Qualities of a Great Property Manager
Whether in the residential or commercial realm, property management is a vital service for many homeowners looking to rent. At Froerer, our property management service has been rated the tops in Utah for years, and we have over 100 years of providing these services at a high level.
What are some of the qualities that go into making a great property manager? There are several that most people identify as important when they consider a manager – let’s look at a few.
Property managers will regularly meet confrontation without warning, and one with a cool head and a positive attitude will have a higher chance of success. A good manager needs to be able to face even tough decisions with a smile and a good attitude – those who resort to negativity will quickly find unhappy tenants. A manager needs to use generally positive terms while avoiding sounding disingenuous or sarcastic, which also won’t play well for tenants.
Attention to detail is vital for a good manager, in several areas. A manager needs to be a great listener and cater to the needs of tenants, and also needs to be good at spotting signs of trouble or issues that need to be handled before they become more serious. In addition, the property manager needs to be attentive to the needs of both the tenant and the homeowner.
It’s always easier to work with someone you can relate to, right? A property manager will deal with items that relate to the everyday lives of tenants and homeowners alike, and someone they can empathize with will go a long way.
When problems arise with a home, the property manager is usually the first person who will be dealing with them. These will often be stressful situations, and the manager needs to be able to respond calmly and rationally. The manager’s job is to calm the worries of tenants or homeowners, not contribute to them.
For more on what makes a great property manager, or to find out about our services in residential or commercial property management, speak to the pros at Froerer today.
Why Is The Utah Property Management Industry Growing?
3 Questions You Must Ask As A Potential Property Manager
The real estate industry in Utah has changed dramatically over the last 5 years. One of the unforeseen changes to the market has been the explosion of property management companies. Many real estate professionals have tried to find creative ways to maintain clientele or to create a supplemental income to offset diminished annual commissions.
As a result, many real estate agents and brokerages have jumped haphazardly into the professional arena of Utah property management. In many of these situations, a real estate agent can bite off more than they can chew and can actually damage the relationships they have with clients that they were trying to protect by getting into the Utah property management industry in the first place. Like any job, there is a right way and a wrong way to approach it. If you are looking into Utah property management as a possibility for yourself or your property, there are a few questions you will want to answer first before making a decision:
Utah Property Management Question 1: How will you advertise your inventory?
Are you familiar with the different advertising methods that will allow your property to be seen both locally and nationally? The longer a rental property sits vacant the more likely you will have an angry owner and less chances of keeping them as a client. It is very important to know what marketing channels and mediums you have available to make sure your client’s property gets maximum exposure locally, and nationally.
Utah Property Management Question 2: Do you have a property management agreement ready?
Do you have a well-written legal agreement that will protect you in worst case scenarios? If not, you may be able to slip by with many of your dealings. It’s the deal that goes terribly wrong, and you have no paperwork to back up your actions, that will cause you to regret you didn’t take care of a proper management contract. Spend the extra money, and have a good attorney put together a contract that protects you and your client.
Utah Property Management Question 3: Are there other options besides doing property management?
What other options are out there besides you doing the property management for your clients? There are many professional property management companies in Utah that have been in the business for many years, and many of these property managers offer a referral fee back to an agent for a new property management account and will keep that agent’s information on file for when the client looks to sell the property. This can be a great option – if you are not feeling equipped to handle the property management needs of your client, this may be a better option for you. If you have clients with Utah property management needs, this is a quick and easy way to get involved in the business profitably, and serve the needs of your client.
Over the last 5 years, Utah property management has definitely grown due to home prices decreasing, the ability for new buyers to get a loan has become more difficult, and the need for housing has continued to grow. Finding a solution that fits your needs and those of your clients will be essential to growing your real estate business in the future, and for many, it’s the difference of staying in business or not.
Learning About Real Estate Insurance
For anyone involved at any significant level of real estate investing, insurance will be an important factor. While this is a step of the process that’s expensive and can seem like a hassle, it’s a vital part of succeeding with your investments.
At Froerer, we’re here to help with any and all insurance questions. Here’s a primer on the basic types of insurance you can get, liability coverage, and penalties you may incur in certain situations.
