No, this is not an advertisement or an endorsement. When I find a good deal, I share it with my friends.
My husband and I currently own two rental properties. Our goal is to own and have 15 paid off by retirement. In the land of disappearing pension and retirement plans, it's more important than ever to invest in our futures, right?!
We're fortunate that we are financially stable and don't necessarily need to produce a profit right away to make the purchase of an income-generating property worthwhile. We can afford to make a little off of the rentals now and wait for the income to grow over the years.
Rents will go up. The value of property will almost always increase and most costs will stay the same, particularly with a fixed mortgage rate. But investing in a rental home isn't like buying a low-cost index fund. It's not as simple as buying a piece of property, finding a renter and collecting income while the tenant pays off the mortgage.
There's choosing the right property, screening tenants, creating and signing leases, repairs, maintenance, collecting rent, dealing with tenants and more—all that takes time. And time is money. The more rentals we acquire, the more time they will take to manage. As our portfolio grows, we will be employing the services of a property management company. What we have found is that they are not all created equal. There's only one place in the valley we will use.
Meet Lisa Petrini and Patrick Rogers of Asurent Property Management.
Lisa has a background in business and marketing and Patrick has been coaching property managers on how to be great property managers for years. They saw that there was an opportunity in the valley for good, quality residential and commercial property management so they opened the doors of Asurent about a year ago. They now have two locations in Medford and Ashland. They specialize in working with landlords who are willing to do what it takes to keep their investments profitable in the short term and for the long haul. They will not work with slum lords. They don't just manage the properties, they help investors maintain and grow their portfolios. I appreciate that.
Here are the "Top 4 Reasons" they're the only company we'll use:
Lisa says, "You get what you pay for. Many times we are called by property owners who are currently with another property management company. We are asked our fees and then immediately asked if we would lower then to match their current rates. Well….you get what you pay for. If you are paying say 6% of the monthly rental amount, but haven’t seen the inside of your rental in years...you might want to take a look. This photo is from a rental we took over. The owner was paying 6% and was told they would get four inspections a year. This is their bathroom floor that was cut open and DUCK TAPED back together."
They stand by their word. They do a 60-day inspection after move in and four inspections per year. They treat your rental as if it were their own. The people they have work on your investment property are the same people they have work on their own homes. They are investors too so they know what it takes to be able to achieve wealth thru real estate. When a maintenance issue is reported, they assess the situation within three days minimum and give the owner multiple bids to get the job done correctly.
Asurent has no hidden fees like a lot of other property management companies have. There is $150 set up fee and then you pay 10% of the monthly rental amount. The percentage goes down to 8% when they manage six or more properties for you.
Lisa does a phone pre-screening with every potential tenant. If they pass that step, then she'll show them the property and collect a $35 application fee if they'd like to apply. Asurent will not take 30 applications and application fees for a property (again, like other companies). They will only collect on the ones they know they will process. Felonies on someones record immediately disqualify them. No exceptions. She calls references and employers.
When tenants move out, Lisa and Patrick give them every opportunity to get their deposit back. She will do a walk-thru with them two days before the move-out day so that if there are any issues that may compromise the return of their deposit, the tenants have two days to make them right.
Lisa and Patrick are proud of the fact that they've never had to evict a tenant.
It's unfortunately common to be frustrated trying to get in contact with a property manager. The industry is lacking in communication. But with Lisa and Patrick, when an owner calls them or emails them, if they do not get back to them within 24 hours, they will take 50% off the next month's management fees. They are that confident in their communication.
They use technology and software which is especially nice for landlords who are busy and/or out of town. Eighty percent of rental home owners live out of state. That can make "seeing" issues that need to be taken care of difficult so Lisa and Patrick share photos as needed (or wanted) to owner portals. Everything is accessible online.
Lisa introduces herself to the neighbors of your property. She gives them her card and encourages them to contact her if they have any concerns that crop up in between the quarterly inspections. She knows the more quickly you stay on top of tenant issues, the less it will cost you in the long run.
4. Return on Investment
Lisa and Patrick believe in face-to-face meetings when possible. They want to know what your needs are for your rental. They want you to explain to them what you need to get out of the monthly rental amount to get a profit. Lisa and Patrick ask questions like, "How long do you plan on keeping the unit?" "What are your long term goals?"
Lisa and Patrick encourage owners to include landscaping in their contracts. I can personally vouch for the importance of this. I had a rental with great renters in it. I paid for weekly yard maintenance. The tenants were there for years, paid their rent on time and kept nice care of the inside of the house. When the recession hit, they requested a lower rental rate. Not wanting to lose them, I negotiated with them. If they would take care of the landscaping, I would lower their rent by how much I was paying for professionals to do it. Big mistake. They never kept it up and when they moved out I ended up having to spend lots of time and money to bring it back up to par.
Lisa and Patrick get it. They get that your rental unit is your investment. The get the importance of a property management company “managing” a rental with supervision of the tenants. Asurent Property Management manages your rental exactly how you want them to manage it.
They are in the business of saving investors like me stress while getting us more rental income. Yes, please!