Questions and Answers
Do I really need a property manager?
It depends on how experienced you are, and how much time/money you can invest while you learn. On the surface, managing a rental property seems like a pretty simple proposition. When you really get into all the ‘little’ things that can happen with a home and a tenant, and the laws that govern how you work with both, it is more than most people can handle well. That’s why very few people manage their own rental homes long term. Most people handling a rental home for the first time will end up going with a property management company, or let frustration push them out of real estate investing entirely. How much does it cost you every day to have your property sit vacant? If you don’t know you should figure it out. Rent/30 is the cost of each vacant day while your busy life commitments push the rental to the back burner. Most people can’t afford NOT to hire a professional property manager.
Unless you have a solid background in property management, your most expensive choice will probably be to ‘save some money’ and manage the home yourself. Unless you are very good at pricing your rental, running an ad, taking calls, and negotiating a lease, it is easy to add a month or two to each vacancy. You may lease the house for less than it is worth, or settle for a tenant you can’t properly screen. Unless you are experienced with managing the tenant, it is easy to have a simple 30 day eviction turn into 60 days or more of lost income. With a regular full time job taking your time, even seasoned experts can rarely manage their own rental home efficiently enough to save money over a professional property management company. Those extra vacant months quickly cost you more than Management fees ever will.
How do I pick the right Property Management Company?
If your property manager can’t say yes to everything below, red flags should be going up for you!
Can they really focus on YOUR home or are you just #2,000? The critical thing to each investor shouldn’t be how many houses you manage, but how you will manage their ONE property. Before you sign up with a huge company, make sure they can provide you with the personalized care you deserve. How can you tell if they do a good job? Check them out with the Arizona Department of Real Estate, or with a simple Google search to find out if they manage their homes well, or just churn through the numbers.
Are their fees fair and easy to understand? Don’t be fooled by all the smoke and mirrors. Nobody works for free, but some companies are masters of hiding the dozens of ways they can reach into your pocket. Ask about the renewal contract… find out if your rates will change after the first of the year. Ask about other things that may show up as bills on your accounting. Little extra charges and fees can nickel and dime a great property to death. Make your property manager be honest about their fees. Expect great service and be ready to pay a fair price for it, but avoid the gimmicky promotions.
Do they have experts on hand to mentor you as a real estate investor? The best expert will be passionate about investment real estate. If they are passionate, they will have their own portfolio. Access to an experienced investor will create many benefits for you. It is great to drop in and visit a fellow investor when you are stuck and having doubts. It is wonderful to sit and plan with somebody who has insight into the market, and the long term advantages of real estate. It is invaluable to have direction when you are choosing properties and negotiating the best possible deal… as an added bonus, all these benefits should come to you free as a client of a truly great property management company.
How long does it take to get White Bear Realty working on my home?
We can usually go from a phone call to a listed home the same business day once you are ready to go. Our online forms make it easy to get set up, and a quick phone call with one of our licensed Agents will get the ball rolling, fast. Online advertising usually starts within one business day of you submitting your property information. Signs and lockboxes follow quickly with any recommendations for making your home show to its best potential.
What makes White Bear Realty your best choice for Property Management?
The White Bear Realty staff has accumulated extensive personal experience in real estate investment and property management. The owner of White Bear Realty is always available for personal mentoring and answering your questions about real estate investing. Our customer service staff is committed to quick response and making sure our clients are so satisfied they happily refer their friends to White Bear Realty.
What type of Arizona rental properties can you handle?
We are perfectly happy managing a wide variety of single family homes, townhomes, or condos. We specialize in middle to upper middle income single family rental homes, townhomes, and condo rentals.
What types of rental properties do you recommend?
There are literally hundreds of factors that impact the properties we recommend to our real estate investor clients. Overall, we focus on properties that will be held for long term growth, in areas that have the strongest potential for maximum return on investment. The easiest homes to own and manage are the homes that attract the very best tenants in any given neighborhood.
What cities do you cover?
We can work with properties all over the Verde Valley area including Clarkdale, Cottonwood, Camp Verde, Jerome and Sedona. List your property today!
Can I see my property accounting online?
You will benefit from many technology advantages including real time access to your accounting. This includes the ability to pull dozens of reports to see how your property is doing, and to see copies of any related documents. You can literally see when your tenant paid their rent the instant we post the payment.
How do I get info on my rental property?
You will receive a link to your personal portal into the White Bear Realty network. You will have access to copies of all important documents, including your Management Agreement, the current Lease Agreement, repair invoices, etc., online 24/7. If you need to talk to somebody after taking advantage of the wealth of information we give you online, call us anytime. We are happy to help you with any questions you may have. White Bear Realty makes it easy to know what is happening with your homes.
When can I expect an owner check from White Bear Realty?
We cycle owner payments once a month by the 15th. Soon we will offer “direct deposit” so there is never a ‘check in the mail’.
What if there are problems with the tenant or property?
