Answers to your Common Questions
Are you considering a change in management for your Missoula investment property, or maybe you are just beginning your search to purchase investment property in Missoula. This is a great place to start. Below are some basic questions you should ask any of your prospective property managers during your interview process.
- Would you accept payments on a security deposit?
- What are the consequences of a Fair Housing claim?
- Can you deny your resident the right to have a therapy cat?
Rentals in Missoula are in much higher demand the closer it gets to the start of the first semester at the University of Montana in August. Rentals that are priced appropriately and are in good condition rent out at a quicker pace than those that suffer from deferred maintenance.
The market rent must match the condition of the rental. If there is lack of interest in the rental that is a sign an adjustment needs to be made. Either change condition, by making improvements, or change in market rent to match the condition. We will always make suggestions to reduce your vacancy rate.
In just under 5 short years, Rent Smart has developed a huge following on social media. We dominate the Missoula market with our upbeat and friendly Facebook promotions. We develop relationships with our fans, we have a lengthy waiting list of pre-qualified applicants who have signed up to be notified of new listings. We also emphasize good relations with our existing tenants, and have "rehomed" many of our existing tenants into our other properties before they even hit the market. This saves our clients time and money.Rent Smart Property Management leads the market in responsive web design, the first in Missoula to integrate this technology. Our site is designed to operate on any smart phone, tablet or computer, making our listing exposure more user friendly for the prospective renter.
Rent Smart was the first in the Missoula market to integrate watermarking our logo on our online listing photos to prevent fraud. Others are slowly catching on, and this is a very good thing to protect both our clients and customers from online scammers. The Rent Smart branding is becoming widely recognized in the renter pool, and our positive google reviews attract even more interest from prospective renters.
Rent Smart also dominates the market in promoting our listings with a walk through video tour. Our videos are branded, narrated, and puts our properties ahead of the competition. We have increased efficiency and decreased vacancy as we are able to work effectively with the out of town prospects. This is an added convenience for prospective renters, and we get some great feedback because of it.
We want the same results that you do. Quality tenants, with secure jobs, stable income, good credit and residence history. If they show responsibility in all other aspects of their life, it is reasonable to expect that they would also be responsible pet owners.
63% of our population in Missoula County has a licensed dog. This does not take into consideration the amount of unlicensed dogs or cats. This a huge demographic in our market. If we close the door to the entire pet owning pool we are down to slim pickings.
For a pet to be considered, they have to be mature and of a non aggressive breed.
We are happy to report that currently all of our properties do either accept pets or will consider a pet in the right circumstance. Your level of comfort dictates our parameters for your property. We always charge additional rent and deposit. And, pet friendly properties tend to rent far quicker then pets prohibited properties. This means your property is ahead of the competition.
Rent Smart has come a long way with our branding to position ourselves as the "pet friendly" property management company in Missoula. We have the largest social media following on Facebook in the property management industry in the Missoula market, with over 1200 fans at the time of this writing.
Our pet friendly branding helps draw greater attention to our listings than the competition. And each ad caters to the property owner's degree of comfort in accepting a pet.
We also cross reference phone numbers from employer and landlord references to verify accuracy, and check county tax records, when possible, to verify the person listed as the landlord reference is indeed the property owner, and not a friend posing as the landlord.
The added benefit of collecting the additional documentation is to look for red flags, such as addresses that don’t match up to the applications, wage garnishments on paystubs, running balances on bank statements, NSFs, etc. At Rent Smart, we dig a little deeper than most.
During the course of our time professionally managing rentals in Missoula, we have uncovered countless fraudulent applications and protected Missoula investment property owners from potentially thousands of dollars in lost rent, legal fees and damages.
Thorough screening, coupled with proactive monitoring helps minimize risk.
We conduct at least one interior walk through per lease term. The first walk through sets the stage for the remainder of the lease. If the units looks good, tidy, clean, and picked up, we just continue to monitor the care of the outside of the home. If the exterior care falls below normal, that may trigger a notice for an interior inspection. Noise complaints of a party would also trigger a lease violation and an interior inspection.
If the initial walk through shows signs of concern, we will address the deficiencies with the tenants and cosigners, and we schedule a follow up inspection giving them time to correct the problems. We continue to reinspect as needed until all deficient areas have been corrected. Then, we would set this property on a schedule to continue to inspect until we feel the residents have an understanding of what is expected of them.
We have had great success minimizing damages to the property by conducting these interim inspections, and repairing these damages at the time they are discovered. The tenants have to pay for the damage, and this catches their attention way more than letting the damage remain until they vacate. Once they realize you are going to charge for it as the tenancy goes on, they tend to be more careful and have more respect for the property.
We also employ an after-hours emergency dispatching service to handle all emergency calls after hours, nights and weekends. Your property can be set up with special instructions and vendors of your choosing. The dispatch service is well versed in trouble shooting prior to dispatching the vendor, and often times can walk the tenant through the solution and assess if the service call can wait until normal business hours to save the property owner in increased emergency service fees.