Watch This Video BEFORE Your Rental Home is Vacant!

When you own rental property and your tenant moves out, every vacant day costs you money. In fact, the average vacancy lasts well over a month—that’s quite a bite out of your bottom line!  Too often, inexperienced property owners end up with more vacancy days than necessary because they lack the resources and knowledge in Sacramento real estate management to quickly rent their property.  

Here are the top ten things rental owners can to do to ensure that their property leases as quickly as possible—from your expert team at Select.  

  1. First, work very quickly to make sure your home is MOVE IN READY before you put it on the rental market. Start as soon as your previous tenant moves out, and don’t let this process drag on.  Also, don’t ask prospective tenants to look past problems that still need to be fixed—they won’t. If a tenant sees that the carpet needs to be replaced or the appliances are pulled out and not working, they simply will move on to a property in better shape.  A key principle of leasing for Sacramento real estate management is don’t show the property until it is completely ready for the next tenant. Ask us for our handy “Rent-Ready Checklist” to make sure your property is ready to lease quickly.
  2. Check the property’s CURB APPEAL and make sure the house looks appealing from the outside.  Consider making some minor and inexpensive updates to boost a prospective tenant’s first impression. New lighting and window treatments can make a difference, for instance, as can a fresh coat of paint or attractive landscaping features.
  3. Make sure to have the property PROFESSIONALLY and THOROUGHLY CLEANED.  Professional cleaners will scrub everything from the walls to the baseboards and leave the home feeling clean and fresh.  Ensure that windows are sparkling and blinds are up so that the rooms are bright and sunny. Remember that any clutter, debris, and personal belongings must also be removed.   
  4. Sent an appropriate MARKET RENT RATE.  Set the rent too low, and you’ll hurt your investment’s performance. Set the rent too high, and prospective tenants won’t bother looking at it, resulting in longer vacancy times that in the end can cost you far more than a lower rent would.  There are many factors that go into setting the best rent rate, and Select offers a free market rent analysis on your property to help you find the sweet spot.
  5. CONSIDER ACCEPTING PETS. Whether or not your property accepts pets can directly impact how quickly your home is leased.  As single family rental homes are often popular with families, and pet ownership is increasing across the board, allowing certain family pets will drive more interest to your property and widen your applicant pool in every city, whether its Carmichael property management or Sacramento real estate management.  This not only generally results in the home leasing faster, but it can also allow for a slightly stronger rent rate.  
  6. FREQUENT INSPECTIONS are advised to ensure the property stays in good condition while vacant, as an empty property is at risk for additional maintenance issues.  When no one is living in it, you don’t know that there’s a leak under the sink or a hole in the drywall. There may be an added risk of a break in or squatter situation as well in some areas.   It’s important that you keep your property occupied, not only so you increase your return, but also so you preserve the asset’s value.
  7. MARKET THE HOME AGGRESSIVELY.  Properly marketing your home will lead you to faster tenant placement and fewer vacancy days.  Make sure you take quality, well-lit photos and video of the interior and exterior of the clean, rent-ready home.  Write a strong description that includes all the features and benefits of the property, including recent updates, proximity to transit and schools, and whether pets are allowed.  Then advertise on all the popular rental sites and social media to ensure that you find tenants where they are looking for their next home and make sure they can easily contact you. An attractive yard sign is also a must.
  8. RESPOND QUICKLY TO INQUIRIES from prospective residents to answer questions, schedule showings, and process applications.  While this step can take a lot of time and effort, it is critical to minimize vacancy times. This is where a professional leasing team can save you a lot of time and headache.  
  9. SCREEN APPLICATIONS thoroughly, with background checks on every potential tenant over 18 years old, including criminal, credit, employment and rental history.   This is a must in every market, whether its Carmichael property management or Sacramento real estate management, as well-screened tenants are more likely to stay longer and avoid costly turnover down the road.  It also allows you to select the most reliable tenant from your applicant pool, reducing the risk of eviction or other unexpected vacancies down the road.
  10. KEEP YOUR CURRENT TENANTS.  Tenant retention is often overlooked by landlords, but it’s a great way to avoid the high costs of vacancy. When you already have a high-performing tenant in place, you want to keep that person in the home as long as possible. You do this by being responsive to maintenance and repair requests, open communication, clear expectations and responsibilities, and sticking with conservative rental increases that you can fairly justify to the tenant.

In the end, remember that the cost of vacancy days can far outweigh a professional manager’s leasing fee, so think long-term.  A tested, efficient leasing process better protects your cash flow, and Select helps our clients experience shorter vacancies, more reliable tenants, longer lease terms, and your own team of experts to support your rental investment every step of the way. Call us today for a free, no-obligation market assessment of your rental property.

