Austin Property Management Blog

Windy Brook Drive Home for Rent!

System - Tuesday, May 5, 2020

1,722 SF | 3 Bed | 2.5 Bath

View this home and other available Austin rental homes today!

S 1st Street Condo Available Now in 78704!

System - Monday, April 13, 2020

900 S 1st Street #413, Austin, TX 78704

Austin Downtown Condos for Rent

8 Great Restaurants in Austin Offering Delivery or Take-Out During the Shelter-In-Place Order

System - Monday, April 6, 2020

With COVID-19 affecting the nation and Travis and Williamson Counties on Shelter-in-Place orders, Greater Austin residents have had a drastic change in their everyday life. One thing that comes with being cooped in your home is that, eventually, you’ll need more food. Trips to the grocery store don’t have the greatest appeal to them right now and HEB curbside is backed up for a few weeks. To spare our fellow Austin foodies, we threw together a list of 8 great restaurants in Austin offering delivery or curbside takeout during these unprecedented times.

Kerbey Lane Cafe
An Austin staple. You have to try the Banana Walnut Pancakes, Kerbey Queso, and Glazed Brussels….maybe not all in the same meal. Kerbey Lane Cafe is offering delivery and take-out service at this time. 

Franklin's BBQ
Famous in Austin and typically sold out, Franklin’s has closed their dine-in area but are offering Austin residents a curbside takeout option. Craving some brisket or ribs? Franklin’s is the spot. 

Chuy’s
A tex-mex favorite in Austin, Chuy’s is offering ATX residents with the option to order food via delivery or take-out. If you aren’t getting the creamy jalapeno sauce with your chips and salsa you have been missing out. 

Home Slice
Who doesn’t love pizza? Austin has no shortage of pizza places that are continuing stay open during this time. We wanted to give a special shout out to Home Slice. With sauce and crust that really set this place apart, don’t deprive yourself of a classic Austin pie. Delivery or take-out is available.

Round Rock Donuts
World famous and for a good reason! Round Rock Donuts is a staple pastry shop in Round Rock and has been featured on the food network. It’s always a treat when Round Rock Donuts find their way into our office kitchen. They have a drive through so grabbing a dozen classic glazed is quick and easy!

El Arroyo
If El Arroyo had another job they’d be an instagram influencer, but for now they have tex-mex on lock. Not only are they providing Austin residents with great food during this time they also lighten the mood with their comical signs. Right now you can order a 6 pack of margaritas with chips and salsa from their website as well as their regular menu. 

Hula Hut
Hula Hut isn’t the same without the sunset view on the deck, but the delicious guacamole and pu pu platters will help us forget that we have to enjoy it inside. You can order pickup through their website or you can order delivery through the Favor app. 

Blue Corn Harvest
This scratch kitchen just North of Austin has you covered on all things great food. Try one of the incredible burgers - or any of their other great entrees. They are offering a takeout option during this unprecedented time.

While this list doesn’t do Austin justice when you consider the thousands of restaurants in Austin, it should put you on the right track to enjoy some of the foods you love from the comfort of your home. With the impact this pandemic has had on our economy our favorite restaurants need us more now than ever. What are some of your favorite Austin restaurants?

4 Tips for Quickly Leasing Your Rental Property

System - Thursday, April 2, 2020

Whether you have a portfolio or just one rental property, it’s important to minimize the time your property spends on the market. As the saying goes, “time is money”, and every day your property spends on the market is money lost on your investment. Every day, 110 people move to Austin which makes it a strong rental market with a large pool of potential tenants. The fact of the matter is that while Austin is great for landlords, it's also great for tenants as there is no shortage of available rental properties.  How do you set your rental property apart from the others? Here are 4 tips that we apply to the rental properties that we manage in Austin:

Curb Appeal

It’s the little things that count and a first impression is always the most important. This is how they will tell their friends and family where they live…”It's the cute blue house with the white trim and wooden shutters.” Also, this will be the first photo that renters and showing agents see on the listing online. Easy ideas include:

  • Trimmed Lawn/Landscaping

  • New Exterior Paint

  • Sleek House numbers

  • Updated Shutters

  • A Front Door that Pops

  • New Mailbox

  • Front Doormat that says “Welcome Home”

Price 

As a landlord, you want the highest amount possible in monthly rent, but forcing a higher price on your property than what it should be could cost you money in the long run. If you could lease your property for sure at $1,150 but decide to list at $1,200 and it sits for a month. At $1,150 you'd have made $600 less for the year, but due to your property sitting on the market an extra month at $1,200 you've effectively lost money on your investment. 

