Category Archives for "Property Leasing"

Cleveland Ohio landlords have flexibility to sell, rent, or lease option

We can rent out your house while helping you sell it.

Many Cleveland Ohio landlords do not set out to be landlords. In many cases, the property owner needs to move out of the area for work or family reasons and doesn’t have enough time to sell their house before they need to leave. In those cases, many people turn to renting to cover costs. Or depending on the market, they decide to rent until the value of the the home increases.

In these situations, there are options, and we can help with all of them. You can continue renting the property and use a property manager to handle the day-to-day for you. We can help make arrangements to sell the property. The property can be marketed for sale while also rented. That way the rent is covering costs, while the house is still on the market. Learn more reading Help! I’ve been transferred out of state but can’t sell my home.

The third option that you may not know about is a lease option. This is a combination of renting and selling. In a lease option, the renters lease the property with the intent to buy after a predetermined period of time.Many Cleveland Ohio landlords understand the risks and difficulties of the market. Regardless of whether you decide to keep the property as a rental or sell it to get out of the rental business, we understand, and we can help.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

 

How Do We Lower Risk For Our Clients and What Warranties Do We Offer?

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Lowering the risk

The question that always comes up is “How do we reduce risk for our clients?”We serve two different groups here at Realty Trust Services, Landlords and Tenants. Landlords often take on a great deal of risk whenever they get a new tenant. We reduce that risk by getting into the following three attributes of good tenants:

1.) Do they make their payments on time?
2.) Do they do their due diligence when making payments?
3.) What is their income?

We could also reduce risk by charging large deposits, but ultimately that doesn’t help when it comes to a new tenant. I can charge a very high deposit or I can charge no deposit with a tenant that I trust. This is part of those CORE values that help us to reduce risk. How do we get there?

Reducing risk through our Core Values

So what do we do to reduce risk for you, our clients? We build a foundation of trust which is at the core of our THREE values:

1.) Transparency. We remain transparent to you throughout the process of managing your property, before we manage it, and in the case you move on from us after we manage your property. We understand that this is an investment for you today and tomorrow.

2.) Empathy. Understanding you. Putting ourselves into your situation and what you want. Empathy is Key to understanding who you are as a client.

3.) Education. We constantly strive for improvement. That means that we are constantly educating ourselves. On a monthly basis we are reading books as a group that will help us with the integral systems that better serve you.

The Warranties that we offer

Our warranties come down to one thing: 100% satisfaction guaranteed. We want you to be satisfied with the services that we offer to you. Our Warranties are:

1.) We start with a 1 Year Management Contract, however you may opt-out at any time with a simple 14 day notice. We only ask that you do so within a 14 days of the end of the month so that when the next billing cycle for your tenant comes the transition is smooth.

2.) A tenant warranty that is pro-rated based on the length of time your tenant lives on the property. Does your tenant live there only six months? Than your charge is 50% of the fee. Does your tenant only live there for three months? Then you pay 25%. It’s that simple.

3.) If we are unable to lease your property we will waive the next management fee under the following two conditions:

A.) 30 days after renovations have been completed or
B.) 30 days after the last tenant vacated the property.

Our 5 Point Service Guarantee

1.) All Correspondence will be responded to within 1 business day from your portfolio manager or Andy himself. If you call us on a Friday we will respond to you by the end of Business on Monday.

2.) Money will be wired to your account on time, every time. We do weekly payments via ACH and bi-monthly payments to owners via check. Guaranteed.

3.) No hidden surcharges. This ties in with one of our core values, Transparency. All of our charges are explained both in your contract and on our Pricing page. We will also send notification of maintenance costs to you.

4.) We offer 24 hour maintenance requests. That includes the ability to reach us at any time within 24 hours including for emergencies.

5.) If it comes down to it we handle the evictions. We will pay for the costs up front and then you can pay us back. We will use the Ohio Revised Code to evict tenants and use the proper methods to evict when absolutely necessary.

If at any time you feel as if though we have not met our 5 Point service guarantee you can simply request a refund on our monthly management fee.

If you want any more information please feel free to contact us in the comments below or by contacting us directly via phone at 440-220-7300

What do you do to lease my house?

