How important is communication for a client…It’s the most important.

By GoldenWest Management

One of the “keys to success” if you plan on owning rental properties is to be a great communicator with your Tenants. Communication has proven to be the #1 issue when it comes to renter satisfaction and retention.

If you have a problem with communicating with your renters, this article will provide you with tips you can use to improve the communication process so your tenants will feel like their needs are being met when it comes to them needing help or support at their rental properties.

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Tip #1 – Set Expectations Up Front

Everyone may have a different idea of what a “timely responses” looks like. This is why it’s important to tell clients/landlords/tenants who have vacancies up front what they should expect.

At GoldenWest, we strive to return every call and email within (1) business day. Obviously, emergencies (your home is flooding; your home is on fire, etc.…) will garner faster responses. But having a guideline will help keep heads cool as well as set the expectation.

Tip #2 – Use Technology to Make Yourself Available at All Hours

Although it’s common for some owners to give their renters their cell phone numbers you should prioritize communication with your tenants by giving them an email address to email all of their requests. We recommend to limit texting as it is not a formal method of communication and difficult to present or recall for evidentiary purposes.  

Many states require that you have a clearly listed phone number for emergency service. If you don’t use a call center, which means you (Landlord) are answering calls at all hours of the day or night. GoldenWest uses a live answering call center combined with on call managers to handle emergencies.

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Tip #3 – Document All Communication with Renters

Regardless if you receive an email, voicemail, or speak with a tenant in person, you should always document all communication with your tenants. After every important phone call, you should absolutely send a “per our conversation” email outlining the discussion and agreed upon actions. This is the best way to clarify if you and the Tenants are actually on the same page. It’s not surprising that many times after a phone call, both parties walk away with a totally different perspective on the conversation.

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Tip #4 – Get Property Management

Why do you want to take that midnight phone call? Why do you want to be bombarded with texts and repair requests from Tenants? How do you handle complaints when you have to tell a Tenant “No” (example, “No I won’t replace the floors for you”)?

Hiring a licensed Property Manager will save you that time energy and headache. Your renters will always have someone to call or communicate with when it comes to repairs, rent collection, or any other issues at your rental property.

To learn more about the property management services that GoldenWest Management Services can offer you contact us today by calling (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

Vacancy – How long is “too long” for your property to be vacant?

Vacancy – it’s one of the dreaded words in the property management and rental property world because it generally means unless you paid cash for your rental, you most likely financed it and will have to pay the mortgage while your property is sitting vacant.

No owner likes to have their rental property sit vacant because this also means that the longer the rental doesn’t have anyone living in it, the rental property isn’t generating any cash flow.

Real Estate Architectural Exterior House Building Design on Grassy Landscape.

How Long Is Too Long for A Rental to Sit Vacant?

Testing the Market is great…but after 2-3 weeks, you may want to rethink your leasing plan.

The reality with owning rental properties is that the longer they sit vacant, a wide variety of problems can occur including the following:

  • Crime – The vacant rental property can become the target of vandals and criminals in the area including people who might be planning on trespassing and living on the property illegally.
  • Drain on Cash Flow – Let’s face it, one vacancy does equal a drain on cash flow regardless of the owner’s portfolio so it’s in the owner’s best interest to get that rental occupied as soon as possible.
  • Vacant Properties Can Become Eyesores – Weeds grow, dust and dirt accumulate, trash and debris take up residence in the front and backyard. Vacant properties become eyesores especially if they are not maintained while they are sitting for weeks and months at a time.
  • Bad Decisions – The longer a rental sits, the more Landlords are willing to lower the bar and “stretch” to accept a tenant that may not be qualified to rent their home. It’s just the nature of the beast that we would be enticed by someone who is borderline but can stop the loss of income.

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Tips to Follow While a Rental Sits Vacant

Every owner wants to fill vacancies fast because they want vacancies to end, yesterday, but the thing to remember during the vacancy is that the following tips should be followed to ensure that the rental is ready to be occupied by the next tenant as soon as a suitable candidate is found.

Tip #1 – Price the property appropriately. At GoldenWest we recommend being “Conservative” with the price. The market doesn’t care about your mortgage, it is simply a supply and demand equation that sets the rental price point. List on the conservative side to get quality applicants, quickly and reduce the potential for headaches, vandals, cash flow loss, etc…

Tip #2 – Use timers to make lights come on in the rental during the evening – Once again, this tip will help a vacant rental to look “lived in” and discourage criminals from hitting a vacant rental at night.

