Should you buy rentals in Houston? Even if you’re out of the area?

Thanks to the booming real estate market in the last 12 months there are more condos, town homes and apartment buildings available for purchase and rent than ever before but the big question is should you buy rentals in Houston even if you’re out of the area? The answer to this question is yes!

Pros of Buying Long-Distance Real Estate

  • The ability to buy in more affordable markets. Property values in second- and third-tier markets don’t command the premium of real estate in primary markets and there’s lower competition. That said, depending on the market, rents can still be very strong. Buying in one of these markets is a way to get your foot in the door, realize positive cash flow and build equity.

  • Real estate as a long-term strategy. Some investors decide to buy real estate in an area that they don’t currently live in, but think they might want to someday. For instance, I’d consider buying a home closer to my parents if there’s a chance I’ll want to live closer to them someday. Many investors use a similar mindset when considering real estate in vacation and retirement markets, like the Carolinas and Florida. These houses can be rented now and held in case an investor wants to live there someday, too.

  • Tax benefits. Say what you want about Trump, but when the New York Times released a copy of his 1995 tax returns it shed light on a stark reality: real estate investors are able to use the tax code to their advantage. The ability to write off interest paid on a mortgage and depreciation makes buying investment property highly attractive. The provision Trump took advantage of is no different than the loopholes that everyday investors use, too.

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For affordable Houston Texas Property Management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

 

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Tips for getting ready for leasing season

Do you own rental property in the Houston area? If so, you know that January is typically one of the busiest times of year for property owners and landlords because this month is when we typically have the most lease renewals and there will also be more calls from people searching for rentals in the area.

If you’re getting ready for a busy leasing season here are some tips you can use to approach this busy time of year correctly:

Tips For Leasing Season

#1. Pricing Your Unit

Proper pricing is critical to balancing your vacancy rates and your return on investment; this is how you make your money after all. If your units are priced too low, you may have an issue staying in the black. Priced too high, and you might find more than a few of your units are empty at any one time.

Many Property Managers still call in for rental comparisons within their area to find an accurate price, but there are many tools online that can do this for you (and give you more accurate data). By pairing your rental units against comparable units and their pricing in the area, these tools will tell you if you should raise or lower your rent relative to the properties in your area. 

#2. Effective Marketing Budgets

Most PMs are not marketing professionals, but knowing where and when to advertise your vacancies can set you well ahead of your market competition and help you fill vacancies faster. In an informal survey, we learned that about 50% of property managers spend $200 or less on their marketing budgets per property per month. Many of these PMs don’t even know where their money is going; it feels like they are throwing darts against a wall, hoping that something will stick. When considering how much you want to spend on marketing your properties, be intentional about where you spend your money and track whether or not those dollars are getting you renters. If they are not, it may be time for a new marketing approach.

#3. Listing Details Matter

Every property manager has at some point made the mistake of posting a vacancy before that listing is ready—you have one or two pictures that you took a few years ago, and you just don’t have time to make a listing with a full list of amenities. As the world becomes more and more mobile, prospects do almost all of their home shopping online. If you don’t have the most attractive listing, your vacancy simply won’t make the cut.

Take the time to create video walkthroughs for all of your units. These are becoming standard practice across online listings, and it won’t be long before posts without video are treated like posts without photos. On that note, take multiple photos of each room from all different angles, online listings can never have too many photos. Ensure that your listing’s written description is thorough and accurate. Taking even these small steps will show a significant decrease in turnover time, maximizing your revenue.

#4. Review Your Online Application

If you don’t currently offer the ability to apply for your vacancies using an online application, you have a little bit of catching up to do—about 70% of all applications filed in the U.S. are electronic. Most renters expect the ability to apply online and prefer not to drive all the way to your property to file a piece of paper.

If you are using online applications, congrats! If you have properties in multiple locations, make sure that you are customizing each application by location. Depending on location, you may want to change the fee for your applications. In some areas of the country this fee is the responsibility of the applicant, and in others the PM needs to eat that cost as part of the rental process. The application guidelines for your prospects may vary by location as well.

#5. Update Your Screening Boxscores

When you’re screening a prospective new tenant, it’s important to look at them objectively not subjectively. In order to comply with Fair Housing laws, it is best to create a series of objective criteria that define a new applicant as acceptable or not. These criteria can include credit score or previous rent payment history but cannot include protected statuses like race, gender, marital or familial status, sexual orientation, or religion.

