Regular Property Maintenance Helps Maximize Profits

One reason why you invested in property management in Fort Worth was to grow your wealth through rental income. The potential profit equals the overall revenue minus the expenses. Although you gain revenue from rent payments, you could increase profits even more if your properties have efficient utilities. If a property has faulty windows, damaged siding, leaky faucets, filters that are clogged, or other similar issues, you could be losing money, especially if the tenant is not responsible for utility payments. Because of this, it is important that you as the landlord perform regular maintenance or updates on areas that if left unchecked, can erode your profits.

Check Insulation
Insulating your rental property is a great way to reduce electricity bills. Although Fort Worth winters aren’t as bad as the winters in some other places, the summers can get unbearably hot. Insulation keeps homes cool in the summer and warm in the winter, but if the property is insulated poorly, the tenants will want to crank up the heat or the AC because their home won’t stay at a comfortable temperature. Open areas such as crawl spaces and attics are common ways through which heat escapes and enters. Other passages for heat and cold are the cracks and crevices on doors and windows. These unwanted openings cause unnecessary airflow.

Change Dirty Air Filters
Debris and dirt slow down the flow of air. This forces the HVAC to work harder and less efficiently. The filters must be cleaned regularly and replaced when need be. Dirty HVAC filters can bring additional issues including unhealthy air circulating within the properties. When dirt passes through the ventilation system components, it reduces their performance, which in turn requires more maintenance costs by paying qualified technicians to fix the problem. 

Stop Water Leaks
Water leaks in the faucets, toilets, and showerheads increases water usage. The small drips can raise the water bills up to 10% hence must be addressed. The heavier the leak, the higher the waste, and the bigger the water bill. A typical leaky faucet is about 10 drips per minute, which adds up to almost one gallon of water per day. A fast leak of 60 drips per minute wastes 5 gallons of water per day. Each drop of water costs you money, so it must be fixed as soon as it is spotted.

Seal Windows & Doors
Cool or warm air can easily escape through any cracks or openings around windows, or from worn-out weatherstripping around doors.

Inspect Home Exterior Paint and Siding
Holes, cracks, rot, or mold in or on your siding are easy to ignore, but will only lead to costly repairs later on. Perform routine home exterior walkarounds of your property and don’t delay repairing damaged areas. A high-quality home exterior paint will protect home siding for many years, so get it painted if you notice the paint is starting to crack, chip, fade, or blister.

All of these issues are hard to keep track of, especially with multiple properties, which is why you need a reliable property manager to keep everything organized and be able to perform the maintenance needed. Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth can help you maximize profits on your property with proper maintenance and routine property inspections.

Contact us today online, or call for a quote! 817-886-9220

Specialized Property Management Expands into Birmingham, Alabama

Specialized Property Management, has announced its expansion into Alabama. The Dallas-based rental management company continues to expand into select markets, providing unparalleled service to both individual rental property owners and large investors in Birmingham.

How to Attain High Tenant Retention

Identifying good tenants is essential to attain a sustainable cash flow as a property owner. However, keeping great renters is just as important. A good landlord will invest time and resources towards healthy tenant relations. It is important to remember that attaining a high tenant retention rate largely depends on how you, as the landlord, focus on establishing a good relationship with the renters.

Effective communication stands out as the most effective tool in fostering and maintaining a positive relationship with your tenants. Failing to respond quickly to tenant requests is a major cause of misunderstandings between property managers and tenants. If you are managing a rental property in Fort Worth, here are some tips to help.

Agree on Communication Preferences

In the modern world, people utilize various channels such as text messaging, social media, emails, and calls to communicate. Some tenants prefer texting as the primary mode of communication when raising their issues to the landlords of the property managers. Many tenants find communicating through emails as the best option, while others prefer one on one conversation. Phone calls are also a convenient communication method that is especially useful.

It is important to include some basic information in the welcome letter about communication. For Example:

For swiftest possible responses, kindly use the communication channels outlined below in the corresponding scenarios:

Phone calls

Call to report urgent cases such as water gushing out of plumbing systems and other emergencies.

Text Messages

Text to ask non-urgent questions or concerns, especially late at night.

Emails and socials media

We will post information that the whole property needs to know. Feel free to ask questions or voice concerns this way as well.

Website Resources

Use the information listed our website when requesting changes of your lease or submitting maintenance requests.

