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Rental Tips to Increase the Value of Your Property Without Breaking the Bank

Increase the rental value of your property

 

Whether you are planning to put your home on the market or convert it as a rental property, there are many ways of increasing its value.  Some of these are effective but very expensive and time-consuming. These include remodeling of your bathroom, new flooring, and kitchen upgrades. Thankfully, there are many interesting ways in which you can enhance the value of your home without breaking the bank. These methods also help in increasing the rental value of your property should you rent it out as opposed to selling.

 

Go for a paint job

This is one of the quickest, easiest, and the most inexpensive of ways to enhance the value of your property. The look and feel of a freshly applied coat of paint add to the décor of the interiors and exteriors. It also makes your property feel fresh for buyers as well as potential tenants. If possible, paint the cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom also to transform the looks of both these rooms. Paint job won’t help you impress the buyer but it’s also an inexpensive way to increase the value of your home quickly. It’s advisable for you not to use bright colors or a specific theme if you’re going to sell it soon. If you’re doing it to help it sell at a greater price, you must be using neutral colors. Conversely, freshly painted homes attract tenants and they are ready to pay a higher rent for them as compared to other properties.

 

Improve the lighting

This is another home improvement method that costs little but has a significant impact on the sale price or the rental value of your home. You can start to save money if you replace old incandescent bulbs and tube lights with LED bulbs. Buy new fixtures also to add lighting in areas that are dimly lighted at present. Lighting improvement adds brightness and makes your home feel warmer and inviting to your visitors. Rental market analysis reveals that properties that appear to be bright and well illuminated are preferred by tenants in that area.

 

Improve the curb appeal

Curb appeal plays a crucial role in creating a good impression on your visitors. It does not cost much but it is labor intensive exercise that requires your time and effort. Clean the garden and remove all dead leaves. Gardening is inexpensive and it will create lush green space in front of your home to add to its charm. Clean the driveway and remove all stains. Place flowering plants in pots to add to the beauty of your property. If possible, change the handle on the front door and replace the doorbell also. You will find that your property spends very little time on the market before it gets leased by tenants if you work on its curb appeal.

 

Bonus Tip! Add mirrors in your home

While you need to clean all the windows, you should also place several mirrors in your home at different places to create an impression of larger living space. Mirrors also add light inside your home.

If you follow these steps, you will find that your house is commanding not just admiration but also a higher monthly rental from a potential tenant.

For more information about our FREE RENTAL MARKET ANALYSIS, click here to find out what your property’s potential rental income would be in today’s Austin rental market or surrounding areas. Or schedule a free consultation to speak to one of our property experts today by clicking here!

5 Must Haves of A Rental Lease Agreement


Here’s what every lease should include

If you want to protect yourself, the property, as well as your tenant, every landlord must have these 5 basic clauses before moving someone in.
Every property is different, however, should include certain basics that outline important details of the lease document. Before you accept residency, you should no doubt have a written, signed, lease agreement that governs the terms and conditions of the tenancy and landlord relationship.
Good news is that a lease agreement doesn’t have to be a fancy legal-word filled document. As long as you include these 5 details a scrap of paper can turn into a legally binding agreement.

 

Parties in the Lease Agreement

Every agreement should clearly state who the lease is between. Every agreement should state the landlord or agent such as a property management company and the tenant(s) full legal name. In most states, anyone 18+ should be on the lease.

 

Property Location

If the home has a specific name such as “Rave Estates” or “Peak Mountain Villas” you’ll want to include that in the lease. Otherwise, the full mailing address is necessary:
  • House number
  • Street name (unit or apartment number if applicable)
  • City, State, County, Postal Code

The Term of the Lease

Every agreement should have a term such as a date it starts and ends. You’ll want to include the exact month, day and year the lease begins, and the exact month, day and year the lease ends. It’s not conducive to short step this by writing “this agreement is valid for one year”, or “this agreement is good for 24 months” as it can be confusing so be sure to state this clearly. By entering the exact dates from beginning to end it becomes unquestionable.