Being a real estate investor is a long term commitment. If you follow the recommendations we give you during a portfolio plan, you will end up making real estate investments the foundation of your long term wealth. One reality of being in the game is that if you own enough real estate over a long enough period of time, you will experience everything being a landlord has to offer! The good news is that the problems that can come up are pretty predictable and easy to plan for. Part of our service is preparing you for those problems and making sure you know what to expect. The key is to have the experience of a professional property management company behind you so you can get back on track quickly with minimal legal issues, loss of rent, and damage to the home. We will be sending our in-house contractor to the unit every month to check the air filters, spray for pests inside and out if tenant agrees and to do minor adjustments if needed. Full inspections are conducted every 6 months. This way, we can be on top of the condition of each home.
What if a tenant needs to be evicted?
Very few tenants ever need to be evicted, but it does happen. We always start the process with the intent to get the home back as soon as legally possible. Along the way, we encourage the tenant to cure if we believe they will learn from the experience and stay current in the future. We handle the 5-day notice, the certified mailings, the legal document preparation, and interfacing with the attorney. Once a judgment is secured we schedule the visit to the house with the constable to execute the forceable detainer and change the locks on the house. When possible, we work with the tenant rather than evict them but we are committed to having your tenant on track and staying current or finding you a new tenant who will.
How do you handle Maintenance issues?
Whether it is your primary home or a rental, things do go wrong in a home. The easiest way to lose a great tenant is to be careless with maintenance, or let the property condition decline. We advocate being very proactive with maintenance to keep the relationship with the tenant strong, and to preserve the value of your investment. This aspect of your investment strategy is so critical that we strongly avoid cutting corners and going with the cheapest possible solution. We will leverage our volume to get you a good job for a fair price. We do have an in-house licensed contractor if you do not have your own preferred contractor.
Do I approve maintenance work?
No work can be done on a home without funds from the owner for the work. With a $200 maintenance reserve, this means we will have to contact you for most repairs to secure money for the work so you will be involved in the process. Any job over $150 will require the owners’ authorization.
Can I do my own Maintenance?
If you are very good at maintenance, or like being more hands on… you always have the option of taking care of the maintenance of your property on your own. In our experience, most people who attempt to be the maintenance man, or even the supervisor end up with more down time, a lot of personal involvement, and more money out of pocket. If Maintenance is your expertise, go for it… otherwise we suggest you leave it to the experts. If you do your own maintenance, we strongly encourage you to use a Home Warranty Company.
Can you get my rental home ready to rent?
Don’t worry about getting your rental property perfect before asking White Bear Realty to manage it. We can absolutely take your Arizona rental property in any condition and get it rent ready fast.
How much rent can you get for my rental home?
Rental rates fluctuate with neighborhood, time of year, and many other market conditions. What a house will rent for is entirely a function of the current market and your competition during this vacancy. Unfortunately, it truly has nothing to do with your mortgage payment, what you rented the home for last time, or anything else. Making sure you are priced to move, without being too low, will be part of the initial visit our Agent will make to the home.
How fast will you get a great tenant for my rental property?
The fastest property to be leased in any neighborhood is almost always the best rental home for the best price. We will direct you on how to make your property the best, and how to price it to move. If you follow our lead, your vacancies will be very short… if we are trying to rent a home that is in rough shape and overpriced, be ready for a few extra mortgage payments.
We balance the need to end the vacancy with the desire to get the right tenant. We don’t want to slam a marginal tenant in fast, just to evict them in a month or two. We are committed to marketing the home for maximum phone calls, handling every call well, screening the tenants to avoid problems where possible, and doing it all ASAP.
What type of Leases do you offer?
We only offer a standard lease, but many of our investors and tenants benefit from a purchase option addendum to the lease. Leases are usually 12 months, and purchase options are typically for a 24 month term.
How much am I investing in your Property Management solution?
For the dedicated price shopper, few things will be more confusing than trying to find the absolutely cheapest possible property manager (who you will naturally expect to outperform the more reasonably priced options). The reason for the confusion is that many managers will pull you in with an unbelievably cheap initial price that is loaded with hidden fees, and a January 1 renewal that hits like a landmine.
At White Bear Realty we would rather lose a few of the passionate price shoppers than be the company they get mad at when they realize their ‘deal’ wasn’t what they thought it was. Our fees are straightforward and easy to understand, but more importantly, honestly disclosed. We expect our clients to know we need to make a fair profit and we don’t mind being open about how we do it.
Your Management Fee is 10% of the monthly rent ($50 minimum). Fee adjusted for multiple properties.
Your $200 Set Up fee covers everything from yard signs and lock boxes to setting up the accounting, referral fee for other realtors, showing the property and screening tenants.
Sit back and relax while we take care of the rest, no hidden fees, no surprises.
Can you help me sell if/when I no longer want to keep the home?
We actively market homes for our investors/clients. In some cases, we are marketing for a lease and for sale at the same time. We happily accept either a new tenant or a sale, whichever comes first. Sometimes a client just wants to move on and sell a home. We can market these to our existing investor base (especially if they already have a tenant), or sell them on the open market through the MLS. As a full service real estate business we are able to serve all of our clients needs, not just property management.