The property management industry is not for the fainthearted. A lot goes into the everyday management of properties including communicating, scheduling, showing, documenting, and reducing liability. One misstep and Orlando property management services can find themselves in hot water. Specialized Property Management Orlando has been an expert in the property management industry, providing the most comprehensive management services compared to its competitors. We have seen it all and experienced it all. That is why we feel qualified to help others along the way and provide some insight into how to operate a successful property management service.
Communication is Key
Good communication skills are necessary for creating success in work, life, and relationships. In a world where there are countless platforms for communication, it should be easy, right? Wrong. Communication takes effort and work. Whether it is through a phone call, text message, social media message, email, in-person interactions, or video call, communicating with people takes time. Time is the one thing in life that the vast majority of people feel that they do not have enough of it. Orlando property management services must set time aside and plan daily schedules to allow time to communicate with tenants, vendors, maintenance technicians, prospective tenants, and other property management professionals. Allow for communications to take place through your property management website.
Property management is a 24/7 job that does not take breaks for the holidays. Whether it is Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Thanksgiving dinner with the family, or during the Fourth of July fireworks show, property managers and private landlords should make themselves available to tenants. This is not to say you must excuse yourself from the Thanksgiving dinner table to assist a tenant who is requesting a copy of their lease agreement. A request like this can wait, but landlords must prioritize minor and major maintenance requests as they make themselves available. Orlando property management services that make themselves available and reachable to tenants can be a game-changer for those who choose to stay in the property long term.
When a phone call from a prospective applicant or a current tenant comes in, respond quickly. If you are unable to answer the call as it comes in, find the time to respond sooner rather than later. Showing a vacant property and filling a vacancy should be done as soon as possible. Prospective renters often look at multiple rentals and make inquiries to one after another within a few minutes. Responding quickly and scheduling a time for a walk-through can increase your chances to rent the property quickly and to qualified tenants. Responding quickly to maintenance is paramount to keeping maintenance costs low. Orlando property management teams know that the longer a repair goes unreported or undetected, the more expensive the fix. Do not procrastinate taking action. Develop strong work habits that allow you to respond quickly, like staying organized and learning how to prioritize.
Orlando property management services take pride in documenting and creating a paper trail of correspondence. Documentation helps landlords by preventing them from paying a bill twice, tracking rent collections, saves them from lawsuits, provides valuable information regarding tax returns, and documentation through photography can be invaluable. Every time a maintenance request comes in, landlords should document the date and time the request was received, the action taken to assist in repairing the request, and the follow-up conversation with the tenant to guarantee that the repair was completed to his satisfaction. Upon tenant move-outs, property management professionals should document the condition of the property through written descriptions and photographs. Both ways of documenting are valuable to backing up charges upon move out and can even hold up in court if a lawsuit is pursued. Orlando property management teams should date and time stamp paperwork and keep it organized.
Keep Vacancies Low and Long Term Tenant Retention High
Successful Orlando property management services, like Specialized Property Management Orlando, aim to keep vacancy rates low with long term tenancies. Happy tenants generally stay longer terms. Treating tenants with respect and dignity keeps them happy and knowing that you care about them. Responding quickly to maintenance requests, listening, and aiming for transparency are simple ways to keep tenant retention high. Low vacancy rates will keep the cash flowing to the property owner and the property manager regularly. Schedule repairs to be completed by licensed and insured professional technicians. This ensures that the job is done correctly, and removes liability from property owners and managers. Present potential tenants and those moving in with a clean, tidy, and functional living space. First impressions can leave lasting impressions on the minds of those who choose to live at your rental property. Orlando property management services must stay up to date on competitive rent rates. Conduct a market analysis by contacting other property managers and viewing listings online and comparing them to your available property. Marketing a rental property at a competitive rate will also lower vacancy rates.
Rigorous Tenant Screening
Finding qualified tenants when working against the clock to fill a vacancy can feel overwhelming and stressful. Some may feel the urge to lower tenant screening standards to simply fill a vacancy more quickly. Specialized Property Management is warning private landlords against lowering tenant screening standards to fill an empty rental. Keep the screening standards high. In general, property managers should require all prospective tenants who are 18 years old and older to fill out an Application to Rent, submit their two most recent pay stubs, a security deposit and application fees. Orlando property management services should then conduct check credit and background reports, verify employment history, and contact previous landlords and property management companies. Following these steps will help property owners know who is renting their property, and if they are responsible for paying bills on time and in full. Properly screening tenants lowers the risk of evictions, a costly process that can cost property owners thousands of dollars in lawyer fees, loss of rent, and property damage. Accept applicants who have a credit score of 620 or higher, no record of previous evictions or foreclosures, have acceptable rental history reviews from previous landlords, and make a minimum gross household income of 2.5 times the rent amount.
Rent collections come every month and it is imperative that Orlando property management services create automated rent collection processes, especially when dealing with multiple properties. The old method of handing a paper check to the landlord is outdated. Allow tenants to pay rent online through direct deposit. This makes paying rent easier for tenants and allows them to automate the withdrawal from bank accounts each month, which in turn, helps to guarantee rent payments arriving each month and on time. Tenants who do not choose to have automatic withdrawals will also appreciate the convenience of being able to pay rent online, from the comfort of their couch, at their convenience. Upon move outs, walk through the property at the first availability to jumpstart the turnover process. Remember that each day the property sits vacant is money out of the property owner’s pockets. Schedule vendors back to back and market the property aggressively and as soon as it is ready for showings.
Stay Educated and Updated on Laws and Regulations
Always comply with the laws. This includes Fair Housing Laws, Habitability Laws, Americans With Disabilities Act, and more. Orlando property management services must be in compliance with all federal, state and local housing laws. Staying informed and educated about legal compliance will prevent lawsuits. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development states that the Fair Housing Act prevents any person from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, familial status, religion, or disability. Property managers must be careful to treat everyone with the same respect and not discriminate against tenants or prospective applicants. Everyone must be treated equally, no matter the circumstances. Habitability laws state that property owners and landlords must provide a safe and acceptable living space for tenants and that they cannot retaliate against tenants for making maintenance or repair requests. The Americans with Disabilities Act guarantees equal opportunities for those with disabilities in the workplace, housing, school, transportation, and the general public. Stay in compliance with the laws and protect yourself from a costly lawsuit.
Orlando Property Management Services Use the Golden Rule
Treat others how you would want to be treated. It is as simple as that. Stay friendly and keep a positive attitude. Stay calm during maintenance emergencies or unfavorable tenant interactions. Keep a professional attitude and mindset. Listen to tenants about concerns and help them as best you can, while continuing to treat everyone equally and with respect. Ask for Google Reviews from tenants, and learn what they think of their experience with your Orlando property management services. Knowing that tenants will be rating their experience, management professionals have more motivation to treat tenants well. Prospective tenants often look at online reviews and star ratings when choosing a property to live. Be the type of property manager that you would want. Contact Specialized Property Management Orlando for more information. Simply call 407-682-3355 to get started!