It is also essential to discuss your communication preferences with your tenants in person so they can tell you which methods may be best for them. Offering several means of communication upfront enables the tenants to communicate in ways that work for them when the need arises. Such an initiative increases the possibility of tenants getting in touch with the property management company in case something comes up. Once you establish the communication channel that your tenants prefer, stick to it to avoid any confusion.

Establish an Effective System for Tracking Maintenance Requests

If you want to boost tenant retention rates in your property, you should invest in a quality maintenance program. Poor property maintenance is a big reason why many tenants decide to move out and stop renewing their leases. Proper maintenance of your property will maintain the value of your property and help keep your tenants happy. Setting up an effective and easy-to-use maintenance request and tracking systems will help the tenants find the process of reporting issues and tracking restoration requests easy. Such a tracking system will enhance transparency to the property managers and renters equally.

Plan on How to Collect Money for Repairs

At times, tenants may place maintenance requests for damages they have caused themselves. If you establish that tenants owe you any money from repair expenses, you will only get that cash if you are able to clearly communicate the message. Let the tenant know how you would like to recover such expenses. Always provide a written explanation to the tenants, even if you intend to cover the cost with their security deposits. This will help you prevent unpleasant disagreements that occur when the lease expires. It will also give you peace of mind when you may be busy handling move-in and move-out.

Outline Procedures on Dealing with Late Rent

Late rent payment is a major issue that can sour the relationship between tenants and property managers. Such incidents can still occasionally happen despite the credit checks and tenant screenings. You will most likely have to deal with issues of late rent payments during your time as a property manager. It would be best to have a solid plan regarding the procedures of dealing with late rent payments. This will help ensure that these inevitable scenarios go smoothly between you and the tenants. Remember to communicate such procedures to the renters before such a scenario occurs. A good way to do this is to:

Check your records thoroughly:

It is essential to confirm that the tenant is late in paying rent before you take any action.

Reach Out to the Tenant Informally

You are not legally required to do this, but it is of great help in establishing a good relationship with your tenants. It is crucial to send a brief text message or an email to confirm the status of the rent. Perhaps your reliable tenants got held up by issues that made them forgot to pay the rent in time, or their checks got misplaced in the mail as it happens sometimes. At times, they may be undergoing a temporary financial hardship that you can efficiently work through together. In any case, reaching out to your tenants can greatly help you get a clear picture of what may be happening to them and how you can both achieve the best results.

Send a Rent Overdue Notice

This notice should follow once you establish that the lateness of the rent payment was not an honest mishap. The document should stipulate what the tenant is to pay and state your next course of action. You may forward this notice by hand, mail, or email, and remember to keep a copy for your reference. You may want to work with your lawyer to help you draft a professional past due notice.

Give the Tenant a Pay or Quit Notice

Ideally, this comes as the initial move toward an eviction process. You should serve this notice when a tenant fails to pay the rent even after obtaining a past-due notice from you. The notice is a legal document and it will be better if you involve your attorney when issuing.

Involve Your Eviction Lawyer

If all your efforts to obtain the rent fail, you will probably have to launch an eviction process. Review your lease agreement with the tenants follow the necessary procedures as you request the tenant to leave your property. It may not be a friendly process to everyone, hence the need to work closely with your lawyers at every stage.

Ensure Friendly communication

Tenants will always know who their property managers are, but not all renters feel like they may have a seamless working relationship with them. Your objective as a property manager in such a case to ensure everything runs well while maintaining friendly communication. Such communication with the tenants will enable the renter to communicate to you comfortably about any issue that may arise. It can go a long way to briefly introduce your company to the renters and ask them about their lives and interests. This interaction will show the tenants that you care about them and are interested in knowing more about them. You may go a step further by considering sending a personalized holiday card each year to your clients.

Respect the Tenant Space and Privacy

It is not a good idea to show up unannounced to the tenants’ home or apartment and expect then to allow your access to their premises. The property becomes their private space the moment you sign off the lease agreement, as long as they adhere to the basic rules. This means that you lose the right to move in and out of the property any time you wish without prior notice.

Always notify the tenants any time you need to show up for maintenance works so that they will not be surprised anytime you ring the doorbell. Some clients may not mind when you show up for repairs, but it is better to let them know ahead of time.  Use text messages and phone calls to get in contact with the tenants to alert them on any issues coming up.

Paying a visit to the property is occasionally necessary, but make sure you give prior notice. Failure to do this may make the client feel like you are invading their privacy.

