Tenant Pet Policies: Tips for Fort Worth Property Managers and Tenants

Cat hair, dog slobber, and muddy pawprints may come to mind when you think about pets in rentals. These furry animals are valuable to people, and are considered family in most cases. While most property owners worry that pets will decrease the property value of their rental units, or that there will be an increase in damage, studies have shown that this isn’t necessarily true. When you choose to rent out your home to pet owners, it could mean more responsible tenants, no more damage or maintenance needed than usual, and a more consistent stream of income. Whether you’re a pet person yourself or not, your attitude towards pets on your property could be the difference for a future tenant and end up costing you legal fees. The Fair Housing Law states that in certain cases, you are required to allow pets that are needed for the wellbeing of your tenant. We’ll go over what pet policies are out there and which ones you should adopt in order to increase revenue. 

Decreased Vacancies

68% of U.S. households own a pet, and most pet owners will do anything for their furry family members, even dictate where they are going to live based on if pets are allowed or not. Because there aren’t very many pet-friendly rental units out there, Fort Worth property managers encourage property owners to allow pets, and by so doing, invite more possible tenants. Happy with an animal-accommodating rental, tenants will most likely stay for a while, worried that other places may not be as accepting. This means fewer vacancies and consistent income for you as the property owner. Pets can also mean tenants who are more responsible and happier overall. If they can care for a pet, take it to the vet, and remember to feed, bathe, and clean up after it, pet owners can also be expected to clean up after themselves, take care of the rental unit, and remember to pay their rent on time. Since animals have been shown to improve overall mood, you’ll most likely have happier tenants as well. 

No Greater Damage

Worried that you won’t be able to afford to replace the carpet when a tenant with a puppy that loves to chew decides to leave? Studies show that damage isn’t any more costly than normal damages caused by tenants who don’t have pets. You can also control how much you want to charge for pet deposits. Asking for a larger pet deposit will ensure that if there are extra damages, it’s covered by the tenant, meaning low to no risk involved for you. FIREPAW is a non-profit group that created CARP (a companion animal renters program). They work with landlords and our Fort Worth property managers to help them increase profits while decreasing pet-related damages. CARP provides economic assessment, needs assessment, tailor-made programs, customized pet policy and pet agreements, and a custom made pet perk package. 

Pet Policy and Expectations

With their help, you can customize your policies on pets to fit your personal situation and property. FIREPAW has helped remove negative myths about pets in rentals, creating more pet-friendly options for tenants and awareness of the not-so-negative realities of pets to property owners. If you choose to rent out your home, Specialized Property Management can help you figure out the best customized pet policy for your property. Make sure to ask questions and set expectations with your tenant in regard to their pet. Just because you are allowing pets, doesn’t mean certain rules don’t apply. Some pet owner expectations to set in your pet policy are as follows: 

  1. All pets will have the required shots, licenses and tags, including name tags. Check with your state to determine the vaccines and licenses required locally.
  2. All dogs will be on a leash at all times outside of the apartment.
  3. Other animals, such as birds and hamsters, will be appropriately caged.
  4. The tenant is responsible for cleaning up any “accidents” their pet has left inside the apartment, inside the building or outdoors.
  5. The tenant is required to pay for any damage their animal has caused.
  6. Require or advise (up to you) the tenant to get renters insurance with liability coverage.
  7. If any part of the pet agreement is violated, or the pet becomes a nuisance or a hazard to others, Fort Worth property managers can require the pet to be removed or can terminate the tenancy. If only the pet is removed, this will have no effect on the validity of the signed lease agreement, to which the tenant will still have to adhere.
  8. State that you have the right to make changes to the pet agreement as long as you give proper notice, at least 30 days. This protects you in case, for example, you decide not to allow dogs in the future.

Increased Revenue

As a property owner, it’s your job to maximize your profits while keeping tenants happy. Creating a pet friendly policy is one of the easiest ways to accomplish both. In most cases, because of the negative stereotypes around pets, there is a shortage of property owners who will accept pets. Even though pet owners are happy to pay more rent in order to keep their pets, and in most cases make more money than people who don’t have pets, landlords aren’t taking advantage of the opportunity out of fear of potential damages. In fact, properties that allow animals in rental units are able to charge 20-30% more in rent. Fort Worth property managers realize that other benefits include longer lengths of tenant stay, less vacancies, less marketing needed, and more applications received per unit. 

Insurance Costs

If you’re still worried about costs because you’ll have to pay more in insurance when you rent out your home to pet owners, think about it mathematically. It is true that pets come with increased insurance costs, but these costs are relatively low and usually are completely covered by the upcharge in rent. Though the amount of damage is usually no higher than the amount for people who don’t have pets, when there is damage, the cost averages around $430, which is much less than the rent deposit paid when the tenant signed the lease forms. This means property owners don’t actually have to worry about a decrease in profits and with more tenants willing to pay the premium for their pets, extra insurance costs won’t be a big deal.

Service Animals

Fort Worth property managers at Specialized Property Management, will make sure you know about the laws regarding service animals. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Fair Housing Act, there are some animals that you can’t turn away, even if your property is not pet friendly. If your potential tenant has a disability present that the use of a service animal would help alleviate, that animal is a required exception to any “no pet” policy or breed restrictions. Even if the breed of the service animal is deemed aggressive, if it is labeled a service animal, it must be accepted. It is our job to inform you of the documentation to ask for: proof that the disability exists and creates a need for a service animal, and to inform you that there are some things you can’t ask for – like information on what the specific disability is. In these types of situations, there are always tricky details for which to watch. 

