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6 Common Myths & Facts of Property Management

There are common myths property owners believe about property management companies.  One of the biggest is the myth of losing control of your property.  Owners often think when they hire management companies, they will start putting any old tenant into the rental, and start charging huge fees, while tenants ruin the property.  This is completely false.

 

Another worry is paying too much for repair services by hiring vendors chosen by the management company.  Again, this is completely false.

 

As landlords ourselves, we understand the concerns property owners have in turning over management to an outside company.  We had them ourselves.  Which is why we started Day Property Management LLC.

 

Let’s set the facts straight.

 

6 Common Myths of Property Management

 

Myth #1:  I can manage them myself. 

 

Fact:  As an owner, paying for something you can do, seems unreasonable.  You can manage your own properties.  When you own a few units this is not a problem.  Managing can become an issue when you start buying more rentals or you find managing taking over all of your time.

 

How much money is that time worth to you?  Typical management fees are 8% and 12% of the gross rents collected, depending on the services you want them to provide.  It’s in the best interest of everyone to have full rental units.  If you have a vacancy and no rent is collected you don’t pay a fee.

 

Think about whether you feel your peace of mind is worth 8-12%, if so, find a management company you can trust like Day Property Management LLC.

 

Myth #2:  I can find better tenants.

 

Fact:  You may trust the story a tenant gives you for giving notice at their last rental or maybe a friend recommended someone and they seem like nice people. You may feel like a good judge of character. We all have a public face. Are they really being upfront with you? Can you take a risk with your investment?

 

There are better ways to screen tenants which don’t involve gut feelings.  Property management companies have screening processes to check both the credit of potential tenants along with criminal background.  You can set those numbers to be as strict as you’d like and the management company will advise you as to what works best.

 

Screening then becomes a win-win situation between owner and management company.  As a result, you get better tenants.

 

Myth #3:  I can protect my property better. 

 

Fact:  You might be a very hands on landlord who drives by his properties on a weekly basis and is in contact with his tenants every time an issue arises.  You may feel you are the only one who can stay on top of how your property looks.

 

Management companies will do these same things for you.  If you’d like a weekly report, you will get it.  If you want the management company to call you whenever a tenant calls, you will get it.

 

It’s in the management companies best interest to keep your property looking as nice as possible.  The better maintained the property the higher rents they can charge, giving you both a higher monthly return.

 

Myth #4:  I can handle repairs.

 

Fact:  Your tenants contact you all the time and you are afraid a management company won’t respond as fast.  This could not be farther from the truth, in fact when tenants call, management companies can prioritize the issue better than landlords due to dealing with similar problems in the past.  They also have someone available 24/7 for those after hours and holiday issues.

 

You may be a very handy person.  You may have fixed small plumbing, electrical or remodeling issues like a leaky faucet, new light switch or putting up shelving.  Do you know when to call in the professionals?  There are repairs best left to professionals both for safety and licensing reasons.

 

If you have a list of trades people and vendors who help you out when the repair is too much to handle, you can still work with them.   Provide the property management company with your list and they will contact them whenever the tenants call with issues.

 

In some cases, management companies have their own property maintenance division.  Day Property Management LLC and Integrated Property Solutions LLC have this in place.  This can be the best of both worlds.  One call to the management company also has notified the repair crew as well.

 

Myth #5:  I can handle evictions

 

Fact:  Property owners are passionate about their investments.  They want them to look nice and provide a safe home for their tenants.  When a tenant violates their lease, landlords don’t like to be the bad guy, but it happens and tenants need to be evicted from the property.

 

Do you know the process in which notices need to be sent to the tenants?  Do you know how to file an eviction against a tenant if they have not fixed the lease violation?  Can you stay cool in a high pressure situation where tenants may not be completely truthful with court officials?

 

Staying on top of all notice timeframes, processes, steps to filing and not being emotionally involved are all important in an eviction.  You don’t want the court to see you as being unreasonable or inflexible.

 

Don’t miss a step and have to start all over with the process.  Management companies have evictions down to a science.  They have each notice ready to go in the order and timeframe necessary to remove a tenant according to the law.   Management companies know how to serve and file the eviction if a tenant doesn’t fix the problem.  They will go to court on your behalf, only responding to the judge when necessary to get the judgement.

