Why settle for adequate when you can have great? Qualities of Great Property Managers

Riddle me this, why would anyone settle for adequate in anything when you could have great? I’m always perplexed when people ask me for a recommendation and say, “…they don’t have to be great, just adequate will do.” Really? In this case, this is your home or investment property; trust me, you want great property managers! Plain and simple.

So, what do great property managers look like? Let’s examine that, then you decide.

Great property managers: Quality number 1

Great property managers know your property inside and out. They know it fiscally and physically. Even more importantly they know it culturally so they know what you and the other residents expect. Adequate property managers have an onsite manager who is doing it all so time is limited to really get to know the property, there is much more of a tendency toward react rather than act.

Great property manager: Quality number 2

They are fully staffed in every discipline that is needed for successful management of your property. Great property managers like RISE in Houston, have created a property management model that concentrates on condos only and allows for shared resources. You have all the expertise at your call, but your cost is shared by other properties. Everything from onsite managers, maintenance employees, accountants, lawyers, project managers, financial planners and everything in between. You’re always covered by great property managers. Adequate property managers usually consist of teams of 2 to 3 people who are broadly versed in numerous subject areas.

Great property manager: Quality number 3

Great property managers know what you need to protect your investment. Great property managers take reserve fund studies one step further and combine the knowledge of the project managers, maintenance managers and financial managers to do a full fiscal and physical review. They help you plan, drawing on market knowledge from every area. Great property managers help you avoid surprise assessments. Adequate property managers in most cases don’t know what a reserve fund is, nor do they know how one is arrived upon, so assessments are a ways of life.

Great property manager: Quality number 4

Great property managers have professionally trained staff who are experts in their subject areas. Their core value is to provide impeccable customer service at every level of the organization. They have can do everything from providing reports to reconcile individual accounts to providing legal interpretation of your rules and regulations. The adequate property manager has limited staff trying to be experts in everything and still run your property.

Now, you tell me, are you going to be happy with an adequate property manager or are you going to protect your investment and your sanity by hiring a great property manager like RISE in Houston.

Let RISE show you what great property managers work like but putting their progressive association management group model to work for you. Explore the RISE difference at www.riseamg.com or request a quote by contacting RISE at (713) 936-9200 or info@riseamg.com. Condominium management that increases your value and living experience daily. Check here for more about quality property managers.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T …. Saying thanks from the management association shows what your tenants/renters mean to you.

When you show thanks from the management association, why do you do it? Are you just saying thanks from the management association because of a long- standing habit drilled into you by your parents or do you understand that it is a sign of RESPECT? After this article, I think you will see “Thank You” in a whole different way, and you’ll understand why companies like RISE in Houston get it, thanks from the management association is incredibly powerful because it shows I respect our relationship.

Relationships with tenants/renters are built on respect and coming up with to say thanks from the management association says more value you put on these relationships. A show of thanks from the management association helps build or break the client bond.

Creative shows of thanks from the management association

We all have them, those tenants/renters that are just so perfect that you can’t help but compare every other to them. They always pay on time, call in maintenance items before they become a 911, keep the property immaculate, improve the landscaping or interior and never complain. They’ve lived in the unit forever, just model clients. Question is how can you say, “Thank You” so they know you appreciate and respect them.

Here’s a few ideas from my friends at RISE to show thanks from the management association:

  • Say “Thank You” around the holidays with 10% off their December rent/HOA fees-Budget for it.
  • Say “Thank You” with a gift card to a local restaurant once a year
  • Say “Thank You” by upgrading something on the property (on the rental side, this can be used as a thank you when you are near the term of the lease and looking towards renewal).
  • Say “Thank You” by keeping rent increases minimal; good tenants can be hard to find
  • Say “Thank You” by sending cards on birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

A genuine show of thanks from the management association goes a long way, say thanks with actions

Now while all the above ideas are great and would truly be appreciated as a show of thanks from the management association, it is also important to remember that your actions speak volumes. Say “Thank You” to your tenants/renters by treating them respectfully. My father use to tell me we treat people the way we wish to be treated, it’s the Golden Rule. Trust me, in business it is most definitely the Golden Rule and if you break it often enough you’ll have nothing but coal.

