Tag Archives: Property Management Companies

5 Signs You Need a New Property Management Strategy

When you invest in a rental property in Colorado, you receive steady passive income as well as enjoy home appreciation. But trying to manage a rental property on your own is often stressful. Sometimes you fix up a property so well that tenants don’t want to leave even when you don’t want to renew a lease. By hiring a good property management company, you minimize property damage, stress and boost profits and tax benefits. According to a piece by thebalance.com, there are several signs that indicate the need for a new property management strategy, especially for DIY landlords ill-equipped to handle rough tenants.

You like to travel or live out of the area

If you don’t live close to your Colorado rental property or travel extensively for work, it’s a sign indicating you need a good property manager to oversee the maintenance and upkeep. Hiring a property manager frees up your time. Some people think they can manage a rental home until an unexpected family illness or accident takes up their attention and time.

You want to increase your portfolio

If you want to buy another rental home or condo, it’s another sign that you need a property manager. Most people can’t juggle numerous tenants. A property manager shows your rental home to potential tenants, screens people, collects rent and enforces the lease. Real estate experts point out that it’s still a good time to own rental properties in popular areas such as Colorado.

You know your strengths and weaknesses

If you know your personal strong and weak points, recognize that not everyone is good at playing the “tough guy.” Some people like to please others, which is fine. But when it comes to owning a rental property, it’s best to stay organized and enforce the lease. Even if you are handy, a full-property management company saves you time.

You don’t have the time

When it comes to the rental property business, it’s a full-time job. If you feel overwhelmed with your business or career, consider whether a property manager is the best fit for your work situation. You still receive tax benefits as long as you actively participate by hiring a property manager.

You don’t have the right personality

Some people feel stressed when people damage their property or start arguments. A property manager handles disputes for you. If a tenant has a problem with a neighbor or wants something fixed, it’s quickly resolved in a professional manner. If you don’t like interacting with people, can’t handle conflicts well or feel a lot of stress, lean on a property management company.

Many rental property owners in Colorado enjoy passive without massive headaches. At Housing Helpers of Colorado, we connect people looking for rental homes or condos to available properties. Talk to us about managing your rental home. For more information about what a property manager can do for you, please contact us at 303-545-6000  

Boulder Property Management      Louisville CO Property Management

Arvada Property Management       Longmont Property Management

 

Top Reasons to Rely on Property Management Company for Your Rentals

Although you could manage a rental property, many real estate investors rely on an experienced property management company to handle the details of their rentals. A property manager takes an active interest in protecting your rental property as well as satisfying the reasonable demands of tenants.

New rental property owners sometimes take on the monumental task of managing their own property only to deal with emotional and financial drains as well as unexpected headaches. To figure out if hiring a property management company would serve as a solution for your particular situation, consider the main reasons most investors rely on professional landlords.

Saving time

The old saying that “time is money” is literally true!   If you have a full-time job, family or career that requires you to travel, taking care of your own rental property often requires too much attention. Most people are too busy to deal with the everyday problems associated with tenants such as collecting rent, calling repair professionals and enforcing the lease.  A property management company will sabe you time.  

Screening tenants

Most people aren’t familiar with the tenant and landlord laws. A property management company finds qualified tenants that are the best match for your rental home. By running a background check and reviewing a tenant’s rental history, it’s possible to minimize risks.   

Serving as an intermediary

When you own a rental property, you don’t necessarily want tenants calling your or violating your privacy. With a property management company, you don’t end up having tenants showing up on your front door step with the check or calling with complaints. A property manager is the point of contact for the tenants when they want emergency repairs or need to air concerns or ask questions.

Other important reasons people hire a property management company include legal considerations such as evicting tenants the property way. Also, property managers know the best vendors and contractors for necessary repairs.  

Whether you need help renting your property or managing your property contact Housing Helpers for the most professional landlords in Colorado.  303-545-6000.

Boulder Property Management      Longmont Property Management

Arvada Property Management        Broomfield Property Management

Louisville Property Management     Superior Property Management

 

Tenant Screening

8 Property Management Tips For Landlords

In the property management world most tenants of rental properties are great. However, experienced landlords know the 80-20 rule which states, 80 percent of all renter issues are from 20 percent of tenants.

