How to reduce late payments at your Houston Texas rental property

By Vestpro Residential Services

There’s no doubt that late payments will hurt any owner regardless if they’re just getting started with owning rentals, or they’ve owned them for years.

The truth is that most owners rely on the rent that they receive from their tenants to pay their mortgages so when a tenant is late paying their rent this means that the owner will have to pay their mortgage out of pocket.

What’s the solution to the problem?

Owners must reduce their late payments and getting started with this is easy especially when the steps listed in this article are followed.

How To Reduce Late Payments

Enable Electronic Payments

We’re a big fan of software that allows residents to make payments online, such as many property management software solutions. In this day and age, we’re all busy. Having to physically write a check, track down a stamp, and trek to the post office to mail a payment is a hassle. Some will certainly prefer to make payments that way; but if you want to collect payments on time, leveraging electronic payments will make it easier for you to do so.

Improve Your Resident Screening Process

There will always be one-off cases of residents paying late. However, if you find that multiple residents are making late payments more often than not, it could mean that your tenant screening process is in need of a few tweaks. Be sure that you’re calling landlord references, confirming proof of employment, setting guidelines for minimum income required to lease, etc. This should help to ensure that you’re choosing high-quality residents who can afford to make their payments each month.

Hire a Property Manager

If you’re struggling to collect rent payments and dues, or you simply don’t have the time or energy to track down late payments, consider hiring a property manager. Hiring an experienced property manager can help you to implement a stronger payment system to ensure consistent cash flow moving forward, and can provide valuable expertise on these kinds of situations in the future.

Get Property Management Here

For professional property management contact us today by calling 832-971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

 

late payments
Avoid late payments at your rental property when you work with Vestpro Residential services!

Arctic Storm – How To Deal With Frozen Pipes In Your Houston Rental Property

By Vestpro Residential Services

HOUSTON, TX. – Over the last week we’ve been hit with one of the coldest storms to hit Texas in recent memory and you may have been woken up to frozen pipes in your Houston Rental Property.

Although frozen pipes are not uncommon, many people don’t know how to deal with them and if those frozen pipes are left frozen for too long they can cause a major problem for the home.

Thankfully, you can deal with frozen pipes yourself if you follow these simple tips:

How To Unfreeze Pipes At Your Houston Rental Property

Tip #1: Use a Hairdryer to Thaw Frozen Pipes

As soon as you suspect that a pipe has frozen, try to find the problem area. It might be in your basement. It might be under a sink. Pipes located along exterior walls are most susceptible to freezing, so that’s a good place to start. Run an electric hairdryer along your pipes to warm them up and get water flowing again.

How to Fix Frozen Pipes

Tip #2: Wrap Hot Towels Around Frozen Pipes

If you don’t have a hairdryer handy, try this technique. The hot towels may slowly thaw the blockage. This strategy is best used on copper or galvanized steel piping, as metal conducts heat. It will be less effective on PEX piping. As the towels gradually cool, you can place a bucket under the pipe and continually pour hot water over them. (It might be a bit messy, but if it works, it’s worth it!)

How to Fix Frozen Pipes

Tip #3: Wrap Frozen Pipes with Heating Cables or Heat Tape

Heating cables and heat tape can be a lifesaver when cold weather strikes.

Heating cables are self-regulating, automatically varying their heat output based upon the surrounding temperature. You wrap the cable around your pipes (ideally before they freeze–but you can do so afterwards to thaw them as well) and then plug the cable into a regular electrical socket. The cable can be overlapped to provide extra protection.

Heat tape is a flat tape coated in rubber. The heat tape must run flat along the pipe and cannot overlap itself. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions for installation. Some heat tapes cannot be used safely on plastic, such as PVC water lines.

If you plan to use either heating cables or heat tape, measure the length of your pipes before heading to the hardware store. This will help you to determine how much heating cable or tape you need. The cords come in various sizes, usually ranging from 30″ to 80″. Once applied, the cords will help to slowly thaw your frozen pipes; and if left plugged in, they can prevent your pipes from freezing again in the future.

How to Fix Frozen Pipes

Tip #4: Crank the Heat to Thaw Frozen Pipes Behind a Wall

The first three solutions won’t do much good if you can’t access the frozen pipe. If the frozen pipe is located behind a wall, one of your best (and only) options is to crank the thermostat. Sometime, heating the problem area is all you need to thaw the blockage. To speed the process along, consider using space heaters and/or infrared lamps against the wall where you suspect the frozen pipe is located.