 

Monthly Rent, Due Date, Late Fees & Deposits

A landlord must include the full amount of rent due each month over the entire lease. The dollar amount to pay, what day the rent is due by, where to submit payment, forms of payment, and any late fees associated. Most leases require rent to be due by the 1st, late on the 5th and charge a one-time initial fee of $60, then $10 per day for example.
As an added security precaution for possible late rent, unpaid fees, or damages to the property, you’ll want to collect a security deposit before allowing occupancy. It’s normal practice to charge a security deposit as the same amount of the rent and collect it by certified funds such as a money order or cashiers check. Be sure to log a receipt for every payment you receive for your records and provide a copy for the tenant.

 

Make the Document Legal

A lease agreement between landlord and tenant is worthless if it’s not signed and dated by all parties. By having signatures and dates proves acknowledgment that the parties agree to adhere to the terms and conditions of the rental agreement. You’ll also want to have all names in print for legibility followed by signatures and date signed.
After the terms, conditions, have been defined by all parties and the lease agreement signed, you must keep a copy of the signed lease agreement for your records as well as providing one for the tenant as well.

 

Need to know what your property currently rents for? Click here for a FREE REPORT.

NoteState laws vary for landlord and tenant relationships. The information on this website is for guidance and tips only and do represent legal advice in any capacity. If you have specific questions please consult with your legal counsel.

Treat Yourself To Property Management

 

 

 

 


This time of year is giving which include hard workers like yourself.

What would it feel like to have more sleep, more time, and fun & enjoyment in the new year?

If you’re here, most likely you’re shopping around for a reliable property management company.

Why? Because you’re looking to bring joy to your life.

Let’s face it, the demands of managing a property can be overwhelming. You’re ready to take the next step towards managing your rental(s) and need help.

If so, you’re in the right place.

Here are the top 3 reasons why people hire us:

  1. Peace of mind and calm back in your life
  2. More free time towards the things you enjoy
  3. Trust in knowing you have a team of experts

Getting started costs nothing.

We offer a free consultation with a full rental analysis report of your property.

Here’s a quick video to learn more about how we can meet your property management needs.

Get started for FREE here by contacting us today.

Complimentary Rental Market Analysis

5 Reasons You Should Look For A New Tenant

Having to evict a tenant is no walk in the park. As a landlord, it can be one of the most daunting things to do when managing a property.

Knowing the process helps so you don’t end up losing a case which prolongs taking back possession and setting you up for a financial set back if you’re not prepared. While laws and codes vary from state to state, generally, the process works as follows:

  • Provide proper notice and pursue terminating the lease
  • If a tenant fails to vacate, file an eviction at your local precinct usually with the Justice of the Peace. Look to spend close to $75-150 for one person and up to $75 for each additional. Make sure to have the proper paperwork required to submit and file an eviction as each precinct is different. You can always hire a property management firm to take care of this for you if you prefer to not deal with the stress or hassles.
  • Attend the eviction court hearing and plea a good case to win a Judgement. Make sure you have all receipts, notices, and proper documents to support your claims.
  • If the tenants do not vacate or appeal at the appropriate day and time as ordered by the court, file a Writ of Possession and schedule an appointment with the sheriff. Look to spend close to $150 for a Writ. It’s rare that a tenant will appeal but if they do seek your local Justice of the Peace for any questions.
  • Show up for the writ of possession to reclaim back the unit or property.
  • Change the locks.
  • Prepare for a new tenancy.
  1. Nonpayment of Rent

    This is the most common reason for terminating a lease with a tenant. If a tenant argues that payments haven’t been made due to an ongoing or failure to repair something, then most courts will consider that a separate case of which the tenant would need to file a Repair and Remedy suite separately. Otherwise, courts and judges find nonpayment of rent a valid reason to evict.

  2. Violating the Lease

    a)Tenants can be in violation of the lease for quite a few reasons. If the lease does not allow pets is one example and grounds for termination. Unapproved occupants that do not leave is a direct violation. Guests are normally allowed up to 14 days before reporting or seeking approval.

    b) Improper Use of Property
    Some tenants think they can run their home business from the dwelling which is not considered risky if its an administrative job or service based such as consulting or tutoring. However, businesses such as a car wash, retail items like clothes, or a doggy day spa are considered inappropriate and immediate termination of the lease.

    c) Noise or complaints from Neighbors
    Having tenants means being responsible for the peace in the neighborhood as well. There’s nothing worse than having disruptive confrontational people living in your neighborhood.

