This Question & Answer section is designed to give you a clear picture of what you can expect from us and to help you decide if our Reno property management company is the right fit for you.
What type of rental properties do you manage?
Primarily residential single family homes, condominiums/townhomes, duplexes and multi-family apartments, but we do a little mixed use commercial as well.
What areas of town do you handle?
Currently we service all of the greater Reno and Sparks areas. We will consider going to the outlying areas depending on the amount of properties and the circumstances, so please ask us if you have properties in the outer Reno and Sparks areas.
What is your monthly management fee?
We custom build a personal package that can fit any owners budget and needs. We understand that each property and each owner has different needs and requirements so we will build a package that is perfect for you!
Do you give out keys to the property to prospective tenants or put a coded box on the property?
We use a showing service called Rently. Rently provides access monitoring, automated showing services, controlled showings, more direct renter leads, online integration, smart signage, direct renters, security and accountability, unique access codes, credit card on file, team collaboration, real time notifications, post viewing surveys, prospect management, secure vendor access, charting and reports, easy data import and trusted party access. We have decreased our vacancy time by 7-10 days since we started using Rently. That means your property is rented quicker and we all start profiting quicker.
Do you hold any of my money for repairs? How much?
We hold a minimum of $350 per property (unless otherwise approved with the Property Manager) in your account so that we always have funds to pay our vendors quickly and to prevent any late charges to your account from vendors.
Do you actually answer your phone and/or call people back?
As silly as this question may sound, it is very common and a well-known fact in the Real Estate and Property Management industry in Reno (and probably other industries and areas) that most people don’t call you back for a few days or at all. The office is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday and closed for lunch from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. If you and or your tenant call during business hours, one of our staff members can happily assist you. In the event that a call comes in after hours or on the weekends, our automated phone system will direct people for emergency and showing purposes. We have a 24/7 emergency and maintenance line as well as showings 7 days a week. We always try to ensure that other calls are returned within 24 hours. Owners and tenants have an online owner portal as well where they can text, email and put in a request.
How do you advertise?
Once we receive all the required paperwork and moneys on a property, we put it on our personal website, homes.com, Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, hotpads.com, rentals.com, Facebook, and lots of other syndicated websites. We also manually post all of our properties on Craigslist Monday through Friday. Each property is also placed on our Property Vacancy Sheet and is sent out every Friday to a list of other Real Estate Brokerages, Realtors, vendors, investors and other property management companies who request it for their clients. As long as there are no Home Owner Association restrictions, we also put a sign on the property and if necessary, we also create flyers and handouts to disburse publically to maximize the exposure of a specific property. We have built great referral relationships with our clients, vendors, family and friends and receive a lot of referrals as well. We also have referral programs for our tenants to encourage tenant referrals.
Do you have an emergency number?
Yes, we have a 24/7 emergency and maintenance line that acts as an extension of your office. All of our clients, owners, tenants and vendors also have Amber’s cell phone directly and know that they can call either number. We know that an efficient, professionally handled call can make the difference between losing a resident and gaining a new one by referral. A qualified maintenance team also assists in screening the maintenance complaint to verify if there is an actual work order needed, or if they can simply walk a tenant through the process to repair an issue, such as checking a breaker. This saves us all time and money.
How do you handle Repairs & Maintenance?
When we get a call that either a tenant needs a repair or the owner has discovered something in need of repairing, we first contact the tenant and ask them questions which will help us determine the exact nature of the problem before sending a service technician. We also make sure it is not something the tenant can fix themselves (i.e. reset button on the disposal, tripped breaker, etc.) before your money is spent on a service call. After determining that it is a legitimate problem, we create a repair request for the property and get it sent to our vendor immediately. If there is an individual repair of $350 or more, we will contact the Owner for approval UNLESS, of course it is an emergency item. Emergency items will be automatically approved in order to ensure your property is kept at its best condition with the least amount of expense to the Owner and the least amount of damage to the property. Next we will verify if there is or isn’t a home warranty on the property and call the warranty or our certified vendors to precede with the repairs on the property. For non-emergency repairs, all vendors are given 24 hours to schedule an appointment with the tenant. We follow up with our repairs 2-4 times a week to ensure that repairs are done in a timely manner and that the Owner and Tenant is satisfied with the repairs.
How do you handle evictions?
The rent is due on the 1st of each month and late on the 3rd of each month. We will start the eviction process around the 4th of the month as long as the 4th falls on a business day, otherwise the first business day after the 4th we will file the eviction. We hire a 3rd party company to serve all notices and assist with the legal process to ensure a quicker turnaround time for collecting of owed monies, or getting a tenant out of the property. Whether or not the Property Manager eventually proceeds with a formal eviction depends on the specific circumstances. It is always financially better for all involved if a solution can be worked out. If the tenant has experienced a one-time event which is causing them a financial hardship, and we have had no previous problems with them, it is better for you and the tenant if we give them a chance to catch up, only if there is reason to believe they can do so. If the tenant has demonstrated an ongoing pattern of late payments, broken promises about payments and/or evasiveness, we know from experience that eviction is the best course of action. Each case is unique and the property manager will make a decision based what is best for you and your property in the long run. That said, we always proceed with the legal notices required for eviction regardless of any other factors. We will simply postpone the actual filing of the eviction if the tenant is showing favorable effort toward resolution. Full evictions, when necessary, can often be completed by the fourth week of the month.