When you make your tenants/renters feel important and engaged, you are saying “Thank You” and I appreciate you and our business relationship. Another great show of thanks from the management association may is engagement. Planning on changing up the pool area? Get input from your tenants/renters, let them know their voice matters.

Finally, be aware of the tempo of your community, be seen. I worked for a gentleman who said he practiced MBWA-Management by Walking Around. He knew that making people feel appreciated meant talking to them one on one and being approachable. That same gentleman also made a concerted effort to say, “Thank You” and celebrate successes with his staff, that’s why he was respected and that’s why people loved working for him. When you are engaging daily and being seen, that is a thanks from the management association that says I’m one of you and I’m here to make it the best with your help.

Want to know more about how to say thanks from the management association to your tenants/renters and business associates from people who do it every day, explore the RISE difference at www.riseamg.com or contact RISE at (713) 936-9200 or info@riseamg.com.

Smart millennials are looking at condos for their first home.. Does your condo management association know what they want?

Is your condo management association aware that smart millennials are looking at condos now for their first-time home buy? In Houston, many millennials are opting for living in the downtown area, so condos are the way to go. If your condo management association is aware, do they know what changes may need to be made in the way your property does business to attract and hold on to this popular new homeowner? You see, for millennials it’s all about convenience, future investment value and customer service.

What can your condo management association do to attract these buyers?

One of the keys for your condo association to attract the millennial buyer is online convenience. They pay nearly everything online and they don’t want to change that. They don’t write checks, they don’t use snail mail and they don’t want to waste their time chasing down an onsite manager to make a payment.

It doesn’t stop there for the condo management association, millennials also want to be able to request maintenance and issue complaints online. The condo management association must remember they are the generation of convenience.

Your condo management association may consider putting in a dog park on the property if one doesn’t already exist; again, it’s just more convenient to walk Fido on the property. Consider options for items like trash valet services that pick up the trash at their door; converting that old room in the clubhouse to a workout room if there isn’t one; or maybe adding a business center. The more there is for them to do on the property, the more likely they are to purchase.

Your condo management association needs to be certain your condos are a good investment.

We all know that there’s specific criteria which makes a condo a good investment and most of that rest on the condo management association. For the millennial buyer, they want to know that in the future, when they may want to up size their condo can be kept as a rental property. So, when looking at property they are making sure it is certified for the widest market available in resale, and that your rules allow for long term rentals.

The condo management association must be ready to provide information to the millennial buyer as to the financial stability of the property (What is a financially stable property?). Do you have a reserve fund that is adequate; how many assessments have been levied in the history of the property. What is the staffing level at the property by the condo management association, and how well does the condo management association work with the residents and owners?

Millennials expect service from the condo management association.

Many condo management associations, get in trouble with the millennial crowd by not monitoring and no responding to the online services they have developed. Not just millennials, but any age will tell you it is more than rude when a request or payment is not acknowledged, it is a sign of disrespect. Some condo management associations use this as a time to revisit with their customer service skills with their staff.

Is your condo management association making your condo an attractive alternative for the millennial buyer? If you’re not sure, check out RISE in Houston. RISE has come up with a very progressive model for a condo management association. You’ll see how a condo management association like RISE can bring you the millennial market and increase the value of your property. Explore the RISE difference at www.riseamg.com or request a quote by contacting RISE at (713) 936-9200 or info@riseamg.com. Progressive condominium management that increases your value and living experience daily.

Just a site visit tells the story… Self managed, or professionally run by a condo management group.

Do you think by just visiting a condo property you can tell if it is self-managed by owners or run by a professional condo management group? If you answered yes, I think you are absolutely right!

A realtor friend was telling me about a series of visits she made to various condominium properties all over town with a potential buyer. She explained how she could tell if a property is self-managed or managed by a professional condo management group almost immediately upon pulling in the parking lot. Now granted, she’s a realtor, so she probably has a level of expertise that most people don’t have, but she said, her clients’ normally have the same ability by the end of a few showings and normally pick the condominiums that have that professional condo management group. Why?

