4501 Caswell, Austin, TX 78751
Austin Property Management Blog
We talk to many owners and investors in the Austin area who have interest in property management for their properties in the Austin, Texas region. Everyone is in search of different levels of service and one owner may have needs that another doesn’t. Property management companies are pretty adaptable and can work with the landlords to customer tailor their services to their needs.
There is no denying Austin is a rental city with hordes of real estate investors flocking to the region for the past two decades. The majority of these investors are going to be located out of state and require a more hands-on property manager than those who are local owners. As an owner of rental properties located elsewhere, what should you expect from an Austin property manager? Below we review the A to Z of Austin Property Management!
When you own a rental property your favorite word is ‘rent’. It’s the stuff that keeps coming every month that makes your rental property a passive income asset. So when it comes to the rent for your property, what are a manager’s responsibilities?
- Setting Your Rental Rate: Calculating the rental amount for your property is more than just slapping a number on it and hoping it sticks and someone pays it. A multitude of outside factors are considered when determining this amount: location, comparable properties, school districts, historical prices, timing, etc. Your chosen Austin property manager should be keen on pricing your property just right! If you over price the property, your listing will be stale and the traffic will go elsewhere. Under price your unit and the next 12 months might not be your most profitable months. Curious what your Austin rental home will rent for? Receive a free rental property analysis from our Austin market expert!
- Collecting Your Rent: The Austin property management company you chose to work with is important! The manager you choose should be a trustworthy one as they will be responsible for collecting money and dispersing it to you every single month. If your manager hasn’t integrated the latest technology into their brokerage this can turn into a headache fast. You should elect to work with an Austin property manager who collects rent from your tenant(s) online. If they utilize a software like AppFolio, you’ll always be able to login to an owner portal and check the status of payments and balances!
- Adjusting the Rental Rate: Don’t forget about inflation and appreciation! Typically, property managers will follow a strict guideline for increasing the rental rate on your home every year. A 3-5% increase in rent every year is standard. However, tenant relationships are important and can sway this decision. For example, let’s imagine you’ve had the same tenants for the past 5 years and they are beginning to get priced out of your home. Is it worth it to keep raising their rent and force them out when you know they are reliable and pay on time every single month? These are factors to consider when deciding to raise the amount of rent on your Austin rental home.
What about when the tenants fail to pay the rent on time? You’ll be happy you’ve partnered with an experienced Austin property manager! From enforcing late fees to completely evicting the individual from your property, you’ll rest assured that it’s a headache you don’t have to be the owner of.
When we use the term rent, we are referring to your money. Be sure to hire an Austin property manager you can trust, not just the cheapest option!
The lifeblood of your Austin rental home: tenants. What should you expect from your Austin property manager when it comes to tenants for your property?
- Marketing Your Property: Vacancies are the true enemy here! When your property is vacant you aren’t earning money. If you hired just the average property manager you might even still be paying them during this vacancy… Finding tenants for your property is a tall task and your Austin property manager should be up to the job! Be sure to ask any manager you are considering what their process for marketing is. If they give you the same old spiel about listing it on the MLS you may not be getting the exposure your property deserves.
Are they providing tenants with a virtual walk though to tour your property from their phone?
Do they have established social media channels, like a Youtube channel for available Austin rental homes? Stone Oak Property Management has an in-house marketing team whom hold certifications with Google, Facebook and other digital marketing suites that we utilize to get your property the exposure it deserves!
- Screening Tenants: The Austin property manager you choose to work with should have a rigorous and consistent screening process for any tenant interested in your rental home. This can include background checks, credit checks, database checking and much more. Austin is a big city and if your property manager is experienced they should have experience with handling thousands of tenant applications and screening them so that the best tenant for your property is selected. You should end up with a tenant who pays rent on time, usually stay for a longer tenancy and overall create fewer problems for you and the management company.
- Leases and Legal Documents: Too often we speak with owner’s who managed by themselves and used a lease document that didn’t have the necessary addenda and clauses to protect the owner. When dealing with an Austin property manager, their lease should be bulletproof and include any and all major clauses that offer protection to the owner of the property.
