Reasons To Hire A Property Management Company

Over time as you own more rental properties in Houston Texas and the surrounding areas you will find that it will become necessary for you to hire a property management company because, a qualified property management company will save you the time, money and hassle of managing your rentals yourself so you can focus on growing your portfolio of rental properties.

If you’re not sure that hiring a property management company is the right choice for you to make or not here are reasons to hire a property manager:

Set the Right Correct Rates for Your Rentals

One of the biggest problems many property owners face is setting the incorrect rates for their Income Properties.

We are your biggest asset in this area thanks to our market research, which will guarantee that we rent your properties for the right rates, insuring you have the right balance between stable monthly income and super low vacancy rate.

Collect Your Rent on Time

Another area where we will be an asset to your Income Property portfolio is rent collection.

Over the years we’ve developed the right internal systems which will insure that your rent is collected on time every single month and deposited into your account or mailed to you.

Effective Property Marketing

As you grow your portfolio of properties you will find that one of the most time consuming duties is marketing a home, plex or property when you have a vacancy.

Vestpro has solved this problem for you. Effective property marketing is another of our biggest assets which will save you the time and hassle of property marketing yourself.

Choose the Right Tenants for Your Properties

Last of all, but most important, at Vestpro we will choose the right tenants for your properties by performing the following tasks including: credit check, income verification and reference checks so you don’t have to.

Get Property Management Here

For professional property management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online. 

 

 

How are renters finding your rental property?

How are prospective tenants or renters finding your rental property? Are they searching offline, online or a combination of both?

If prospective tenants and renters are finding your property online that’s awesome but are you getting the most ROI from your online advertising results? Before moving forward with advertising another property online take the time to review your online marketing plan and make sure you’re using the following websites and resources. 

Har.com

Over the last 5 years www.har.com has quickly developed into the best resource for renters to find great homes and properties for rent across the Houston area and it’s also a great website for property owners to get the most qualified rental leads as well.

Zillow

Although it’s a great resource for finding homes for sale in Houston, and across the United States, Zillow is also an excellent tool for searching for rental property as well since Zillow will save your search and email you new listings on a regular basis which will match your search criteria.

Local Connections

When people are not searching for homes, condos or townhomes online, they are searching for rental properties by asking their own personal connections if they know anyone who may know of rental properties available in their target areas.

This tip is also a good reminder of the reason why you should consider asking your current tenants if they know of anyone who may be searching for a rental property since you stand a good chance of renting to someone like your current tenants especially if they have a similar character and attitude.

Get Professional Property Management Here

For professional property management contact RPM Central Valley today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to contact us through our website.

 

Pool Safety Tips To Start Using Now

The “dog days” of summer are officially here and for the coming months we can expect temperatures in the Houston area to reach the triple digits.

If you own a rental property with a pool or spa area it’s more important than ever for you to be enforcing pool safety rules because not only will this protect your tenants, it will also protect your best interests as well and avoid any accidents, injuries or lawsuits at your swimming pool.

Pool Safety Tips You Should Start Using Now

  1. Install anti-entrapment drain covers. Make sure that your drain covers are compliant with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act of 2007. Virginia was the 6-year-old granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker. She was killed in 2003 when the suction from a hot tub drain caused her to drown. The federal law was named in her memory. Between 2012 and 2016, 17 people were trapped by drains, 14 of whom were younger than 15 years old. 2 of those victims drowned, both in residential spas.

  2. Use safety vacuum release systems with pool pumps. If the pump detects a change in vacuum pressure that could be caused by a person’s body, the pump will either shut off, or the system will inject air into the pump. This will free the person from the suction, thereby preventing drowning.

  3. Educate parents on community pool safety tips, including keeping children away from pool drains.

  4. Train staff on first-aid and lifesaving techniques. Have a Red Cross employee train your staff and any interested residents on community pool safety.

  5. Child-proof pool enclosures. Fencing around your pool area should be at least 4 feet high. Check for areas where older children could sneak through. Make sure that gates are self-closing and self-latching, with latches out of reach of very small children.