Our professional Fort Worth property managers have dealt with situations like yours, time and time again. We know how to help you, protect you, and maximize your profits. We’ll inform you of your rights as a property owner and make sure you aren’t violating any rights of potential tenants. If you don’t allow service animals, even when you have a no-pet policy in place, or if you charge an extra fee for service animals,  it can cost you greatly. Service animals are not technically considered pets and are required by law to be accepted into rental properties. Check with your property management team for information on the few exceptions that exist before you rent out your home. 

Our Specialized Fort Worth property managers are well versed in local and federal laws, ultimately saving you time, worry, and money. We’ll make sure that your rental property is free from costly legal mistakes, and take care of disabled members of our community that need service animals. As the nation’s leading property management firm, and with 30 years of experience, you can rest assured that our unmatched customer service will have you, your property, and your tenants, in good hands. Learn more about our services and how we can help you manage your property.

Specialized Fort Worth Property Management’s RentMoney Program for Tenants

Being a landlord can be stressful if tenants don’t pay their rent on time, and being a tenant can be stressful if your landlord is breathing down your neck for payment. Add to that already-tense relationship the maintenance issues and unexpected expenses, and both sides may be wishing they had never signed the lease papers in the first place. The best way to avoid too many problems is to find, and be, a quality tenant. The Golden Rule applies very well in renter/rentee relationships, but isn’t always the logical answer. Specialized Fort Worth Property Management now offers RentMoney to make being a great tenant easier. Property managers can take the stress out of the entire rent collection process, and with this new rent program, both tenants and property owners can take a deep breath and relax. 

RentMoney Program

This payment platform offers more ways to pay that make paying rent more convenient for tenants and, therefore, more reliable for owners of rental homes in Fort Worth. Through RentMoney, tenants can take their cash payments and convert them into a secure ACH electronic transaction, fully integrated with your Property Management Company’s information. You only need to generate your tenant voucher by following a few simple steps online. You’ll have access to a tenant portal where you can easily make payments with the click of a button. The next page will present different payment options that are available to you. Choose the RentMoney button and click Continue. You will then see the current balance that needs to be paid. Select the balance you would like to pay and then print out your payment voucher or save it to your electronic device. With RentMoney, you no longer have to worry about rifling through your checkbook to prove you’ve paid last month’s rent and your Fort Worth Property Management Company won’t have to hunt you down for collection. 

Payment Voucher

The cash payment voucher you receive will include the Biller Name (RentMoney), your Account Number, your Name, Payment Amount, Bill Payment Fee ($3.75), and Total Payment Amount. The account code generated on your voucher is a unique number that will never be changed or duplicated for another tenant – and is what ties your cash payment to your tenant ledger. You can then take this voucher to one of 25,000 retail locations in the U.S. that work with CheckFreePay and currently accept cash payment vouchers. Click on the Search Payment Centers button on the payment screen to find the one closest to you. Once there, you may hand your voucher to an employee and tell them that you’d like to pay your RentMoney bill. Once the transaction is processed, your Fort Worth Property Management Company will see it reflected on your ledger. You’ll receive a payment receipt, and no hassle from your landlord. Paying your rent is now something you can cross off your to-do list as you go about your other regular errands. Rather than feeling like you have to go out of your way, RentMoney makes paying rent fast and convenient.

RentMoney FAQ’s

1. What do you need to make your RentMoney payment? You will need your voucher and U.S. Currency. Additionally, it is important to know the current balance on your ledger from your tenant portal because the in-store personnel will not have access to that information.

2. What happens if the account number typed in and processed by the in-store personnel is Incorrect? If you notice from the receipts that your account number typed in by the employee does not match the number you provided, immediately contact your Property Management Company with your name, account code, and a copy of your receipt.

How Property Management Companies Can Help

80% of property owners manage their rental homes in Fort Worth by themselves, and end up making simple mistakes, feeling frustrated, and wishing they had someone else to do the hard work, like collecting rent, for them. That’s where RentMoney can help. Combined with our services and guarantees, RentMoney takes all the stress out of owning a property and collecting rent. Not only do we handle the everyday hassle and maintenance of owning a property, we also take care of official business and paperwork with exactness, meaning you don’t have to be stressed or worry about making mistakes. The reason that our Fort Worth Property Management team, and our company in general, has received the highest online ratings and customer levels in our industry is that our services make life easier for both landlords and tenants alike. Stop trying to do everything yourself and start minimizing your daily stress. Call today to find out more about the RentMoney program and how you can gain greater peace of mind by trusting us to manage your property.

Rent Rates Continue to Rise Nationally and in Fort Worth Property Management

All over the nation rent prices are climbing, with RentCafe indicating the national mid-year average at $37 more than last year, with the highest rates in Manhattan at $4,190, and Los Angeles around the $2000s and $2500s. These rates are increasing quickly, with significant changes occurring just since January 2019. Chicago and Denver are 2 of the largest renter hubs in the nation and they both increased by 4.8% and 3.6% respectively in just 6 months. A blog article from Housing Wire explains,

“RentCafé’s data shows that 88% of the cities analyzed in its report experienced a rent increase in the first half of the year. In June alone, 35% of the country’s largest 260 cities had rents that exceeded the national average, whereas only 5% of rents fell below this median.”