 

 

Myth #6:  I can handle keeping up on new laws

 

Fact:  As a landlord you wear many hats, the owner, repair person, tenant screener,  project coordinator, and all around problem solver.  Often owning rentals is a side business to a persons career.

 

Keeping up on the landlord/tenant laws is a full time job by itself.  There are real estate attorneys who only deal with landlord/tenant law on a daily basis.  Most property owners do not buy rentals thinking they will be managing daily tasks and being current on changes in the law.

 

As part of keeping your investment protected and abiding by tenants rights, management companies have people who keep current on the laws affecting you.

 

Before you discount hiring a property management company, think about these six myths and facts.  Would hiring a management company give you time to work and play?  Would your overall stress level decrease if you didn’t constantly worry about rental issues?

 

Hiring experts to manage for you, will put you back in charge of your life.

 

To discuss how our tailored services fit your management needs, visit our contact us page today by clicking here.  Or give us a call at Day Property Management LLC 920-968-0626.

Rental Maintenance—Do it Yourself Or Hire it Out?

Rental Maintenance—Do it Yourself Or Hire it Out?

 

As a landlord being able to do your own maintenance and repairs can help save money…most of the time.

 

YouTube can be your friend, there are videos and guides to show you how to fix most items.  However, some repairs require the help of professional, licensed contractors.

You want your property to be safe and functional for your tenants.  In most situations, when it comes to safety you should have a licensed professional do the repair. They should handle repairs dealing with plumbing, electrical, or heating and cooling.

 

These contractors go through a licensing process to stay current on the city and county building codes.  They know which projects need building permits and what specialized tools are necessary to finishing the job correctly the first time.

 

 

So how do you know which projects to tackle on your own? 

 

You can feel free to fix any repair issue on your own if you have the required tools.  But should you?

 

If you can answer “no” to any of the following questions, you may want to hire a handyman.

 

  • Are you a handy person?
  • Is it a simple fix?
  • Do you have the tools for the project?
  • Do you have the time to handle the repair in the next 24-48 hours?
  • Can you do the repair safely?
  • Do you want to do it?

 

Hiring a handyman opens up your time and keeps your tenants happy.

 

Many property management companies such Day Property Management LLC have their own maintenance branches.  Integrated Property Solutions LLC(IPS) is the maintenance and repair company Day Property Management uses.

 

IPS handles all repairs that arise with rental properties

 

Repairs such as:

  • Handyman Services:  Fixing and Repairing the source of your tenant’s complaint
  • Janitorial Services:  Apartment Turnovers, Day Cleaning, Maid Service—keeping your units in great shape for the next tenant
  • Painting: Interior / Exterior—Maintaining your property value by keeping your building’s exterior in great condition.  Allowing you to keep the interior looking fresh, clean, and updated
  • Grounds Maintenance:  Mowing, Weed Eating, Debris Removal, Snow Plowing/Blowing—Never worry about a city citation again when your tenant doesn’t fulfill their lawn or snow duties.
  • Power Washing: Decks, Buildings, Paint Prep— Properly prep and paint your new addition or unit exterior with power washing to remove old stain and paint.  Power washing keeps your buildings looking great year-round.
  • Post-Construction Clean-Up:  Ready Buildings for Occupancy—Faster turnover time between tenants when units are fresh, clean and move in ready after you update.
  • Window Cleaning:  Interior/Exterior—Spring and Fall window cleanings shake off the winter blues and provide tenants with a clean environment before winterizing.
  • Estate Management:  Cleaning, Preparation, Removal—Take the worry out of vacant property with regular maintenance
  • Carpet Cleaning:  Extraction, Bonnet, Powder—Save on replacement costs when you can with deep carpet cleanings

 

There are many ways to handle tenant repair complaints.  The easiest way

is to hire professionals to do it for you.  Saving you money and time in the

long run.

 

To learn more about hiring a property maintenance company to handle your day-to-day repairs give IPS a call at 920-738-3288 or fill out our contact form.

