Austin Property Management Blog

Why Hire an Austin Property Manager?

System - Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Austin Texas Property Management 

If you're an individual who owns investment property in Austin, TX, you may consider hiring a property manager to oversee your investments. Owners in the Austin market can spend a lot of valuable time dealing with tenants, maintenance, etc. This is time that could be spent elsewhere and can require hours of tedious work. Getting a property ready, finding tenants, and maintaining properties can require time that you, as an owner, just may not have.  

Many owners have found freedom by partnering with an Austin property management company. An experienced Austin property manager can managing your Austin rental property easier. Stone Oak Property Management offers owners and investors alike with a comprehensive, full-service package for their property(s). Managing a rental property can be tough. Throw in an entire portfolio and you'll find yourself constantly busy with various work and maintenance. You can partner with Stone Oak and receive the below services and much more for your property(s). 

  • Find and place quality, rent-paying tenants. We offer all of our owners a tenant guarantee. 

  • Set up online portals for both you and your tenants. You'll be provided monthly reports on your properties. Your tenants will be able to pay their rent online providing easy access to make their payments. 

  • We effectively market your property ensuring less days on the market and more days occupied. We even go as far as photographing your property in virtual reality 

  • We handle all of the coordination. We provide our tenants with a 24-hour emergency line. In the event they ever need maintenance (and they will), we'll handle the coordination of our preferred vendors to take care of the problem. No headache for you and no phone calls from angry tenants.  

  • We'll get you market rate. Our professionals can accurately price your property at the highest rate the market will allow.  

  • No more dealing with tenants. Stone Oak is the point of contact for your tenants. Unless you prefer to be hands on, your tenants won't even know who you are. Imagine the money you'll save on Tylenol.  

  • Our team is the most responsive in the business. You call, we answer. We pride ourselves on the relationships we foster with our owners.  

  • No long term contracts. Stone Oak Property Management won't lock you down for a year like every other Austin property management company. We earn your business every single month.  

Stone Oak's services can be custom tailored and offer so much more than the bullet points cover. If you're a property owner in Austin thinking about leasing their home or hiring an Austin property management company, it's worth your time to discover how a partnership with Stone Oak can be very beneficial to you. You can visit our Austin property management page and inquire to learn more. 

Common Tenant Complaints

System - Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Common Tenant Complaints and How to Address Them

Overseeing rental properties and managing their occupants can be a stressful time for any property owner or manager. One thing most owners don’t consider is working with the wrong manager or company can leave tenants feeling equally as stressed. Tenants will complain, as they always have. When renting a property, they expect service to the property in exchange for rent -which they should.

Knowing how to properly address tenant complaints with a quick, formal response is vital. A great landlord-tenant relationship will help insure high-quality, paying tenants are more likely to renew their lease every year. If your tenant is satisfied they are likely to stick around and have your rental property earning its potential month-in, month-out.

So what are some common tenant complaints and what is your property management company doing to relieve the situation? Discover the Stone Oak Management difference and how we cater to insure satisfaction for both tenants and property owners.

Common Complaint: Poor Communication

From the moment a tenant shows interest in your property and would like to discuss its availability, you should be completely upfront with them. Discuss everything that’s pertinent in the lease and anything that could play a factor into the day-to-day lives of your tenants. Don’t leave it to them to fully understand a lease and instead let them know upfront what the lease entails and any responsibility that will be put on them for their tenure in the rental property. You may even go as far providing a ‘cheat sheet’ for them that contains all notable info for them to quickly review. Poor communication can hinder any business negatively, especially ones that deal with the living situations of others. Stone Oak Management provides a 24/7 line for tenants to contact us. Our team of Austin TX property managers offer unparalleled responsiveness to both our owners and tenants allowing us to provide a high level of service.

Common Complaints: Maintenance Issues

If you do some scouting on various property management companies in Austin, Texas, you’ll find that a lot of negative reviews have to do with the handling of maintenance issues. For any property manager with a large portfolio, maintenance requests and issues can pile on very quickly, especially in the busy season. If your property manager isn’t prepared or doesn’t have the systems in place to deal with this tenant satisfaction can drop quickly. No one wants to be ignored as the heat rises outside and their AC goes out. At Stone Oak Property Management, we provide a 24/7 maintenance line as well as an online portal for tenants to report issues. We have a fleet of vendors ready and willing to act on any tenant maintenance request. Not only that, we have partnerships with these vendors that enable your repairs to be done at reduced costs and faster speeds. Our vendors understand each time they step onto your property they are representing you, the owner, and Stone Oak Management. As a dedicated Austin TX property management company, Stone Oak has a strong stance on great customer service for our tenants provided by our team and vendors.

Common Complaint: Lack of Privacy

Being a landlord can mean you occasionally interject into someone else’s life. Tenants can feel their landlord doesn’t provide enough privacy to them if the manager is to hands on with the property. Aside from anything that can cause damage to the property or your tenants, it’s not only respectful but a legal requirement to give tenants a 24-hour notice of any visit to the property. Using certified mail or reaching them by phone is one way to know tenants are aware of any visit that will happen soon. Stone Oak Property Management values our tenant’s privacy. Our tenant screening process allows us to put trust in the tenants we place for our landlords. This enables us to perform a limited number of visits per year while insuring your property is in great hands!

