What Should You Replace in A Rental Property After Purchasing It?

Are you planning on buying a new rental property in San Diego, Las Vegas or Phoenix? If so, like many owners you most likely are eager to get that property rented quickly right? This is totally understandable but, there are things that should be replaced in your new rental property if you want to ensure that you won’t have any problems with that property in the future.

Replace the Locks

Always replace the locks after buying a new rental property regardless if the former owner claims they were changed recently or not because you just don’t know how many people had access to that property in the past and may have created their own key.

If the locks are in good condition you can save them and use them again in the future changing the locks on the next property that you buy.

Change the Toilets

Another important thing to change after buying a new rental property is the toilets because a leaky toilet can easily cause unseen damage to your rental property and thousands of dollars in repair costs so it’s best to replace them now so that you can have confidence that there won’t be any leaks going forward.

 

Get Rid of Old Outlets

Regardless of the age of the home, you should always get rid of old outlets because those outlets can potentially pose a fire hazard and it’s better to replace them now before your new tenants move in.

Swap Out Those Old Light Bulbs

Last of all, but most important, if your rental property has light fixtures you shouldn’t think twice about changing those light bulbs. Getting rid of those bulbs will save you the hassle of having to get called from your tenants whenever they need a light bulb changed unless you’ve instructed them to change the light bulbs themselves.

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At GoldenWest Management we specialize in full-service property management and can save you the time, money and hassle of managing your properties yourself. To learn more about the services we can offer you contact us today at (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

What Are the Most Cost-Effective Renovations to Make to Your Rental Property?

By GoldenWest Management

Are you planning on renovating your rental property in 2018? If so, like most owners you probably want to choose the most cost-effective renovations, correct?

In this article, we will break down which renovations you should choose for your rental property.

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Freshen Up the Paint

It doesn’t matter if you own a single-family home, condo, or town home, one of the most cost-effective renovations that you can make to your rental property is to update the paint.

When choosing new paint, it’s best to specifically choose neutral colors because sticking with a neutral color palate will resonate with a wider group of potential tenants compared to painting each room in your rental your favorite colors.

Thankfully, just about everyone can paint a house so you can keep your costs low by painting your rental property yourself. GWM recommend you use a professional for warranty purposes.

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Choose New Flooring

With more people preferring hardwood floors over carpeting and vinyl flooring these days you should consider changing the flooring in your rental property to all wood flooring.

Wood flooring has a classic look that never goes out of style, it’s also durable and very easy to clean for any tenant, especially those tenants who have small children or pets.

Engineering hardwood is also cost effective and it’s possible to buy flooring for as little as $1.59 / sqft. GWM recommend you use a professional for warranty purposes.

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Improve Kitchens and Bathrooms

Since kitchens and bathrooms are two areas where everyone spends the most time you should focus on renovating these two areas of your rental property.

In both the kitchen and bathroom, you should focus on refinishing or repainting cabinetry, replacing old sinks and faucets and adding new knobs and handles to completely update the look of both rooms.

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To learn more about which renovations you should make to your rental property or to learn more about our property management services contact us today (866) 545-5303 or click here.

Tips for Selecting Your First Rental Property

By GoldenWest Management

Are you planning on buying your first rental property?

Now is a great time to buy a rental property thanks to low mortgage interest rates and demand for rental properties especially in cities like San Diego, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.

Since more people are investing in rental properties for the first time this article, we will share with you several tips you can use to successfully purchase your first rental property.

Businesswoman signing a contract for real estate investing

Make Sure Your Ready to Invest in Rental Properties

Although your family members, co-workers, and accountant may be advising you to invest in rental properties you have to make sure that you’re really ready to invest in rentals.

Owning Real Estate means that you will be responsible for paying landlord insurance and property taxes and unless you hire a property management company you will be responsible for things like tenant selection/placement, rent collection and more.

 

Yes, owning rental property is a smart investment thanks to benefits like current income, appreciation, equity and tax right offs but if you’re not ready for the responsibilities which come with being an owner you should be ready to hire a property management company after purchasing a rental or hold off on buying a rental property for a few years.

