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What Do Property Managers Do In Chattanooga?


Alex Smith - Friday, January 18, 2019

What’s up, everybody. Alex Smith here from gkhouses, Chattanooga. This is another installment of Questions Owners Ask. Today’s question is, “What the heck do property managers even do?”

So, his is a really good question and the short answer is basically all the stuff that you don’t wanna do or that you might be tired of doing if maybe, if you’re self-managing your home right now.

Then, we’ll kida just walk through this piece by piece as the life cycle of the house goes. So, what I mean is while the house is vacant, you’re trying to find a tenant.

What we’ll do or what a property manager should do really well is marketing.

So, putting the house where it’s gonna get the maximum amount of leads, managing those leads, driving them to go see the house, driving then to fill out applications.

And that gets into another thing with applications, is finding a good tenant that is vetted properly and is gonna pay you on time and what they’re supposed to pay.

A lot of times what happens with owners that self-manage is sometimes they fall victim to stories the tenant tells, things like that.

A property manager should not fall into that same trap necessarily. And then say we lease the house, the next step of that is managing the tenant.

And, if the tenant for some reason pays late which sometimes does happen, we’ll handle all the communication that comes from collecting the rent from the tenant every month, things of that nature.

Another thing your property manager should do is accounting.

Then, a good precise exact accounting of what money is coming in, what it’s being spent on, say it’s being spent on maintenance, things like that and then, obviously an accounting of what rent should go to you every month.

And then the last piece is managing a maintenance. So, if you’ve managed a rehab or if you’ve managed vendors of any kind, you probably know how much of a pain this can be sometimes.

We’re here for peace of mind. So, we manage, we have some in-house vendors, gk employees that do maintenance for us, we handle third-party maintenance. So, we’ll handle all that for you.

I know sometimes it can get messy, but that’s what we’re here for and that’s what a property manager should do, is those four, pretty much those four things.

Thanks, everybody. I hope this was helpful. This has been another edition of Questions Owners Ask. Thanks.

 

When do you send owner statements in Chattanooga?


Alex Smith - Wednesday, January 16, 2019

When do you send out owner statements?

Alex Smith here from gkhouses in Chattanooga with another edition of Questions Owners Ask. Today’s question is pretty easy and straightforward: When do you send owner statements in Chattanooga?

We send them out twice a month.

The first round goes out on the second Friday of every month, and the second goes out on the last business day of the month.

The last statement is your month end statement, so you will be able to see any and all transactions that occurred through the course of the month.

How Much Should I Budget For Maintenance In Chattanooga?


Alex Smith - Tuesday, January 8, 2019

How much should I budget for maintenance in Chattanooga?

Alex Smith here from gkhouses, Chattanooga, with another installment of Questions Owners Ask. Today’s question is “How much should I budget for maintenance in Chattanooga?”

Owners often overlook and underestimate this aspect of a rental house, but it is vital for any due diligence process.

Two Types of Maintenance to Budget For

The first type to budget for is the smaller ticket repairs. These are repairs like replacing a fuse or a doorknob that doesn’t lock or doesn’t function properly.

For small repairs like these, the rule of thumb is 1% of the value of the house per year.

For example, if your house is worth $150,000, you will want to set aside $1,500 per year to cover those smaller repairs.

The second type to budget for is the bigger items that occur in much less frequency but are necessary to prepare for.

These are items are your more capital expenditures like replacing the roof, repaving the driveway, or anything that will add value to your house. The recommendation for this type of repairs is 5% to 8% of your gross rent every month.

The point behind monthly budgeting is so that when any repair is needed, you are not as shocked by the cost. Repairs are inevitable, and it will give you more of a piece of mind if you already have money set aside for them.

 

Unfortunately, there’s no hard and fast rule for budgeting for maintenance expenses. These are simply suggestions. Maintenance needs vary wildly depending on the house’s location. A California house will need very different repairs than one in Florida.

Other factors to keep in mind is the house’s age and history. What kind of significant repairs were needed in the past?

