Austin Property Management Blog

Breed Restrictions for Austin Rental Properties

System - Sunday, October 22, 2017

dog being restricted from a rental home

If you’re an individual who rents in Austin, Texas and owns a pet you’ve probably been asked “What breed?”, when looking for a new place to rent. It’s not that property managers or apartment communities hate dogs or animals, it’s that for the safety of others there are certain animals who are generally considered unsafe. If a dangerous animal isn’t allowed in an area there is a far less likely chance there will be an attack. Pretty simple stuff really.

There are a couple of reasons your dog/pet may be denied when applying for residency somewhere. First, some municipalities and regions have enacted breed-specific rules banning certain breeds from even entering certain cities. The second reason could be that insurance companies have identified that breed as dangerous ultimately barring the insured from accepting your pet. Another reason your breed may be banned is that the landlord/community has the ultimate say in what pets are allowed in their complex.

Common Restricted Breeds

Curious if that Austin landlord will accept your dog? Below are some of the common breeds that find themselves near the top of the 'bad' list.

  • Pit bulls
  • Rottweilers
  • Alaskan Malmutes
  • Siberian Huskies
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Akitas
  • Terriers
  • Bulldogs
  • And more..

Breed restrictions are an ongoing debate with pet owners. However, despite Stone Oak Property Management’s love for dogs, sometimes there is nothing we can do, and the same goes for other Austin property managers and landlords. Thankfully, Austin is an incredibly dog-friendly city and finding a place for you and your pupper will be easier than most other cities!

You can view pet friendly rental homes in Austin here!

Barton Hills | Austin's Neighborhoods

System - Monday, October 9, 2017

skyline view of Austin Texas from Zilker Park 

As one of the more well-known areas of Austin, Texas, Barton Hills is a community that boasts a love for nature and the outdoors.

Some of the biggest attractions in the area are greater Austin staples. In the photo below you get a glimpse of Barton Springs and the type of foot traffic it can experience on one of those Texas’ summer days. Not even that, the spring is a year round attraction with the temperature a steady 68-74°F. Don’t mind a dip in the spring in the winter months? The spring offers free admission from November thru March!

Swimming at Barton Springs in Austin TX

The next big thing Barton Hills offers residents of Austin is Zilker Park! If you own a dog, have a friend who owns a dog, or are just fans of dogs in general you’ve probably been to Zilker Park. Zilker marks the beginning of the several miles of lush green belt that run through Barton Hills. It’s pretty important to state that Zilker Park also hosts Austin’s annual Austin City Limits. An event that more than helped make Austin known as the live music capital of the world.

aerial view of austin city limits

Live music not your thing? That’s okay! Grab your kite and we’ll see you at Austin’s annual kite festival!

flying a kite at the zilker park kite festival

Maybe you’re a foodie like us here at Stone Oak Property Management… If so, we’ll meet you at The Happy Lobster!

sandwich from the happy lobster in austin tx

The Greenbelt offers active, outdoorsy individuals with a paradise in what seems like the middle of Austin. As one of Austin’s premier neighborhoods, Barton Hills has plenty to offer to those that choose to live there. Maybe you’re curious about living in the area? Be sure to check Stone Oak’s website for rental homes in South Austin!

A Great Property Manager is Priceless

System - Thursday, October 5, 2017

a property manager balancing his time

Like anything in life, the things that are worth it are worth the work. You may own rental properties and real estate may be your passion so you don’t have any issues with dedicating the time and effort to try on all the different hats required to run a profitable rental portfolio. If you’re one of the many owners who doesn’t have this kind of time or if your portfolio is so large keeping up with everything would be impossible then deciding to partner with a professional property manager, like Stone Oak Management.

A great property management company dedicates 100% of its time to ensuring your property performs as well as it should. Effective and data-driven marketing of upcoming and vacant properties as well as thorough screening by Stone Oak ensures your property spends fewer days on the market and more days with a rent-paying tenant occupying the residence. We use professionally structured leases that establish guidelines that protect you as a landlord if there is ever a conflict with a tenant.

The lifeline of your property is the tenants and the rental income the produce for you. For this reason, renewals are an owner’s best friend. As Austin’s most responsive property management team, we make it our goal for your tenants to love their landlord. We consider both a tenant and owners clients of ours, and set out to provide them with quality experiences.

Stone Oak Property Management has partnered with various professionals across our region allowing us to provide our owners with direct connections to legal pros, real estate attorneys, property tax protests, as well as a variety of other professions and industries.

As your property manager, we ensure accurate reporting. Accounting is a priority for us at Stone Oak, as a good portion of our staff were previous accountants who discovered a love for real estate! Once tax time rolls around, no hassles or headaches, we provide you with all the forms you need and filing is a breeze.