The turnaround on applicant screening is faster than ever before, and results come with much more detail than they did previously. Instead of a simple credit score, reports now come with all sorts of payment histories including car or student loan payment delinquencies. By creating a box score based on these objective criteria, you protect yourself from potentially bad renters as well as lawsuits. Record of objectivity will show that you do not discriminate in violation of Fair Housing laws.

#6. Check Your Leasing and Addenda

Every year, state and federal regulations for housing change and these can have a dramatic impact on how you run your business. These can include new Fair Housing criteria, but can also have an immediate impact on your leases and addenda. For examples, the beginning of 2016 saw many new requirements for pesticide use or mold prevention, and these changes need to be reflected in your leases. Failure to comply with these new changes can result in a possible lawsuit, so it is important to stay up to date on your state’s current requirements. There are many resources available online, check with your state’s online resources for more info.

#7. Upgrade Your Technology

Gone are the days of paper applications, faxing, and running from property to property to fix something in person. Mobile devices have all of the tools that we need to work from anywhere, and this saves you money! If your maintenance staff have mobile devices to track and handle requests, this saves you the gas they would have spent driving to and from the office to pick up paper requests. Some PM softwares have the ability to track the status of maintenance requests, granting greater visibility to you and your renters.

Mobile devices also give your leasing agents the ability to run their entire operation while hosting walkthroughs and engaging with prospects 1-on-1. Imagine being able to show a prospect properties, screen their application, and process their lease while standing right next to them. This is becoming a more popular trend as people do all of their initial research online, and taking a mobile approach to your business will save you time in the office and on the road, and will shorten those turnover times significantly.

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Tired of leasing your properties yourself? Contact Goldenwest Management today by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Houston Rental Property Trends 2016

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There’s no denying that the Houston Rental Property Market has enjoyed strong growth in recent years but with overbuilding and few energy jobs than last year where does the rental market stand right now?

In this article, we will break down the local rental market and provide you with insight about what to expect from Houston if you plan on buying rental property in the area or moving to Houston and renting here.

About The Houston Rental Property Market

Over the last two years Houston has been one of the top cities in the United States for job growth but with falling oil prices earlier this year and overbuilding we’ve seen a drop in the rental growth rate but, while hiring in the energy industry remains soft the city has predicted that we can expect to see over 20,000 jobs added this year.

In fact, the oversupply of luxury apartments may have contributed to the scarcity of affordable rentals. The Chronicle also mentioned that over 6,000 units have already been knocked down or are scheduled for demolition. These older and cheaper units were to be replaced by more expensive housing.

People with higher incomes may benefit from decreases in rent or other concessions that landlords might offer. Renters with more modest incomes still won’t find the rents affordable and may have trouble locating cheaper rentals in many parts of the city. While landlords may struggle with occupancy rates in neighborhoods that are typically considered the most desirable, middle-class renters may have to satisfy themselves with longer commutes.

The number of units downtown in Houston are expected to double by next year. The downtown market also has the highest average rental rates in the entire city. It doesn’t matter how much trendy and convenient urban apartments are if job growth doesn’t support the increase in inventory.

Source

Houston Rental Property

Opportunity For Growth In Urban Areas

With an oversupply of luxury apartments in Downtown Houston there definitely is an opportunity for investors to purchase older rental properties in urban areas like The Heights, especially if they fix up those rental properties and offer a more affordable rental property to tenants who don’t want to pay up to $1,800 per month for a luxury apartment with tons of amenities.

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For the best Houston Rental Property Management contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online.

Houston Texas Rental Property – Make Sure Your Stay On Top Of These Trends

HOUSTON, TX – Are you staying on top of the latest property management trends at your Houston Texas Rental Property? In this article, we will break down some of the latest trends that you should be on the lookout for the next time one of your properties comes up for rent.

Seniors Are Renting In Retirement

Did you know that more seniors are renting than ever before? That’s right, in 2016-2017 it’s not uncommon to find individuals over the age of 65 who are renting compared to 10 years ago when these same people were homeowners.

What’s also different about today’s senior citizens is that most seniors today want to stay active and prefer to live in areas where they can have easy access to transportation, cultural events, volunteer opportunities, community classes and trails for them to walk, hike or ride their bikes.

