Experience with Tenant Placement
I have been providing property management in the Orlando area for the last 17 years. This experience has made me efficient at the management of residential properties. The first thing I do for clients is locate an acceptable tenant. This is done through internet advertising. I use several large sites as well as my own website. The listings are sent out to a broad range of advertising venues, which attracts a lot of activity. This means more showings, and it also means more choices for owners when it comes to selecting a tenant. Once we have an application, that tenant is vetted through a stringent screening process. I check credit and criminal histories, and I verify their background.
I present the findings to the owner, and a decision is made. This one step is a very critical step in property management. It’s the most important thing you can do to avoid headaches and problems. I cannot stress this enough. Once the tenant is in the property, maintaining a good relationship is important. Communication needs to be positive and reinforced during property inspections, which helps with the upkeep of your home. I always conduct inspections during lease periods.
I use vendors that are approved, insured, and bonded. These are people I have used for years. I trust them, and they don’t overcharge. Maintaining your home is important. The worst thing an investor can have is a poorly managed home. You want to make sure your rent revenues are generated and the expenses are managed. Make plans to rehab or update your investment property before it’s time to sell it or re-rent it. Making improvements over time is a good idea, and it prevents you from falling under market value when you’re selling or renting.
Perhaps you plan to return to your home in the future, or you want to hold onto it for depreciation and tax deductions, or cash flow. If you want all those things to work in your favor, it has to be in market-ready condition. I frequently work on projects with investors in central Florida and all over the world on remodeling and rehabbing homes. I work with contractors to make sure all that work is done before they get paid.
If you decide you want a rental home or you want to add to your portfolio, I would be happy to answer any questions you might have, and provide a free no-obligation market analysis.
Property Management Orlando vs. Real EstateIn recent years, many real estate offices have jumped into the management arena. You need to know that property management is very different from sales. They don’t correlate at all. When you’re looking for a property manager, you need experience, skill, and knowledge.
Processes and ExperienceWhen you’re screening and selecting a property management company, look at their processes and how they conduct business. You also want to look at the property manager. That person represents your boots on the ground. They are usually working with a broker, and you may never speak to that broker unless there’s a problem. So, you want to make sure you’re asking about the manager’s actual experience.
Attention to Detail and CommunicationAnother important consideration when you’re selecting a property manager is attention to detail. Are they problem solvers? There’s no room for an owner to be taken advantage of. It’s important to establish a proactive relationship between the manager and the tenants and between the manager and the owner. The communication lines need to remain open. You want to be sure your manager will stay on top of maintenance. You need someone who can balance taking care of necessary maintenance with avoiding unnecessary repairs and inflated costs. It’s important to get the best return on your investment.
Vacancies and Tenant Selection
Another thing to watch for is how your property manager will minimize vacancies between tenants. How will they get someone in there as quick as possible and make sure you don’t have a long vacancy? You need to know what their tenant selection process is. Find out if they are selecting arbitrarily or strategically, and if you will be asked to give a stamp of approval on the tenant.
Prior to showing the property, you’ll place an ad and get inquiries. When people inquire, you can ask questions to qualify or disqualify them. Ask why they’re moving. Valid reasons include wanting to be closer to school or work, or because they’re relocating. If they are having a landlord dispute, check into it further. You don’t want to assume what you’re hearing is right.
Ask who will live at the property. If it’s a one bedroom condo, four people moving in would be a problem. Ask about pets, and if you’re accepting a pet, ask what breed. Don’t accept a bully breed. That’s an insurance risk and a bite risk. If it’s an acceptable pet, you would be asking for a pet bite policy and a renter’s insurance policy. You also want to be sure you get vet records for the pet. Make sure they’re current. If it’s a service dog, any breed would have to be accepted.
Another question is - when are you looking to move? They might say two to three months. If your property is vacant, you don’t want to wait. Vacant properties should be filled within two or three weeks. Even if it overlaps with their current lease, a good tenant will accommodate your timing. If you have a tenant in place, you want to make the move-in date closer to the move-out date of your current tenant.
