Austin Property Management Blog
Should you hire an Austin property manager?
Rental property management is something some owners elect to do themselves as they might have the time to deal with the various day-to-day requirements that come with managing properties. If you find yourself doing so you probably understand that things can get hectic and your schedule can be loaded in a hurry. Your rental homes aren’t static objects. When occupied by tenants they become these living things that require constant care and attention.
What will a property management company provide me?
Let’s first cover what you should expect from hiring a property management company like Stone Oak Property Management. As your professional landlord, Stone Oak’s goal is to leave you stress free while providing quality management of your investments. From the start, Stone Oak provides all of the marketing and prospecting for tenants in the event your property is vacant. Our Austin property management team provides quality screen and vetting of tenants for your property, ensuring you with quality, rent paying tenants backed by a guarantee!
Once tenants are placed and the house is occupied, Stone Oak Property Management has all bases covered. We deal with everything from A to Z. From collecting rent to handling emergency and maintenance requests, Stone Oak provides a suite of property management services that allow you, the owner, to only worry about checking their bank account every month for the rent deposit. Our experienced property managers provide you with the peace of mind that professionals with decades of experience are overseeing your investments. Stone Oak Property Management is a company built by landlords for landlords!
So when is the right time to hire a property management company?
Here are some of the reason we hear from our owners at Stone Oak that pushed them to hire an Austin property manager.
You have to many rental properties to manage yourself. Managing rental homes can be a tough task. When you begin to manage multiple properties then things start to get hectic. At Stone Oak Property Management, we’re more than prepared to take on your properties whether you have 1 or 100!
You’re not close enough to manage your rental properties. Life happens. Sometimes you move to a new city or maybe you decide to invest in real estate in hot markets. Regardless of your reasons, Stone Oak can provide you with excellent service whether you live in Austin or just own properties here.
You aren’t interested in the nuts and bolts of hands-on management. Dealing with tenants can be a tough task, especially when you are financially invested in their home. Let your headaches become our headaches by trusting Stone Oak to manage your rental properties.
You don’t want to worry employees. When deciding to hire someone to manage properties for them, some owners may elect to hire their own landlord as an employee. If you took this route you’d be stuck handling payroll and a host of other legal requirements. As an independent contractor, Stone Oak doesn’t require the hassle of all the things associated with being an employer.
Your time is valuable. If you self-manage you’ve probably found yourself in a situation where you had something planned and something came up with a tenant or your property. You probably would love to disregard this but you know where your true obligation lies. Relieve yourself of situations like this and let Stone Oak Property Management professional manage your rental properties.
Okay, you want to hire an Austin property manager. How do you know you’ve chosen the right one?
Like anything, it’s smart to shop around for the best deal. With your Austin rental property, you aren’t short on choices for property management companies. At Stone Oak Property Management, we let our service and policies do the speaking for us. What sets us aside? For one, we don’t lock you down to any length of term – it’s all month to month. If you aren’t satisfied with our service, you can fire us and move on to the next. Our competitors will try locking you down to a one-year contract from the beginning. Speaking of firing us, Stone Oak Property Management has never lost an owner to a rival company and the only time we’ve lost a client is when they decide to sell their property.
So go ahead and kick some tires, we’ll be ready to treat your investments as our own once you’re ready!
Austin’s rental market is one of the hottest in the country!
With the recent report naming Austin the #1 place to live in the country it doesn’t seem to be on track to slow down either! Year after year, rental properties in Austin has proven to be a solid financial investment. As of February of this year, the average rent for an apartment within the city of Austin totaled at $1,419 with one bedrooms pulling in an average of $1,245 and two bedroom apartments averaging $1,562. However, over the last 6 months to date the average apartment rent in Austin has decreased by 2.1%. The graph shown below gives you an idea of the steady increase of rent from January 2011 to February 2017.
So what locations in Austin pull the in the highest average rent? By neighborhood, the top five locations with the highest paid rent are Downtown, South River City, Bouldin, East Ceaser Chavez and Triangle State. These were followed closely by areas such as Zilker, Barton Hills, Hyde Park and others. Aiming for cheap rents? The three cheapest neighborhoods to live in are Coronado Hills, Georgian Acres and Franklin Park. You can view the full Austin rental market report to learn more.