  3. Property Damage

    If you’ve been a landlord you’ve probably experienced some damage to either the floors, walls, doors, windows, or outside such as a dead tree or the whole lawn. These damages can set a landlord back for months if you’re not financially prepared. Sometimes roommates don’t get along and a fight may break out resulting in holes in the walls and broken windows are sure causes for termination.

  4. Illegal Activity or Drug Related

    If a tenant is committing a crime, law enforcement will want to know and your rights to terminate are usually immediate. This is a no-brainer. Just make sure you have the proper cause or perhaps evidence before contacting the police.

  5. Expiration of the Lease

    Once a lease is about to expire and you wish to terminate it, provide proper notice. Most states don’t require you to give a reason but out of respect, you’ll want to include why on the notice. Some reasons to terminate vs renewing maybe you or a family member has decided to move into the home. Maybe some renovations are needed that may take longer than 3 months, or you plan to sell the home and place it on the market. If a tenant does not move out upon expiration of the lease and proper notice was provided, then an eviction can be filed.

 

Note- State laws vary for landlord and tenant relationships. The information on this website is for guidance and tips only and do represent legal advice in any capacity. If you have specific questions please consult with your legal counsel.

10 Ways to Thank Your Tenant

Don’t you love a good THANK YOU from someone? Thank yous can uplift your tenant, keep them smiling, and possibly maintain a loyal renter for years by showing appreciation for their business. After all, managing a rental property is a business whether you do it yourself or hire a property management company so customer service must be up to par if you want to keep happy renters and a well-kept rental.

It feels good to be recognized and appreciated. Simple gestures go a long way that results in trust, respect, loyalty, and partnership that can easily be exercised by you as a landlord.

As busy as everyone is today, showing appreciation and gratitude may seem like a task within itself, but it doesn’t have to feel like one. Here’s how you can build a solid relationship with your tenants that’ll have THEM saying thank you and the gestures returned.

It’s easy to harbor bad feelings about prior tenant experiences for most landlords. Managing your property and acquiring ideal residents is not an easy task. Make-readies for destroyed carpets, holes in the walls, unpaid rent, and multiple HOA lawn violations tend to never be forgotten affecting future tenancies.

However, one bad apple doesn’t have to spoil the bunch. There are good tenants out there and when you have one that pays on time, takes care of the home, and adheres to the terms and conditions of the lease agreement, it’s worth taking the time to recognize and acknowledge them. Because if it wasn’t for your tenants, you wouldn’t be in business so it’s valuable to reward which also builds rapport and appreciation between you two.

The good news is that showing appreciation doesn’t have to be hard- or even time-consuming. Most people like the simplest things. It’s the thought that counts and goes a long way with having a good relationship with your tenant.

Here are 10 ways you can show gratitude and keep awesome tenants

 

1. First impressions count. Establish a good relationship from the start

As a landlord, you take the lead. Be polite and professional from the beginning by providing ways to reach you should they need to contact you at any time for questions or concerns. If you don’t want to deal with the hassles of phones calls, consider a property management company to handle managing the home for you- which provides your tenants a seamless professional experience as well.

When residents feel they’re respected and appreciated, it sets a positive start encouraging them to care for the home and ultimately renew their lease.

2. Be available

Just like all of us, tenants want to be responded to right away. Time is precious. When a tenant calls or sends an email with a question or problem, a good landlord will always strive to get back to them as soon as possible. Addressing matters promptly help to alleviate concerns and shows you care. If you’re going to be off the grid for a bit, providing a heads-up goes and alternate contact goes a long way in building trust and ease with your tenants.

3. Respect their privacy

Respecting privacy is one of the best ways to build trust and show gratitude to your tenants. Respecting privacy means to provide a courtesy notice before any visits by you or a contractor. If you have to enter the home, scheduling it around the tenants time goes above and beyond and shows great consideration for their privacy.

4. Fix things in a timely matter

There are no avoiding repairs. Homes need maintenance just as cars do and by putting things aside or band-aiding needy repairs can break your wallet in the long. Treat your rental property as if you were living in it yourself. For instance, HVAC units last longer with regular maintenance. If a tenant complains of the AC not working on a consistent basis, getting to the heart of the matter and fixing it timely shows you care for their well being providing a good tenant experience when repairs are needed.

