Category: Little Rock Property Management

What Does A Little Rock Property Manager Do?


Spencer Sutton - Wednesday, May 23, 2018

What does a Little Rock property manager do?

Good question…it depends!what-does-a-little-rock-property-manager-do

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.

Property Inspections

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.

Little-Rock-Property-Manager-ChecklistAt gkhouses, we underwrite in five different ways:

  1. Credit check
  2. Employment verification
  3. Income verification
  4. Previous landlord reference
  5. 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.

Leasing

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.

Collections

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.

Maintenance

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.

Accounting

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
  • Evictions
  • Discrimination

Ask enough questions so that you’re sure your Little Rock property manager understands the law!

Conclusion

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.

Little Rock Property Manager – How To Choose The Best One For You


Spencer Sutton - Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Little Rock Property Manager – How To Choose The Best One For You

Many people find owning property to be a satisfying and efficient way to earn a monthly income. It can be their primary source of funding, a way to bulk up their child’s college fund, or a side business that helps supplement earnings from a more traditional job. And choosing the right Little Rock Property Manager for your property is one of the most important decisions you can make when it comes to safeguarding this income.Little Rock Property Manager

One essential quality of a good Little Rock property management company is consistent, timely, and clear communication. But what else should you take into account?

First, we recommend that you make a list of what you want in a Little Rock property manager. This list doesn’t need to be complicated. However, the act of writing down what you’re looking for often helps streamline your search. It aids in being as efficient as possible when narrowing down your options.

A list is also a great way to help build awareness of what your goals might be when it comes to managing your house. Many people like to write their ideas down because it makes it easier to get the ball rolling and makes the process much less daunting.

Here is our list to get you started:

Budget

The first step in beginning to look for a property manager should be taking a peek at your budget. This is also a good time to consider what your goals are one, five, and ten years down the line.

Are you looking to take on more properties as funds come in, or are you happy with the house(s) you already own? Do you want to make a certain amount annually to put into your daughter’s medical school fund?

Do you want to earn enough to get a tan every winter on that Caribbean Island you and your husband discovered last year?

Don’t worry—you don’t necessarily need the answers to all of these questions.

Making specific, quantifiable goals is the first step to success. And knowing what you want in the future can help you select the property manager who will help you achieve these goals, no matter how far away the goals seem now.

You’ll also want to consider how much you’d like to pay for the peace of mind that comes with having someone take care of your rental home. Depending on your circumstances, think about how much baseline profit you’ll need to make each month to meet your expenses.

Location, Location, Location

There are nearly 40 different neighborhoods in Little Rock. You could consider choosing your Little Rock Property Manager based on their familiarity with the neighborhoods your properties are located in, or their expertise in residential (versus commercial) property.

At gkhouses, we specialize in residential property management and don’t manage commercial properties. If you are looking for a property manager to handle both, you can find them in Little Rock.

Marketing

How much marketing do you want your Little Rock Property Manager to do? Would you like a more tech-savvy manager who might incorporate various social media platforms to recruit tenants, or would you prefer someone more old school?

How aggressive do you want the advertising to be?

Who is your ideal tenant, and how would this property manager help you find this kind of tenant?

Tenant Handling

How extensively do you want the tenant screening to be? How involved would you like to be in the process?

One major benefit of hiring a Little Rock Property Manager is that you don’t have to deal with the hassle of collecting rent each month. Especially if you own multiple buildings, ensuring each tenant is paying promptly can take up a lot of time.

Managers also coordinate background checks, check references, run credit checks, and review applications. This will help assure that you have the best tenant possible.

Building Maintenance and Upkeep

What kind of maintenance services does the property management company offer? Are their vendors licensed and properly insured? Would you like around-the-clock maintenance? Is there a general contractor on the payroll, or is this labor outsourced?

You might also think about the age of your house, and how often it will likely need repairs.

A newer home will likely require less attention than an older building, though of course, this is not always the case.

Does the Little Rock property management company primarily deal with newer condos and single-residence homes, or are many of their properties more than two decades old?

Accounting

What kind of accounting services does the company offer? What is the reporting system like? And how often would you like financial reports of your properties?

Do they have anyone on staff responsible for the accounting function? Or is it more of a ‘one-man-show’ where the owner wears multiple hats?

Your money is important, so this question is one you need to explore until you’re satisfied.

Experience

Do you want a property manager with a decade of experience in Little Rock? Maybe you are fine with someone with less experience, but a more outgoing, aggressive personality.

Other Considerations

Property managers handle a lot of loose ends, and the time you’d spend on these little issues can certainly add up.

For instance, when’s the last time you checked the Arkansas fair housing laws? What bases do you need to cover when it comes to ensuring your paint meets legal standards?

Are there any mold issues in your home, and what would your options be if a tenant did find toxic mold?

What if a tenant were to bring a lawsuit against you? This is something a property manager can help with.

Property managers are also well versed when it comes to landlord/tenant laws, which can become complex. This is especially true when it comes to the various state and federal litigation.

Do you have a painter you can depend on? What about an electrician, or a repairman?

Property managers have worked hard to build relationships with other vendors—if they don’t have one on staff already—so that you can rest assured that the pricing is fair and that the quality of the work is high.

How do you feel about writing up lease agreements? A Little Rock property manager can help with this as well, providing a time-tested, consistent, detailed lease that covers all of the bases. This way, you won’t have to use a lawyer or worry about missing an important component in the document that could end up costing you in the long run.

In the end, it helps to clearly define your goals as you begin to find the right Little Rock Property Management company for you. We find that the relationship you build with your property manager is key when it comes to owning property and meeting your financial goals.

If you would like to learn more about our property management services, visit our Little Rock page and find out if we might be a good fit for you!