Read This Before You Set the Rent in Your Rental Property

Too many rental owners don’t take the time to make sure they set the right rent for their rental home.  This is a critical decision in Sacramento rental property management and can cost you thousands of dollars over the years, but perhaps not in the way you may expect.  Here are the top ten things to consider before setting the rent—from your expert team at Select.  

  1. First, and probably the most obvious to many investors, is to avoid UNDERPRICING the rental home.  Not only does this result in less rental income for you, it becomes more difficult to make reasonable rental increases in the future to keep the rent consistent with market rates, whether your working in Cameron property management or Sacramento rental property management.  This can keep your rental underperforming for many years.
  2. And of course you don’t want to price it too high, either. If your property is OVERPRICED, it will be difficult to rent it quickly to well-qualified tenants. That will mean a longer vacancy period for you, which over the course of the coming year can be far more damaging to your overall rental income than a lower rent rate.  Remember that you won’t earn any income at all if you have to wait for someone who is willing to pay a too-high price, and this can quickly erase the increase rent income over the year.
  3. Start by considering your property’s LOCATION, always a primary factor with real estate, be it a sale or rental. If your home is in a desirable school district, it will be easier to draw families with school-aged children to your home. Properties that are close to public transportation or popular commuter routes are also sought after, and can usually earn more rent than homes in more remote areas. Feature the location’s benefits when you’re marketing and advertising as well.
  4. Evaluate your property SIZE in relation to similar properties.  Depending on where your property is located, you’ll earn more when you have the size and the layout that tenants are seeking. Three bedroom, two bath homes with a garage and a yard command the most rent in suburban neighborhoods. If your property is of smaller size, you can compensate with modern appliances and upgrades.
  5. Like it or not, SEASON of the year can influence rental prices. Families with children are less likely to move during the school year, and no one enjoys moving over the holidays. Areas around a university will see fluctuations around the semester breaks.  As a result, prices may be a little higher in the early summer months, and a little lower in the dead of winter.
  6. One area where you have more control is the property’s CONDITION. Put simply, a home that’s in great shape can command more rent than a home that is dated or run down. If you want to attract top rents, make some improvements and updates. You don’t have to do a complete remodel, but a fresh coat of paint on the walls, tidied up landscaping, new lighting, or modernized flooring can make a difference in what you can charge.  
  7. Whether or not your property accepts PETS can also impact your rent rate.  As single family rental homes are popular with families, allowing certain family pets will drive more interest to your property, allow for a stronger rent rate, and ultimately can cause a home to lease faster.  Good tenants are likely to take care of the property, pets notwithstanding, and pet deposits can be put in place to protect against any damage.
  8. In light of all the factors above, now consider the COMPETITION.  Plenty of online resources can help you understand your local market and your tenant pool. Talk to property managers, real estate agents, and investors. Pay attention to what is renting quickly in your area, and what isn’t. Is there is low inventory but high demand for rental homes? If so, you can charge a little more for your property. If there are plenty of great homes available to tenants, you’re going to need a more competitive price to get it leased quickly.  Compare the location, features, size, and condition of the available properties to your own, and adjust your price accordingly. Also, remember that just because another owner asking $1,500 for a property doesn’t mean that’s what the property will actually lease for.
  9. Of course every rental owner will want to first consider their FINANCIAL position, but remember, this can’t drive the final price. Perhaps you want to earn $1,250 a month in rent because that will cover your mortgage and your expenses, provide a little maintenance savings, and even a bit of monthly income. But, if homes similar to yours are renting for $1,100 per month, your price tag may leave you with a costly vacancy or an undesirable resident who is willing to pay more due to credit or other problems.
  10. Finally, consider a complimentary rental analysis from the expert team at Select to get a fact-based, reliable price range that’s appropriate for your property.  We specialize in the local market and have access to several tools to provide you with an unbiased assessment that can help you confidently set your rent rate.

Once your rent is set and your property is on the market, there are two more steps to ensure that you’re asking the right rent rate for Sacramento rental property management:

  • First, make sure you MONITOR LEASING ACTIVITY. If you are getting consistent inquiries and prospective tenants are asking to see the property, you’re probably in an appropriate rental range. But, if no one is calling or applying after viewing the home, you might be pricing it too high. Track your marketing results, including the number of people who are contacting you, how many of those prospects are seeing the home, and whether they’re filling out an application after the showing. This will tell you whether you’re in the right range.
  • ADJUST THE RENT IF NECESSARY. If it turns out that no one is applying for your home, the price could be the problem. Consider lowering it to lease the home more quickly, and try not to get too emotionally attached to the amount that you charge. Losing an entire month of rental income is more expensive than lowering your price by $50 per month.