5. Be realistic when raising the rent

Every landlord wants to maximize their rental income. It’s normal to raise the rent each year with those rising taxes and property values increasing. It’s important to have done your homework with market values and recent rental averages for your home’s area so you want to take discretion prior to sending out renewal or rental increase notices. Make sure you’re within the terms of the lease agreement regarding increasing rent and offer a competitive amount. Normally, notices should be provided at least 30 days of the increase but check your state lease laws as they vary. You’re most likely guaranteed to have a disgruntled tenant if you have an increase around the holidays- a time when most people are strapped for money so timing should be considered.

6. Reward tenants with small tokens


The holidays are an opportune time to say thanks and go a very long way to keeping a happy tenant. You could send a gift basket, birthday card, or a gourmet treat. If you really want to feel like a hero, you could surprise them with a friendly discount off rent which would be well received.

7. Renewal Incentives

Let’s face it, we all love bonuses or a free gift when renewing or signing up for something. Same goes true for tenants. By giving a gift for pest control, maid service, free lawn cut, or carpet cleaning upon renewing can be both a win-win for you and the tenant. A fresh coat of paint is also a great gesture which keeps both a tenant happy and the home looking good. Showing you care about the upkeep and condition of the house motivates tenants to look after it better themselves. An ideal tenant attribute every landlord dreams of.

8. Be thoughtful

A simple way to show appreciation for your tenants is sending an email or calling on their birthday. People love to feel special and personal message handles just that. Spreading joy and celebrating a part of someone’s day makes your tenants feel like family. When they feel like family their likely to stay longer which costs you less in the long run.

9. Consider upgrades

Renters not only like convenience but they like modern up to date furnishings and amenities. This doesn’t mean you have to renovate the whole house to show how much you care, but having updated appliances, countertops, flooring, blinds, and ceiling fans mean a lot in value and what tenants are getting for their rent. By having up to date amenities and renovations, you will attract ideal tenants during turnover as well keeping your current residents out of the old and into the new.

10. Keep your promises

Just as landlords pray for ideal tenants, tenants pray for ideal landlords. Landlords how not only are fair, honest, and appreciative but also those that keep their promises. There’s nothing worse to a tenant than having been told a new fence will be put up or hints of new wood flooring plan to be installed and nothing happens. Not following thru on promises can quickly deflate a good landlord-tenant relationship and risks churn costing more money in the end. Deliver on your promised and your tenants are guaranteed to be most grateful.

Remember, treating tenants like family makes them feel respected, appreciated, and special which will encourage them to do the same when taking care of the home, paying rent on time and possibly become your best tenants.

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7 Steps to Renting & Property Management

Turn your home into a rental property.

Renting your property out isn’t as hard as you may think and take up all your time.

If you don’t know where to start, how to prepare your home, and manage the property then you’re not alone. If you’re thinking about renting your property and new to property management, then knowing your first steps is what’s going to set you up for success.

This month’s October blog provides steps to getting started, how to prepare your home for occupants, and the process it takes to do so for property management.

One of the main things that property owners ask is “what do I need to do first?” Let’s dive into what you need to do first and the steps to take afterward to get your home on the market and into the world of property management. You may realize it’s not that difficult.

  1. The first step is determining the property value

    How much will your property rent for and how long will it take to rent? A rental properties value is based on location, condition, amenities, and demand and supply. You can determine a price to list your rental and project how long it will take to acquire a tenant by having a rental market analysis (RMA) performed. An RMA, aka CMA (competitive market analysis), is a report of other comparable homes. It shows either how many homes have rented or are currently for rent, listing price,  and how long it’s on the market or was. Having this data will allow you to have a strategic approach towards marketing the home for rent.

  2. The second step is to analyze the report and create an action plan with a property management expert

    Having an action plan will drive you to set the home up as a rental investment. Once you determine a listing price and project how many days the home may be on the market, you can start to prepare the property for marketing with realistic expectations.

  3. The third step is to meet with a property management rep at the home

    The rep should walk the property with you and make suggestions such as any repairs needed and how to position the home to attract prospects and increase traffic. The more traffic you have for your property the quicker you’ll get it occupied. If you’re not able to meet in person, you can have the rep go on their own but this step is very important in preparing the home before listing it.

  4. The 4th step is signing up for property management services

    A property management firm will be able to place your home on the market to reach millions of renters, screen and acquire tenancy, collect security deposits and rent, and manage the overall activities of the property such as maintenance and customer service for your residents. Sure anyone can manage a property on their own but how many know how to do it? Plus, there’s state laws, codes, and regulations every landlord must comply with and if you don’t have a handle on these legalities it could come back to bite you in the end and be very costly. Yep! Consider yourself a property investor.