  6. Post community pool safety rules in a prominent location. In writing these rules, residential managers must balance community pool safety with the danger of discriminatory language. A blanket rule such as “No children under age 13” may not pass legal muster. This is particularly true in California, where we have at least two precedents: Iniestra v. Cliff Warren Investments, Inc. and Llanos v. Estate of Coelho. Both cases found that rules restricting children from using pool facilities without an adult, or keeping them away from adult-only areas, were overly restrictive and constituted prima facie discrimination. For more on this topic, check out our post Watch Your Language: What Can We Learn from Recent HUD Enforcement Actions?

  7. Enforce no-alcohol rules in your pool area. Give your security guards the authority to remove residents or guests who are disregarding community pool safety or abusing pool privileges.

  8. Don’t allow plugged-in devices anywhere near the pool deck or hot tub. You can also disable electrical outlets that are in close proximity.

  9. Prohibit glass containers in the pool area. One shattered glass endangers a lot of bare feet.

  10. Get a staff member certified in pool maintenance. Even if you subcontract pool maintenance out, it’s a good idea to have someone on staff educated in chlorination, sanitation procedures, and what it takes to maintain a busy swimming pool. Here’s a list of certified pool operator training programs from the Center for Disease Control and the National Swimming Pool Foundation.

  11. Check chlorine and pH levels at least twice a day with pool test strips. The Center for Disease Control recommends that you check for free chlorine (2-4 ppm) and bromine (4-6 ppm). The pH level should be between 7.2 and 7.8. This will prevent outbreaks of Legionnaire’s Disease, which can be caused by pathogens that develop in insufficiently sanitized water, and can spread via water vapor or droplets.

  12. Inspect pool equipment annually, such as pumps, drains, and heaters. Keep a logbook to track inspections.

  13. Inventory lifesaving supplies. Check to make sure that no one has stolen, vandalized, or lost your pool rings and rescue poles.

  14. Consider hiring a lifeguard. Outsourcing this to a lifeguard service may make sense from a liability perspective. Ensure that your vendor is insured and bonded. If your budget is tight, you can potentially hire a pool attendant rather than a trained lifeguard. You can learn about the differences between pool attendants and lifeguards on Guard for Life.

  15. Hire a pool management company. Again, a properly licensed, bonded, and insured pool management company can take the day-to-day load of pool maintenance off of your staff. It also relieves you of the hassle of storing large amounts of HAZMAT materials on-site. Furthermore, since they carry their own errors and omissions insurance as well as general liability coverage, their insurers will absorb any liability that may arise from pool-related incidents. A professional pool maintenance firm will also keep up with community pool safety-related federal, state, and local laws—something that your staff may not have time to do.

  16. Consider installing CCTV cameras to surveil your pool area. These systems are much less expensive than they used to be even a few years ago. They can feed directly to your security shed at night and help you to prevent after-hours incidents and lawsuits.

Get Property Management Here

For professional property management contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

 

Other People’s Money – Learn more about how this Real Estate investing principle works

Consider the goal of funding a child’s college education in the future. If “other people’s money” in the form of a scholarship is not a possibility, there still may be another way to use some “other people’s money.”

The Power Of Other People’s Money

A $25,000 investment into a mutual fund paying 5% would earn $1,250 in the first year. Alternatively, the $25,000 as a 20% down payment to purchase a $125,000 rental home appreciating 3% a year would have gone up by $3,750 or three times that of the mutual fund in the first year.

The mutual fund’s growth depends on the value of the money invested. Rental real estate benefits because a 20% down payment controls a much larger asset because you’re using “other people’s money.” Leverage allows the investor to profit not only from the amount of cash invested but from the value of the investment.

How Other People’s Money Pays Off 

With a 20% down payment and current interest rates, a typical rental would have a positive cash flow. In ten years, the equity could be $75,000. On the other hand, the $25,000 initial investment in a mutual fund earning 5% annually would only grow to about $40,000 in the same 10 years. It would require an additional $2,700 each year to reach the same $75,000 value.