If you’re ready to invest in rental properties but aren’t sure if you’re sure investing in a property out of state is a smart move, you should stick with investing in a rental in your area because you know what’s happening economically, who’s hiring and the advantages of living there compared to purchasing property that’s out of state.

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Determine the Specifics

Before choosing a rental property it’s important to first determine the specifics of what you’re searching for in a rental property including the location that you want to own a rental, because in most cities rental properties that are located close to downtown or close to colleges will rent for more money than rentals in suburban areas.

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Investigate the Area Where the Rental Is Located

You should also verify if the area where you plan on buying a rental property has many rentals or not because if a neighborhood is primarily owner occupied this could mean that it might be more difficult to have a rental property there versus owning a home in an area that’s primarily renter occupied.

If you’re not familiar with the neighborhood or area, take the time to drive there to meet with homeowners, landlords (if possible) and people who live in the area to determine what it will be like for renters if you were to purchase a rental property there.

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Get Your Budget Ready

Since prices for Real Estate in many cities have reached all-time highs you should set your budget before you start searching for rentals because in this real estate climate it’s very easy for any buyer or first-time investor to overspend.

It’s also important to save at least 20% or more for a down payment because lender requirements are much more stringent with rental properties and the investment rate on a rental property will be higher so you will have to think about that as well.

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Avoid Fixer Upper Properties

Yes, most people are talking about investing in fixer-upper properties these days the reality is that fixer upper properties can be costly (unless you know what you’re doing) so it’s best to avoid them and purchase rental properties that are in as close to the move-in condition as possible.

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Create A List of Properties

Once you know the specifics of the property you’re searching for, and you’ve set your budget, you should next create a list of properties that match your criteria because this will help you to simplify your search especially when you use online tools to find suitable rental properties.

Some criteria that you should consider applying to your search for rental properties include:

Bedrooms – The single-family home, condo, or duplex should have at least 3 bedrooms.

Bathrooms – 2 bathrooms are recommended.

Square Feet – Home should have no less than 1200 square feet.

Age – The property shouldn’t be older than 25 years old since renovation or demo may be required to remove potentially hazardous materials like Radon, Asbestos or Lead Paint that may be on the property.

Rent – Search online or speak with a property manager to determine the market rent for the area where you are buying a rental property.

Cap Rate – We recommend looking for rentals that offer a 4% cap rate or better (cap rates and gross multipliers are important).

HOA – Check the HOA rules and regulations for the community where you plan on buying a rental property because some communities are very strict and will even go as far as placing you on a waiting list until you can rent your home.

Garage – In today’s rental market it doesn’t matter if a property has a garage or not.

Renovation – Know how much it’s going to cost to make renovations in the property, especially in the kitchen or bathroom, because you may be able to rent a property for $80 to $90 more per month if it has recently remodeled kitchen or bathroom.

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Be Ready for Screening Tenants

Once you’ve purchased your first rental property the real work has only just begun since you have to be ready to screen tenants and this should include reviewing their credit score, work history, criminal history and financial history.

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Save Time and Money with Property Management

Buying a rental property in Las Vegas, Phoenix or San Diego?

Each city has major differences in terms of average rents and requirements for owning rental property.

Once you find the right rental property don’t attempt to manage it yourself, save the time, money and hassle of managing rental properties by hiring our experienced and professional property management team.

Contact GoldenWest Management today by calling us at (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

Tips for Managing Move Outs at Your Phoenix Rental Property

By GoldenWest Management

PHOENIX, AZ. – Do you have a Phoenix Rental Property that’s going to be vacant in the coming months? If so, here are tips you should use to manage move outs

Run the rental comps

Check out other properties in the neighborhood because, if you have to upgrade your rental you should look at what your competition is doing with their properties first so you can get a better idea of the upgrades or amenities you should add to your property.