If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out. I would love to talk to you and answer any questions you might have.

Can I rent my Chattanooga house without allowing pets?


Alex Smith - Monday, January 7, 2019

 

Can I rent my Chattanooga house without allowing pets?

Alex Smith here, from the gkhouses office in Chattanooga with another installment of Questions Owners Ask. Today’s question is, “Can I rent my Chattanooga house without allowing pets?””

The answer is absolutely! Ultimately, it is your house. You can decide to a certain extent what restrictions you want to place on the house.

However, about 70% of potential renters we encounter are looking to rent with an animal. By not allowing pets, you are considerably shrinking your potential renter base.

The hesitation for allowing animals is definitely understandable. Allowing someone else’s pet in your house involves a lot of risk.

One thing we do to mitigate this risk is charge a $300 nonrefundable pet fee per animal. We also place a breed restriction on dogs allowed in the house. For example, we don’t allow German shepherds, pitbulls, or any other breed that is widely considered aggressive on gk properties.

Even with a pet fee in place, you are still not 100% out of the woods if an animal causes damage to the house. Keep in mind that the tenants are held liable for any damages beyond normal wear and tear, even if they don’t have a pet.

You are also not necessarily going to recover any damages that result from a pet being in the home.

Some of our owners place other restrictions on pets. We’ve seen policies for no cats, maybe one dog, one cat, no dogs, weight limits, etc.

So there are some options there that you can do to mitigate some of your risk with having pets in the house too.

But that’s pretty much it. This is another edition of, “Questions Owners ask.” Thanks, everybody.

Can I Rent My House Furnished In Chattanooga?


Alex Smith - Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Can I rent my house furnished in Chattanooga?

Alex Smith here from the gkhouses office in Chattanooga with another installment of “Questions Owners Ask.”  Today’s question is: Can I rent my house furnished in Chattanooga?

At first glance, offering this option is appealing. It is convenient for the tenant or potential tenants because they don’t have to move with any stuff! Everything is provided for them.

It is also convenient for you in that maybe you’re moving to a new house and you don’t want to move any of your stuff.

Moving is universally regarded as awful. As an army brat, I moved six or seven times, not including the times I’ve moved as an adult. Not wanting to move any of your stuff, is perfectly normal.

However, renting out a furnished house is much more difficult than it appears. You have to have the right kind of situation for this option to work out.

Typically, the most successful scenario for a furnished rental is when an executive individual moves into a trendy downtown condo.

The more people moving, the more increasingly difficult furnished options become. A family with children would not likely work out, but one person would find it a convenient option.

Another reason it doesn’t always work is when prospects are going in to view a house on the market. Prospects have a difficult time visualizing how to make the house their own with your furniture in place.

Tenants don’t typically want to take on the additional responsibility of somebody else’s belongings.

Again speaking from personal experience, when I move I know some things end up damaged while I live there. But when it’s my stuff, I can live with it.

Tenants might not want to take on the responsibility of somebody else’s items, and you might not want that either.

This decision is ultimately up to you. You can always try it out and see how it works. However based on my experience, I would advise against offering a furnished home in Chattanooga.

Should I Require A Security Deposit On My House In Chattanooga?


Alex Smith - Friday, December 14, 2018

Should I require a security deposit on my house in Chattanooga?

Alex here with another edition of Questions Owners Ask. Today’s question is, should I require a security deposit on my house in Chattanooga?

The answer is you should always require a security deposit for your house.

Security deposits help mitigate some of the risk in bringing a tenant into your house for at least 12 months.

About a year ago, one of our owners decided not to require a deposit while marketing her house. Now we are having to evict the tenant.

When we were able to go into the house, we found $3,000 worth of work to be done. If there had been a security deposit, it would have provided the owner with a safety net.

However, even if you choose to require a deposit, you are not eliminating the risk of potential work when the tenant moves out. But if that does happen, you’ll at least have some semblance of a safety net.

At gkhouses, we require a security deposit equal to one month’s rent, which is industry standard. We’ve never had any pushback from potential tenants on that amount.