To a renter, price is very important. If they feel like they received a good deal then they start off living in your property with a happy attitude. If you want to start with the property priced higher at the beginning that is not an issue, but you should ever expect to just receive top dollar for your rental property. If after a couple of weeks you haven't had much interest you can't be unwilling to cut the price to adjust to the market or you could experience extended vacancies. 

Running comps is a great way to see what comparable homes in your neighborhood/region are receiving in monthly rent. This gives you a better idea of what price to list your home to garner the most attention on the MLS. Stone Oak is happy to provide property owners in Austin with a free market analysis for their property. No obligations. no catch.

Availability

Leasing is a much more fast-paced transaction than your typical real estate deal. Making your property available to potential renters for showings is important. If someone is looking for a place to rent, they more than likely need to make a decision soon and the more available your property is the better chance you have at leasing your home quickly. Being available is key. For example, our Austin property managers provide showings to potential renters by request every single day until 9 pm making it convenient as possible for potential renters to see our home and sign a lease. Again, renters are making quick decisions. If you aren't responding to inquiries on your property in quick fashion you are losing to the competition. 

Make The Process 'Hassle-Free'

The average person is twice as likely to write a bad review than a good one. You need to create as little friction as possible to ensure a pleasant experience for anyone interested in your rental property. Your processes for tenants, from showing the home to move-in need be as convenient as possible for potential tenants. 

There is a wide array of tools available to owners looking to manage their rental properties and keep everything on track and in order. However, if you are looking for a passive investment with minimal oversight on your end we recommend hiring an Austin property manager. A quality property management company will have processes in place to not only make the tenants experience easier but yours as well. For example, our company offers on-demand showings, quick turnaround time on applications, easy move-ins that are scheduled at the renter's convenience and more. 

At the end of the day, if you care about your rental property it shows. Tenants will appreciate any owner who applies the above to their rental home and owners will experience happier tenants and shorter vacancies for their rental home(s). Please contact our team of Austin property managers today with more questions about leasing your home and the best practices to do so quickly. 


Austin Home for Rent: 7311 Sunset Heights

System - Tuesday, March 31, 2020

7311 Sunset Heights, Austin, Texas 78735

View this and more homes for rent in Austin, Texas

Office Access Closed

Grant Williams - Thursday, March 26, 2020

Office Access Closed: In order to ensure the health of our team and the public, visitor access to the Stone Oak Management office is currently closed until further notice.

Our office is still fully operation in all aspects and you may reach us by email or phone. In order to reach us you must send an email or leave a voicemail or we will not know you are trying to reach us.

Payments can be made online, into the drop-box across from our door, or by requesting and using cash payment vouchers at participating 7-11 or CVS locations.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to send us a message or to give us a call at 512.617.6766.

What's Better: Long-Term or Short-Term Rentals in an Economic Downturn?

Grant Williams - Tuesday, March 24, 2020

We are only three months in and 2020 is shaping up to be quite the year. With the current COVID-19 pandemic in full swing the markets have taken a huge downturn in recent months and it’s beginning to affect everything from toilet paper sales, tourism, the real estate market and practically every industry across the globe. 

Which leads us to the question - Which is a better investment in an economic downturn, a short-term rental property or a long-term rental home?

