Capital Improvements at Rental Properties
My siblings and I have owned rental property since I was 18 years old. No, I am not going to tell you how long ago that is. We have had many lean years with our properties, just like everybody else. We did at least two smart things, in my opinion. We’ve never taken the equity out of our properties and we’ve paid them off as fast as we have been able. Now, however, our properties are aging – fairly significantly. There are many good reasons for normal upkeep; aesthetics, preventative maintenance, marketability. Making the decision to spend the big bucks can be difficult but sometimes a necessity. Renters needs have changed along with homeowners. Homes need the accessibility to all of the technology advances. Kitchen cabinets wear out (sometimes especially because it’s been a rental for 20 years). Schools of thought have changed on flooring options and we all know that the “Fiesta” avocado or goldenrod refrigerators have got to go! There are also energy concerns; how old are your windows, your electrical system, the sprinkler system, or your roof? Tenants pay attention to this stuff and so do buyers. We provide you with annual walk-throughs, but a property manager is not an inspector. We also recommend that you personally visit your rental property annually (or as often as you are able). There are companies that will do a complete inspection for a fee and make recommendations for repairs/replacements. We can help you make a plan and a budget. We can also impound a portion of rent monthly if you want to save for future repairs. We are available for questions about this. Your property manager can most likely give you some good advice, but again, we are not professional inspectors. If you’d like to speak with us, please call or email. We would love to hear from you.
One of the most important things that Phoenix landlords need to do is to screen tenants thoroughly. When you’re choosing tenants for your rental property, you have to be careful about gathering all the necessary information and verifying everything that you find on the application.
Criminal Background Check
The most important part of the screening process is the nationwide criminal background check. A common mistake landlords will make is to think that prospective Phoenix tenants “look like such nice people.” They probably aren’t nice people, and even if they are, you want to know if you can trust them to take care of your property and pay their rent on time. It’s hard for bad tenants to hide when you’re doing a comprehensive criminal background check. If you don’t have the resources to do your own nationwide background check, use a professional property management company Phoenix landlords recommend.
Landlord and Rental History
We always recommend that rental property owners check two landlord histories. The tenants might have been good for the current landlord, but the one before that might tell you that the place was ripped up. It’s important to put together a complete rental history by talking to at least two landlords.
Income and Employment
Verify income as well. At Bennett Property Management, we will only approve tenants when they earn at least three times the monthly rent. If they don’t earn that much, they won’t qualify for the property. Pull all your data together and make sure the application is complete and signed. Once you and your tenant sign the lease, it’s a done deal and they will be living in your rental property.
These are some of the most fundamental things we do when screening for the best possible tenants. If you have any questions about Phoenix tenant screening or anything pertaining to our services as a Phoenix property management company, please contact us at Bennett Property Management.
If your Phoenix property management company isn’t meeting your expectations or delivering the level of service that you need, it’s a good idea to consider switching management companies. These are five signs that your relationship isn’t working.
When you can’t reach your property manager or the company isn’t communicating with you in a timely manner, you should consider finding a new team of property professionals. Our policy is to promptly return voicemails, emails, and texts. We’ll get back to you within one business day.
It’s a problem if you haven’t received any rental income or financial statements in over a month. You should receive a statement as well as net rental proceeds based on the written terms in your property management agreement. If your property manager isn’t providing this report, they are breaching the terms of your agreement. In accordance with our own property management agreement, we send Phoenix landlords or their designated party a statement of account and net rental proceeds every month.
Long Vacancy Times
When your Phoenix rental home is vacant for too long, you lose money. When you know your tenant is moving out, your property manager should provide you with a current market rent and an estimated timeframe for marketing. Talk to your property manager if the vacancy has gone on longer than you expect. It might not be rent ready in an acceptable amount of time, or maybe it’s priced incorrectly. We will provide you with a comparative rental market analysis, monitor the results of our marketing efforts, and keep you informed throughout the vacancy.
Department of Real Estate Audits
It’s a huge red flag if your property management company fails a Department of Real Estate audit. The most common reason for a cease and desist from the Real Estate Department is a discrepancy in the trust accounting. If you haven’t received statements or funds from your property management company, it may be due to sloppy accounting. Check your company’s status at www.az.state.re.us. You’ll see that we are on the honor roll with the Arizona Department of Real Estate, and we’ve never failed an audit.