Professional condo management group; the visual difference and why

A professional condo management group makes a definite difference in the aesthetics of your property from a physical aspect. Here’s just few of the differences:

  • Daily maintenance – A condo management group will have a team of people who are responsible for the daily look of your property. They make sure the pool and the area around the pool are clean; they make sure grass is cut and bushes/plants are properly trimmed and cared for. They make sure common areas are clean, well-lit and cared for. When utilizing self-management, normally a maintenance person is hired with limited supervision, so, things don’t always get done when then should or how they should-after all, they’re just one person.
  • Regular extended maintenance – Does the trim on your condominium property look faded and worn? Were you swarmed by bees at the entrance to your door? These are regular extended maintenance items that a condo management group has scheduled, so they never become a problem. Again, with self-management these things are hired out or that one maintenance guy is still trying to fit it into his schedule. The sad thing is, left undone, items like this can become major expense items. Which brings us to the next item…
  • Supervision and identification of capital improvements – Most self-managed properties do not have the expertise nor the people to keep up with reserve funds, capital improvement projects and long range planning. By five years in the property is showing sign of wear that are physical and expensive to repair or replace. Condo management is a full-time job, best handled by a professional condo management group.

But there’s a mental difference too…

Oddly enough, my friend also claims you can tell the difference by talking to the people or sometimes by just observing them. Not just the staff, the tenants too!

In properties that are self-managed, you will hear people openly discussing their unhappiness at how this is being done, or isn’t being done. In fact, in some communities where there is turmoil of neighbor pitted against neighbor, you can literally feel the tension as you encounter these people on the sidewalk. Heaven forbid they get a hold of the realtor’s client and tell them how they really feel. (Yes, that has happened). A professional condo management group is neutral; so, they are the barrier that keeps neighbors happy. Residents have a place to take their concerns regarding maintenance, and they know they will be addressed. Click here for another resource and view on the topic.

Staff at self-managed properties while still friendly, many times don’t have the level of expertise to handle the difficult questions a potential buyer or resident might have. When utilizing a professional condo management group like RISE in Houston, you don’t have this problem; there is always someone there to answer the questions correctly and efficiently.

Make your site visit a positive one by utilizing experts in the condominium management group business like RISE in Houston. See a professional condominium management group can increase the face value of your property, explore RISE by visiting www.riseamg.com or request a quote by contacting RISE at (713) 936-9200 or info@riseamg.com. Condominium management that increases your value and living experience daily.

Condominium and townhouse management services, specialist or generalist? A look at a specialized condominium and townhouse management services might change your mind.

It’s funny, Wiki defines property management such as condominium and townhouse management services as follows:

Property management is the operation, control, and oversight of real estate as used in its most broad terms. Management indicates a need to be cared for, monitored and accountability given for its useful life and condition. This is much akin to the role of management in any business.

Property management is also the management of personal property, equipment, tooling, and physical capital assets that are acquired and used to build, repair, and maintain end item deliverables. Property management involves the processes, systems, and manpower required to manage the life cycle of all acquired property as defined above including acquisition, control, accountability, responsibility, maintenance, utilization, and disposition.

That’s great for a generalist in property management, but not for someone who is a specialist in condominium and townhouse management services. Ask yourself if your condominium and townhouse management services is really doing all of that.

But Wiki doesn’t stop there, it talks about roles; roles essential in condominium and townhouse management services

So, what does Wiki say the roles are in property management by a condominium and townhouse management services group?

1. The full and proper screening or testing of an applicant’s credit, criminal history, rental history and ability to pay.

2. Lease contracting or accepting rent using legal documents approved for the area in which the property is located.

3. Mitigation and remediation regarding any maintenance issues, generally within a budget, with prior or conveyed consent via a Limited Power of Attorney legally agreed to by the property owner.

4. Maintaining necessary records for tax and legal purposes.

A little vague huh? In fact, realistically, this doesn’t come close to outlining all the services you expect from your condominium and townhouse management services group, does it? But it may be all you are getting if you are using a generalist for your condominium and townhouse management services.

What should you expect from a condominium and townhouse management services group?

