Watch This Video Before Renting Out Your Home: Expert Advice From a Sacramento Property Management Company

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 SAC-METRO, 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 SAC-METRO. for Antelope property management, or anywhere else in the greater Sacramento area.  Simply call us today for a no-obligation discussion.

Home Buying Tips From a Trustworthy Sacramento Property Management Company

Your success as a rental home investor heavily relies on finding and keeping responsible tenants. To be profitable, you need quality tenants that will pay rent on time and in full each month, plus respect and care for your property. Certain characteristics of a rental home attract or detract different types of tenants. If you are looking to purchase an investment property, the professionals at Real Property Management SAC-METRO offer a few guidelines to help you find a home that will bring a good return.

What to Consider in a Rental Property

Tenants are just like any other consumer – a customer shopping around for a product that will fit their needs for a great price. As a leading Sacramento property management company with more than 30 years of experience, we know what tenants want in a rental home. When searching for the ideal investment, there are a variety of factors to think about.

Location and Accessibility

Some rental properties are easier to lease than others. The location of a home carries a direct impact on your financial success as a landlord. Even a well-maintained home will be difficult to rent out if not in a great location. But what makes a great location?

  • Proximity to schools – Being close to schools makes a big difference in real estate, especially in a good school district. A school district with a high rating is particularly helpful.
  • Distance to local shopping – Tenants care about where the nearest grocery store and shopping outlet is located. Being near a nice commercial district is very beneficial.
  • Accessibility to public transportation – This is all about having easy access to the bus, train, and other mass transit. Beyond that, being by a freeway is important to those who commute by car.

While these are positive features in a home, they can also have a negative effect as well. A home that is too close to a freeway is undesirable, such as a house where the backyard faces a highway. Or beware of a home directly in the high traffic zone of a school. The twice-a-day traffic created by buses and parents dropping off or picking up children can be a deterrent for tenants.

Safety and Crime Rate

Tenants want to feel safe. Find a home where there is little to no crime. Check the crime statistics. Browsing through the neighborhood can help you get a feel for the area. Are people out and about enjoying walks and playing with their children outside? Can you spot neighbors conversing one with another? Do you see litter, graffiti, or abandoned buildings nearby? Are there large apartment complexes in the area? Does the neighborhood have a high ownership rate or are there a fair number of “for rent” signs?

HOA Regulations

There are pros and cons to buying a home in a neighborhood with a Home Owners Association. From Carmichael to Rocklin, property management companies may offer to explain how HOA regulations will impact you. Real Property Management SAC-METRO is a Sacramento property management company that goes above and beyond that. Our experts have the knowledge and expertise to help you follow the rules that specifically apply to landlords. We do not want to see you hit with violation fines or hidden fees.

On the other hand, there are financial benefits to renting out a home within an HOA community. You can set a higher rent rate if the neighborhood offers certain facilities. Tenants will pay extra to have access to a pool, clubhouse, and community gym.

Floor Plan

During a walk-through, prospective tenants need to be able to envision living in the home. Some houses make that difficult if they have an unusual floor plan.

  • Avoid quirky layouts – Stick to standard floor plans. Better yet, find a home with an open floor plan that flows well. Also, an overly customized home is not very user-friendly.
  • Stay away from a home with less than 1,000 square feet – Too small of a home will work against you. Look for a home with 3 or more bedrooms and 2 or more bathrooms. Also, watch out for homes that lack a clear master bedroom or have no master bathroom.
  • Look at overall storage space – How many closets are in the home? Is there a pantry? What about a laundry room?

If you find a home that does not match these standards, consider renovations. Remodeling a home is a good option if you are careful to find cost-friendly ways to improve the home.

Features and Amenities

Amenities make you profitable. The more a home offers, the more you can charge in rent. Does the home have a fireplace? Is there an A/C unit or a swamp cooler? Are there ceiling fans in the bedrooms? Laundry hook-ups available? What about a specific spot for a microwave? Before buying a home, think of what features will bring you the best return.

Overall Condition

Purchasing a home can be an overwhelming process, especially if you hope to make money on it. Remember to consider:

  • Location
  • Safety
  • HOA Regulations
  • Floor Plan
  • Amenities

In addition to these characteristics, you must evaluate the overall condition of a home. Homes more than 15 years old tend to require more maintenance repairs and necessary upgrades.

Why Partner with a Sacramento Property Management Company When Buying an Investment Property?

From Folsom to Rocklin, property management companies all across the greater Sacramento area offer various services. The experts at Real Property Management SAC-METRO are committed to helping you buy the perfect investment property. We understand the rental market and have the resources to help you locate a home that will bring a good return.

But our assistance doesn’t stop there. We offer a comprehensive list of services to help you be a successful homeowner once tenants move in. Our hassle-free leasing cycle is designed to increase your cash flow and minimize common landlord mistakes. We take over those tedious everyday duties of managing a rental property. Leave the midnight emergency maintenance calls to us.

Don’t trust just any Sacramento property management company. Give Real Property Management SAC-METRO a call today and learn more about our proven processes. Put our experienced team to work for you.