The data shows Austin offers and has maintained a strong rental market. If you are interested in investing in the Austin real estate market, Stone Oak is ready to assist you in all facets of the process including the locating of investment properties and managing those investments. Give us a call at 512.617.6676 to chat and get the process started!
4 Reasons You Need a Professional Property Manager
Struggling with self-management and thinking about hiring a property manager? Put your real estate investments on auto pilot and let a professional property manager do the work! Here are a few reasons why you should be using a property manager.
Qualifying Your Tenants
As a self-managing landlord, you may be without or lack the resources to thoroughly screen prospective tenants. Are their references for previous landlords real? Do they make the minimum requirement of 3x their monthly rent? These and much more are all questions that are valid determiners of whether or not a tenant is suited to live in your property. When you self-manage these are all things you must validate before you can accept a tenant to your property and gathering all of this information can be a hassle and very time consuming. Trust a professional property manager to do all of this work for you and find only quality tenants for your property!
Most if not all smart landlords have a policy about grace periods for paying rent after the initial due date. This is good as sometimes life can take unexpected turns for tenants and coming up with rent can be a struggle. As a self-managing landlord, since you are hands on with your tenants, things can get personal quick if you have a tenant who isn’t paying but you have a good relationship with. With a professional property management company, you’re hiring a company with systems in place to address this type of scenario. No feeling bad for your tenant or extending time for someone who is late on their payment to you. The only thing you’ll have to worry about is how you’ll be spending your money collected every month and deposited directly into your account.
Are You Familiar with Fair Housing Laws?
Paperwork and red tape are prevalent in Real Estate. A lot goes into the regulation of ethics and legal issues and as a self-managing landlord you must be knowledgeable of the legal issues addressing your industry. Are you familiar with fair housing laws, HOA restrictions, local and state laws or even evictions? If not, a professional property management company could be a great investment for you to insure all things are done according the book.
Maintenance and the Urgency to Fix
As a property owner, maintenance and repairs are the most time consuming and costly dilemma you’ll face. Are you capable to fix a leaky faucet or a broken air conditioner? Are you financially prepared and do you have a network of vendors you keep in regular contact with? Putting off these types of repairs will only cause problems for you and leave your tenants very unhappy. With a property management company, like Stone Oak, you (and your tenants) are getting the support of an entire team of individuals dedicated to you and your tenant’s satisfaction. Our goal is to leave your tenant’s satisfied week in, week out providing you with high occupancy and low drama!
Still not fully invested in hiring a property manager? Give us a call today at 512.617.6766 to learn more about our services. We’ll provide you with a free rental analysis to determine how much you should be earning. Call today and discover the Stone Oak difference!
Is using a professional property management company the right choice for you and your rental property?
- You don’t live near your rental property
- You aren’t handy when it comes to home maintenance and repairs
- You can’t allocate 10-15 hours per month to deal with property related tasks
- You aren’t constantly available in the event of an emergency for your tenant
- You aren’t familiar with landlord-tenant law
- You don’t want to deal with the stress of problem tenants
- You aren’t great at screening and want to make sure you have great tenants
Austin landlords and investment property owners may be overlooking a way to increase their profitability and bottom line by not allowing pets in their rental properties.
According to FIREPAW, a non-profit organization whom handles animal welfare services, property managers who allow animals in their rental properties are seeing an increase in their bottom line profits. Their nationwide study found that the #1 reason pet owners gave up their pets were housing issues. Even though pet owners are willing to pay more in rent to keep their animals, there is still a shortage of landlords willing to accept pets.
You’d be hard pressed to find a city more pet-friendly then Austin and as a property management company we advise all of our landlords to consider pets when they present no risk to their properties or tenants. In terms of profitability, a separate deposit for pets can bring a landlord an extra chunk of change with each lease. The study conducted by FIREPAW also revealed that, on average, landlords and owners that allows pets will rent for a 20-30% higher rate than properties that don't allow pets. Other benefits for landlords that allow pets include:
- Longer Tenancy – Tenants who have pets prefer to stay in one place for a longer amount of time.
