How To Know When It’s Time To Hire A Property Management Company

Are you managing your Houston area rental properties yourself? If so, you most likely don’t have a lot of time in your day to do the things that you want to do. In this case, you should consider hiring a property manager.

At Vestpro Residential Services, we will save you the time, money and hassle of managing your rental properties yourself. Some of the services that we can offer you include:

Rent collection
Maintenance
Property Marketing
And more!

Learn more about the services we can offer you by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

How to get your rental property ready for spring

Even though it’s still winter one thing we know in the Houston area is that warmer weather is right around the corner. This is why it’s important for every owner to start planning for spring now.

Here’s an action plan that you can use to get your rental property ready for spring.

February

February is a great time to finish general landscape cleanup and begin making plans for how the property should look during the growing season.

  1. Get a Plan. Assess the lawn, beds, trees and the general landscape and determine what needs to be cut back, removed, culled and reshaped. Plot a path and follow it.
  2. Apply pre-emergents. An effective pre-emergent will make the lawn more healthy and weed resistant. In most areas, a pre-emergent fertilizer with time-release action will provide the right amount of nutrients and weed preventatives at the right time.
  3. Prune and cull. It’s a great time to prune crape myrtles and ornamental trees, plus cull larger grasses.
  4. Plant spring color. At the end of the month in southern climates start planting colorful annuals in beds. Bright yellows, oranges and reds grab the most attention.

March

As temperatures warm, put your plan for cutbacks and pruning of flowering bushes into action.

  1. Cut back ground cover and monkey grass. Mow to two-inch height and remove all the brown and dead grass. Failing to cut these plants back will result in plants that don’t look healthy when they should be lush and green.
  2. Prune roses. Before it gets too hot, prune roses and other flowering bushes. Pruning in March will help these bushes reach their full potential at the height of spring.
  3. Reduce large shrubs that are overgrown. Make sure bigger shrubs are but back before they start to bud.
  4. Check the waterworks. Irrigation systems that have been drained should be filled and tested for leaks or problems. Also, check rain sensors.
  5. Fertilize the lawn. About three or four weeks before lawns typically start to green, apply a fertilizer with high nitrogen.

April

For the southern part of the country, April usually is the final chance to get the lawn in shape before the heat hits. “It’s the Last month you have before you start getting hammered by heat,” Lee said. “It’s then that you’re trying to get things accomplished before the plant goes into survival mode.”

  1. Plant shrubs, grasses and other new plant life. Do it early so that new plants have enough time to get established before summer arrives.
  2. Trim trees. Most trees will have leafed out by now and you should be able to tell which limbs may be overly weighted and in need of trimming or cutting.
  3. Apply pesticides. As temperatures warm, fire ants and aphids start to emerge and should be treated to avoid damage to new and existing growth.
  4. Mulch beds and other areas. About mid-month, mulching should be under way and even finished. However, make sure the rainy season is mostly finished to avoid washing out of fresh-mulched beds.

“Not all of these steps will be right for areas farther north,” Lee said. “That cycle will probably start in March and run through May, for example. Wherever the property is located, it’s important to take a progressive approach to the landscape so that everything has the greatest chance of flourishing.”

Get Property Management In Houston

Need property management in the Houston area? Contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here.

How to Make the Carpet in Your Rental Home Last Longer

If you’ve owned rental properties in Houston Texas or anywhere else in the United States for any length of time you know that it can be difficult at best to keep the carpeting in your rental for as long as possible because it will wear out after a period of time due to foot traffic and normal wear and tear.

Thankfully, there are solutions that you can use to help your carpet last especially if you do the following:

Combine A Hard Surface with Carpet at Entry Points

One of the first things that you can do to help the carpet in your rental property last longer is combine a hard surface area with carpet at entry points to the property.

This means that instead of encountering carpet when people enter the rental property, they will encounter a hard surface area with a floor mat that will encourage them to wipe their feet before entering the home.

Doing this will eliminate the majority of stains and wear/tear that the carpeting in your rental property gets during the year because more people will be wiping their feet.

