A traditional quotation on residential rental properties usually means a percentage of monthly rent, plus at least ½ of the first month’s rent when a unit is leased, plus a billing of all expenses associated with advertising, maintaining and repairing each unit. While we are open to a traditional fee structure we have found that virtually all of our current owners have elected to go with our “gold standard” flat rate fee structure because it benefits everyone involved.
A Flat Rate System – “The Gold Standard”
You may be interested in regularizing as much as possible the fees associated with using a professional property manager. Ask about our unique “flat rate” gold standard management. When Todd had other property management companies manage his properties, the traditional fee structure drove him nuts. It seemed to reward the property manager (with ½ months’ rent) for turning his property over each year, and turnovers are expensive. Our flat rate fee structure rewards us for finding and keeping great tenants and when they do turn over we always attempt “quick turns” by using some innovative leasing structures and hard work. Our fees usually turn out to be about the same as property management firms that use the traditional method, but we also include the small maintenance items that owners typically take care of themselves – for instance when tenants let us know their toilet is “broken” – we do not send a plumber or even a handyman out – our maintenance crew goes out to assess the problem. If it was a toilet flapper problem that we solved in 5 minutes – then there is no additional bill for the owner! If it is something we cannot solve in-house, then and only then will we involve a vendor – of course at this point we can help save money because we know much more about the problem. In addition, we only use vendors who do top quality work, know how to get things done in a timely manner and know our standards.
Finally having someone from our team of property managers visit the property to assess a problem also has several other benefits:
1. We can provide appropriate response times for the level of the problem.
2. When we visit we complete a checklist making sure your rental property in is being well taken care of by tenants and by us.
3. Our visit develops a more personal relationship with tenants – they get to know our team as opposed to numerous third party vendors – we find this also helps us take better care of each unit.
We also visit the property proactively two times per year and complete our winter and summer checklists – for instance, as soon as the leaves come off the trees we will be up on all the roofs cleaning them, treating for moss and cleaning out gutters, we also make sure hose bibs are covered, irrigation is appropriately winterized for our area, and the property in general is ready for winter. We reverse the process in spring. . . Typically each of these services would cost more than $150 at other property management but is included in our flat rate system. Let us know if you have questions and remember it is all about your bottom line not top line.