What to Expect as a Prized Victory Owner: We would like to take a minute to discuss what to expect in the early stages of the rental process. The most important points before we can start are of course the signed management agreement returned to us, the new property information sheet, and keys given to us. 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 respond quickly to emails, please let us know as this 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 needs 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 say it all the time, we truly understand the importance of keeping expenses to a minimum. If we recommend cleaning or repairs, it is only because we think it’s critical for what we hope to accomplish in your specific situation. If we don’t consider it critical, but still think it’s a great idea we still wouldn’t recommend if we didn’t think you would see the most possible return on investment. Here at Victory we have a 45 day goal to occupy ALL of our properties with excellent tenants. Never doubt that your property is being made a priority as we are extremely oriented in reaching our goals every time. In almost every case the reason for delays can be attributed to 4 things. 1. Owner refuses 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. 2. 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. 3. Fall and spring are by far the best time to find qualified tenants. Dec – Feb as well as back to school, and even summer to a lesser extent are unfavorable times to find tenants. We have occasionally missed the mark during these times. 4. Not providing us with the necessary information and items required. 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. They also 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. 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. We send updates every other week or more during the advertising phase. Of course you can always login to your owner portal 24 hours a day to check the statistics on your advertising. Our updates are more involving showings, conversion ratios, and feedback. Once we have a good prospect, and have collected the information required of all applicants, we will present our findings to you for approval. Tenants are usually anxious at this time, and losing them to another rental is a real possibility. Once again timely communication is critical.
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’s 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. At this point in the process it is still rare for our company to request money from our rental owners. Victory is pleased to when possible, extend their credit, and often payment to ease the hassle, and money burden of a vacant house for our clients. We then provide a full accounting, and recoup the expense from the tenants first month’s rent. 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 to be caused by 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 mailed by the 7th each month. Very rarely are checks delayed, which is usually the result of unpaid rent. If rent is late we will notify you by the 7th . Deposits are made by the 8th , or first business day thereafter. We deposit to the following banks only. Wachovia, First Citizens, First Federal, First Bank, BB&T, SunTrust, RBC Centura. Please provide us with this information well in advance to avoid delays, or mailed checks. Please consult your specific lease, but in most cases owner, and tenant must give 30 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. We will notify you in advance, but at Victory we are champions of excellent communication and preparedness. Once notice is given Once a tenant is ready to vacate, they have the option of being present for the walkthrough or not. It’s always best if they are not, so we encourage this. We document everything exceptionally well with pictures and timely owner notification. If there is damage, we then devise a plan together to make the process go as smoothly as possible. If not we return the deposit to the tenant. Because we are a small, targeted, flexible business we don’t keep exact office hours. In this business, field travel for all office staff is sometimes mandatory, so it is always a good idea to call or email ahead to let us know to expect you. We can also consider unique appt times with a call or email. However, someone is typically in the office during the following times.
Thanks, Ralph Hunter
Broker in Charge