Guide to Conducting Routine Inspections for your Fort Worth Rental Property

Inspecting your Fort Worth rental property will help you keep it well-maintained and ensure your tenants are following the terms of the lease. There are a few specific times when inspections are critical. Before a tenant moves in and after a tenant moves out, you’ll need to inspect the property and document the condition. It’s also important to get inside the property to take a look around at least once during a tenancy. Driving by the home once in a while without going inside can also give you an idea of whether your tenants are taking care of the property the way you expect them to. Read more

Top Mistakes Fort Worth Landlords Must Avoid

Making mistakes with your rental property is easier than you think.

Many new landlords and even experienced investors think managing a property is as easy as finding a tenant and collecting rent. But, owning and operating a rental property is a bit more complex than that, and a lot of expensive mistakes can be made. If you want to have a good experience with your Fort Worth rental property, make sure you can avoid these common errors. Read more

Top 10 FAQs Answered by Fort Worth Property Management Company

As an experienced Fort Worth property management company we are asked a lot of questions. We love answering any question you can throw at us; it is what we’re here for! But to simplify things we’ve put together a list of FAQs for you. Read our answers below to the top 10 questions we see most often in Fort Worth residential property management.

1. What is the quickest way to get my property rented?

Many things factor into shortening vacancy days, but we see the most success when we do these simple things:

  • Ensure your property is up to code and needed maintenance is completed before showing the home.
  • Spruce up around the property to increase curb appeal.
  • Market aggressively, especially online on multiple websites.

See our post on renting out your property faster.

2. How can I keep my tenants longer?

Tenant retention can be a struggle for some landlords. If you’re running into this issue, try to take a step back and place yourself in your tenant’s shoes. Are you responding to emergencies promptly? Are there maintenance issues that need to be resolved? How is your tenant-landlord relationship? An experienced Fort Worth property management company like Specialized Property Management Fort Worth has proven processes for tenant retention so you won’t have to deal with a costly turnover as often. Read our page on high tenant turnover for more tips.

3. What strategies can I use to make rent collection less of a headache?

The number one way you can make rent collection less of a headache is offering online rent payment. According to a Citigroup study, simply forgetting that a payment is due is one of the top reasons Americans pay bills late. Setting up online rent payment, with an automatic draft option, is beneficial to everyone involved. For more on this topic, read this Transunion article about the five great reasons landlords should provide online payment options.

Also, you can read more about our rent collection process.

4. Legally speaking, how can I protect myself as a landlord?

Take a good look at your Fort Worth property management company. Are they held to a high ethical code? When you are hiring someone to run your property, you need to know they are doing everything by the book. At Specialized Property Management Fort Worth, that is true of all our property managers. They know the laws and regulations for Fort Worth, Texas, and the United States, and take them all seriously. Also, we have in-house legal counsel at your disposal should you need them. Learn more about avoiding legal mistakes here.

5. What’s the best way to keep maintenance costs down?

The number one way to reduce maintenance costs is by being proactive in both inspections and regular maintenance. Your home is a machine and needs to be checked and oiled periodically. When you neglect inspections or only inspect when tenants move out, you are in for major maintenance costs down the line. Often a small problem, like a leaky pipe, will go unnoticed until it becomes a major (and majorly expensive) issue. Regular maintenance needs, such as changing air filters, are equally important, so your home’s systems last as long as possible. At Specialized Property Management Fort Worth we inspect the home at moving time and mid-lease to ensure everything looks and works great. Read more about lowering costs on this post about cost-effective maintenance.

6. Doesn’t managing my property myself save money?

This is the great myth of property management. Inexperienced landlords often imagine their property management experience as this: put up a for rent sign, pick up rent checks, and answer a few maintenance calls. If that was all property management entailed, then of course, you could save money by self-managing! However, a Fort Worth property management company does much more than those simple day-to-day tasks. At Specialized Property management Fort Worth we can save you money over self-managing because we help you avoid the following costly mistakes:

  • Regulatory fines resulting from inexperience
  • Negative tenant interaction leading to turnover
  • Improper maintenance and upkeep of the home
  • Pricing your home too high or too low

To learn more about self-managing vs. hiring professional management see our post here.

