The Dallas-Fort Worth area has gained a lot of attention among investors recently. People from outside of Texas are buying and renting out properties here because the cost of a home is still relatively low and rental rates are rising.
There are also a lot of people who move out of the area or move out of their home but they aren’t ready to sell it. Not only do we have a large portfolio of properties that are owned by out-of-state investors, we also rent out homes owned by people who once lived here but don’t live here currently.
Not everyone sells their home when they move away. Sometimes, keeping the asset and renting it out makes more financial sense, especially if you’ve been wanting to get into real estate investing but you didn’t really have the capital or the opportunity. We work with those owners to keep their properties occupied, well-maintained, and earning money.
We’re talking about how to ensure your out of state property is in good condition and consistently earning you money. The best thing you can do to protect your property is partner with a good local management company. If you cannot be physically in Dallas-Fort Worth yourself, you’ll need a reliable property management partner who can handle the day-to-day logistics on the ground.
Let’s take a look at what’s required to protect your property when you live out of state.
Protecting Your Dallas-Fort Worth Home from Vacancy
Vacancies are problematic because they cost you money and they leave your property at risk.
When your rental home is occupied with good tenants, your property is making money. Rent is coming in and you know your residents are helping to maintain the home and keep it safe.
But a vacant property isn’t making you any money. It’s also especially attractive to thieves, vandals, and even squatters.
Vacancy is disruptive to all investors, but it’s especially nerve-wracking when you’re outside of the area. You can’t be there to drive by your home or walk through it to make sure there isn’t a slowly leaking pipe or a broken window.
This is where you really need to rely on your Dallas-Fort Worth property management partner. You won’t have to plan for long vacancies. Even if there is a vacancy period, you know you’ll have someone who can check on the home and its condition.
As property managers, we protect your Dallas-Fort Worth rental property from vacancy by doing the following:
- Pricing your rental property competitively to attract good tenants quickly.
- Marketing rental homes with professional photos and excellent listings that are widely syndicated to all the most popular rental sites.
- Offering responsive tenant showings that allow for pre-screening.
- Conducting a quick tenant screening process after an online application is submitted.
When you want to protect your out of state property against vacancy, make sure you’re working with a property manager who can rent your home quickly.
Protecting Your Investment from Terrible Tenants
You’re living out of state, so you really have no idea how your tenants are treating your property. You don’t know if their pets are tearing up the yard or if they’re keeping the kitchen clean or if they’re taking good care of your appliances.
Bad tenants mistreat your home. They pay rent late. They leave behind damage.
They just don’t care.
You’ll need to be sure your trusted property management partner is protecting you against these tenants with good screening, excellent tenant relationships, and routine inspections.
We have a screening process that’s thorough, consistent, and well-documented. We protect your property by only placing qualified tenants who have a solid history of paying rent on time, taking care of their homes, and getting along well with landlords and property managers.
- Ensure Rent Comes in on Time
How can you collect rent from afar?
It’s difficult, and you’ll need a property manager with a consistent rent collection process. This will ensure you get paid on time every month. All things financial can easily be done electronically, and that’s really going to help when you’re out of state. Paper checks in the mail are unreasonable; you’ll need online access to your rental payments.
If you have a tenant in place who continues to pay late or leaves rent unpaid, make sure there’s a plan in place for collection and if necessary – eviction.
- Enforce the Lease Agreement
Unless you’re working with a property manager, it’s impossible to know whether your Dallas-Fort Worth tenant is following the lease terms. We take care of inspections and communications. We enforce the lease consistently and fairly.
What if your tenant breaks the lease? We talk to non-local landlords who are concerned that their tenants will leave and they won’t even realize it until rent stops coming in. Our constant tenant communication ensures no one is surprised by tenants suddenly vacating.
Protecting Against Property Damage
What if your tenant damages your home?
You will have to cover the cost of general wear and tear in your rental property after one tenant moves out and before another tenant moves in. When there’s damage to your property, however, your tenants can be held accountable.
But you’re not there to inspect the damage or gather quotes and estimates from vendors. You cannot go to the property and see the problems for yourself. Property damage often feels worse than it is when you’re not actually there.
We protect your property from damage by setting some clear and consistent expectations with tenants ahead of time. We collect a security deposit, inspect your home, and work with tenants to avoid excessive property damage.
Schedule Inspections and Vendor Relationships
Making repairs and upgrades on your own is nearly impossible when you’re out of state. You can’t respond to those tenant emergencies without calling someone local.
If you’re living out of state, a reliable maintenance plan is absolutely critical to protecting the condition and value of your investment. You’ll need vendors who can handle emergency and routine repairs. You’ll also need preventative services. We recommend you to put together a preferred network of professionals, including:
- General contractors
- HVAC technicians
- Pest control
It’s not always easy to find good vendors. With a Dallas-Fort Worth property management partner, you’ll have a team already in place. Most management companies either have their own professionals in-house or have long-standing relationships with licensed and insured vendors who often provide the best and most competitive prices.
Dallas-Fort Worth Property Management and Out of State Investors
As you can see, you need a professional Dallas-Fort Worth property management company when your home is here and you are somewhere else.
Local experts will do an excellent job of protecting your property and keep you informed about what’s going on and why.
Your property manager will:
- Respond to emergency and routine maintenance
- Make sure rent is collected on time
- Provide you with real-time information through online portals on how your property is performing.
Local property management professionals know the market. We know the laws. We’re ready to provide an outstanding experience for you and your tenants.
But how do you find the right management partner?
Look for good reputations. Look for experience with out of state investors and owners. Make sure the property manager you choose has the capacity to meet your needs. It’s especially important that they prioritize communication and invest in technology.
- Communication with Out of State Investors
Prepare to communicate frequently and transparently with your property managers. Make sure they have your updated contact information. Discuss expectations about communication and how frequently you want to hear from them. Maybe you want a verbal update every month. Or, maybe you don’t want to hear from them at all unless there’s a problem. Set those expectations so everyone is on the same page.
Look for a company that provides an online portal for you to send messages, check statements, and access reports and other documentation. You’ll feel more connected to your property, and you won’t have to worry about what’s happening in your absence. And, if your property managers are communicating responsively and proactively with you, you’ll know they’re just as available to your tenants.
- Technology and Dallas-Fort Worth Property Management
Find a property manager with great technology.
Online portals are pretty common these days. Make sure you’ll have access to one and that you’re willing to use it. You can check to see when rent has been paid, review maintenance invoices, and send messages to your management team.
You will want to make sure you can receive electronic rental payments through direct deposit. You’ll also want to make sure you can look at accounting statements and run reports online. Find out how you’ll be informed when a repair is needed, and how those invoices are paid.
With technology, you can track income and expenses, communicate with your property managers, and stay up to date on lease renewals, marketing strategies, and lease negotiations. It’s critical that you have access to good technology when you’re investing in properties from another state or another country. Communication will be important, and you don’t want to feel even further away from your investments.
You don’t have to be worried about your Dallas-Fort Worth investment property when you’re living out of state. Partner with a team like ours, and you can count on a stress-free, profitable rental experience. Contact us at Assign Property Management to learn more.