Austin Property Management Blog

Increasing the Value of Your Rental Property

System - Thursday, February 9, 2017

Updating and Adding Amenities Can Improve Your Rental Property and Lead to Higher Rent!

When it comes to your rental property are you actively trying to upgrade or are you simply providing maintenance? It’s enough to keep everything in working order and maintain your property as livable, and there is nothing wrong with this. However, as the property owner/landlord you may be missing out on simple ways to increase the value of your rental property. It doesn’t take much, but a few well-placed additions and upgrades to your property can have the value and even rent going up. Upgrades to your rental property can increase your return on investment and attract high-quality tenants!

Adding value to your rental property can happen many ways and range from replacing a few small things here and there to a full remodel of your rental property. The time is always now to make these changes as the market is consistently on the rise and you may be looking to sell your property once it hits a certain point!

Aside from the usual rent-ready cleaning, consider the below suggestions to improve the quality of your property!

  • Rental property in need of a paint job? With time paint loses its color and begins to fade. If you’ve had tenants in for a while this is almost a guarantee. Adding a  fresh coat of paint can have your place looking more vibrant and livable! A neutral color is also desired for most tenants so the décor they decide to use doesn’t clash with their home.
  • How’s the carpet? A deep carpet clean can make any home, rental or not, look as though it’s a few years younger. Maybe the carpet needs replacing. If so, just like the paint, a neutral color makes for good practice so colors don’t clash.
  • Any hardwood flooring? Hardwood floors are very desirable and maintaining yours can have a tenant wanting move in tomorrow. Be sure to check on yours and see if any refinishing is required as well as replace any old linoleum flooring with brand new laminate!
  • What about appliances? Not only are updated appliances an attractive feature they can even make your home look better with their sleek designs! Consider getting eco-friendly appliances as well to entice new tenants to rent with lower electricity costs!
  • Lighting! Nothing sets the ambiance of a home like lighting. Adding new fixtures and intensity controllers can have any home looking great! Using energy efficient light bulbs can improve the costs for tenants as well, increasing the likelihood of finding great tenants!
  • Curb Appeal! First impressions are everything! Making your rental property look great starts with the outside. Improving the landscaping around your rental property can have your property looking great and attract more interest to rent or buy!
  • Parking. Prospective tenants are always fond of off-street parking! If it’s feasible consider expanding or even adding a secondary driveway to provide more space for tenants.

There are a lot of upgrades that can go into any rental property so feel free to go above and beyond these suggestions. If you’re in need of vendors who can provide you with these additions give us a call. Stone Oak Property Management can help connect you with the resources you need to increase the value of your rental property! 

Out of State Investors and Stone Oak Property Management

System - Monday, February 6, 2017

Investor or Investment Group with Rental Properties in Austin, Texas? Discover Stone Oak Property Management!  

It’s no secret that the real estate market in Austin has been growing rapidly year after year. The greater Austin region has seen unrivaled growth, with Georgetown considered the fastest growing city in the nation with a population greater than 50,000 residents. According to Austin Relocation Guide, the greater Austin region experiences 157 net arrivals a day! This means people are looking for a place to live and they are looking all the time.

Maybe you’re a savvy real estate investor or a part of a larger investment firm wanting to invest in the greater Austin real estate market. Regardless of who you are, you’re going to need someone to look after your rental property and manage your investment day to day. Everyone likes a safe investment and everyone likes to keep their investment safe! The majority of Stone Oak’s employers (clients) are those who don’t have feet on the ground, but instead have chosen to invest their money here! All based on one thing – they trust us and the service we provide! Stone Oak Property Management, with our attentiveness and hand-on approach to all we do, provides out-of-state investors with the ease of mind that their investment property is left in the right hands. You’ll have access to real-time reporting through our website, keeping you in the loop with what is going on with your investment property. You’ll have the comfort in knowing you can always get a hold of anyone from the handyman to a managing partner and you’ll never feel like just a number with Stone Oak Property Management!

Investing in the Austin market has proven year in and year out to be a consistent pay off. Understanding the real estate market here can be a tough task however. We can guide and help you with finding the right properties to invest in as well as protect that investment with our management services! Property managers normally try and lock you down with a contract for the first year. You won’t find that with Stone Oak Property Management as we continually feel the need to earn your business. If you’d like to learn more about the services we provide to real estate investors and investment groups please visit our property management services page or email us with any questions you may have!

