Simply Smart Management - Your Success is Our Goal

Owner FAQs

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.

Why should I hire a property manager? +
If you need to rent out your home until it sells, or even if you are a seasoned real estate investor, managing investment property can be a slippery slope. Mistakes can be costly and todays renters are a highly sophisticated group.  Information is just a key stroke away. You need to be informed, educated and prepared. Ask yourself these questions:
  • 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?
These are just three things that could get you in hot water very quickly. Why not let a professional property management company such as Rent Smart take the burden off of your shoulders.  Call us now… before you have to!
How do you determine the market rent for my rental in Missoula? +
A variety of factors come into play such as location, time of year, amenities, age, and condition. We take this all into consideration when we visit the rental to determine the market rent. We consider the current vacancy rate as reported by our Western Montana Chapter of NARPM, and other sources to help us determine supply, demand, and the baseline rent rate among comparable units. We may also make suggestions for improvements to make your Missoula rental property more appealing and attract higher quality tenants.
How long does it normally take to rent out my property in Missoula? +
We begin advertising your Missoula rental property immediately, once we receive the 30 day notice to vacate. It is our goal to secure your new tenant to be in place by the time the unit is rent ready.

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.
How do you market my Missoula rental property? +

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.
Do we have to allow pets? +
No, but you should.

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.
How do we know the tenant you select won’t trash our property or stop paying rent? +
Renting is not without risk. We do our best on the front end to minimize risk by running a credit report, background check, collecting back up documentation like driver’s licenses and copies of bank statements, and vehicle registrations. 

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.
How often do you check on my Missoula rental property? +
As a proactive Missoula property management company, you can be assured we conduct frequent property drive bys. This allows us to take immediate action on any potential issue before it becomes a habit for the tenant, and nip this problem in the bud.

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.
What if I don’t want to accept any University of Montana students? +
Sorry, we would not be able to accommodate that request. We strictly abide by all Fair Housing Laws and age discrimination would be in violation of the act.
How do you handle maintenance for my Missoula rental property? +
Non-emergency requests are to be submitted online. We respond to the resident no later than the following business day. We inquire further about the request and try to trouble shoot the issue before sending out a technician to save the property owner unnecessary expenses, say, for a tripped circuit breaker.

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.
Do you hold funds in a reserve account? +
We hold $400.00 in contingency reserve. This is used in the event of expenses exceeding income.
What do you charge to manage my Missoula rental property? +
Our monthly fee is based on a percentage of the rent collected, or a flat fee. Our fees vary depending on the number of units you have, age, location and condition, and other factors of consideration. We will be happy to discuss fees with you during our initial consultation.
Ready to get started and learn how Rent Smart can help solve your problems? +
Contact Rent Smart Missoula today, and we will arrange a time to meet at your convenience so we may learn more about your needs and offer you smart property management solutions.

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Mailing Address
PO Box 1675
Missoula, MT 59806

Office Address
2233 South Avenue West #101
Missoula, MT 59801

406.926.1724 Phone
406.317.1931 Fax