5 Simple Steps to Improve Tenant Retention in Baltimore County

Easy Ways to Boost Tenant Retention in Baltimore County

Failing to retain your Baltimore County tenants means you have a vacancy on your hands.

With a vacancy, you are no longer collecting a consistent rent payment each month, you probably need to make repairs such as paint the walls or replace the carpet, and of course, you’ll need to perform a deep clean.

That’s on top of the fact that you now need to advertise your vacant property, thoroughly screen all interested tenants, as well as deal with drafting a new lease agreement, collecting application fees and security deposits, and conduct move-in inspections.

That’s a lot of work, and very little money coming in.

In fact, it has been suggested that acquiring a new customer (or in your case, a new tenant) can cost five times more than keeping an existing one. 

Rather than deal with the constant turnover of a rental property in Baltimore County, and the subsequent loss of income and time, you should instead aim to improve your tenant retention rates.

In the past, we have discussed 5 solid ways to boost tenant retention. However today, we are going build off those 5 things and provide you even more steps to higher tenant retention.

 

Steps for a Higher Baltimore County Tenant Retention Rate

1. Make Communication a Priority

Communication between you and your tenants, as well as your Baltimore County property manager, is important when it comes to tenant satisfaction.

Having an open line of communication where tenants feel comfortable reaching out for anything they need will allow you to stand out amongst other landlords, as well as increase your chances of getting a lease renewal.

One great way that you can establish that communication is a priority for you is to give your tenants a tenant welcome packet prior to move-in.

This packet can include things such as important contact information tenants will need over the term of their lease, dining, shopping, and entertainment hotspots that are nearby, and general maintenance tips they should stay on top of during their lease.

 

2. Collect Rent…Online

Boost Tenant Retention by Setting Up Online Payment

In addition to having a solid line of communication established between yourself and your tenants, another great way to boost lease renewals is to make paying rent as easy as possible.

And today, most people are accustomed to paying everything online.

It’s convenient, available 24/7, easy to track, and makes your life a whole lot easier too.

Collecting rent online is a great idea – it helps your tenants, and it helps you and your Baltimore County property manager.

And, let’s not forget that it is the most secure and reliable way to collect money.

 

3. Spruce up Your Property

Many times, property owners only make major improvements to their properties in between tenants.

And, it makes sense to do so.

When the property is empty, it is easy to see what needs repair, and in order to avoid a long vacancy, that is the best time to make upgrades.

After all, the more amenities you have in your property, the higher rent amounts you can command.

However, failing to tend to the properties that have tenants in them is a big mistake.

To start, a property that is falling apart is not going to be one that a tenant wants to continue living in past the end of the lease term.

In addition, making small improvements to your property throughout a lease term, as a way of showing appreciation to your tenant for paying on time and being an all-around good tenant, will make your tenant more likely to want to stay another lease term.

One neat thing you could do, in order to really strike gold with your tenants, is to ask them if there is anything in the property they would like to see upgraded or fixed.

This will really go a long way come lease renewal time.

Your tenants will definitely remember come lease renewal time, when you replaced that old, partially functioning dishwasher with a brand new, water efficient one.

 

4. Call Before Coming Over

Call Your Baltimore County Tenants Before Coming Over

Issuing proper notices is the legal thing to do when you want to enter your investment property for one reason or another.

Not only is it illegal to show up to your rental property unannounced, but it also can really interrupt your tenant’s life.

What if they are having people over for dinner? What if they want to be home when you come over? What if they prefer not to be alone when you show up?

There are many things to take into consideration when you show up to your rental property for a routine inspection or general maintenance issue.

Respect that people live in your property, and treat it like their actual home.

If there is no immediate emergency, there really is no reason not to politely call ahead when you plan on stopping by, so your tenants can adjust their schedule and be prepared.

 

5. Use a Good Baltimore County Property Manager

Property managers typically have the most contact with your tenants.

This makes selecting the right property management company crucial to your success as a landlord, especially when it comes to tenant retention.

If your tenant cannot stand the property manager assigned to your property, has problems with administrative staff, or cannot get in touch with the on-call maintenance crew, you are going to have trouble convincing a tenant to sign a lease renewal at the end of their term.

No one wants to deal with a difficult property management company, no matter how great the landlord or the property is.

That’s why it is on you to do your due diligence when it comes to interviewing a property management company to handle your investment property.

In addition, if you notice any of the signs that your property management company isn’t cutting it, you need to know when to let them go.

 

If you are looking for an experienced property management company in the Baltimore County region, contact Bay Management Group today. With a dedication to providing superior customer service, you will never have to worry about a tenant wanting to leave your rental because of anything we do.

With 24/7/365 maintenance, online rent collection, and open lines of communication, your tenants will feel comfortable reaching out for anything they need.

And, you can count on us for top-notch vacancy advertisements, thorough tenant screening and placement, and plenty of advice on how to garner higher retention rates.

In the end, we have everything both you and your tenants need to be happy.


How to Be a Next-Door Landlord in Montgomery County

How to Be A Next-Door Landlord in Montgomery County

You have been stewing over whether you should add another Montgomery County rental property to your growing portfolio.

And, like all successful landlords, you have done your due diligence and researched all the right things – market trends, going rental rates, amenities, financing options, as well as nearby shopping, dining, and entertainment venues.

There’s just one catch.

The rental property you want to invest in is right next door to your primary residence.

Though being a next-door landlord has many benefits, it has its fair share of drawbacks as well.

Read on to find out what the pros and cons are of living right next door to your Montgomery County tenants, and how to find success in being a next-door landlord.

 

The Benefits of Being a Next-Door Landlord

1. You Can Create a Stronger Landlord-Tenant Relationship

Living next door to your tenant is often a great way to build a better, and healthier, relationship.

In many cases, tenants have very little to no contact with their landlords.

This means they never get to know the property owner on a personal level.

Having a friendly relationship with your tenants, that still maintains strong boundaries (after all, this is a business you are running), can forge the distance that often exists between landlord and tenant.

As a result, you may be able to win over your tenant, and increase your lease renewal rates because your tenant enjoys being in your company from time-to-time.

 

2. Quicker Response Times

Next-Door Landlords Have Quicker Response Time In Montgomery County

Property maintenance can be a real pain if you self-manage your rental property, and live far across town.

No one wants to get an after-hours call that a pipe burst and the property is flooding.

However, if you don’t have a property management company on your side to help you out with 24/7 maintenance, an after-hours call is exactly what you will receive.

Living next-door and receiving a midnight call that your rental property is flooding because of a burst pipe is still going to be a pain.

However, it will be a lot easier to pop on over from next door and handle the issue at hand.

The same rings true for minor, non-emergency maintenance requests.

If your tenants have something they need, a quick visit from you next door will be far less strenuous than having to make an out of the way trip from across town.

 

3. Tenants Will Behave

If your Montgomery County tenant knows that you live right next door to them, chances are they will be on their best behavior at all times.

While we do not suggest you spy on them (this is not recommended for many reasons), tenants tend to behave better when they know their landlord is around.

Also, breaking the lease agreement will be more difficult for tenants to pull off knowing that you may notice this breach at any moment.

In addition, sneaking a pet into the property knowing there is a no-pet policy will be hard to do.

Damaging the property when you can likely easily see it will be nearly impossible.

And, tenants can forget about having constant parties that wake the entire neighborhood, because that neighborhood includes you.

 

4. Property Abandonment is Less Likely

Abandoned Property Is Less Likely to Happen With a Next-Door Landlord

In tune with better tenant behavior, another benefit to living right next door to your tenants is the fact that property abandonment is not likely to go unnoticed.

One of the biggest issues facing property owners is the non-payment of rent.