Once you have a tenant placed, you may have questions about raising the rent for existing tenants.  

  • Most tenants assume that their rent will increase at some point after the initial lease period. This is appropriate if the market supports a higher rent for properties like yours, your property-related expenses have gone up, or you’re offering additional value, such as landscaping, internet, replacing aging appliances, etc. Remember, not all markets will move at the same pace, Cameron property management won’t be like Sacramento rental property management.
  • That said, you don’t want to rush good tenants out of your property with risky price increases.  The costs of turnover, marketing, re-leasing, and potential vacancy days often outweigh a small rent increase, so weigh your choices carefully and keep the lines of communication open.

Again, your team of experts at Select is always happy to help you determine the correct rent rate for your property at no cost to you. Give us a call today.

Watch This Video Before Renting Out Your Home

A reliable tenant in your rental property gives you predictability and profit, while placing the wrong tenant can take a heavy toll on your income, your peace of mind, and even the property itself.  The good news is, there are clear, proven steps you can take to avoid the common regrets of rental owners and better protect yourself, and your property. Read the following tips from Select, a top Sacramento Property Management Company.

Here are the top 10 things you must do before you ever place a tenant in your rental home:

  1. Set the rent at a competitive price to rent quickly while getting the best possible return.  The well-qualified tenant you’re looking for with good credit, positive references, and a reliable income has a lot of choices when renting a home, and they won’t pay more than they have to.  A competitive rent rate will actually earn you more in the long run by avoiding vacancy days.
  2. Get the property “Rent-Ready.” Put simply, quality tenants look for quality properties. So take care of all needed maintenance, have the home professionally cleaned and deodorized, and make sure the landscaping and exterior offer strong curb appeal. Ask for our rent-ready checklist to make sure your property attracts as many reliable applicants as possible.
  3. Market the property aggressively.  Once the property looks its best, an expert Sacramento property management company would take quality pictures and video and advertise on all the major online rental listing sites like Zillow, Trulia, HotPads, Rentals.com, and Rent.com. If there are any local sites targeting specific markets, such as Auburn property management, list on those as well. Ensure your ad includes the best features, such as a large yard, off-street parking, updated rooms, new appliances, quality schools, and the proximity to transit and shopping. And don’t forget an attractive, professional sign on the property itself.
  4. Make selection criteria clear. When you include your application criteria in the marketing or showing process, it can make the process more efficient. State the credit and income standards you expect, and you’ll eliminate a lot of unqualified tenants right away. This will not only save you time, it can protect you in fair housing matters.
  5. Be responsive to showing requests.  Answer tenant inquiry calls or texts immediately and schedule showings promptly to keep interest high. You may elect to meet face to face with your prospective renters and do a little in-person pre-screening, or you can move the process along faster using technology and apps that allow the tenant to securely view the property on their own.  This can be a time-consuming process, but is critical to avoid unnecessary vacancy days and avoid losing the great tenants you’re looking for. This is where a professional leasing agent especially saves you time and prevents unnecessary vacancy days.
  6. Use a thorough, written application and require documentation.  Collect the pertinent information for all potential tenants over 18 who wish to lease the home, along with permission to conduct background and credit checks.  Today’s tenants will be looking for an online application, which is also handy so applicants can easily upload copies of their ID and income verification. If you’re unable to do this, many professional property managers will provide this service for you as part of their leasing services.
  7. Check the applicant’s rental history. This is the best indicator of how someone will perform in your property. Talk to former and current landlords (and make sure you’re talking to actual landlords, not family members and friends). Ask about whether the prospective tenant paid rent on time, took care of the property, gave proper notice, or violated the lease terms. Finally, ask whether they would rent to this tenant again.
  8. Check the applicant’s financial history. This includes employment, income and credit checks.  You want to see a stable employment history and an income that’s at least three times the rent. You don’t need a tenant with perfect credit, but, you do need a tenant without prior evictions or any landlord debt. Look for unpaid or overdue utility payments and avoid any tenants who are currently in bankruptcy or looking like they might be about to declare bankruptcy. Measure their debt against their income.
  9. Check the applicant’s criminal background. The best tenants usually aren’t felons. Minor traffic incidents from 20 years ago are no big deal, but of course you don’t want anyone with a history of violent crimes, drugs, or predatory behavior.  Note that you need to be very careful with this step to ensure that you are not violating fair housing laws. Which brings us to the final step:
  10. Stay in compliance!  No one wants to discriminate. However, rental owners often commit serious fair housing violations without realizing it. The language you use in your advertising can be unfair, for example, stating that a property is perfect for families or in a neighborhood that’s popular with one particular culture can get you into trouble.  This is a tricky area where a professional Sacramento property management company can protect you from potentially hefty fines and expensive lawsuits.