7. Will paying professional management fees negatively affect my cash flow?

Your professional management fees will come back to you in the form of faster leasing, less turnover, and fewer costly mistakes. Also, management fees often serve as a tax write-off. Our clients can end up with higher cash flow because our expert knowledge and service lead to cutting costs without cutting corners. Learn more about solving cash flow issues here.

8. How do I know what is going on at the property if I am using a property management service?

Many landlords, especially if they are renting out their previous personal residence, are concerned with what is happening at their property. At Specialized Property Management Fort Worth we never want you to feel like you’re in the dark. Our Fort Worth residential property management team keeps meticulous records of every interaction with your property and your tenants. Our online owner portal lets you see and review these reports at any time. And if you ever have questions or concerns, you can call us 24/7.

9. How do I choose a Fort Worth property manager?

Decide what you want from a Fort Worth property management company before you do your research. Come up with a checklist of questions to ask potential management teams. Find out if there are any hidden costs you should be aware of. A full-service property management team will often save you the most money, time, and stress. At Specialized Property Management Fort Worth we pride ourselves on our expertise in property management, our dedication to transparency, and our customer service. To learn more, read our page about choosing a property manager.

10. With so many Fort Worth property managers out there why should I choose you?

To put it simply: we are the best! Our team specializes in providing an excellent experience for owners and tenants. With years in the business focusing on single-family rental properties, you won’t find anyone else out there with the extensive knowledge, proven processes, and friendly team that will turn your investment into a cash flow property.

To learn more about what we do visit our website or give us a call today to set up a free rental consultation.

How a Fort Worth Property Manager Can Attract Millennial Tenants

The Millennial generation is in the news every other day. This generation has been accused of ruining things from the 9-5 workday to bars of soap (according to a list compiled by Marketwatch). While millennials may not be ruining everyone lives, it is true that times are changing and the millennial generation is leading the pack. How should the rental housing market respond? Below, we discuss who millennials are, what they want, and how a Fort Worth property manager can help you attract millennial tenants.

Who are Millennials?

To start with, who are we talking about when we talk about millennials?

  • Young(ish): The Pew Research Center defines millennials as “those born after 1980 and the first generation to come of age in the new millennium.” Generally speaking, as of 2018 millennials are 18-38 year olds.
  • Tech-savvy: This group has seen rapid advancement in technology, and is the first to come of age in a world with access to the internet and cell phones. Many work in tech industries, and it is hard to imagine any millennials without a smartphone in hand.
  • Large: In 2016 millennials overtook baby boomers to become the largest living generation. Pew also reports millennials make up the largest age group of renters at about 18.4 million. As such, it is important that rental property managers stay up to date with why millennials are renting and what they are looking for in rental homes.

Why are Millennials Renting?

As mentioned above the millennial generation is often blamed for “ruining” industries, which is in part because they have different values than the generations before them. Millennials tend to value freedom and experiences over stability and material things. In the housing market that translates into behaviors such as picking up and moving suddenly for a job and using their savings for travel instead of a down payment on a house.  Also, the average debt of this generation is in the tens of thousands, making home ownership seem like a far-off dream to many.

What Do Millennials Want in a Rental Home?

For millennials who don’t want or are unable to buy a home, renting a single family home is the next best thing. As this generation enters their 30s, they are more likely to start a family and search for a home that is family friendly to settle down in, even if it is only for a few years until their next move. This generation also likes to have fun, so being close to amenities and transportation is especially important. Lastly, the Washington Post reports that a majority of people in their 30s own pets, meaning that they will be looking for a rental home that allows pets.

Tips for Attracting Millennials from a Fort Worth Property Manager

Now that you know a little bit about millennials, how can you go about attracting them to your rental property? With so many millennials renting, you may think attracting them is simple. However, as mentioned above, millennials have different values than previous generations. Here are a few ways an experienced Fort Worth residential property management company can help you attract millennials.