If somebody’s credit score falls between a 480 and 519, we require a double deposit as long as they’re not Section 8 and the rent is below $800. This gives a broader safety net for some of the more potentially risky tenants.

The decision is ultimately up to you, but make sure you weigh all of the risks involved before you decide against a security deposit.

How do I decide on a rent amount for my Chattanooga house?


Alex Smith - Wednesday, December 12, 2018

How do I decide on a rent amount for my Chattanooga house?

My name is Alex Smith. I’m the team leader for the gkhouses office in Chattanooga. The first question many owners ask is “How do I decide on a rent amount for my Chattanooga house?”

Short answer? It is completely up to you.

At gk, we use two data points to create an expert opinion for our owners and allow them to make the final call.

RentRange

The first data point is a report called RentRange.

First, we input the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the square footage of the house, and the address into the site. It then runs the data against comparable past houses on the rental market.

Finally, the site calculates a high, low, and average rent price and a confident score that shows the likelihood of renting at that price.

RentRange also shows trends in the area, such as overall rent increase and decrease.

In-House Visits

The second data point is an in-house visit.

Personally visiting the house gives me some context for its overall condition and for the area.

Sometimes pictures and descriptions from the owner do not provide us with a good enough feel of the house. It helps me just to lay eyes on the house myself.

Another benefit of a house visit is putting a face to a name. You get to meet me, and I get to meet you.

 

After using those two data points, we share our expert opinion with you and set you free to make the final decision. We are happy to market your house at whatever price you think is best.

Our leasing team monitors all of our marketing on a daily and weekly basis. If they think we need to drop the price, then we will ask you before making any adjustments.

If you have any other questions, please reach out. We are happy to help!

How quickly will I get an application on my Chattanooga house?


Alex Smith - Wednesday, December 12, 2018

How quickly will I get an application on my Chattanooga house?

Alex Smith here from the gkhouses office in Chattanooga with another installment of Questions Owners Ask. Today’s question is, “How quickly will I get an application on my Chattanooga house?”

On average, it takes between three and four showings before we can expect that first application. Sometimes it takes longer, other times it takes less time.

Influencing Factors

All you need is that one person to come through, love the house, put in an application, and be approved, but most of the time it takes between three and four showings.

If you have several showings and less applications than you hoped for, there could be a couple issues going on.

The first could be a price issue. If you try lowering that price, it may entice more prospects.

The second thing is what we call a “product issue.”

Product issues are maintenance that you unaware of that prospects find and are unsure if you will take care of before they move in. This could dissuade them from applying.

After a showing, we like to call the prospects to see if there are any recurring themes or issues that we may need to take care of.

These are just a few things to keep in mind here when waiting on those applications to start coming in.

How many applications will it take until one is approved?


Alex Smith - Wednesday, December 12, 2018

 

How many applications will it take until one is approved?

Alex Smith here from the gkhouses office in Chattanooga with another installment of Questions Owners Ask. Today’s question is, “How many applications will it take until one is approved?”

If you have read our article, How quickly will I get an application on my Chattanooga house?, you will see that the answer is pretty much the same.

On average, it takes between two and three applications before the first applicant gets approved. Much like the number of house showings, some houses take fewer applicants while others take more.

The number of applications is fully dependent on the quality of the applicant that you are getting. Ultimately, all you really need is that one person to come through and meet all your qualifications.

I Am A Real Estate Agent How Much Do I Get Paid To Refer A House To Gkhouses?


Matthew Whitaker - Tuesday, December 4, 2018

What’s up, real estate agents? My name is Matthew Whitaker.

I am the founder of gkhouses. And you clicked on this because you are interested in working with us, and we absolutely want to work with you if you are a real estate agent.

So the big question is, how much will we pay you for referral? So a referral that you send us, so you send us a house that we rent to somebody, so you have a client and maybe you can’t sell that house or you have a client that is interested in renting it and that’s not something you do, you can send that house to us.