Market the listing

Start marketing your listing at least 20 days out to minimize vacancy, during this time you should work with the current tenant so you can conduct showings 2 or 3 days per week.

During the process of marketing your listing don’t forget to have professional pictures and video taken of the rental since this will help your listing to stand out online.

Make sure you have the utilities ready to be transferred into your name

This is important to do, especially in the summer when you need the AC, and it’s also an important step because you cannot appropriately check the property or make repairs/clean when the utilities are turned off.

Make sure you have a lockbox

You will need a lock box so contractors and or your cleaning company can come and go anytime.

When adding a lock box don’t put it in plain sight where anyone can see it, and don’t leave your only key in there because this can make getting back into the rental difficult if the key is lost or stolen.

Save Time and Money with Property Management

To save the time, money and hassle of marketing Phoenix Rental Property online, and managing your rental property yourself, contact GoldenWest Management today by calling us at (602) 765-4750 or click here to connect with us online.

Phoenix Rental Property
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5 Things to Do Before Marketing Your Phoenix Rental Property Online

By GoldenWest Management

Are you planning on listing your Phoenix Rental Property online? If you’re like most landlords you’re going to be listing your rental property on Craiglist.org, hotpads.com Zillow or Trulia, but before listing you should get these 5 things done.

#1 – Inspect Your Phoenix Rental Property and Make Repairs

Regardless of how long your last tenant lived in your Phoenix Rental Property it’s important to have it inspected because, a full inspection will bring to light obvious problems that need to be fixed like electrical, flooring, or plumbing issues, and potential problems which cannot be seen to the naked eye.

#2 – Have Your Rental Property Thoroughly Cleaned

One of the “pet peeves” most people cite for not wanting to rent a property is the cleanliness of the unit so even if your last renter left your Phoenix Rental Property in excellent condition you should still call in your cleaning crew to have your rental professionally cleaned because this will also ensure that those hard to reach areas of your rental property are cleaned as well.

#3 – Inspect All Appliances

While you are having, your rental property cleaned and inspected you should also have all of the appliances evaluated, including ceiling fans, because if any of the appliances are out of date and ready to be replaced this will be a great time to get them replaced before new tenants move in.

#4 – Change Those Locks!

During the time that your Phoenix Rental is in between tenants, you should also change those locks because you just don’t know if your previous tenant made copies of keys and it’s also a great idea to have the locks changed to ensure that any old keys which may be floating around out there are rendered obsolete.

#5 – Think About Market Value

Once your rental property is ready to be listed online the last thing you should do is determine market value because rents in the area may have gone up since you last marketed your rental property and it can literally pay to research the market value of your rental before you post it online.

Get Property Management Here

For affordable property management contact GoldenWest Management today by calling us at (602) 765-4750 or click here to connect with us online.

4 Tips for Hiring the Right Contractor for Your Rental Property

By Golden West Management

One of the keys to success with owning a rental property is finding the right contractor. Whether it’s a handyman, plumber, HVAC technician or just a good cleaner, when it comes time to having work done on your rental there’s nothing better than calling someone who you can trust to get the job done right.

Not only will the long term success of your rental benefit from having the right contractors you will save tons of time, headache and money working with people who are knowledgeable, reliable and trustworthy…for this reason we have listed for tips that you can use for finding the right contractor.

Tip #1 – Ensure they are Licensed, Bonded and Insured

Newsflash…you will pay more money for vendors that are licensed, bonded and insured. But I have 100 stories of clients who wished they not used an “under the table” contractor.

A contractor’s license is important because it means that they’ve passed the exam to obtain a professional contracting license in your state; they will also have insurance coverages and safeguards to protect you in case something goes wrong with the work that they’ve done for you.

Don’t fall for excuses for why a contractor can’t show you their license especially if they tell you that their license is “pending” or that they haven’t renewed it in the last year because in these cases the contractor may have had problems in the past that they aren’t willing to tell you.

Some handyman, cleaners and carpet cleaners don’t need to have a trade license…that is fine. Then focus on a business license as well as insurance or bonding certificate.