  • Use technology to your advantage in marketing. Millennials search for rental houses online. If you don’t have an online presence, it is doubtful they will ever find your property for rent. A property management company can list your house on several websites and even create a video walk-through so potential renters can view the house virtually.
  • Consider your lease terms. With many millennials desiring a “no-strings-attached” type of lifestyle, consider lease terms that will not hinder this. If you’re having trouble finding tenants for a long-term (more than one year) lease, consider offering a shorter one, possibly even a month-to-month arrangement. Your Fort Worth property manager can help you draw up a lease that will be appealing to these shorter-term renters.
  • Update your home with smart technology. If you have to make updates, consider going with the “smart” version of these updates. A smart thermostat, for example, will let your renter control the temperature remotely from their smartphone. These smart updates have the bonus of lower energy costs, and may even give you a tax-deduction (always check with your tax advisor about this perk before buying).

Why Choose Specialized Property Management Fort Worth

Your rental property business will be more successful and more lucrative, if you hire experienced property management. Specialized Property Management Fort Worth gives its clients proven rental processes that have kept up with changing times and changing tenants. When you choose to take advantage of the business expertise provided by our Fort Worth residential property management here are a few services you will receive:

  1. Online Property Listings: your property will be listed on multiple websites to ensure full exposure to renters.
  2. Owner and Tenant Portals: you will be able to view reports and pictures from your property at any time. Your renter will be able to pay rent and submit maintenance tickets with the same ease.
  3. 24-Hour Support: when your renter has an emergency they call us, at any time of the day or night.
  4. Advice from Experts: our property managers not only have years of experience with what works in property management, but they also stay up-to-date with what works now, for millennial tenants and every other generation too. Why not put that expertise to good use and make the most out of your rental investment?

To start working with a professional, experienced Fort Worth property manager today call Specialized Property Management Fort Worth.

Low-Maintenance Landscaping in Fort Worth Residential Property Management

While leases can differ as to who is responsible for lawn care, you as a landlord need to make sure your rental home is well-maintained and looking its best at all times. You can make things easier for yourself and your tenants by planting or installing low maintenance landscaping features around the home.

Patios, Decks, and Walkways

Installing walkways, patios, or decks is a great low-maintenance way to design your landscaping. No watering, weeding, or mowing required! Additionally, many tenants will enjoy having a large outdoor space where they can put outdoor furniture for entertaining. Contact your Fort Worth residential property management to find out if there are any landscape design vendors they partner with.

Drought-Tolerant Landscaping

You may have heard of drought-tolerant landscaping, xeriscaping, or smart-scaping. They are all terms for a type of gardening that reduces or eliminates the need for watering. It doesn’t always mean planting cactus and spreading rocks as some people think. Check with your local garden center for help identifying native plants that are drought resistant. An agave plant or a Texas sage is a good place to start. Invest in mulch or other ground covering that will keep water from evaporating too quickly.

Provide Your Tenants With Tools

If your lease states it is the tenant’s job to keep up with the landscaping, consider providing the tools for them. Your tenant will be much more likely to keep up with gardening and mowing if they don’t have to purchase any tools themselves. If you want the grass to stay nice and green, consider installing a sprinkler system to make it even easier for your tenant.

Careful Planning and Good Management

With careful planning, your rental property can look good year round with minimal effort. Regular inspections should be performed to make sure your tenant is keeping up with landscaping duties specified in the lease. A good Fort Worth residential property management company schedules and carries out inspections as well as proactive maintenance to make sure your property is always looking its best. Specialized Property Management Fort Worth has years of experience and proven processes to help you. Call us today to schedule a consultation and learn about all the services we provide.

Property Managers in Fort Worth Share Fire Safety Tips

Winter is almost here, and along with the holiday decorations, apple cider, and caroling, comes the risk of house fires. December is the most common month for house fires, so you need to make sure your rental home and your tenants are well prepared. Specialized Property Management, your Fort Worth residential property management, can help reduce your risk of a house fire with these safety tips.