Multiple Generations in the Same Home

Another BIG change with today’s renters is that multiple generations are now living in the same home, and this includes seniors living with their adult children and grandchildren, so if you own a Houston Texas Rental Property that has dual living areas, this will be a major advantage since it will offer multiple generations living together the space they desire.

Houston Texas Rental Property
Houston Texas Rental Property

More Renters Work from Home

10 years ago the work from home trend was only just beginning and it wasn’t uncommon then to know someone who chose to work out of their home. In 2016-2017 times have changed and thanks to a recent study by Global Workplace Analytics we know that at least 25% of the U.S. population works from home.

How can you capitalize on this trend? If your Houston Texas Rental Property has a private office, ample storage space, or is wired for high-speed internet, you shouldn’t hesitate to promote these benefits when marketing your home online the next time it comes up for rent.

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For affordable Houston Texas Property Management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

How To Add Curb Appeal To Your Houston Condo

Are you searching for curb appeal ideas for your Houston Condo? In this video you will see how easy it is to add curb appeal to a porch, make a small space inviting and best of all this can all be done on a budget.

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For affordable Houston Texas Property Management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online. 

Houston Condo And Apartment Marketing Strategies

By Vestpro Residential Services

HOUSTON, TX – Do you have a Houston Condo or apartment that’s coming up for rent soon? If so, you’re not alone. Now is the right time for you to start thinking about renting your property and you can get it ready for rent by following the tips in this article.

Tip #1 – Start Marketing Your Houston Condo 30 Days Before Your Tenants Moves Out

Yes, it’s true that every tenant doesn’t like to be bothered but, you have a business to run and one of the keys to success with owning rental properties is using your time wisely because you don’t want to risk your rental property sitting vacant for 30 days or longer.

Start marketing your rental at least 30 days in advance, before your tenant moves out because this will give you plenty of time to find and screen the right tenant. Before showing your Houston Condo just make sure that you deliver a written notice to your tenant 24 hours in advance so they are aware that one or more individuals could be entering the rental with you to view the property.

Tip #2 – Improve Curb Appeal Now

Thankfully, you don’t have to wait 30 days to start improving the curb appeal for your Houston Condo or Apartment you can start making those improvements now. Some of the improvements you can make to the exterior of your condo include: painting the front door, power washing the patio or walkway, planting new flowers in pots outside of the rental and if it has a small yard you should clean up that yard space.

Once your tenant moves out you should schedule any inside maintenance to be done the day after your tenant is out of the rental property.

Tip #3 – Great Pictures And Video Will “Sell” The Rental

If you plan on marketing your rental property online you should have professional pictures and video taken of your rental property because great pictures and video will help to sell your rental property to the right tenants especially if you plan on marketing your rental property on websites like craigslist.org or har.com.

Tip #4 – Listen To Your Tenants Recommendations

Last of all, but most important, when your tenant moves out you should listen to their recommendations for your rental property, especially if they include tips on what needs to be fixed in the rental because, these recommendations will save you the time, money and hassle of having to make repairs to your Houston condo after new tenants move in.

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For affordable and reliable Houston Texas Property Management contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

What Does A Houston Texas Property Manager Do?

What does a Houston Texas Property Manager do? This is one of the biggest questions that property owners who manage their own rental properties have had over the years because some owners are under the misconception that we just collect a check without doing much to actually manage their rental properties.

In this article, we will break down what a Houston Texas Property Manager actually does so you will be more aware of what to expect when hiring a property manager to manage your rental properties.

Houston Texas Property Managers Ease Stress

One of the first things that Houston Texas Property Managers do is ease the stress that you may have experienced with owning rental properties in the Houston area in the past because we are your first line of defense when it comes to making sure that your rental properties are rented to the most qualified tenants, rent is collected on time every month and your single family home, condo, townhome or apartment is professionally managed each month.

Houston Property Managers Insure Efficiency

From determining what your rental property should be rented for, to coming up with a marketing plan to market your Houston Rental Property, your property manager ensures efficiency and can be relied on especially when the time comes to make repairs so you don’t have to make any of those repairs yourself or come out to your rental property to manage repairs on your rental property.

Handle All Financials

With every move in your Houston Property Manager will professionally handle the financials for your rental property which includes placing the deposit in a trust account, making payments for owners (if needed), maintain historical records for the rental property, provide easy cash-flow statements on a monthly basis and annual reporting that has been structured for tax purposes.