Being a good landlord requires plenty of learning to avoid creating even greater issues. Moreover, many landlords become burned-out dealing with the headaches of property management including high-demand, slow-pay renters. Therefore, we are sharing our top 8 property management tips for landlords and rental properties.

1. Complete Screening – Thoroughly vet prospective tenants. Scrutinize their credit history, call their references, and verify their work history. If you do not perform a thorough background check, you are only asking for trouble. Therefore, always use a written rental application and complete a screening. 

2. Don’t Discriminate – The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits the discrimination of certain protected classes: race, color, national origin, familial status, disability, or sex. Moreover, many localities have their own laws, sometimes adding protection for sexual orientation or gender identity. If you are rejecting an application, ensure you have documentation to prove the issue was credit, employment history, inadequate income, or other legal reason.

3. Use a Solid Lease Agreement – It does no matter if the agreement is a month-to-month or long-term, always use a written contract which identifies the rights and responsibilities of each party. Provide clear details about late payments, repair issues, and your complaint policy. This is important if you need to remove a tenant for not living up to their end of the deal.

4. Properly Handle Security Deposits – Use a fair method for handling security deposits. Document the property condition before a tenant moves into the property and when they leave, and properly document repairs to avoid disputes. Moreover, Colorado limits the time a landlord has to return a security deposit between 1 month to (with written agreement) 60 days.

5. Regularly Inspect Property – The fact is, as the owner of the property, you are likely responsible if an injury occurs because of property issue. Use a monthly smoke detector check as a reason to perform regular “health & safety inspections”. This allows you both to stay on top of needed property repairs and stay in tune with potential tenant behavior issues.

6. Handle Repairs Efficiently– Don’t create ill-will or give tenants a reason to withhold rent by ignoring repairs. You have a legal and moral obligation to maintain and repair your properties. Failing to do so can create hazards and/or legal liabilities.

7. Create Clear Policies – In addition to a well-written rental or lease agreement, have clear policies and provide a copy to your tenants. This will explain how you handle complaints and disputes. Additionally, tenants will understand their responsibilities, like not becoming an annoyance to neighbors.

8. Always Be Professional – Always maintain a professional attitude and demeanor. Never allow problems to get the better of you. If a tenant becomes an issue, have a system in place to deal with it and handle the problem quickly.

What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like more property management tips for being a better Landlord and managing your rental properties, or need additional information, please contact us.

Property Management Services        Boulder Property Management  

 

Property Management Company

Hire a Trustworthy Property Management Company and Relax

As an investor you want a worry free return of investment on your money.  Today, rates are making this nearly impossible through the banking system. However, investing in rental property has many advantages in this new economy, but the burden of personally managing your property assets is not one of them.

A most significant aspect of property management and return on investments is the filling of vacancies. If this is not handled correctly, efficiently and wisely it will cost the owner on revenue, time, and expenses. The property management of filling vacancies involves many steps that are best handled by an experienced team. Below are some of these steps:

  • Deciding on the rent amount. This must match or reflect the existing offers in the neighborhood.
  • Advertising the property for rent in all forms of media: social, exclusive rental websites, print, referral networks and the use of highly trained leasing professionals. 
  • Showing the unit. This takes time and coordination.  It is best to have a mechanism which eliminates the obviously unqualified potential tenant.  A good property management team will do this. 
  • Screening the potential tenant prudently.  This is to demonstrate that a potential tenant is financially stable and able to afford your rent. 
  • Coordination of the lease signing and all agreements. The documented lease is the protection device for both the owner and the tenant.  As such it is a very important document.

Finally the most important topic Hire a Trustworthy Property Management Company and Relax. That is where Housing Helpers come in.  We help you with property management whether you live nearby or are an out-of-state property owner, we know your needs and have a proven track-record.  We are willing to work for your trust by delivering outstanding service.  And remember there are NO up-front cost. You only pay for results.

Contact us today and RELAX!

