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Single-Family Rental Investing vs. Multi-Family Rental Investing

When Specialized Fort Worth Property Management Company started out almost 30 years ago, the general public was mostly interested in investing in multi-family units or apartments. If people did invest in single-family homes, it was so they could fix up an older home and resell it for a higher value. Though this is a smart and quick strategy for making money, more and more investors are adopting a buy and hold strategy today. Just some of the reasons to invest in a single-family rental are: the investment stability, affordability, less tenant drama, an increase in demand, better available management, and a quick and easy exit strategy. Today, there are almost twice as many single family homes as there were 10 years ago during the housing crisis. In fact, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council, 43% of renters choose to reside in a single-family rental. Because of the increase in demand, property management techniques have changed. Learn the benefits of investing in single-family homes and how Specialized Fort Worth Property Management Company can help you maximize your profits. 

“We’re becoming a nation of renters — and not just apartment dwellers. Since the housing crisis, more renters are writing the monthly check for single-family homes. More of them are also writing checks to corporate landlords like Invitation Homes, Colony-Starwood, and American Homes 4 Rent. Back in 2005, ‘there were about 10.5 million single-family rental properties,’said Karan Kaul of the Urban Institute. ‘Today that number is north of 17 million. That’s almost a 70 percent increase. If you look at the other segments of the rental market,’ he said, ‘the growth in those units has not been close to what you’re seeing in the single-family market.’”- Marketplace

Investment Stability

People that want to live in a single-family rental are usually doing so because they like the stability and home life that a house provides but they also want the flexibility and mobility of renting. This means, as a property owner, that you’ll be able to rely on your good tenants who will take care of your property and most likely stay long term. With a long term tenant who pays their rent on time, you won’t need to worry about frequent turnover and vacancy costs that often play a big part in multi-family units, or apartments. You’ll also be able to form positive relationships with your tenants over time, decreasing the amount of tension around maintenance issues and neighbors. 

“From day one, you want to work on developing a positive yet professional relationship with your tenants. That means making them feel welcome and comfortable at the property, and providing them with all the information they need to start their tenancy off right. That includes contact numbers, details on your expectations, important dates and locations of the nearest grocery stores, schools, bus stops, etc. And, make sure they know where to locate emergency shut off valves for water and gas in case they need them.”- Zillow

Because single-family rentals usually increase in value over time, you’ll be earning passive income and can expect a very good return on investment. If you take a look at past real estate patterns, single family homes tend to appreciate much faster than multi family units. Since the value of single family homes is decided by supply and demand, and demand for places to rent is usually high, they appreciate quickly. On the other hand, multi family units are valued based on the rent being charged and the state of the home, meaning that value only goes up if all the rent prices increase in that certain location. 

More Affordable

In general, single-family rentals cost less than multi-family homes, such as duplexes and triplexes. The down payment required for a multi-family rental could be anywhere from 25-30%, while single-family home investors usually only have to pay around 10-15% down. Insurance rates are also cheaper for single-family rentals. In addition, there are many available options currently in the single family rental market, making it a buyer’s market. This means you’re more likely to find a better deal when investing in single-family rentals than anywhere else. Though paying for your property in cash would be ideal, it’s not always realistic. If your situation requires financing, single family homes often offer less expensive financing options that multi family homes do. You are more likely to be offered lower interest rates, longer terms, and higher loan-to-ratio values with single-family rental properties. 

No Tenant Drama

One of the worst parts about owning a multi-family rental is the tenant-to-tenant complications. Noise complaints, parking troubles, and plain old drama can make you feel like you’re parenting teenagers on a daily basis. Tenant drama like a divorce or a lost job can still happen, but are less common and usually more serious than complications in multi-family rentals. Though a property manager can help handle all of those things, it’s much better to invest in a single-family rental where those problems don’t exist. When there’s only one family in a home, there’s more privacy for them and less headache for you or your Fort Worth property management company. 