“In true seasonality fashion, June brings rent increases consistent with the end of the second quarter. Nationally, average rent prices reached $1,465 following a 3.2% annual increase and up 0.8% since last month — the highest monthly jump since May 2018.  Compared to last June, renters pay $45 more on average according to the latest rent survey from Yardi Matrix.”- RentCafe

Why the Rise in Rent Rate

America’s current housing crisis is causing the steady and significant rise in rent which is affecting just about everyone nationwide, including Fort Worth property management companies like Specialized Property Management. As housing prices go up, people who would have been homeowners are now finding it more affordable to rent than to buy. This has lead to an influx of potential tenants in the rental market and especially single-family homes for rent. This has also created more competition among tenants because lower-income-earning tenants are now up against higher-income-earning tenants and property owners want tenants that they know can afford the increase in rent and afford to stay for a long time. In addition to the rise in prices, there’s also been a decrease in the construction of new homes and low-income housing, leaving millennials with almost no option other than renting. According to MySmartMove,  

Millennials now make up the largest generation in history and have a large impact on the rental and housing market. Millennial workers make an average of $21.80 per hour, $5.78 lower than the national average. National rent prices are so high that millennials are spending a greater portion of their income on rent. According to RentCafe, the average millennial will spend about $93,000 on rent by the time they hit 30. This is 45% of their income going to rent between the ages of 22 and 30.”

Rent in Fort Worth Compared to National Trends

The recent increase is also true for homes and rental properties in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but at a slower rate. Fort Worth property management companies are happy to see the increase in rent because it means happier property owners with an increase in income. The rise in rent rates also means landlords can be more selective about tenants, which can increase the value of their property, decrease turnover rate, and continue the flow of a steady income from tenants who consistently pay their rent on time. Though the overall increase in rent rates is a positive thing for property owners, the slow growth of the Dallas area is raising concern in Fort Worth. Property management companies like Specialized Property Management are always up to date on current rent trends in the area and can help you choose the best rate to charge your tenants to stay competitive and avoid vacancies. According to RentJungle

“As of April 2019, average rent for an apartment in Fort Worth, TX is $1043 which is a 0.96% increase from last year when the average rent was $1033, and a 0.77% increase from last month when the average rent was $1035. One bedroom apartments in Fort Worth rent for $893 a month on average (a 0.56% increase from last year) and two bedroom apartment rents average $1139 (a 1.76% increase from last year).”

Good News for Property Owners

Though many people fear an impending housing market crash, the present and the future contain opportunities for rental property owners and rental property management. Fort Worth may not be rising as quickly as other cities in the nation, but it is still rising at a steady rate. This rise in rent rate allows rental property owners to make more money, cover their expenses, be selective about tenants, and make their property more competitive. Just by slightly lowering your rent rates or investing a small amount of money to update your property, you can make your property more desirable. With the large demand for leased single-family homes and the relatively small availability of these homes on the market, you and your Fort Worth property management company can decide who to rent to and for how much. 

Specialized Property Management 

You can look around the neighborhood to get a feel for how much rent to charge for your property, but trusting someone with experience and a vast knowledge of rental trends in your specific area can help you get the most money while maintaining consistent tenants. Specialized Fort Worth property management company takes the stress out of owning a rental property by doing everything for you in the right way. Our services include:

  • INSPECTING: Our team ensures the rental unit is “rent-ready” with curb appeal, making recommendations where necessary.  We also conduct mid-lease inspections to ensure lease compliance and care of the property.
  • MARKETING: We aggressively advertise your rental property across dozens of websites, post an eye-catching sign on the property, and post the vacancy to our high-traffic rentals listing and Youtube channels.
  • SHOWINGS: We prepare and post quality video tours of the property and take care of live showings.
  • SCREENING: Our team at Specialized Rental Property Management Fort Worth conduct rigorous background checks on all prospective tenants 18 years and older to place the most reliable tenants.
  • SIGNING: We prepare and execute all leasing documents in accordance with Leases & Addenda promulgated by the Texas Association of Realtors.  We secure rents and place deposit funds into escrow, and provide a formal new tenant training on how to care for the property.
  • COLLECTING: We enforce the rent collections cycle with a strict, yet respectful, process that helps avoid late payments.  We then quickly deposit rent funds to your account electronically.
  • MAINTAINING: We respond quickly to your tenant needs and emergencies, handling repair requests with our cost-effective team of qualified, insured maintenance professionals.  We also conduct periodic proactive interior and exterior inspections and preventative maintenance.
  • RENEWING: Our Fort Worth property management company actively works to retain tenants longer with excellent service and perks like our Resident Club.  As we proactively renew leases, we help you avoid costly turnover.
  • MOVING: When the tenant does move on, we process notices, educate the tenant on the process for a smooth transition, conduct the walkthrough and manage deposit disbursements.
  • REPORTING: In addition to the 24/7 client portal with on-demand, detailed accounting, activity, and maintenance reports, we provide detailed monthly reports and year-end tax statements. During the leasing process, owners receive weekly updates.

What Tenants Want

This article from RentCafe explains the rise in rent across the nation in more detail, with a chart that allows you to search your city and see what the average rent is there. It also explains what renters are searching for specifically when they look for housing in Fort Worth. Property management can save you time by doing this kind of research for you.

Rentals near me have dominated online searches throughout the first half of the year. Google searches including variations of apartment types within a certain radius of a person’s location have by far the largest search volume of the first months of 2019. Data on apartment-related searches showed that, next to a desirable location, the renters’ mindset is driven by functionality and financial awareness as the key terms that round up the podium are studio (6%) and cheap (4%).”

Since most tenants are looking for smaller and cheaper, marketing your property as such or showcasing all the other reasons why it’s worth paying more for is crucial to gaining consistent tenants. With the current situation being as it is, you also need to take advantage of this landlord’s market. Rather than spend your time worrying about how to market your property and interviewing tenants, it would be wiser for you to look into how you can invest in other properties, especially smaller, more affordable ones. Let Specialized Fort Worth Property Management take complete care of your current properties in Fort Worth and keep you in business. With our customer-driven service and seven specialized guarantees, you can’t go wrong by giving us a call and seeing how we can make your life easier, earn you more money, and protect you from legal complications. With rent increasingly on the rise, there is no better time than the present to invest in real estate. Call today!