We offer a complete marketing program to reduce vacancies.

 

A common question we hear is “what do you do to lease my house?” There are a lot of things we do to market houses, and I could provide you with an extensive list. However, if you want to see what we do to lease houses, go to our website and look up a listing. Then go to Google and search for that property.

You will find the listing is everywhere. We do something with our listings called syndication, which gets it out to 30 to 40 websites right away and it expands from there. We do everything we can to ensure each and every listing is as visible as possible. In addition to syndication, we utilize the MLS listing.

Complete Marketing: We believe in what we call complete marketing. This approach includes pre-market a property if the tenant is still living there, but will be moving. Property marketing includes videos, panoramic images, and 3-D tours. We get as much positive media out there as we can until the property is rented. Approximately 30% of the time, we have the property rented before the previous tenant is moved out. Creating the 3-D tours offers a huge advantage because once created, we can re-use it later during pre-marketing. This can dramatically reduce vacancy times.

We also work to improve our understanding of how people perceive the property. This gives us the opportunity to make the changes needed to make the property more appealing to a broader range of individuals. We are consistently looking at what is and is not working to reduce vacancies and provide better overall service.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

 

How much rental deposit do you collect?

People often ask if we collect a rental deposit of the first and last month’s rent. We don’t, and I’ll explain why.

Collecting the first and last month’s rent does not provide a better safety net. The safety net you have is what money is left. That is the rental deposit. There are many key points you need to know about deposits explained in What Cleveland Ohio landlords need to know about large deposits and deposit accounting. Be sure to read about how to handle large deposits.

We collect the first month’s rent and a rental deposit. This is pretty normal in the business. Sometimes, we run specials with lower deposit amounts for those that qualify. With the property owners permission. Qualifying for a reduced deposit as based on the background check. The goal is to get better tenants that will act more responsibly towards the property. Tenants who will take ownership in the look and condition of the home.

The tenant is responsible for damages regardless of how much of a deposit we collect. When damages exceed the deposit, the tenant is responsible. I recommend choosing a quality tenant over a large deposit. Too often, landlords think a large deposit is the best protection. Careful screening can reduce damages and eviction costs.

The goal is to get good tenants that won’t damage the house or stop paying their rent. We make sure to fill properties, and your business remains profitable,  Although sometimes evictions are unavoidable, careful screening reduces the risk. If you have any questions about our policy towards rental deposits, please ask.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

 

How do You Ensure that You Find the Best Tenants?

Finding the diamond in the rough with tenant screening.

How do we ensure we are finding you the best tenants for the property?  That is a great question because bad tenants can cost you a lot of money. They can damage the property, not pay their rent, and force us to evict them. All of which cost a lot of money and lead to vacancies.

  1. Marketing. The first thing we do is market the property. By actively marketing the property, we can get a selection of applicants. This gives us the opportunity to choose the best tenants. Then  we screen all applicants.
  2. Screening. When someone is interested in renting a property, we have them fill out an application. We then screen out the ones you do not want living in your property. We have an extensive screening checklist. You can learn more about it by going to 7 Steps to Flawless Tenant Screening.
  3. Landlord verification. Although many landlords will debate the merits of landlord verifications, we believe they are an essential part of the screening process when available. Go to Problems with Landlord Verification in Screening and the Solution to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of landlord verification, but more importantly, how we mitigate the disadvantages when screening tenants.
  4. Manual checks. Because we take the screening process very seriously, we manually check all local criminal and eviction records. Why is it so important to check criminal and eviction records manually?   Another great question. You can follow the link to read more extensively on the topic. In short, we learned through experience that national background check data bases are imperfect. While they are still a useful tool, they are not sufficient to stand on their own. We also check with the local courts for any recent filings or ones missed.

Tenant screening and marketing work in combination to ensure we have a selection of good tenants to choose from for each and every property we manage, We have several videos and blog posts available on the many things we do to market properties, but a good one to start with is My home is not leasing – some tips for better lease marketing.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

 

Review of top 5 Cleveland Oh property managers

We want to be your Cleveland Oh area property management company.

