Why should I use a professional to manage my home?
While the reasons our clients choose professional management vary, here are some of the key reasons many people elect professional management over self-management:
- We handle maintenance and emergency repairs, allowing you to sleep at night.
- We enforce collection of rents and serve the proper notices upon failure to pay.
- We understand and apply the correct federal, state, and local laws, keeping you and your investment out of trouble.
- We know the local market, have an extensive network of contacts, and have advertising resources available to us at discounted rates. This allows us to effectively market your vacant home to prospective residents to get it filled.
- After you add up the increased rent we can often command, the discounts you’ll receive on advertising, and the company rate we get on repairs, you’ll often make more money than if you managed the property yourself!
Can I choose to disallow pets, smokers, large families, etc.?
We comply fully with the Fair Housing Act. This means that you can not choose to disallow anyone that is a member of a protected class under the act. You can choose to disallow pets and not permit smoking in your home, but you cannot deny a service animal. Remember, the vast majority of today’s tenants own pets, so to disallow them will shrink the pool of qualified tenants considerably. If you have additional questions on the specifics of the Fair Housing Act, please see our fair housing page.
Do you provide me with a report of activity on my property?
Yes, we will provide you a monthly report of rent and other income received, and maintenance, repairs, and other expenses incurred. This will be provided once per month. If you have questions regarding your statement, please do not hesitate to contact us.
What type of rental properties do you manage?
We specialize in single family homes in and around the Dallas and Fort Worth,TX Metroplex. This includes condos, duplexes and townhomes.
What Property Management experience and credentials do you offer?
Resource Property Management (RPM) offers you the level of experience and expertise you should seek from any property management company you hire. See the About Us page, if you haven’t already, for a complete introduction.
Why should I hire you as my Property Management company?
You should hire us only if you think we are the best match for your property management needs. We are not a perfect fit for every property owner and it would be wrong to simply proclaim “we are the best, hire us!”. We specialize in personalized service and you can always reach us to discuss your property needs as we run our firm like a professional organization. That is why this FAQ page exists so that you can learn about us and the guiding principles we will employ in the management of your property.
How much will my house rent for?
We are asked this question more than any other by new owner prospects. Of course it depends on a lot of factors, but in general, most homes in and around Dallas and Fort Worth are currently renting for about 0.5% to 0.8% of the home’s market sales value.
The more expensive your home, the lower the ratio of sales to rent value. For example, a $120,000 three bedroom home may rent for $800 to $1100 per month depending on the neighborhood, the competition and the condition, while a $240,000 home may only rent for $1400 to $1700. This is a very generalized range but will in fact hold true in most instances.
The most important thing to know is that the rental market is indifferent to your mortgage payment amount. The rental market does not care that you might have a negative cash flow, and will punish with extended vacancy owners who overprice their rental homes. When you hire us as your property manager, we will look at the rental market in your particular area, survey the competing homes, and make sure your home is priced so that it will be viewed favorably against the competition.
What will you do to rent my house?
We will coach you and advise you on how best to present your property to the market. Then, we give it maximum exposure while it is for rent and we carefully scrutinize all interested parties.
FOR LEASE SIGNS – Posted at the property with a 24 hour information number so drive-by prospects can find out immediately – even at 7PM on a Saturday – the price and size of your property and when it will be ready for move-in.
MLS – Your rental property data is entered in the Dallas Multiple Listing Service giving access to over 10,000 other Realtors and Renters.
INTERNET LISTINGS – Our available homes for rent in Dallas and Fort Worth are posted online and updated regularly with photos, maps and complete details for the conveneince of those searching for a new home.
LEASING LOCATORS – We make all of our listings available to the many Lease Locator companie. These non-Realtor companies specialize in helping tenants find apartments, duplexes and homes for rent.
WORD OF MOUTH / REFERRALS – Current and past tenants, friends of our tenants, referrals from other agents that we network with.
CORRECT PRICING – Even the best and nicest homes will not lease quickly if overpriced. This is now more important than ever as prospective tenants are more savy “buyers” today thanks to available information through the web. We make sure your rental home is priced according to current market conditions.