5 Signs You Need to Hire a Property Management Company

5 Signs You Need to Hire a Property Management Company

 

Imagine it’s the evening before Thanksgiving Day.  You’re spending quality time with your family and your phone starts ringing.  You notice it’s one of your tenants.

Upon checking your messages, you realize your tenant called to tell you the kitchen faucet has been leaking for a couple of weeks.  Now the cabinet under the sink is bowing.

You shake your head.  Grit your teeth.  Using your nice voice, you call them back letting them know you’ll have a plumber over immediately.  You state you’ll check in as soon as the plumber calls after finishing the repair.

Meanwhile you know you’re getting charged premium for a repair that could’ve been done weeks ago.

Frustrations like this can happen all the time when you manage your own property.

As a landlord there’s never a day off.

You deal with tenants moving in and out, showings and no shows, and of course tenants’ bad timing.  These types of situations lead landlords to hiring a property management company like Day Property Management.

 

1.     Your rentals have taken over your life!

Most property owners didn’t buy rental property to be there day after day.  Constantly dealing with landscaping, repair issues or tenant concerns.

If you find managing on a daily basis is more than you bargained for you may want to look for a property management company.

 

2.     You’ve moved up to multiple units

In the beginning, showings on 1 or 2 units isn’t so bad.  After a few more purchases, you find yourself showing 6 or 7 units…when prospective tenants show up.

Showings can take all day or evenings and weekends if you are trying to accommodate tenants schedules.  Such meetings interrupt your day.

With multiple units requiring attention, it may be time to let a property management company handle the showings for you.

A management company frees up your time for friends, family, or any other event needing your attention.

 

3.     You have no property management experience

Staying current on the landlord/tenant laws can be a full time job in itself.

You many have purchased rentals with dreams of passive cash flow and early retirement.  But you know nothing about rental contracts, what you can or can’t do as a landlord or tenants rights.

You would be making a smart move to employ the experts and safeguard your rights and investment.

 

4.     Do you have a list of service professionals?

When starting, hiring reliable, reasonable service professionals can take trial and error.  You need to learn who the competent professionals are.  Who will do the job right the first time?

It will also help your cash flow if those professionals are reasonable.  If you don’t get multiple quotes for each project or have “emergencies” after hours, you will pay more than you were expecting.

Management companies will work with the professionals of your choosing.  However, if you don’t have people you work with, management companies find reasonable trades people and can work out better rates.

Some management companies have their own repair division.  This keeps costs low and your rentals in good condition.  Day Property Management works with Integrated Property Solutions LLC, for this exact purpose.  To find out more about Integrated Property Solutions LLC services, click here.

 

5.     You have no interest in managing

Whether you have been taking care of your own properties for a while or don’t have an interest in starting, hiring a management company may be the best move for you.

Investors have different reasons for owning property.  Personally managing the rentals may never fit in with their agenda.

Property management companies will handle all the aspects from day 1 or day 1000, if you let them.

If you hire a property management company, you’ll never have to

 

·        Deal with no shows at your showing appointments.

·        Screen tenants and personally tell them why you are rejecting their application.

·        Worry about being able to reject their application according to the law.

·        Late night, weekend, holiday, or family vacation phone calls.

·        Handle tenant concerns

 

Before you decide working with a management company is right for you, think about what else you could be accomplishing with your time?

 

Trust the experts to manage for you.

 

To speak with Day Property Management about your specific rental management needs call us at 920-968-0626.  Or visit our Contact Us page.

6 Things You Should Know Before You Rent

Moving to a new rental property can be hard and full of anxiety.  If it’s your first time renting or your 15th, you may not know what to expect from a new landlord or property management company.

 

The Landlord/Tenant laws are always changing; do you know your rights as a tenant?  Day Property Management can help walk you through the rental process and protect your rights.

 

Six things you should know before you rent

 

  1. Property owners can’t advertise or rent condemned units or units that violate housing codes—This keeps all rental property safe and functional for renters.

