Monday, October 22, 2012

Marketing for a Property Management Company

Property management companies do more than just the typical day-to-day tasks.  To be profitable as a property management company, property managers must raise the stakes a bit.  Marketing efforts become crucial for a property management company to attract the right tenants for a profitable price.  If your current marketing efforts are falling flat, consider revamping a bit.  Here are a couple of tips on updating your marketing plan:

Perform a market analysis

Perform a market analysis to help you accurately measure where your properties stand in the marketplace.  Through the analysis, find out if your rental pricing is within range.  Look into units, homes or apartments that are similar to your rental property.  Take into consideration how your unit stacks up in terms of space, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, floor design and overall square footage.  Also consider how you compare to others in terms of the features that your rental offers such as gated parking.  Make sure you assess how you can make your unit more desirable.  If you come across features you feel your rental should include, think about how you can make that a feature of your own rental.  Perhaps you see a unit that has a great feature like a gym and your rental does not feature a gym.  Consider sticking a gym in your property.  When you go to market your property, having a new gym will give you the ability to lure renters in who want that bonus feature.  It's a great way to interest buyers.

Assess effectiveness of tactics

Assess the effectiveness of the media you have been using to advertise your vacancies.  How do you feel about the ads you have been placing?  Is the headline strong?  How are the design and copywriting?  Do the words capture the attention of a prospective tenant?  Does it highlight the features of your rental space?  Is there a clear area where a prospective tenants can see how and where to contact you with questions?  Does your website provide accurate, relevant information and online applications for prospective tenants?  Have you pursued other marketing avenues such as providing brochures to agents?  Once you have assessed the ads you are putting out, consider the vehicles that you have been using such as newspaper advertising versus online advertising.  Assess which one is more worth your time and money and don't be afraid to scrap what is not working for you.  

Use marketing materials to your advantage

Assess costs on repairs and maintenance over the past year or two.  This information will help you analyze what the cost is for maintaining each unit.  Armed with information, create a marketing strategy to get your tenants' help in reducing costs.  Assessing costs can help you discover ways to lower expenses on things like appliance repairs or plumbing.  Give tenants tips and advice on what they can do to help out.  Put marketing materials to good use.  Consider creating a monthly newsletter or e-blast to distribute to tenants featuring different ways they can help.  Feature topics like cutting down on heating, air-conditioning, or electricity use.  Money spent on great, informative marketing collateral can help you save big in the end.

Looking for more tips on performing marketing for your property management company?  Feel free to comment below or contact us.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Benefits of a Property Management Company

Never underestimate the value of a good property management company-- and no we're not just saying that because that's who we are!  We know how important finding a good property management company can truly be.  Have you had a bad experience with a property management company in the past?  While there are some property management companies out there that might not be the greatest, there are some that are excellent and maintain buildings beautifully all while make a tenant's life run alot more smoothly. Here are a few of the benefits of having a good property management company:

(1) Quality tenants: A good property management company will do a great job screening tenants and will usher in waves of quality tenants.  Having good tenants is extremely crucial in the property management business.  A good property management company can rely on their experience and will be able to thumb through tenant applications and be able to weed out any tenant they feel is no good.  As a result, a good property management company will bring in good tenants who typically cause less problems, pay rent on time, rent longer, and will care for the unit.

(2) Good tenant retention: A good property management company will efficiently be able to keep tenants happy and have a low turnover rate.  Typically, a good property management company will have a solid, time-tested retention policy.

(3) Less legal problems: One of the most beneficial parts of having a good property management company is less legal problems.  A good property management company will be up on the latest landlord and tenant laws that will ensure that you are not vulnerable to legal problems.  This is probably one of the most important parts of working with a good property management company.

(4) Shorter vacancy cycle: A good property management company will be able to fill vacancies quickly by suggesting property improvements, determining the best rent rate and proper marketing of the vacancies.

(5) Personal:  Having a great property management company on your side can provide a ton of personal perks including less stress, more time on your hands, and increased freedom and flexibility.

Want to know more about the benefits of a property management company?  Feel free to comment below or contact us directly.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Screening Tenants

Let's face it, having good tenants is vital for a property management company.  No matter what kind of property you manage, whether you're in real estate property management, industrial property management, retail property management, or condo property management, you always have the difficult task of finding the right tenants.  So how do you go about finding quality tenants for your property rental?  The best way to find quality tenants is to make sure you do a proper tenant screening.  Here are some easy steps to take when screening prospective tenants:

(1) Phone call (initial contact): As a landlord, real estate agency, or property management company, you should begin your screening process with the first initial contact you have with your prospective tenant.  Typically, the first contact made with a prospective tenant is done with a phone call.  By phone, you should get a pretty good read on what your prospective tenant is like.  Before speaking with prospective tenants, be prepared to ask a list of solid, qualifying questions to better understand who the prospective tenant is.  Be up front with prospective tenants about the rental you have and you may want to immediately let them know what rent is up front as well as the security deposit.  Give them the important facts they would want to know to narrow down your tenant choices to candidates that will be able to afford your rental.

(2) Show the rental property: Showing your rental property gives you, the landlord or property management company, the ability to not only show your rental property, but it also gives you the ability to check out your prospective tenant further. Take notice of the following things about your prospective tenant: Appearance, attitude and decision making abilities.  Does your prospective tenant appear messy or neat?  While judging a book by its cover doesn't guarantee any real truth about your potential tenant, it can give you some indication as to how your rental property will be maintained.  Notice your potential tenants attitude.  Does he or she seem difficult to please?  Does he or she respect the rental property while viewing it?  Take note of the tenants initial attitude.  Did he or she come prepared with a deposit ready to fill out an application or do they seem on the fence about your rental property?  Decision making abilities also say alot about a potential tenant.  Look out for any other red flags regarding your prospective tenant.

(3) Submitting an application: Once the applicant has applied, let him or her know that you will keep them in consideration and that you have multiple prospective tenants who have also submitted applications for your rental. Once a tenant has submitted an application to you, assure them that you will notify them once you have made a decision.  Once they have applied, check the application for any inconsistencies or red flags.  If anything seems strange, make sure you look into it thoroughly.  Remember, the goal is to rent your space to good tenants and to avoid renting to a tenant who will not care for your rental space.

(4) Being approved: Once you have chosen an applicant let him or her know the rental space is all theirs and also let them know if you decided to overlook something in their background, typically something that is minor.  During this part of the process a property manager may set a date and time for the approved applicant to come and sign the lease.  Does the potential tenant come prepared?  Take note, as that says alot about what could be in store having that applicant as a tenant.

(5) Signing the lease: Once it is determined that your approved applicant will be your new tenant, having him or her sign the lease is next.  Read over the lease and make sure your new tenant understands what they are signing.  Many people will just sign without reading.  Again, notice your new tenants behavior.  Is he or she arguing every step of the way on the terms of the agreement?  This could indicate problematic behavior, so take his or her behavior during this part of the process very seriously.

Throughout each step of the screening process take note of any indication that your potential tenant may or may not be a good fit.  If you're looking for more tips on picking out a good tenant, comment below or contact us.