Preparing Your Home and Your Tenants

  1. Fire Extinguishers: make sure your rental home has at least one fire extinguisher and that your tenant knows how to use it. The kitchen is usually where a house fire will start, so put the fire extinguisher in a place that is easily accessible in the kitchen.
  2. Smoke detectors: smoke detectors aren’t just good to have, they are generally required by law. Remind your tenants to never take the batteries out. If the smoke detector does not work, tenants should put in a maintenance request. Check the detectors at every inspection.
  3. Easy exits: if a fire is blocking the door your tenant needs to know where to go. Make sure all exits, including windows, open easily in case of a fire. Property managers in Fort Worth can discuss evacuation routes with your tenants during inspections.
  4. Discuss fire safety: remind your tenants not to leave candles burning or their kitchen unattended. Discuss the location of fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and emergency exits.

For Fort Worth Residential Property Management, Call Specialized

Your property managers in Fort Worth should take fire safety seriously and never put off replacing old fire extinguishers, or checking smoke detectors. That’s why you should call Specialized Property Management. Our property managers have been in the business for almost 30 years and have Fort Worth residential property management and safety down to a science. Fort Worth landlords can rest easy knowing their property is safe and well cared for by the industry-leading property management company. Call Specialized today to hear about all our services.

Fire Prevention Tips From Property Managers in Fort Worth

One of the worst things that can happen to your rental home is a house fire. If that fire happens while your tenants are in the home, the results can be beyond devastating. That is why fire prevention is such an important topic. Specialized, your Fort Worth residential property management, is committed to keeping your home and your tenants safe from fires, starting with fire prevention.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) “Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%).” Smoke alarms are so important because they are often the first notice someone has that a fire has started in their home. They can wake a sleeping person so they have time to get out of a house fire before it is too late.

It Is the Law

Your property managers in Fort Worth know smoke alarms aren’t just important, they are required by law. It is important to check that all smoke alarms have working batteries and function properly before a tenant moves in. The NFPA reports “Dead batteries caused one-quarter (24%) of the smoke alarm failures.” Smoke alarms should also be checked by you or your Fort Worth residential property management at every regular property inspection, no matter the last time they were checked. If a tenant submits a maintenance request regarding their smoke alarm be sure to respond promptly.

Specialized Property Management Is Committed to Your Safety!

For the safety and comfort of you and your tenants our property managers in Fort Worth stay up to date on all rental property codes and laws. We have combined professional expertise with proven processes to ensure your rental property is a successful investment. To learn more about all our services, call the property managers at Specialized.

How Property Managers In Fort Worth Reduce Costly Mistakes

As one of the top Fort Worth residential property management companies, Specialized helps homeowners reduce costly mistakes that befall many inexperienced landlords. We do this in part because we are familiar with the the most common property management mistakes. We want you to be aware of these mistakes that cost many new landlords time, money, and could end up being the end of their rental investment.

Mistakes to Avoid When Buying and Setting Up Your Property

  • Poor rental property selection – location, type, and age of the home are all factors in a good rental property.
  • Showing the home too early – potential tenants are put off by the weird sights and smells of an old tenant or a construction zone.
  • Long vacancies – the longer the home is vacant the more money you lose!
  • Lax tenant qualifications – credit and rental history are a MUST for every tenant you screen.

Mistakes to Avoid After Tenants Have Moved In

  • Unpleasant landlord/tenant interactions – unpleasant interactions lead to vacancies. Property managers in Fort Worth are a good go-between so that interactions never become tense between landlords and their tenants.
  • Not keeping up with needed maintenance – regular maintenance is a must for the health and happiness of your tenants and your property!
  • Inadequate rent collection – always be clear and communicative on rent collection processes with your tenants.
  • Regulatory violations – stay current on all regulatory matters to avoid risk.
  • Not keeping up with inspections – inspect and evaluate your property regularly. Setting a schedule for these inspections can be helpful.
  • Not being proactive with maintenance – spending less now may mean spending more later when you have to replace or do a major repair on your home. Property managers in Fort Worth recommend proactive maintenance.