Short-Term Rental Properties in Austin, Texas 

In light of COVID-19, several businesses have had to adapt or close overnight and companies like AirBNB or VRBO are not immune to the impact. In nearly every part of the world, AirBNB markets are drying up overnight. Owners have experienced a sharp cancellation of reservations and properties are beginning to sit for long periods of time with no end in sight. Well-renowned events such as South by Southwest (SXSW) here in Austin, which serve as pillars of the community, have been canceled and AirBNB owners faced the harsh realities of that decision. In January, Austin had 5,188 short-term rentals posted across all short-term rental sites. Now, just two months later, the short-term rental market has more than 9,200 active listings. The chart below shows a comparison of revenues in the Austin short-term market in March 2019 and projected revenues for March 2020, which are still subject to decrease depending on how AirBNB and hosts handle refunds in this market.  

With recent developments across the country and with many cities, counties and even some states going into lockdown to fight the COVID-19 pandemic there’s no end in sight to the slow down in Tourism to Austin, Texas or even the entire world. With hotels seemingly on the verge of collapse, one can read the “writing on the wall” that the short-term rental markets are going to be further impacted.

If you're an owner who has a portfolio of properties in the Austin, Texas area that you fill using AirBNB, VRBO or any other short-term rental site you may find yourself with a portfolio of empty rental units at this time. With Austin authorities announcing a 'shelter-in-place' effective at midnight tonight (Tuesday, March 24th), there doesn't seem to be an end to all of this craziness in sight. This could be bad news for short-term rental owners who have seen their revenue sources disappear seemingly overnight. 

Long-Term Rental Properties in Austin, Texas

While tourism does affect long-term rental homes it does so in different fashion. Tenants in a long-term accommodation typically call Austin home and are local to the area. While they may be directly affected by an economic downturn via layoffs or other factors, your property isn’t directly affected by a drop in tourism in the Austin, Texas area. Instead, your property would be indirectly affected by this recession through a loss of the tenant's income, etc.  

We advise any and all owners we speak to about their property to be strict on their criteria for accepting new tenants into their rental homes. While some things are unavoidable, a thorough screening process that tackles all of the necessities for determining if a tenant is a reliable occupant is key for your property in times of economic abnormality. The more you “vet” potential applicants on their financial history, occupational status, the more likely you are to find a higher quality tenant and increase the security of  your rental investment. 

It’s worth noting that if you decide to convert your short-term rental property into a long-term rental you open yourself up to different options for tenants. For example, you can choose to accept Section 8 tenants in your property. Depending on your property’s location and price this could be a great recession deterrent as your tenants rents are paid by the government. No such program exists for short-term rentals. Here is an interesting article posted just days ago about the benefits of Section 8 for your properties

While both investment opportunities are at their weakest during times of economic downturn, short-term rentals are subject to more market variables than long-term rental properties which places them at a higher risk. It’s in times like these where a solid tenant can make or break a property for a landlord. . 

Can you convert your short-term rental into a long-term unit? Of course you can! We’d be happy to connect with you and discuss your property, goals and how that transition would take place. For more information about converting your short-term rental property to a long-term rental, please don’t hesitate to contact our team of Austin property managers! We have turnkey solutions available to you. 

Getting Your Austin, Texas Home Ready for Lease or to Sell

System - Thursday, March 12, 2020

In this short video, Andrew discusses the 'make-ready' process for your Austin, Texas rental property and how you can be prepared for new tenants or new owners at the time of move-in.

More questions about Austin real estate? Visit our FAQ to read common questions we receive from property owners in Austin, Texas! 

Austin Home for Rent: 2304 Granada Drive

Grant Williams - Monday, March 9, 2020

2304 Granada Drive, Austin, TX 78741

1,864 SF | 4 Bed | 2 Bath

View this and all of our available Austin homes for rent!

Austin Home for Rent: 1903 Alegria Road Unit B

System - Wednesday, March 4, 2020

1903 Alegria Road Unit B, Austin, TX 78757

View this and all of our available Austin rental homes!


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Stone Oak Property Management
13497 N Highway 183, Ste. 700
Austin, TX 78750

Phone: 512.617.6766
Toll Free: 888.892.7940
Fax: 512.994.2300

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