We hear frequently from those in search of property management services in Austin, TX. One of the main questions we get is what exactly they should be expecting after hiring an Austin property manager. A service like property management is designed to make the owner’s life easier. Any Austin property management company you hire should help in preserving and increasing the value and longevity of your real estate investments. Your property manager should be covering A-Z for your Austin rental home and we’ll cover that below.
So, What are my property manager’s responsibilities? Below we go in-depth about what you should expect when working with a property manager in Austin, Texas.
First and foremost, if your property manager is not keeping you in the loop on your property then go ahead and ditch them. Transparency is key in a relationship business like property management. You not only need someone who is going to disclose the good news to you but also hit you with the bad news when required. There should be an open dialogue when it comes to your vacancies, tenant issues, your property’s condition, your property’s financials, etc. This process should be as hands-off as you, the owner, prefers. After all, your Austin property manager is there to make YOUR life easier! Another thing to check is who you can reach at the company at any given time. Can you call right now and speak to the owner? If not, be weary of the level of service their company will offer.
How did you come across your property manager? Were they actively marketing to you and you were drawn in by promotion? Was it successful? Now imagine you’re a tenant looking for a place to live. Would you prefer your property manager to be actively marketing your unit(s) or just hoping someone comes across the property on their search? You’d hope they were getting your property out there!
If not, you might question what they are doing for your property when it’s time to lease. Yes, the local MLS is a great marketing tool, but it’s not the only tool that can be used to make sure your Austin rental property leases fast! Look for a property manager who takes their marketing beyond the bare minimum to ensure you aren’t left with long vacancies where you’re covering the bills. Another thing, don’t be afraid of incentives. Austin is a big leasing city and most agents rightfully expect a commission. If your property manager isn't charging enough for a leasing fee you’d be hard pressed to get any Realtor in Austin to show their clients your home over the next that house that is paying a better commission. That tenant you obtain could be your tenant for the next 3 years and consistently make rent payments so be sure not sell yourself short to save a few dollars today.
A big marketing piece for your property is making sure it accurately priced to attract high-quality tenants. Over price your rental and you might have a dud that sits on the market for months. Your property manager should be able to provide a rental market analysis for your Austin rental property which should show comparable properties, etc. We understand as the owner of your rental home that you want the highest rent amount possible, but some owners have unrealistic expectations for their Austin property and how much rent it can earn. Your property manager should be able to show and justify to you why they priced your rental the way they did.
Your property manager should be prepared draw up the lease agreement, coordinate the move-in and inspection and then collect your rent monthly. Once that lease term is up and the tenant has confirmed to the manager what their intentions are – you’re property manager should either renew the lease with the tenants or begin the marketing of your property while processing the tenant’s move-out.
One thing: Do not hire a property manager who earns a fee even while your property is vacant.
Imagine you’re the CEO of a large corporation. Typically they have an executive assistant that handles every aspect of their day. Your Austin property manager is essentially your Austin rental property’s executive assistant. From scheduling maintenance & repairs, contracting quality vendors, regular inspections & quick emergency resolution your property manager should have their finger on the pulse of your Austin rental home at all times. At no point should the condition of your property suffer under an Austin property manager – aside from an uncontrollable natural disaster. Attention to detail is important here and you’ll want to make sure you have a property manager who is paying attention.
Owning a property that serves as a rental opens you up to liability you didn’t have before. As an owner, with a good chance you are out of state, you might not be familiar with Texas property code or the laws and regulations that surround an operational rental property. Fortunately, your Austin property manager should have a good understanding and knowledge of all of this. It is their job after all.
As you may know, evictions are closely tied to rental properties. The moment a tenant stops paying rent or breaches their lease it should be the first thing on your mind. It’s not wise to play around and let a tenant feel as though there’s a chance they won’t be held accountable. Stone Oak Management has not had to perform an eviction for one of our properties since 2016. With that said, we absolutely know how to reclaim your property. We got so bored from not having any evictions to do we started Texas Tenant Evictions. Now we help self-managing landlords with their evictions. Any property manager you hire should know how to handle the JP courts thoroughly in the event an eviction is required. They can take time and the faster you get a problem tenant out the quicker you can start earning rent again!
Your Austin property manager should be organized. Really organized. If they aren’t then all sorts of issues can arise if any disputes come up or when tax time rolls around every single year. Ask any property management company you speak with if they use any software for their business. Stone Oak uses AppFolio Property Manager to improve our processes and increase our efficiency. It’s an amazing software suite that allows us to share information regarding your property with you. At any moment you can login on our website and see the health of your Austin rental property(s)!
It's required by law that your property manager keep files up to a certain number of years. At the first sign of disorganization you should consider shopping around your management options.
An Austin property management company’s responsibilities don’t stop there. Visit us to learn more about the types of services you Austin property management company should be offering. Have a question regarding property investments, rental homes, or anything else? Please don’t hesitate to contact our team at Stone Oak Management.