First, you should expect everything above, but not delivered by one or two individuals trying to be all and wear all the hats, resulting in a limited knowledge in anything in particular. Look for a professional condominium and townhouse management services group like RISE. This simple secret is what sets RISE literally above all the rest:

CONTENT KNOWLEDGE IN ALL AREAS BY INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE SPECIALIST IN THEIR AREA OF EXPERTISE RELATING TO CONDOMINIUM AND TOWNHOUSE MANAGEMENT SERVICES!

Wow, what a concept! RISE will not send the maintenance guy to represent you in a civil case in court; they won’t have a customer service representative do your tax return. Very simply, RISE has tooled their company for your success by staffing with every known professional needed to effectively and efficiently act as a condominium and townhouse management services group. Why would you want a generalist when you can have RISE, the specialist?

Want to know more about comprehensive condominium and townhome management services by a specialist, explore RISE today by visiting www.riseamg.com or request a quote by contacting RISE at (713) 936-9200 or info@riseamg.com. RISE, the condominium and townhouse management services group that increases your condominium/townhome value and living experience daily.

The right property management association adds value to your condo Just ask an investor why.

A condo property management association, like RISE in Houston is something most investors inquire about before even going to look at a condo for sale. Investors know that managing property is hard work and left in the hands of a novice it can be costly. They also know that having a condo association board run things without the expertise of a property management association can result in regular unexpected assessments or legal tangles. They know the value add of a good property management association.

The property management association value.

Most buyers, investors or not want to make certain that a condominium property is being run properly, making it financially stable. In Houston, investors are savvy and know the right questions to ask. Having a company like RISE on your side to answer those questions makes your condo much more appealing.

Aside from asking the usual can we rent a unit we buy in this condo property, investors want to know things like what percentage of units are rental and what those average rental rates are. Many want to know the demographics of the residents; mostly single professionals, young couples, elderly or families with children. Then they want the deeper financial information such as:

  • Is there a reserve fund and is it adequate?
  • Does the property management association offer individual unit rental management for an additional fee and what does that look like?
  • Are tenants screened to make sure they can meet their financial obligations?
  • What is the process for collecting monthly/yearly condo fees and how are those fees utilized?
  • Who handles the risk analysis for the physical property and what is their level of expertise?
  • What do the financials look like for the property?

They want to protect their investment and they know that the property management association is the key to making this happen. A property management association like RISE gets personal with your condo property; with experts in every aspect of condominium management under one roof, they have the power to answer the tough questions Houston investors have.

I’m not an investor, so why should I care about the property management association?

I always love it when people tell me they don’t need to worry about things like property management association choices because they are not an investor. Really? Want to think about that a little more before you stand by it? Get ready, buying a home or condominium to live in is one the largest investments most of us make in our life. WOW, that would make you, as an owner, an investor; that is the reason you need to make sure you have a top of the line property management association like RISE in Houston.

Protect your investment by making sure it is managed by the BEST property management association in Houston. Give RISE a call and explore what RISE can do for you. You can visit their website at www.riseamg.com or request a quote by contacting RISE at (713) 936-9200 or info@riseamg.com. RISE will protect your investment.

A predatory condo management company can cause loss in property values.

We’re all adults, and we all understand the need for rules, following the rules and accepting the consequences, but sometimes a condo management company with limited experience and structure becomes a predator in the eyes of the owner/tenant and worse yet, in the eyes of the buying community and their behavior can hurt your property values.

Who makes the rules, the condo managment company?

A good condo management company knows that every condominium community has a set of CRRs that provide the basic guidelines for governing the community. It is the job of the condo management company to:

  • Interpret governing documents
  • Apply rules unbiased across the residents
  • Provide access to rules/consequences for residents

Unequal application can result in unhappy residents who will accuse the condo management company and the board of bias. The old one person tells 10, who each tell 10 and you can easily see how the predatory title can get started.

Is it just the rules from the condo management company that effect values?