How to Fix Frozen Pipes

Tip #5: Find a Plumber with a Thaw Machine

When all else fails, it’s time to bring in the pros. Most plumbing companies will have at least one thaw machine on hand. A thaw machine is a small, portable unit that a plumber will connect between a working pipe and a frozen pipe. Once the connections have been made (which look similar to jumper cables), the machine will then shoot electricity from one end to another. This heat conduction process is usually enough to thaw even the most stubbornly frozen pipes.

How to Fix Frozen Pipes

Tip #6: Don’t Use a Blowtorch to Thaw Frozen Pipes

One thing that you should never do is use a blowtorch to thaw frozen pipes. It may seem like a logical solution, but the high-pressure heat could actually damage your pipes. You’re also creating a fire hazard if there are combustible materials nearby. Frozen pipes are bad enough–the last thing you want to do is burn the house down trying to fix the problem!

If frozen pipes continue to be an issue, considering hiring a property manager. An experienced property manager will be able to manage these stressful situations for you. They should also be able to give you sound advice on issues of all kinds, including preventing frozen pipes in the future.

Get Houston TX Property Management Here

For professional Houston TX property management contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (831) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Enjoy The Tax Benefits Of Renting Your Home During Special Events

 

Are you planning on going on vacation this year? If so, you might want to wait to go on vacation during an annual event in the Houston area.

You may be able to rent your home for more money while a special event is in progress like Comicpalooza because more people will be in town during the week of that event and willing to pay higher rental rates.

Could Be Tax Free Income

Homeowners go on vacation and make tax-free income while temporary tenants rent their home. Homeowners can benefit from a little known provision in the tax code that does not require taxpayers to recognize the income derived from renting their home for less than 15 days per year. See Plan Ahead for Tax Time When Renting Out Residential or Vacation Property- special rules.

This situation can particularly benefit homeowners where there are large sporting events nearby like golf and tennis tournaments, championship games or other high attendance venues. The demand for a private residence can be more attractive than staying in a hotel which makes the price go up.

Obviously, there are challenges with personal belongings and damage but getting a premium rental rate and not having to recognize the income could be worth it. You’ll certainly want to discuss this with your tax professional prior to making this decision. You’d probably also want to get some help from an experienced real estate professional.

Source – In Touch Weekly

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

 

 

Will Your Rental Make More Money With A Laundry Room?

Thinking about building a laundry room at your rental property? Yes, it’s true that laundry rooms are a good investment to make but before you spend the money it’s important to ask yourself these questions.

Question #1 – Will My Tenants Actually Use This Laundry Facility?

The very first thing you should do before building a laundry room on site at your four-plex, or multi-family unit, is to speak with each of your tenants personally and find out if they would be open to using a laundry room if there was one on site.

You should also ask your tenants where they do their laundry now, and how much they are paying per load, so you have a better idea of what local laundromats are charging in the area.

Question #2 – How Many Washers and Dryers Will I Need?

To avoid overspending on washers, dryers, and other hardware, you should consider starting small and maybe buying two washers and dryers first.

Also another thing you can do to make adding more washers and dryers in the future easy is to add additional outlets and plumbing to your laundry room when it’s under construction.

Question #3 – What Will Your Laundry Room Hours Be?

As with any laundromat in Houston Texas Rental Property it’s important to have set hours for the laundry room in your Houston Texas Rental Property that way people know when they can use it. This will help to keep noise at a minimum in the evening and insure that all tenants respect the laundry facility.

Houston Texas Rental Property Management

For more tips on improvements you can make to your Houston Texas Rental Property, or to speak with us about our property management services, contact Vestpro Residential Services by clicking here, or calling us at (832) 971-1841

Is Your Rental Scaring Away Renters? Click Here!

Have you put a lot of time, money and energy into your rental property only to find that it’s still not renting and you can’t figure out why?

Your Curb Appeal Is Scary

Take a look at the curb appeal for your Rental and think like a potential renter.

Are there overgrown trees or bushes?

Does the grass look like it hasn’t been mowed since last year?

If you answered yes to either of these questions it’s time to do a property clean up and do your part to improve the curb appeal of your rental property.

The Inside of Your Rental Property Is Scary

When was the last time that you spent 10 minutes inside your rental?

