Collection of condo and townhouse management related content.

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 [email protected]. RISE, the condominium and townhouse management services group that increases your condominium/townhome value and living experience daily.

Buying warrantable or non-warrantable, that is the question…

A professional association management group knows that sometimes what we don’t know and don’t know to ask can make all the difference when making a purchase, particularly when we are talking the difference between a warrantable and a non-warrantable condo. Even if it doesn’t make a difference in the short run, in the long run the implications can damage resale.

What does it mean if a condo is non-warrantable?

When a condo is non-warrantable, the loans made on the units cannot be sold to government loan programs like Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae thus making non-warrantable condos hard to finance and hard to sell.

An association management group like RISE in the Houston area has staff with the expertise to help your condominium property review its status then makes recommendations to bring it compliant or warrantable. One thing they point out is a community keeping its warrantable status is a moving target that should be maintained by a plan that includes a professional association management group.

What makes a condo non-warrantable?

Most of us have no idea what impacts the decision that a condo is warrantable or non-warrantable; that is why a professional association management group is always a great idea. Below is a list of some of the more common causes for a condo to be unwarrantable:

  1. The ratio of renter to owners. Condos that have over 50% renters normally have a status of non-warrantable. There is a perception that renters do not maintain the property the way owners will; thus this makes for a risker investment according to a professional association management group.
  2. Another place that calls for the expertise of an association management group is insurance. If a condominium is not carrying the required level of insurance needed to protect against catastrophic damage to the buildings and common areas themselves. Again, a possible lapse or insufficient insurance increases the risk substantially.
  3. Improper funding of reserve fund is a big issue in non-warrantable condos. A top association management group like RISE in Houston will tell you, the reserve fund and the studies that establish and maintain it are must haves. Any condo property that does not have a line items on their budget that shows at least 10% of their overall revenue is going to reserve funds is not warrantable and quite frankly isn’t really a great investment.

Warrantable condos are normally better run properties.

The truth is condo properties that are warrantable are normally better run, and have a relationship with a strong association management group who know what it takes to maintain the value of your investment. Performance by your association management group means a better place to live, and financial stability. Yes, you want to find a warrantable condo, and not just for the lending side, but also for the living side. Want to know if your condo is warrantable, check it out!

Interested in seeing how an association management group can help your property become and sustain its warrantable status. Explore your options by visiting RISE or request a quote by contacting RISE at (713) 936-9200 or [email protected]. Condominium management that increases your value and living experience daily.

The right property management association adds value. Here’s 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 [email protected]. RISE will protect your investment.

How a predatory condo management company can cause loss in value.

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 [email protected]. Condominium management that increases your value and living experience daily.

Micro-condos hit in Houston, the tiny house movement roars on.

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 [email protected]. Remember, “It’s Alright to be Little Bitty.”

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 [email protected].

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 [email protected]. Enjoy the Texas weather safely.

Summertime and the living is easy. Companies like RISE providing condo management in Houston makes it even easier!

Summertime is upon us and we’re all ready for a little easy living, but without complies like RISE providing condo management in Houston, we could easily spend a miserable summer dealing with issues in the common areas almost daily. Think about it, when do you encounter your neighbors the most? Summer. Everyone is outside enjoying all the fun things, and sometimes summer doesn’t bring out the best in all of us, all the time. Condo management in Houston is a lifesaver, keeping order in a time when heat can make tempers flare.

Identifying the problem areas, like the pool.

Condo management in Houston knows where most of the problem areas are going to be and they are proactive in addressing them. Companies like RISE for instance do a full analysis of a property when they take over, so financially and physically, they know the condition of the property and where they need to concentrate their energy to avoid summertime problems. They know the pool being shut down for resurfacing in the middle of summer is going to be a major problem and raise tempers unnecessarily.

They also know like most condo management in Houston, this is the time that you must enforce rules; from no glass in the pool area, to no people in the pool area after a stated time to avoid disturbing other residents. On a typical weekend, condo management will answer multiple complaints and how they deal with them will determine how everyone’s summer will go.

Another one, parking.

Are you noticing a pattern, all the problem areas so far start with a “P”, coincidence? Condo management in Houston will tell you another area for problems in summer is the parking lot. Guest and visitors parking in owner/tenant spaces, cars speeding in the parking lot and increased traffic causing an increase in vehicle damage and theft. Wow, who knew summer could be so full of obstacles.

RISE manages these common problems with ease, they know things like added or appropriate signage can help alleviate many of these issues. They know increased security in the summer months might not be a bad investment. They are pro-active and address the issues quickly, a must for condo management in Houston.

Vendor relations can make a summer easier.