Timely Routine Property Inspections

Ensuring that you have professionals to inspect your properties will save you a lot of money and resources that you may otherwise have to use to repair severe damages. The inspections keep your property in good shape and habitable while keeping the tenants happy. Conducting regular inspections shows the tenants that you are proactive in keeping your property in good condition and mindful about their welfare. It is during these inspections that you can ask your clients about any possible upgrade they may like so that you can consider it.

Ensure you let the clients know the significance of the inspection and give them notice of when they should expect you for such activities. All you intend to do is to create a positive impression of proactively inspecting your property for major appliance issues, leaks, paint status, and drips.

It can be difficult to keep up healthy relationships with all your tenants, maintain the properties, and keep everything organized. Let us help! Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth is a professional property management company that can help you and your tenants stay organized and happy. Contact us today for a quote! 817.886.9220

Resolving Landlord and Tenant Disputes

If you’re thinking about managing your own property in Fort Worth, you should be prepared to deal with disputes that will undoubtedly happen with your tenants. Proper preparation will protect you from being caught unaware of any dispute. Instead of heading to court every time a dispute arises, you can explore several other avenues to reach an amicable solution.

It is imperative to state in your lease agreement the possible steps that you may take to resolve a dispute. Here are a few tips that might help.

  • Know the tenant/landlord laws in Fort Worth, TX

The best strategy to minimize or resolve disputes is by taking steps to avoid them before they even happen. Many property management issues arise because either of the parties may not be aware of breaking the lease contract or not familiar with the relevant laws. Dedicating time to learn the housing laws and keeping up to date with any changes will help you resolve conflicts with your tenants and make you a better property manager.

  • Always keep your cool

Avoid losing your temper when a situation arises, even if your tenant is overwhelmed by anger. Ensure you remain calm and try your best to address the issue on your own. If you face challenges or realize the tenant is not cooperative, you may seek court intervention. However, remaining calm will ensure that you represent your company in the best ways possible.  Most issues with tenants can be resolved if both sides discuss everything thoroughly. Do not let anger overwhelm you even when it is justified. There may be viable remedies to a situation, but both of you may be letting things get out of hand due to misunderstandings and high tempers. In such a scenario, working everything out with your tenant alone is the cheapest and most practical solution.

  • Meet one on one

You may have exchanged bitter words with your tenant over the email or phone in some instances. A face-to-face encounter will help you understand where they are coming from, and vice versa. Meet in a neutral location where each of you feels safe and can strike a lasting solution.

  • Look for an experienced mediator

If you try with minimal or no success to resolve a dispute, seeking the help of a professional mediator may be of great help. Property management can be stressful, so having a patient professional to help guide you through disputes can be life-saving. Legal mediators are trained to handle conflicts that may occur with rental properties. Make proper use of these experts to restore a peaceful coexistence with your tenants.

  • Turn to arbitration

Arbitration works like mediation, but it binds conflicting parties. The arbitrator will listen to both sides of the issue and provide a binding verdict to which both parties must adhere. You should avoid taking this step if you believe you are wrong. Instead, take the responsibility, own up the situation, and make efforts to resolve it with your tenant.

  • Normalize keeping records

Ensure you document all that transpires between you and the tenants. A paper trail will always offer you the best defense. If a tenant has been violating lease agreement, faulted property rules, or made irrational demands, your documentation can assist you in proving your points.

Keep files for all your tenants and record everything that transpires between the two of you. Presenting such documentation to a tenant may be the right approach to dissuade him or her from forwarding the case to the court.

  • Consult with an experienced real estate attorney

You can involve the lawyers in resolving a dispute even before it reaches the court of law. As a property manager, your lawyers can get in touch with your tenant’s attorney to get a viable solution to the dispute.  In some instances, disputes arising from rental properties fall under the small claims court. This approach is usually more convenient than taking the case to a criminal or civil court. Choosing to solve the dispute with your tenants using this strategy will help you get a faster resolution.  Unfortunately, however, there may be times when you have to take your tenant to a criminal or civil court if you have exhausted other alternative avenues for possible resolution.  Ensure your attorney is very familiar with property management laws to prosecute the case successfully. Be ready to provide all the relevant documentation of what has been happening between you and the tenant.

Handling tenant disputes can sometimes be difficult, time-consuming, and stressful.  Our Specialized Property Management team in Fort Worth deal with difficult property management issues every day.  We have the knowledge, expertise, and proven systems to help not only resolve disputes but with many other property management tasks. Contact us today for a free quote and learn how we can help you will all your Fort Worth property management needs!  Call 817-886-9220

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