Screening for Credit
Ask about credit. A lot of people don’t really know their credit score, but you can ask for basic information such as whether they owe creditors or have past due bills. If they talk about potentially filing bankruptcy, that might be a problem. It could be costlier to evict them, and it will take longer to get them out if you need to. Asking these questions up front can save you trips to the property and helps you to qualify them prior to showing.
Criminal screenings can show everything from criminal arrests to traffic tickets. Sometimes people have very common names, and you’ll see that you can’t tell if the person is a match. Your credit provider should be able to determine these things and verify a match. Don’t just guess; you need to know.
Verify Employment and Rental History
Verify work and income after running credit and criminal checks. Ask them for a pay stub, which usually has Year to Date income on it. If the tenant is an independent contractor or owns a business, they should be able to provide a Schedule C or 1099 to show their annual income.
Call the employer, and talk to the current landlord. Ask if rent was paid on time, and what the condition of the property is. You can go further and ask previous landlords the same questions. Ask about late rent and NSF checks.
Let the tenants know how long it will take to get the application processed and finalized. If you take too long, people will continue shopping for properties. It’s best to jump on the process and do your verifications and run your credit and criminal checks. If you cannot move forward with prospective tenants, send a letter stating why they were not accepted. Give them the name and number of the credit agency you used to run their criminal and credit reports.
One more thing to remember: be aware of fair housing laws. You can unintentionally make a statement that could be perceived as discriminatory. Even if you didn’t realize you were doing it – be aware of it.
Supervised Showings and Your Rental Agreement
The first thing you want to mention to your tenants is that you’ll be showing the property by appointment only. Let them know you’re not going to come over unannounced, and you won’t have an open house while they’re there. Explain you will be with the people the whole time they’re in the house. I’ve also explained that this is spelled out in the lease, which they agreed to when they signed the rental agreement.
Showing the property is something you have to do, because you don’t want a vacancy. If the tenants continue to be stubborn, mention that it’s possible for them to avoid having showings if they want to pay their last month’s rent and then pay an additional month’s rent to cover your vacancy time. No one wants to do that, and no one has ever taken me up on that. It usually ends the conversation.
Landlord Rights and ExpectationsI always let the tenants know that I understand they want to maintain their privacy. But, the faster we find a tenant, the faster we’re out of their hair. Ask them to keep the property clean. This can be hard when people are moving, but it needs to be kept up while you’re showing it. Talk about specific times of the day and days of the week that work best for the tenant. Then, they won’t dodge showings. If there’s a dog at the property, make sure the tenants are home with the dog during the showing. Or, they can kennel the dog during that time.
Maximize Your Showings
When you’re there with the prospective tenants, you could point out the positives of the property. It also allows you to ask them questions about their motives; why they want to move. Get to know their story. Encourage them to apply, because outside of the qualifying questions you ask, you don’t know much about them until you do a background check. I have been surprised at times while checking credit and criminal backgrounds, so I always encourage prospective tenants to apply.
Florida Landlord Tenant Law
For stubborn current tenants who still want to argue about this, go ahead and forward them Florida Statute 83.53. It states you can enter the home with 12 hours of notice, between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. This is spelled out in the law, and they cannot dispute it.
As long as you play by the rules and they do too, you’ll have a minimal vacancy. You’re only making money when rent is coming in.
When you’re looking for your investment home, compare the property you’re buying with what has been on the market for the last six months and has sold. Look at what’s pending, too. Sold properties would be good comparables, and they need to be similar to your property. You cannot compare a remodeled and updated home to an older, dated home. Look at the properties within 200 square feet of the house you’re considering. When you have those comparables, you’ll know what to pay for the house. Don’t over pay. You can fall in love with a property, but if you overpay, it may take a long time to earn any ROI.