Demand Increase

As we mentioned earlier, people that are looking for a single-family rental enjoy the fact that they can live in a home with a yard and enjoy a great neighborhood with respectable schools. The growing number of millennials are looking to start families without having to buy a home. Wanting to keep their options open for spur of the moment travel plans or career changes, millennials appreciate the renting life. With a plan to stay long term, single-family tenants are more likely to take good care of the home and lawn while informing you of any maintenance problems in a timely manner. Because single-family homes are larger, contain land, and are located in higher-value areas, you have the potential as a property owner to charge more rent. Tenants are usually willing to pay more to be able to also enjoy the fact that they can leave easily, if need be, and aren’t 100% responsible for the property. Our Fort Worth property management company is still involved in single-family homes in regard to repairs, maintenance, rent collection, marketing, and much more. It’s up to you as the property owner, and the local housing laws, to decide how many expenses you would like to take on and what the tenant is responsible for. With the demand for single family rentals on the rise, they are the smart investment choice for property owners. 

Better Management

Specialized Fort Worth Property Management Company has processes and services in place that make owning a single family rental investment easier than ever. Rather than trust a property management company that uses multi-family business models to manage apartments as well as single-family homes, choose a property management team that has specialized in single-family rentals for nearly 30 years. Our technology-driven systems have proven the test of time and are still rated #1 in comparison to other property management companies. Specialized Fort Worth Property Management Company’s nationwide portfolio consists of over 70% single-family homes. 

Simple Exit Strategy

When you invest in a single family rental, the goal is to buy and hold the home, collecting the mortgage through rent. Once the house is paid off, you should sell the house and take home the profits from the increase in value. Fortunately, with the high demand for single family homes, you shouldn’t have a hard time with renting it out or selling it in the end. You can then use this money to invest in more properties or put it towards your retirement fund. If you’ve owned the property for a year or more, you may qualify for lower capital gains taxes when you sell. You’ll also be able to take advantage of tax breaks if the property depreciated in value. Investors also get an annual deduction that assesses the value of the home and how many valuable years it has left. To ensure that you make the most out of your single family rental investment, let Specialized Fort Worth Property Management Company help you along the way.

“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 

 Our team of experts will handle the everyday stresses of being a property owner and protect you against any mistakes made from not being aware of legal and local regulations. Our services include marketing, property showings, tenant screening, collecting rent, maintaining your property, providing you with detailed monthly reports and year-end tax statements, and much more. You can trust us fully to make your rental property the best it can be and help you increase your profits. Take advantage of our user-friendly online owner user portal, where you’ll have constant access to your rental property from any location. Contact us today to find out how Specialized Fort Worth Property Management Company can multiply and take care of your investment in today’s growing real estate market. 

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.

What Types of Fees Can I Expect with a Fort Worth Property Management Company?

Smart investors know that working with a professional Fort Worth property management company can help increase the return that’s earned on their investments. While you’ll need to pay for expert leasing and management services, you can more than make up for those fees with higher rents, better tenants, and lower expenses. The value that you receive when you work with good managers is more than worth the costs you incur. 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.

Make Your Home Rent-Ready on a Budget

Your Fort Worth property management company knows that making your home look good before potential tenants arrive will decrease the number of vacancy days. But how do you make your home rent-ready on a small budget? Big projects aren’t always needed to bring in new tenants, and some small upgrades will even allow you to charge higher rent. Check out these low-cost, high-impact ways to make your home appealing to potential tenants.

Ft Worth Property Management Rent-Ready Checklist

    1. Tidy up outside.  You don’t need to invest in a big landscaping project but remember the front yard and door are the first things your new tenant will see. Trimming trees and bushes, planting a few flowers, repainting the front door, and adding a welcome mat will go a long way to making your tenants feel at home.
    2. Repaint or touch up inside.  Paint is a low-cost way to refresh any room. If you don’t want to repaint the whole house consider painting high traffic areas such as the kitchen or entryway. Touch up any spots where paint has chipped.
    3. Replace broken appliances.  This step costs a bit more than the others, but can have a huge impact for potential tenants. Many old appliances are finicky and inefficient, but when you add new appliances tenants know you care about their comfort.
    4. Clean and maintain.  While it may seem obvious, cleaning and maintaining your rental home is a top priority when making your home rent-ready. Replacing light bulbs, cleaning dust from baseboards and air filters, shampooing carpets, and other once-in-a-while cleaning tasks should be done before any potential tenant visits the home.

Need a Fort Worth Property Management Company?

Specialized Property Management has almost 30 years in the business and is one of the industry leading Ft Worth property management companies for a reason. Landlords can rest easy knowing their properties are taken care of at every step, and making your home rent ready is no exception. We are known for decreasing vacancy days which increases your income. To hear about all our property management services give us a call today!