What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
We try to make it simple for all of us. Fees basically fall into 2 categories: Monthly management fees are based on a % or rental income but the overall cost to the owner also depends on characteristics of their properties: the age, location (HOA or not), number of properties (discount), house versus condo, military discount, services required etc. Secondly, there is a Tenant Procurement fee to do all the work necessary to market the property and secure a new tenant. This is a % of the first month's rent.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
We want to understand the client's properties and needs FIRST, then educate the Owner on the world they are entering and how our services can protect and serve their investment.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
We are a Member of NARPM - National Association of Residential Property Managers. As such, we continually educate and adhere to the best ethics, technology, and business practices in the industry.
The Owner has extensive background in both residential and commercial real estate since 2004
How did you get started doing this type of work?
We were simply asked to by many clients as trusted real estate advisers over the years.
What types of customers have you worked with?
My customers range from local single property owners to foreign residents with several properties owned in the Tampa area.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Property management done WELL is very difficult, but very easy to do poorly. "Fees" are the least you should consider. It is the LAST question you should ask. Why is that? While they are important, WHAT you get for those fees is where the value calculation lies. It is short-sighted to make a decision about the longer term risk and health of your investment over $20 a month on a low "sticker price". Deficient management can cost you thousands of $ and exposure to legal risks sooner and later. There are so many landmines and pitfalls as a Landlord that can severely impact your property, cash flow, and legal risks. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes where an owner is never aware. A competent property manager with solid processes in place is the main buffer holding back the flood of potential problems to an owner.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
Understand you will be entering the world of a professional Landlord. This totally changes the requirements and decision-making process from what you are used to in living in the property yourself. This is why it is often a mistake for owners to self-manage and requires a competent independent manager.
What kind of tenant screening do you perform?
What kind of licensing and training do you maintain?
Do you make money on repairs?
Do you collect and keep a pet fee (not a deposit)? Why?
How knowledgeable are you with home systems such as roofing, electrical, plumbing, AC systems, etc?
What do you require of your vendors for licensing and insurance?
Are your leases prepared by a law firm with expertise solely specializing in representing Landlords in Florida? (Ask me about this)
How many evictions have you performed? (more is worse!)
Be honest with yourself as an owner. Are you the type of person who can let a manager manage the property?