When choosing a property management company, it is really important to find the one that will be the best fit for you and your needs. There are many factors that can vary from one company to the next. For example, maintenance, fees, payment policies, management systems, etc. There is no right or wrong way to do things, but there are pros and cons to each. Only you can decide which property managers are best for you.

Clearly, we hope to be able to serve you and meet your needs. However, here are some other property management companies serving the Cleveland, Ohio area that you may want to look into.

  1. David Terbeek with RE/MAX. I have had many interactions with David and found him to be very professional. He is a member of National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), which is an industry standard. Being a part of that indicates a level of professionalism and learning.
  2. Seller’s Realty – property management division. I have heard no complaints about them. Although I cannot believe everything I hear, I wouldn’t recommend a company that I consistently heard complaints or very negative reviews about. That is not the case with Seller’s Realty; they know what they are doing.
  3. Howard Hannah Property Management. While Howard Hannah is obviously not a new company, they are fairly new to the property management industry. However, they have a solid platform, which is being managed by Jared Zack.
  4. Cleveland Property Management. The are one of the oldest big company’s in the Cleveland area. I heard the sold part of the company, but they are still in property management. They are experienced and professional. I have not heard any complaints about them. In general, they are a solid choice.
  5. Bob Kollet with RE/MAX. Bob is a good person. He manages a small portfolio, and has good experience for a small company.

If you are just starting to look around for a property management company, be sure to spend some time reading my blog and watching videos. I do my best to answer all the most common questions we get asked. However, don’t hesitate to look at some of these options as well. Also, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We would be happy to sit down with you and answer all your questions.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

 

My home is not leasing: tips for better lease marketing

Our marketing efforts are proven effective.

 

We get this a lot. Someone calls and tells us they have a property that has been sitting on the market for a year and nothing is happening. We ask, are they marketing the property? The owner responds that there is a “for rent” sign. We ask if they’ve gotten any calls on it. They tell us that they call their realtor or manager about it, but don’t get a clear response or any response at all.

If this story sounds familiar to you or it is your story, please call us.

We will bring energy to your properties and actively work to reduce vacancies.

There has to be a starting point, for us, that will be sitting down with you and discussing the rental prices to ensure they are marketing at a price that makes sense.

We spend thousands on marketing. Way more than most individual landlords can possibly spend because we can combine our efforts over all the properties we manage. We also spend our marketing dollars on the most effective marketing tactics possible.

Our first line of marketing is our website, ohiorental.info, which gets thousands of visitors every month. We also pay for syndication. This gets our property listings out to dozens of websites. We follow up with every lead on every property. Our marketing program has proven effective day in and day out. Also, we add to and improve our efforts anytime we discover a new or better option. We regularly look at our efforts to make changes as needed. We also use MLS, which is massive and Craig’s List to provide constant exposure to properties.

Our property owners get weekly activity reports. You will never go weeks or months without hearing from us. Weekly reports show things like how many page views a property listing received. They show how many inquiries the property got and how many showings were scheduled. We also provide advice on possible changes based on the information provided.

We found that roughly 30% of the time, we have a deposit on a property before the previous tenants even move out. In addition to our marketing efforts, tenant screening is an essential tool we use to reduce potential damage to properties and reduce vacancies.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

How will you rent my house?

We use the best online tools available to find tenants quickly and reduce vacancies.

There are many things we do to lessen vacancy times and quickly rent the properties we manage. However, one of the things we do that makes us distinct is that we market properties using the MLS.

There are some exceptions to this, but almost every property we represent is marketed using the MLS. The MLS gives the properties better exposure to all other real estate professionals. We share our commission, so it does not cost you extra. While many property management companies do not utilize the MLS, the ones that do charge the commission to the property owner. We found an amazing payoff doing it our way. The property rents much faster because we have broader exposure.

We also understand the importance of how properties are presented to potential renters. We use high-quality photos including wide angle photos and panoramic photos. These provide great views of even small spaces.

We offer walk-through video tours. These provide viewers with an accurate portrayal of what the property looks like including the exterior and the neighborhood. You can learn more about our video tours by reading How to use video to lease your property faster. 

We have recently started offering 3D tours of properties. We have a professional person with the equipment and know-how to create fantastic 3D tours. These are hugely beneficial, not only for the present but the future. These 3D tours provide a layout of the property for future listings. Layouts include measurements of each room, which people greatly appreciate. The 3D tours are not 100% at this time, but will be soon.

