing with the problems prevalent in the property management industry that we overlook the tenants that always pay on time; the tenants that take good care of their property, the tenants that are considerate of their neighbors. How do we make sure that those tenants are happy? That they feel appreciated? That they know that we want them to remain tenants as long as possible?

Chances are those good tenants are feeling unappreciated right now; which means that they will have no reason to stay at your property if a better opportunity opens elsewhere.

It’s so important to remember that a rental agreement is between two separate parties, and just like any of us, our tenants like to know that they’re appreciated.

Here are just a few ways to show your tenants that they are appreciated:

  • Be sure to take their concerns seriously. If your tenant calls to complain about loud music at midnight, or unauthorized vehicles in their parking spot, take prompt action and make sure that you advise them of both the action and the outcome; don’t make them complain more than once about the same issue.
  • Fulfill the promises that you make. If you promise a tenant a new dishwasher or new carpeting, be sure to fulfill that promise. Don’t make them ask you about it. Just schedule a time and do it.
  • Respond promptly to any and all maintenance requests. If a tenant is responsible and takes good care of the property, they shouldn’t have to wait three months to have their stove repaired.
  • Bend the rules – just a little. Should you wave a late fee – due to a mix-up with the post office for a reliable tenant that is never late with their rent? While opinions vary, remember that a good tenant is like a good customer, and it may be appropriate to bend the rules now and then. That’s not discrimination; that’s good business sense.
  • Give them a gift. A gift card to a local store at lease renewal time, or a card on their birthday will make a tenant feel appreciated, and build loyalty in the process.

There are many ways to make a good tenant feel appreciated, with tenant stability and timely rent payments the ultimate payoff. What more could a property manager want?

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Author: Web Master

Categories: Property Management




Landlord Knowledge Base

If you’ve ever considered investing in a few rental properties in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA now might be a good time. Prices are still low in Philadelphia, but have been on the upswing. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price of an existing home in a US metropolitan area grew 13.7% between July 2012 and July 2013, the latest in a 17-month streak of year-over-year price increases. 

New landlords can choose from properties that are likely to appreciate and a large pool of potential renters.Licensed realtor Pat Mueller cites a few reasons for this trend: “Many families have lost their homes to foreclosure and are entering the rentals market for the first time in years. Mortgages are also harder to get now, so fewer people are qualifying for a new one.”The more skills you bring to the table to get into Houses for Rent in Philadelphia Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA and the more time you have to devote to your properties, the faster you can make a return on your investment. 

But investing in rentals can also be disastrous (or too stressful to be worthwhile) without expertise. Here are three professionals you may consult about your new rental properties, and what you can do to mitigate how much they cost you:Handyman:  You may need to hire a specialist for some work on your rental. If you need new outlets or new pipes, for example, hire an electrician, plumber or licensed contractor. Handymen usually tackle smaller, more manageable tasks, like:

  • Painting and paint removal
  • Drywall repair
  • Minor appliance repairs (fixing a leaky toilet or faucet, among others)
  • Installing tiling or flooring, moldings, windows, doors
  • Refinishing decks, cabinets and other wood items

When You Could Skip It: You could do any (or all) of these projects yourself if you have the time and interest in learning. Of course, this only works if you live relatively close to your rentals and are flexible enough to service them on short notice. And if you’re willing to respond to the occasional 5 AM basement flooding.

Average Savings: Any base rates or costs-per-hour vary from location to location in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA , but nationally, you can expect to spend an average of $60 to $85 per hour for repair costs. It general costs less to hire an individual handyman than a handyman employed by a company. Expect an additional charge if your job requires a trip to the store for materials.

Resident Property Manager As the owner of a handful of rental properties, you may be able to manage them yourself, but if you want help, a single resident manager would probably be more cost efficient than a property management company. Resident managers may:

  • Serve as a handyman
  • Advertise vacancies in your units
  • Show apartments to prospective tenants
  • Review rental applications
  • Collect rents

When You Could Skip It: Again, the closer you live to your properties and the more spare time you have, the less likely you are to need a manager. The obligations of being a boss will also cut into the time you save on maintenance.

Average Savings: The national median wage for residential managers is just over $25 per hour. Research the wages in your community and adjust according to how much responsibility your manager will take on. 

Real Estate Agent: Once you’ve gotten your financials in order and done your own research on the neighborhood(s) you’re considering, you might contact a realtor to show you potential properties. You can also arrange for a realtor in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA to show rentals once they’re ready to rent.

When You Could Skip It: It depends. Even if you’re a local, or have thoroughly researched the neighborhood(s) you’re considering, a realtor is a great resource for a first-time rental buyer. Realtors have access to data and statistics not necessarily available to the general public and first-time buyers may not know all the right questions to ask. Using a realtor to fill your Houses for Rent vacancies is less of a no-brainer, depending on your other time commitments or whether you plan to hire a resident manager who could do the same thing.

Average Savings: As a buyer of rental properties, as when buying your own home, sellers typically pay most, if not all, of the buyer’s realtor fees. In this case, Mueller points out there’s little reason not to work with a realtor. For help in filling your units in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA, the services of a realtor would set you back between 10-20% of the unit’s rent per month.  Mueller recommends interviewing with several brokers before making your final decision to invest into Houses for Rent .

The Bottom Line: As a new landlord, you can’t necessarily control the flexibility of your schedule or the amount (and cost) of unexpected repairs to your properties. Rentals are a long-term investment. However, to maximize profits from your Houses for Rent, new rentals, you can buy close to home and start small. It is best to begin with just one or two properties. This will allow you to maximize the time you spend on your properties’ needs, and minimize the amount you’ll have to pay anyone else.


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