Myths vs. Facts About Property Management in Fort Worth

People tend to assume a lot of things about the realities of owning a rental property, especially when they first get started. There’s a learning curve that may surprise those who are new to owning property. They soon realize that managing their property, finding reliable tenants, collecting rent, keeping up with maintenance, and staying in line with legal and financial obligations is incredibly time consuming and more than they bargained for initially. Then they start considering property management in Fort Worth, but they have a hard time finding a really good company they can trust. Bigger Pockets, a Real Estate Investment website, talks about the dirty truth about property management only experience will teach you, and how to know what to look for in a property manager. After you read the following six commonly believed myths and the real truth behind them, you’ll know what to expect and if hiring a property manager is something that you should do to save you time, trouble, worry, and money. 

Myth: Leasing Rental Properties is Easy

Fact: Property owners invest in real estate because they know it’s a smart way to make money. Unfortunately, they also tend to think that there’s not much work involved. Put a sign in the yard, post the home to Craig’s list, and the honest, reliable tenants will come running. That is a total myth. The truth is, the majority of homes stay vacant for an average of 52 days, and it can be even longer than that if your home is priced too high or isn’t ready to rent. Paying the mortgage on a vacant home is definitely not what you wanted to have happen. It’s crucial that you price your home well, update it so that it’s ready for move-in, and market it to your ideal tenant. Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth can lease your home for you and has leased most homes within 30 days of being on the market. We’ll perform background checks and debt-to-income ratio analyses on potential tenants to make sure they are reliable and trustworthy. We’ll also perform a property assessment, market the home on over 90+ sites, conduct all showings, sign the lease contract with the tenant, and collect the rent. The fee you pay us is well worth it when you consider the cost of an extensive vacancy and the value of your time. 

Myth: You Should Save Money and go With the Cheapest Property Management Company

Fact: People think that all property management companies in Fort Worth offer the same services. This just simply isn’t true. Smaller fees usually mean fewer services and guarantees, or poor customer service. Most property management companies require a group of people to multi-task and complete all the tasks for all of the properties. This means that everyone in the group must be knowledgeable about all aspects of marketing, leasing, maintenance, evictions, accounting, inspections, and legal obligations. With a group of people multi-tasking on your property, you may end up with someone who knows what they’re doing, or the new guy who is still learning. There is no guarantee, but either way, they won’t be able to keep up with the best practices or give you the specialized attention your property needs. Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth uses a team of specialists who all have years of experience and are up-to-date on the latest protocols in every area. This means you’ll receive the best possible service and outcome in every situation and won’t be left wondering why nobody knew what to do. 

Myth: It’s a Quick and Easy Process to Find a Tenant That Will Pay on Time and Take Care of My Home

Fact: This belief is very common and property owners tend to think that if a tenant doesn’t work out, they will be able to easily and quickly find a replacement. This is false. Placing the wrong tenant will cost you 4-6 times the monthly rent rate. If you don’t know how to identify falsified documents or be aware of red flags from tenants while you’re interviewing them, you could easily be stuck with a tenant who doesn’t pay their rent on time, or at all, damages your property in some way, or moves out without notice, leaving you in a bind. Specialized Property Management Company Fort Worth protects you and your wallet from having to go through any of this by heavily screening future tenants and making sure that their credit scores and documentation are real, that they’ll be reliable, and that they’ll pay their rent on time. If we weren’t there at the time you placed a less than ideal tenant and anything goes wrong, we can enforce rent collection and take care of the eviction process, but we can’t help you avoid the associated costs. The following example gives you an estimated cost breakdown of placing the wrong tenant:

EXAMPLE: $1,000 RENTAL

  • Tenant fails to pay for one month $1,500
  • Eviction court fees $500
  • Additional days to evict $750
  • Damage to the home $1,750
  • Re-marketing vacancy time $2,250
  • TOTAL COST $6,750

Myth: I Can Expect a High Enough Rent to Pay for My Costs Because My Home is in Great Shape and in a Good Neighborhood

Fact: So you took the time to update your home and make sure the schools were good and the neighbors were friendly. You should be able to charge enough rent to cover your costs right? Not necessarily. Most property owners discover that they have to lower their rent because the supply of rental homes on the market is greater than the demand and assume they can’t afford property management in Fort Worth. Unfortunately, the real estate market is indifferent to your expenses and “PITI” (Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance). In some cases, out of pocket costs are required to cover the expenses of the property owner since rent is not enough. On the bright side, owners can use their property as a tax strategy and/or receive large returns as the home naturally gains value in future years, and property management fees may be tax-deductible expenses from the IRS. Specialized Property Management can help you price your property in the best way so that your property doesn’t sit on the market and so that you can cover as many of your expenses as possible. 

Myth: Handling Maintenance Requests is Simple: Answer the Phone and Send out a Reputable Repair Company

Fact: It’s actually not that simple. Specialized Property Management Company Fort Worth is educated on and has extensive experience with all the property code, local city ordinances, and Federal Landlord Laws that must be followed indicating what must be repaired by landlord vs. tenant. Judges have zero tolerance for property owners who claim ignorance of these laws, so you need to spend a significant amount of time either educating yourself or finding a property management company that knows what they’re doing. The laws have specific instructions for details such as communication between the landlord and tenant, and even what type of technician must perform the repair. If you, as the property owner, don’t take the correct steps to ensure those doing the maintenance on the property have the right licensing and insurance, and the worker does not follow code or gets injured, you are responsible for those costs. 

