Tag Archives for " Cleveland oh property management "

Hard work is not enough!

Hard work is a good thing! But it is not enough for us to develop as much as we are able to. How many times have we seen somebody clocking hours of work along with overtime in order to rise quickly through the ranks and acquire better opportunities within a company. They typically get promoted quickly and then plateau and stop advancing.

Taking a break from work will also help you grow.

This is a common occurrence, and it’s fueled by the misconception that working as hard as you can, as long as you can, will yield the most results in your life. This is wrong. Hard work is not enough. And sometimes, it could even become detrimental. Some people even become workaholics based on this concept, and it completely wrecks every single aspect of their life – at times this yield results at work, but more often than not, it will just mess your life up.

Part of the issue is that much of what you need to be successful lies outside of you and in your ability to make those around you be empowered to create their own success. If you focus is on your own work you may not be able to see how what you are doing is effecting the net productivity of the company or team you are working with in.

A balance needs to exist. People should give themselves time to rest, time to experience life outside work. Time to grow. When you take your time to do these things, you will start developing more as an individual, you will sleep better, you will think better, and you will allow yourself the time to evaluate your life from a perspective than will procure your growth both inside and outside your job. It is a choice that only you can make, and it will in return lead you to better decision making at work, to more creativity, and to bring a positive energy back with you into your workplace. When exchanging these new assets with your colleagues you will notice how things will start flowing differently, and they will flow in favor of those things you want to accomplish.

So, remember, overworking yourself will definitely not help you be more successful, at least in the long run. Overgrowing yourself will!

Are you fit for property management with Realty Trust Services?

When onboarding an owner as well as after serving an owner we periodically evaluate whether we are actually a good fit for you as a property management company or not. It’s important that we do this in order to make sure you as a client or potential client are best served.

Hiring a property management company means more than just paying fees and forgetting about your property.

Here is what we look for as we partner with you to manage your property:

1) BUSINESS MINDSET – An ideal client for us would be somebody that possesses a business mindset; or at least somebody who can partially adopt this mindset. By business mindset I mean being able to cope with the inherent risks and stress that comes along with owning a business. We are aware that lots of clients don’t begin with this mindset, maybe because of the circumstances in which they obtained their property (maybe a relative left it for them or they weren’t able to sell a vacant home); but at least a partial paradigm shift must be attained if you are to own a business of any type. The property investment environment is full of things you can’t control – people breaking promises, economy changes, tax law changes- so even if we deliver peace of mind for you today, if you can’t stop worrying about what might happen tomorrow and if this affects you negatively, you might not be a good fit for this type of business.  Also as part of a business mind set you need to see your rental property as an business that requires capital investment in order to grow it and keep it up.

2) AFFORD PROPERTY AND MANAGEMENT COSTS – Another characteristic that would be a good fit for us is somebody who needs property management services and can afford the expenses that come with maintaining a property. A person without any knowledge of property management and investment properties would definitely need our services. But, there are also people that, even if they have the knowledge and experience related to property management (collections, dealing with tenants, going to court, etc), still come to us looking for our services, maybe because they are professionals who lack the time to do it themselves, or maybe because it’s just comfortable for their lifestyle. It’s really important to also keep in mind that after all of the initial expenses of actually acquiring a property, certain maintenance expenses will come into play eventually. Some things need to be fixed and given regular touch-ups if you are to attract good tenants and keep the property profitable. And remember our priority will always be to give you peace of mind as an owner, but we also have families to support, so we need clients that are not only willing, but also able to pay for our services.

3) AREA –  If you own a property in a C-, D or F areas we will likely not be willing to manage it. This is because for us our ability to work for you is tied in with our profitability as a company.  Our largest expense is labor.  We did a time study and found that low end property will have 20 times the amount of service calls and inquiries as a high end property per unit which also means our labor costs multiply by that factor as well. Considering that this is our number one expense we simply can not afford to manage properties that have 20 times expense while also likely making less income.  Frankly you as a client won’t enjoy the reduced service we would have to provide to survive under those circumstances. This is one reason why offer a flat rate management fee module because we want to incentivize those people with higher end, higher rent properties to work with us.