And when we lease that house we will pay you a referral fee of $555. So when the house gets rented and the tenant moves in and essentially they pay their first month’s rent, we are going to pay…send you or send your broker a check for $555.

Now, you can also lease the house for us. So if you have a tenant that you’re interested in leasing one of our homes, first thing you need to do is get set up as a vendor and there’s a video on how to get set up as a vendor.

But if you lease a home for us and you show the tenant the house, we’ll pay you $250.

So you have a tenant who wants to see it, $250. If you have a house, $555. So that’s it.

That’s Questions Owners Ask. This was actually from a real estate agent. I am Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

How Much Do You Charge For An Application Fee?


Matthew Whitaker - Tuesday, December 4, 2018

What’s up everybody? Matthew Whitaker here, shooting another video, Questions Owners Ask.

Today’s question is how much is your application fee and what does that go for? So… See ya, Spencer. Our application fee is $50 per person.

So, if there’s more than one person, absolutely, it’s a hundred…like two people, hundred bucks. So, $50 per person. Everybody 18 or older has to pay an application fee.

And, a lot of people think this is like a huge profit center for us and it’s absolutely not.

I mean, we have to pay money for the data that we get from…we use Trans Union as our data supplier. So, first of all, we gotta get…we gotta pay per transaction with them and we pay like 20 something bucks per transaction with them. So, somewhere between 20 and 25 bucks, depending on how much data we get.

The other thing we have to do is pay somebody to process that application. So, we’ve just internalized our application process.

The reason that we did that is we thought it made more sense for us to control that process because we wanna control who we’re putting in houses.

When… We used to subcontract that out and say, “Hey, we want you to…this is the criteria we’re looking for, will you just approve or decline based on that criteria?”

And we found there was too much gray area, they were approving people that probably shouldn’t have been approved.

So we’re going to bring that back in-house and we’ll have a little more kind of close oversight ever.

And, that’s it, that’s Question Owners Ask. That’s about our application, how much it costs and what does it go for.

My Tenant Has A Dog Which Is Against The Lease What Should I Do?


Matthew Whitaker - Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hey everybody. Matthew Whitaker back with another Questions Owners Ask.

Today’s question is, my tenant has a dog against the lease, what should I do? So, this happens fairly frequently.

I always tell people, “Hey about 6 out of 10 applicants that we get have dogs.” Some people don’t disclose that because they know that people don’t want dogs in the house and before you know it they’ve got a dog or mid-lease they decide to get a dog and now you found out about it.

The first thing I would say is, you have a decision to make.

Number one, do you want to make a big deal out of it? And, you know, if they’re great tenants, they take great care of the property, you may not want to make a big deal out of it, you may wanna allow them to do it.

And it may be an honest mistake. I mean, maybe you just call them up and say, “Hey, you’re not supposed to have a dog, you know, what are we going to do about this?” Pet rent, maybe some sort of dog deposit, dog fee, whatever, but you just have a decision to make.

Now, if you’re very frustrated, you’re like, “Hey, no, this is against the lease, they shouldn’t have done it,” then you need to…first thing I would do is I would call them up and talk to him about it, which I guess you could do that both ways.

But I would call them up and talk to them about and tell them, “Hey, you know this is against the lease, you know you didn’t either disclose this in the lease document or this has happened since you signed the lease and you said you weren’t going to have pets and now you have a pet.”

And talk to them and say, “Hey, you know, what’s the plan here?” And see if you can’t solve it amicably, if you can. If they’re like, “No, screw you, you can, you know, take a long walk off a short bridge,” then you may have to terminate the lease.

Then you need to decide if that’s something that you’re willing to do because you can terminate the lease based on this because what it’s called is a material breach of the lease.

So, you have two types of breaches. You have a rent breach and a material breach. This is a material breach of the lease.

Now, you will go through the same process in most states to evict the tenant for a material breach. So, the next step would be to go through the process of eviction if that’s what you decide to do.