Calculate Your Rent and Expenses
Look at your monthly costs, which include your taxes and insurance and HOA dues. If you’re including pool and lawn service, add those as well. Figure in all of your monthly costs that are associated with the property, and you’ll know what is coming out from your cash flow every month. Then, you can look at your rent range, which you can estimate from homes on the market currently. Compare properties with the same square footage that are in the same condition and neighborhood. Compare the rent those homes are getting to what has leased in the last six months. You’ll know your rent range. You can start at the high end, and in two weeks if you don’t have an application or any activity, you’ll know your price is a little high or there’s something about the property that turns off renters. Ask the prospective tenants who come to see it what they like and don’t like.
Rental Management and Tax Deductions
Some tax deductions can be taken in the year that you pay for them. For example, straight deductions like rental management fees and repairs can be deducted right away. If you have to fix the air conditioning or a faucet or the fridge, you can deduct the expenses on that year’s tax return. However, improvements like new floors or a new roof or a new appliance must be deducted over time. Consider all these things before you purchase your property.
Unless you’re up on all the tax laws, the best thing you can do is work with a great accountant who understands investment properties. Professionals can tell you about the deductions you could take. You don’t want to miss anything significant. And, keep good receipts because the IRS is watching. Show what you did in the property and have the backup for it.
If you have any questions about this, or you’re considering purchasing an investment property and you want to talk about the potential rental range, please call me. You can always contact us at Debbie Gloss Properties for any help with Orlando property management.
When you’re looking for property management services in Orlando, there are many good reasons to work with us at Debbie Gloss Properties. I have been involved in property management for the last 17 years, eight of which have been with my own company. The work is enjoyable, and I still love the challenge. Today, we’re talking about a few things to consider when you’re looking for a property manager.
Property Management Orlando: Marketing and Tenant Selection
You want a well-managed property where your investment is maintained, rental income is generated, and expenses are managed effectively. The first step in accomplishing this is to select an acceptable tenant. At Debbie Gloss Properties, we do this through internet marketing. Web advertisements are posted on my own website, and those ads are sent out to other sites, providing a broad range of coverage. It helps to get a number of showings because in the end, this additional activity will give you more choices when it comes to tenant selection.
Property Management Orlando: Application and Screening
The next step in tenant selection is processing the application. We look at credit and criminal histories, and we verify background. In verifying the background, I’m also looking to verify that the tenants have paid their rent on time and maintained the properties in previous rentals. Ask former landlords what the property’s condition was when the tenant moved out. Check income as well, and make sure the applicant is qualified to rent the property. Tenant selection is a critical factor. You’re asking if the tenant can pay the rent and take care of the property. This cannot be overemphasized. It’s the start of good property management.
Property Management Orlando: Communication and Maintenance
Once a tenant moves into the home, it’s good to maintain the relationship with positive reinforcement. During inspections, you want to look at the condition of the property. See if there’s any work that may have been neglected. This is also an opportunity to talk about the tenant’s concerns. Communication with your tenant is important to maintaining your home and retaining the tenants long-term.
If you’re thinking of rehab work or remodeling, it may be easier to do that over time. It seems to work better that way without having a large cash outlay all at one time. You want to maintain your home and avoid deferred maintenance so your ready if your going to sell or re-rent the property. If you have deferred maintenance, you’re going to fall below market value. Weather you want to hold onto your home for tax deductions, appreciation, or cash flow, you need to be market ready at all times.
Property Management Orlando: Competition
With the increase in qualified tenants, we sometimes have a scenario where there are multiple applications for the same property. This creates a sense of urgency for people who are looking at a property. They realize they need to apply right away or it will be gone. This competition is good for the rental market and its investors.
Cash Flow and Tax Benefits
If your property cash flows after expenses, it’s a perfect scenario. However, all investment properties have tax advantages and deductions associated with the rental property. An accountant can help you navigate the tax code and help you take advantage of everything you have. You might also want to consider using a self-directed IRA for your investments. If you’re purchasing one home or building up your portfolio, check into it.