Myth: Managing a Property Means Just Collecting Rent and Handling Maintenance

Fact: Property owners need to constantly be aware of liabilities involved with owning rental property via their insurance coverage and obligations to the tenant. You can either hire property management in Fort Worth, or you can try to stay up to date on all tenant and landlord laws, property code, Federal Fair Housing Laws, as well as local city ordinances that can change annually. Managing rentals also requires you to be an expert in marketing, real estate contract law, trust and escrow laws, accounting for tax purposes, collection laws, eviction laws, property inspection regulations, and much more. Here’s a guide from The Balance Small Business Blog on some of the additional responsibilities landlords have to their rental property and their tenants. 

Keeping up with all of these things in addition to collecting rent and handling maintenance requires a skilled and experienced team. Let Specialized Property Management Company Fort Worth step in and take out the stress and headaches of being a landlord. Not only do we know what we are doing from years of experience, we are up to date on changing local policies and provide seven specialized guarantees to protect you. Our team of experts takes care of everything in exactly the right way so you no longer have to stress about simple mistakes or not knowing everything there is to know about property code in your area. Few people have the patience, knowledge, or legal understanding to self manage their rental properties successfully. Give us a call and see how we can help you save money and properly take care of your property by doing everything right the first time. 

How to Read Reviews When Choosing a Fort Worth Property Management Company

Studies show that people trust reviews more today than ever before. “How important are customer reviews to shoppers? Very important, as it turns out. The fact is, 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. And 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.”- invespcro.com Though we are quick to search for and trust the reviews we read, most reviews are written out of anger and frustration after a negative encounter. In general, people are slow to write reviews of their positive experiences. Since businesses know the importance of reviews, they often will offer incentives to customers for writing positive reviews such as discounts or giveaway entries. 

What Reviews Really Tell Us

This means that the majority of the reviews we read are either negative from extreme experiences or written out of a desire to receive said incentive. Though we want to read honest reviews from a variety of customers and experiences (both good and bad) in order to make our own judgment, that’s often not what we get from a quick internet search. When it comes to Specialized Property Management Fort Worth and the surrounding areas, reviews of our business aren’t any different. Here’s how you can better look at the reviews for property management companies as well as any other company and wisely judge for yourself what to do:

  • Don’t pay too much attention to reviews that seem too good to be true. They could be real or they could be planted by a paid customer.
  • Same advice goes for extremely negative reviews. If they seem over the top, they were probably written by a competitor. 
  • Look for businesses or products with a lot of reviews. The more reviews, the better. 
  • Notice the similarities. If lots of reviewers have the same opinion, it’s a good sign that you can trust them and what they’re reviewing.

These tips will help you think more critically about the reviews you’re reading and the businesses you’re interested in. The following information will help you understand the property management industry and how reviews should be regarded when specifically trying to find a property manager. 

Understand the Property Management Industry

Emotions run high in any property management industry because we are dealing with one of mankind’s basic human needs – shelter. There is a heightened sense of need and impatience when it comes to repairs and rent payments. Landlords and tenants are stereotypically known to be at odds with each other because of the responsibilities, emotions, and finances involved. Adding property managers to the mix usually helps ease the tension involved in this difficult industry, but it doesn’t always solve the occasional and expected frustrations that come from renting or owning a home. Fort Worth property management company, Specialized Property Management, can ensure that tenants and repairs are taken care of as quickly as possible and through tenant vetting, can create consistent income for property owners. However, there are some things that are out of everyone’s control. 

In single-family homes, repairs and maintenance just take longer than they do for apartments where there is often on-site maintenance staff and same-day repairs. Single-family homes are strictly regulated by the Department of Real Estate, which decides whether a repair should be completed and whether the tenant or property owner will pay for it. This is something that Specialized Property Management Fort Worth has no control over, yet renters will often go online to report a negative review in order to dispute a tenant responsibility specified by the DRE or in hopes of receiving a faster response. At Specialized Property Management Fort Worth and other surrounding areas, we try to set clear expectations for our clients of what we can and can’t control. It’s crucial that tenants are informed as well of certain issues that can’t be easily solved through an online complaint. There are regulations to follow and processes to go through. 

Managing Normal Frustrations

It’s frustrating when things are out of our control, take longer than we expected, or require more money than we were planning on spending. These kinds of situations are unfortunately common when owning or renting any property. Part of living anywhere requires occasional repairs and unexpected financial matters. Certain laws and regulations that we are all required to follow can also be frustrating, especially when we don’t understand why. Tenants often expect immediate relief from their frustrations and are quick to report a negative review in their frustration and confusion. At our Fort Worth property management company, our clients enjoy quick responses and corrections. We take responsibility and make our customers a priority. We try to help our clients understand the laws and regulations they must follow and have a clear expectation of how long repairs and maintenance may take, especially in single-family housing situations. 

“SPM’s reporting and accountability is excellent. I have been impressed with the courteous, professional and efficient manner in which the affairs of my properties have been conducted. I recommend Specialized as an agent for handling rental properties.”- William M., Owner

Specialized Property Management Fort Worth offers the following services to ensure that our customers receive the quickest and highest quality service out there. 

  • Inspect properties regularly to ensure they are “rent-ready” and well maintained. 
  • Market your property across multiple websites and platforms.
  • Show your property and post tour videos.
  • Screen tenants through vigorous background checks.
  • Make the signing process easy because we prepare and execute all leasing documents.
  • Collect rent payment through enforced rent collection and a quick deposit to you.
  • Maintain repairs inside and outside the property.
  • Renew leases and create less turnover. 
  • Help tenants with a smooth transition during a move by processing notices and collecting deposits.
  • Report weekly about activity, maintenance, and year-end tax statements. 

