What to Expect as a Prized Victory Owner: Here at Victory Real Estate, we value your time and money. We have put together this introductory letter to explain our philosophy behind getting your property rented quickly, and with quality tenants. We look forward to working with you!
Here are a few tips that will help to ensure your early rental process runs smoothly and efficiently: returning the signed management agreement and the new property information sheet, as well as providing us with keys to your property. Keys are a common hold up and meeting with neighbors and other contacts consistently delays the process. We highly recommend mailing, or dropping a key by our office. If you do not respond quickly to emails, please let us know. We use email frequently as it is a perfect tool for documenting, scheduling, and confirming the entire process. It’s a major benefit when we can recount everything we could possibly need about a property, and your preferences with a quick search of our emails. If we inspect a property and have repairs / other items to recommend, it’s important that you answer our questions promptly and definitively. We truly understand the importance of keeping expenses to a minimum. If we recommend cleaning or repairs, it is only because we think the improvements are critical for what we hope to accomplish in your specific situation. We would not recommend if we didn’t think you would see the most possible return on investment. We do not profit from maintenance, and every work order works against us unless it helps to get a home rented.
Our goal at Victory is to occupy ALL of our properties in 30-45 days with excellent tenants. Never doubt that your property is being made a priority as we are extremely oriented in reaching our goals every time! Pricing and selection is an art, not a science. In most cases we could fill all of our rentals in the first week, however our extremely selective application procedure is designed for long term success while minimizing risk and headaches. In almost every case the reason for delays can be attributed to 4 things:
- Owner refusing to clean, or handle red flag type repairs that are guaranteed to deter from the homes appeal. Also, not completing red flag repairs attracts terrible tenants. These properties almost always get dropped from our inventory. We understand that times are very hard and we will work with you, but over time some action is required.
- Owner refuses to respond to the market. We offer every owner the option to start the advertising at whatever price point they would like to test the market. Because our advertising is so successful and FAST, within days we will have a plethora of statistics to analyze and discuss. We once had a client receive 10K listing views in 60 days and only reduce the rate $25 a month. Unfortunately unrealistic owners always look back and notice that the months of vacancy wiped out any gains they may have had, and almost always the rate ends up reduced anyways. In this case it was $775 a month for at least 6 months including time with another manager. As a result of our updates, and statistic tracking our owners almost always understand, and are in full agreement when a price reduction becomes necessary.
- Fall and spring are by far the best time to find qualified tenants. Dec-Feb, as well as back to school (late Aug-early Oct) are unfavorable times to find tenants. We have occasionally missed the mark during these times.
- Owner failing to provide us with the necessary information and required items. Paperwork, repair / quote issues, and keys are the most common causes for rental delays. It is always best to drop off, or mail keys yourself. When 3rd parties get involved, it results in a delay nearly 75% of the time. Tenants are very fickle, and hasty. They do not like to keep appointments to view rentals. Occupied homes receive about 60% less showings than vacant homes and are usually in moving condition, and tenants rarely have the vision to see past this. We are still very superior to the competition in our handling of occupied rentals, but please bear with us as the task is much more difficult. Finally, approx 75% of tenants have a pet, and it’s usually a dog. Clearly cutting your potential renter pool to 25% of active renters is going to have a significant effect on marketing duration, and rental rate. This is not an issue we can’t overcome, but it is a major cost that is rarely offset by the savings on repairs. Quite the contrary, we have witnessed owners leave thousands of dollars on the table to save a few hundred in repairs. Some situations aren’t as critical, so ask if you have major reservations.
It is very common for us to make several calls or emails to iron out kinks and questions in the first week or two. We apologize, but because we are so flexible with our tenant selection system, we occasionally need clarification early on. You can always login to your owner portal 24 hours a day to check the statistics on your advertising.
Our application process is as stringent as anyone in the industry, even if it means delaying income for the moment in favor of reduced expenses and headaches later. On average we decline 3 applications per property. Clearly, if we accepted more applications, we could fill homes faster. However, everything we do here at Victory is long term oriented and based on years of experience.
Commonly, tenants submit a list of repairs they expect to be done before they move in. Sometimes these are very reasonable, and often they are ridiculous. We actually use this as a method of gauging whether this prospect will drown us in maintenance costs / time. It is not uncommon for us to weigh this issue heavily when considering an applicant. If the list is reasonable in our opinion, we will present the request to you for approval and instructions for handling. Whenever possible, we highly recommend letting the tenants move in a few days early. NO tenants ever move in without payment of agreed upon security deposit, and first month’s rent. If they elect to pay early, it’s a great way to start the relationship off on a good note, and give us some breathing room on maintenance issues that arise. It is very common for maintenance issues to arise after a home has been vacant for just 30 days or so. Longer vacancy, usually lends itself to more move in maintenance issues. Tenants are notified of this just before move in. While we are extremely suspecting, issues do occasionally arrive even immediately after an owner or tenant has vacated. Another possibility is that a previous tenant didn’t report the problem. Throughout the lease, a good rule of thumb to ensure that we as landlords and managers remain within the law is, if the item was functional in the home upon move in, we are generally required to repair it unless user error is determined to be the problem. Some issues are more likely, but not always attributed to human error such as clogged pipes, and frozen disposals. Once again, we look out for you. Our contractors are well informed on the importance of investigating causes for service calls and quickly notifying the office. Of course older homes consistently have plumbing issues, so variables such as this are applied as well. Other items rarely a result of human error are appliance problems, and HVAC. However we do require the air filter be changed every 30 days, and our contractors investigate whether this is the cause.
Rental proceeds are paid around the 10th of each month. Very rarely are checks delayed, which is usually the result of unpaid rent. Move in accounting, and tenant placement service accounting can sometimes take a little additional time as they are much more complex and typically have more incoming information. Please allow up to 10 additional days in these situations. We are charged a large fee for every ACH transaction, so if we only have one or two checks to pay, we do sometimes mail. If mailing is not a viable option please notify us immediately and be aware it could add a few days to a payment.
Please consult your specific lease, but in most cases owner, and tenant must give 60 day’s written notice if they do not intend renew the lease. Depending on several factors such as quality of tenant, the lease may renew for a year, or just go to month to month. Once again, please consult your copy and make an important note to address the date in which changes must be made.
Thanks, Victory Real Estate