Tip #2 – Ask For Referrals

This is one of the best ways to locate a quality contractor. Start by asking your fellow investors, business associates, or someone you can trust, for referrals to contractors that they know and use in the local area because. You can find out rates, quality of work and reliability just from a 5 minute conversation or email with peers or colleagues. Many times one of the easiest ways to hire a service professional is by simply tapping into our own personal network of friends and business associates first.

Tip #3 – Look Them Up Online

Once you’ve found a contractor to work at your rental property, another important thing that you should do is research their company online and check for any information regarding revoked licenses or complaints that have been made against their business within the last year.

We don’t recommend solely focusing on reviews. Often time reviews are a mixed bag and must be taken with a grain of salt (well maybe more than just a grain). But professional sites such as the contractor’s board or the state corporate commission are places to find out if there have been decisions rendered against them by a state agency.

Tip #4 – Consider How You Are Billed

If the vendor you are working with asks you to “wire” them money, or pay them in cash only, understand you are taking a huge risk. Especially if you hire regularly from Craigslist where scams are rampant. Out of state Landlords get fleeced the most. Contractors will tell them to pay ½ up front by transferring funds into a vendor bank account (could be anyone’s account) or wiring money. Once the money arrives, the contractor is gone.

If you have to pay someone up front, do so via check and make sure it is made payable to a viable entity. Check fraud is much easier to prove (and have the police go after someone) then wiring or transferring money into someone’s personal bank account.

Quick personal story: I had a vendor from craigslist agree on a price to install granite counters in one of my Arizona properties. He went out to the property, met my local agent, gave me a bid, and even sent me a contract to review and sign.

I did a quick cursory search online and saw that the company name on the contract was a viable company and agreed to move forward. Then came his request for 50% upfront to purchase materials before getting started. Instead of paying by check as I had proposed (“where do you want me to send the check”) he told me that in the interest of getting things started quickly, I should simply transfer the money into his bank account…he gave me the number and everything and I did just that.

Well after that he disappeared. Turns out the company he had put on the contract wasn’t a real company (though it was listed all over the internet and facebook) and his phone number was an untraceable google voice number. The bank told me if I had written a check, then I could get the police involved, but since I placed the money into an account number (that apparently didn’t belong to any “company”) that it was a civil matter and to simply file in small claims court.

Long story short, I filed in small claims court, served the contractor, won a judgment, spent $300 in the process and will probably never collect a dime.

Moral of the story; hire a local property manager who works with trusted vendors every day. Be very weary when hiring new contractors…research them as much as possible to avoid the aforementioned nightmares.

You worked hard to purchase the rental properties you have in your portfolio, why not hire the most qualified contractor or property management professional to manage all aspects of your rental for you?

Get Property Management Here

For professional property management contact Golden West Management today by calling us at (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

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Get a property management quote by calling us at 866-545-5303

2017 Rental Market Trends to Watch Out For

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By GoldenWest Management

There’s no denying that 2016 was another great year to own rental property in the United States, especially in cities like San Diego, Phoenix and Las Vegas where we saw strong rent growth but the big question many owners have is what will 2017 hold?

In this article, we will provide you with a breakdown of what you can expect from the rental market in 2017 so you can tailor your plans (if needed) and be ready for changes to the market.

Rent Growth Is Projected to Continue in The West Coast

Although rent growth is slowing in some cities in the United States like St. Louis MO, thanks to recent data from Zillow we know that rent prices are projected to continue growing in the West Coast, especially in cities like San Diego, where rents are projected to grow by 4.7 percent, and in Phoenix where rents are projected to grow by 4.6 percent.

More Millennials Are Expected to Buy This Year Instead of Rent

During the recent “Great Recession”, many Millennials were faced with declaring bankruptcy and saw huge damage to their credit scores. With bankruptcy lasting on a credit score for up to 10 years, many Millennials who were formally in “credit hell” are finally seeing their credit scores get back on track to pre-recession levels and will be thinking about buying homes this year instead of renting.

