Better Communications with Tenants: Sacramento Property Management Professionals Offer 4 Suggestions

There are countless ways to communicate in today’s world. Mobile devices make communicating across the country or around the world available at the touch of a few buttons. Computers and tablets are inescapable whether at work, school, or home. Even elementary-aged children know how to maneuver through this digital age. There is no denying it – technology has never been more accessible.

Living in a Digital Age

In 2017, the Pew Research Center reported: “nearly nine-in-ten Americans today are online, up from about half in the early 2000s” with roughly 77% of Americans owning a smartphone. Their study points out that while young adults were once the primary owners of smartphones, a wide range of Americans uses smartphones currently including both the lower-income and those 50 years and older.

The Pew Research Center also concluded, “nearly seven-in-ten Americans now use social media” and “half the public now owns a tablet computer.” The study states: “When the Center first began tracking tablet ownership in 2010, just 3% of Americans owned a tablet of some kind. That figure has risen to 51% as of November 2016.”

How To Take Advantage of Technology

How do you benefit from this digital era as a landlord? The Sacramento property management experts at Real Property Management SAC-METRO understand the rental industry. We know the essential elements needed for optimal communication between landlords and tenants. Our top four suggestions include:

  • Stop the Piles of Paperwork – This is the easiest, quickest way to make the best of today’s technology. Put an end to those paper lease contracts. Don’t send out another piece of snail mail. Kiss goodbye tenant application packets too. Rather than piling up paperwork, create online documents accessible with the click of a button. Have prospective tenants apply through an online screening process. Use a digital signature when signing a lease contract. At Real Property Management SAC-METRO, landlords and tenants utilize personal online portals to view all their documents. Tenants can also submit maintenance requests through this portal. As a homeowner, utilizing online methods increases your profitability. You see shorter vacancy periods when using virtual resources. No more wasted time, waiting around for paperwork. An online approach to Sacramento property management is the way to go.
  • Market Your Home Online – When potential tenants are searching for houses for rent in Sacramento County, they need to be able to find your information and find it fast. Tenants do not want to drive around for hours trying to locate “For Rent” signs throughout neighborhoods. You are doing yourself a disservice by not marketing your rental home online. Use a variety of sites and resources. Create digital tours of the property. These online virtual showings allow tenants to view your unit at the time and place convenient for them. Then also give tenants the ability to schedule a live showing by submitting an online request.
  • Keep Communication Clear and Concise – When managing rental properties, Sacramento investors cannot afford messy communication with their tenants. Make sure there is a “paper trail” of your interactions. In today’s digital age, that trail applies to more than a literal stack of papers. This includes emails, online documents, and texts as well. This does not include phone calls or in-person conversations. There is no substitute for written communication. Document everything. Otherwise, you face a high level of risk and liability if caught in a legal battle. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a he-said, she-said situation. Also, remember that texting may or may not stand up in a court of law. Be careful what information you choose to confirm with your tenants through text.
  • Be Respectful – You can use digital devices to communicate with your tenants instantaneously, but should you? Just as you would not show up at someone’s doorstep at midnight, you should not send a text to your tenants at midnight either. Consider yourself a business owner first and foremost. Act like a professional in Sacramento property management. When you communicate via text or email, use correct grammar and spelling. Be courteous, kind, honest, responsible, and straightforward. Do not be rude, degrading, or emotional.

A Tech-Savvy Generation

If all this digital talk is not your cup of tea, you might find yourself in a pickle. Today’s generation thrives off of digital interactions. You need to use technology to be competitive among other landlords with houses for rent in Sacramento by owner.

The bottom line is you will be more successful and profitable when creating an online presence. Remember to:

  • Take advantage of online resources and eliminate piles of paper.
  • Give yourself the best chance at finding qualified tenants and decreasing extended vacancies by marketing your home listing across the Internet.
  • Document all tenant interactions and do not take shortcuts.
  • Remain respectful and polite no matter the circumstances.

Looking to Partner with Professional Sacramento Property Management?

Are you overwhelmed by the ongoing responsibilities of being a landlord? Let the team at Real Property Management SAC-METRO help you. With more than 30 years of experience, we know how to get you a better return on your rental properties. Sacramento investors can trust our experts to increase their cash flow and safeguard their investment business. Learn more about our hassle-free leasing cycle. Call Real Property Management SAC-METRO and put our experienced team to work for you.