Clean Carpet At Least Once A Year

Another effective strategy that you should use to make the carpet in your rental property last longer is to clean it at least once a year regardless if you have long-term tenants or not. Professional carpet cleaning will increase the lifespan of the carpet, reduce breakdown, wear and tear, discoloration and helps you prolong the lifespan of your investment in the carpet

Provide Tenants Your Tenants with A Vacuum Cleaner

Last of all, another effective way to prolong the carpeting in a rental property is to provide your tenants with a vacuum cleaner.

This is an effective tip to follow because the average tenant will not have a vacuum cleaner especially if they are relocating to Houston from out of state and providing them with a vacuum cleaner will not only help them to keep the carpet in the rental property clean and show them that you actually want to help them get established renting.

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For property management in Houston Texas contact VestPro residential services today by calling a set or click here to connect with us online.

What Are The Most Cost Effective Options To Choose When Renovating A Rental Property?

Are you planning on renovating your Houston area rental property? If so, there are a variety of cost-effective options that you should consider.

In this article, we will list some of the most cost-effective which will also help to improve the value of your rental property as well.

#1: Replace Windows

Realtors consistently emphasize the importance of curb appeal when you’re trying to market a property. Upgraded windows are a smart way to make a good impression on prospective renters while packing a powerful punch for long-term energy savings thanks to increased insulation efficiency.

Remodeling Magazine reports 74 percent cost recuperation for vinyl replacement windows and approximately 70 percent for wood. Can’t find money in your budget for either one? Consider adding storm inserts and re-caulking existing windows.

#2: Freshen Paint

One of the most cost-effective remodeling projects for an investment property is to touch up walls and trim with a fresh coat of paint. Choose neutral colors, which resonate with a wider range of prospective residents. Consider using in-house staff to do the job–you’ll still have control over the quality of the work without the need for a professional contractor. This is one project that you can DIY to keep operations simple and costs low.

#3: Switch Out Flooring

Hardwood flooring continues to grow in popularity. Durable and easy to clean with a classic look, renters tend to prefer wood or engineered wood planking to linoleum, tile, and carpet.

Engineered wood is naturally resistant to changes in humidity and temperature. Unlike genuine hardwood, planks don’t buckle, shrink, or expand. Thanks to its waterproof qualities, engineered wood flooring is even appropriate for moisture-prone areas such as a front entrance, mud area, or bathroom.

Planks can be glued, stapled, or floated over a pre-existing floor. Some even come in interlocking segments that snap together to form a tight seal. Seek different suppliers and see if you qualify for bulk pricing to replace current flooring. If your property already boasts natural hardwood floors, consider refinishing them to enhance their appearance and longevity.

#4: Update Bathrooms

A noteworthy distinction exists between mid-range and upscale bathroom remodels. According to Remodeling Magazine, you get more bang for your buck when you limit bathroom renovations to a “mid-range” budget–but what does this mean in actuality?

New faucets, shower heads, and fixtures. Look for low-flow versions that cut water consumption by as much as 30 percent.

Ceramic floor tiling. Consider a geometric or playful pattern (but not so bold as to drive renters away!). Doing so draws the eye downward and makes the room more inviting.

A new tub and toilet. Go with standard porcelain for the tub. Keep in mind that federal standards mandate that all new toilets use 1.6 gallons of water per flush.

#5: Remodel Kitchen

As with the bathroom, a minor kitchen overhaul boasts a significantly more substantial return on investment than a major remodeling project. For example, instead of replacing cabinets in their entirety, simply switch out the doors and update them with new hardware.

Replace appliances with energy-efficient models and shop around for a new mid-priced sink and faucet set. Remember to check into possible tax credits or rebates for your area.

Installing appliances requires a specialist’s help. Consider taking out a service contract to ensure that your appliances receive the care they need to stay running over time.