General Mistakes Landlords Make

  • Poor cash flow – be realistic about your cash flow and remember to budget for maintenance issues.
  • Hiring unqualified management – slip ups, mistakes, and overlooked inspections can cost you much more than you are saving by going with a “discount” property management company.

Choose the Fort Worth residential property management company trusted by landlords for almost 30 years. Call Specialized today for more information about our services!

Taking the Emotions Out of Your Investment

Fort Worth residential property management, property managers in Fort Worth

Property managers in Fort Worth know transitioning a house from your personal home to an investment property can take some adjustment. Tenants don’t often treat a rental home with the same care as a homeowner, which is difficult for many homeowners to observe. The truth of the matter is that your home is no longer your home, it is a business investment. Like all business investments, you need to treat your rental home objectively, not emotionally.

How Your Emotions Affect Your Tenants

Negative tenant interactions can arise when landlords feel too emotionally attached to their properties. When a tenant fails to maintain the property to the landlord’s standards it can cause tensions. The landlord may feel angry or wronged. These emotions are often what lead to negative interactions and tenants deciding to leave when their lease ends. Treating your property like a business venture is something your Fort Worth residential property management company can help with.

Tips From Property Managers In Fort Worth

If you are having trouble separating your feelings from your new business venture, we are here to help. First, you need to see yourself as a business owner instead of a homeowner. Second, understand that normal wear and tear happens to every home and details you may have personally kept up (such as landscaping) may not be important to the next residents. Don’t expect everything to be kept up exactly the same as when you lived there. Finally, if you plan to move back into the home in the future be sure you don’t let that cloud your judgement. Your investment needs to be treated as such until the day you move back in.

An experienced and professional Fort Worth residential property management company like Specialized can help you with this difficult transition. The better interactions you or your property managers have with your tenants the more likely those tenants are to take care of your home and stay for an extended period of time. Call us today to learn about all the services we offer.

FT. WORTH PROPERTY MANAGEMENT TIPS FOR LANDLORDS

How do you make sure your property is earning you money instead of costing you money? Owning rental property isn’t as simple as leasing your property and collecting rent checks. Marketing your home, screening tenants, regular maintenance, and dealing with legal issues are just a few of the problems that will arise when you own investment property. Your investment can quickly take your time and money if you aren’t smart about how you manage it.

PROBLEMS WITH YOUR RENTAL

Even the most seasoned, careful landlords encounter issues now and then. The key to success is how you deal with those problems to keep your costs down and your rent coming in. Do you know how to deal with problem tenants or late payments? What about lease violations, complaints from neighbors, or code violations? Despite careful tenant screening, many landlords also deal with evictions, vandalism, criminal activity, accidents, and even lawsuits. The fact is, many of these issues have nothing to do with your property and everything to do with the personal lives of your tenants. People are unpredictable, and stuff breaks. Your Specialized Team is here to help you with all of these unfortunate situations.

HOW CAN FORT WORTH RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT HELP?

The biggest cost landlords encounter is property vacancy. There are three ways to control vacancy costs.

  1. Make your property rent-ready: Complete needed repairs, so your property is able to compete for good tenants.
  2. Budget for maintenance: Don’t be surprised by the regular maintenance costs your home incurs. Be sure to budget at least one and a half months worth of rent per year for maintenance costs.
  3. Respond quickly to maintenance requests: Being responsive to your tenant’s requests will impact how long your tenant will stay. If you fail to fix problems quickly, tenants will look start looking for somewhere else to live, and you will have to deal with the turnover costs.

Specialized is a leading Ft. Worth property management company because we have the experience and resources to help you manage the day-to-day realities of owning investment property. We will help you control vacancy costs to turn your rental into an investment success. Give us a call today to hear about all our services.