Creating Rental Properties Sacramento Tenants Can Feel Safe In

All landlords must comply with habitability laws. Every rental property needs to meet certain standards that deem it safe and livable. As a homeowner, it is important you follow all legal regulations and do what is necessary to create a safe home environment for your tenants.

Laws and Regulations

The California Department of Consumer Affairs outlines what responsibilities fall on landlords:

“When a landlord (property owner) rents an apartment or a house to a tenant (renter), the rented property must be fit to live in. In other words, the rented property must be ‘habitable.’ During the time that the property is being rented, the landlord must do maintenance work and make repairs which are necessary to keep it habitable. However, a landlord is not responsible for repairing damage caused by the tenant, or the tenant’s guests, children, or pets.”

Ways to Produce Safe Rental Properties

Sacramento investors can take several measures to ensure they provide safe living conditions for their tenants.

  • Chimney Maintenance – Chimneys need to be inspected and cleaned by a qualified professional on an annual basis. Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fires during winter months, according to the National Fire Protection Association. A report issued in December 2017 by the NFPA concluded the top factor contributing to home heating fires was “failure to clean, principally from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.”
  • Fireplace Safety Measures –Make sure your tenants understand how to operate the specific type of fireplace in your rental unit. Wood burning, electric, and gas fireplaces each have certain guidelines. A sturdy screen needs to be in place to stop sparks from flying out of the fireplace as well. Tenants should be advised to remove any flammable materials or belongings within a three-foot radius of heating equipment. Also, the wall switch that controls a gas fireplace should have safety features on it to ensure it cannot be turned on accidentally or manipulated by small children.
  • Fire Precautions – All rental units need to have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Sacramento property management companies suggest you replace all alarm batteries regularly, particularly before new tenants move in. You can even consider interconnecting the CO alarms, so they will all sound when one is set off. Also, a fire extinguisher should be provided to tenants.
  • Seasonal Maintenance – Homes naturally deteriorate. Proactive maintenance is a way to keep a home in good condition. Watch for electrical hazards. Outlets should not feel warm to the touch. Electrical wiring should not be exposed. Inspect heating and cooling systems. Clean and replace filters. Remove build up on fans. Conduct a chimney sweep and remove any obstructions. It is also wise to show tenants where gas and water shut off valves are located.
  • Other Home Features – Providing safe conditions extends beyond fireplaces and smoke alarms. There are numerous additional ways to help tenants feel secure in your rental properties. Sacramento investors can make sure all window and door locks operate properly. Doors with double locks are an added bonus. All exterior lights need to be in working condition. A motion-sensor home security system is a valuable asset as well.

When Between Tenants

You have worked hard to make sure your investment property meets habitability laws. Do not waste all your efforts to safeguard your rental by not maintaining it during a vacancy. Criminals see an empty home as the ideal time to break in. It is important to have your home appear occupied at all times. You can accomplish this by up keeping the exterior of your home, especially the yard and landscaping. Mow the lawn. Trim bushes. Turn on an exterior or porch light. Collect old newspapers and mail that pile up. Do not stop protecting your home between tenants.

A Well-Maintained Home

Habitability laws and regulations do not need to overwhelm you as a homeowner. Preventative and proactive maintenance is a sure way to safeguard your investment property. Remember to:

  • Clean and inspect the chimney
  • Know how to safely operate the fireplace
  • Have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in working condition
  • Conduct seasonal maintenance to catch potential safety hazards
  • Ensure window and door locks function properly

Have Multiple Rental Properties? Sacramento Property Management Specialists Can Help

The professionals at Real Property Management SAC-METRO understand the rental industry. Not all Sacramento property management companies are created equal. With more than 30 years of experience, our experts know how to effectively manage rental properties. Sacramento investors can trust our experienced team with their investment business. We work hard to increase your bottom line and make you a profitable landlord. We offer a comprehensive list of services and use proven processes to make you successful. You can leave behind those daily duties of being a homeowner when partnering with Real Property Management SAC-METRO. Learn more about our hassle-free leasing cycle and call Real Property Management SAC-METRO today.