 

You shouldn’t sign a rental agreement, place a deposit, or earnest money on a property until you make sure it’s a safe place to live.  Landlords are supposed to disclose any code violations they know about.  Ask the owner or management company about any violations against the property for code, health, or safety issues that have not been fixed.

 

  1. Landlords must tell you if the utilities are included or separate, how utilities are split per apartment (if not metered separately), and the total amount of rent plus any non-refundable fees. ––Knowing this, you can estimate your monthly costs. You can then make sure the rental unit fits your budget.

 

  1. Renters are able to inspect the unit before deciding to rent. When you go to the showing, make sure the following items work properly:

 

Lights and switches— all work with no popping noises

Outlets –bring something small to plug in, a hair dryer is a good test tool, test them all

Kitchen and Bathroom Faucets–Make sure sinks drain, are not leaking and water temp changes properly

Toilets– check for leaks, toilets that keep running, flush properly

Smoke detectors–should be right outside each bedroom and in the main common area on each floor if 2 or more stories

Ceilings and walls– look for cracks and water stains, it could mean there are bigger issues such as the roof or foundation

Deadbolts on exterior doors– safety should always be a main priority

Windows– make sure windows are secure, locks work and storm windows and screens are available if not on

Furnace and A/C– turn the temperature up and down to make sure it kicks on

Water heater– look for leaks

 

If you find any repair issues, get a list in writing of promised repairs and an estimated completion date.

 

Don’t sign a rental agreement until you receive this list.  It will safeguard you from unnecessary repairs during your rental agreement.

 

  1. Rental agreements DO NOT have to be in writing, agreements can be verbal. Most landlords do use written leases.  You have the right to read it before signing

 

If you decide to rent, you have the right a copy of the rental agreement.  Keep this in a safe place.  You can refer to it if you have any questions during your rental period.

 

  1. Landlords must tell you upfront about fees such as earnest money, security deposits or credit check fees.

 

Earnest money:  If You decide not to rent, the landlord may withhold costs or damages.  Upon rejecting an application, the management company or landlord must return your earnest money by the end of the next business day.

 

 

Security deposits are always a misunderstood area.  This should help clear up any confusion.  When you move in, you have 7 days to inspect and tell the management company of any repair issues.  You should get a check-in sheet to keep track of any issues you find.  If not, make your own.  Be sure to make a copy before turning it in to the landlord.

 

If you don’t turn in the check in sheet within those 7 days, you will be giving up your right to show there were pre-existing issues when you moved in.  You will not be able to contest money taken from your security deposit when you move out.

 

Landlords can deduct money from your security deposit for unpaid rent, damages tenants are responsible for due to waste or neglect and utility bills.  If you keep your unit clean, fix anything that you or your guests damage and inform the management company when issues start, you’ll get more of your security deposit back when you move.

 

Property management companies and landlords have 21 days to return you deposit along with an itemized list of any deductions.

 

You also have the right to see a list of damages charged to the previous tenant.

 

It is necessary to run a credit report when renting.   Landlords may charge you up to $20 to run a credit report from one of the national agencies as long as you know in advance.

 

You can provide a credit report, if you have one that is less than 30 days old and save yourself any fees.

 

  1. Pets are not always welcome—Before you buy that cute dog, kitty or huge fish tank, check your lease. There are dog breeds that due to insurance regulations, landlords can’t have in rental properties for tenant safety and safety of the neighbors.  Don’t put yourself in the situation of having to get rid of a new pet because you didn’t check with your management company first.

 

Most leases have limits on the weight of a fish tank due to damage they can do to the floor.  It is a smart move to again consult your lease for specifications.

 

Some properties only allow dogs or cats.  Follow the lease agreement and you will find a pet covered by the rules and one that makes you happy.

 

For a full explanation of the Landlord/Tenant regulations summarized here, you can visit the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection of WI or click the link here.

 

If you have any questions about the rental process or to locate a house or apartment to rent, contact a local property management company such as Day Property Management in Appleton at 920-968-0626 or dayprop@hotmail.com to help you.

 

Protect your rights and start renting your new home or apartment today!