- Move Outs: At the end of the lease, your property manager is responsible for ensuring the tenants are actually gone, inspecting the unit for damages, and determining the amount to be deducted from the initial security deposit if any. After that, you’re manager should quickly have your home rent ready after making and necessary repairs to the property.
- Evictions: Your property manager should be well versed in the process of doing so and at the same time rarely have to perform them. They should be able to handle the entire process from notices to writ of possession without ever involving you. When interviewing potential Austin property management companies, ask how many evictions they’ve had in the past 12 months. If any, this could speak negatively about their tenant screening process. Stone Oak Property Management hasn’t had to do an eviction for any of the properties we manage since 2016, but we do offer an Austin eviction service for self-managing owners and those who need help!
Maintenance & Repairs
It’s your property manager’s responsibility to keep your Austin rental home safe, inhabitable, and up to code!
- Maintenance: Your Austin property manager should perform preventative property maintenance to keep your property functioning correctly. They should have a team dedicated to addressing maintenance issues for your tenants with the goal of keeping your current tenants happy and attracting new, quality tenants.
- Repairs: For any repairs to your property, your manager will have a reserve account on file for you set to a certain monetary amount. For example, Stone Oak keeps $300 of our owner’s money in a trust account. If an issue arises and a repair that is needed costs less than this amount we will proceed with the repair without consulting with you, the owner. If the repair cost totals more than $300, we will contact you before proceeding with the repair. With that said, your Austin property manager should have an established network of vendors and tradesman they regularly work with at discounted rates. Any repairs done on your rental should cost less than if you were to contact the same service for your personal home! Stone Oak has vendor relationships from which you benefit from due to the bulk work we can provide to these vendors!
Landlord / Tenant Law
A great Austin property management company will have a staff with in-depth knowledge of Texas and national laws regarding the following:
- Tenant Screening
- Security Deposits
- Lease Termination
- Safety Standards
Tax & Record Keeping
Choosing an Austin property management company with great organizations skills can make your life easy!
- Track Records: Your manager should accurately keep records on all things concerning your Austin rental property. For example, Stone Oak Management uses AppFolio as our management software and it does wonders with putting our records together for you! Our owners can login via our website at anytime and check expenses for their property and track exactly what we are doing with their property!
- Property Taxes: Your Austin property manager should assist you in understanding how to file taxes for your investment property. Property taxes seem a bit high? Our Austin property management company will even protest your property taxes with tax assessor’s office!
Who you choose to manage your Austin rental property matters. You’re essentially hiring a third party that will act as an extension of you to your tenant’s, vendors, etc so make sure you can trust them! There is no shortage of Austin property management companies so be sure to shop around and talk to as many different sources as you can and address the different points from this article. Your Austin rental property is a valuable asset that will benefit from having the right systems in place for it to thrive!
1915 Crimson Rosella Trail, Austin, TX 78728
2001 Faro Drive, Unit 14, Austin, TX 78745
1,692 SF | 3 Bed | 2.5 Bath
Visit our resource page for more DIY maintenance for your home!
1901 Rockmoor Ave, Unit A, Austin, TX 78703
View this and other Austin homes for rent!
3 Bed | 1 Bath | Available June 2nd!
3407 Norwood Hill Road, Austin, TX 78723
More than likely, at some point in time if not right now, you’ve rented a home or apartment. Not many people branch out on their own and instantly purchase property to own. If you’ve ever found yourself as the renter, then you’ve had a landlord or organization to pay rent to, request maintenance, etc. If you’re lucky, your landlord and you get along great. You pay your rent on time, they are responsive to your inquiries for maintenance and it’s a harmonious relationship for both parties. However, not all landlord tenant relationships are ideal and can result in headache for the owner and renter.
As a renter, choosing a property where you personally know the landlord can be enticing. You might think you’ll have a direct route to owner and as a byproduct you’ll be able to receive any necessary service better. In our experience, having a third party with obligations to all parties makes for a much smoother renting experience for you, the renter.
As a renter, here are a few reasons why renting a property managed by professional property managers can leave you with a better overall experience.