Tenants and Their Preference to Rent Through a Property Manager

System - Sunday, February 5, 2017

Do Tenants Prefer to Rent Through a Property Manager?

Just as most landlords will have horror stories of tenants throughout the years, the same applies to tenants in dealing with landlords. Thankfully, a great property manager should have both parties feeling satisfied! We’ve talked to plenty of tenants who prefer renting through a property manager opposed to a landlord for numerous reasons! We’ve all had that one landlord who was to nosy and too much involved in what should be the tenant’s privacy. If you've experienced this than you can understand how this can make a tenant feel a bit off about the place and less likely to renew their lease. At Stone Oak Property Management, we take tenant’s rights and privacy very seriously and someone renting a home from us will find themselves feeling at ease having a property manager who is there when they need them, and not there when they don’t.

While we take what is basically a personal interest in our client’s properties, we do our best to make the tenant feel as though it is their home. We understand and are up to date on the laws that involve rental properties and their tenants. While we always act in the interest of the landlord, we take pride in fostering an atmosphere that makes tenants happy to be where they are. Stone Oak is there 24/7 for tenants in the event of an emergency as well as provides them with ease of access to paying rent and submitting maintenance requests!

A property manager should make it easy for both the landlord and tenant and that’s exactly what Stone Oak Property Management does. As much as we are focused on building our business, we are more focused on building yours! This is why we hold our accountability to high standard when dealing with your tenants and why tenants love renting from our landlord’s properties. Hiring the right property manager is a choice not to be taken lightly and can affect your ability to attract high-quality, rent paying tenants! Make sure Stone Oak Property Management is on your list - your tenants will thank you! 

Property Management and the Role it Plays with Your Properties & Tenants

System - Monday, January 30, 2017


Austin Property Management and Your Properties and Tenants!


If you own a rental property or dozens of them, you are fully aware of the worthwhile experience it can be as it often generates a constant stream of income. This is only a guarantee though when you have great, quality tenants in your rental property who pay on time and don’t destroy your property. Everything is always great when you’ve got high quality tenants until those tenants turn out to be problems. This is where a property management company can really pay dividends!

It all starts with the marketing which should be included in your fees as it is with us! We syndicate your property for rent to numerous sources on the internet and physical locations in search for great, rent-paying tenants for your place. A professional property management company does the due diligence and provides all the screening for potential tenants for you. Most of the time landlords will run simple background checks and credit checks on tenants and while this may provide some detailed results on tenants for your rental property sometimes it isn’t very telling of the type of tenant they would be. Stone Oak Property Management provides thorough screening checking databases landlords on their own wouldn’t think to, calling out to all previous landlords dating as far back as we can, and ultimately we interview the tenant in-person to get a true feel for their personality type and the type of tenant they may be.

Consider your property management as your personal assistant and you’re the owner of a company who wants to be hands-off. Like others, Stone Oak Property Management is the middle link in the chain that is the landlord-tenant relationship. In many cases, landlords with property management companies working for them never meet their tenants so trust in your management company is a must. If you’re ever feeling like just a number with your property management company, then you’re with the wrong company. You should always feel at ease with your property managers and they should always be at your beck and call as they, again, are basically your personal assistant! They’ll deal with all maintenance requests, tenant inquiries and overall any situation that arises with your property under their watch. Stone Oak Property Management makes it easy on your tenants and you. We provide online rent collection and maintenance requests as well as real time reports for you to keep track of your property(s) and costs associated with it.

As always, nothing in life is guaranteed. Eventually there will come along what seemed like a great tenant and actually turned out to be a major headache. The costs associated with a property management company can be recouped with the avoidance of just one lawsuit! We make sure your property is in compliance and up to date with all property codes and safety laws for you to be able to rent to tenants and always dot our I’s and cross our T’s when it comes to documentation with a tenant so that none of this can be used against you. Stone Oak offers eviction services and in some cases will partner with an eviction service to provide comprehensive solutions to problem tenants.

From marketing your property, finding and screening for high quality tenants, acting on behalf of you to the tenant & ultimately dealing with any problems that arise a property management company is an ideal investment for any landlord looking to handle their business professionally. In a market like Austin’s, rental properties are abundant so if you are a landlord and interested in learning more about what a company like Stone Oak can offer you do not hesitate to contact us! 

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
New Accounts: 512.615.7737
Toll Free: 888.892.7940
Fax: 512.994.2300

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