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For professional Houston Texas Property Management contact Vestpro Residential Services at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

What To Know When Searching For Houston Texas Property Management Companies

Are you searching for Houston Texas Property Management Companies online? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what you should know when searching for a property management company.

Choose An Experienced Property Manager

Although most Houston Texas Property Management Companies claim that they are experienced when it comes to customer service, tenant retention, rent collection, maintenance and all of the day-to-day responsibilities that come with property management, you should take the time to review a company online to verify their experience.

You can do this online by searching the Better Business Bureau’s website or on social media websites like Facebook and Google my Business.

About Houston Texas Property Management Companies

Once you find a property management company that you’re interested in working with you should verify that they have actually have a team that specializes in maintenance, book keeping, and customer service because hiring a team will give you confidence that all aspects of your rental properties are professionally managed by a caring team of professionals instead of just one person.

Confirm That Your Tenants Can Pay Their Rent Online

Last of all, but most important, before continuing your search for Houston Texas Property Management Companies you should also confirm that the property management company offers their tenants the ability to pay rent online because, most renters are accustomed to paying their bills online and this will also make it easier for you to get paid as well.

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For affordable Houston Texas Property Management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or connect with us online.

Houston Texas Property Management – 3 Tips for Tenant Retention

 

By Vestpro Residential Services, LLC

As a long time Houston Texas Property Management company we can tell you without a doubt that tenant retention is one of the keys to success with owning profitable rental properties because, the longer you have your properties rented for means you will have long term cash flow from each rental property.

If you haven’t thought about what you can do to retain your tenants this article will provide you with 3 tips you can use for tenant retention.

Tip #1 – Practice the Art of Regular Communication with Your Tenants

Although you may have the best tenants in the world, you should always practice the art of regular communication with them because, regular communication with your tenants will not only show them that you care and appreciate their business, it will also encourage them to contact you should problems occur at your rental property that need to be fixed or resolved.

Houston Texas Property Management

Tip #2 – Offer Your Tenants Incentives

Another successful Houston Texas Property Management tip that we can offer you is to consider offering your tenants incentives for doing things like paying their rent on time to reporting maintenance problems or issues to you when they occur. Some of the incentives you should consider offering your tenants include: free Wi-Fi (depending on rental property), free memberships to local health clubs and gift cards from local grocery stores.

Tip #3 – Create a Referral Program

Last of all, but most important, in the world of property management we know that if a tenant is responsible, pays their rent on time and keeps their rental clean the chances are that they have friends or family members who have similar tastes and traits so if you want to get more great tenants like the one that you currently have you should consider starting a referral program which includes paying your tenants a “bounty” when they refer people to you who may be interested in renting one or more of your rental properties.

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For Houston Texas Property Management contact Vestpro Residential Services, LLC today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

Is It Time For You To Consider Houston Property Management?

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There’s no denying that now is a great time to invest in local real estate thanks to great prices and low mortgage interest rates but as you grow your portfolio or rental properties you will also face more responsibility if you are managing those properties yourself and this is why you should consider Houston Property Management.

If you’ve been debating hiring a Houston Property Manager here’s how we can save you the time, money and hassle of managing rental properties yourself.

On Time Rent Collection

When you hire a Houston Property Manager you can rely on them for collecting your rent on time every month and either depositing the rent into your bank account or mailing you a check each month.

A property manager will also eliminate all rent collection delays and or excuses that traditionally come with rent collection for some owners plus insure that your rent is collected professionally each month without you having to go through the hassle of rent collection yourself. 

Professional Property Management

Your rental property will be professionally managed by a qualified property manager including all of the additional time consuming aspects of property management like maintenance requests and other service related issues.

Excellent Customer Service

Sometimes having an actual human being to call your tenants back matters most in the world of property management and when you hire a professional Houston Property Manager you can have confidence that all of your tenants will be responded to in a timely manner when they call or email the property manager.

Excellent Backup For You

Another benefit of hiring an experienced Houston Property Manager is that you can depend on them to be on top of any issues related to your property so that regardless if you live in Portland or are out of state your home or multi-family rental property will be professionally managed by caring professionals.

More Time to Grow Your Portfolio

Last of all, but most important, when you hire a professional Houston Property Manager you will have more time to focus on growing your portfolio of rental properties and focus on the next rental that you want to purchase for your portfolio.

Get Houston Property Management 

To learn more about our Houston Property Management Services contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.

 

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