This is especially true if a tenant packs their bags in the middle of the night, and simply disappears without a trace.

Recouping lost rent payments, dealing with abandoned personal property, and having to start all over and place new tenants in their rental, are all things property owners hope to avoid at all costs.

If your tenants decide they want to leave your rental without proper notice, they are going to have to be sneaky to get away with it without you noticing.

In fact, if anything suspicious is going on next door, you are probably going to be the first to notice.

 

Problems Facing Next-Door Landlords

1. Tenant Screening

Just because you will be living next door to your tenant does not mean you can take any additional liberties when it comes to tenant screening.

You must remain consistent in your tenant screening procedures, and take care not to violate the Fair Housing Act.

While it is okay to want to place high-quality tenants in your property, make sure not to treat next-door tenants any differently than you would other prospective tenants for properties across town.

Do not ask unusual questions or discriminate against any protected classes because you want a particular type of tenant living next door.

In order to protect yourself against any claims of discrimination, enlist the help of an experienced Montgomery County property manager to help aid you with the tenant screening and placement process.

 

2. Boundaries Might Blur

Boundaries Can Blur As a Next-Door Landlord in Montgomery County

It can be difficult to find the balance between being a friendly neighbor, and maintaining your status as property owner.

While living next door to your tenant, make sure to set clear boundaries from the start.

This means establishing clear and appropriate lines of communication.

For instance, ensure your tenants that you will be available for all questions and concerns, including emergencies, but that knocking on your front door at random times is not allowed.

You want to make sure that you appear as a kind and understanding landlord that is dedicated to providing your tenants the best living experience possible.

However, you also want to make sure tenants understand that you are the boss, that there is a legal lease agreement in place, and that violations of the rules will not be tolerated.

 

How to Be a Good Next-Door Landlord

Here are a few things you can do to make sure you are a good next-door landlord:

  • Remain Professional. Always remember that this is your rental property business and that business comes first. It is okay to be friendly. It is not okay to let your guard down, and let your tenants get away with violating the lease because you are on friendly terms.
  • Screen Tenants Thoroughly. Following strict tenant screening procedures, without violating the Fair Housing Act, will ensure that your investment property, and your sanity, remain intact while your tenants live next door to you for the duration of the lease term.
  • Understand the Law. As a property owner, it is your duty to understand that tenants have the renter’s “Right of Quiet Enjoyment” while residing in your property. This means your tenants have the right to be left alone and not bothered by you on a regular basis, despite you living right next door. This means you cannot harass them as they go to and from the property, spy on them, access the property illegally, or otherwise violate their rights.
  • Be a Good Neighbor. You don’t want your tenants throwing loud parties, trashing the front yard, involving themselves with illegal activity, or bothering other neighbors. The same applies to you. Being a decent neighbor, is something your tenants will expect from you as well.

 

In the end, there are many reasons why becoming a next-door landlord in Montgomery County is a good idea.

Being able to see your investment property on a consistent basis is bound to lessen some of the typical problems landlords face with problem tenants.

However, it is important to remember that your tenants may initially be uneasy at the thought of living next door to their landlord.

Go out of your way to show tenants you are professional, and want them to enjoy your property. If you can do this, they will be more likely to sign a lease renewal come the end of their lease term.

 

If you need help managing your next-door rental property, and prefer to not deal with the logistics of collecting rent, hopping over to fix leaky faucets, or enforcing the no-pet rule when your tenant clearly has a large dog in the backyard, contact Bay Management Group to help.

At Bay Management Group, we provide property owners with a whole host of property management services for a low monthly management fee.

Enjoy the benefits of having a qualified property maintenance crew on hand 24/7, and our ability to inspect properties throughout the lease term to ensure adherence to the lease agreement.

In addition, take advantage of our strict rent collection policy that will not require you to run around collecting rent checks.

At Bay Management Group, we make management of your Montgomery County rental property hands-off, allowing you to feel stress-free about your next-door tenants.


How to Interview Potential Tenants For Your Edgewood Rental

How to Interview Potential Tenants for Your Harford County Rental Property

We all know how important it is to interview tenant references when deciding whether to lease to a prospective tenant.

In the past, we have discussed how to do just that, as well as provided some tips for how to double check, and ensure a potential tenant’s references are even real.

But have you put much thought into interviewing the actual tenant?

With so much stress being placed on verifying a tenant’s references, property owners often forget to interview the actual tenant that will be living in their Edgewood rental property.

That’s why today we are going to look at some great ways to approach interviewing potential tenants, as well as some of the best questions to ask.

 

How to Interview Potential Edgewood Tenants

 

1. Follow a Consistent Tenant Screening Process

We always emphasize how important having a consistent tenant screening process is.

And, if you don’t currently enlist the help of property management services in Edgewood, the idea of having a strict tenant screening process in place may be foreign.

However, it is crucial you don’t wing the screening process.

You might unknowingly violate housing discrimination laws, and find yourself in a lot of trouble.

Or, you might place a terrible tenant in your rental.

Tenant interviewing is entwined in the screening process.

In fact, at every stage of the tenant screening process, there are perfect opportunities to conduct mini interview sessions along the way.

Look at Rentalutions’ five stages to a good screening process, to see what we mean:

  1. The Inquiry. An interested tenant calls you wanting to know more about your Harford County rental property. This is when you can run some quick screening questions by them to make sure they are serious about leasing your property.
  2. Property Showing. This is the first time you meet the tenant in person, and first impressions are a big deal. Your gut instinct will lead you in the right direction after meeting the tenant face-to-face.
  3. Rental Application. As your tenant prepares to fill out the required rental application, you can gauge their reaction as you explain what is required. For example, a security deposit, first and last month’s rent, employment and previous rental history verification, and even a background check are typical things to require during this stage. Tenants that are hesitant to provide the documentation and money upfront, aim to rush the process, or have a lot of “good excuses” as to why they can’t do one thing or another, may signal they are not a good fit for you.
  4. After deciding that the tenant is in fact a good fit, you can sit down and discuss their approval. Again, their willingness, or lack thereof, when it comes to actually handing over the funds to lease your property will reveal itself during this stage.
  5. Lease Signing. By now, the tenant should fully understand what is expected of them while leasing your property. However, if when you are going over the lease agreement in full (as any successful property owner will), the tenant starts to fuss over provisions in the lease agreement that you are not willing to budge on, you ought to back out and find a different tenant.

 

As you can see, every point during the screening process offers a prime chance to interview tenants to ensure they are a good fit.

 

2. Prepare for the Interview

Prepare For Your Tenant Interview in Harford County

Before diving into the interview, it is important to have a game plan.

Again, violating the Fair Housing Act is something you want to avoid at all costs.

You also want to appear professional, prepared, and serious about your rental property business.

It is a good idea to have a specific set of questions you want to ask while interviewing a tenant.

And, if you prefer to split the interview into parts, make sure you have specific questions for each stage of the tenant screening process.

If you are self-managing your Edgewood property, and are unsure about conducting actual tenant interviews, try practicing with a close friend.

This can help ease some of the nerves and help you stay on track during the real deal.

 

3. Be Strong

This is something almost all property managers will recommend.

Tenants are good at trying to convince property owners to lease to them. They know all the tricks in the book, can be smooth talkers, and may even straight out lie to get you to say “yes.”

Being aware of some of the most common red flags that appear during tenant screening will help you avoid falling victim to a problem tenant.

Also, try to remain consistent with all tenants that cross your path, and don’t rush a decision.

After all, placing a less than ideal tenant in your rental property is only going to lead to more problems down the road.

And, these problems are bound to turn into yet another vacancy that you will have to fill with a different tenant.