So, that’s it. That’s Questions Owners Ask. I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

 

My Tenant Wont Let Me In The Home What Should I Do?


Matthew Whitaker - Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hey, everybody. Matthew Whitaker back with another question owners ask. Today’s question is, my tenant won’t let me in the home, what should I do?

So, you’re trying to get in your house for whatever reason and, you know, my question to you would be, is this a emergency, like, is there some emergency reason to get into the home or is this you just want to check out the house?

If it’s an emergency then most state landlord-tenant laws will actually allow you to go in the house, if it’s an emergency.

Now, it needs to be a legitimate emergency. You can’t just make up an emergency, “Oh, I thought the house was on fire,” just so you can go in whenever you want to.

The tenant does have the ability or does have the right of, you know, peaceable, quiet enjoyment, and so you need to make sure that you’re abiding by that.

That’s in pretty much every state-specific landlord-tenant law.

So, if it’s an emergency, the house really is on fire, the house is flooding, the tenant has left for a week, the pipe…you’re afraid the pipes are frozen, you can certainly go in to protect the house.

And, that’s the first thing.

Now, if you just want to go in and check out the house and see the house and there’s no, like, emergency, the first…if the tenant won’t just let you in, you’re going to have to abide by landlord-tenant law.

Most landlord-tenant laws allow you to go see your own home as long as you serve proper notice.

So, you need to make sure in your landlord-tenant law what is proper notice, give them proper notice. In the state I’m standing in, Alabama right now, it’s 48 hours.

You have to give them 48 hours’ notice before you come and you need to come out at a reasonable time to do that. So, put a notice on the door, “Hey, in 48 hours I’m coming in,” that way they know.

And give them a specific time that you’re gonna be coming, and that way they can be present if they want to.

The last thing I would say is when you’re in the house be respectful of the tenant stuff, be very respectful of the tenant.

You really want to be able to work very closely with your tenant on things like this in the future.

So that’s it. That’s questions owners ask. I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

My Tenant Is Threatening To Sue Me What Should I Do?


Matthew Whitaker - Tuesday, December 4, 2018

What’s up everybody? Matthew Whitaker here, back with another question owners ask.

Today’s question is, my tenant is threatening to sue me, what should I do?

So, this happens quite often actually. If you’re a tenant watching this please don’t get any ideas, but tenants often threaten to sue.

I mean, everybody’s got their attorney. We also get the fox on your side but the first thing is this typically doesn’t happen, so just chill out.

That’s obviously a threat, the tenant is obviously mad, so the first thing I would say is just chill out, don’t complicate the matters by you also raising your blood pressure.

The second thing I would say is understand if they do sue you that it’s not the end of the world.

So, we have been a part of a lot of lawsuits where we disagree with tenants, and again it is not the end of the world. A small claims court, if you’re not a company you can actually represent yourself in a small claims court. If you are a company you’re gonna have to hire a lawyer.

The goal, though, is what I would say is number three is to be very objective and try to fix the problem prior to actually getting sued.

I mean, the last thing both parties wanna do is get into a he said, she said in the middle of a courtroom, and that’s just no fun for everybody.

And, that is what I would say to do is try to forget the fact that they’re threatening to sue, just kind of push that aside.

Focus on what is the problem and see if you can’t come to a resolution even if you’re gonna have to give a little bit above what you thought is fair, just to get it to go away.

The last thing you want is to end up in court. So that’s it.

That’s questions owners ask. Hope this was helpful. I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

When Would Gkhouses Not Be A Good Fit As My Property Manager?


Matthew Whitaker - Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hey everybody. Matthew Whitaker back with another Questions Owners Ask.

Today’s question is kind of weird, it is when would gkhouses not be a good fit for you?

So, I’m gonna give you some scenarios where I feel like we’re not gonna to be a good fit for you, and there are truly are some scenarios.

And, I think it’s very important, I’m glad that you’re watching this video. I’ve got my notes on the screen so I may be peeking over there.

First one is kind of an overarching theme, if you need a lot of hand-holding and or want to micromanage.