 

Top 5 Qualities of a Great Property Manager

Top 5 Qualities of a Great Property Manager

 

Communication

It may be an overused phrase but it’s the number one thing that all property managers need to have. Excellent communication! This doesn’t just mean communicating with their tenants, but also with clients, vendors and even internal communication. Let’s say a tenant calls with a maintenance request, this now immediately puts you in the situation of needing to communicate with 3 different people: the tenant about their request, the owner to get approval and with the vendor to get everything scheduled appropriately. One miss-step and this whole situation can become a nightmare.  Plus, if you don’t keep the rest of your office abreast of the situation, then they could be calling a different vendor, or updating the owner/tenants with inaccurate information. Great property managers recognize this and strive to keep the lines of communication open with all their contacts.

Curiosity

Great property managers think about things from multiple options and question every situation they are in. Whether it be investigating why a long-term tenant has suddenly given notice, or looking at their current marketing strategies and looking into other options to see if they are getting the most bang for their buck. “They’re not afraid to ask questions, do research, and delegate to others the task of finding solutions” (Courtenay, 2017). It’s in the nature of most people in this field to want to understand why some things work and others don’t so that they can make sure that all of their clients and tenants are getting the absolute best options available.

Humility

Humility is one of those traits that often gets overlooked or misconstrued as a lack of confidence. “With their humility comes a sense of altruism and a desire to know they are making a positive contribution to society” (Courtenay, 2017). This is a trait that great property managers have because if they don’t they often come across as over-confident or even condescending when trying to explain things. Property Managers can’t be driven by their egos or we would never be able to bite our tongues when a tenant or a client pushes us to the edge. We must be able to admit responsibility for mistakes and sometimes take the brunt of a tenant’s frustration even when we have no control over a situation.

Organization

Organization is very import throughout all aspects of our lives, but it’s also one of the most important traits that property managers can have. We need to have information readily available for clients, owners, vendors and realtors depending on who we are working with at the time. Without organization, something important will fall through the cracks. Luckily, the era that we’re currently in encourages use of technology to assist in staying organized. It allows us access to cloud based storage of information and property management software. As well as, general access to all the information on our properties. Sure beats having to search through paperwork or binders to find. Technology is a property manager’s best friend when it comes to staying organized.

Flexibility.. and the lack thereof

As a property manager we must be flexible and be able to go with the flow. When an owner or a vendor calls with a last-minute change to a long-term project, you have to be able to jump on board and start assisting them. You need to get the situation resolved in the most efficient way possible. On the flip side of that coin, we need to know when we can’t be firm. It is okay to allow some leeway for a long term, good paying tenant if they have a ‘situation’ come up. However, when it becomes a habit you have to know when to put your foot down. It’s a balancing act that having too much of one or the other can cause you to topple. A great property manager knows just the right balance of flexibility to have. They also know when someone is trying to take advantage of that.

Courtenay, M. (2017, April 10). 5 Qualities and Habits of Great Property Managers. Retrieved April 11, 2017, from http://www.propertymanager.com/2017/04/5-qualities-and-habits-of-great-property-managers/

Protect Your Privacy

How important is your privacy?

We feel strongly about our privacy that’s why we were so shocked to learn about this bill that has been in

the works since October of last year. ISPs (Internet Service Providers) are trying to pass a bill that will allow them to sell our browsing history to other companies without our permission. They can currently sell the information but only as completely faceless, meaning that they can sell that someone is going to these sites, but not pinpoint it directly at any specific person or household. However, the bill they are attempting to pass currently would allow them to pass on person/household specific information.

This information could not only allow them to see what sites you frequent, but “ISPs might be able to figure out where you bank, your political views, and your sexual orientation based on what sites you visit” (Brodkin, 2017). More disturbing than this is that not only would they be able to see sites you visit, but also when you are and are not home, as well as where you shop, where your children go to school, where your extended families live, as well as track what health problems you may be having. This opens the door to all kinds of people being able to access this information and discover when your home, when your whole family is home, and/or when your children are home alone.

How do we protect ourselves from this?