More important than everything mentioned above, if you partner with a priceless property manager like Stone Oak you know your best interests are at the forefront of everything we do. We want to earn your business and will work to do so month in, month out!

Contact our Austin property management team today to learn the Stone Oak difference and how much better your properties could be performing!

16128 Travesia Way | Austin Rental Homes

System - Tuesday, October 3, 2017

16128 Travesia Way, Austin, Texas 78728

2,273 SF | 4 Bed | 2.5 Bath

For more information, visit this listing!

How to Find Renters

System - Sunday, October 1, 2017

How to Find Renters

This may be a common question if you own rental properties, even more so if you self-manage those properties. So, how do you find tenants for your properties? Partnering with a property management company can be a wise move, especially in a market like Austin’s. I’m sure if you do have a property manager you probably quizzed them on their marketing efforts and what they do to find tenants for your property when you first signed up.

We’ll try our hand at guessing the usual spiel – We use our website, we list in on the MLS, we syndicate out to all the major sites, etc. Most managers stop there, trying to put as many lines in the water as they can until they get a bite. A decent approach until the every avenue is exhausted and overcrowded with competition. Stone Oak Property Management is different. In a world where 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every single day, Stone Oak recognized there has to be a piece of pie somewhere in there for property managers and rental home owners. Our Austin property management team now partners with several information partners allowing us more direct avenues to the end consumer - rent-paying, high quality tenants.

property manager marketing

Not all rental properties are created equal, and the same can be said for renters. Stone Oak Management is able to segment these individuals based on property types, income levels, family size, marital status – everything. We leverage data that presents itself to us in real time to better market your properties and tailor a solution for your rental home.

Stone Oak is proud to serve our clients and continues to think progressively to find them long-term solutions for their rental portfolios. Learn more about our Austin property management services and contact us with any questions!

9 Tips to Improve Your Rental Property

System - Thursday, September 28, 2017

A common theme with rental properties is that individuals don’t consider them as home-y as your owning their own home.

make your austin rental home feel like home

Of course, when you live in one location year after year you’ll grow accustomed to it and consider that home. So what do you do when own a rental home and you want your tenants to feel at home during their lease? Here are 9 tips to make your rental feel more like home for your tenants.

Add Smart Home Technology

Adding trendy tech and helpful gadgets can go a long way with tenant satisfaction. You can install digital thermostats to save them money, Google Home or Amazon Alexa’s to give your tenants their own personal assistant in their home, you could install smart locks – something that feels like a complete upgrade for the tenant.

Install a Bar

No, you don’t have to keep it stocked with alcohol. A bar in a house allows your tenants to have a great place for them and their guests to gather around. A bar has plenty of uses in a home!

Add a Backsplash to the Kitchen

Judging appeal alone, a kitchen looks much better and can be better received by guests when it features a fitting backsplash. Installation can be easy and you can have your tenant’s feeling like the next Gordon Ramsey in their great kitchen.

The Garage

Garages, especially to larger families, are a big deciding factor when choosing a rental home. People care about their cars. If your property features a garage it’s best to keep it finished and fully functional!

Replace the Hardware

Of any home improvement you can do, replacing things such as the door and cabinetry can show the best returns on your home.

Replace the Applicances

Appliances are a big deal. Tenant’s want the luxury of doing their laundry in their own home and not have to walk across the street to the Laundromat.

Spruce up the Landscaping

First impressions mean a lot, this is why you’ll wear your best dress or suit when meeting with new clients or a date. Same goes for your rental home. If it looks great on the outside you’ll have more interest to see the inside. Making your rental’s landscape look great can make your property more attractive to potential renters.

Change Your Floors

Flooring can be ugly. If your rental still has the original carpet you may want to have it replaced. Replacing those pesky spots on your rental’s floor can have more of an impact then you think.

Office Space

The age of the digital nomad is upon us. More and more people are working from home. If your rental has the ability, offering flex office space can be an attractive selling point for some tenants. Especially in metro markets where the technology sectors have taken off. As the years go by, more and more people will probably be working mainly on their computers and office space will be popular.

rental home with office space

The best part about all of these improvements is they can also boost your rental rate and home’s worth if done properly. If you can capture the feeling of home and offer it to your tenant’s your renewal rate should see a positive uptick. Which one of these would you consider implementing on your rental? 

Renting v. Buying

System - Monday, September 25, 2017

According to the National Association of Realtors, within the next 7 years 5 to 6 million new renter households will be created. Americans are in no rush to buy it seems. Despite the access to funds in our economy to purchase such an asset most renters are staying put. The infographic below sheds light on the recent change in attitudes toward buying v. renting.

renting a home infographic

How to Make Your Rental More Energy Efficient

System - Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Just because you don’t own the home you’re currently living in doesn’t mean you have no control over your home’s energy use!

