5 problems with Cleveland Oh property management

These are the 5 most common problems with property management in Cleveland, Ohio.

Property management is a difficult industry in Cleveland Oh. We are often the messengers of bad news. Renting is difficult and expenses vary by zip code throughout the Cleveland Oh area. Property management is also a very young industry in the Cleveland area. Only a small percentage of Cleveland landlords currently use a property management company. Of the top five companies in the area, the oldest is only seven years old.

Due to the newness of the industry here in Cleveland, there are some problems that property owners need to be aware of before hiring a property manager. Here are the top 5 problems with Cleveland, Ohio property management.

  1. Lack of accountability. Unless you are following your property manager around making sure they are doing what they say they are doing, there is no way to know for sure. This creates an overall lack of accountability. We work to eliminate that with our property owners through the use of surveys, photos, videos, and inspections, as  well as provide regular reports and statements, as well as inspection services. We take the extra step to demonstrate accountability.
  2. Lack of fiduciary. All property managers are supposed to be licensed, but that is often not what you will find. Fiduciary care to all clients is sadly not happening. In many cases, it is someone who owns some properties and decides it would be easy enough to also manage other properties. However, they are not giving the same level of care to all properties. We use systems to make sure all properties are getting the same level of care. Our landlords also have dedicated representatives that act as their direct point of contact.
  3. Lack of license. I said earlier that many people offering management services in the area are doing it without a license. A quick check of Craigslist will verify that for you. Managing properties without a license is highly illegal.  If caught the individual will be charged with a misdemeanor and receive a fine of $1,000 per incident, which adds up quickly. This can lead to you losing a lot of money. Not to mention, working without a license is not professional and does not offer accountability or fiduciary responsibility.
  4. Lack of communication. This is a common problem between property managers and landlords because the management company has not created a system to monitor and encourage communication. We guarantee your dedicated representative will respond to calls by the end of business on the following day. We believe the more communication the better.
  5. No real process. Those new to the business quickly realize that without solid systems in place to manage every aspect of property management, things get out of hand quickly. This is a very complicated industry. The bigger the company gets, the more difficult it becomes.We deliver peace of mind through our systems. We utilize management software, maintenance software, project management software and more to ensure everything runs smoothly and efficiently for everyone.

We are always looking at our current processes to determine if there is something more or better we can be doing. If you have any suggestions or feedback, we are always happy to hear. If you are a property owner in Cleveland Oh, feel free to contact us with 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!

 

 

Should I have someone manage my rental properties?

rental properties

Investment property comes with unavoidable risk.

This is a question I hear a lot. People want to know if they should manage their rental properties themselves or hire a property manager. In order to answer that question, I have a couple questions for you.

Do you have real estate experience and can you handle high stress situations? Managing rental properties is a stressful job. Are you the kind of person that can stay calm and level-headed in a stressful situation? Can you manage emergencies calmly? Can you keep your cool when someone is trying your patience? These are some of the attributes you need to deal with tenants on a day-to-day basis.

Tenants bring drama and have ways of attempting to control the situation. They may call in the middle of the night or make constant demands. They may try to guilt you into accepting their excuses for not paying rent or for making concessions you wouldn’t normally agree to. Can you deal with these emotions? A manager will insulate you from possible mental and emotional abuse.

Having  a manager helps with these emotions by dealing with the tenants directly. Managers create a buffer between you and the chaos. However, there are some emotions a manager can not help alleviate.

Can you handle the emotions that come with risk and property ownership?  A manager can help deal with the tenants but they cannot take out the risks involved. This is addressed in Should I be a Landlord? There will always be risk in owning rental properties. Things happen. Bad tenants happen. Property damage happens. natural disasters happen. As property managers we work to decrease many of the risks, but we cannot promise they will never happen. You have to be able to deal with the risks that come along with owning rentals.