Arvada Property Management       Boulder Property Management

Broomfield Property Management      Erie Property Management

Longmont Property Management        Louisville Property Management

Lafayette Property Management         Superior Property Management

 

 

The 3 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Rental

Renting a space to live in can be a difficult task to negotiate: especially in the Boulder area, you’ll need to quickly find a place that meets all your needs and be ready to fill out your application that same day!  Otherwise the property will likely get rented and you will lose out on it.

Whether you have a day or a month to decide, though, you’ll want to be sure that you’re making the best decision in your rental space.  So use this handy checklist of three essential questions that you may not have thought to ask to help you find your dream rental:

1. Who is taking care of you?  Be sure to know how problems and questions will be resolved at your new place. Is the owner local, and able to help if needed right away, or long-distance, and thus, not a quick resource? Is the owner an individual, or a property management company?

An individual may be more flexible on rules and regulations that you may want to bend, but a property management company will likely have standards in place to assist you in the event of any incident at your rental. Know if you’ll have an on-site super for urgent issues, or if you’ll have to handle any adjustments yourself.  And most importantly, know your comfort level in each of these cases, so you can accurately decide which situations will work for you.

2. What amenities are included?  Know all the details before you sign. What extras are included in the rent, and what will you have to cover on your own? Depending on the rental property’s arrangement, your monthly costs could go significantly up. In addition, know what features the building has on hand to make your life easier (or not). When you know the extra effort and cost you’ll also have to shoulder each month, you can more clearly weigh your choices.

Here are some of the basic “extras” for you to consider, find out if they are they included in rent, or in your rental space:

  • Leasing /Admin Fees
  • Application Fees
  • Security Deposits
  • Utilities
  • Heat & Hot Water
  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Central A/C
  • Laundry, Washer/Dryer
  • Microwave
  • Trash & Recycling
  • Cable
  • Internet
  • Repairs & Maintenance
  • Large-package Collection
  • Parking
  • Transportation (if in a commuter area)

3. Does it meet your non-negotiable needs?  In the end, you need to be happy here, so know what’s most important to you, and try to find an apartment with at least the top few items on your list (finding everything you’ve ever wanted may be difficult unless your budget is unlimited -but finding a great place that meets many needs shouldn’t be impossible for you).

Does the place allow pets–and is there a fee? Is there lots of natural light? Does it have a second bedroom, or a large kitchen suitable for frequent cooking? Is there ample storage space? There are many such questions to ask when looking for an apartment, so know the order to ask them in for yourself, and see how many of your top desires are checked off. You’ll be easily able to compare multiple locations this way.

Finding a rental place can be both exhausting and exciting, but with this checklist of questions to ask when looking for a rental, you’ll be able to narrow down on the place for you quicker and easier-and you’ll be able to enjoy your new home knowing you’ve made the best decision!   For help finding your perfect rental contact Housing Helpers at 303-545-6000 or check out our rental listings at www.housinghelpers.com

 

Property Management Company            Apartment Finders

 

Property Management Housing Helpers Boulder Colorado

5 Ways Property Management Gets You More Bang for Your Buck

The decision to hire a property management company is not one that many home owners take lightly. After all, putting someone else in the middle means that you get a smaller slice of the pie.

Or does it it?

Let’s look at some ways in which using a property management company actually helps get as much money into your pocket as possible – which, let’s face it, is exactly where it belongs.

Time is Money – Especially Your Time

When you sit down to think about what managing a property entails, lay out a salary for yourself. Think about what you’ll be doing, and what your renters will be expecting of you. If you were ever a renter, try and go back to that time – what did you expect of your landlords? Match those expectations to yourself, and try to put a dollar number to it. Do you have the hours every month, or week, to match that salary? Do you have the ability to afford paying yourself that, while still breaking even on this?

With a property management company working for you, there’s no math to figure in trying to decide if your time is going to be made worth while… because you’ve already made the decision that your time is more valuable than anything else.

DIY Can be Costlier Than You Think

Even assuming that you’re a tried-and-true handyman who owns all your own tools and knows their way around a circular saw, doing your own repairs gets expensive… fast. Even something as simple as a leaky faucet can potentially lead to any number of great home renovation problems. Not to mention to the repairs that are fairly cut and dry – there’s still all the components of evaluating the problem, driving to the hardware store, purchasing the parts, returning to the property (all within a time frame that works for both you and your tenant), hopefully fixing the problem on the first go, and leaving all without having any second problems arise, or hearing, “Well while you’re hear…” from your renter.

