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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
We hold $400.00 in contingency reserve. This is used in the event of expenses exceeding income.
Property Management is not a one size fits all solution. We find that our investors have different needs so we have developed three unique service packages to choose from.
Contact Rent Smart Property Management 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.