When should you hire a property manager? As with any large decision, there are many factors that you should consider as you decide what is best for your situation.
Here is a list of 6 questions you should ask yourself to help you decide if hiring a property manager is right for you:
1. Do you know the laws related to being a Landlord? This may seem like a basic consideration, however it is important and often overlooked. The laws involved with being a Landlord or property owner are many and diverse and the consequences for violating them – intentional or not – can be severe. These laws also vary from City to City and State to State. Even if you do not hire a property manager you should – at the very least – have a real estate-minded attorney with whom you consult regularly. The MSU College of Law publishes an online guide titled “Tenants and Landlords – A Practical Guide” which can be found with a quick Google search. This is required reading for any Michigan Landlord!
2. Do you have a system in place for handling maintenance and after-hours calls from your tenants? Routine maintenance and after-hours calls are inevitable when you are a Landlord. If you are a handy person, routine maintenance may be easy and enjoyable for you. On the other hand, if you have not done any basic building maintenance, these tasks will be difficult for you and probably cost you a lot more to complete on your own than if you were to hire them out. If you plan to manage your own rental property, contact several local vendors including plumbing, HVAC and general maintenance and have them ready to go when you need them. Having backup vendors is equally important!
3. Do you live nearby your rental properties? You want to be able to check on your properties at regular intervals to make sure that the home is being properly cared for. Drive-by and interior inspections should be a part of your management routine. If you live very far from your properties, chances are you won’t be thrilled to drive by them on your day off. A local manager or agent can take on the responsibility of routine inspections and deliver a report to you.
4. Are you putting off responsibilities related to your rental portfolio? You need to honestly ask yourself if you can make the time sacrifices and tough decisions required to be a successful Landlord. Rent Collection, Late Payments, Regular Maintenance, Application Screening, Showing vacant units, and the list goes on. A high degree of consistency, diplomacy, organization and a strong team is required to be a successful Landlord. If you find yourself procrastinating any or all of these duties as a Landlord, it may be time to add a property manager to your real-estate team.
5. Are you capable of handling the financial reporting for your portfolio? Basic accounting knowledge is vital if you want to be able to understand how your rental business is performing. This is probably THE MOST OVERLOOKED ASPECT of do-it-yourself Landlords. Having accurate financial records throughout the year will save you money throughout the year and on your taxes – your tax preparer will spend less time wading through receipts and they will be able to spend more time focusing on the tax advantages specific to your situation. In addition, you will quickly be able to understand the financial health of your portfolio at a glance and know if you have a problem siphoning profits from your bottom line.
6. Do you have the time to make the most of your real estate investment? The difference between a ho-hum real estate experience and a great experience comes down to the time and experience of those who are performing the work. Leveraging the time of others with more experience will greatly increase your chances of achieving a highly successful rental real estate business. Make sure you do not burn yourself out!
When investing in real-estate, it is important to focus your time and energy on the tasks that bring you the best return and enjoyment. If these 6 questions make you shudder with anxiety then hiring a property manager is probably going to be a good thing for you. If you feel that you have a solid grasp on these topics and enough time to attend to them then you can probably self-manage without too much assistance.
Access Property Management Group:
Resident Education Video – How to Submit an Online Work Order.
Today we are going to teach you how to submit a work order online through your Resident Portal.
First thing you want to do is go to AccessPMGroup.com and click on the Resident’s Login tab and then click the Login Now button. From there it will take you to a login page, where you will need to enter your email address and your password.
Now we are logged into the Resident Portal.
Scroll across the top here and hit the maintenance tab. We already have a couple of work orders in the system. One was already done and closed out and the other one I put in and was canceled – these are all options that you have as a tenant. So now we have something else that’s wrong / broken in your unit so we will put in a new service request. Starting from the top of the entry form, first you’ll have our address here and the specific location of the work is going to be the basement.
We have a smoke detector issue. A smoke detector is beeping. So once we put that in we can click here to determine what our best contact phone number is. It will autofill to your mobile phone and will also have your email address. If you want to upload a picture you can do that by choosing a file and then click the Save button. Once you click save, that work order will then be submitted to the office and we will send a vendor out. That vendor will call you or email you and schedule a time. If the smoke detector stops beeping and you want to cancel, you can come up here to click the “Cancel Service Request” button, or if you entered the wrong information you can click “Edit.” That is how you submit a work order online. If you have any questions please email or call us at 616-301-9450 or in Kzoo at 269-220-6033. Grand Rapids Property Management, Access Property Management Group.