Leverage is just one of the many benefits that make rental real estate the IDEAL investment. Whether you are saving for higher education, retirement or wealth accumulation, consider rental real estate. Using single-family homes as investments are attractive because homeowners have a better understanding than many other investments and self-management is a possibility.

Get Property Management Here

For professional property management contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

Property Management Tips – How To Keep More Tenants

Searching for property management tips? If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this article we will offer you several tips that you can use for keeping tenants happy because a happy tenant will be someone who wants to renew their lease each year instead of searching for another rental property.

 

Tip 1 – Update Your Rentals

Most renters these days want to know that their landlords actually care about them, and are not just renting to get their money.

You can keep your Humble Texas Renters happy by updating your rental units.

Consider painting the inside and outside of your Humble Texas Rental Properties, replacing bathroom and kitchen sinks, improving curb appeal and adding more lighting outside.

Tip 2 – Make It Easier For Tenants to Contact You

Offer your Humble Texas Renters more ways to contact you including by your mobile phone or email.

Most renters won’t be calling, texting or emailing you 24-7, but they will like to have the confidence in knowing they can reach you should they have a question, concern or problem which needs to be resolved.

It’s also important to consider offering your tenants the ability to pay their rents online via your website or a 3rd party payment platform so you can speed up the process of getting paid and won’t have to deal with the age old problem of collecting checks from your tenants.

Tip 3 – Offer Perks For Tenants Who Renew Their Leases

Last of all, you should consider offering perks to tenants who are considering renewing their leases.

Some perks to consider offering are: 3-6 month gym memberships, restaurant gift cards, basic satellite TV or Wi-Fi for 6 months or free rent for one month.

Property Management Tips

Get Property Management Tips Here

For more property management tips or for affordable property management for Houston Texas or the surrounding area contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to contact us through our website.

 

Tips for Turning Around a Problem Humble Texas Rental Property

By Vestpro Residential Services

Do you own a Humble Texas Rental Property that’s consistently been a problem for you? The problems can be anything from repairs, tenant complaints or problems with tenants who consistently pay their rent late.

Regardless of the reason, these are problems that make owning rental property a headache for anyone but the good news is that you can turn around that problem rental by following these simple tips.

Tip 1 – Check the Property for Needed Repairs

Does the property need repairs inside or outside?

Start with improving the curb appeal of your Humble Texas Rental Property then move to the inside of the home and focus on improving areas of your rental property like flooring, cabinetry, and lighting.

It may be that your rental property needs a good renovation and can be improved in one weekend by painting, refinishing the cabinetry and replacing an old tile or vinyl flooring to update its look.

Tip 2 – Review Your Reputation Online

Another effective solution for dealing with a problem property is to check your reputation online to see exactly what tenants may be saying about you or your rental property.

Tip 3 – Deal with Your Bug Problem NOW

Have your tenants complained about a bug problem at your Humble Texas Rental Property? If so, you should deal with this bug problem today because bugs can pose a health risk to tenants and a bug problem could also cause a tenant to move because they classify your rental as not being habitable.

Tip 4 – Improve Your Tenant Screening

Last of all, but most important, you should improve your tenant screening process including reviewing a tenant: credit history, work history, background and personal references.

A recent study by TransUnion shows us that residential evictions have reached a 5-year low point and this is thanks in large part to tenants having better control over their finances compared to years ago so there’s no reason to not have financially stable tenants for your rental property.

Get Property Management for Your Humble Texas Rental Property

For professional property management for your Humble Texas Rental Property contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

Fire season is here! Follow these fire prevention tips

Fire season is officially here and for the coming months we will be in a potentially dangerous time of year when a fire can be started almost instantly thanks to hot weather and dry vegetation.

If you’re concerned about protecting you property follow these simple fire prevention tips to keep your property safe during fire season.