 

5 Common Questions to Ask Potential Harford County Tenants

Common Potential Questions to Ask Tenants During an Interview

Here are some of the most common tenant interview questions you should ask potential tenants:

 

1. Why Are You Moving?

We suggest learning the most common reasons why people move, and then catering to them so they stay in your rental for long periods of time.

However, sometimes a tenant’s reason for moving so much in the past, or so quickly in the moment, may raise some concerns with you.

Be aware of this and make your decision whether to move forward based on the tenant’s answer.

 

2. Do You Have Pets?

Depending on your rental property’s pet policy, this question is an important one.

It is crucial to get an honest answer from your prospective tenants in the beginning, in hopes that they will not sneak a pet into a no-pet rental, or violate the pet policies that are in place.

 

3. How Many People Will Be Residing With You?

This is important because you should thoroughly screen all adult tenants that will be living in your rental property for the duration of the lease term.

Knowing how many people will be living in your rental from the start will ensure there is enough room for everyone, without exceeding the legal limits.

Just make sure you do not violate any of fair housing regulations, and do not discriminate against potential tenants.

 

4. Can You Pay the Move-in Costs Upfront?

Can Your Tenant Pay Move in Costs Up Front For Your Harford Rental Property?

This is a big one.

Informing a prospective tenant what you require in terms of first and/or last month’s rent, application fees, and security deposits is a good way to weed those out who simply don’t have enough income to cover the move-in costs.

Those who have issues coming up with your requirements at the start of a lease term are bound to give you trouble at one point or another during the lease term when it comes to paying rent.

And this is not something you want to deal with. Ever.

 

5. Can You Pass a Background Check?

Many potential tenants may not be aware that you require a passing background check to lease your Maryland rental property.

Kindly explain to the tenant that you are more than willing to show the property, and discuss the lease terms, but that one of the conditions upon move-in is passing a background check.

Again, this question will effectively weed out anyone that fears they will not pass.

No tenant wants to pay the non-refundable application fee if they know chances of their application being approved are very slim.

 

The key to tenant screening and interviewing is consistency – consistency in the process, consistency in the questions, and consistency in your standards.

Do not let the fear of your property sitting vacant cause you to make a rushed decision.

 

For those that own rental property in Edgewood, and do not want to worry about violating fair housing rules, interviewing tenants on the phone or in person, or having to make the decision to approve or deny a potential tenant, contact Bay Management Group now to help.

At Bay Management Group, we have strict tenant screening processes in place that are not only legally compliant, but also effective.

In fact, on average, we lease most rental properties in 30 days or less.

And, the tenants placed in the properties we lease are high quality, meet all of your standards, and are guaranteed to pay rent on time for at least the first year of the lease term, or else we re-rent your property for free.

So get in touch with us today, and see how we can reduce your vacancy and tenant turnover rates, and get you the annual income you’re aiming for.


10 Tips for Creating an Environmentally Friendly Rental

Tips for Creating an Environmentally Friendly Rental Property in Philadelphia

Making your rental property eco-friendly is all the rage these days.

Not only does it reduce your tenant’s cost of living, but it also reduces your property’s carbon footprint (e.g. the greenhouse emissions that are tied to global warming).

Did you know that, according to NASA, there is a 95% probability that the reason our earth is warming up at alarming rates can be attributed to human activity?

 

This is something we can all do something about.

If you are interested in making your Philadelphia rental property lean and green, without too much added cost, read up on our best tips for creating an environmentally friendly rental home, and start doing your part now.

 

10 Tips for an Environmentally Friendly Philadelphia Rental Home

 

Creating an environmentally friendly rental doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands of dollars installing state-of-the-art solar panels, and temperature-regulating walls in your investment property.

In fact, here are some cost-effective ways of reducing your rental’s impact on the Earth that will delight your eco-friendly tenant pool, and not break the bank in the process.

 

1. Install a Programmable Thermostat

A Programmable Thermostat is A Great Way to Save Energy with Your Philadelphia Rental Property

Controlling the temperature inside your rental property using a programmable thermostat is an exceptional way of reducing the amount of money spent on energy usage.

Plus, it is a helpful way for tenants to determine the exact times they want their thermostats running, whether it be to heat or cool your rental property, thus saving energy as well.

 

2. Change the Light Bulbs

One of the easiest things you can do throughout your Philadelphia rental property, prior to a tenant moving in, is replace all of the old light bulbs to LEDs or CFLs.

Not only will this significantly lower your tenant’s electricity bill, but these light bulbs tend to last much longer than normal light bulbs.

 

3. Install Energy Star Appliances

Install Energy Star Appliances in Your Philadelphia Rental Property to Save Energy

When the time comes to upgrade your rental property’s major appliances, look to install those with an ENERGY STAR label.

This label is a government-trusted symbol that ensures energy-efficiency.

Appliances with ENERGY STAR labels are dedicated to reducing greenhouse emissions and other pollutants caused by inefficient uses of energy.

In addition, it offers consumers an easy way to identify appliances that are guaranteed to be energy-efficient.

Though this is a relatively pricey change to make in your eco-friendly rental, it’s a good long-term strategy for helping to save the environment, and your tenant’s money.

 

4. Mind Your Landscaping

A lot of water is wasted when tenants over-water landscaping in both the front and backyards of their rental home.

If you insist on having greenery in your yard (after all, beautiful landscaping does make for great curb appeal), aim to use native plants that require less water and little-to-no pesticides to stay alive.

This provides your yard with a stunning visual appeal, without the added strain on the environment.

 

5. Change the Flooring

Consider Concrete Flooring to Save the Environment and Money in Your Philadelphia Rental Property

There are many environmentally friendly flooring options to choose from for your Philadelphia rental property.

And, surprisingly enough, many of the available options are cost-effective as well, making eco-friendly floors a win-win situation.

For instance, consider concrete or cork board flooring.

Better yet, choose bamboo, which is the fastest growing plant on the planet, meaning it can be replenished much easier than the traditional timber trees used for hardwood flooring.

 

6. Use Low-Flow Everything

Water conservation should be on the minds of every person on this planet.

Water sustains life and without it, we simply cannot survive.

By installing low-flow faucet caps, toilets, and showerheads, your tenants can save a significant amount of water per use, without ever sacrificing their comfort.

 

7. Use the Sun

Use the Sun and Natural Light to Save Energy in Your Philadelphia Rental Property

Eco-friendly homes pride themselves on using the Earth’s natural resources.

One such instance is the warming of your rental property using natural sunlight.

If it is time to replace the old, broken windows in your rental property, consider adding larger windows that let more sunlight in.

Make sure they have energy efficient sealing and insulation, and of course, encourage your tenants to let the light in as often as possible to warm their home up during the colder months.

If installing windows throughout your rental is not a cost-effective move for you, consider upgrading your rental to have high-quality blinds that your tenant can use to let more sunlight in.

By improving the existing window treatments, your tenant will be less likely to worry about breaking the cheap blinds that many rentals come with.

 

8. Use Non-Toxic Paint

Adding a fresh coat of paint to your Philadelphia rental property is something that you probably do often.

Take advantage of the environmentally friendly paints on the market today, and reduce the number of pollutants you put into the Earth’s atmosphere on a daily basis.

Look for paints that are water-based and have no VOCs.

This will not only help the Earth’s atmosphere, but also the air quality that your tenants are exposed to daily while living in your rental property.

 

9. Install a Water Filtration System

Install a Water Filtration System to Save Money in Your Philadelphia Rental Property

A great amenity you can talk up to prospective tenants is a water filtration system.

People are aware of the chemicals and toxins that come in natural tap water.

And, they are also aware of the negative impact plastic water bottles have on the environment.

