Frequently Asked Questions:
What does a Property Manager do?
A property manager provides many services for landlords and property owners. First and foremost, our role is to maximize profits for the client while providing worry free service. Property managers handle every facet of rental properties including but not limited to finding and screening tenants, generating leases, rent collection, legal compliance, insurance, maintenance and repairs. Property managers are available 24/7 to both the landlord and the tenant. This ensures both landlords and tenants can always talk to a real person no matter what time of day it is. As are real estate professionals, we understand market trends and are able to use the rental market to obtain the optimal rent. We want to take the hassle out of rental properties and leave the quiet enjoyment to you.
Why should I hire a Property Manager?
Whether you have multiple properties or a single unit, the work involved in managing a rental property can be stressful and takes time away from things you would rather be doing. With a property manager working for you, you’ll never have to chase down a tenant for rent or deal with late night emergencies. Professional accounting systems ensure accurate and real time collection and disbursement of funds. Property managers also analyze the rental market to ensure the optimal rental price is charged for each property. This frees up your time and funds to do more investing and increase your profit.
Why should I hire SmartMax Property Management?
Our proven process has been optimized after years of owning our own properties and now managing for others. Our office is staffed with real estate agents and real estate professionals. We use the latest accounting and resource management software that keeps owners, tenants, and our staff fully informed of all dealings with a rental. We actively market your properties and strive for as little vacancy as possible by pre-marketing properties and pre-screening potential renters.
How do I calculate my Rate of Return?
Rate of Return, or ROR, is calculated as the ratio of net income to initial investment.
Rent = $2,500
Monthly Expenses = $1,500
Initial investment = $50,000
Net Income = Rent-Expenses = 2500-1500 = $1000/month or $12,000/year
ROR = 12000/50000 = .24 or 24%
ROR = 24%
How does SmartMax Property Management maximize my rate of return?
1. Less vacancy = more rent. On average, rental properties sit on the market for 2-3 months. Our properties average less than one month vacant.
2. More rent = more profit. Our real estate professionals stay up to date regarding market trends for the city, neighborhood and even down to the street getting the most rent possible.
3. Since we use the same contractors for all of our properties, we receive a volume discount on their work.
4. The long term relationships we build with contractors allows us to only use the highest quality companies. This helps to lower costs and ensure no repeat repairs.
5. Our sophisticated background check, criminal history, rental history, and credit check ensures only the best tenants rent your property. This means the highest chance of collecting rent on time and the least amount of damage to the property.
6. Since we require all tenants to have renter’s insurance, we minimize the liability to the landlord.
7. We employ our on staff attorneys to handle any evictions which means any such occurences will be timely and compliant.
How will my property be marketed?
As well as submitting to the local MLS, our resource management software submits all of our properties to 40 consumer websites like Zillow, Homes.com, and Realtor.com simultaneously with the click of a button. This ensures no matter where renters are searching, they will find your property.
How are the tenants found and selected?
Finding the right tenant is crucial for maximizing ROR. SmartMax employs a team of real estate professionals including real estate agents to find tenants for our properties. SmartMax uses a sophisticated background check system to pre-screen all tenants. Criminal history, credit check and prior rental history are all verified before any candidate is considered for a property. As always, the property owner has the last say in to whom they rent their property.
What is the cost of leasing?
Most property managers charge 100% of the first month’s rent as a leasing fee. At SmartMax we charge a maximum of 80% of the first month’s rent for leasing. By using our in house real estate agents to find tenants, there is less vacancy and therefore less carrying costs between tenants.
Who decides the rental price?
Essentially we recommend, you decide. Our staff has been involved in investment real estate for many years. Our real estate agents actively use MLS and analyze market trends to determine the maximum rent that we can collect with the least down time in between tenants.
Who collects the rent?
With SmartMax as your property manager, we collect rent directly from the tenants and electronically place it in your personal account. The tenants can pay online via credit card or ACH, in person at certain retail locations, or via mail to a secure lockbox at our bank.
When will I receive the rent?
Upon monthly reconciliation you will receive an ACH deposit directly into your personal account. This will happen prior to the 27th of each month.
How much must I keep in reserves?
Our landlords are required to keep $1000 in reserves to cover expenses. If the balance falls below this threshold, the difference will be debited from the next month’s rent.
Do I have to authorize all repairs?
Any repairs under $350 will be automatically performed and deducted from the reserves. Any repair over $350, we will contact you before any repairs have begun.
What if there is a problem in the middle of the night?
SmartMax is available 24/7 to deal with any emergency or non-emergency. If an emergency arises, one of our pre-approved vendors will be dispatched to the property. In the morning the owner will be notified and the appropriate action will be taken.
What about evictions?
While rare, sometimes evictions are required. We offer to handle all eviction processes and employ a strict yet compliant eviction process for $275. All notices to tenant regarding late rent and pending evictions will be sent via certified mail and on attorney letterhead.
How much does SmartMax charge?
SmartMax offers 2 convenient management fee options: $999/year or $99/month ($888/year or $88/month for condos). Most other property managers charge 8-10% of monthly rent.
Who is in charge of the maintenance and repairs of the property?
SmartMax retains a team of preferred vendors for maintenance and minor repairs. Clients can take advantage of our team at discount pricing. SmartMax will schedule maintenance/repairs and remit payments as part of our management contract. In addition, we perform inspections annually, every time a tenant moves in or out, and whenever major repairs are carried out. We can provide pictures corresponding to our inspections at any time.
Who is in charge of lawn care?
Unless otherwise stated in the lease, tenants are in charge of the lawn and yard care. If they choose, we can arrange for routine lawn and yard maintenance at the tenant’s cost.
Am I able to see my account statement?
Owners receive an up to date monthly statement with each rent disbursement. This statement can also be accessed via our website. Also, all tax documentation will be prepared and delivered in a timely manner.
Are renters insured?
Your homeowner’s rental policy will typically cover the cost of the structure but SmartMax requires all tenants to take out a renter’s liability policy for further coverage. If they don’t provide a policy within a reasonable amount of time, SmartMax will force place a policy for them.
Who is in charge of compliance?
There are certain areas of compliance that landlords need to be aware of including municipality registration and lead testing. Our real estate professionals are very knowledgeable in all these areas and will ensure each property is fully compliant.
How can repairs be scheduled?
Our full service website has an online ticketing system in which tenants can request routine maintenance and minor repairs. Everything is tracked online and a ticket is created when requests are made. We can also be reached by phone 24/7 for emergencies.