There are a few options to try and protect yourself from this invasion of privacy though. The first being to contact your ISP and ask them how to opt out of this invasion of privacy. Another option is to use a VPN to encrypt everything that you do online. However, this option does cost money and depending on the VPN you choose the price can vary immensely. The third option, and the one we suggest above all others is to contact your state representatives and tell them not to pass this bill and impress upon them how strongly you feel about this breach of your privacy. For those in other states, a simple internet search can provide you with your current representatives and ways to contact them. If you live in Wisconsin, we have the information here for you. If you want more information on this, please read this article!

ARS Technica Article

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/03/how-isps-can-sell-your-web-history-and-how-to-stop-them/

Contact Ron Johnson

https://www.ronjohnson.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-the-senator

Contact Tammy Baldwin

https://www.baldwin.senate.gov/feedback

 

Brodkin – Mar 24, 2017 4:20 pm UTC, Jon. “How ISPs can sell your Web history—and how to stop them.” Ars Technica. N.p., 24 Mar. 2017. Web. 27 Mar. 2017. <https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/03/how-isps-can-sell-your-web-history-and-how-to-stop-them/>.

Questions to ask about a prospective tenant

 

Your present resident has given proper notice to vacate, you also know because of performing your diligent inspections that the unit will not need any cleaning or repairs. Now starts the process of finding a new resident which will require reference checks and background checks. There are five basic questions that need to be asked of their current landlord:

Did the prospective resident pay rent on time and in full at their present residence?

This question will help you decide if the prospective resident is a responsible individual and should avoid the extra work required, serving notices and having to chase down a resident who is        slow to pay or not pay at all.

Did the prospective resident take care of the residence?

It is important to know if the prospective resident took good care of the property and if they caused any damage and if it was beyond normal wear and tear. A destructive resident can be a costly resident.

Did the prospective resident display behavior that could be considered disruptive?

Were any complaints received about the prospective resident and if so were the complaints justified. Did the prospective resident cause noise issues, have loud parties or if a pet was allowed, were there issues with the pet.

Was the prospective resident good with communication?

Communication between landlord and resident is very important and responses to requests is required. If the prospective resident has a history of non communication relative to requests for repairs and inspections, this will make your job as the landlord much more difficult and strain the relationship between you and your residents.

Would renting to this resident again be an option for you?

If the previous landlord is upfront and honest with you about this prospective resident your decisions to rent to this prospective resident should be unbiased and help to avoid any “issues” in the future.

Screening prospective residents with the proper questions is key to an an enjoyable future as a landlord and part of the solution to a trouble free process. 

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY (and Happy Birthday)

Happy Valentines Day from all of us here at Day Property Management LLC. Valentine’s day in our office is a special holiday, not only because of all the  hearts, romance and just in general pink and red, but because Valentine’s Day is also the birthday of the founder and owner of Day Property Management LLC, Michael Day! Happy Birthday Mike!

After we finish wishing Mike a very happy birthday we often end up discussing Valentine’s Day in general terms. Is it a wonderful holiday to celebrate love and relationships, or is it more of an excuse for greeting card companies and chocolatiers to make a huge profit? The answer is probably somewhere in between, but what’s most intriguing are the facts surrounding this day’s history. There are many theories and some say we may never know where it actually originated. Here is a very interesting article from New York Times that goes over a few of the theories and where they originated. No matter which theory you choose, we hope you all enjoy this love-inspired day!

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/style/valentines-day-facts-history.html?_r=0

Welcome to Property Management 2017

We made it through our integration process and are now up and running with new property management software. This software brings new processes, new procedures and the instrumental use of many technology advancements. Tenants can now pay rent online, check the status of their account and request maintenance, all through our website. Owners can now check their rent rolls, the status of payments and general information through their own personal portal. Check out our website at www.daypropertymanagement.com and see the many conveniences of becoming a client of Day Property Management LLC or another satisfied tenant.

New Beginnings

Day Property Management

We are so excited for all these wonderful changes that are happening here at Day Property Management LLC. As of February 1, 2017 we will be initiating a wide array of changes through AppFolio. This means free online payments for our tenants, tenant access to their own portal, owner access to their own portal and more advertising options for our vacant units. This will allow a greater ease of access and communication with our tenants and owners.