4) YOUR SYSTEM NOT OURS – Another big N.O. for us is when a prospective client that already has a managing system in place (maybe because of their experience or other circumstances) wants to use our services but this person wants us to follow the system already in place. We have our own systems, and they are the foundation of how we are able to deliver a quality service and offer the rates we are able to offer while being profitable. We improve on these systems continuously, and having to adopt a second set of systems, on top of ours will only diminish our efficiency, and double the time we need to get things done for you. Along the same lines if you have your own maintenance we may be able to work with you but if we have issues with your maintenance we will typically have to either take it over ourselves or give you notice as a client.

5) WILLING AND ABLE TO MAINTAIN PROPERTY – I already alluded to this but if a property is not maintained it attracts bad tenants or none at all. Then the bad tenants do more damage and you find yourself in a downward spiral with your valuable investment. Come hell or high water you need to maintain your investments at a high level to see the highest return and sometimes that means acknowledging your return adjusted for maintenance might be lower than you expected in the short term.

All these items boil down to our desire to accomplish our goal as a property management company provide you with peace of mind as an owner. If a factor exists that we think might get in the way of that it’s better for both parties to not do business with each other rather than settle for less than optimal results for all parties.

Should I hire a property manager that sells properties as well?

A question that is commonly presented to us is whether a landlord should work with a property manager that also sells properties, or one that only specializes in property management. Here in Ohio, to become a property management company you’re required to be a real estate brokerage. Unless you’re planning on breaking the law, a property manager needs to be a licensed broker, or there at least need to be a licensed agent working under the oversight of a licensed broker and in the name of a licensed broker.

At Realty Trust Services, LLC, we have both licensed and unlicensed individuals. We have people that exclusively do administrative work that don’t need a license. Still, our goal is to get as many people licensed as possible; this goes in hand with our belief that the more licensed and fully prepared people we have in the company, the more it elevates the company as a whole – as well as the level of service and professionalism we are able to provide.

Some companies delve into both property management and property sales.

There’s a world of difference between a brokerage that takes care of property management and one that sells properties. The amount of administrative work, taking care of maintenance, leases, tenants… this is a huge burden that falls on the company that focuses on property management, and it requires a long-term customer service-oriented mindset, in contrast to a sale-by-sale oriented mindset that focuses mainly on completing a transaction that is usually associated with a sales focused brokerage.

With all this information on the table, we would normally suggest that a property manager specialized in your needs (either sales or management) is what you should be aiming for. Instead of one that try to take care of both tasks equally. Nevertheless, at Realty Trust Services, LLC we do have members of our team that are specialized in property sales, with years of experience under their sleeve.

In the end it’s your choice when it comes to which type of property manager you want, and it will probably depend on your specific needs as well, but we sure hope this information is useful at the time you make that decision.

The lean process improvement tool for our property management company

A property management company is like a clockwork machine. If a gear or a cogwheel malfunction or become damaged, the whole system is affected on different levels. So, continuous maintenance is required. I’d like to talk briefly about one of the tools we’ve implemented in order to maintain and improve our quality of service, as well as boost our efficiency as a whole.

Small improvements lead to big improvements.

We call this self-improvement system the Lean Process Spreadsheet. And it is what it sounds like, it’s a huge spreadsheet, filled with a list of all of the issues related to bad service, errors or things that are just not working. The team has access to this spreadsheet, and they can add details pertaining the things that need improvement, follow up, and full fixes for them. In a similar way, once a solution for a problem is offered, the team is able to offer feedback on this, make additional adjustments or simply give a kudos to whoever fixed the problem. We based this method off a book we read, “2 Second Lean”, and we’ve found it very useful and efficient for scoping our set of processes and finding small things that need improvement.

This is just one way of maintaining a good level of service to our clients, and keep ourselves as productive as possible, but we believe that both in and out of work it’s always important to take a look at the big picture: whenever you fix or improve something -no matter how small or insignificant you might think it is, it will always find a way to somehow improve something larger than itself in the long run.

So, remember… little things matter.

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!

 

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!

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

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