By installing a water filtration system, you cater to those that want to enjoy fresh, clean water, without the added waste that comes with plastic bottles.

This small addition to your eco-friendly house may even be enough for you to command a slightly higher rent amount.

 

10. Perform Regular Property Inspections

One of the best things you can do for your Philadelphia rental home, in terms of staying environmentally friendly, is to perform routine inspections of the property.

During these inspections, you can check for anything that may be harming the Earth, or your tenant’s utility bill, and make changes right away.

Here are just some of the things to have on your annual inspection checklist, as well as things you can recommend to your tenant so that they too can take part in reducing their carbon footprint:

  • Encourage tenants to use multi-socket extension leads that can be turned off when not in use
  • Inform tenants that a lot of energy is wasted on standby TVs, computers, and other major appliances, and that unplugging makes a big difference
  • Keep enough space between the refrigerator and wall to ensure proper airflow and avoid excessive energy use
  • Give your tenant a green houseplant with their tenant welcome package to encourage cleaner air inside the rental
  • Check air coils on the refrigerator and washer and dryer units to ensure there are no broken seals or clogged ducts which can boost energy usage
  • Check the seals on all windows and doors and check for excessive drafting
  • Collect rainwater in the backyard (if your state allows), and encourage tenants to use it for watering the yard
  • Install a solar water heater next time you’re due for a replacement to save on the electricity usage and associated bills
  • Make sure all outside sprinkler systems are in good working order and are on timers
  • Check the plumbing for any leaks that may be wasting water continuously

 

 

Making note of just some of these things, and encouraging your already eco-friendly tenants to take part as well, will help reduce the amount of pollutants in the air and resource wastage.

Turning your entire investment property eco-friendly is likely to take a lot of time, effort, and money.

However, that doesn’t mean you cannot make small changes here and there to reduce your impact on the Earth.

 

If you live in the Philadelphia area, and have an environmentally friendly rental property that you want eco-friendly tenants to live in, contact Bay Management group today.

We can help you screen the tenant pool that is interested in your eco-friendly investment, and help lease your property to a tenant that will appreciate your eco-friendly efforts.


The 4 Most Common Tenant Types in Philadelphia

Four Common Tenant Types in Philadelphia

The more experience you have as a Philadelphia landlord, the more you will realize there are all kinds of different tenants out there.

And, in order to be a successful landlord, it is important that you tune into these different types so you can learn how to recognize red flags early on, how to keep a high-quality tenant for the long-term, and everything in between.

Though you are not an expert in human behavior, and filling your vacant rental property is going to be your main priority, there are plenty of signs to look for during the tenant interviewing, screening, and placement process that can help ensure you place only the very best tenants in your investment property.

Today we are going to look at four of the most common tenant types that make up the rental property business, examine their behavior, and explain why they may or may not be best suited to lease from you.

This way, the next time you run into someone that exhibits a certain type of personality, you will be prepared, and know whether to move forward with the leasing process.

 

4 Common Tenant Types Trying to Lease Your Philadelphia Rental Property

 

1. The Hurried Tenant

If a tenant is trying to move into your rental property ASAP, as in, that very same day, take a step and evaluate the situation.

Sure, there are those times when a potential tenant might be in a serious situation, through no fault of their own, and may truly need a same day move-in.

However, there is always the chance that this prospective tenant was just evicted by their previous landlord for non-payment of rent, and hopes that by rushing the tenant screening and placement process you will miss this important fact.

The hurried tenant is going to exhibit an eagerness to turn in their application and related fees, including the sizable security deposit you are surely asking for.

They might even have explanations for not having recent pay stubs on hand, no solid references of any kind, a poor credit score, and more.

The point is, no matter their reason for wanting to move into your Philadelphia rental so quickly, do not let a hurried renter rush you into making a decision.

Follow your strict screening process, or better yet, have your experienced Philadelphia property management team handle it for you, so you don’t miss a tiny detail that could potentially turn into a major problem later on during the lease term.

 

2. The Overly Confident Tenant

The Overly Confident Tenant in Your Philadelphia Rental Property

We all like to think that we are the best at everything we do.

We are exceptional employees, parents, friends, and yes, even tenants.

However, there is a major difference between being confident, and being overly confident.

If you run into a prospective tenant that wants to do nothing but boast about how great a tenant they will be while leasing from you, we offer one piece of advice – make sure their claims are true.

Overly confident tenants are likely to remind you continuously of the following things during the tenant screening process, in hopes of convincing you they are the best fit for your property:

  • They have a perfect credit score
  • Their income is sky-high
  • Late rent payments are never an issue
  • They always follow the rules
  • Everyone loves them
  • They never complain about maintenance or repair issues
  • Loud parties will never be an issue
  • Their children are angels and never break a thing

Sound familiar?

Surely, you have come across a potential tenant that likes to boast about how great they are, any chance they get.

And, while this may be true, it is important you do your due diligence, and research their claims.

After all, credit scores, criminal backgrounds, and previous rental history will speak for themselves.

In addition, despite what a tenant may say to you about not throwing loud parties, not having a pet, or having children that never cause any problems (so renter’s insurance is never needed), make sure you add these provisions into your lease agreement anyway.

If you are unsure about how to draft a legally compliant lease agreement that addresses all of your concerns, despite having a “perfect tenant” on your hands, have your Philadelphia property manager help you.

This way, should you decide to approve the overly confident tenant, because they do seem excellent, you and your investment property are still fully protected.

 

3. The Cautious Tenant

The Cautious Tenant in Your Philadelphia Rental Property

It is wise to be cautious of anyone you do business with, no matter the circumstances.

But you know those tenants that repeatedly remind you of how they have been scammed, or taken advantage of by every single past landlord?

Of course you do.

Those tenants are difficult to deal with.

Especially with so much information swirling around, warning tenants that many landlords are just out to raise rents, violate the Fair Housing Act, overcharge on security deposits, and even infringe on your right to quiet enjoyment of the property they are leasing.

Of course, a successful and reputable property owner, and their respective property management company, will not swindle tenants during any part of the leasing process.

This includes prior to move-in, during occupancy, and after moving out.

Yet, the cautious tenant will remain uncertain, unless you prove otherwise.

However, leasing to the cautious tenant is not a bad thing.

In fact, leasing to a cautious tenant is a great opportunity for you to show them that you and your property manager are the best around Philadelphia, and that they can rely on you to take care of them while leasing your investment property.

Here are some tips for encouraging a cautious tenant to relax a little:

  • Perform secure background checks so your tenant isn’t concerned about identity theft
  • Go through the lease agreement line by line so your tenant understands both parties’ responsibilities
  • Direct your tenant to the Philadelphia rental laws, and ensure them that the fees being charged are valid
  • Provide a thorough contact list of everyone your tenant may need to get in touch with for any questions or concerns
  • Offer a tenant welcome package upon move-in so your tenant feels special

Providing superior customer service to all of your Philadelphia tenants is necessary if you want to make it in the rental property business.

Yet for the cautious tenant, the one who is suspicious about your every motive, exceptional customer service can really make a difference in building a strong, and long-lasting, landlord-tenant relationship.

 

4. The Young Tenant

The Young Millenial Tenant in Your Philadelphia Rental Property

In the past, we have discussed the impact that millennials have had on the rental property industry nationwide.

And, while the stereotypes still hold strong in many people’s minds, the truth is, leasing your Philadelphia income property to a younger tenant is no more or less risky than leasing to someone who is older and more experienced.