Today we are talking about property management pricing and costs in West Michigan. At Access Property Management Group we have three pricing options for our owners.
The first is our Premier Plan. This plan is 18% of rents collected each month and it includes all of the tenant placement or leasing fees, includes all the lease renewal fees, includes our tenant guarantee, as well as our Eviction Protection Plan. This plan was designed to keep property management costs stable and predictable from month-to-month and year-to-year. You won’t see spikes in the property management costs when a tenant moves in or when a lease renewal occurs.
Our next plan is our standard pricing. This is more in line with the traditional pricing structure that you are probably used to. This plan is 9% of rents collected each month. The tenant leasing or placement fee is 65% of one month’s rent and lease renewals are completed at a fee of $200 each.
With all our plans you get access to your property manager’s personal cell phone numbers. You can call, text or email anytime.
Our last plan is our flat rate plan. This is $99 per month, per unit. It is structured with all of the same services that you would receive under the standard traditional pricing. We designed this plan for property owners who have rentals that rent above the market average, to keep property management costs in check each month.
If you are interested in more information on any of these plans you can click the Sign-Up button under each plan and that will take you to our contact page which you can fill out and we will be in touch with you quickly after we receive your inquiry!
You can also call our office in Grand Rapids at 616-301-9450, or if you are in Kalamazoo you can call 269-220-6033.
Resident Education Video: How to add a payment account
Hi everyone, today I’m going to show you how to add a payment account in your tenant portal.
Go to AccessPMGroup.com and click on “Tenant Login” on the upper right hand side, and click “Login Now.” You will be taken to the login screen of your portal. Once you’ve logged in you will come to the home screen inside the tenant portal. What you want to do is click on the “Add Payment Account,” which is the orange button near the center of the screen.
Once you’ve done that you will have an option to use either the eCheck, which is ACH direct debit from your checking or savings account, or a credit card. The ACH option is free. You can also use a Visa, Mastercard or Discover credit or debit card; there is a fee to use this option but it is there for you if you want to do it.
Once you have selected your preferred payment method the next step is to complete the required fields. You want to enter your bank name, click checking or savings, enter your bank routing number which is always going to be a 9-digit number, and your account number. Give the account a nickname so that you can easily identify it when you are in your portal making payments. Fill all your personal information including name, billing address, birthday and your email address. Click “Save.”
Once you’ve done that you have successfully added your payment account. Now you can make a one-time payment or you can schedule recurring payments. If you want to schedule your rent to be paid automatically on the same day each month for the same amount, you can schedule a recurring payment and that will happen. Otherwise you can login to your portal each month and make a payment for that amount manually.
Many Owners ask us “Where is your office located?”
Hi this is Eddie with Access Property Management. Today we are just doing a quick video on where our office is actually located. We rarely get anybody to stop by but we wanted to show you in case you want to head out this way.
The sign in the back right about there (see location on video) is for Boltwood Apartments. We manage 48 units here in Allendale so our office is inside one of the old units.
Welcome to Access Property Management Group’s Office. Right outside our door is our secure 24-hour drop box for rent payments, we do provide envelopes and a pen for your address. Our office is not that big but it’s just the right size for us. We have my desk here, Aaron’s desk and our Mac computers which we love. Also the whiteboard over here is for our Move-ins and Move-outs for the current month. We also have this big whiteboard. This is for our properties that are going to be for lease or are currently on the market, along with our monthly turnovers.
We have our model unit for the apartment complex that we manage down here. Bathrooms and more offices down the hall and that’s about it. Just wanted to show you around in case you are ever out this way.
Hi! This is Aaron with Access Property Management Group. Today I’m going to be going over the owner statement.
Summary (page 1)
The first page of our owner statement is always a summary of all your activities. It’s going to have one line for all your rental income, one line for all your expenses and one line for your management fees. It’s a real quick overview to get a glimpse of how your portfolio is doing.
The body is where you are going to find all the details of all those transactions. It will show all of your rent received and it will be broken down by each payment. We are going to show all the bills that were paid, again those will be broken down into vendor information. It’s going to have all the maintenance notes related to each bill and it will also show the amount of those bills.
Lease Summaries (last page)
The last page will have your lease summaries. It will have the names, total security deposit, total monthly rent and then the location where that lease is held, and also any unpaid bills that we have are shown at the bottom of your report.
If you like to see a sample of our owner statement feel free to fill out our contact form and we will be happy to send you our owner handbook. We’ve got a sample owner statement in there that you can review.
You can always contact us with any questions at 616-301-9450 in Grand Rapids or 269-220-6033 in Kalamazoo.