- Lower vacancy rates
- More applications received per unit – Pet friendly living situations are much more popular than those who don’t allow pets in Austin.
While it is true that allowing pets can come with increased insurance costs, the relatively small costs are offset by the premium rent received by pet-friendly housing. Tenants with pets will pay their pet deposit and Landlords can subtract any damages from that deposit and not be out any money if there are ever any damages. In fact, the data collected from this study shows the amounts of damage from tenants with pets is not much higher than that caused by tenants without pets.
Stone Oak Property Management is your choice when it comes to Austin property management. Built by landlords for landlords, we are prepared to handle all of your property’s needs with the knowledge to do so. Our goal is to provide unrivaled service that save our property owner’s time, money and the headache often associated with other property management companies.
Austin Property Management and How to Find Profitable Properties
The Austin rental market is booming right now! The demand for rentals is at an all-time high, the rents in the greater Austin area are way up, and the time to invest is now after Austin was named #1 place to live! If you can find an Austin rental property to invest in, you could be the owner of an investment that should have consistent income for years to come. However, choosing the right investment property can be tricky and if chosen poorly you could potentially lose money instead of earning!
The first course of action is to consider the type of property you would prefer to invest in. Single-family homes, condos and multi-family properties are all worthwhile investments. Before you start working with a broker, first decide what kind of property you’re willing to take on and what you can afford.
Consider who your ideal tenants are. Targeting areas of higher income such can lead to great, high-quality tenants though your initial investment will be greater. Also, consider whether you would be taking care of your rental property yourself or if you would need the services of an Austin property management company for your rental. Consider why you are investing in real estate and what you hope this investment will do for you. There are many books and online articles on this subject that can help you get started investing in real estate.
Once you know the tenant profile you’re after compared to the amount you’re willing or can invest, you should narrow down the neighborhoods and areas you would like to consider for your rental property. Our friends at Central Metro Realty offer a valuable tool for information on neighborhoods and the data for each region. On their home page you’ll see a neighborhood guide for all regions around the Austin area.
How do I identify areas and properties that would be a good investment?
Choose your desired rental area! The quality of the neighborhood will have a great impact on whether your rental property is a profitable investment, or whether it will sit vacant. However, Austin experiences an influx of people moving the area each day and while some regions are better than others, housing is booming and people are trying to live in all areas of the city. If you are not able to go to the neighborhood yourself, but aren’t working with a broker yet, use the neighborhood tool we provided above to learn more about the areas of greater Austin. Some neighborhoods that may appear bad at first glance can actually be great investments – as Austin is growing every single day with a great job market. It is wise, however, to check the crime stats for anywhere you are interested in buying rental properties, not just Austin either.
What Employers / Schools / Attractions are Nearby? The answer to this question will tell you what your potential tenants will do for a living, and what their lifestyle will be like. If high paying employers are in the area, your rental property may fetch a higher rent. Austin has experienced a tech boom comparable only to the likes of San Francisco. What’s desirable about that is these employers are spread all over the city. Up north you can find the likes of Samsung and Apple and as you move South you’ll find companies like Intel and Microsoft. Aside from excellent employers, Austin is home to the infamous UT so you can expect a steady flow of renters each and every year if you chose to invest close to the university. Finding a rental property with attractions nearby is ideal as you’ll be able to find quality tenants for your investment.
Consider your investment’s condition. You may choose a property that is in need of some renovation. You can usually find better deals on such rental properties, however your investment doesn’t just stop at closing. If you do so, you should prepare to experience a period of vacancy until the property is in rent ready condition. Keep in mind that different areas and different types of property will attract tenants with different definitions of what it means to be “rent ready.” Some properties that are generally in good shape may still need updates in order to become profitable rental property for the area all dependent on the profile of your desired tenants.
Look at property taxes in the area. If property taxes are increasing in the area, this can and is a significant expense for you. Be sure you have a firm grasp on the market and what you may be facing when it comes to taxes each and every year.