Another strategy we adhere to is exposing the house as early as possible. Mostly, as soon as we know a house will be available for rent, we start marketing it. Even if the tenant is still living there, we market it online and offer limited group showings. About 30% of the time, we get a deposit for a property before the tenant even moves out. This is not always possible depending on a broad range of factors including the amount of work that needs to be done. We follow a detailed procedure and checklist to ensure every property is clean, maintained, and ready to rent. Learn more about that process by reading What needs to be done to my house before it is ready to rent? 

We use a scheduling software that allows us to send information to multiple websites at once, and it allows us to track leads. We manually follow-up with each lead to get feedback on the property and make adjustments as we go. Being open to get feedback enables us to see how potential tenants view the property. This offers significant insight into possible changes that would make the house rent faster.

A property should never sit on the market for a long period. We understand that vacancy are costly to the property owner, and it is our goal to make property ownership as profitable as possible. There is real work done on a weekly basis to reduce vacancies and ensure all properties are properly cared for and marketed.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

What are your Cleveland Ohio property management fees?

We utilize the best available resources to make your properties profitable.

What do you have to pay for and what do you get in return? This is what you need to know when working with a property management company. Because our fees do change from time to time, I’m going to tell you what kinds of fees we charge and what you get for those fees, opposed to giving you actual numbers. You can check out our full list of fees on our Price List

We have a management fee – this is currently a flat rate based on the number of units. However, we are currently considering changing this one. The property management fee covers most everything we do once there is a tenant in the rental unit.

This includes:

  • monthly rent collection
  • fielding tenant calls
  • maintaining a 24-hour call center to handle anything that comes in
  • monthly accounting
  • help with legal questions
  • statement portals for you and the tenants
  • facilitate inspections
  • offer weekly direct deposit
  • customize financial statements
  • our years of experience in the local market and ongoing training to stay current on changes in the industry and how to best serve you.

We do charge the tenant late fees when they do not pay their rent on time and we keep those to compensate for the extra time spent collecting the rent. While you do not pay those, you will see them on your financial reports, so it is important to understand what that is.

We have a lease renewal fee. We go through a process that starts 90 days before the end of the lease to work witht hetentnat to get them to renew their lease for another year. Move outs and vacant units are very costly to the property owner, so it is our goal to keep the tenants as long as possible. We charge a flat rate renewal fee to cover that.

We also have a leasing fee of one month’s rent. This covers the marketing, online ads, videos, images, virtual tours, actual tours, and so on.

We do have other fees that are charged as needed and are outlined on our pricing page.  You can check those out and contact us if you have any questions.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

What needs to be done before leasing my house

We utilize the best available resources to make your properties profitable.

With everything we do there is a process and a checklist. This helps us to get things done quickly and effectively without the worry of forgetting something. This includes a checklist with everything to do before leasing your house.

When a tenant moves out.. the first thing we do is a move out inspection and security deposit accounting. The move out inspection allows us to determine the condition of the property compared to the property’s condition when the tenant moved in. After determining if there is any damage, we prepare the security deposit accounting, which MUST be provided to the tenant within 30 days of them moving out by law.

The next step before leasing making needed repairs. This step is important to us. Some property owners prefer to not make any repairs as a means of saving money and simply charging less rent since the property is not in perfect condition. However, our philosophy is the better condition the property is in, the better quality tenants we attract. Better quality tenants take better care of the property while they live there and there will be less damage. It creates a positive cycle.

Once repairs are made, the property is thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom. We have an amazing cleaning person on staff, who follows a detailed checklist. We’ve received plenty of feedback on how well she does. Making sure the property is thoroughly cleaned has a big impact. People will pass on a property that is dirty. It suggests that it was not well cared for.

We also paint. Any rooms or walls that are marred or too dirty are painted. Touch-ups never work because you can always tell. At the very least, we paint the entire wall. We generally go with neutral colors, but we do experiment with accent walls. Again, the better quality the apartment is, the better quality tenants we attract. We also make sure there are window blinds throughout in a neutral color.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

 

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