1. Design smart landscaping, using gravel walkways between sections of vegetation to create firebreaks. Choose plants that are high in moisture (like aloe) or fire-resistant (like French lavender); and avoid flammable trees like conifers. Keep grass short; trim dead branches; and remove unnecessary shrubs and thin trees.

2. Restrict open burning when it’s windy, dry, and hot.

3. Choose fire-resistant materials when it’s time for a new roof, deck, fence, or siding. For existing structures, apply a fire-retardant coating.

4. Clear debris from roofs & gutters, since dry leaves and branches are ready fuel for windblown embers.

5. Consider roof-mounted sprinkler systems, which may qualify for FEMA grants in your state.

6. Store combustible materials safely. Don’t keep items like gas containers where they could heat up or tip over. A cool, dark, ventilated storage area away from residential structures is ideal.

7. Establish communication procedures between staff and residents for imminent threats, and hold safety drills periodically.

8. Make sure you’re covered. If a home is at an elevated level of risk, property insurance companies may help with risk assessment and wildfire prevention efforts. Make sure that tenants have renters insurance for what’s inside their homes, too.

Get Property Management Here

For professional property management in the Houston Texas area contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

 

Fire Season

Tips for Selecting Your First Rental Property

By Vestpro Residential Services

Are you planning on buying your first rental property? If so, you’re not alone. Now is a great time to buy a rental property because mortgage interest rates are still low and demand for rentals remains high especially in cities like Houston.

In this article, we will share with you several tips you can use to successfully purchase your first rental property.

Determine the Specifics of The Rental You Are Searching For

Before choosing a rental property it’s important to first determine the specific of what you’re searching for in a rental property including the location that you want to own a rental, because in most cities rental properties that are located close to downtown or close to colleges will rent for more money than rentals in suburban areas.

Set Your Budget

Since prices for Real Estate in many cities have reached all-time highs you should set your budget before you start searching for rentals because in this real estate climate it’s very easy for any buyer or first-time investor to overspend.

Create A List of Properties to View in Your Target Areas

Once you know the specifics of the property you’re searching for, and you’ve set your budget, you should next create a list of properties that match your criteria because this will help you to simplify your search especially when you use online tools to find suitable rental properties.

Some criteria that you should consider applying to your search for rental properties include:

  • Bedrooms – The single-family home, condo or duplex should have at least 3 bedrooms.
  • Bathrooms – 2 bathrooms are recommended.
  • Square Feet – Home should have no less than 1,200 square feet.
  • Age – The property shouldn’t be older than 60 years old since renovation or demo may be required due to removing things like radon and asbestos from the home
  • Rent – Property should rent for a minimum of $1,200 per month 
  • Garage – 1-car garage is preferred

Save Time and Money with Experienced Property Management

Once you find the right rental property don’t attempt to manage it yourself, save the time, money and hassle of managing rental properties by hiring our experienced and professional property management team.

Contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.  

 

 

Rental Property

Thinking Of Buying Rental Property? Here Are Five Things You Should Know

Planning on investing in rental properties? If so, before investing in your first rental there are a variety of things you should consider which include the following:

First, on the tax front, not only are all your cash expenses – including broker fees and management fees – deductible for your federal taxes, so is the depreciation of your property. Calculated over 27.5 years on a straight-line basis, depreciation protects the first 3.6% of your annual return from taxes. With returns around 5 or 6 percent right now (2017), that’s a big deal. Calculation below.

Second, leverage. If you can borrow money at a lower interest rate than the return you otherwise get from the property, the return on the portion you provide is higher. Calculation below.

Third, what about rents? Do they swing like home prices? How much can you raise them? And what’s the right rent to be charging in the first place? Each property is different and so is each location, so it depends. You should go online and see what other landlords are asking for a similar property in the area. You can ask local brokers, but take their answer with a grain of salt – they’d rather get the commission at any rent rather than have you hold out for a higher one.

 You can and should raise your rent every year. Inflation eats into your real revenue if you don’t keep pace. Rents don’t swing like home prices can; they rarely go down and usually rise a bit faster than inflation. If the neighborhood around your property changes, you can see rents rise even faster – and sometimes fall. This is one of the opportunities you have and one of the risks you take.