“Looked around the DFW area for the perfect home for two weeks. Our home came on the market on a Friday afternoon and we were in that following Thursday thanks to Jon Beaman. Hands down the best leasing agent I have dealt with since my move from California. Very personable and thorough. Kept me updated every step of the way. We love our new home!” – Nicole P., Tenant

Disreputable Forums

We may trust reviews just as much as a personal recommendation from friends and family, but in some cases, it’s not smart. Recent studies show that a customer with a perceived negative experience is 50% more likely to post an online review. Happy customers usually don’t take time to post. Specialized Property Management Fort Worth enjoys a 99.8% customer satisfaction rate, but can be negatively impacted by the 0.2%. Multiple lawsuits have ensued toward Yelp for its ineffective algorithm that has suppressed authentic positive reviews and the company is being called out by consumers and businesses alike who just want an honest and varied representation of businesses to rely on. 

Fake Reviews

Fake reviews unfortunately can happen on any review platform, and there are limited ways to ensure that they don’t happen or to have them removed. They usually involve someone making up a very exaggerated version of either a negative or a positive review, affecting a business’s overall review score significantly. 

Hidden Reviews

In some cases for Fort Worth property management companies, if a review isn’t “recommended”, it can’t be seen. Even if the review is a very positive one, the algorithm can decide if it’s going to be displayed or not, thus damages your business’s online reputation. 

Filtered Reviews

Yelp’s algorithm uses filters to try and stop fake reviews from happening, but often ends up filtering out legitimate reviews. They take into account certain review characteristics, like if the review is written by someone with a small online presence or who is from out of town. You can read more about what is happening with Yelp and other disreputable review forums at Original Review. 

What to Do

Now that you know the realities of the property management industry and the overall problem with online reviews, what can you do? Reading reviews from several different platforms, including testimonials from the property management company’s website will give you a broader sense of what to expect. Next, choose the top 3 companies that you were most impressed with based on online reviews and then call them. Ask them about their policies, their guarantees, and what they would do in hypothetical situations. Specialized Property Management Fort Worth executes a customer-driven business model and would have no problem discussing their policies, guarantees, and services with you. Any company that is not upfront and transparent with you about their promised services is one you should consider taking off your list. We understand that you are trusting us with your property and your tenants. In order for us to succeed, it’s vital that you and your property succeed as well. Do your research, call around, read the reviews and take them into consideration along with all the other research you’ve done. In the end, trust your gut-you will know what to do. 

“The Specialized Property Management team is a great group of willing workers and try to do the best job possible for everyone they are associated with.” – Nellie L., Owner

Find out what Specialized Property Management can do for you, call today!

Fort Worth Property Management: The Seven Specialized Guarantees

When people ask us what makes Specialized Property Management Fort Worth special, we always tell them it’s the seven specialized guarantees. We promise our clients more peace of mind than anyone else can offer through our specialized services. Hiring a property manager can help you avoid costly errors, especially if you’re just starting out with your rental property. 

“For a property investor who is just starting out, hiring the wrong repairman or taking too long to fill a vacancy can quickly eat into your potential income. Mistakes such as being accused of discrimination because you did not understand the Fair Housing laws, or of being a slum lord for not getting the heat fixed in time, can lead to the demise of your investment. It is also important to note that hiring a bad property manager can also destroy your investment. This is why it is so important to do your research and thoroughly screen a property manager if you decide hiring one is right for you.” – thebalancesmb.com

80% of property owners manage their property themselves and end up making simple mistakes, feeling frustrated, and wishing they had someone else to do the hard work for them. That’s where we can help. Our services and guarantees take all the stress out of owning a property. Not only do we handle the everyday hassle and maintenance of owning a property, we also take care of official business and paperwork with exactness, meaning you don’t have to be stressed or worry about making mistakes. The seven specialized guarantees of Fort Worth Property Management back our services and give you peace of mind.

1. 10-Month Quality Tenant Guarantee

We know how important low turnover and a consistent income are to you. We take the responsibility of vetting tenants by performing rigorous background checks to ensure that your property is being occupied by responsible people who can pay the rent. We also enforce collection of rent and take care of the rent payment process for you. Specialized Property Management Fort Worth’s 10-month quality tenant guarantee is that the tenants we place will live at your property for a minimum of ten months. If a tenant we placed breaks their lease and doesn’t comply with the lease terms, we will cover the cost. Previous tenants, tenants placed by the owner or another property manager, tenants in the military that are required to move due to orders or transfer, or tenants who abide by the terms of their lease in breaking the lease by paying all required fees are not covered by this guarantee. 

2. Eviction Protection Guarantee

Though we work hard to make sure that tenants are reliable, pay their rent, and stay in your property for a long time, we have prepared for the unexpected at Fort Worth Property Management. Our eviction protection guarantee will pay for the cost of an eviction for the first 10 months of the management agreement. You can opt-in for the Eviction Protection Plan by paying only $14 per month starting in the 11th month. This will cover the costs of the eviction plus the costs of a Writ of Possession. This protection plan saves you from having to pay thousands of dollars. Evictions can be expensive, require extensive time and legal expertise, and be a huge stress on you. Our clients have the Eviction Protection Plan as a worry-free alternative if an eviction does become necessary. 

3. Price Match Guarantee

At Specialized Property Management Fort Worth, we know there are other property management options out there. Our excellent customer service and these seven guarantees are what set us apart. If you find a competitor that offers equivalent property management services to what we do, we will happily match that competitor’s price. You won’t have to worry about sacrificing incredible customer service and proven processes just to save money by going with a different property management company. All you have to do is present the competitor’s proposal to us before signing the management agreement and we will adjust pricing to match it. This is valid on new contracts only and is not retroactive. This way, you get the price that is right for you, along with all the benefits of our services and guarantees.

