Delgado Property Management, as the name suggests, is a property management company but it does seem that different property management companies do offer different services to their clients. Our staff works as a team to provide our services rather than as individuals. We do spend a good amount of time with meeting each new client describing our services and what we do and do not do.
In property management, we have two basic categories of clients, those that own a property or two that they want to have rented out and managed and those that are larger-scale investors that are buying homes, making improvements and then wanting our services every step of the way so that the renting and managing become two steps in a longer process.
Given that the process for investor clients involves more steps, I will speak to what we do for those clients.
To some degree, what we do for investor clients depends on when they contact us but many contact us and secure our services before they even locate a Buyer's Agent and start shopping. One thing that we DON'T do is we do not represent folks in the sale or purchase of homes. We limit ourselves to property management, which we view as a strength that allows us to develop strong relationships with all of the strong agents in our area and therefore be of better service to our clients.
But, when an investor approaches us they are often looking for advice ranging from what Agent should they work with in purchasing homes, to what areas should they look at, to what size homes or what home features are more attractive to renters and so on. We will spend time with the investor and ask some questions of our own to help gage their expectations, their budget, their philosophy on maintenance etc. In this conversation we also communicate our expectations of providing a high level of maintenance to residents, of only working with investors that are wiling to make the proper improvements to the homes etc. In short, we help to develop an outline for the investor to follow as they move through the process.
We then take a secondary role as they investor works with their Buyer's Agent in the purchasing process. The Agents that know us will often utilize us as a resource to help determine which homes would fit into the outline we developed with the investor and therefore more likely be good candidates for consideration. We also often have the investor come directly to us with lists of homes being considered and ask our advice on likely rental rates, features, area, etc. So, yes, we are in a secondary role at this point given that the Buyer's Agent is the lead at this point but we are in a very active secondary role providing advice and guidance to both the Buyer's Agent and to the investor.
An example of the next step in service that we provide just occurred yesterday evening. This particular investor is a cash buyer with expectations of the home purchase closing very quickly. In fact, he is so confident that he asked us to meet him at the property to walk it and discuss home improvement ideas to make it a more attractive rental property at the same time that his Buyer's Agent was in the home writing up the offer!
So, we walked and gave advice. This is actually an extremely important service in that it provides guidance on where money should, or should not, be spent in order to transform the home into a very attractive rental home which translates into receiving more rental income on the home. There is a balance in what aspects that money should be spent on that actually translate into increasing the rental value of the home so this discussion can become a bit involved.
At this point we also discuss timing and marketing strategy. Based upon the expected closing date, the investor is already scheduling various contractors to perform the improvements on the property that will occur and so we agreed upon when in that sequence the exterior "first" photo should be taken and then followed later by the interior shots as the work progresses and completes.
The idea is to market as quickly as possible to show the home in a good light but not too soon so that you are actually showing a home "under construction" and thus less attractive in photos.
We do this because our reputation (and one of the services that we provide) is renting homes to well-qualified renters quickly. This has the obvious advantage of starting the positive cash flow for the investor. Assisted by the process of determining the wise improvements to make to the property, another service that we provide is that we are generally able to earn higher rental income on behalf of the investors.
However, we do communicate to clients that our resources are devoted to our task, which is securing well-qualified renters. We do NOT provide daily updates on traffic or potential renters etc. When we have a strong candidate renter that has qualified and placed a deposit, we will let you know. Generally, that happens quickly enough that "intermediate" updates aren't even necessary.
This is when we "shine" and provide the services that we do so well. We can rent homes quickly and for good rental rates due to our professional photography, strong internet presence, great reputation in town, prime location on First Street and our very skilled staff that is trained in sales and in basic politeness and treating potential renters courteously.
Of course, as we secure interested applicants we provide credit check, work verification, criminal history check etc. We also check references and make sure that the potential renter understands are high expectations that rent is due on the day that it is due and that we are aggressive in collecting rent.
However, we also demonstrate to the potential renter that our level of service that we provide to THEM is very high ranging from basic politeness to our maintenance program to the fact that we only offer comfortable homes that we have inspected and found to be "ready to go." By providing service to the Renter we are actually providing service to the CLIENT by helping them to realize greater rental income. We also maintain our residents long-term, which reduces costs for the clients.
We then of course handle all aspects of the property management and serve as the point of contact for the residents so that the investor/client's only task at that point is to collect their monthly disbursement check from us. This now leads to the “property management” services that we provide and is the subject of a different blog.