We are located in Texas where the summers are hot. Let’s imagine you’re air conditioner has just gone dead and tomorrow’s forecast is for triple digit heat. If you were renting directly from the owner of the property you are at the mercy of their response. Hopefully, if you are in this situation your landlord has made you a priority and will address the issue as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and you could be stuck until the end of the weekend with no AC and an unresponsive landlord. They may even be reluctant to make the repairs and fight you on the payment and who’s responsible to make the repair.
If you were to be renting a residence managed by a property management company, you’d have a team dedicated solely to maintenance and the remedy of any problems you are having. Property management companies will have the authority to pay for the repair from the go. So no arguing with the owner about who is responsible and waiting the week for any action. Your property manager will act swiftly to get that sweet AC back on and running and will keep you updated throughout the entire process.
At some point if you’ve rented from a self-managing landlord, you’ve probably driven across town to deliver your rent check. This time you’ve spent stuck in traffic to meet your landlord is wasted and unnecessary and could be mitigated by renting from a property management company. Most property managers will have online systems available to you for paying rent. This means you could pay your rent from your couch under the comfort of that recently repaired AC!
Peace of Mind
Renting from a landlord can be a bit of a gamble. Repairs to properties cost lots of money, and without a third party recommending repairs owners can hesitate to pull the trigger. When you rent from a professional property manager, the home you are renting is almost guaranteed to have all necessary repairs. After the tenant before you moved out, the property manager would have done a thorough inspection of the property and made sure all red flags were addressed before even showing you the residence.
Keep It Professional
This doesn’t always happen, but does happen often. For an owner of a property this is a business, and for the tenant this is personal considering this is their home. Both parties have different expectations and this can cause relationships to deteriorate quickly. Maybe you’ve always had great experiences with self-managing owners, but this is not always the case with the clients we have at Texas Tenant Evictions. To keep things civil, a third party with obligations to both tenant and landlord can vastly improve these negative situations.
Everywhere you go you’ll be able to find rental properties offered by property management companies. In deciding to live in this type of property, you’ll rest assured knowing you have teams of professionals dedicated to different aspects of your living situation. If you’re in the market for a new place to live, be sure to check out our available Austin rental homes!
Many rental home owners are under the impression that they can put forward a listing for their rental and the interest will be there. However, in a city like Austin where the inventory is large you are competing for tenant’s attention with owners and property managers. As you increase visibility and outreach you will have more potential renters to sift through for your property.
If you take the time to survey the Austin market and it’s thousands of rental agents you can pick up on useful strategies the pros are using. One of the most effective ways to quickly rent your Austin rental property is networking within online communities and various rental networks.
Facebook offers groups & communities of thousands of people who are specifically looking for rentals in Austin. Many have spawned and are utilizes by apartment locators in the area to try and gain new clientele but you can use them for yourself too! These groups allow you to post your property and all its info and there is no shortage of groups to join and increase the awareness of your Austin rental home. Start by search facebook for ‘Austin rental homes’ and you’ll begin to see the groups we mention here.
Another great networking tip would be to connect with leasing agents in your area and offer them a form of commission for bringing quality tenants to your rental property. This way you will build a good rapport with agents who can keep your rental cash flowing by connecting tenants with your rental property.
Austin is a tech progressive city, there is no denying that. It’s no secret what value the internet brings to real estate and marketing listings so if you aren’t currently taking advantage of it then you need to start now. Facebook Marketplace, Craiglist, Zumper, CoStar and the other sites that allow you to post rentals are your new secret weapon with increasing the digital reach of your Austin rental home. The easier you make it for a tenant to learn about and view your property the better the chances of them wanting to come and view it in person and possibly rent your rental home in Austin.
Stone Oak photographs all of our properties in VR, allowing tenants to get a feel from inside the property without ever being there. Here is an example:
When it comes to online listings, the more places your property is listed the better. If you’re not sure where to begin start with a quick google search ‘list my rental property’ and you should see results to dig into!
There is a plethora of methods you can utilize to bring in prospective tenants. Focusing on the above can help you quickly rent out your Austin home for rent. Maybe you hate the process of finding tenants or even managing your Austin property. If so, Stone Oak’s Austin property managers can find you quality tenants fast as well as handle the day-to-day management of your property! Visit our management page to learn more about our services!