  5. The 5th step is marketing the property for rent

    The home will be listed on multiple real estate platforms such as the MLS, Realtor.com, Zillow, and a handful of rental sites. A sign will be placed in the yard or window of the home (depending on HOA regulations), and a lockbox so prospects and realtors can have access to view the property. During this time, any makeready or repairs will be managed and completed prior to tenancy.

  6. The 6th step is acquiring tenants

    Once the home has been listed, your property manager will screen all applicants, collect funds, administer the lease documents, and move in the tenants. The sign and lockbox will be removed and property taken off the market.

  7. The 7th step is managing the property

    Monthly rent will be collected, coordinating repairs will be in place, and providing a positive tenant experience for your residents resumes.

Got the property management blues? We’ll turn your worries into income. Contact us today.

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Curb Appeal Tips for Your Austin Texas Rental Property

By Rave Property Management

So you’re just getting ready to rent your Austin Texas Rental Property; you’ve painted, cleaned and have it ready for new tenants. However, did you consider improving the general curb appeal?

Focusing on curb appeal can offer significant advantages for a landlord. Some of these advantages include:

  • More overall interest & prospective tenants viewing the property
  • Fewer days on the market based on the overall condition of the property (Interior/Exterior)
  • Higher rent potential based on desirability

You can take steps that are cost effective to improve the curb appeal by following these simple tips.

Clean Up Your Austin Texas Rental Property

Does your rental property still have tree limbs, leaves, and debris left over from winter? If so, it’s time to get your property cleaned up because first impressions do count, even when it comes to a rental, because if a perspective tenant thinks your property looks unsightly, they may choose to keep looking.

Besides removing debris and cleaning up your property in Austin, or the surrounding area, you should also consider moving/trimming the grass, cutting back bushes or shrubs, painting your mailbox and power washing your driveway to make your rental property more inviting.

Plant New Flowers & Fresh Mulch

Another tip you can use for making your Austin Texas Rental Property more inviting is to plant new flowers. If this isn’t easy for you to do at this time you should purchase pre-planted flower bowls or planters from stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s and place them in front of your rental property.

Create Conversation Areas Outside

Last of all, but equally important, if your Austin Rental has a small porch or patio area, you should stage patio furniture so that prospective renters can take notice there are plenty of areas for them to socialize, grill during the summer, and enjoy living in & hanging outside your rental property.

Get Austin Texas Property Management

For professional property management for your Austin Texas Rental Property, contact Rave Property Management at (512) 377-1486 or click here to connect with us online.

Austin Texas Named Best State Capitol to Live in the United States

austin-texas-state-capitol

By Rave Property Management

AUSTIN, TX. – Thanks to recent data from wallethub.com we know that Austin Texas has been named the best state capital to live in the United States.

Why is Austin the best state capitol to live in the United States? There are a variety of factors including economic strength, excellent health care, fun things to do in the area, affordable housing, cool people, great food, awesome music and so much more.

Best State Capitol to Live

Besides all of the obvious reasons why Austin Texas is the best state capital to live in the United States we also have an excellent cultural scene, great educational opportunities, awesome quality of life, cool coffee shops and many other great benefits that make Austin ideal if you want to live in a state capitol.

Unlike other state capitals in the United States that “feel” like state capitols, Austin is different because our city offers a “coolness” that can’t be found in other state capitals in the USA; this is thanks in large part to Austin also being the Music Capitol of the World and a major destination for the artists, singers, songwriters, poets, and creative people to come and live.

Where Are the Worst State Capitols to Live?

So now we know that Austin is considered to be the best state capitol to live in the United States, the big question is, where are what some would consider to be the “worst capitals” in the United States?

Here’s Wallet Hubs ranking of the worst state capitals:

Indianapolis, Indiana

Dover, Delaware

Little Rock, Arkansas

Providence, Rhode Island

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Carson City, Nevada

Montgomery, Alabama

Trenton, New Jersey

Hartford, Connecticut

Jackson, Mississippi

Get Austin Texas Property Management Here

For professional Austin Texas Property Management, contact Rave Property Management, today by calling us at (512) 377-1486 or click here to connect with us online.

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