Even though fewer Millennials will be renting than in years past, the rental market as a whole is projected to grow through 2025, while homeownership is expected to decline to 60.8 percent, the lowest level it’s been since the Eisenhower Administration (1953-1961).

2017 Will Be the Year for You to Make Renovations to Your Rental Property

If you’ve been thinking about making renovations to your rental property, 2017 should be the year for you to do it because thanks to recent changes in immigration policy from the Trump Administration we know that the labor market is getting tighter than in years past and fewer laborers are coming to the United States from countries like Mexico.

With fewer laborers on the market than before, skilled workers have been charging more, and this means that if you’ve been thinking about making renovations to your rental property you should make them soon or face even higher labor costs once you do finally make those renovations.

Get Property Management Here

Do you own rental properties in San Diego, Phoenix or Las Vegas? If so, contact GoldenWest Management for a property management quote by calling us at (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

5 Ways to Increase Cash Flow at Your Phoenix Rental Property

Cash Flow

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PHOENIX, AZ. – Are you searching for ways to increase cash flow at your Phoenix Rental Property? If so, you’re not alone. Cash flow is on the mind of every property owner sooner rather than later and what they don’t know is that increasing cash flow can be easy especially if these 5 tips are followed.

Tip #1 – Make Interior Changes to Your Phoenix Rental Property

Although your rental home, condo, town home or apartment may have been a great Phoenix Rental Property in the past the reality is that if you haven’t taken the time to update the interior of your rental you could be turning renters away because your property just looks old and run down.

Some of the interior changes you should consider making include:

  • Replace interior doors.
  • Change interior light fixtures.
  • Refinish or repaint kitchen cabinets.
  • Replace or repaint the mailbox.
  • Install a new toilet.
  • Service or replace the A/C.
  • Paint the front door.
  • Improve curb appeal.
  • Add a new vanity to the master bathroom.

Phoenix Rental Property

Tip #2 – Reduce Vacancy

Reduce vacancy by starting with a more conservative price. Once you have solid renters in place, then stick with 1-year rentals and make rental increases each year using minimum 5% increments.

Vacancy KILLS ROI and cash flow. It’s not worth it to try and squeeze an extra $100 out of a Tenant if that means another month of mortgage payments with NO rent. Do the math, most of the time $100 extra but vacant an extra month, actually loses you money.

 Tip #3 – Increase the Fees You Are Charging

Another way to increase cash flow at your Phoenix Rental Property is to require prospective renters to pay an application fee because this eliminates the cost that you might currently be paying for credit reports or background checks and can boost your ROI by $300 over a 4 year period.

You should also consider increasing your late fee as well while giving a longer grace period at the same time. People always complain about late fees, but one thing we have found is that if we extend the grace period to 7 days, but increase the late fee from standard 10% charges to maybe 15% or 20% (check with local’s laws for maximum charge allowances) then it cuts down on the “excuse” factor with a Tenant.

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You get your rent on time, and if the Tenants don’t pay within the grace period, then they agree to pay a hefty fine. It’s hard to argue with a landlord about a late fee when you have a full week to actually turn it in…lost in the mail or I don’t get paid until the 5th become obsolete.

Tip #4 – Streamline Costs by Doing Business Electronically

There are few things nowadays that need to be “mailed” or paper printed. Rent can be paid online; notices can be completed online (with few exceptions). Some companies even charge a service fee for those Tenants who pay online or don’t use emails (meaning everything needs to be physically mailed or posted). $8 check fees and forwarding all postage charges to a Tenant are some ways benefit online payment.

Tip #5 – Hire an Experienced Phoenix Property Manager

Besides the recommendations mentioned in this article one of the very best things you can do to increase cash flow at your Phoenix Rental Property is to hire an experienced Phoenix Property Manager because we will save you the time, money and hassle of managing your rental properties yourself, make sure that your property is rented to the most qualified tenant, and guarantee that you’re paid on time.

To learn more about our property management services contact us today by calling us at (602) 765-4750 or click here to connect with us online.

