PROPERTY MANAGEMENT FAQS
The staff at Ivy Property Group would like to thank you for considering us as your rental property manager. Below are some questions we would like to suggest that you ask any company you are considering to manage your property and to explain our process.
How much will it cost to manage my property?
The fees a company charges are always a major factor to take in consideration. Make sure you understand the total cost. Are there hidden fees that will increase the overall expense by up to twofold? Ask about hidden repair fees, charges for visits to the property, mandatory new CO detectors fees, HOA hearing attendance surcharges, start-up fees, advertising fees, etc.
Do you mark up maintenance? Is maintenance a profit center for you?
Ivy Property Group does not mark up maintenance. Many of our competitors charge a 10% uplift on any repairs. On a $6000 HVAC system, that’s $600 in their pocket. Some unscrupulous property managers take this a step further and negotiate with the repair vendors that they will only pay them 80% of the total invoice price and pocket the difference. Repair companies open to this arrangement know to raise the amount invoiced to accommodate this practice. With Ivy Property Group, you get a copy of the actual invoice from the vendor with their contact information, not an in-house invoice that we create.
Ivy Property Group outsources over 95% of our maintenance calls. Occasionally, with your express permission, one of our property managers may purchase a supply or service for your property or perform a service for which they will be reimbursed. Some of our property managers have spent time with other firms that are proud of how much revenue their in-house maintenance department generates. At Ivy, we believe in earning our fees based on your success, not on your misfortune.
What if I want out of my property management agreement?
Read your management contract closely; some companies won't let you out of your agreement years later without a hefty fee if the tenant doesn't move, even if they are mismanaging the property. Some will attempt to hold your property hostage unless you terminate within a very narrow window. The management team at Ivy Property Group has a very simple philosophy, after the initial year, you can terminate your agreement at any time, for any reason, with a simple thirty-day notice and pay zero termination fees. We keep our customers based on job performance, not fine print in a contract.
If I have a question, whom do I call, and how do I reach my property manager?
We have found that most investors like working with one professional who they can depend on to take their call or return their call promptly. Our customers like having one expert that can handle almost any question immediately. Ivy Property Group has one specific property manager for each property. As an owner, you will have your property manager’s direct cell phone number. Your tenant will also have your property manager’s cell phone number. We have found this facilitates easier communication and speedier resolutions than using a general office number or call service that knows little to nothing about you or your property.
At Ivy Property Group the compliment we most often receive is “I can’t believe I’m speaking with a live person.” or “Thanks, you’re the first person to return my call.”
How do prospective tenants see my property?
There are a lot of different philosophies in the industry. At Ivy Property Group, a qualified licensed Broker/Realtor accompanies each prospective tenant on most showings. Ivy agents attend roughly 75% of the showings with Realtors from other companies working with clients making up most of the remaining showings.
When our property manager meets the prospective tenant, it has many positive results. We can hear questions or complaints they may have about the property. We can personally give the owner feedback from a tenant’s perspective that would make their property more rentable or lease at a higher rate. Occasionally they may even volunteer information about how their last two landlords tried to evict them.
Cooperation with other agents is a big part of our business. Your home will be listed in the Canopy Multiple Listing Service (MLS), making it available to over thousands of Realtors and real estate professionals from Asheville to Charlotte and everywhere in between. We make it easy to show your property by installing a supralock or combo lock on the property. Agents can call our showing service to make an appointment to show your property to their clients and to gain entry. They do not have to contact our office to set up an appointment, pick up a key or call the current tenant to gain access.
How can my tenant pay rent?
It is also important to know how a company interacts with your tenant. Is the process for paying rent or reporting repairs clear and established? At Ivy Property Group, a tenant can create a tenant portal that allows him/her to pay rent online by ACH transfer from his/her account to ours, report a need for a repair, track the progress of the repair, and see their account balance. Tenants also have the option to pay rent via credit card with the cost of such payment being assessed to the tenant, not the owner. The ability to drop off rent at an office or pay by mail is also available. For those tenants who don’t have other options, we also offer a service where the tenant can pay their rent at most CVS or 7-Eleven locations.
What happens if my tenant doesn’t pay?
Late and slow payments are also a part of this business, and no amount of screening can prevent them. Therefore, it is important for a company to have a late payment/eviction process. Ours is as follows: Tenant payments are due on the 1st and considered late by midnight on the 6th day of the month. Late notices are sent out on the first business day after the 6th with a late fee charged. Most tenants bring their accounts current before or by the 20th of the month. Our property managers make final collections calls towards the end of the month, and decisions are made on evictions unless the tenant(s) make approved payment arrangements. Due to the size of our company, we have partnered with an attorney to handle evictions for a flat fee of $100 to $125 plus court costs. Their experience in proper filing and court proceedings results in a timely and positive outcome for almost every court appearance.
Will you do a credit and background check on an applicant?
Tenant screening is something everyone says they will do. The question is do they do a thorough job of it? It is important that every effort is made to know as much as possible about an applicant before writing a lease. A thorough job upfront often makes the entire lease period go more smoothly. Our effort includes screening credit, criminal, and landlord eviction history.
What if a repair is needed at my property?
Unfortunately, from time to time, repairs are needed. We try to make this as painless as possible. Tenants can call us or submit a repair request online. Our software program allows us to generate a work order, assign a contractor, and track the job all the way to completion and payment. All emergency repairs will be handled immediately. For non-emergency repairs, we contact you based on your instructions.
The decision of which company to hire is often based on price, but the old adage of "you get what you pay for" is very true. Do your due diligence on where corners might be cut and investigate the less obvious places a company might acquire additional revenue. The management team at Ivy Property Group counts their experience in the property management business in decades. We pride ourselves in outstanding customer service to both our owners and tenants and making efficient use of our resources and technology for a fee that is fair for both us and our clients. We look forward to possibly working with you. Please don't hesitate to call us at 704-807-7777 with any property management questions.