Do you have the time to manage your properties?  We take care of the day-to-day needs allowing you to use your time in other ways. We have several successful systems in place that allow us to manage a multitude of properties seamlessly.

Are you a control freak? We see this a lot with landlords that have been in the business for years and have been managing their own properties. They want us to do everything their way, but that won’t work for us. Our systems work and to try to manage different properties using different systems or procedures would be hectic and take way too much time. When landlords decide to work with us, they need to take that leap of faith and allow us to manage them our way using our systems. If this is something you can not let go of, you may be better offer hiring an employee to help you with the day-to-day work instead of hiring a property manager.

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 to do to get rid of the bad smells from mold or pet urine.

Smell

Smell, Smell, Smell

The smell of mold is one of the most distinct in the world. Just last week there was a small issue in the office where some of our carpet got a little wet from rain. We get these calls all the time after rain. What do you do when you have something like that happen? We don’t like the types of health issues that can occur when you allow mold or pet smells to linger. That is why we use an Ozone Machine when drying out a wet area. An ozone machine works in the following way:

1.) Ozone, O3, is like peroxide. It has an extra oxygen molecule and wants to separate from the core bond.
2.) The third molecule separates and will then kill everything in it’s wake. Bacteria and Mold have no chance.

A step further

We don’t end there. We also odor eaters and other chemicals to kill off any remaining issues.

Have something that you like to use or want us to try. Leave a comment below.

Help! My Cleveland Ohio properties have statement discrepencies

Cleveland Ohio property managers deal with very diverse properties and tenants.

Statement discrepancies happen. There are a lot of moving parts when it come to property management, and property managers throughout the Cleveland, Ohio area are working with a very diverse group of tenants and properties.

Although it may seem easy enough to add up how much you should be getting in rent and subtract the expenses; there is more to it than that. Rent doesn’t always come in at the start of the month; tenants pay late or make arrangements with partial payments. While some expenses are known at the start of the month, they can also come up throughout the month. These two factors will alter the amount you may think you should be getting.

Especially for owners that are out of town, making reference to past statements can easily get confusing. We have worked to eliminate any possible confusion. We do this by first making sure everyone is looking at the same statement. Sometimes amended statements are sent out when things change, and the problem may be that the property owner is looking at an outdated statement without realizing it.

There are two things we do to get rid of confusion. First, we will email the current statement while on the phone before trying to sort out the problem. Making sure both the property manager and the property owner are looking at the same statement is essential.

Another option we have is doing a screen share through join.me. This allows us to send you a link with a code that will allow you to see our computer screen. Then we can walk you through the statement and answer any questions while showing you were the answers are coming from on the statement.

We firmly believe that communication is the key. The better communication we have the less chance there will be for misunderstandings.

If you have rental property in the Cleveland Ohio area, please give us a call. 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!

Should I be a landlord in Cleveland, Ohio?

Cleveland, Ohio is a very unique market

Do you have what it takes to be a landlord? That is an important question to ask yourself before you start buying rental properties. Unfortunately, there are a lot of courses out there encouraging people with the benefits of property ownership without explaining the risks involved.

Cleveland, Ohio is a very diverse area with a lot of different zip codes, and the zip code you buy property in will make a huge difference in what your experience is as a landlord. Do you know the area you are looking at buying properties? Again, there are courses that make being an out of the area landlord sound glamorous, but you are taking a real risk buying properties in an area you’ve never seen before.

Are you a worry wart? If the answer is yes then you should not be a landlord. You probably should not be in business at all. Stick with safe investments like bonds. You won’t have the potential for large returns, but you also won’t have the risk of a total loss.

Do you have financial limitations? For many, they go into real estate with no extra income. Don’t invest all of your retirement savings into real estate. Yes, there are success stories of people who spent their last hundred dollars to get into the business and ended up millionaires, but that is not the norm, and there is a lot more to the story than what you may hear.