Property Management Orlando: What to Buy
There are many desirable areas in Orlando where you can invest. Tenants look for a home that’s in good condition, as well as the neighborhood or location. If they are looking for a specific school district, that will matter a lot, and they might also want something that’s an easy commute to work. The tenants in Orlando might be looking at one or all those things. Once you’ve located a potential investment home, a good Orlando property management company can help you get the property ready for the rental market.
There are many great reasons to invest in the Orlando area. If you have any questions about investing or Orlando property management, please contact us at Debbie Gloss Properties. We’d be happy to help you.
A problem you may encounter is a tenant not paying rent. Today, we’re talking about this topic and sharing some steps you can take if you find yourself in this situation.
First, ask questions. Find out why your tenant is late with the rent payment. If they have had a life event, that’s going to require a different approach than if it’s a small monetary setback. There might have been some unexpected expense that they encountered, and they’ll be able to catch up with rent quickly. If they pay you when they say they’re going to pay you, check your lease and the charge the proper late fee. You can accept the rent and move on. However, if there’s been a divorce, a job loss, or something big that’s happened, it may be insurmountable and things won’t look like they’re going to improve quickly. In these cases, you probably want to ask them to vacate.
Agreement to Vacate
If your tenant cannot catch up with rent, ask them to sign an agreement to vacate. This agreement states they have a specific date by which they need to move out. If they agree to sign this, you know that they will cooperate and it’s more than likely you will avoid an eviction. That’s good news because evictions are costly and time consuming, and you want to avoid them if you can.
Three Day Notice to Vacate
If your tenants aren’t willing to sign an agreement to vacate, you want to serve a Three Day Notice to Vacate. This tells them they have three days to pay the rent or leave the property. You have to avoid holidays, and you cannot count weekends in the notice period. Post this on the door. Either it will get their attention and they’ll come up with the money, or the three days will pass and you have the right to start the eviction process. At this point, hire an attorney to help you, or gather the paperwork yourself that you can file at the county courthouse in the county where your property is located.
Property Management Orlando: Screening
You’ll want to get through the eviction quickly and move onto the next tenant. Make sure you vet and screen your tenants well before you rent to them. You want to know they earn enough money and have good credit. Make sure they have a good rental history and can take care of your property. Paying attention to these things will help you avoid renting to someone who stops paying rent and ultimately needs to be evicted. If you don’t settle on someone and you pick the right tenant, you avoid a lot of this.
If you have any questions about Orlando property management, please contact us at Debbie Gloss Properties. We know this is a confusing issue, and it can be hard to move forward. We’d be happy to talk about it with you.
Today we are talking about some of the work that a property manager does to look after your investment and ensure it stays protected while a tenant is in place. The first item to address is marketing. We search for a qualified tenant by placing ads on our own website and on other Internet sites where potential renters are looking. We take the calls that come in from those ads and we spend some time assessing those callers and establishing feasibility for showing the property. Once someone applies to rent the home, we will conduct a thorough screening that includes a credit check and a criminal background check. After we gather all the information, we call the property owner and talk about the potential tenant. We provide our opinion and if the tenant is approved by the owner, the tenant signs a lease and a deposit is given to be placed in escrow. At this time we prepare the home for the tenant to reside at the property. After the tenant moves in we conduct periodic inspections of the property. During those inspections we look at both the interior and the exterior. On the exterior of the home we check for trees that may be hanging too low on the house, full gutters and exterior wood rot. On the interior of the home, we check for issues that the tenant may need to address. If we see a carpet that needs to be cleaned or a wall socket plate that has been cracked we address those issues with the tenant at that time. Every time we begin working with a property, we consider what it will take to keep the property maintained and prepared for rental or sale. When it’s time for a lease renewal, we talk to the tenants about their plans. It’s important to review the previous year and review the lease. There is an increase in the rent if the tenant is going to renew so we address that with the tenant. If the tenant decides not to stay and vacates we then prepare the security deposit in accordance with Florida Statutes. It’s critical to follow the rules that are set out for landlords regarding security deposits. This is a brief summary of what we do to look after your investment. If you’d like to discuss further, please contact us at Debbie Gloss Properties.