A Property Manager Won’t Get Sick of the Business

People become landlords for a variety of reasons. They buy a second home, but have trouble selling the first and so it becomes a rental. Or perhaps they get curious about what a second income might look like, so they buy another home and rent it out. How long do you think it will be before you’re throwing your hands up and screaming, running stark mad into the woods? Managing properties is not for everyone – but you can be guaranteed that a Property Management company is vested in having this be something they will work hard at every day.

While you may wake up one morning and not want to deal with your tenants, that will never happen with a Property Manager. You may start eyeballing your renter’s agreements, scheming ways that you could evict them early because you want out – again, not something a property management company would ever do. The honeymoon may eventually end for you – but for a property manager, this relationship is about the long haul.

The Math (Likely) Doesn’t Add Up

Let’s look at some easy numbers. Consider the idea that by managing your own property, you save an estimated $200 a month. Let’s further assume that you spend around 10 hours every month (or two per week) handling those properties – everything from running around town to check on houses, calling up handymen (or doing it yourself), stops by the bank or notary. Every bit of the business. What you’ve found yourself with is a job that pays you $20 an hour.

Instead, you could pass on that “saved” $200 a month, and focus instead on the part of property management that actually makes money – acquiring more properties, planning renovations to boost the rent, devising income plans. In the long run, letting a Property Manager do the “busy work” for you means that you get to do all the fun stuff yourself.

One Legal Bout Can Ruin All Your Fun

It’s easy to have an, “Oh, but it’ll probably never happen to me,” opinion about having to drag a tenant to court. You can just cross your fingers and hope that you only ever have great renters, or that even if you do have a few “difficult” ones, they’re never bad enough to need the court involved. The truth is, even within the world of small claims court, fees rack up to staggering heights. The most well-researched landlord is likely not as knowledgeable about tenant rights and property law as someone who works in the field, meaning you can trust yourself to be in the hands of someone who is working to keep you – and your renters – out of court.

If you own rental property in Colorado and would like to discuss options for property management and tenant placement services please give Housing Helpers a call at 303.545.6000.

Boulder Property Management

Boulder Rental property owners invited to public forum

Boulder area rental property owners, property managers, and management companies are invited to discuss how best to achieve “Design Excellence” in Boulder

Boulder community members are invited to attend a “Design Excellence” public forum from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 10, in the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA) at 1750 13th St. The City of Boulder’s Design Excellence Initiative is intended to support a broad community discussion about what is and is not working with current design policies for buildings and the public realm, as well as evaluate built projects to determine whether desired outcomes are being achieved.

Urban planner Victor Dover, cofounder of Dover, Kohl & Partners and coauthor of Street Design: The Secret of Great Cities and Towns, will lead the discussion and present relevant best practices for design and development strategies that help connect neighborhoods, strengthen commercial districts, expand travel options, enhance community character, and improve quality of life.

The discussion and presentation will be framed by observations of recent developments in Boulder, some recently completed and some still under construction, which resulted from key planning policy decisions made by the city during the last 10 to 15 years. The focus of the conversation will be on design-related issues and best practices from other communities that are relevant to the Boulder context.

The Boulder Design Advisory Board and the Planning Board are scheduled to have a joint session with Victor Dover from 5 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 8, in the Twenty Ninth Street Community Room at 1750 29th St., Suite 1062. Mr. Dover will also host a similar discussion at the City Council study session on Tuesday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Municipal Building, 1777 Broadway.

During the next several months, the Design Excellence Initiative will continue the community discussion about design and development issues. The ultimate goal of the initiative is to develop recommended strategies to address community concerns related to development outcomes, including (but not limited to) potential changes to codes, incentives, development review processes, design guidelines, and/or review criteria.