Condo management companies can get the predatory title by not having a structure for their financial practices including collection of monthly fees. In the CRRs, there should be wording that tells tenants their rights. Good condo management companies go a step further than telling you to check your CRRs for information on collections; they provide clear communication of:

  • When monthly fees are due
  • What the penalty is for late payment
  • The results of terminally delinquent accounts, such as liens against your property, etc.
  • Communication of budget including reserve funds and special assessments

Condo management companies like RISE do rise to the top when it comes to this type of service, as they only deal with condominium management, and they have amassed expertise in all areas of condominium management instead of having one person try to wear all the hats and have all the knowledge; lawyers are interpreting the documents, financial people are providing a clear and concise look at the finances of your property, maintenance professionals are accessing risk and management people are making sure you, the resident are always in the loop and treated fairly.

Interested in protecting your community from a predatory condo management company?

There are numerous condo management company models out there, but none has the complete package like RISE in Houston. Never a predator, always a partner and always watching out for your property values. Interested in seeing how a condo management association can help you sustain and even increase the value of your property, explore RISE by visiting www.riseamg.com or request a quote by contacting RISE at (713) 936-9200 or info@riseamg.com. Condominium management that increases your value and living experience daily.

Micro-condos hit in Houston, the tiny house movement roars on. Houston condo management is up for the challenge.

Remember that song, “It’s Alright to be Little Bitty”? Well, now it’s not just alright, it’s cool and the tiny house living concept has reached the condominium market with micro-condos coming to downtown Houston. Houston condo management groups like RISE are ready for the challenge. Imagine living in a space that is a mere 300 SF, wow! There are a lot more moving parts and a lot more residents in a 500-unit micro-condo, so Houston condo management companies need to be on top of their game. Can’t get that song out of your head? Me neither, so just sing along.

Houston condo management made micro

So, what could be so different for Houston condo management when it comes to micro-condos? The first thing is many of the furnishing may be built-in as part of the condo for functionality. If that’s the case, who takes care of these built in interior items, many of which fold into walls or become walls or counters? Traditional condo is studs out for maintenance. Add to that and you have added a substantial amount of maintenance costs. Houston condo management companies like RISE have teams that can provide input from all sides of the equation and provide a reasonable solution.

500-Units will tax any Houston condo management group

Let’s step back from the maintenance and say we stay with traditional studs out, consider the magnitude of collecting monthly homeowner fees and managing the day to day task of that many residents. Any Houston condo management group that takes on a task like this better have heavy resources to rely on when it comes to all facets of condo management; physical plant, financial, security, risk management and long term planning. Companies like RISE in Houston bring all the best skills to the table. Do your homework when finding the Houston condo management group to manage your property no matter what size so make sure they understand all the complexities.

What’s the difference between managing 500 micro-condos vs 500 condos?

The difference in managing micro-condos vs traditional condos is the footprint. The foot print and proximity of one condo to another in a 500-unit micro-condo brings a whole new dimension to close living quarters. Any Houston condo management group will tell you this abbreviated proximity to one another means rule enforcement is not only a must, but also a challenge. Does that mean an onsite manager, only assessment of the situation can tell and companies like RISE know this, so they do that assessment up front.

Micro or maxi, Houston condo management is the way to go

Still singing that song….any way, the size of your property really doesn’t matter; any property will be better served by a full service Houston condo management company. Emphasis on the “full service”, a company like RISE that offers as much or as little as you need and all the experts under one roof. Give RISE a call and explore what RISE can do for you. You can visit their website at www.riseamg.com or request a quote by contacting RISE at (713) 936-9200 or info@riseamg.com. Remember, “It’s Alright to be Little Bitty.”

Tenant screening, for physical and fiscal security. Does your Houston condo management company have tenant screening?

Tenant screening is more than just a process, it is a must for physical and fiscal security of your condo property and every condo management company in Houston should have experience in this area. Screening protects the residents, be they owners or tenants and protects the property in terms of fiscal matters.

Does your condo management company know how to legally screen tenants?

Tenant screening when done properly and by professionals like the staff at RISE, a Houston condo management company, is completely legal and provides the protection and security you deserve. There are five basic areas that good tenant screening covers and you will find this to common across the Houston area when talking with a condo management company.