That said, millennials do come with their own set of special conditions when it comes to leasing a rental:

  • Tech-savvy. Millennials shop around on their mobile devices, don’t have a lot of experience using snail mail, and want rental amenities such as strong Wi-Fi to support the multiple devices they have – desktops, tablets, streaming devices, and smartphones.
  • Location is Key. The younger crowds want to know their home is within close proximity to shopping, dining, and entertainment hot spots so they can get out and enjoy their youth. If they go to school, location will also play a role in whether they decide to lease from you.
  • Spotty Pasts. Age is typically a major factor in how much money a millennial is raking in each month, what kind of credit score they are sporting, and even whether they have had any legal mishaps recently.

Leasing to a millennial is a great option, so long as they meet your tenant screening criteria.

It is, however, important to note how different they will be when compared to a middle-aged couple with a few kids and a dog in tow, or the elderly couple looking to lease a low-maintenance rental while they settle into retirement.

But different doesn’t mean bad.

 

In the end, Philadelphia is a big city with a diverse group of people.

Understanding the different types of people you may come across while seeking a tenant for your rental property is going to make the entire leasing process smoother.

If you own rental property in the Philadelphia region, and need help dealing with the four common tenant types, get in touch with Bay Management Group now.

With experienced property managers that have seen it all, we recognize a problem tenant from the start, understand the concerns many cautious tenants may have, and are in tune with what the younger crowd seeks in a rental property.


5 Tips for the Prospective Pikesville Rental Property Owner

Tips for the Prospective Pikesville Rental Property Owner

Investing in a Pikesville rental property is a great way to supplement your current income, build your retirement fund, or even just create some extra cash on the side for a fun vacation.

And, now is as good a time as ever to put your money into the real estate market, and start raking in the positive cash flow.

However, as a prospective rental property owner, there are some things to watch out for before putting all of your hard-earned cash into the “perfect rental property.”

And no, we are not talking about the run-of-the-mill advice that we see over and over:

  • Find a great location
  • Understand your financing options
  • Calculate prospective ROIs
  • Work with industry professionals
  • Get out of debt before buying
  • Determine going rental rates

 

Of course, these are all exceptional pieces of advice.

And, these tips should never be ignored when it comes to getting into the rental property business.

However, there is a lot more to becoming a successful rental landlord, especially in the beginning when you are looking for a property to purchase and lease.

That’s why today we are going to share with you some lesser-known tips on becoming a successful landlord. This way, when the time is right, you are fully prepared for what is to come.

 

5 Tips for the Prospective Pikesville Rental Property Owner

1. Avoid a Fixer-Upper

Avoid a Fixer Upper House as a Prospective Rental Property Owner

It is safe to say that this tip will not apply to every Pikesville rental property owner.

In fact, we have talked about investing in fixer-upper rental properties in the past, and have even claimed they offer property owners plenty of benefits.

Discounted prices, higher positive cash flow, and less competition are just some of the many benefits of investing in a fixer-upper rental property.

However, for those that are just starting out in the rental property business, this may not be the soundest advice.

Fixer-uppers tend to cost more money and take longer to renovate than initially expected.

Rather than wasting more time and money in the beginning than is necessary, it is best to purchase a rental property in as close to move-in condition as possible.

This way, you can place tenants in the property right away, especially with the help of your Maryland property management company, and start bringing in rent payments immediately.

 

2. Look for Simplicity

You know that beautiful Pikesville property you have been eyeing forever?

The one with a slate rooftop, crown molding, custom paint colors and window treatments, specialized lighting both inside and out, and a breathtaking pool in the backyard, complete with a cascading waterfall?

Well, as nice as all of this seems, for an inexperienced property owner without much equity or incoming cash flow, a property like this is bound to cost a lot more over the course of a tenant’s lease term than you would like it to.

Custom designed homes can rake in higher rent rates, that’s for sure.

But, they are also more difficult to maintain, and are harder to fix when it comes to replacing custom elements such as lighting, paint colors, and window treatments.

That’s why aiming for a more simply constructed rental property is often better.

You should also consider how easy it is to access the rental’s heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical systems.

After all, these are things you or your property management team will be responsible for, should anything break.

Repairs on a plumbing system that is hidden deep within the walls and ground of your rental property are sure to cost a pretty penny.

Look to invest in a rental property that offers many simple amenities (because amenities do garner higher rent rates, and attract more tenants), but also a property that has a basic structure and uses standard materials.

 

3. Inspect the Property

Inspect Your Property As a Prospective Rental Property Owner in PIkesville

Before purchasing any real estate, it is critical you have the property inspected.

This is even truer when it comes to a Maryland rental property.

Why?

Because in Maryland, property owners have a legal responsibility to provide their tenants with a safe and habitable place of living.

A plea of ignorance will not sit well with the courts, should you face a landlord-tenant dispute because your rental ended up being unsafe and hazardous to the tenants living in it.

Electrical fire hazards, mold, lead paint levels, extreme rodent and pest infestations, and other safety and health issues will ruin your rental property business if you’re not careful.

Plus, it will not bode well in the community if your reputation precedes you as the landlord that didn’t care for his tenants.

If you are a prospective rental property owner, it’s important to have any property you think you may want to invest in inspected.

The small cost associated with a thorough inspection, as well as the inspection checklist you can provide your tenants upon move-in, will ease the mind of your tenant and prevent any disputes in the future about unsafe living conditions.

 

4. Watch the Utilities

Offering your Pikesville tenants an incentive to move into your newly acquired rental property is a great way to grab a high-quality tenant, and bring in a consistent flow of cash.

Many successful landlords offer to pay for a portion of their tenant’s utilities each month.

This added bonus is often enough to get a tenant that is on the fence about moving in the push to sign a lease agreement.

And, as a way to lower vacancy rates and keep lease renewals high, this incentive is very effective.

However, you should be careful when it comes to “paying for” your tenant’s utilities.

Oftentimes if the utilities you are paying for are in your name, you are financially obligated to pay those bills in full each month, regardless of whether your tenant is paying rent or not.

For a non-payment situation, this could mean you have to shell out cash of your own, despite not receiving a monthly rent payment, until an eviction goes through.

This is not wise.

If you are going to offer to pay for your tenant’s utilities such as water, sewer, trash, or gas, consider offering this bonus in the form of a lower monthly rent payment.

 

It will then be your tenant’s responsibility to have the utilities in their name, and pay them in full each month.

5. Create a Maintenance Crew List

Create a List of Maintenance Crew For Your Pikesville Rental Property

Property maintenance is a big part of being in the rental property business.

This is why all prospective rental property owners should take care to create a maintenance crew list before purchasing an investment property, so that maintenance and repair requests after a tenant moves in will not be an issue.

One great thing about enlisting the help of an experienced property management company in Pikesville is that they typically have a sizable Rolodex of licensed, insured, and bonded contractors for helping your tenants with all of their maintenance issues.

Not only does this save you the time of having to wade through endless contractor possibilities, it makes property maintenance simpler because someone else is handling it for you.

Timely, affordable, and reliable maintenance crews that work for your property management team around-the-clock will ultimately provide exceptional customer service to your tenants, and make your life much easier.

 

In the end, there are many things to think about when it comes to purchasing a Pikesville rental property.

And, for those that are looking to replace their day job with being a landlord, supplement their retirement income, or make life more enjoyable thanks to the extra positive cash flow from a rental, success is not optional, but mandatory.

If you want to boost your chances of achieving success as a rental property owner, get in touch with Bay Management Group today.

With us, you maintain complete control over your rental property, but receive all the help you need to become successful.

This includes advertisement of your newly-purchased rental property, tenant screening and placement, rent collection, move-in and move-out inspections, and of course, help with eviction procedures should that become an issue.


Landlord’s Guide to Student Tenants in Towson, MD

Landlord's Guide to Renting to Student Tenants in Towson, Maryland

Baltimore County is home to some of the nation’s top universities − Johns Hopkins University, Towson University, Maryland Institute College of Art, and of course, University of Maryland Baltimore County.