THOROUGH PREPARATION – Even the best located and well priced rental homes will not lease quickly in our current market if the rental home is not in top showing condition. Homes for lease in Dallas and Fort Worth TX absolutely must show well and have an attractive “curb appeal” or they will sit empty. Part of our job as property manager is to make sure your rental home is presented in a clean and attractive condition so that it will attract a good tenant.
What, specifically, do you do to qualify a tenant after they have applied to rent my house?
This is the one of the most important aspect of the successful management of rental property. In general, we look at an applicant’s past behavior and assume their future behavior will be the same. An applicant must demonstrate a history of being a good, responsible tenant or homeowner as well as meeting industry standard financial criteria.
LANDLORD REFERENCES – We personally talk to past landlords and ask detailed, open ended questions about the applicant’s past performance.
CREDIT REPORT – Our property manager and leasing agent has a direct connection with the Experian credit reporting service. We obtain a credit report which tells us the applicant’s current and past performance toward meeting their financial obligations. It also tells us their monthly debt, credit score, and shows their previous addresses (which we compare to addresses listed on the application). An applicant must meet established credit standards.
PROPERTY TAX SEARCH – If a private individual is listed as previous or current landlord, we will pull the tax records and verify that the person listed actually owns the property. The property tax record crosscheck, along with pulling driver license data, is what reveals most of the fraud attempts that we encounter and is a level of scrutiny that most other property management companies do not even perform.
EMPLOYMENT/INCOME – We contact the employer to verify length of employment, status, and income. An applicant needs to earn at least 3 to 4 times the monthly rent in gross income to qualify for rental and we will want to see a copy of their pay stub.
PETS – We don’t permit animals/pets into managed properties unless you allow us to do so, or unless not doing so is resulting in an unacceptable length of vacancy. We do advise our clients that the vast majority of today’s tenants have pets of some kind, and declining to accept pets will shrink the pool of potential tenants significantly. We encourage additional security deposit to help ensure the tenant cares for their pets properly while renting your property.
OTHER FACTORS – Many of our managed properties are subject to Home Owner Association restrictions such as no boats or trailers, and limits on the type and number of vehicles. An otherwise qualified applicant may be unable to lease a property if, for instance, they own a boat and want to park it in the driveway. We make sure issues like that are covered up front to avoid surprises after move-in.
How do you make sure the tenant is taking good care of my home while renting?
There are several ways your property manager assures your property’s condition. Above all, careful tenant selection from the outset protects your property from being rented to irresponsible people. During the lease term, we may have occasion to enter the property for repair or maintenance reasons and will use that opportunity to have a look. If we are fortunate enough not to have any repairs or maintenance at your property over an extended period of time, your property manager will schedule a preventative maintenance walk-through to make sure the air filter is being changed, that the smoke alarms have batteries and that there are no unreported problems at the property.
What do you do if they are not taking care of my property as they should, or you discover unauthorized pets?
Your property manager gives the tenant an opportunity to correct the situation and usually they will. If a problem persists, we will make a decision based on that specific situation. There are certain “penalties” that can be assessed as provided for in the lease terms that may be exercised.
What happens if the tenant does not pay their rent?
The lease provides for a grace period through midnight on the third of each month. On the 4th of each month, we post the required notice to quit which allows the tenant to pay rent within the specified time (usually 72 hours) or risk eviction. Whether or not we eventually have to proceed with a formal eviction depends on the specific circumstances. It is always financially better for all involved if a solution can be worked out. If the tenant has experienced a one-time event which is causing them a financial hardship, and we have had no previous problems with them, it is better for you and the tenant if we give them a chance to catch up – if there is reason to believe they can do so. If the tenant has demonstrated an ongoing pattern of late payments, broken promises about payments and/or evasiveness, we know from experience that eviction is the best course of action.
Each case is unique and the property manager will make a decision based what is best for you and your home in the long run. That said, we always proceed with the legal notices required for eviction regardless of any other factors. We will simply postpone the actual filing of the eviction if the tenant is showing favorable effort toward resolution. Eviction for non-payment of rent in Texas is relatively simple given all procedures set by the individual Justice of the Peace are followed. Full evictions, when necessary, can often be completed by the first of the next month, depending on individual court back log.
How informed will I be about what happens with my property?