Here are some quick tips to increase your efficiency and minimize your carbon footprint. Allowing you to save money on your monthly bills!

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Using a programmable thermostat to take control of your heat and cooling levels will lower your monthly costs and energy use. A good one can be purchase for around ~$35 and installed in no time!

DIY: Install a Programmable Thermostat

Install Gaskets to Prevent Leaks

Put your hand next to the outlets in your home. Can you feel air flowing through? If so you should consider installing these gaskets to prevent heat and cooling loss when it’s most important!

DIY: Insulate Outlets & Switches

Seal Windows and Doors

It’s pretty likely your rental features single pane windows and these usually are affected by old or missing caulk. You can combat these types of airleaks by insuring you’ve re-caulked and sealed any windows or doors that may need some attention!

Power Strips

If you’re like most, you just leave your electronics plugged in and this wastes more energy than some believe. You can cure this by utilizing smart power strips that don’t allow the usage of energy while your electronics are dormant.

Water Heater Settings

Do a double check on your water heater and adjust the level to which it is set. If you can find the lowest comfortable setting you can increase savings. If you’re hot water hits scolding levels you may want to turn it down.

Clean your Fridge

You’re probably not going to purchase a new fridge for your tenure in your rental home. You can, however, improve the current one! By cleaning the coils on the back of your fridge you’ll help this energy hog run more efficiently.

Consider these tips to quickly reduce your home’s carbon footprint. Our Austin TX property managers are dedicated to a great experience for both our owners and tenants.  If you have any tips or suggestions, we’d love to hear your thoughts so shoot us an email!

Preparing Your Texas Home's HVAC for Cooler Weather

System - Sunday, September 17, 2017

Preparing Your Home for the Cooler Season

As the end of the year approaches so does the cooler weather of the later months. Another summer of Texas heat has almost been defeated by all of us here in Central Texas. As this cooler weather approaches keep these tips in mind to prepare your home for the cooler season.

Your HVAC system

Most homes in Texas center around forced-air systems for both their cooling and heating. If you’re not properly maintaining this equipment it can have a big effect on how efficiently your home’s HVAC equipment performs. Additionally, understanding how well your home holds its heat can help you save with a programmable thermostat.

Replacing Your Air Filter

Clogged air filters can restrict the air flow of your heating system, but also reduce the system’s efficiency and lifespan. Disposable air filters are more likely to buckle when they become clogged and can wind up circulating all the dust and dirt it’s collected back into your home.

To be on the safe side be sure to change your air filter every three months.

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Furnace

Dust, dirt and other debris tend to collect around your furnace’s blower compartments if your system is leaky or clogged. An inspection can be performed by turning off both the thermostat and system’s breaker on your main fuse box.

Once you’re in you can remove the panel and clean the inside of dust and debris. A light brushing should suffice.

Air-Seal Your Ductwork

Taking time to air-seal the duct work in your home can have many benefits. A leaky return duct will pull less air from the rooms it’s supposed to – as well as pull from rooms it’s not. On average, 20-30% of air moving through duct work in a home leaks out through holes, gaps, seams, and disconnections which will make the rooms different from their target temperature.  Sealing duct work not only improves efficiency but also better controls the amount of debris and dust, moisture or mold problems.

Programmable Thermostat

If you keep your home on the same temperature to save energy then let us be the first to inform you that this is a myth. The cooler something is the easier it is to get colder. The same rules apply to heat. Knowing this and using a programmable thermostat can save you close to $200 every year in energy costs.

Consider these tips to prepare your Austin or Central Texas home for the approaching cooler weather. For more articles and tips to improve your home check out our property management blog.

From the Tenant: Leah M.

System - Wednesday, September 6, 2017

As dedicated Austin property managers..

One of Stone Oak Management's biggest priorities is not only our landlords, but our tenants. From the beginning, our goal has been to always provide a satisfactory experience for both parties and ensure our tenants feel like home in their properties. When we here from our tenants about great experiences they've had in dealing with our team it's very rewarding for us! So what are tenant's saying about Stone Oak's Austin property management service?

"Amazing company to rent from! All of our maintenance requests were handled in a timely fashion. Our rental house had a lot of problems because it's old but we were never over charged for rent and were compensated for the trouble. They have a super reasonable pet deposit policy. We wound up getting our entire security deposit back, minus utilities. Jennifer and the crew provide awesome customer service! After a terrible experience with Austin Manage/Realty Pros, Stone Oak met and exceeded all of my high expectations. Thank you!"  - Leah M.

Thank you, Leah, for your kind and encouraging words. Love your landlord and partner with a great Austin property manager!

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Contact Us

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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