4. Legal and Accounting Compliance Guarantee

The last thing you need is for your property manager to try to cut corners and leave you with a violation that can cost much more than the management itself. Our Fort Worth Property Management guarantee protects you from managers who are either ignorant, neglectful, or unethical in the way they do business and end up violating trust accounting, fair housing, property code, landlord/tenant regulations, or complex accounting compliance procedures. If your property manager doesn’t know or care enough to be meticulous about what they are doing, it puts you at risk both financially and legally. Our firm guarantee promises that 1) your property will comply will all laws; municipal, state, and federal, 2) all criteria required by the State Department of Real Estate and CPA GAAP regulations will be correctly met by your financials, and 3) your records will be organized properly if you are audited. These guarantees will not only provide you with immense peace of mind, they will also keep you organized and your financial matters safe. 

5. Customer for Life Price Guarantee

Some property management companies will raise their fee every time a lease is renewed. At Specialized Property Management Fort Worth, our clients won’t have to deal with that for the first three years. When you sign your service agreement, the fee that is set in that meeting is locked in for three years. This way you can manage your money wisely, know what to expect, and not have to worry about increased fees. If you hire us for any additional rental properties you acquire over the three years, your fee will be the same as the initial fee for those properties as well, even if our fee policies have changed for new clients. This guarantee takes the pressure off and lets us prove to you that our services are worth your investment. Read this article from Part-Time Money for more information about if a property management company is really worth the fees. 

“Of course only you can truly answer if a property manager is worth their fee. You will have to consider your profit margin. Is the rent you are able to charge your tenants barely covering your mortgage, insurance, private mortgage insurance (PMI), taxes, homeowners association fees, maintenance, and the host of other costs of owning residential rental real estate? Like most things in personal finance, the answer is that it depends. What do you want to do with your property? How involved do you want to be–or can you be? For many landlords, it makes sense to hire someone who can manage your property for you. But often it is simply a profit calculation you have to make and live with.”

6. Money-Back Guarantee

We know that just like any relationship, your relationship with us may change. We don’t want any of our clients to feel stuck if they are unhappy. That’s why Fort Worth Property Management guarantees a refund of your first two months’ management fees if you’re not happy with our services in the first 60 days. If you have a sudden change of plans for some reason and no longer need property management, we completely understand. We guarantee a smooth, easy transition without stress, drama, or cancellation fees. As long as your notice is written and sent to us 90 days before you want to cancel and all your vendor invoices are paid in full, we can ensure that both you and your tenant have a satisfying transition and that you meet all your legal and financial obligations. 

7. 100% Customer Satisfaction

Our clients at Specialized Property Management Fort Worth are the number one priority. You can enjoy our unsurpassed service and efforts to make sure that you are 100% satisfied when you trust your property management with us. We do everything we can to exceed your expectations, or accept responsibility and make it right. Our level of service goes far above the industry standard while keeping fees affordable for you. The combination of our committed customer service, superior experience, highly qualified team, and proven processes, offers you the ability to save money long-term and complete experience peace of mind. 

“We would like to thank you for all the years that you have stood behind us…It has been a pleasure renting from you and having you as our property management company.” – Ricky L., Owner

The seven specialized guarantees are why many of our clients know they can trust us and have no regrets about working with us. Because we have earned the trust of our clients, we can better serve them and form positive, lasting relationships with them. The reason that our Fort Worth Property Management team and our company in general has received the highest online ratings and customer levels in our industry is that our seven specialized guarantees make life easier for both old and new clients alike. Stop trying to do everything yourself and start minimizing your daily stress. Call today to find out how you can gain greater peace of mind by trusting us to manage your property.

Communicating with Your Fort Worth Property Manager: What to Know

You have decided to entrust the management of your rental property to a professional property manager. Congratulations. Smart investors know that this is the best way to earn more on your investment and have a more profitable and successful experience. Read more

Moving Out of Your Rental Home in Fort Worth: Tenants Checklist

At Specialized Property Management, we enjoy providing outstanding service to our great tenants, and if it’s time for you to move on, we hope you have enjoyed your stay in one of the properties we manage. We know that moving is often stressful, and you probably have a lot of details and deadlines that you’re paying attention to as you pack and schedule. As you are preparing to move onto your next adventure, we ask you to please follow these guidelines to ensure a smooth transition. When we work together, the move-out process goes a lot more smoothly for tenants, owners, and our property management team. Read more

Tenant’s Guide to Moving Into Your Fort Worth Rental Home



Specialized Property Management is delighted to welcome you to your new rental home. We know that moving can be stressful, and we know that there are often a multitude of little details to pay attention to. It’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed. We’ve put together some helpful information into this guide for moving into your property. We expect that these few items will help you move in smoothly and have a pleasant and successful stay with us.

If you have any questions while you’re reading this reference, please get in touch with one of our agents. We’d be happy to clear up any confusion or walk you through any process.

Completing Your Inventory and Condition Report

Before you move in, your leasing agent will provide you with a resident manual. This will contain all the information you need to enjoy and care for your new home.

With your resident manual, you’ll also get an inventory and condition form. This is an important way to document the move-in condition of the property. We don’t want to hold you accountable for damage that isn’t your fault, so please take the time to inspect your new home carefully and make a note of anything that isn’t in perfect condition. Use the form to go through the property and note any issues. We’ll ask you to provide photographs of anything that you’re documenting on the inventory and condition form. This protects you and your security deposit during the move-out process.