Common Complaint: Unreturned Deposit

The process of deciding how much of their deposit a tenant receives back can leave a disconnect between the managers and tenants. To combat this, Stone Oak is completely upfront with our tenants about any requirements for their desired rental property they are responsible for. Our tenants receive a newsletter with tidbits of info and advice on how to maintain the property allowing them to receive more of their deposit back or all of it back. We are very specific with our charges upon a tenant’s move-out to provide them with a clear indication as to why they aren’t receiving their full deposit back.

Stone Oak Property Management has been providing Austin rental property owners with a full range of comprehensive management services for the past 7 years. Our team is dedicated to providing outstanding support and service to both our owners and their tenants. Our Austin property management professionals offer no risk, month-to-month property management contract terms in response to our level of service. If you aren’t satisfied with your property management service, you can fire us – it’s that simple! Looking for a new a property manager? You owe it to yourself and your business to discover how Stone Oak can help manage your rental property portfolio!

2017 Austin Property Management

System - Sunday, May 7, 2017

Teaming up with just any Austin property manager in 2017 will lead you to various degrees of success with your rental property.  Is your property vacant or occupied? Are you receiving the highest rental rate possible? How’s coordination and communication with your property manager and tenants? Are you satisfied with your Austin property manager’s performance and urgency with your property?

2017 Austin Property Management Companies

Not all Austin, TX property management companies are the same. You’ll find many property managers consider you to be just another property and as long as their portfolio is growing then the company is happy. They’ll ask you to sign a one-year contract to do business with them and then you are stuck. What if their service isn’t up to par?

Stone Oak Management, an Austin property management company, was established to provide property owners and real estate investors with a better management company. From the start, our company was founded by landlords who understand that your properties are some of your biggest assets you own. We handle all of our owner’s properties as if they were our own and tailor our service to each of our owners providing custom services to each. Before we became property managers, we relied on them, and where some teams were unresponsive, hard to get ahold of or mismanaging our property, Stone Oak was founded with clear mission. That being we provide transparent and comprehensive property management solutions while setting out to make both the owners and tenants happy.

Don’t like working with people you don’t want to? At Stone Oak Property Management, we get it. We offer our premium management services to owners with no minimum contract term. Your rental properties are your business and as a business owner you shouldn’t ever feel comfortable being obligated to work with someone. Our Austin property managers make it a point to earn your business month-in, month-out and only offer month-to-month contracts ensuring your satisfied with your service or you fire us. It’s that simple! It’s 2017, should you be forced to work with your current property manager?

Austin property management doesn’t have to be difficult so don’t let it. Give Stone Oak a call today – 512.617.6766 – or send us an email to learn more about our services and how to make the switch to a better property manager today!

Improvements to Your Home that Bring the Greatest ROI

System - Thursday, April 20, 2017

How to improve your Austin rental home for better tenants and ROI in the event of a sale!

Improvements for your rental home are a great way to attract quality tenants and can set you up to obtain full value for your home in the event you ever decide to sell. If you're a homeowner, you're well aware that there are many improvements that can be done. So which one will bring you the greatest ROI? Check the infographic below to discover what should be your priority upgrades!

Questions about your rental property or property management? Contact us today to learn more and discover how Stone Oak Property Management is suited to be your next property management company!

Rental Property Management: When is it Time to Hire a Property Management Company?

System - Tuesday, April 18, 2017

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!

Learn more about our Austin property management services and give us a call today! – 512.617.6766

Austin Rental Market Update

System - Sunday, April 2, 2017

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 Property Manager

System - Sunday, March 19, 2017

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!

Should You Use a Professional Property Manager?

System - Sunday, March 12, 2017

Is using a professional property management company the right choice for you and your rental property?

Professional property management companies, like Stone Oak property management, can make owning rental properties a hassle-free experience for you. When deciding to use a property management company, one must weigh the pros and cons. Just like any service, there are companies varying on the service scale. Some property management companies are great and provide top-notch service and there are others that… aren’t. Connecting with a great property manager can have you feeling great about your investment and save you loads of time and headaches. 

Most property management models take a low percentage of your monthly rent in exchange of their companies services. If you’ve ever managed your own properties, you know that management can be a completely separate full-time job! Once you factor in the time investment managing your rental properties can be and how much that time is worth to you, that small fee you pay to a property management company will seem like a steal and an extremely affordable choice! This is especially true when you consider everything you are getting in return!

What is that exactly? How does a hassle-free, passive income stream sound? The choice to hire a property manager is an easy choice for property owners in a market like Austin’s. You can count on your property manager’s experience in dealing with the tenant pool, the housing market and other investor’s properties to provide you with an example as to what a property manager can offer you.

Self-managing can be tough, strenuous work. There are many reasons why hiring a property manager can be a great investment. Here are a few that outline our existing base of property owners we at Stone Oak provide service too.

  • 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

In need of property management for your rental properties in Austin? Discover what Stone Oak Property Management can provide to you as landlord and why tenants love us as their property manager! Have time for a quick and free consultation and rental analysis? Leave us your information at our management page!

Allowing Pets Can Increase Your Rental Rate

System - Tuesday, March 7, 2017

 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.

Finding Rental Properties to Invest In

System - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

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!

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Contact Us

Stone Oak Property Management
14050 Summit Drive #113B
Austin, TX 78728

Phone: 512.617.6766
New Accounts: 512.615.7737
Toll Free: 888.892.7940
Fax: 512.994.2300

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