The best tenant is easy to identify, but often hard to find.  If you want your property leased to the most qualified tenant as quickly as possible, it’s time to find out for yourself why more rental owners like you choose Select.  Simply call us today for a no-obligation discussion.

Watch This Before You Hire a Professional Residential Property Management

You own rental property to increase your long term FINANCIAL SECURITY & STABILITY.  Yet so many rental owners find themselves with unexpected costs eating away at their rent revenue. Meanwhile, the constant surprises of rental ownership leave them feeling anything but stable. If you’re like most rental owners,

  • You’re frustrated that your EXPENSES are higher, as you are forced to handle maintenance, regulatory, and tenant problems without the tools, processes, or experience to handle them efficiently.
  • You’re worried that your INCOME may not be as high as it could be, and are unsure of the local market trends needed to set the right rent rate.
  • Your investment feels unstable and lacks SECURITY, due to unpredictable tenant interruptions and demands on your time, the risk of tenant liability issues, regulatory penalties, and collection issues.
  • Sure, you’d love to leave the hassle to a professional management team, but you’re concerned about the impact on your cash flow, unsure whether the cost will be worth the benefits, and wary about trusting someone else with your valuable asset.  

Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone.  But here are the facts:

Competent, experienced professional residential property management in Sacramento will generally pay for itself.  

Here’s how:

  • Better qualified tenants who stay longer and take better care of the property.
  • Faster leasing systems reduce vacancy days.
  • More efficient, technology-driven processes and collections.
  • Lower costs with bulk buying power on maintenance.
  • Proactive maintenance and inspections to catch problems before they become expensive.
  • Strict legal compliance to avoid financial penalties and liability, with a team dedicated to staying abreast of changing regulations, so you don’t have to.
  • Local expertise and market experience ensures you are getting the maximum rent for your property.
  • And let’s not forget the value of your own time spent handling tenant interruptions, maintenance, and staying abreast of regulatory issues.  

So, with professional residential property management in Sacramento in your court, you finally enjoy the FINANCIAL SECURITY and STABILITY you sought from the beginning. But—how do you know who to trust?  The key is to ask the right questions to ensure that your choice has the EXPERIENCE, PEOPLE, PROCESSES, & PERFORMANCE to actually do what they promise in the sale.    

Make sure they have extensive EXPERIENCE managing single family rentals, as these investments have different needs than apartment complexes or commercial properties.  How do they stay current on and comply with landlord/tenant laws and local, state, and federal fair housing regulations? What experience and information is used to determine local market rent rates? If you want, for instance, Antelope property management, you need professional managers that know Antelope.

Next, PEOPLE. The increasing complexity of the industry requires a team of subject matter experts to truly do the job right—leasing agents, accountants and bookkeepers, compliance auditors, maintenance coordinators, brokers, and a tenant support team. Ask about the team members who will be supporting your investment, and make sure you avoid one-man shows or discount shops who don’t have the team to deliver.  Further, make sure the company has clear standards and policies around personal ethics and integrity.

Third: efficient, timely PROCESSES will make all the difference in the performance of your asset and making sure your professional management team indeed pays for itself. Ask about the processes behind marketing and showing your home, tenant screening, lease signing, move ins and move outs, lease renewals, rent payments and collections, inspections, maintenance and vendor management, legal compliance, and tenant emergencies.  Also ask about communication processes—you should expect monthly owner statements and financial reports, meticulous bookkeeping and accounting, and 1099s at tax time. Finally, ensure that processes are in place to protect your private and financial data, and your tenants’.

And fourth, even if a property manager has all the right answers, PERFORMANCE is what really matters in the end, so do your homework to see what others have to say about the company.  Check the company’s online ratings from property owners, customer testimonials, and their status with the Better Business Bureau and the state’s real estate division.

Remember as you compare prices that a lower price tag can end up costing you many times over in underperformance. Professional property management is not a commodity, but an asset management team dedicated to helping you earn more on your investment home. It is critical that you weigh the true value against the cost in order to protect yourself from the hidden costs of poor property management.

If you are looking for residential property management in Sacramento, or Antelope property management, or anywhere else in the greater Sacramento area, are ready to make the move to greater FINANCIAL SECURITY and STABILITY with your single family rental, kindly give us the opportunity to answer these questions, and then compare for yourself.  You’ll quickly see why more rental owners trust the Select team to better manage their rental home. Only Select truly offers the EXPERIENCE, PEOPLE, PROCESSES, & PERFORMANCE to get you the maximum return on your investment. Find out what we can do for you today.