Please return this form to us within five days of moving into your home. We’ll keep this form in leasing department and use it when we conduct our move-out inspection. If you have noted anything that needs maintenance or repairs during this move-in process, please submit a separate maintenance request through your tenant portal. We will respond immediately and take care of any issues you may have found. We want you to have an excellent experience from the start.

Maintenance and the Responsibilities of Tenants and Owners

We want you to enjoy your new home. We’ll work with you to ensure the property is safe, habitable, and well-maintained. Sometimes, residents and even owners get confused about who is responsible for which functions of the home. Let’s take a moment to review resident and owner responsibilities.

As a tenant, you are responsible for keeping the property clean and tidy. We all know that small messes can quickly become large messes. Please be proactive in the way you care for your home. Leaving food, trash, and other debris out can attract pests and insects, and it can also degrade the property as well as your quality of life. Make an effort to keep your home in good shape.

Tenants are also responsible for setting up utilities in their names. Be sure to get those accounts started before you move in, because sometimes it can take a few days. If you’re switching your account from your previous home to your new one, make sure you time the transition correctly.

We also ask you to take care of the landscaping. You want to live in a property that looks neat and clean from the outside, so please watch for weeds, overgrown lawns, and debris in the yard or on the patio. As a tenant, you’ll also need to complete minor and seasonal maintenance. This might include changing light bulbs and air filters. When you turn on the heat or the air conditioning for the first time, a clean filter will ensure you save energy and keep the heating and cooling system running efficiently.

Tenants are also required to comply with all state and local laws as well as any HOA property codes, rules, and regulations. It’s easy to violate an HOA rule if you don’t know it exists, so make sure you familiarize yourself with bylaws and rules and regulations when you move into an HOA property. We can make sure you have all the necessary documents.

Owners have their own responsibilities, too. Property owners must ensure that your rental property is clean, safe, and ready for your occupancy. There are several things required by the Texas Property Code, and as your property managers, we make sure the owners of your property comply with all of these requirements. For example, owners must re-key all doors leading to the outside of your home before you move in. This ensures that no one else has a key to your home, and it’s for your safety and security. Owners must provide smoke detectors in the right places, and their exterior doors must have keyless deadbolts that can only be locked and unlocked from the inside, as well as peepholes. If you notice your property missing any of these things, please notify us immediately.

Owners must also provide residents with a copy of the HOA rules.

Paying Rent in Fort Worth

We make paying rent easy and convenient. It can be stressful if the first has come and gone and you realize that you’ve forgotten to pay rent. You don’t want to incur any late fees or be irresponsible in getting your rent to us on time. Luckily, we offer secure and convenient online rental payment options. Your leasing coordinator will provide you with a log in that takes you to your private resident portal. On this portal, you can pay rent each month via a checking account or your debit or credit card. You can also set up automatic reoccurring payments to ensure on-time payments and peace of mind.

If you prefer not to pay rent online, we have several other options that might work better for you. Mailing a check to our office is still an option, and you can also drop it off to us in-person. All of the rental collection policies can be found in your lease agreement, from how much is due to when it’s due and how it should be paid. Please refer to your lease or talk to one of our agents if you have any questions. We take timely rental payments very seriously at Specialized Property Management, and we’ve done everything we can to help you keep your account current.

Requesting Maintenance and Repairs

When maintenance or a repair is needed, simply log into your online portal or call our maintenance hotline to submit a ticket. When you submit a maintenance request online, it allows us to respond to your needs right away. It also helps us both by creating a documented log of what was done at the property and how things were handled. Please try to use your online portal for routine repairs and minor issues.

Emergencies should always be brought to our attention immediately. If you notice a water leak or a fire or a storm causes a tree to come crashing through the roof, don’t hesitate to call our emergency maintenance line. Someone is always available to take the call and immediately dispatch help.

Maintaining your home is a priority for us. We want to be responsive and accessible when it comes to maintenance issues, so don’t hesitate to report necessary repairs. Deferred maintenance only costs more and creates larger headaches for owners, tenants, and property managers. Let us know if something is broken or not functioning the way it should.

Moving Out of Your Rental Home

It’s hard to think about the move-out when you’ve just started moving in, but you should know early on that there are incentives to our best tenants. Specialized Property Management makes a point of rewarding tenants who have made on-time rent payments and maintained the property to our standards. If you have been a responsible, communicative tenant, and you have followed all the terms of your lease faithfully, we will be sad to lose you. But, we know that people move on, and we’ll offer you a printed payment history and letter of recommendation upon request. This can help you in your effort to purchase a home or in renting your next home. We’ll do everything we can to help our great tenants find a new place to live after they leave us.

Keep Your Resident Manual Close

As we mentioned, your leasing agent will give you a Specialized Property Management resident manual with more information on all of these items and more. This can be a very helpful and important resource while you’re living in one of the properties we manage. It can save you time when you have a question and you’re not sure who to call or what to do. Start with your manual, and you may find that you can answer your own question quickly and thoroughly. We have made an effort to be as detailed as possible so that you can enjoy living in your home with few intrusions. We ask that you please keep this manual handy for easy reference throughout your stay with us.

Thank you for choosing a property managed by Specialized Property Management. We hope you enjoy your new home, and we’re here to answer any questions or provide any support you need. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth for any property management or leasing needs.

Security Deposits & How They Work | Specialized Property Management Fort Worth Tenant Tips

Moving out of your Fort Worth rental property requires you to wrap up a lot of loose ends and begin planning for the next chapter in your residential life. We hope you have enjoyed your stay in one of the properties managed by Specialized Property Management. Read more