#6: Add Outdoor Space

Does your property contain open-air terraces or decks? Outdoor living space is a big draw for current and future renters. If adding exterior square footage is a feasible option at your properties, check into reliable sources of wood composite, which is more environmentally friendly and cost-effective than natural wood.

Is there any room left in your budget for extra material? Fashion an arbor or pergola with seating, or build large containers for seasonal plantings. Anything you can do to enhance the flow of indoor-to-outdoor living benefits your investment, both in the short and the long term.

Get Property Management In Houston Texas

For property management in the Houston Texas area contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

What Is the Best Way for You to Grow Your Portfolio of Houston Texas Rental Properties?

Are you interested in growing your portfolio of Houston Texas Rental properties but you’re concerned that adding another rental property may be more work or added responsibility than you can handle?

If you’re still managing all of your rental properties yourself, one of the very best ways to add more rentals to your portfolio without increasing your workload is to hire a property management company.

Reasons to Hire A Property Manager

Rent Collection – Hiring a Houston Texas property manager will save you the time, money and hassle of collecting rent yourself including dealing with the excuses from your tenants for why they are late paying their rent and when they promise to pay.

When you hire a property manager you can count on rent to be collected on time each month and deposited into your account all without you having to reach out to your tenants for payment again.

Tenant Selection – Another time-consuming task that comes with owning rental properties is tenant selection. With a property manager, you can remove yourself from this process and have confidence that your manager will always find and place the most qualified tenants in your rental property for you.

Maintenance – From mowing the lawns at one of your rentals, changing toilets or full-blown maintenance, you can have confidence that your property manager will professionally maintain your rental property, saving you the time and hassle of having to do those things yourself so you can focus all of your time on growing your portfolio of rental properties.

Customer Service – Last of all, but most important, with a property manager serving your tenants you can also rest assured that should your tenants have a question or need assistance with their rental property, they will always have someone to call to handle those issues and you won’t have to worry about your phone “ringing off the hook” again. Continue reading “What Is the Best Way for You to Grow Your Portfolio of Houston Texas Rental Properties?”

Should You Change the Locks After Your Tenant Moves Out?

One of the biggest questions that landlords have had over the years is if they should change the locks after their tenant moves out of their rental property.

The answer to this question is yes, you should always change the locks to your rental property after your tenant moves out especially since they could have made a key while they lived there and that key could gain them entry back into the property after they’ve moved out.

Other Times You Should Change the Locks to Your Rental Property

Besides changing the locks after your tenant moves out of your rental property, you should also change the locks for the following reasons:

When a Key Is Lost

It might seem overkill to change the locks after a renter loses just one key, but it′s a small price to pay to guarantee peace of mind for the manager, the owner, and the tenant. While it′s unlikely the lost key will end up in the wrong hands, in the off chance that it does, it could spell disaster for all. When you′re dealing with prospective renters, letting them know that you take this extra security measure seriously can be a differentiator that demonstrates your commitment to safety.

When a Vendor Is Finished Working on the Property

Especially if you′ve just started using a new vendor or if you′ve had disagreements with one in the past, it′s important to recognize that vendors could have copies of your keys that you′re unaware of. When work is completed, hiring an independent locksmith to change your locks helps maintain a high degree of security. It′s also a good idea to be on-site to let vendors in and out of a building while you build a relationship with them instead of leaving a key in a lockbox and allowing all contractors to access it.

According to statistics from the FBI, 73.2 percent of all burglaries are committed on residential properties. When a tenant moves into a property, unless the locks are brand-new, it′s impossible for them to know who has made copies over the years and can access the unit at any time. Just one safety mistake has the potential to result in break-ins, theft, and, in the worst-case scenario, the irreparable loss of human life.

A great way for property managers to stay on top of security measures is by using smart home technologies, including smart locks and exterior cameras. Smart locks with access codes can log who enters a property and the time of entry, preventing landlords from having to have locks rekeyed for new tenants or vendors. Exterior cameras can record clips at unoccupied properties (as well as be an asset to tenants for self-monitored security when they move in).