And, those are just a few of the most popular.

 

To say that Towson is a thriving community is an understatement.

For those that own rental property in the Towson area, or even the surrounding Baltimore County region, leasing to student tenants offers plenty of benefits, some of which we will share with you today.

However, in addition to reaping the benefits of leasing your rental property to student tenants, it is important to get an idea of what student tenants are like, what they look for in a rental home, and the best ways to attract them to sign a lease with you.

That’s why today, we are going to share with you the ultimate landlord’s guide to leasing to student tenants in the Towson region.

 

The Benefits of Leasing to Student Tenants

Before we jump into how to attract student tenants to your Baltimore County rental property, it is crucial we look at some of the best reasons why you should consider leasing to tenants in the first place.

  • High Demand. In areas with plenty of high-quality schools to attend, the demand for rental homes by students is real and booming. In fact, it is estimated that upwards of 87% of students live off-campus.
  • Steady Income. Leasing to a student that will be attending university for a few years is a great way to secure a steady and reliable income.
  • Fewer Vacancies. As mentioned above, student tenants leasing your same rental each school year, and possibly staying throughout the summer, will result in lower turnover rates.
  • Easy Advertising. Advertising to the younger crowds today is easy thanks in large part to the internet, social media, and word-of-mouth.

 

As you can see, there are several reasons why leasing your Towson rental property to a student might be a good idea.

And, with the help of a highly qualified Baltimore County property manager, attracting student tenants, drafting appealing lease agreements, and encouraging lease renewals will not be a problem.

 

What Student Tenants Look for in Your Baltimore County Rental Property

What Student Tenants Look For In A Towson Rental Property

In the past, we have talked about what student tenants will likely look for in a rental property, as far as amenities are concerned.

To review, let’s take a look:

  • Wi-Fi. College students need access to a good solid Wi-Fi signal in order to keep up with both their schoolwork and social obligations.
  • Appliances. In-home washer and dryers are a luxury for most student tenants. Add other major appliances such as a dishwasher, microwave, or toaster oven, and your student tenants will be beyond excited to lease from you.
  • Prime Location. Being in close proximity to their school, shopping, dining, and entertainment hot spots are going to make your Towson rental very appealing.
  • Lots of room. Oftentimes student tenants bring with them all of their personal belongings when living away from home and attending college. And, if they are rooming with other students, they will need enough storage space in their room.
  • Security. Increased security measures are something all tenants, especially young tenants with worried parents, want in a rental property. Ensure the safety of your student tenant, and watch their parents help them renew many leases with you.

 

How to Attract Student Tenants to Your Rental

In addition to the above-mentioned amenities, take a look at some other things student tenants are sure to want when looking to lease your rental property; things you can use to attract them to your property and use to convince them to sign a lease with you.

 

Flexible Lease Terms

Student tenants need to have flexible lease terms so they don’t feel locked in, trapped, or unable to get out of a lease term, should their life take an unexpected turn.

Being flexible in the length of lease terms you offer, while giving plenty of renewal notice time, will help ease the mind of a tenant who is unsure about their first years away from home, as well as help keep turnover rates low.

Here are some ideas:

  • One-year lease
  • Six-month lease
  • Three-month lease
  • Month-to-month lease

 

Furnishings

Sometimes a student tenant has very little by way of furniture and other necessities for a home when they move out of their parent’s house for the first time.

And, while this is usually okay while living in the dorms, it is not going to get your tenant very far if they live in your property with zero furniture, kitchenware, or linens.

If you hire a Baltimore County property management company to lease your rental property, you can rest assured that they will screen all tenants thoroughly, ensuring only the highest quality tenants will be placed in your property. With this in mind, you should feel confident that should you choose to rent out your income property with furnishings, that your tenants will take good care of all of it, and doing so may attract tenants willing to pay more for the convenience of renting a furnished home.

 

Roommate Allowances

Allow Student Tenants to Have Roommates in Your Towson Rental

As mentioned earlier, many student tenants look to lease a property that has room enough for a roommate or two in order to keep costs down.

Allowing roommates into your rental property is not a bad idea, so long as you have a strict lease agreement in place outlining every last detail. Take a look at some important considerations:

  • Make roommates joint and several liable
  • Do not allow subleasing
  • Screen every roommate, including replacement roommates
  • Have every tenant sign the lease agreement
  • Don’t divide the security deposit
  • Insist on receiving one rent check each month
  • Encourage your tenants to sign a roommate agreement amongst themselves
  • Require renter’s insurance
  • Assign a tenant representative to communicate with you about anything property related

 

Allowing roommates can be a difficult thing to do as a Baltimore County property owner.

However, with an experienced property management team in place helping you with tenant screening, security deposit collections, routine inspections, and rent collection, you are sure to have a monthly rent check in your bank account each month, as well as an intact rental property at the end of the lease term.

 

If you have a Towson rental property, and are looking to attract student tenants to lease your investment property, get in touch with Bay Management Group today and see how we can help.

With experience in all regions of Baltimore County, including the ones swirling with potential student tenants, we can make sure your rental property is safe and sound, regardless of who is residing there.

There is a lot to reap from leasing your Baltimore County rental to student tenants.

Let the best management property company around aid you in your efforts, and maximize your investment property’s potential by catering to a large and often untapped tenant pool.


How to Attract Long-Term Tenants For Your Philadelphia Rental

How to Attract Long-Term Tenants for Your Philadelphia Rental Property

Finding long-term tenants for your Fishtown rental property is one of the keys to having a profitable rental property.

With long-term tenants, you secure a consistent stream of rental income, and lower your tenant turnover rate.

Most importantly, you decrease the stress of having to advertise a vacant property, conduct tenant screening, draft a new lease agreement, and move a new tenant into your investment property.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Placing long-term tenants in your Philadelphia property is not difficult – if you approach it the right way.

Though you may know how to attract tenants, not all property owners know how to attract long-term tenants.

That’s why today, we are going to share with you some of the best ways to entice your Fishtown tenants to stay for more than one lease term, thus securing the title of a long-term tenant.

 

How to Attract Long-Term Tenants for Your Fishtown Rental Property

1. Let Them Make Themselves at Home

Oftentimes, property owners decorate their rental homes to match their personal tastes and preferences.

Then, those same property owners forbid their tenants from making any kind of decorative changes to the property while residing in it.

We don’t recommend doing this.

Why?

Because tenants want to feel at home while leasing from you.

This is not to say that they don’t like your property’s interior paint colors, or the type of flooring you installed before they moved in.

But tenants want to have the flexibility to make some changes in order to make the property feel more like their own.

If you want your tenants to stick around for longer than one lease term, allow them to make minor interior and exterior changes to your rental property.

Nothing drastic or permanent – simply small, decorative changes that will make your tenants feel like your rental is their home, such as the ability to hang art or pictures on the wall.

 

2. Allow Pets

Allow Pets in Your Philadelphia Rental Property To Attract Long-Term Tenants

Nowadays, finding a high-quality place to lease, that also accommodates pets, is becoming harder to come by.

Property owners have experienced pet fees, pet rent, and damage to their property because of their tenant’s pets.

And many of them have decided it’s more trouble than it’s worth.

This is why allowing your Philadelphia tenants to have pets in your rental property is a good way to secure a long-term tenant.

According to The Humane Society, nearly 80 million United States households have a pet.

If you fail to allow pets into your rental property, you run the risk of alienating a large portion of prospective tenants, some of which may be seeking long-term tenancies.

If your tenant has a pet (especially if it is one they treat as though truly a part of the family), allowing them to stay in your rental property is a great way to ensure a lease renewal come the end of their lease term.