  1. Request an application and have an application fee
  2. Run a credit check
  3. Run a background check
  4. Call past rental or mortgage references
  5. Verify employment

A good condo management company knows that tenant screening when performed in this manner with standards in place that perspective tenants are aware of such as a 600 credit score, or 3x monthly rent in income per month are sound ways to perform tenant screening. Check out this article from the American Apartment Owners Association for best practices https://www.american-apartment-owners-association.org/property-management/tenant-screening/best-practices-use-tenant-criminal-history-to-screen-tenants/

When should my condo management company start the screening?

Most condo management companies, like RISE in Houston will tell you tenant screening really does start with that first contact, be it by phone or in person. Pre-screening questions can be woven into the general conversation and any red flag can be addressed later in the process. You might ask questions like:

  • What’s bringing you to make a move?
  • How long have you been in your current home?
  • What do you like best about where you’re living now?
  • Is this closer to your job?

Condo management companies find these little conversational questions can be a real asset in tenant screening. Companies like RISE have professional staff trained in screening potential residents.

How does a condo management company use tenant screening to protect fiscal security?

The condo management company knows that tenant screening doesn’t just provide physical security, it also provides fiscal security. Anyone who has ever owned rental properties can tell you how expensive and time consuming it can be to evict a tenant for non-payment or excessive damage to a property. That same person will also tell you that tenant screening is the key to getting sound tenant who meet their fiscal obligations, yep, they pay their rent!

Want more information on condo management company techniques for tenant screening?

This is just a low level view of tenant screening the advantages, find out more by contacting RISE Management. Give RISE a call and explore what RISE can do for you in providing tenant screening and more. You can visit their website at www.riseamg.com or request a quote by contacting RISE at (713) 936-9200 or info@riseamg.com.

Preparing for severe weather is a Texas tradition. A tradition your condo management company should know by heart

Preparing for severe weather is a Texas tradition, because as the saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait a minute and it’ll change.” Those sometime erratic changes lead to excessive wind damage, flash flooding and tornados just to name a few. That is why your condo management company needs to know this tradition and the disaster protocol by heart. Remember this recent headline in Houston:

“Houston Swamped by Flooding; Cars Stranded, Dozens of Water Rescues Reported”

So, preparing for severe weather means keeping the trees trimmed, right?

If your condo management company thinks all they need to do is trim the trees in preparing for severe weather, then you may need a new management company. Trimming the trees is just a very small part of it all. Your management company should have a comprehensive risk management plan that includes preparing for severe weather, particularly flooding in areas like Houston where this is common. This two part plan also has a contingency side for after the event.

Just think back to past flooding in the Houston area, and the damage there was. Companies like RISE management protect you; they start their relationship with you by doing a comprehensive analysis of your property both financially and physically. That means, when preparing for severe weather, there is already a plan in place. Remember, “Failing to plan, is planning to fail.” It really is that simple.

What’s in a plan when preparing for severe weather?

Plans like these are three part:

  1. Financial-When preparing for severe weather, you need to know any financial implications are covered. These can includes making sure insurance is adequate and premiums are up to date. Money is allocated in the reserve fund or budget to address the cost of prepping the property prior to a disaster to protect it; as well as to clean up and maintain after the disaster.
  2. Pre-Event Planning-Preparing for severe weather in the pre-event stage can mean many things depending on the weather event. Severe wind it may mean securing items that can be dislodged by wind and cause physical damage; moving people from first floor units if there is concern over flooding; cleaning drains, boarding up windows, etc.
  3. Contingency Planning-Preparing for severe weather also includes contingency planning, what if the buildings are uninhabitable; how do you protect the belongings of the residents, where do they live, do you have resources out there. How soon can you get the insurance company in to review the damage and pay out. What things can be done prior to their arrival.

Where do I start in preparing for severe weather?

From a personal standpoint, there are numerous websites by local, state and federal government that tell you what to have on hand when preparing for severe weather. Items, like water, canned food, blanket, flashlights, cash, full tank of gas, etc. Here are a few to check out:

Give RISE a call and explore what RISE can do for you to help prepare for severe weather. You can visit their website at www.riseamg.com or request a quote by contacting RISE at (713) 936-9200 or info@riseamg.com. Enjoy the Texas weather safely.