Today we are talking about why it’s a good idea to invest in Orlando. There are a number of reasons and the first thing that comes to the mind is that the prices here are still good. You’ll find the homes very affordable and if your property is financed, you will still be able to take advantage of good rates. These two factors together mean that a favorable return on your investment in Orlando is not hard to achieve. This area has really become a renter’s market. This means the rental pool is large and highly qualified. There are a lot of people in Orlando who had trouble during the market fallout and while they are recovering, they are still not entirely confident in their situation or in the market. That lack of confidence is preventing people from purchasing homes again, so they’re renting. Many of the areas here are desirable to tenants because the homes are attractive and in good condition and there are also excellent schools in the area. These are the things you really want to look for when you’re investing; nice neighborhoods and good schools. A good management company can help you navigate the purchase of your investment as well as help you with any repairs and maintenance that’s needed prior to renting the property out. There are a number of tax advantages to owning rental property as well. It makes a big difference at the end of the year. An accountant can help you see how it reduces your income taxes and how the depreciation can work for you. Investors looking for property want to have cash flow and a good return. You might want to consider using your IRA as an investment tool to buy and hold income producing properties. You can continue to buy this way and it helps you with your gains. If you have any questions on this topic, please contact us at Debbie Gloss Properties. We would be happy to discuss the details involved in owning an investment home.
Today we are talking about how to select a property manager in Orlando. There are good property managers and bad property managers out there, and it’s important to be able to identify the difference. Lots of people are calling themselves property managers but they don’t have a real estate license or any experience in the field. Look out for that. There are also a lot of real estate offices that have jumped into property management in recent years. This does not always create good property management. Taking care of a rental property is totally different from real estate sales. The two career paths really don’t correlate. What you need is a property management company with skill, experience and knowledge. When you are screening and selecting a property management company, take a look at their process and get an idea about how they conduct business. Look at the individual property manager you’ll be working with as well. Most work under a broker and you may never see or speak to that broker unless there’s a problem. Ask about actual experience, and make sure you get to know the professional you will be working with and that they have experience in the field. Other things to consider – a good property manager will pay attention to detail. They will solve problems creatively. There is no room for a property manager who allows an owner to be taken advantage of. There has to be a proactive relationship between the property manager, the tenants and you, the property owner. Communication lines must be kept open at all times. A good property manager will stay on top of maintenance and constantly be looking at ways to reduce your costs. They won’t make unnecessary repairs but a good property manager will keep up with your property and make sure it is well maintained so you get the best return on your investment. It’s important to find out what a property manager will do to minimize vacancy. A good property manager will rent your property as quickly as possible. You also want a manager who has a detailed tenant selection process. Find out how they determine who your tenant will be, and if they are arbitrarily selecting the tenants or requiring you as the property owner to also give your stamp of approval. These are just a few things to consider when you’re separating bad property managers from good ones as you search for the right professional to manage your property. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at Debbie Gloss Properties.
Our topic today is screening tenants. This is an important part of property management, and there are ways you can pre-qualify a potential applicant before you show that person your rental home. Get some information from them when they call or email to inquire about the property. Ask about their intended move in date. If their planned move is more than two to three weeks from your vacancy date, you might want to reconsider showing them the home. Or, you can also ask them if they are willing to accommodate your vacancy time frame. Talk to the potential tenant about pets. If they do have a pet and you are accepting pets, ask what type of breed they have. Bully breed pets should always be avoided because of the bite risk and the liability it will create for you. If your tenant wants to move in an acceptable pet, ask the tenant to get a pet bite policy attached to their renters insurance. You should also ask to see vet records on the pet, and make sure they’re current. You can find out how many people would be living in your property by asking your potential tenant if the house would be just for him or her. If there are four people trying to move into a one bedroom condo, that will not work. After a tenant views the property and you receive an application, verify all the information on it. You should do this before you even run the credit check and the national criminal background check. Make sure an applicant’s family income is going to be at least three times the amount of rent. That’s a rule of thumb in this industry and it’s used to establish whether they can afford the property. Take a look at credit and the national criminal searches. On the criminal check, you might think you have found a match, but always verify the information with the company that ran the search. This is simply because some names are very similar and the name that popped up might not be the person applying to rent your home. These are just a few tips for screening tenants. If you have any other questions or you’d like additional information, please contact us at Debbie Gloss Properties, and we’d be happy to help you.