Your property management agreement stipulates how much money your property manager can spend without prior authorization from you. If your property manager is spending more than is authorized, you should consider switching property management companies. Keeping expenses and costs down is one of the most important aspects of a property manager’s job. Our property managers and vendors are required to stay within the limits of the management agreement and any authorized limits.
Your relationship with a property manager needs to be based on trust. If you cannot trust your Phoenix property management company, it’s time to look for help. Contact us at Bennett Property Management, and we’ll show you how we can meet and exceed your expectations.
Bennett Property Management has been providing professional Phoenix property management for the last 45 years. Our office is located in Mesa, and we serve the communities of Maricopa and Pinal counties. Anne McCawley and Frank Bennett, Jr., the owners of BPM, lead a team of experienced property managers and support staff who specialize in residential property management, including single family homes, multi-family units, condos, and townhomes. Today, we’re talking about why you should trust your Phoenix rental home to the property professionals.
Continuing Education and Professional Certifications
BPM is one of only two Certified Residential Management Companies (CRMC) in Arizona. Continuing education is important to us because it means we can better serve our owners and tenants. All of our property managers are licensed Realtors and members of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). Anne has been an active member of NARPM since 1997, and has achieved the Master Property Manager (MPM) designation.
Phoenix landlords need to be focused on their bottom line, and we provide accurate, transparent accounting to help you understand the financial performance of your property. Mike Mumford, our CFO, has also achieved the MPM designation, and he is one of the best finance professionals in the country. He is a premier instructor on trust accounting practices in Arizona and across the U.S.
Relationships and Communication
Your Phoenix home is in good hands when you work with BPM. Our property managers take pride in their portfolios of properties and in the relationships they have with our clients. We are structured so that you have a personal, one-on-one relationship with your property manager. Our managers take the time to know you and your home or investment property. We are available and accessible, and always willing to address any of your questions and concerns.
When you’re looking for a Phoenix property management company, we hope you’ll consider BPM. If you have any questions about our services or experience, please contact us at Bennett Property Management.
Are you a landlord who needs to be rescued?
Many times, Phoenix landlords don’t realize that they need rescue or intervention. It’s easy for a rental property owner to assume property management isn’t that hard, and to try and do it themselves. Often it’s all downhill from there, and what could have been a successful and positive landlord experience becomes something dreadful and plagued with costly mistakes.
Phoenix Property Management: Leasing Mistakes
It’s easy to make mistakes with marketing because individual landlords don’t have access to the tools and resources that property managers do. When you put up a For Rent sign in the front yard of your Phoenix home, you’re basically advertising that the property is vacant and free appliances are available. Screening can also be tricky. Many property owners don’t know how to prescreen prospective renters. If you know what to ask when they call or email about the property, you can save yourself time and eliminate some unqualified people right away. You need to ask about income to ensure they can afford the property, and if you don’t allow pets, you shouldn’t waste time showing the home to someone with dogs or cats. After showing your property to prospective Phoenix tenants, you’ll also need to process applications, create a strong written lease, and manage the collection of the security deposit.
Phoenix Property Management: Resolving Problems
Unless you know the laws and have experience managing properties, it’s easy to run into problems with your tenants and your property. Rental property professionals have systems and procedures in place to prevent these issues from occurring. Common mistakes with individual landlords include tenants who don’t pay rent or maintain the home. If you find yourself in a situation like this, you probably need to be rescued by a professional management company. You may be unsure if you should evict the tenant or what legal steps you can take to enforce the lease and the payment of rent.
You can require your tenant to maintain the property and pay rent on time. Property managers handle these situations every day. As full time landlords, it’s our job to know the laws and enforce the lease. We can help you educate your tenants about their responsibilities.
If you need a landlord rescue or you have questions about how a Phoenix property management company can help you, please contact us at Bennett Property Management.
- Property Management Education
- Capital Improvements for Investment Properties
- Tenant Screening Tips for DIY Landlords in Phoenix
- 5 Signs You Need to Switch Your Phoenix Property Management Company
- Why Should You Trust Your Phoenix Investment Property with Bennett Property Management “BPM”?
- Landlord “Rescue” – Signs You Need to Hire a Phoenix Property Management Company
- Anne McCawley