 

3. Make it Easy

Curb appeal is a major part of becoming a successful landlord.

This is because curb appeal attracts high-quality tenants that are willing to pay for the amenities you provide.

For instance, a beautiful exterior paint job, new and modern looking windows, and stunning landscaping can entice a large tenant pool looking to enjoy your rental property.

However, making things too difficult to manage may cause even your most interested tenants to refuse signing a lease agreement with you.

If your tenants are going to be responsible for maintaining the exterior of your rental property, try to make things as easy on them as possible.

You don’t want a tenant to leave after one lease term because they tire of the yard work.

To provide your tenant with nice landscaping, without asking too much of them in terms of upkeep, try any one of the following:

  • Limit the amount of landscaping maintenance required throughout all seasons
  • Include maintenance tips and tricks in a tenant welcome package
  • Hire a landscaper to maintain your property’s yard
  • Reduce the monthly rent rate if your tenant takes on all the duties

The easier it is to maintain your property yet still keep its curb appeal high, the more impressed prospective tenants will be while inquiring about your rental property.

 

4. Reward Those That Stay Long

Reward Your Philadelphia Rental Property Long-Term Tenants

Long-term tenants are the best kind to have.

In an effort to attract long-term tenants to your rental property, by way of multiple lease renewals or a long-term lease agreement, make sure they know about the incentives you offer to those that stay for multiple lease terms.

If a tenant understands the benefits of leasing your property for a long time from the very beginning, they are more likely to pay their rent on time, avoid damaging your investment property, and aim to achieve those rewards as they continue to lease from you.

Here are some things you can reward long-term tenants with:

  • Paid utilities for the length of the lease term
  • Discounted rent for a lease renewal
  • Gift cards or coupons for nearby shopping, dining, or entertainment
  • Referral fees if you own multiple properties
  • Upgrades to the interior – appliances, new flooring, fresh paint

People love to receive rewards for staying loyal.

Try inspiring that loyalty in prospective tenants from the very beginning, and watch your rental property stay occupied for years.

 

5. Use a Customer-Service Oriented Property Management Company

One of the most effective ways of attracting, and keeping, long-term tenants is to use an experienced Philadelphia property management company that is dedicated to taking care of both you and your tenants.

Here are the some of the things long-term tenants are attracted to when leasing a rental property:

  • On-call maintenance and repair teams that can handle all issues, day or night
  • Easy rent collection, proper bookkeeping, full transparency
  • Knowledgeable staff, good communication, fast response times
  • Legally compliant procedures
  • Strong relationship-building procedures
  • Reliable listening skills and objective perspectives

If your Philadelphia property management company has all of these traits, it is more likely a long-term tenant will want to lease from you.

Also, your property manager is the person your tenants are most likely to deal with on a regular basis.

So, if a tenant feels the property manager they will be in contact with cares about them, their questions, and their concerns, they will want to stay put, and lease your property for as long as possible.

 

If you have an investment property in the Philadelphia area, start attracting long-term tenants by first contacting Bay Management Group.

Committed to providing you and your tenants with the best customer service around, we can help you bring in the highest quality tenant pool possible, complete with tenants seeking long-term lease agreements.

Dealing solely in property management, we understand that reducing tenant turnover rates and increasing lease renewals is the way to success as a property owner.

So get in touch today and see how we can help guide you in attracting long-term tenants for your Fishtown property.


5 Tips on How to Decide Your Montgomery County Rental Price

Tips on How to Decide the Price of Your Montgomery County Rental Property

You want to make a profit with your rental property.

You want to be competitive.

You want to entice tenants that you are the best.

You want to be known for having an outstanding rental property.

There is much to balance when it comes to setting the monthly rent amount for your Potomac rental property, and it can be exhausting, to say the least.

If you price it too high, your vacancy rates skyrocket.

If you price it too low, you risk losing money.

So how do you go about deciding what the perfect rental price is for your valuable Montgomery County rental property?

Finding the rental price sweet spot can be challenging if you are not sure how to go about deciding on a firm amount.

And, since you have a mortgage, taxes, insurance, and repairs to pay for, not to mention the fact that you are in the rental property business to make a profit, understanding how to set your rental property’s monthly rent rates is crucial to your success as a property owner. 

Luckily, today we are sharing 5 exceptional tips to help you set your property’s rental price.

 

How to Determine Your Potomac Rental Property Price

1. Evaluate Your Property’s Amenities

Evaluate Your Property's Amenities to Determine the Rental Price in Montgomery County

You should always set your rental property’s monthly rent rate based on how desirable it is to tenants looking for a property similar to what you own.

If you base your prices on generic characteristics such as how many bedrooms the property has, or whether it has 2 or 3 bathrooms, you are likely to come up short when it comes to positive cash flow.

Instead, evaluate your property based on things such as:

  • Updates and Improvements. Appliances, flooring, landscaping, and other amenities are highly desirable amongst prospective tenants.
  • Is it one or two stories? Does it have an elongated layout, or is it more mix-and-match with varying levels? Describing your property’s layout in detail will garner more interest from interested tenants.
  • Storage Space. People love extra closets, built-in organizers, and garage space. Highlight these things, and as a result, ask for more rent thanks to these amenities.
  • Square Footage. The more square footage your property has, the better.

In addition, you can take into account things such as included utilities, safe neighborhoods, nearby public transportation, separate or private entrances, off-street or garage parking, and even the fact that your unit is on the first floor, which can be more desirable in some places.

Depending on your property’s amenities, you will be able to determine whether you can charge more per month for rent than a neighboring property that is of a similar style and layout.

 

2. Do the Math

Many Montgomery County property managers suggest, calculating 1.1 percent of your property’s value to determine a super simple starting point.

In addition, for those with expensive properties, staying closer to 0.8% of the purchase price is common when determining a rent price.

 

Utilize Square Footage

If you want to take it one step further, calculate how much neighboring properties are going for based on their square footage, and then do the same for your property.

To do this, simply divide the monthly rental price by the square footage of the property.

Just keep in mind that smaller properties typically rent for more per square foot than larger properties.

And remember, these calculations are simply starting points for determining rent rates.

They do not take into account things such as amenities, competition, market rates, location, employment rates, and more.

 

3. Research Your Competition

Research Your Competition to Determine the Rental Price of Your Montgomery County Property

Look at where your property is located and measure it up against others in the surrounding area.

How does yours compare?

In the end, competition will affect how much you can ask for each month in rent.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Check online ads and newspapers to see what similar properties in your area are going for
  • Notice excessive incentives, and make note of the oversaturation in your area
  • Ask local realtors or other landlords you can trust what you think is a fair rent amount
  • Compare your property’s amenities to similar properties, and either add or subtract from your starting monthly rent based on your findings
  • Ask around for vacancy rates of similar properties, and adjust your rent price accordingly
  • Check out useful tools such as this calculator from Zillow to give you an idea of going rent rates in your area

It is best to have a starting point and then work your way up or down, depending on the factors mentioned above.

The more demand you can create for your property, the more rent you can command from tenants.

The key is finding what makes your property better than the others, and advertising that to potential tenants.

 

4. Determine Your Profit Margin

Property owners seek to maximize on their rentals in terms of profit.

After all, that’s why people get into the rental property business.

However, everyone’s idea of profit is different.

Thus, it’s important to decide your base profit margin, and work your way up from there.

Don’t know what your base profit margin is?

Start with this:

  • Monthly mortgage amount
  • Maintenance and repair costs
  • Insurance costs
  • Taxes

At minimum, the monthly rent you charge your Potomac tenants should cover these costs.

If not, you could easily find yourself dipping into your own pocket to cover the costs, and eventually end up in a financial crisis.