Not all condo management in Houston understands the importance of vendor relations in the summer. RISE in Houston, however knows having vendors you can rely on and vendors you can recommend who will take care of owner/tenant issues is paramount to success. When your owner/tenant has an HVAC issue and it is a balmy 100 plus degrees in House Texas, you can be a HERO FOREVER if you know a good air conditioning company and can get them there in less than 24 hours. Condo management in Houston that is worth having, has connections like RISE.

Is your condo management in Houston ready for summer?

Summertime and the living can be easy if your condo management in Houston is someone like RISE, someone who acts to manage your community rather than someone who reacts. Live easy this summer, explore what RISE can do for you by visiting RISE.com or request a quote by contacting RISE at (713) 936-9200 or [email protected]. Condominium management that increases your value and living experience daily.

Spring, a time of growth and renewal… The perfect time to review your association management services.

Well, we have survived winter and now with Spring barreling down on us it is a great time to do some spring cleaning and what better place to start than by review your association management services. Let’s face it, when you get in a rut you’re not crazy about the current management services, but is it worth the time to vet some competition? The answer is yes. and now’s the perfect time to do it. Out with the old, in with the new.

What should you look for in association management services?

Sometimes the hardest part of starting this journey is knowing what association management services you really need. Companies like RISE in Houston have a whole fresh concept in condo management because that’s all they do and they do it well. Best of all with their share programs and all association management services expertise you need under one roof, it is easy to tailor a plan that works just for your property.

Some needs you may consider are:

  • Maintenance-Do you need a full-time maintenance person on staff?
  • Collection of monthly homeowner fees and reconciliation of accounts to keep them current.
  • Reserve fund studies and management
  • Review and translation of CRRs and implementation
  • Insurance options with advice for the best fit for your community
  • and much, much more

These are just the basics. There is so much more in association management services that can make your community one that people want to live in.

All association management services are not created equally.

As you spring into action reviewing your association management, remember, not all are created equally. Many of the companies out there handle residential HOAs, commercial groups, condo associations, and well, anyone else that will pay for their services. The problem with this is not all of these groups have the same issues when it comes to management. At RISE, they do one thing; they provide association management services to condominium communities. That is why they ‘rise’ above everyone else in association management services.

Don’t be fooled, the companies that just want to collect a monthly fee have someone stop in and fix something from time to time, then hit you with high fees and very little consistency. They have no ability to help you plan for future success, but RISE does and you can tailor the service to fit your needs.

Give RISE Management a call today and find out why their association management services are right for you, the number is 713.936.9200 or email them at [email protected]. Let RISE spring forward with the tools to achieve success in your association management services.

Is your condo management association enforcing the rules? If not, they could be jeopardizing your safety, physically and financially

Ever wonder who makes all the rules that your condo management association enforces? Better yet, do you sometimes wonder why there ARE so many rules? Seriously, are you feeling a little suffocated? Before you put that rebel hat on, consider this, rules are the safety net for owners and tenants both financially and physically and good condo management associations know their importance.

Rules for physical safety, is your condo association management covering you?

We’ve all seen the rules a million times; no glass containers in the pool area, no running in the common area walkways, no hanging items from the balcony, no leaving trash outside the door overnight. Seriously, why, and who comes up with this stuff?

Some of the rules you follow may be dictated by the CRRs for your community; others are developed by the condo management association and approved by the board to limit the risk of injury. People who develop these rules for the condo management association are risk managers and their job is to look at each situation and determine what the risk exist, score them based on industry standard criteria and determine if an action or rule is need to limit or eliminate your exposure. Taking the example of the glass in the pool area; one slip with a glass item in your hand in a slippery wet pool area and the results could be deadly; easy fix on this one-no glass in the pool area and post it on a sign in case you have visitors.

Physical safety is one thing, but rules helping with financial security

Condominium management associations also are required to minimize your fiscal liability by utilizing rules that alter behavior. Again, think about the glass in the pool area; what if the person who falls is killed and his survivors decide to sue for wrongful death; after all, there was no sign or rule that said not to take that glass into the pool area. Insurance may cover the first time, but after that, their risk manager is going to say, why isn’t there a sign or a rule?

The other part of good risk management, is reduced premium cost for insurance. If your condo management association has a safety program in place that includes rules which limit the liability of the community, insurance companies will reward you with lower premium cost.

How can I make sure my condo management association has risk management?

After an event is not the time to ask if your condo management association has a risk management program, ask now. Best idea, give RISE Management Association a call. RISE is unique, they have all the specialist under one roof, spreading cost over multiple properties and providing you with a solid condo management association. Call them today at 713.936.9200 or email them at [email protected]. When you gamble with safety, you bet with your life, follow the rules.