Working with a professional Austin property management company has always been a good idea, but lately, it has taken on a new urgency for owners and landlords. The laws continue to grow more complex, and the market continues to offer new challenges, even as it grows and rental prices rise.
If you’re still managing your own Austin rental property, you may be putting yourself and your investment at risk. If you’re new to managing a rental, we have five good reasons why it’s worth it to hire an Austin property management company.
1. Expertise in Establishing Austin Rental Values and Collecting Rent
One of the first things you’ll do when you put your rental property on the market is establishing a rental value. Lately, with the market moving at a faster pace than most owners and investors expected, pricing can be complicated. A professional property manager understands the local market and the requirements of well-qualified tenants. You need competitive rents that will attract good tenants and avoid long vacancies. Pricing a home too high can be just as damaging to your ROI as pricing a home too low.
Your property manager will be accurate and strategic when it comes to pricing. Property managers have access to better data than the rents reflected on Zillow and Craigslist. We know how long a property was vacant before it was finally rented. We know what the rental price ultimately was, even if it differed from the listing price.
Speaking of rent, how will you collect your rent every month?
Tenants today are looking for online rental payment platforms. They don’t want to write checks. They don’t want to deliver their rent to you. Collecting rent needs to be automated, secure, and easy. It needs to be timely. Property managers have online payment systems to accept rent electronically and then deposit it into your account directly. It reduces late payments.
2. Navigating the Leasing Process for Austin Rental Properties
Professional property managers will have access to many marketing channels and leasing resources, providing a lot of exposure for your property. You can expect:
- Better marketing photos
- A larger pool of potential renters
- Fast, responsive showings
- Online applications
- A strict screening process that is fair housing compliant
- Better tenants
We know that landlords who lease and manage their own homes often have to show their properties 20 times before they find a tenant who wants to apply for the home. We move things along faster with our ability to pre-screen those who inquire and our self-showing technology that allows prospects to see the home on their own time and at their own convenience.
Do you understand the importance of providing a set of standard rental criteria to anyone who wants to apply for your property? You need to let those tenants know what you’re looking for, and what sorts of standards will need to be met in order to be approved for your property.
A professional management company has all of this in place. The screening process takes a day or two at most, and everything else can move forward faster and more efficiently.
3. Leveraging Knowledge Around Texas Landlord and Tenant Laws
To effectively rent out a property in Austin, you need to understand the laws that pertain to rental properties and your relationship with tenants. A few random examples: you have to know what’s required to withhold money from a security deposit. You also need to know the difference between a pet and a service animal. Are you familiar with the eviction process?
Property managers can protect you from expensive legal mistakes.
Lawsuits happen frequently, and they’re usually due to mistakes that landlords didn’t realize they were making. Property managers know and implement current laws and stay educated on what might be coming down the legal pike.
The Texas Property Code is non-negotiable for Austin rental property owners. You’ll need to know what your property has to provide before it can be considered habitable and safe. Property managers will tell you how to handle peepholes, deadbolts, and sliding doors. We can ensure your smoke detectors are in the right places.
4. Cost-Effective Rental Property Repairs and Inspections
A professional property manager will conduct regular inspections, typically when a tenant moves in, throughout the lease, and when the tenant leaves. Through regular inspections, a property manager will be able to recognize problems before they become too expensive. You’ll have someone checking for deferred or unreported maintenance, and you’ll be sure your tenant is following the terms of your lease agreement.
You’ll also have the benefit of established relationships with licensed vendors and contractors. This ensures you’re receiving quality and cost-effective work. It’s a huge advantage when you have a plumbing emergency in the middle of the night.
5. Austin Property Management Technology and Best Practices
Property management technology, when used properly, leads to better rental experiences for you and your tenants. Your property manager will leverage their technology to:
- List your vacant property on more rental sites, generating a lot of interest.
- Keep careful accounting records that reflect your income and expenses.
- Track and document repairs and maintenance invoices.
- Provide an online portal for tenants and owners so you can get all the information you need when you need it.
- Automate a lot of the functions that take up time and resources, leaving more space to focus on tenant relationships and property protection.
It’s difficult for independent owners to access their own technology when it comes to managing properties. Systems are expensive and not always easy to install. Your property management partner, however, will have everything in place already. Property managers will also bring their education, experience, and understanding of the industry into the way that your rental home is leased, managed, and maintained.
Professional property management in Austin can be a game changer for your rental property, whether you have one investment or an entire portfolio. Please contact us at Austin Landmark Property Services, Inc., CRMC ® – A Certified Residential Management Company. We serve the Austin area and Central Texas including Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, and Bell counties.