Tip #3 – Enlist neighbors for help – If you’re managing the rental yourself, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask neighbors in the area to keep an eye on your vacant rental, watching for suspicious activity, until it’s occupied.

Tip #4 – Decide whether “For Rent” signs and flyers will help to rent the home or may only make the home a “target.”

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Stop Dealing with Vacant Rentals – Get Property Management Today

Tired of dealing with vacant rentals yourself? For professional property management contact GoldenWest Management today by calling us at (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

 

Property Management Tips – What to Do When a Tenant Goes to Jail

During the years that you own rental property it’s entirely possible that you may have one or more tenants who end up going to jail.

The big question is what do you do when a tenant goes to jail? Do you know evict them? Not evict them? Store their belongings until they return, or a combination of the above?

We know that this is quite possibly one in the most contentious property management issues that owners face that’s why in this article we will offer you several tips that you can use to protect your best interests in case one of your tenants ends up going to jail

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Confirm That Your Tenant Is Currently in Jail

Although their spouse, friend, or family member may have told you that they are currently in jail, the first thing that you need to do if you find out that your tenant has been incarcerated is to confirm that in fact, they are currently in jail.

You can do this by searching mugshots for your County Jail online or if you cannot locate a mugshot for your tenant the next step that you should follow is to contact one of your tenant’s emergency contacts to confirm the status of your tenant.

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How Long Will They Be in Jail?

After Confirming that your tenant it is in fact in jail, the next thing that you need to do is to confirm how long they are actually going to be there.

Will they be in jail for 30 days or longer? If so, you should visit them in person or speak with their emergency contact to confirm if they plan on coming back to your rental unit or not.

If your tenant is going to be in jail for longer than 30 days, and they cannot afford to continue paying rent, you should have a notary public visit them to have them sign a document which states that they will be vacating the unit.

Let’s say that your tenant intends to vacate the premises but they are unable to collect their belongings. One solution to this problem is to offer to store their belongings for them but before doing this you should require the tenant to sign a “hold harmless” clause which will relieve you of liability should any of the tenant’s items be lost or stolen while they are incarcerated.

Learn More

For more Property Management tips, or to speak with us about our Property Management Services, contact us today by calling (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

Community Pool Guidelines for Your Phoenix Rental Property

By GoldenWest Management

With the “dog days” of summer already here in Phoenix it’s a fact that temperatures are going to only get hotter and one thing you can expect if you own a multi-family rental property is to have your tenants spending more time in the pool.

Every landlord and property owner should have pool guidelines, or rules that they follow, in place to not only protect their tenants but also to protect their best interests and avoid lawsuits.

In this article, we will share with you 17 pool guidelines you should be enforcing at your multifamily rental property.

#1 – Invest in anti-entrapment drain covers for your pools that are compliant with the 2007 Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety act.

#2 – Change your pool pumps to vacuum release safety systems.

#3 – Educate children and parents about pool safety tips before they are allowed to use the pool.

#4 – Make sure all available staff is educated and trained in Red Cross Life Saving techniques.

#5 – Check all pool enclosures and verify that they are child-proof.

#6 – Post your pool and safety rules prominently so that residents see them before using the pool. These should include regulations that no child under the age of 13 will be allowed to use the pool without the presence of an adult.

#7 – Do not allow alcohol anywhere around your pool

#8 – Ban all plugged in devices from the pool area. This should include smart phones, tablets, and stereos.

#9 – Ban glass containers from your pool and spa area.

#10 – Get at least one or two staff members certified in pool maintenance.

#11 – Check chlorine and pH levels at least two times per day.

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#12 – Inspect all pool equipment annually.

#13 – Take inventory of all lifesaving equipment on a monthly basis to confirm that nothing has been lost, stolen or vandalized.

#14 – Think about hiring a lifeguard for your pool or a pool attendant.

#15 – Consider hiring a pool management company to professionally care for your pool.

#16 – Invest in CCTV cameras for your pool area. This will save you from potential lawsuits and keep residents from using the pool after hours.

#17 – Use a calendar program or reminder service to ensure that the maintenance and safety tips in this article are followed on a monthly basis.

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Get Property Management Here

For professional property management in Phoenix contact GoldenWest Management today by calling us at (602) 765-4750 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online.