Give us a call at (407) 921-9635 or fill out the form below.
Our topic today is how to prepare your home for the rental market. There are a few things you can do to ensure it gets a good response and a lot of interest. Price the Home Prior to placing your web ad, it’s a good idea to look at other web ads to see how many comparable properties are on the market and what the asking rent is. You’ll also want to look at the past six months to see what those properties that are similar to your home have rented for. Those two numbers will give you a reliable rental range and you’ll get an idea of how to price your home before putting it on the rental market. Curb Appeal Curb appeal is extremely important when you’re renting out a property. People will drive by before they contact you and if your exterior looks nice and the house seems to be in great condition, they’re going to call you and want to see it. The lawn must be mowed and the weeds should be removed from the flower beds. Make sure your windows don’t have any torn screens and give the house a good pressure wash. That will ensure the exterior has a really nice, clean look. On the inside, take the time to look at your home from a tenant’s perspective. You want a property that is thoroughly cleaned and well maintained. Check the blind slats and make sure there aren’t any missing blinds or sagging blinds. The paint must look fresh on the walls. If your flooring is worn and your carpeting looks old, it’s a good idea to replace it with tile. Once you put down tile, you’re not going to have to do that job again. It’s a one-time project that will keep your floors in great shape. There are so many nice colors and textures and shapes of tile; it will help your home, especially in the main living areas. It gives the space a very appealing look. Many of the properties on the rental market don’t pay attention to these details, so a property can be sitting vacant which would not happen if it was in good condition. If you have any questions, or you’d like help getting your property ready for the Orlando rental market, please contact us at Debbie Gloss Properties.
We are talking today about why you should consider working with Debbie Gloss Properties. In recent years, we have received a lot of contact from owners who are very unhappy with their property managers. It is clear that many of the situations they face could have been avoided if experience and knowledge had been applied. It’s very important to avoid having a poorly managed property. At Debbie Gloss Properties, we make sure your investment is maintained, rental income is generated and expenses are managed. Tenant Placement The first step in our property management system is to locate feasible tenants for the property. We do this through an aggressive marketing campaign. We run a number of online ads and we use our website, which feeds out into many other sites. This approach brings in more showings and activity, which provides a larger pool of rental choices for our owners. It’s important to do a background check on prospective tenants. We perform credit and national criminal searches and we also verify their rental history with both past and current landlords. We check those rental references to see if they paid rent on time and if they successfully maintained the homes they lived in. The importance of the tenant selection process cannot be stressed enough, and it’s something we’re very good at. When tenant screening is overlooked you run the risk of getting stuck with a problematic tenant for the entire term of a lease. Communication During the course of a lease, we focus on maintaining open communication. We talk to the tenants frequently and reinforce positive behaviors during property inspections and also by addressing their concerns. This is done in order to keep your property well maintained. Vendors Most of the vendors we work with have been with us for 17 years, which is almost the entire time we’ve been in property management. These are licensed professionals who don’t overcharge for work. It’s a priority to not spend money when it isn’t necessary. We balance that with the need to keep your home well maintained. A property’s condition is an important factor when you’re selling it or re-renting it. It’s important to avoid deferred maintenance. We advise owners to take care of any maintenance that needs to be addressed so their home stays in saleable or rentable condition. This will prevent you from having to place your home on the sale or rental market below other comparable properties. As a property owner, it’s important for you to know your home is being taken care of and that your property manager is communicating openly with you. If you have any questions about what we do, please contact us at Debbie Gloss Properties.
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- Debbie Gloss