Month: December 2018

what can i get for my rental house?

Alex Smith - Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Hey everybody. My name is Alex Smith. I’m the team leader for our office here in Chattanooga at gkhouses.

One question that we get asked pretty much right off the bat every time is, “How much can I rent my house for?”

Perfectly good question. So, really, the short answer is it’s, ultimately, it’s up to you.

Kind of the long answer is we have kind of two data points that we use to kind of, you know, get to create an expert opinion and give that to you and then you ultimately get to make the final call.

But that first data point I was talking about is a report called RentRange.

So pretty much what we do to create that is we input the bedrooms, we input the bathrooms, the square footage and then the address of your house.

And basically what RentRange does is it does some runs some comparables for houses that have been on the rental market.

In the past and then it spits out a rent price and a confident score that is pretty much the likelihood of what…of whether or not it thinks you could get the price that it states.

So it’s really comprehensive. It’ll show you the high…it’ll show you the high rent for the area, it’ll show you the low rent, also have the average rent.

It’s also got some trends in the area like is rent going up, is rent going down. And then the second data point which is one thing I really like to do is an in-house visit.

So what the in-house visit is going to tell me, it’s gonna give me some context for the area that the house that it…the area that the house is in.

It also gives me some context for the overall condition of the house.

Sometimes you just can’t really get a good feel for the house just from pictures and from, you know, you guys, the owners describing it to us.

And sometimes, you know, it’s just really good to just kinda lay eyes on the house.

The other thing I really like about house visits is you get to meet me, I get to meet you, we both kinda get to put a face to the name.

So those are our two data points and at that point we kind of, we share our expert opinion with you and then it’s your call.

You know, ultimately for what price you wanna put it out at, we’re happy to do. You know, we’re happy to put it out at whatever price you think is best.

And then, you know, we have a leasing team that is monitoring all of our marketing on a daily and weekly basis and, you know, if they think we need to drop the price, you know, we’ll ask you before we do that.

So that’s pretty much how we determine how much you could get for your rental house. So we’d love to hear from you. If you have any questions, we’d love to get back to you, so just feel free to shoot those over our way. Thanks.

How many showings does it take for me to get an application?

Alex Smith - Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Hey everybody. Alex Smith here from the gkhouses office in Chattanooga and this another installment of Questions Owners Ask.

Today’s question is, “How many showings can I expect before I get my first application on my rental house?”

And what we found is that, on average, it takes between 3 and 4 showings before we can expect that first application.

Again, that’s the average. Sometimes it takes more, sometimes it takes less. There’s a number of factors that kinda influence that.

All you really need is that one person to come through, love the house, put in an application and be approved. But, on average, what we’ve found is between 3 and 4 showings is the number there.

If you have a lot of showings and not necessarily the number of applications that you were hoping for, there could be a couple issues going on.

The first could be, maybe you’ve got a price issue. So maybe just try lowering that price, see if that entices anybody.

The second thing that could be going on is maybe you have what we like to call a “product issue”.

So, you know, maybe you’ve got some maintenance that you weren’t aware of that tenants are seeing that, you know, they’re not sure if you’re gonna take care of before they move in and maybe that’s dissuading them from applying.

What we like to do is we like to call up, you know, some people that have seen the house recently and see if there’s, you know, any recurring themes or, you know, if the same things keep popping up then maybe we need to get out to the house and take care of.

So, a couple things to keep in mind there, but that’s it for today’s edition of Questions Owners Ask. Thanks everybody.

How many applications does it take for me to get an approved applicant copy?

Alex Smith - Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Hey everybody. Alex Smith here from the gkhouses office in Chattanooga.

This is another installment of Questions Owners Ask. And today’s question is, “How many applications is it gonna take before I get that approved applicant?”

So if you’ve seen the video about how many showings is it gonna take for…before I get an application, the answer is pretty close to the same for this one.

What we found on average is between 2 and 3 before you get that first approved applicant. And much like the showings, you know, some houses take less applicants, some houses take more.

You know, there’s…it’s 100% dependent on the quality of the applicant that you’re getting, and much like the showings, all you really need is that one person to come through and meet all your qualifications.

And that’s, on average, what we found. Again, some houses take more, some houses take less, it just kinda depends.

But that’s it for today’s question. Hope this was helpful. Thanks.

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.