In addition to covering these costs, it is a good idea to calculate that you want to profit approximately 6-8% of the monthly rent amount each month.

This is a reasonable expectation, and should not hinder most tenants from wanting to lease from you.

 

5. Enlist the Help of a Property Management Company

Enlist the Help of a Property Management Company to Determine The Rental Price of Your Montgomery County Rental

If you have tried to make the best of all of the above-mentioned tips, and still feel like you are not sure what to set your Montgomery County rental property’s rental price at, get in touch with Maryland’s best property management company, Bay Management Group, and let us help you.

Dealing solely in the management of rental properties, Bay Management Group offers property owners all the help they could need when it comes to leasing a vacant property:

  • Aggressive marketing of vacant properties across multiple channels – major search engines, online classifieds, direct mail, and other helpful online sites
  • Advanced advertisement of vacant properties, highlighting every unique detail and commanding the highest rent possible
  • Complete tenant screening and lease drafting services

And this is just the beginning.

The staff at Bay Management Group understands what it takes to lease properties for a profit, and will help you to do just that by hitting the market hard, finding only the best tenants that are willing to pay for a property worth a high rent, and keeping them there long-term.

If are looking for the best when it comes to property management, contact Bay Management Group today.


5 Rental Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Property in Top Shape

Rental Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Philadelphia Rental Property in Good Shape

Taking care of your Philadelphia rental home is just as important as caring for the home you actually live in.

Yet, time and again, property owners either fall behind on general maintenance of their rental properties, or expect their tenants to handle everything – both of which are a bad idea.

Keeping your investment property in tiptop shape is one way of extending the life of your property, as well as avoiding any major repairs.

If you want your property to last, despite people of all kinds moving in and out of it over time, you must commit to implementing a routine maintenance plan.

Take a look at some of the very best ways you can handle rental property maintenance, so that your Philadelphia rental property withstands the test of time, and continues to generate a positive cash flow for you each year.

 

Maintenance Tips for Keeping Your Philadelphia Rental Property in Exceptional Shape

 

1. Take Advantage of Pest Control

Take Advantage of The Pest Control For Your Philadelphia Rental Property

There has been a longstanding serious debate as to whether pest control is an issue for property owners or tenants to handle during a lease term.

However, the consensus is that prior to move-in, a property owner is responsible for providing a safe and habitable place for tenants.

This means you must ensure your Philadelphia rental is free of all pests and rodents before a tenant moves in.

From there, it is your tenant’s job to ensure that a pest or rodent infestation does not take over.

 

Seems fair enough, right?

 

Of course it does.

However, just because it is your tenant’s responsibility to make sure pests haven’t overtaken your rental property, does not mean they are being proactive about pest control.

And, when it comes to pests, being ahead of the game is the key to winning.

If you want to avoid dealing with the excessive damage that a major pest or rodent infestation can have on the structure of your rental property, consider having an exterminator regularly visit your property (approximately every two months), regardless of whose job pest control is.

Though with this approach there is a cost involved that eats into your bottom line, it is worthwhile in the long run.

A pest or rodent infestation can not only cause you to lose a tenant come renewal time, thus leading to higher turnover and vacancy rates, the damage pests such as termites can do to your property is astounding.

And, even with the best of intentions, your tenants may not be equipped to handle routine pest control on their own.

By helping them out a little, you provide your tenants extra customer service (which can go a long way with a lease renewal), and provide yourself the peace of mind your property is pest free.

 

2. Perform Routine Inspections

This is a major one.

Routine inspections can have a profound impact on the longevity of your rental property, no matter the time of year you conduct them.

Check for things like water leaks, broken windows, rotting wood, or full gutters while inspecting the exterior of your property.

Tenants are likely to miss these kinds of issues during the course of their tenancy, especially if they are not taking an active role in property maintenance.

After all, many tenants that do participate in property maintenance assume that “maintenance” includes just the interior.

By regularly monitoring the exterior of your investment property, you will be able to spot problem areas before they become major issues.

This will not only help ensure the structure of your property stays sound throughout the year, it will prevent costly repairs down the line that may displace your tenants, and dip into your monthly rent collection.

 

3. Hire a Landscaper

Hire a Landscaper to Care For Your Philadelphia Rental Property

Unless you are absolutely sure the tenant you have placed in your rental property is capable of maintaining both the front and backyard landscaping, consider hiring a professional landscaper to do the job instead.

Look at some of the benefits you reap by having a well-kept yard:

  • A visually appealing space you, your tenants, and neighbors can be proud of
  • Help cool your neighborhood from sweltering summer heat
  • Absorb surrounding noise
  • Improve drainage and prevent sidewalk cracking, foundation slipping, and flooded areas
  • Trap pollutants in the air, and create more oxygen
  • Increase property value
  • Create an inviting “getaway” that tenants can enjoy year round
  • Prevent major pest infestations
  • Create great curb appeal to attract future tenants

The truth is, no one wants to look at a yard full of overgrown shrubs, trees, and weeds.

And, the fact that your tenants would likely love to have a nice backyard they can enjoy throughout the year makes hiring a professional landscaper even more appealing.

 

4. Care for the HVAC System

One of the biggest repairs any Philadelphia income property owner can face is the repair (or replacement!) of an entire HVAC system.

This is why routine care is key.

Look at some things you can do year round to help maintain your property’s HVAC system, and prevent a major financial burden down the road:

  • Professional Servicing. Have the system professionally serviced at least once a year. This includes a full cleaning, and the maintenance of any parts that are outdated or worn. In doing so, you will save your tenants money each month on energy costs, improve the air quality throughout your property, and prevent emergency repair needs.
  • Help Your Tenants. It is not enough to simply tell your tenants they are responsible for maintaining something like the HVAC system. Instead, try providing them with replacement air filters so all they have to do is change them out each month. In addition, giving your tenant a welcome package upon move-in is a great way to slip in a routine maintenance checklist, complete with instructions on how to maintain the HVAC system and what to do in case something breaks.
  • Duct Sealing. Every few years consider having your property’s HVAC ducts re-sealed. This will ensure the system continues to work efficiently and prevent any “backdrafting” that may physically harm your tenants. In addition, it will prevent extreme temperatures from plaguing specific rooms, boost air quality, protect the environment, and of course, save you money in the long run.

 

5. Don’t Forget the Water Heater

Keep Up Maintenance On Your Philadelphia Rental Property Water Heater

Another rental property maintenance issue that is often overlooked is the water heater.

And, if you have ever had to replace the water heater in your Philadelphia rental, you know firsthand how expensive the actual heater is, as well as how damaging a flooded water heater can be to a tenant’s personal belongings, and the structure of your property.

Here are some easy ways to maintain your property’s water heater:

  • Adjust the thermostat to approximately 120 degrees to prevent scalding, and to save your tenant’s money on energy costs
  • Ensure enough clearance around the tank
  • Drain the tank a few times a year to remove sediment build-up and debris
  • Test the temperature-pressure relief valve yearly
  • Inspect the anode rod every few years
  • Insulate the heater, especially if an older model

Just remember, if you are uncomfortable with performing any of the above-mentioned maintenance tasks, call a professional to help service your water heater.

 

In the end, maintaining the shape of your Philadelphia rental property largely relies on your ability to work with your tenants when it comes to routine maintenance tasks.

There are also several things you can do on your own to guarantee your property lasts a long time without needing any major improvements or repairs.

If you own property in the Philadelphia area, and want help with routine maintenance of your rental, contact Bay Management Group today and have our professional, qualified, and affordable handymen and contractors help you out.

Not only can we handle any maintenance or repair requests your tenants make during their lease term, day or night, we can help you with maintaining your property in between tenants so that your property stays in great shape year round.