Now, I’m not saying that in a negative way. There are boutique property managers out there that manage very small number of houses and they are…you can call them on their cell phone and get them, they’re more like a real estate agent than they are probably a property management company, and there’s all types of benefits to scale which is what we have.

But these smaller managers, you can certainly pick up the phone, get them on their cell phone. So, if you want more of like a real estate agent style property manager, that kind of jack of all trades, that’s probably not gonna be your best fit with us.

If you want to pick the tenant, you’re probably not going to be a good fit for us because we like to pick the tenant.

We feel like we’ve got years and years and years of experience of picking good tenants. We feel like particularly if you’re picking one or two tenants a year, we’re picking hundreds, maybe thousands of tenants a year. We’re just better at doing that just because we do it a whole lot more.

The next one is if you want to handle all your own maintenance.

This we found that owners that handle all their own maintenance pose a challenge because our goal, our relationships with the tenant, we wanna get the maintenance done quickly, communicate with the tenant. And when that comes out of our hands, that becomes a huge challenge.

Now, if you’re an investor like a big investor and you have your own maintenance team, we obviously understand that you’re also in the same businesses with us.

Really I’m talking to the one house owner that wants to handle all their maintenance. Maybe they have a brother-in-law or something that can do the maintenance.

The last thing is, I would say somebody that wants to manage through us. In other words, you wanna be the manager, but you basically wanna dictate through us.

Again, this is somewhat like micromanaging. Again, not a bad thing, there’s certainly people out there that can do it.

The people we are looking for as the ones that truly want to be hands-off landlords, they truly want to take to benefit from our expertise, benefit from our scale, and that’s just the type perfect client that we have, the ones that trust us that we can communicate with efficiently and ones that want us to handle what we’re experts at, what our day job is.

So that’s it. I’m Matthew Whitaker with Questions Owners Ask.

 

What If I Dont Want Pets In My Home?


Matthew Whitaker - Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hey everybody. Matthew Whitaker back here with another Questions Owners Ask.

Today’s question is, can I rent my house to people that don’t have a pet? So, we get this question a lot. I know Spencer in sales gets this question a lot.

A lot of people, me included, hey, if I was running my house, particularly one that I lived in for a long time, it was very personal to me, you just get all those like horrible thoughts of pet owners that don’t take care of their pets or allow their pets to jump on the furniture and scratch the floors.

And so this is a real question, this is a real fear for people, so I absolutely understand it.

Now, I’m not gonna tell you whether it’s good or bad, but I will tell you, yes, you can absolutely rent the house without allowing pets, but let me tell you what we’re kind of seeing.

We’re seeing about 60% of our applicants have pets, so that’s a pretty significant number. In other words, if it takes 10 applicants to rent a house, you’re gonna only have four of those applications.

So, it kind of cuts down on the total number of people that’ll rent your house.

Now, if your house is already a hard rent house or maybe it’s a season that it’s a hard time to rent, you’re gonna make it increasingly harder by not allowing pets.

So, we do and in the event you do wanna have or are willing to have pets, we do take a pet fee and that pet fee varies based on market, but to try to protect the home and also account for the damage the pet might do to the house.

But it is certainly a risk and it’s not one that we take lightly, but the answer is you can absolutely rent your house without to somebody that does not have a pet, but you’re just gonna cut down on the actual demand for your house.

So that’s it, that’s Questions Owners Ask. My name is Matthew Whitaker.

I Want To Rent My Home In Birmingham Al What Do I Need To Know?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 19, 2018

What’s up, everybody? Matthew Whitaker here doing another “Questions Owners Ask.”

Today’s question is I want to rent my home in Birmingham, Alabama, what do I need to know?

The first thing I would say is how important it is to find a good tenant.

At the end of the day, if I had to tell you one piece of advice, it is so imperative, find a good tenant.

So everything that goes with finding a good tenant like screening that tenant, making sure that tenant has fulfilled their obligations in the past, maybe even driving by some previous houses that the tenant’s lived in.