The recommendations of the Design Excellence Initiative will help inform the city’s coordinated planning efforts, including the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan 2015 Update, Civic Area Implementation, Access Management and Parking Strategy, Envision East Arapahoe, North Boulder Subcommunity Plan Update, and Transportation Master Plan Implementation.

Visit www.BoulderDesignExcellence.com for more information and to sign up for email updates.  The opinions of Boulder rental property owners and Boulder property management companies is valuable insight that we hope is included in the discussion, please attend if you can.

Property Management Services      Boulder Property Management Companies

Property management

6 Emerging Trends in Property Management

It’s no secret that technology has changed the property management industry for renters and Landlords alike.   But which trends are shaping the future of property management right now?

Mobile Leasing Tools

According to an article in Apartment Management Magazine, “ 87% of electronic device sales will be tablets and smartphones” ….which means property managers will need to accommodate mobile prospects and applicants with mobile online leasing tools.  If you’re not targeting mobile users you’re missing out on a huge segment of the renter demographic.

Social Media

One of the latest and most effective tools for potential tenants and property managers to meet is on social media outlets. This has become one of the most effective ways for each of them to learn what type of living rental space is offered and what’s needed. The apartment marketing industry is now utilizing social media more than ever before to connect with prospective renters.

Ratings and Reviews

An online rating can carry a lot of weight with a many potential tenants. Bad reviews tend to get too much attention.  Property management companies need to develop a program to get satisfied renters to post positive reviews and give good ratings. These types of programs are a worthy investment that can provide a good return.

Aesthetics

Renters are increasingly looking for living spaces that are visually appealing.  Gone are the days of cookie cutter apartments with beige carpet and white walls.  Renters prefer properties with unique interior design elements like accent walls, plank flooring, and wine racks as well as exterior elements like attractive curb appeal.

Green Living & Energy Efficiency

Todays renters want to see low-energy appliances and better thermal performance from their apartments. Green ratings are becoming more popular with on line listing services so renters can search for and easily identify efficient apartments.  There is also an increased demand for green space. Some property managers are providing community gardens and food share programs for their green conscious clientele.

Increase in Renters

The current economic climate has created an environment where fewer individuals are purchasing homes and more are renting. This is especially true with young adults that view renting as more convenient, more affordable, and more flexible than homeownership. This trend is expected to only increase in the coming years.

If you would like to know more about the trends in property management we can help. Contact us today and learn more.

Lease Only Services versus Property Management

What to Look For in Property Management Contract

Property Manager

Lease Only Services versus Property Management

Rental property owners often ask if they should use a lease only service or a property management company for leasing their rental properties.  Rental properties can be great investments, and like any investment there are different ways of managing them to maximize their potential.  Each has its pros and cons, and each may appeal to a different type of investor.  So this post will explore the basic differences between lease-only services and property management services.

Some rental property owners prefer to take a hands on approach and manage their own properties, instead of hiring a property management company.  One of the benefits of this approach is the investor/owner can save money on property management fees.  But for many rental property owners the most time consuming, most stressful, and most costly part of self managing their properties is locating suitable tenants and avoiding vacancy.  Vacancy loss can destroy the income potential of a rental property if it is not kept in check.  That’s where lease only services come in handy.

For the investor/owner looking to maximize cash flow on their rental properties and minimize vacancy loss the lease only services or leasing only can offer a great solution.   Lease only services are designed to handle the upfront task of obtaining tenants for a rental property.  Lease only services will usually include the following: all advertising and marketing of the rental property, fielding all phone calls from prospective tenants, prequalifying prospective tenants, showing the property, providing feedback to the property owner regarding showings, rental rates, and marketability, and providing tenant screening and lease document resources.   Once the property owner approves of the tenant and the lease is signed, the lease only services are completed.

For the investor that is more “hands-off” and doesn’t mind foregoing some of the cash flow to have a third party acting on their behalf to oversee the operations of the investment, property management may be the way to go.  Property managers can be responsible for rent collection, scheduling repairs and maintenance, property inspections, accounting functions, and more.  Typically they will require a long term contract at least for the term of the lease.   And the property manager will typically act as an agent for the property owner in all matters dealing with the tenant relationship.  Because property management companies will likely require a contract it is important to make to review the contract carefully with your attorney.

