Austin Property Management Blog

Investing in a Rental Property? Consider These Points and Why a Property Management Service May be i...

System - Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Investing in Real Estate and Maintaining Your Property/Rental. The Solution is Property Management!

Investing your money in rental property can have you earning a steady stream of income for life If done properly. However, do not expect the costs of such an investment to end at closing! When becoming a landlord there are two certainties – costs and death. Most real estate investments require prompt maintenance and remodeling to be suited for code and actually livable for a rent paying tenant.

Let’s say you now own a property ready to be rented and now the process of finding a tenant comes into play. Don’t forget this is only the first step to your income producing investment, and then comes the actual process of being a landlord. Some prefer to be hands on with their properties and deal with the constant headaches owning a rental property can cause and the time you must invest in it – time you may not have to spare. This is where professional property management services come in to play.

What Do Property Management Services Provide To You? 

The value a property management service can add to your investment can be great and many experienced real estate professionals can tell you that a great property management service is worth it.

Finding Higher Quality Tenants For Your Property

Finding a tenant can be hard and expensive. If you go it alone you’ll be competing for tenants with communities and property managers that have the resources and funds to out-market your listing. Hiring a property management company can make this process stress free! Any competent service has a marketing plan in place to get you a qualified tenant fast and even offer a guarantee. They’ll provide the screening and analyze application data to provide you with the best tenant suited for your property!

Problems & Complaints 

As mentioned earlier, the two guarantees in a landlord’s life are maintenance and death. What if there was a way for all the petty things to be put on someone else’s shoulders and only involve you in the things that truly matter? Oh right, there is! A property management service takes the burden of the landlord off your shoulders and mind and makes it their own. It only takes one trouble tenant to cause a slew of financial and even legal headaches. A great property management company is knowledgeable of the current landlord-tenant of Texas. Avoiding just one law suit can completely cover the costs of a property management service!

Retaining Great Tenants  

An exceptional property management service doesn’t just aim to please their client, the landlord, but instead focuses on both sides of the coin. Some may be good at finding great tenants through marketing, but keeping these tenants through great customer service is just as important. For example, here at Stone Oak Property Management we offer a 24/7 crisis line to our landlord’s tenants, an online portal for rent to be paid and maintenance requests to be submitted. Retaining these quality, rent paying tenants is the key to keeping your income up and we here at Stone Oak are dedicated to you and your bottomline!

Maintenance & Repairs

Property management companies should always have a network of vendors and contractors either on payroll or as business partners leaving you satisfied with the knowledge that your property is consistently maintained by trusted and insured sources.

All of these and so much more can make up a great property management service! Property management not only helps protect and maintain your investment, it provides you less stressful investment, as they serve as your personal investment assistant, and more free time to spend relaxing or focusing on other areas of investment you may be in. Head over to our contact page to learn more about what Stone Oak can provide you as a landlord or give us a call at 512.617.6766!

Hiring the Right Contractor

System - Saturday, April 30, 2016

One of the toughest challenges a property owner faces is finding the right person for the job. This could be anything from constructing a fence to a major remodel of your kitchen. Even as a management company, there are trying times with vendors.

We have several “go-to” vendors on our list, but it is an ever evolving list and we are always looking for great vendors to stay competitive in the market.

As an owner considering a project there are a few items that I recommend asking about and insisting on throughout the duration of your project.

  1. Do not pay for a job upfront. This could indicate the contractor doesn’t have the funds to hire the crew needed for your job. You may be thinking you are getting a “great deal”, but you will likely end up with an unfinished project weeks later.
  2. Always try to pay for materials yourself. This will help keep tabs on what is actually being spent on materials versus labor. We have vendors call us from material supply stores to give our credit card to the store directly. This allows us to review the purchase order.
  3. Is the vendor insured? Depending on the scope of your project, this may not matter to you, however consider that nearly everyone has the ability to fall off a ladder or nail their hand to something. Without insurance, you will likely be paying for the mishap.

Lastly, when choosing a vendor, keep in mind these excellent quotes:

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

-Benjamin Franklin

“If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. Go with your gut and let your instincts be your guide.”

-Jason Huval

Transitioning to a New Property Manager

System - Sunday, April 10, 2016

Nearly half of the new clients we bring on at Stone Oak come from other property management companies. A big concern for these landlords have when making a transition is the time required and the hassle that may be ahead of them.

We make the process as simple and smooth as possible! Most professional property management companies have good records and the transition is largely coordinated between the new and old management companies, taking very little of the landlord’s time.

We have worked with dozens of local companies of all different sizes to transition landlords into our company. Our staff is dedicated and extremely focused on our clients’ needs and making this transition a breeze for them. We help to fill in the gaps when needed in a transition - If it takes physically showing up at a previous manager’s office to pick up records, leases, keys or the like, we will do our best to make the transition a smooth one for all.

When interviewing property managers, don’t be afraid to ask how the transition is handled and what your responsibilities as the landlord will be. Call us today at 512.921.7537 or email us to see what a property management company like ours can offer compared to our competitors!

Evicting a Tenant in the State of Texas

System - Tuesday, March 8, 2016

First of all, eviction is not as common as you would think, and not that scary if you are on the right side of it.

We work in Travis, Williamson, Hays and Bexar counties currently. As with most counties in Texas, you will find that the time from the date of filing a petition for eviction until the actual eviction will vary depending on how busy the courts are, but you should expect three to six weeks.

Once you have been through the hearing with the court and won your eviction case, you will still be at the mercy of the constable/sheriff’s office and how busy they are. They will have to post a notice on the front door after you obtain the “writ of possession” and then physically show up to be keepers of the peace during the actual eviction.

The costs can vary as you are charged per person/adult you are evicting. As of the writing of this post, in Travis county it is $116.00 to file on one person in Travis County and $155.00 for the writ of possession after winning at the hearing.

You will also need to factor in the cost of having a locksmith and a crew or someone to remove the personal property from the home on-site the day of the eviction. The sheriff’s office in Travis County gives us two hours to make all this happen before they charge $50 per hour per officer attending the festivities.

If you have a written lease and a good paper trail for lease payments or the lack thereof, evictions for non-payment of rents in Texas are reasonably straight forward. 

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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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