Do you use the cheapest maintenance people you can find?
No. Our vendors are fully licensed and insured and are competitively priced in their respective industries and are competent and reliable and turn the jobs quicker. Realty Boulevard has several in-house companies to offer our clients such as cleaning, carpet cleaning, maintenance, general contractor, landscape maintenance and install, fire and water damage restoration. Each in-house company is individually licensed and insured per Nevada Law. Our in-house maintenance company charges $45-$95 per hour, depending on the job and how many people it takes to do the job, plus the cost of supplies. Our other vendors range in price from $90 to $150 per hour. We try to have our in house companies handle most of the multi-trade and make-ready tasks whenever possible. This saves our owners money by cutting down on the number of service calls to the property by different vendors. An owner can opt out of our in-house company services at any time. This is not a requirement, just a perk that we offer our clients.
How informed will I be about what happens with my property?
If something may cause a potential interruption in your ordinary cash flow (loss of tenant or non-emergency repair in excess of $350), we will let you know about it right away via phone call and/or email notification. Other than any special considerations unique to you or your property, our rule of thumb is this; the saying “no news is good news” is most appropriate. Non-emergency items will be communicated with automated notifications from our online software and your monthly statements. And, of course, we encourage you to contact our office anytime you have a question or wish to discuss something.
Do you do any recurring inspections on the properties?
We highly recommend that an owner elect for us to do an interior inspection of our properties approximately every six months. We also have an understanding with our vendors that if they ever do any repairs on a property to advise us of the condition of each property to ensure that the property is being kept up to our standards. This helps us know how your property is being maintained by the tenants and to ensure that we keep your property in the best equitable condition possible. We do use a high quality inspection program that produces a nice, clear PDF report with pictures and information to be used to protect you, your property, the tenant, and us. This way the responsible party is charged accordingly.
How do you price my property?
Because we specialize in the Reno and Sparks area we are very familiar with the going rates for the majority of the areas. We also check other online advertising for properties in the area of each property to see what the competition is. We make sure your rental home is priced according to current market conditions and track the amount of showings and feedback on a weekly basis as well as determine any specials if needed. The goal is to get a property rented for the highest price available quickly, but it is important to not overprice a property. This is where the experience of our Property Manager is so important.
What do you do to prepare a property for the rental process?
It is our job as your Property Manager to make sure your property is presented in a clean and attractive condition to attract the perfect tenant. We require that the carpets and the property be professionally cleaned along with the property being re-keyed, prior to a tenant moving in. By doing this, we can ensure that a tenant will be happy at the time of move in and that a property is kept up to our standards. This is an initial expense to an Owner, however as each tenant moves out, this is a requirement for the tenant upon move-out. If the tenant does not coordinate this, we will gladly do it for them and take it out of their Security Deposit. In the event that a property is also in need of any repairs, cleaning, landscaping etc., we will coordinate with one of our certified, licensed and insured vendors.
How do you handle the accounting?
We have two separate trust accounts. One is for the Tenant’s security deposits and the other is for the Owners, income, reserve and expenses. Our company uses a property management software called AppFolio. Monthly transactions are recorded as they come in and all bills for all of the properties are paid between the 5th through the 9th of each month, then owner checks are distributed between the 10th-15th of every month. We have bookkeepers and accountants that double check and reconcile our accounts on a monthly and annual basis. Realty Boulevard implements multi-level back-up systems to double check and if necessary, corrects any mistakes to ensure proper accounting of all money that is received and paid out. We ask that owners also review their statements and notify us immediately if you have any questions.
How do you qualify a tenant?
Nobody in Reno screens their tenants as well as our Property Management team does. We start the qualification process by personally pre-screening each prospective tenant. We do a full credit check, criminal background check, sex offender check, social number verification, eviction check and we verify their photo identification, employment as well as a rental verification on their last three rentals (If a private individual is listed as previous or current landlord, we will pull the tax records and verify that the person listed actually owns the property or is a licensed property manager). We also do Google and social media checks when/if applicable also. Qualifying a tenant is the most important aspect of the successful management of a rental property. In general, we look at an applicant’s past behavior and assume their future behavior will be the same. There can be exceptions to this rule and we always discuss these types of scenarios with an Owner. We only consult with the Owner if a tenant does not fit our approval criteria or unless agreed upon by the Property Manager. Typically an applicant should demonstrate a history of being a good, responsible tenant or homeowner as well as meeting our credit, criminal and eviction standards. In today’s economy and since we are a full service Real Estate Brokerage also, we understand that many people have or are going through the short sale, foreclosure and/or the bankruptcy process so we cannot judge on a person’s credit score. This is also why we are so thorough on all of the other background checks that we do. We have an outstanding track record with the tenants we have put into our properties.
What is your pet policy?
We always say it is best to say pets on approval for all of our properties unless an Owner or Homeowner’s Association strictly will not allow a pet. This way we do not limit the potential tenants for a property. When we make the decision to accept an applicant with pets, we minimize your risk by qualifying the breed, age, number and size of the pets. We are careful in selecting tenants who have pets to ensure the quality upkeep of your property. There is a refundable deposit per pet and potentially a non-refundable pet fee unless otherwise approved with the Property Manager and Owner.