Types of Insurance
When it comes to real estate, there are two primary kinds of insurance: Actual cash value policies (ACV) or replacement cost policies.
ACV situations are common in situations where a home requires some fixups or maintenance – in fact, in some of these scenarios, the ACV will be your only option. In these cases, the insurance company will cover the amount you paid for the property, minus the value of the land it’s on. All ACV policies will cover small losses, though their additional coverages will vary. For buildings that may undergo major structural damage, ACV insurance can be pretty limited.
A replacement cost policy, on the other hand, is preferable in most cases. It comes with more comprehensive coverage in general, including coverage for the full cost of any covered loss minus your deductible amount. To qualify for a replacement cost policy, the property will have to be in good condition.
With most policies, the possibility of what’s called a coinsurance penalty will exist. This is a penalty if you come in more than 20 percent under market costs – say your home will cost $200,000 to rebuild, and you’re insured for under 80 percent of this, or under $160,000. Any claim you make in this situation will be paid out at that same ratio, not at a different one. Ensure you’re up to speed on the value of your home is being replaced at in these kinds of scenarios.
Most standard limits for liability coverage are at benchmarks of $300,000, $500,000 and $1,000,000. In most cases, we advise shooting for the higher coverages – it usually doesn’t cost much more to get them, and they provide much more value. Also, for rental situations, we recommend that all renters be required to carry renter’s insurance so that your liability coverage isn’t the only one on the hook.
For more information on real estate insurance, or to find out about our residential or commercial property management services, contact the pros at Froerer today.
3 Secrets To Utah Property Management
Whether you’re operating a property management company or choosing one to manage your real estate, these 3 secrets will help you make wise decisions.
We worked with our resident industry experts and professionals to help put this list together to help you with the 3 most-important, little-known secrets that will help you succeed in property management in Utah:
Secret #1 To Utah Property Management
- In Utah property management, exposure counts. This may seem obvious to the those just starting in property management or for those who have been around for years, but the fact is, most Utah property management companies fail to advertise their name on rental properties. We found many property managers in Utah don’t even put a sign on the property. The thought process is, tenants like dealing with a person rather than a property management company. This is a myth and keeps many companies from receiving additional leads from people or companies looking to relocate to Utah.
Secret #2 To Utah Property Management
- Get your policies and procedures in place before renting. The most common mistakes that take place in Utah property management occur when you run into a situation that you don’t have a policy for. Suddenly, you are cutting your price, making adjustments to your contract or making promises that you really have no way of keeping. Do yourself a favor, and make these key decisions before you end up managing 50 different rental homes in Utah, with 50 different owners who do not live in Utah, with a different set of expectations for everyone. Property management is as much about consistency and dependability as it is about getting your name out there.
Secret #3 To Utah Property Management
- We’ve saved the most important secret to Utah property management for last. Surround yourself with a staff that you can count on. Period. This is not the cheapest secret to take advantage of, but it definitely pays off big time when it counts. As a Utah property manager, you will be dealing with clients that may get a water leak, have a fire, lose a job, and it seems this always happens on Christmas Eve or Easter morning. If you want to continue as a property manager in Utah for an extended amount of time, and have a family or any type of social life, then you must surround yourself with dependable contractors and office support so you can go on the occasional vacation or have someone else fix the water leak for a client at 3 in the morning. Many Utah property management companies make the mistake of thinking the property owner would prefer to save money by having the property management company do the work or repairs. In most cases, property owners want to know that a professional is taking care of the problem and that it will be fixed properly. Don’t be afraid to turn to subcontractors. Stick to what you know best. You don’t want to become a jack of all trades and master of none.
Utah property management is a great service and industry. Use these secrets to help ensure you’re working with a reputable property management company. These secrets are just the tip of the iceberg. To get more tips and tricks on how to better manage your properties and clients, give us a call at (801) 621-2121
Avoiding Winter Pitfalls In Utah Property Management
Utah property management has its challenges…
…continually changing weather conditions is a major issue that makes having a quality property management company a necessity for the Utah area. Frozen pipes, flooding basements, and ice dams on the roof are just a few of the many things to look out for.