There are important cost differences between a lease only service and a property management service.  A typical property management contract charges an ongoing recurring monthly fee to the property owner based on the percentage of monthly rent- such fees can range anywhere from 7% to upwards of 30% of the monthly rent depending on the type of property- the fee is charged for each month of the lease term.  Many times there is also a tenant placement fee and renewal fee in addition to the monthly management fee.  On the other hand, lease only service typically charge a one time fee, sometime based on a percentage of the first month’s rent and sometimes a flat rate fee- and the fee is typically only due when the tenant is secured approved by the property owner.

With a lease only service there is no ongoing recurring fees and typically no renewal fees.   For this reason lease only services can save property owners thousands of dollars in rental income over the course of a lease term.  But only if the property is properly managed by the investor during the ongoing lease term.

A poorly managed property can also end up costing the investor more in the long run.   For rental property owners that want the ability to manage their own properties, are able to handle basic management duties, but not the hassle and expense of securing tenants, lease only services can be a great way to go.

Rental property leasing services are different from property management services in a number of ways, both in the fees involved and the services performed.   This by no means covers every leasing service or property management company that is out there but lets summarize the basic differences.

Compare the services performed:

  • Lease only services: focus is on quickly obtaining suitable tenants to minimize vacancy costs.  Handling the upfront tasks of advertising, showings, and screening tenants.
  • Property management: focus is on the ongoing management activities for the property such as: rent collection, scheduling maintenance and repairs, accounting, and property inspections.

Compare the costs of service:

  • Lease only services:  One-time fee due upon lease execution.  A percentage of first month’s rent or flat fee.  No recurring fees, no renewal fees.
  • Property Management:  Recurring fee due for each month for the term of the lease.  A percentage of each month’s rent for the term of the lease.   Often renewal fees in addition.

As a side note:  Both lease only services and property management fees are typically tax deductible as an expense of operating the rental property- **always consult your tax advisor to determine if this is the case for your property**.

Rental property owners/investors have a multitude of choices when it comes to renting out their properties and protecting their investment.  Regardless of which way you decide to go, hiring a professional to help can make your life easier and the ownership of your investment more enjoyable.

 Property Management Companies

What to look for in a property management contract

So you’ve found a great property manager and now it’s time to move forward with the property management contract. The question then becomes: what should you look for in the property management contract? Even if the manager is reputable, there still may be some points in the contract that do not suit your current needs.  Don’t be afraid to scrutinize the contract and ask for changes that you feel are important.

Full disclosure: I am not a lawyer and this blog post should not be used as legal advice in any way.  A property management contract is a legal document.   Always consult your attorney and/or advisors before signing any legal documents.  

Here are some items that you should look for in a property management contract.

1. What is the duration of the contract? You might not want to be locked into a long-term contract, especially if you’re not familiar with the property manager. In that case, it’s probably best to start with a shorter-term contract. Once the manager has been established for a while, and your confidence has grown, subsequent contracts can be longer term.

2. Be sure that the services and the fees are spelled out clearly. Upon selecting the property manager, you probably received a verbal  quote “10% of the gross rent” or something along those lines. The full contract, however, is much more complicated than that. The contract should spell out exactly what services will be performed by the manager, and at what expense. Some managers may charge for “extra management duties” which were not spelled out in the verbal agreement.

3. Be sure that the agreement specifies Equal Housing Opportunity. You don’t want to run afoul of fair housing laws. Your property manager should be well versed in fair housing laws and operate in accordance with those laws.  If your property manager is acting as your agent then you could potentially be liable for the actions of your property manager.  This should be spelled out in the contract.

4. Check the termination clause. In case either you as the owner or the property manager wants to terminate the relationship early, the terms need to be specified clearly in the contract. In your case, ensure that the contract does not require cause to terminate the agreement, and that it can be terminated without penalty.

Property management companies can be a wonderful resource for real estate investors. Contracts between them and the property owners, however, should be examined with scrutiny to ensure that the interests of both parties are protected fairly.  As with any legal documents it is always a good idea to consult your attorney and or advisor and have them take a look at the contract.

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