Get Property Management Here

Need property management for Houston Texas or the surrounding area? Contact VestPro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Rental Property Move Out Checklist

Move-outs are typically one thing that many landlords handle poorly because most landlords are usually in a hurry to get their property listed online and rented to a new tenant as quickly as possible.

Sadly, during the process of moving from one tenant to another, it’s possible that some landlords may miss damage caused to their rental property from their previous tenant and the opportunity to repair that damage before the next tenant moves in.

Step 1 – Do A Walkthrough

After your last tenant has moved out you should do a complete walkthrough of your rental property documenting the condition of the rental and any damage.

Questions to ask

  • Are the walls damaged or is its normal wear and tear?
  • Is anything broken in the rental?
  • Has the carpet been cleaned or is it still dirty?
  • Are the appliances functioning or will they need to be repaired/replaced?

Step 2 – Change the locks

Don’t forget to change the locks! This step is easy for some landlords to forget but it’s vital because with other copies of the key to your rental property potentially floating around out there it’s important for you to protect the safety of your new tenant by ensuring that your old tenant is unable to re-enter the rental property after they’ve moved out.

Step 3 – Research comparable rentals in the area

After taking the time to clean your rental and ensure that it’s in the absolute best condition, you should next start researching other rentals in the area to find out what you should rent your property for.

Don’t be hasty with this step! Take the time to really analyze and research comparable rental properties to determine what is the best monthly rent you should ask for your rental property.

Get Property Management Here

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

Single Family Tenant Retention Tips

By VestPro Residential Services

Do you have one or more families living in your single family rental properties? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article we will share with you single family tenant retention tips.

Single Family Tenant Retention Tips

Offer Your Tenants More Incentives To Renew Their Leases:

Everyone loves perks, ѕо оffеr tеnаntѕ something ѕресіаl to сеlеbrаtе rеnеwаlѕ. Suсh incentives dоn’t hаvе tо соmе аt the еxреnѕе оf уоur company. Cоnѕіdеr gifting uрgrаdеѕ thаt аlѕо bеnеfіt a hоmе’ѕ value. Flооrіng improvements, a оnе-tіmе cleaning service, lawn services, frеѕh wall paint аnd new аррlіаnсеѕ аrе all іnсеntіvеѕ that can еxсіtе tenants аnd еnhаnсе a rеntаl.

Fоr a more реrѕоnаl touch, аlіgn іnсеntіvеѕ wіth tenant іntеrеѕtѕ. Dо уоur rеntеrѕ hаvе сhіldrеn? Amuѕеmеnt раrk ѕеаѕоn раѕѕеѕ оr mоvіе theater gіft саrdѕ can bе wеlсоmеd gіftѕ thаt hеlр tenants feel appreciated. Dо уоur renters work аrоund the clock? Coffee ѕhор vоuсhеrѕ or a nеw tablet соmрutеr саn rеѕоnаtе with thе nееdѕ of оn-thе-gо tеnаntѕ.

Ongоіng incentives саn bе a рrоасtіvе аnd еԛuаllу іnfluеntіаl tool. Partner wіth a variety оf nearby buѕіnеѕѕеѕ to оffеr rеgulаr аnd ѕіgnіfісаnt discounts.

Create A Sense Of Community For Your Tenants:

Even single fаmіlу rentals саn foster a sense of соmmunіtу. A strong rеlаtіоnѕhір bеtwееn a rеntеr аnd their рrореrtу management соmраnу hаѕ thе роwеr tо make thе renewal process quick аnd seamless.

Hеlріng your tenant feel аt hоmе bеgіnѕ аnd еndѕ wіth engagement. Communicate іnfоrmаtіоn еffісіеntlу and thrоugh a tеnаnt’ѕ рrеfеrrеd сhаnnеlѕ. Whеn a tеnаnt initiates a dіаlоguе, rеѕроnd іn a timely mаnnеr tо hеlр thеm fееl hеаrd. Quісk аnd mеаnіngful responses are аn еаѕу way tо buіld trust.