As winter approaches it is important to stay ahead of the weather and be prepared for the upcoming drop in temperature. A property management company in Utah will be aware of what steps to take to ensure your home is well cared for – whether the home is vacant or has a tenant occupying it. There are some basic steps for treacherous winter pitfalls that should be carefully considered with your property:
- Coordinate an annual winter HVAC system check up with your Utah property manager. To many, this may seem unnecessary, however, preventative maintenance when it comes to property management in an area with different seasons and very dramatic ups and downs in temperature, can have a lasting effect on the time that a furnace will last, which can translate into thousands of dollars being spent much earlier than is necessary.
- Have your Utah property manager verify that heat tape is in place and functioning. Heat tape can prevent ice dams from forming and forcing ice under your roof shingles. It can also prevent damage to rain gutters as well as ice build up on the ground where down spouts meet the ground. A qualified Utah property management company will be able to get you bids on installation or for repairs if necessary on the heat tape for your home. Your property manager will also be able to give you insights on where the most effective placement would be for the heat tape.
- Schedule timely walk-through inspections on a vacant home by your property manager. If you are not in the area, it is especially important to have someone who is going through your home on a regular basis while vacant. During the winter months if a furnace stopped working, or a pipe near a wall isn’t getting sufficient heat, the sooner someone sees the problem and can get it fixed the less damage will occur. Your property manager will keep you informed of potential problems and can maintain the heat in your property at a level that can prevent costly damage.
Many of these items may seem like common sense, but they are often times overlooked when properties are rented out or vacant. Your property management company is the best resource you can have to help protect your investment and ensure it will provide a source of income for you and your family for the future.
Buying Real Estate?
Here’s How To Make It A Great Experience
Many people are afraid to purchase real estate. There are many things to consider in today’s real estate market, as well as legalities to deal with when making a purchase. Here are some suggestions to help navigate the world of buying real estate today.
Take a Friend
Always have a trusted friend with you when looking at homes, even if you are shopping exclusively for yourself – this is someone other than an agent. By taking along someone who has no ownership interest in the property, they can look at the property from a non-biased point of view and may notice faults in the property that you may not have noticed. A second opinion might be valuable, especially when asking the realtor questions.
Compare Neighborhood Home Stats
Find out overall size and price characteristics of houses in a neighborhood where you are considering buying. This is essential, because you might not want to buy the best and biggest home there. This is because smaller homes actually lower the value of other homes in the neighborhood, and you’ll potentially lose money with a bad deal.
Get your dream home now. Many investors say not to sell your home and buy something larger, but snagging your dream home right now might actually be a good idea, because home values likely have nowhere to go but up from here.
When looking to purchase a home, make certain there is adequate parking for your vehicles. This is very important if the home you are interested in doesn’t have a driveway, you could end up walking long distances just to get to your own home.
Inspections are a Must
Always have a potential home thoroughly inspected before purchasing it. Although you’ll have to pay a fee, it’s worth it. Hire a professional home inspector to conduct the inspection so that you will have recourse if something goes wrong.
Review Rental Property Records
Do your homework on rental properties. If you are considering purchasing a rental property, you should not consider buying the property until you have completely reviewed the records for at least the past two years. You must make sure the seller is providing thorough and correct information about the possible income generation of the property. Also, your lender will probably want to see income verification before issuing the loan.
Keep the View in Perspective
If you are interested in a home with a beautiful view, don’t pay that much more because of the viewing possibilities. Although you might feel that the view adds to the value of the house, if you eventually decide to sell the house, your buyers may not agree with you. So, do not overpay for a home simply because you are entranced with the view.
Look For Additional Incentives
When making your offer on a house you are interested in, it is possible to ask the seller to help with closing costs or provide other financial incentives to you. For example, it may be to your advantage to ask for an interest rate “buy down,” which helps reduce your monthly payment. Keep in mind though, with incentives thrown into the deal, it is less likely that the seller will move on the selling price.
Utah property management is a great service and industry. Use these secrets to help ensure you’re working with a reputable property management company. These secrets are just the tip of the iceberg. To get more tips and tricks on how to better manage your properties and clients, give us a call at (801) 621-2121.