I mean, you need to do a good job, especially if you only have one house, of screening the tenant.

I would go over and above on this unless you’re like us really used to screening tenants and know what to look for, and even have certain algorithms that we work with, a company to help us find good tenants.

You may not be able to have access to those so you’re going to have to do some work on the front end to make sure that you’re getting a good tenant.

The second thing I would do is make sure that your move in inspection, that you’re doing a good job on it.

Because the last thing you want is for the tenant to destroy something or make a hole and you don’t have a good move in inspection report to go back to.

A judge is not going to look kindly on that if you have to go after them in court and you don’t have kind of before pictures to take a look at.

So do a good move in inspection. Hopefully that won’t happen but it’s always important to have a good move in inspection.

The next thing I would say is, do a good job keeping up with your accounting.

You have, income, you have expenses, I mean, these are things that are going on your tax return. It’s so important that you keep up with every dollar you spend and every dollar that comes in.

This becomes a business when you start running houses. We’re able to keep up for that for our owners in our accounting software.

So at the end of the year, we’re able to give our owners report that basically breaks all this down, but if you’re doing it on your own, you need to make sure that you’re keeping up with the accounting.

And the last thing I would say is to keep good tenants in houses, you have to do a great job of getting repairs done quickly.

The number one reason that tenants move out of houses is because the repairs aren’t being done really quickly.

And I just think it’s so important to keep good tenants in there and you don’t want them to move. I mean, the way to make money in this business is to keep good tenants in your house long term.

I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses. I hope this was helpful.

I Am A Broker Starting A Property Management Company What Should I Know Before Starting?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 19, 2018

What’s up, everybody. My name is Matthew Whitaker.

And this is going out to my property management or potential property management buddies out there.

So if you’re already a broker and you’re considering getting into property management, I have three things I want to tell you, three quick things.

Number one, managing 1 or 100 houses is still a full-time business.

You’d be surprised because when you’re only doing one or two or three houses, you’re doing a lot of things manually that we can process out and do…use a lot of automation to do.

And when you’re doing only one, two or three, you do a lot of manual things.

So it is a full-time or at least it feels like a full-time business, whether you’re managing 1 or 100. Please, don’t underestimate how long it takes to manage just a few houses.

The second thing is you need to make sure you create a vendor list, a preferred vendor list prior to meeting them.

The last thing you want is to need a vendor to go out to do something for you and you’re scrounging in the phone book for your clients to find somebody.

That’s going to be really expensive for your clients, you’re not going to provide a good value for them.

The last thing I would say is the place that I see people screw this up the most is accounting.

You got to make sure that you’re handling your clients’ money with trust. And it’s funny, they call them “trust accounts.” But you’ve got to make sure that your clients’ money is accounted for.

You have to be very diligent, I would even suggest using a property management software like AppFolio or Propertyware so that you can make sure that every dime, every penny is accounted for.

I see so many people screw this up, it gets them into trouble really quickly and it’s not fair to your clients.

So that’s it. That’s what would I do if I was starting a property management company.

I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

What Other Benefits Do Property Managers Provide Other Than Manage My Property?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 19, 2018

What’s up, everybody? Matthew Whitaker here with another “Questions Owners Ask.”

Today’s question is what other benefits do property managers provide other than managing my property?

So the first thing I want to say is, is the separation from tenant to owner.

I think it’s very important for you as the owner to make objective decisions about your rental property and have that buffer. And so we do a good job.

Just like a real estate agent does the job of that in a real estate transaction, we do a great job of being a buffer, helping you to make objective decisions.

One of the things that we see when people manage their own property is they start to listen to the stories of tenants.

And certainly there’s some reasons that you would want to listen to the stories of tenants, things do happen, but all too often we find that owners are messing up when they start to listen to stories and aren’t able to be objective about their decisions.

The next thing is the wisdom and handling situations that don’t happen very often.

If you have one or two houses, you may have a situation, a random situation happen once every 5 or 10 years.

Whereas we see things happen on a consistent basis.