How much rent could I be earning in my desired location? All dependent upon the area and comparable properties in the area. Stone Oak Property Management actually provides those looking to invest in the area or those looking to begin renting their properties with a free rental analysis! You can give Jason Huval, our founding broker and market expert, a call – 512.921.7537 - and he can help you with that!
The best protection for your Austin rental property investment is quality property management services. Consider a professional Austin property management company with a record of excellence in the industry and years of expertise. Contact Stone Oak Property Management Austin to learn more about how we can make your investment a profitable one!
As a property management company in Austin, Stone Oak Property Management isn’t the only player in the game!
However, Stone Oak Property Management was built to fill the void for clients whom were disappointed with their current property manager. The founders of Stone Oak are all landlords themselves so they set out to build a company they themselves would be comfortable hiring as their property manager!
When searching for new property manager you should have a bundle of questions you come prepared to ask before deciding on the right company for your properties. Here at Stone Oak Property Management we talk to landlords and investors from all over the nation about their properties in Austin and San Antonio. Here are 10 frequently asked questions we hear from landlords!
Does the property management company have a dedicated, licensed property management personnel and how many staff will be looking after my property?
With Stone Oak, your properties receive unparalleled management from a team of certified property managers. From the maintenance crew to the founding manager your property receives the full attention to detail it deserves. When we take on new rental properties, we treat them as if they were our own. Stone Oak provides the greatest support team in the Austin market and you’ll always have direct line of communication with everyone in the company. You can rest assured your properties are in the hands of professionals with decades of experience in real estate and property management!
Is the managing Broker(s) of the company involved in the day to day management and supervision of operations?
Yes! Our managing partners are both 100% hands on with the company. As mentioned earlier, both are landlords and set out to create Stone Oak Property Management to better serve and fill the void left by other property management companies in Austin, Texas.
How many years has the property manager looking after my property been working in real estate?
Great question! People often mistake a “brand-name” to mean that the service will be better, but we don’t feel that way at Stone Oak! Both of Stone Oak Property Management’s managing partners have been in the Austin real estate market since the early 2000’s. It doesn’t stop there! In 2008, Central Metro Realty was founded by Jason Huval, one of our partners, and continues to be one of the largest locally owned Brokerages in Austin! Everyone on staff at Stone Oak Property Management has a breadth of knowledge in real estate and property management providing you with the best service for your rental property in Austin.
How many years has the property manager been with the agency or office?
While the entire staff at Stone Oak plays a part in managing your properties, no one will do more for them than Jennifer Frizzell. Turnover in the industry can be very high as busy seasons come and stress mounts. This isn’t the case with Jennifer. As employee #1 of Stone Oak, Jennifer has been here since the very beginning. She’ll take the time to learn your property inside and out! Call us today and you can talk to her, call again in 6 months and she’ll still be there to answer your questions. We at Stone Oak Property Management don’t view this as a job, and instead we are passionate about providing you quality and having you as a lifelong customer and this is reflected by the staff we have on hand!
What geographic areas do you cover?
As an Austin-born property management company, we service every neighborhood and community in Austin! Income properties can pop up all the time and in different locations and your portfolio in a few years time could be spread out across the various suburbs of Austin. Stone Oak Property Management can provide you service whether your North, South, East or West. Thinking of branching your portfolio to San Antonio? Stone Oak Property Management has properties and a support staff in this market as well! Consider us the Central Texas property management experts!
Do you hand out my keys or do you attend property showings with prospective tenants?
When we take on the management of your property(s), we consider them our own. We’ll never give your keys to prospective tenants without the supervision of a manager on-site. Not only are we managers of your investments but we consider ourselves protectors as well!
How many properties does the manager look after?
This may be the most important question on this list. The majority of the landlords and investors we talk to are fed up feeling like just a number with their current property manager. Large property management companies are spread thin when it comes to staff available compared to properties they oversee. This can leave owners and landlords feeling neglected and leave a bad taste in their mouths. Stone Oak approaches ours as a team effort ensuring your property is always high on priority list and you’ll never be left feeling like just a number!
Are you available to show my properties 6 days a week?