Does it have plenty of light inside? If not, lack of light can be sending potential renters away since light always helps to make the inside of a rental look brighter and cheery.

Consider improving the lighting in each room and also painting the rooms of your rental bright colors like yellow or green since bright colors will bring light to any room regardless if the room gets a lot of natural light or not.

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For professional property management contact Vestpro Residential Services at (832) 971-1841 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online.

 

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Tips for Getting Your Rental Property Ready for Fall Weather

Fall 2017 is officially here and with it comes a change in weather! If your rental property isn’t ready for the change in weather it could be left unprotected. Thankfully, you can get ready for fall weather simply by following the tips in this article.

Do end-of-season yard maintenance.This doesn’t just include raking the leaves (although that’s important, too!). It also means trimming the hedges, fertilizing the grass, trimming unwieldy branches, and removing any weeds or roots that may impact siding, patios, and walkways.

Pack up and store outdoor items.It may seem a little premature to do now–but if the recent spate of hurricanes is any indication of what the rest of this season will look like, it’s a good idea to start now. Clean, pack up, and store outdoor furniture, grills, and other items that could be damaged by late fall or winter weather. If your property is located in a hurricane-prone area, be sure to tie down any large items that could wash or blow away.

Drain water lines.If your property is located in a cold-weather climate, now is a good time to turn off the water leading to outdoor spigots. Turn off sprinkler systems and drain outdoor hoses to prevent water from freezing and bursting the lines.

Clear debris from gutters.One of the best things about fall is watching leaves transform into beautiful shades of red, orange, and yellow. But it only lasts for so long–and then those leaves fall, clogging gutters in the process. Be sure to clear all debris from rain gutters to prevent water from pooling–or worse, causing roof damage.

Inspect the roof.Climbing up a ladder and getting onto the roof is not for the faint of heart, but it’s a worthwhile exercise to ensure that the roof is in good condition when you’re heading into the winter months. Loose or missing shingles are easier to replace during the fall. Otherwise, you could face costly roof repairs caused by hail, sleet, and snow.

Seal windows and install storm doors.Aging seams and weather stripping around windows and doors often lets cold air in and warm air out. This drives up heating costs, which can add up for landlords and HOAs that pay for heat as part of their fees. Seal drafty windows and doors with caulk, install new windows if necessary, and swap out screens with storm doors and windows.

Click here for more tips!

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

 

What are the main reasons you should invest in Houston Real Estate?

Have you been thinking about investing in Houston Real Estate but you’re not sure if now is the right time for you to invest or not?

Now is a great time to invest in Real Estate especially for these reasons:

Reason #1 – Demand

Thanks to a recent study by the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies and their 2015 State of the Nation’s Housing Report we know that demand has been one of the primary factors which has been driving the Real Estate market during 2015.

There’s been huge demand for rental properties and an even bigger demand for homes for sale thanks to historically low mortgage interest rates which has brought out the first time home buyer, and casual investor, in search of Houston Texas Real Estate and homes nationwide.

Reason #2 – Mortgage Interest Rates Will Increase

Many economists predict that Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen will be increasing mortgage interest rates gradually in the coming months and these increases can mean the difference between paying less money now for a mortgage payment, or more if you buy a home in the future.

Reason #3 – Home Ownership Has Dropped While Renting Has Increased

Last of all, but most important, you should invest in Houston Texas Real Estate is because of the fact that renting has increased across the United States while the actual homeownership rate has decreased.

With a greater demand for rentals nationwide especially among Millennials and Baby Boomers it makes sense to invest in Real Estate because that demand isn’t expected to change in the coming years.

Get Property Management Here!

To get started with investing in Houston Real Estate contact Vestpro Residential Services, LLC today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online.

Houston Real Estate

Simple Tips For Keeping More Renters

There’s no doubt that owning rental properties is a great way to generate long term cash flow and wealth but the reality is that if you’re consistently losing renters every year, instead of having long term renters, you may be dealing with more stress and loss of revenue than you should.

In this article we will show you how to finally break the cycle of losing renters every year and keep long term renters in your rental properties.

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.

At Vestpro we know that sometimes you don’t have the time or energy to focus on keeping your tenants satisfied and that’s where we come in.

With our full suite of rental services we can help you run an efficient property management business.

Get Property Management Here

For professional property management contact Vestpro Residential Services by calling us at (832) 972-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

 

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.