An established mаіntеnаnсе сrеw саn аlѕо соntrіbutе tо building rереrtоіrе wіth tеnаntѕ. Consider fеаturіng уоur mаіntеnаnсе team оn the property wеbѕіtе, or having a mаіntеnаnсе еmрlоуее оnѕіtе during mоvе-іnѕ.

Get Property Management Here

For professional property management in Humble, Kingwood, Dayton or the surrounding area contact Vestpro Residential Services at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Small Bathroom Remodel Start To Finish – Learn How To Do It Yourself

Does your Houston area rental property have a small bathroom that you would like to renovate? In this video you will learn how easy it is to renovate that bathroom yourself even on a budget.

Get Property Management Here

Want to save time and money managing your rental property yourself? Contact us today by calling (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

 

Tips For Keeping More Renters

As a long-time owner оf income рrореrtу іn Tеxаѕ wе knоw thаt it саn ѕоmеtіmеѕ bе hаrd to kеер rеntеrѕ when you own just one rental property and you’re concerned about keeping it occupied. 

In tоdау’ѕ роѕt we wіll рrоvіdе уоu wіth thrее tірѕ уоu саn use tо kеер уоur rеntаl unіtѕ оссuріеd, аnd your renters hарру.

Tір 1 – Uрdаtе Yоur Rental Properties

Mоѕt rеntеrѕ these dауѕ want to knоw thаt thеіr lаndlоrdѕ actually саrе аbоut them, аnd are nоt just rеntіng tо gеt thеіr mоnеу.

You can kеер your renters happy bу updating уоur rental units.

Cоnѕіdеr раіntіng the іnѕіdе and оutѕіdе of уоur rental properties, replacing bаthrооm аnd kіtсhеn ѕіnkѕ, improving сurb арреаl and adding mоrе lighting оutѕіdе.

Tір 2 – Make It Eаѕіеr Fоr Tеnаntѕ to Cоntасt Yоu

Offеr your renters more wауѕ to соntасt you іnсludіng bу уоur mоbіlе рhоnе оr email.

Most renters won’t bе саllіng, texting оr еmаіlіng уоu 24-7, but they will lіkе tо hаvе thе соnfіdеnсе іn knоwіng they саn rеасh you should thеу hаvе a question, соnсеrn оr рrоblеm which needs tо be resolved.

It’ѕ also іmроrtаnt tо соnѕіdеr оffеrіng уоur tenants thе аbіlіtу to рау their rents оnlіnе vіа уоur website оr a 3rd раrtу рауmеnt рlаtfоrm ѕо you саn ѕрееd uр thе рrосеѕѕ оf gеttіng раіd аnd won’t have to deal with thе age оld рrоblеm оf соllесtіng сhесkѕ from уоur tеnаntѕ.

Tip 3 – Offer Perks Fоr Tenants Whо Renew Thеіr Leases

Lаѕt оf аll, уоu ѕhоuld consider оffеrіng реrkѕ tо tеnаntѕ whо are соnѕіdеrіng renewing thеіr lеаѕеѕ.

Sоmе реrkѕ to consider оffеrіng аrе: 3-6 mоnth gуm mеmbеrѕhірѕ, rеѕtаurаnt gіft саrdѕ, basic ѕаtеllіtе TV or Wі-Fі fоr 6 mоnthѕ оr free rеnt fоr one month.

At Vеѕtрrо wе knоw that sometimes уоu dоn’t hаvе thе tіmе оr еnеrgу tо fосuѕ on kееріng уоur tenants ѕаtіѕfіеd and that’s whеrе we come in.

Wіth our full ѕuіtе оf rental services we саn help уоu run аn еffісіеnt рrореrtу mаnаgеmеnt business.

Contact Vestpro Residential Services

For mоrе іnfоrmаtіоn on the rеntеrѕ ѕеrvісеѕ wе саn оffеr уоu contact uѕ today bу calling (832)  971-1841 оr сlісk hеrе tо соntасt us thrоugh оur wеbѕіtе.