We’d go as far as saying we’d be available on Sunday if we needed to be. With the rise of the internet, prospective marketing and tenant interest is a 24/7 ordeal. Stone Oak Property Management’s staff is available to show your property no matter the time! Unlike other property management companies, Stone Oak doesn’t charge a vacancy fee which leaves you with the knowledge that we are doing everything we can to find you high-quality, rent paying tenants!
Do you have a system in place for vetting prospective tenants with regards to credit, rental history, etc?
Yes! Stone Oak Property Management uses proprietary software to filter tenants based upon the desired criteria. In the many years of providing our services, Stone Oak has only had perform one eviction. Basically, we find quality tenants for your properties!
Will you go to court for me if need be?
This is a definite yes! Stone Oak’s managing partners, as mentioned earlier, are all landlords! Before Stone Oak was born and the software we have today was available they had to perform evictions to clear their properties as the systems to vet tenants weren’t in place yet! Stone Oak regularly speaks with potential landlords seeking eviction advice to which we refer them to our friends over at Texas Tenant Evictions! However, if we at Stone Oak Property Management manage your property we offer this service at a fraction of the cost others are willing to do it for!
Do you own properties in Austin or San Antonio and have more questions for us? Give us a call or shoot us an email to learn more about what a property management company dedicated to your investments can offer you!
While Stone Oak does staff a team of Brokers and real estate agents, our main priority is focusing on the landlords whom employ us and their properties!
Often we get those looking to purchase new homes and properties and while we do help these clients, we often refer them to our trusted real estate partners over at Central Metro Realty!
Central Metro Realty is an Austin based, locally-owned real estate Brokerage. While Stone Oak was built for landlords by landlords, Central Metro was built by agents for agents! With Central Metro you know you’re working with an agent who is Austin local with years of experience in the local market!
Central Metro is a diverse Brokerage with many nationalities represented throughout the firm. With Austin being such a diverse city experiencing an influx of people every single day, having Realtors from every corner of the world helps those transitioning to a new area such as Austin. If you’re an individual moving to Austin internationally, check out their roster of agents to connect with an agent of either a certain nationality or language!
Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a home, the family of Realtors at Central Metro will make the process as easy as possible for you! As a regular partner of Stone Oak, we cannot recommend their services enough.
Whether you work with Stone Oak or Central Metro to purchase or sell your properties, we can always provide you exceptional property management for any and all of your residential properties from Stone Oak Property Management! Let us know if you have any questions about the services we provide by giving us a call or emailing us!
If you’re a landlord or landlady, you understand the life of your business – rental income!
If a structure isn’t set in place and rent isn’t collected in full and on time every month your business will take a hit. When everything is running according to plan this is when your return on investment is great, as you already may know!
Setting Your Rental Rate
Knowledge of the local market and the ability to assess data on the MLS provides Stone Oak Property Management with a great understanding of what your income property should be earning every month. We provide a rental analysis free of charge to any property owner interested in learning what their property can bring them in residual income every month! While most investors like to see their rent usually equate to 1% of their property’s value this doesn’t always serve as the main factor in determining your properties rental rate. The only true way to determine what your rental property should be earning every month is doing price comparisons with other properties in the given area and adjust as needed to what the market offers. However, you can rest assured that any great property management company, like Stone Oak, will have you earning the highest rent your property allows! To receive your free rent analysis, you can contact a local market expert at 512.617.6766!
Collecting Your Rent
Collecting checks from tenants is a thing of the past! The logistics of having to have your tenants deliver their rent to you or you having to go pick up their checks can have you spending time on something there is already simple solution to. Property management companies have evolved with the times and have a better presence online than ever before! Stone Oak Property Management gives tenants the tools that allow them to pay their rents online which results in a direct deposit into your account every single month. No hassle involved whatsoever!
Every property management is different in their policies concerning rent that isn’t paid on time. Stone Oak Property Management is adamant about making sure your rent is collected each and every month. Our thorough tenant screening process helps to insure you have high-quality, rent paying tenants in your property!
The services and the tools we provide make it easier than ever for your tenant to pay online, and for you to get paid every month! Ditch the hassle of collecting your payments from tenants every month and discover this and the many other benefits a property management company like Stone Oak can provide!