Absent any special considerations unique to you or your property, our rule of thumb is this: If something may cause a potential interruption in your ordinary cash flow (loss of tenant or non-emergency repair in excess of $250), we will let you know about it right away. Other than that, the saying “no news is good news” is most appropriate. Non emergency items will be communicated along with your monthly statements and, of course, we encourage you to contact the property manager anytime you have a question or wish to discuss something.
The property owners who appreciate us the most are those who truly want everything handled for them turn-key and don’t want to be bothered unless something important is happening. That is the type of property management service we offer.
How do you handle maintenance requests?
Tenants may fax, email or mail their requests to us, but most fill out an online form on our website. After we receive a repair request, we may contact the tenant and ask them questions which will help us determine the exact nature of the problem before sending a service technician. We also make sure it is not something the tenant can fix themselves (ex: reset button on the disposal, tripped breaker) before your money is spent on a service call. After determining that it is a legitimate problem, we will send the appropriate service vendor to make the repair.
We tell our tenants that we are able to handle most repair requests within 1 to 3 working days, and in fact are usually able to do so. Important or major residential systems such as Air conditioning, water heater, furnace, or sewer problems receive the highest priority and are usually attended to the same or next business day.
Depending on the situation, some repairs may be deemed “emergency” and to comply with the Texas Property Code, we would handle it in the repair immediately. However, our goal is that no repair, large or small, is ever a surprise to you on your statement.
Do you use the cheapest maintenance people you can find?
No. Our vendors offer very competitive prices and more importantly are competent and reliable. They show up and do the job right, which helps ensure tenant satisfaction, and increases tenant retention, which is good for you.
We think we have developed a very sensible approach to handling maintenance and repairs and that you will realize long term cost savings that other property managers simply can’t deliver.
Do you hold some of my money for repairs? How much?
We will hold back $250 per unit (up to $500) in your account so that we always have funds to pay our vendors timely.
How do I know your property manager won’t spend my money on large repairs without my approval?
This is a legitimate fear. We promise in writing not to do that. For ordinary maintenance and repairs of less than $200, we take care of it without notifying you. We make every attempt to inform you before your statement arrives. If we think a repair might exceed $200, we will notify you and let you know what is happening, what we think should be done, and what the estimated cost might be.
Sometimes expenses such as a replacing a bad water heater, a roof leak that needs patching or repair, or emergency A/C and furnace repairs are unavoidable. In those cases where 1) the health or safety of a tenant is an issue, or 2) in instances where there is only one option to consider or 3) the property will incur on-going damage if immediate action is not taken, the property manager will initiate the repair work, even if it is higher than the $250 limit, and then let you know of the situation and what we are doing about it. Mainly, we don’t think important repairs should be delayed while we try to contact you for permission to do the obvious.
What is a trust account?
A trust account is managed for our clients using an accounting package called Promas. The money in your account is used to pay bills on your behalf for expenses incurred against your property. The actual money is kept in a bank account(s), currently at Coppermark Bank in Plano. Your funds are in account(s) separate from the accounts used by Resource Property Management to run our business and pay operating expenses of RPM. This process of separation of your trust account funds from our company funds is in accordance with our training on the Texas Real Estate Commissions (TREC) rules prohibiting “co-mingling” of funds. This ban on co-mingling of funds means we are not allowed to use your money to pay our bills and we cannot use our money to pay your bills.
Where is the tenant’s security deposit, I don’t see it on my statement?
In order to fulfill obligations to your tenant, the tenant’s security deposit is maintained by RPM, also in a trust account(s), currently at Coppermark Bank in Dallas. You will not see this money reflected in your statement unless funds are transferred to you to satisfy a tenant obligation after the tenant has left the home. We may need to pay bills which will be reimbursed from the tenant’s security deposit, but you will not see reimbursement in your account until the final security deposit accounting is performed, usually thirty days after a tenant’s departure.
How much security deposit do you charge the tenant?
As a general rule of thumb, we usually get one month’s rent for deposit. This is what will be asked for by most property owners and property managers in Dallas and Fort Worth.
Are you a licensed Property Manager?
We have licensed Realtors and a member of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (www.narpm.org). NARPM members follow a strict code of ethics and continuing education. We also serve as the treasurer for the local Dallas Chapter of NARPM. There is no “Property Management License” requirement in Texas, but professional property managers must have a Texas real estate license in order to charge commissions and market property for sale or lease if they do not own the property.