And so we can use the wisdom of managing thousands of homes to managing this certain situation, help you save or make the most money in that situation or decrease the amount of liability on you.

The third thing is all our ancillary offerings. We offer things like rent guarantee.

If you’re running your own house, you don’t have guaranteed rent. Access to vendors. If you’re renting your own house, you don’t have the preferred access to vendors that somebody like us does.

And the last thing I would say is landlord-tenant laws.

Just because you don’t understand Alabama or a state’s landlord specific tenant laws, then that doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow them.

And it’s very important. We know those types of things and we know how to make sure to keep you out of trouble.

So that’s it. I’m Matthew Whitaker with “Questions Owners Ask.”

I Am A Real Estate Agent How Do I Show One Of Your Homes?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 19, 2018

What’s up real estate agents?

I’m Matthew Whitaker here with a little self…like a help for you, super excited that you’re interested in showing one of our properties.

We’re agents ourself. We love to work with agents. Really what we like to do is rent houses. So if we don’t rent them, and you can rent them, then heck, we’re happy to pay you a referral fee for that.

But the big question right now is, how do you get into one of our houses?

The first thing I would say is, you need to get set up as a vendor in our system. So we use a self-show lockbox system called Rently.

And what it allows you to do is to be a vendor and have access to all of our property. So as an agent, you can get access to all of our properties.

Each individual, like if somebody was gonna go see one of our houses, they only get access to one at a time.

You as an agent get access to all of it. The easiest way to do that is just shoot an email to support@gkhouses.com, give us your brokerage, what brokerage you work with, your real estate license number, and then make sure you include your cell phone number.

And what’s gonna happen is we’re gonna text out something to you that basically will be instructions on getting into our Rently lockboxes. So that’s step one.

The second thing is that when you get out to the house, you’re gonna use those same message to look at the lockbox code on the top. So each lockbox is numbered.

You’re gonna get out to the house, call the number, put in which lockbox it is, and then you’re going to have access to that home, and show it.

The third thing is, make sure that your resident that’s gonna move into our house puts you down as a reference on their application. There’s a place to do that online.

The tenant can fill out an application online at our website, gkhouses.com. And then the last thing, once they get approved, and they move into the house, you need to submit the form on our website that basically gets you paid.

You’re gonna have to submit a W-9 form. If you haven’t done that already, you only have to do that one time, and then an invoice, and we’ll get you paid.

So that’s it. That is how to see one of our houses for all you real estate agents. I hope that’s helpful. I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

Where Should I Market My Home For Rent?


Matthew Whitaker - Monday, November 19, 2018

Hey everybody. Matthew Whitaker here with another “Questions Owners Ask.”

Today’s question is, where should I market my home for rent in Birmingham, Alabama?

So, I think there’s really three places that you need to do that. The first one is the old school sign in the yard. I think too often this gets overlooked.

Typically, people are driving around the areas where they wanna live, they’re driving by the homes, they maybe live down the street, they have a neighbor that lives down the street, they wanna someone to live in the same neighborhood.

The old sign in the yard just still seems to rent houses. So, it’s very important that you get a sign in the yard.

I know that’s kind of elementary, but I would not overlook it. The second place that we’re seeing that’s starting to increase traffic is the Nextdoor app.

So, this is a new app where it’s almost like a place where you can post things like garage sales for your…anything that you’re doing at your house.

And you can kind of post it and one of the things that that you can do is also list your house for rent on the Nextdoor app.

Again, it gets pushed out to neighbors, neighbors are able to find their friends, help them move into a house that lives…that’s right down the street from them, live right down the street.

Getting a little tongue tied today.

The third thing is the 600 pound gorilla, Zillow and Trulia. These are still the two best places, the number one best places to rent houses.

About 60 to 70% of people find their houses online still, and Zillow and Trulia are by far the best places to do that.

And, definitely need to make sure that you get the houses on there. That’s it.

I’m Matthew Whitaker with “Questions Owners Ask” with gkhouses.