Spencer Sutton - Wednesday, May 23, 2018
What does a Little Rock property manager do?
Good question…it depends!
The ‘it depends’ answer may not satisfy your curiosity, so we will walk you through some of the most common services you can find in Little Rock Property Managers.
What might matter to you is that your property is in shape, your tenants treat your house with respect and that you don’t have to deal with any issues that arise.
On the other hand, you might be more interested in the value you receive from the property management fee you pay each month. You may enjoy handling any maintenance issues yourself and want someone to collect rent and pass it on to you.
Whatever the case, we are sure there is a Little Rock property manager to fit your needs. In this article, we will explain the most common services property managers provide for their owners.
A good Little Rock property manager will have several different kinds of inspections they perform or offer.
When you hire a property manager, there are several things they will do first. They will come out and walk through your property, discuss rental rates, and give you a list of items you should address before the property hits the market for rent.
We call this initial inspection a rent-ready walkthrough. It helps an owner understand what kind of condition their home should be in to find a great tenant.
Another inspection you should expect is a bi-annual or quarterly inspection. This inspection will give you the opportunity to see how the tenant is taking care of the home and address any issues the property manager highlights in their report.
Our quarterly inspections are an owner favorite and can help to ease any fears they may have when they think of a tenant living in their house.
Marketing and Tenant Screening
When the home is ready to rent, your Little Rock property manager will take all of the necessary marketing photos. They will then put them on their website along with other favorite sites.
These sites may include:
The goal of this marketing is to drive traffic to your home. The more people see inside the home, the better your chances of finding a great Little Rock tenant. You may receive three applications, and one is approved to rent your house.
Once an application is received, your Little Rock property manager should carefully screen the applicant. At the very minimum, you should expect them to look at the applicant’s credit score and ability to pay rent.
At gkhouses, we underwrite in five different ways:
- Credit check
- Employment verification
- Income verification
- Previous landlord reference
- Criminal background check
When your house markets well and applicants screened carefully, your chances of finding a well-qualified tenant to rent your home are high.
Your Little Rock property manager will act as an agent for you. As your agent, they will provide your new tenant with a lease to sign.
Most leases are 12-months in duration and can renew at the anniversary date if you and the tenant agree it is in your best interests.
You will want to ensure that your property manager has a fair but firm lease for your tenant.
It should be fair because there is going to be specific tenant-landlord law in the lease.
And it should be firm to hold a tenant accountable during their time in your home.
Collecting rent is an essential part of the entire renting process! One of your goals should be to make a return on your real estate investment.
Collecting rent is pretty straightforward. In most cases, rent is due on the first of the month and late after a specific date after the first. The late fee in the lease your Little Rock property manager signed with the tenant might be a flat fee or a percentage of rent.
We have always felt that treating rent like a mortgage payment is beneficial to our owners and the tenants. We consistently send a monthly statement to our tenants around the 20th of the month to let them know that rent is due on the first.
If they have a balance on their account for whatever reason, we include the charges on the statement. This statement helps remind the tenant as well as communicate in clear terms.
If a tenant falls behind on their monthly rent payment for whatever reason, we address it immediately with them to find out when they are going to pay rent.
When a situation becomes severe, your Little Rock property manager will move towards evicting your tenant.
Your property manager will handle the details of the eviction, but you will be responsible for paying the court costs, attorney fees, and set out charges.
Managing maintenance for your tenant is a large part of the service your Little Rock property manager provides.
Some owners ask if the maintenance costs are included in the management fee. The answer to that question is always ‘no.’
Different property managers handle maintenance differently. Some managers outsource all of the maintenance to third-party contractors while other managers have in-house maintenance.
When a manager uses a third-party, there is usually a small fee for managing the vendor and repairs. When a manager has an in-house crew that repairs your home, they will typically charge an hourly market rate for their service.
Both of these options have their advantages but you may have a preference. Ultimately, what you as an owner want to concern yourself with is that your tenant is taken care of and that the cost of the work is reasonable.
When you consider how much you should budget for maintenance, it is vital to consider the age of the home and how much time your tenant will spend living in the house.
If your home is ten years old and your tenants are professionals who work every day, you can factor in less maintenance to your annual budget.
However, if your home is 70 years old and your tenant receives a government subsidy, expect a higher maintenance expense. The higher cost is explained by both the age of the home and the amount of time the tenant will live in the home.
Your Little Rock property manager will handle daily, weekly, and monthly accounting you need to ensure all income and expenses recorded.
You should expect to receive a monthly statement with income and expenses listed. At the same time, expect a check or your funds deposited directly into your bank account.
At gkhouses, we send a mid-month statement with payment and then follow up with an end-of-the-month statement with additional payments should there be any.
We have heard of property managers who don’t send monthly statements. This is a red flag, and you need to avoid any property manager who is not transparent in their financial dealings.
Keep up with landlord-tenant law
Your Little Rock property manager will have plenty of experience with adequately screening tenants, signing leases, and managing work orders.
You will also want them to be up-to-speed on the latest landlord-tenant law to make sure you are not a part of a future lawsuit.
The Arkansas landlord and tenant law will address several issues:
- Raising rent
- Notice of termination
- Repair and maintenance
- Security deposits
Ask enough questions so that you’re sure your Little Rock property manager understands the law!
Little Rock is a great place to own rental property. We have seen an increase in investor interest this year from both in-state and out of state investors.
If you read this article and feel that hiring a Little Rock property manager is the choice for you, give us a call. We would be delighted to visit your home and give you our professional opinion.
You can reach us at (501) 232-0676.