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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.