Get Professional Property Management Here

For professional property management contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

What should you be looking for in a rental property?

Are you planning on investing in rental properties for the first time but you don’t what to look for in a rental property? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article we will break down what you should look at before investing in a rental property.

 

  • Neighborhood: The quality of the neighborhood in which you buy will influence both the types of tenants you attract and how often you face vacancies. For example, if you buy in a neighborhood near a university, the chances are that your pool of potential tenants will be mainly made up of students and that you will face vacancies on a fairly regular basis (during summer, when students tend to return back home).

  • Property Taxes: Property taxes are not standard across the board and, as an investor planning to make money from rent, you want to be aware of how much you will be losing to taxes. High property taxes may not always be a bad thing if the neighborhood is an excellent place for long-term tenants, but the two do not necessarily go hand in hand. The town’s assessment office will have all the tax information on file or you can talk to homeowners within the community.

  • Schools: Your tenants may have or be planning to have children, so they will need a place near a decent school. When you have found a good property near a school, you will want to check the quality of the school as this can affect the value of your investment. If the school has a poor reputation, prices will reflect your property’s value poorly. Although you will be mostly concerned about the monthly cash flow, the overall value of your rental property comes in to play when you eventually sell it.

  • Crime: No one wants to live next door to a hot spot for criminal activity. Go to the police or the public library for accurate crime statistics for various neighborhoods, rather than asking the homeowner who is hoping to sell the house to you. Items to look for are vandalism rates, serious crimes, petty crimes and recent activity (growth or slow down). You might also want to ask about the frequency of police presence in your neighborhood.

  • Job Market: Locations with growing employment opportunities tend to attract more people – meaning more tenants. To find out how a particular area rates, go directly to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics or to your local library. If you notice an announcement for a new major company moving to the area, you can rest assured that workers will flock to the area. However, this may cause house prices to react (either negatively or positively) depending on the corporation moving in. The fallback point here is that if you would like the new corporation in your backyard, your renters probably will too.

  • Amenities: Check the potential neighborhood for current or projected parks, malls, gyms, movie theaters, public transport hubs and all the other perks that attract renters. Cities, and sometimes even particular areas of a city, have loads of promotional literature that will give you an idea of where the best blend of public amenities and private property can be found.

  • Building Permits and Future Development: The municipal planning department will have information on all the new development that is coming or has been zoned into the area. If there are many new condos, business parks or malls going up in your area, it is probably a good growth area. However, watch out for new developments that could hurt the price of surrounding properties by, for example, causing the loss of an activity-friendly green space. The additional condos and/or new housing could also provide competition for your renters, so be aware of that possibility.

  • Number of Listings and Vacancies: If there is an unusually high number of listings for one particular neighborhood, this can either signal a seasonal cycle or a neighborhood that has “gone bad.” Make sure you figure out which it is before you buy in. You should also determine whether you can cover for any seasonal fluctuations in vacancies. Similar to listings, the vacancy rates will give you an idea of how successful you will be at attracting tenants. High vacancy rates force landlords to lower rents in order to snap up tenants. Low vacancy rates allow landlords to raise rental rates.

  • Rents: Rental income will be the bread and butter of your rental property, so you need to know what the average rent in the area is. If charging the average rent is not going to be enough to cover your mortgage payment, taxes and other expenses, then you have to keep looking. Be sure to research the area well enough to gauge where the area will be headed in the next five years. If you can afford the area now, but major improvements are in store and property taxes are expected to increase, then what could be affordable now may mean bankruptcy later.

  • Natural Disasters: Insurance is another expense that you will have to subtract from your returns, so it is good to know just how much you will need to carry. If an area is prone to earthquakes or flooding, paying for the extra insurance can eat away at your rental income.

Get Property Management Here

For professional property management contact Vestpro Residential by calling Vestpro Residential Services at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.