 

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West Coast Rental Market – Learn More about What’s Happening in Phoenix Arizona

West Coast Rental Market

PHOENIX, AZ – 2016 is proving to be another strong year for the West Coast Rental Market, especially in Phoenix Arizona where in July of this year the average rent was $1,051. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment was $920 per month, while the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Phoenix was $1,122 per month (source – Rent Jungle).

Phoenix Rental Market Trends

Like many cities in the West Coast Rental Market we’ve seen nice an increase in rent in Phoenix over the last 6 months as the average rent for a one bedroom apartment has increased by close to $50 while the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment has increased by $64.

The top neighborhoods in Phoenix that have seen the highest rent increases over the last 6 months include Laveen, Desert View, Central City, North Gateway, Camelback East, Paradise Valley, Encanto, Deer Valley, South Mountain, Estrella, North Mountain, Maryvale, and Alhambra,

Why Own Rental Properties In Phoenix?

Besides excellent restaurants, great coffee, plenty of things to do, and awesome water parks, Phoenix also has a growing jobs market and many people are migrating from states like California to escape high taxes and enjoy the quality of life that Phoenix has to offer them.

What’s also great about Phoenix is that people who will move to the area this year will rent for their first year as they get to know the area and that means good news for property owners since a steady demand for rental properties also means consistent cash flow.

Right now you can find many affordably priced rental properties in Phoenix and when you hire Goldenwest for your property management you can sit back and enjoy the added profits from your Phoenix rental properties.

Learn More about the West Coast Rental Market

To learn more about the West Coast Rental Market, or to speak with us about our property management services, call (602) 765-4750 or click here to connect with us through our website.

How to Handle Tenant Disputes at Your Phoenix Rental Property

Phoenix Rental Property

As a property owner, one thing you will be dealing with at your Phoenix Rental Property at one point or another are tenants who complain.

Although tenants who complain may be annoying, you can handle their complaints professionally by following these simple tips.

Disputes involving repairs are the most common

When dealing with these types of disputes you should do the following:

• Look at all repairs thru the lens of “what does the lease interpret?”
• Normal wear tear isn’t every single repair item. Tenants have to be responsible for things that don’t break without outside influence.
• Respond initially very quickly.
• Be firm, but be fair…sometimes you can earn a little good will by letting the “tie go to the Tenant”.

Disputes involving neighbors

Before taking steps to deal with a dispute at your Phoenix Rental Property you should make sure that the complaint is really legitimate because some Phoenix Renters may file complaints about the wall color of your rental property when these are issues that the tenant should have been aware of before they moved in.

a. Unfortunately, you don’t control what neighbors do

b. If there is an HOA, ask them to put the complaint in writing to the HOA, of if required, to you and have you forwarded it to the HOA. This covers noise complaints, pet issues, and HOA contractors.

c. Remind them that they need to try and approach the neighbors, first verbally, then in writing…adults can often handle issues by being polite and direct

d. If there are complaints about other neighbors in properties you own or manage, then stay partial and only involved when it’s regarding a violation of a lease

e. When necessary have the Tenant involve the police (if the situation warrants)

Always Keep Communication Open When Sealing With Tenant Disputes

As a landlord, another important thing you should do to deal with tenant disputes is to communicate with your tenants immediately regarding their complaint and then take steps to resolve it because their complaint can also turn into another issue about management unresponsiveness if you are slow to respond to tenant complaints at your Phoenix Rental Property.
Don’t fire back email after email in succession, handle things in a methodical manner.

Follow up every phone call with a “per our conversation email”.

Keep calm and respectful even if the tenant is not.

Don’t respond at unreasonable hours, and be careful responding via text.

Hire a Phoenix Property Management Company

To save the time, money and hassle of managing your rental properties yourself hire a third party, one that knows the law and can act as your middleman. To get effective property management for your Phoenix Rental Property contact Goldenwest Management today by calling us at 602-765-4750 or click here to connect with us online.