If you have no cash reserves, you are taking a significant risk. A single natural disaster or sewer collapse could financial destroy you. You’ll be left waiting for the insurance to pay out to make the needed repairs, or the insurance will refuse the claim, which can happen, and then you have to pay out of pocket. You MUST have cash reserve for the worst case scenario.

Often times people are blinded by the potential and fail to see the risk. You need to have an investment mindset, which means you think long-term. Can you do that?

Can you put 20% “true” equity down on a property. Housing prices are not always what they seem and properties do not always follow national trends. I’ve seen landlords try to sell a house “as is” because they are mad about damage made by a tenant. What they don’t realize is that $5,000 worth of damage can drop the value of the home $50,000. This may not sound fair and it may not be fair, but it is the reality of the situation. If buyers have to put work into the home, they are going to want it for well below market value.

You need to understand the Cleveland market and know what you are getting into. Otherwise, do not invest in Cleveland and don’t be a landlord.

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 OUR systems and expertise can help the CLEVELAND, OH Landlord.

Systems

Our Systems at Work

We want nothing more than for you to feel secure in your investment. We differentiate ourselves not only through our computer systems but also by educating ourselves as part of out T.E.E. system. Each month we meet and discuss how we can improve our systems with the following:

1.) Reducing delays or waste.
2.) Employing sound scatter-site management
3.) Providing you peace of mind.

Do you have more questions or concerns? Please call us and let us know how we are doing at 440-220-7300

What to do if you are the victim of threats or abuse.

Abuse

Protecting yourself in the case of Abuse

This is a reality that a lot of us don’t ever want to face. The possibility that someone may hurt us whether through abuse or threats. Realty Trust Services does not condone abuse or threats of any sort between tenants, landlords and tenants, or outside persons. WE TAKE YOUR SAFETY SERIOUSLY. Here are some steps that you can take to protect yourself.

What is Abuse

The state of Ohio has a lot of laws that define what abuse is. They can be found online here:

Sexually Oriented
Ohio Laws and Rules

Abuse
Adult Protective Services

What you can do to help yourself and others

The first thing that you want to do if you are getting abused is get yourself out of the situation. IMMEDIATELY contact your local police department. You have the right to be protected. There are also several different places where you can find further assistance. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can contact them here:

Phone Number

1-800-799-7233

Website

The National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Realty Trust Services wants to make certain each of our tenants feel safe and secure at their home. It is of paramount importance that after a long day of work or taking care of the kids that you come home to a safe and secure place. YOU ARE IMPORTANT TO US.

Paperwork to be filed

There are a lot of laws that cover you in the case of something happening. Here are some links to help you:

Stalking and Sexually Oriented Offenses

Domestic Violence

Juvenile Protection Forms

There are many tools and places that you can contact in the case of domestic violence, abuse, or threats. Realty Trust Services is committed to having a safe living environment for each of it’s tenants.

Our End of Year accounting makes preparing your taxes easy.

Taxes

End of Year Taxes

There are some people that enjoy doing their taxes, I am not one of them. We simplify your taxes each year by providing summaries including your expenses that you can easily give to your accountant. We want you to have the piece of mind that comes with knowing that our systems simplify the process of filing taxes each year.

Please feel free to call us at any time at 440-220-7300

Why you need a GREAT collector for your property.

Collector

Why you need a Collector

When you first got into real estate investment it may not have occurred to you that it wasn’t always going to be passive or that you would have to be a collector. Real people require real attention and too often they want to make their problems, your problems. Collecting on your investment can be difficult and at times emotionally taxing. Part of what we do here at Realty Trust Services is take care of the following:

1.) Do the collections
2.) Making the phone calls
3.) Making the 3 Day Notices

We take away the emotions of it while also providing the technical and legal expertise needed. We remove the time consuming, form filing, and give you peace of mind.

Talk to us. We are available to answer your questions about being a collector and what we can do for you. Give us a call at 440-227-7300. You’ll be glad you did.

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

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