What makes a property manager unique?

What makes a property manager unique? The promises they make to their customers.

Hey, Spencer Sutton with gkhouses.

Thank you for filling out the form, thank you for reaching out to us.

We will be back in touch with you as soon as possible to answer any kind of questions, walk you through our processes.

Before that happens I just wanted to really make three promises to you.

At gkhouses, we make you these three promises and then if you decide and we decide that it’s a good fit we would love to do business together.

But I think you need to know what these promises are before that happens.

Promise Number One

We promise to give you just a hassle-free property management experience.

And what that means is we have a 100% happiness guarantee and that’s our pledge to you.

If you are not happy, if you’re not satisfied with our service then you can cancel at any time.

There’s no penalty, there’s no fee or anything like that. Our entire goal is to make you happy.

And what we found out is that part of making people happy is giving them a very hassle-free property management experience.

Promise Number Two

We promise to find you a very well qualified tenant quickly.  So this is really what you want.

You want a tenant that meets certain requirements and you want them in your home as quickly as possible.

And we want to give you that and it’s our promise to you that we’re going to do everything possible to make that happen.

We have very strict underwriting criteria for prospective tenants, but we also are very aggressive in our marketing.

So we also have two guarantees that you can learn about, 21 days lease guarantee.

Where we’re gonna rent your house in 21 days or you get 2 months of management free.

Also, we have a tenant guarantee where we’re guaranteeing that that tenant will stay in your home for, you know, a certain period of time.

And so you can ask the gkhouses representative more about those guarantees.

Promise Number Three

And then we promise we are going to treat your home and your tenant with respect.

We’re going to take care of those two and very, very important assets. So your house is an asset but really your tenant is the most important asset.

And when we’re able to take care of those by providing good service, you and your tenant will be happy. These are things like timely accounting when rent is due, maintenance requests handled in a timely manner.

When we are able to do that and keep a tenant happy they will stay in your house longer but they will also take care of your house.

And so those are our three promises, hassle-free property management experience, we’re gonna rent your house to well-qualified tenants very quickly.

Then we’re just gonna take care of your home and your tenant, the two most important assets in this whole equation.

Again we look forward to speaking with you soon and thank you so much for filling out that form

How To Rent Your House Fast

This Video Will Give You Some Great Tips On How To Rent Your House Fast

Hey. Spencer Sutton here with gkhouses, and today I want to walk through some tips and tricks on how to rent your house fast. I will break this into two lists.

One list is going be some things that you can do to help your house rent faster or maybe even for more money, so I’m gonna walk through these.

These are things that you control. And then on the opposite side of it, I’m gonna talk to you about some items that may keep your house from renting quickly, and these are things that you don’t necessarily have control over.

So, here we go.

Here’s some things that are going to help you rent your home faster or maybe even for some more money.

Landscaping

It all starts when somebody either pulls up a picture on the internet of the outside of your house or when they drive up to your house.

So the landscaping is really important. And what that means to you is that the lawn is kept cut, the grass is not overgrown if it’s in the summer months.

If it’s in the winter months, it means that the leaves are, you know, they’re not…like, if you have a large tree in your front yard that it doesn’t look like the leaves are just everywhere scattered everywhere.

Just make sure that’s taken care of.

Flowers

It’s also good to plant flowers if you can.

These flowers should be native to the area so that a prospective tenant doesn’t think that they’re gonna have to keep up some tropical plants or anything like that.

And just keep them very easy, but flowers are always gonna be nice.

Pick Up Trash

If you have trash outside of your house, pick it up. And I know that sounds strange, like, if you have a front porch and there’s debris on the front porch, make sure all of that is picked up.

This is all about first impressions.

Ground Cover

Ground covering is great, so if you could spread mulch, anything like that, ground covering, it keeps weeds down to a minimum, and it’s easy to take care of, so tenants understand that they don’t have to do a ton of yard work.

Because in a typical lease, especially in our lease, the tenants are responsible for that lawn care. That’s the outside of the house.

American Flag!

One other thing I would say which could add a nice touch is just to hang an American flag.

You know, that always shows your patriotism, and people will tend to respond positively to that.

Interior

So now moving inside the house. So very, very obvious things, but based on my experience, our experience speaking with owners, it’s not something they always think about.

Here I want you to consider how you would want to move into a house. Say you bought or are renting a brand new house, a new house for your family, how would you want to come into that house?

Interior Paint

The obvious thing is you want a clean coat of paint on the walls. So this means not a lot of scuff marks all over the walls.

I know that, like, in my house, scuff marks don’t really bother me, but typically when something doesn’t bother an owner, a lot of times it will bother a tenant or a prospective tenant.

So a fresh coat of paint if you need it would be hugely beneficial.

Carpets

Also along with that, clean carpets. If you need to replace the carpet, you can do that.

It just depends on how long you’ve had your carpet. So a huge impression when they walk in, clean carpets, fresh paint.

Appliances

And then also, you want to think about your appliances.

The tenants are typically expecting to come in and find a refrigerator and a stove, and then if you have, like, already a built-in microwave and the cabinet, that’s expected.

A washer and dryer are not really expected from tenants. Typically they’ll bring their own. So you want those to be updated.

You don’t want them to be just old leftovers. It’s better to throw those out, take them with you, and then buy some new ones for your rental property.

Especially, again, this first impression when they walk in.

Bathroom Fixtures

If they could be updated, just make sure they are more modern than they are outdated.

If your house was built in the ’80s or early ’90s and you have the same fixtures that you did in the ’80s, you probably want to upgrade.

Cleaning

And then the last thing I would say is just make sure to have it professionally cleaned before you start showing the property.

As first impressions are big impressions, and the goal is to get as many people as possible into the home to see the house, and then you’re going to start taking applications.

These are some of the things that we do when we first come out to a house. Like, if you were to call us and we came out to your house, walk the property, these are some of the items that we’re gonna be looking at.

We have a whole list. And we’re looking at blinds. Also looking at light fixtures. We’re checking to make sure everything’s working properly, toilets are flushing, faucets are not leaking. Things like that.

But these things that I just listed are things that you can do to make sure your house rents quickly.

White Elephants

So now let’s look at the other side. So there are some things that you don’t really have any control over.

Maybe you’re trying to rent your house right now, or maybe you’re considering it.

Here are some things that might keep your property from renting quickly.

Like, I was just at a house not long ago, and I was driving, so I had been talking to this owner, and he was wondering, “Hey, why aren’t we getting more activity?”

I hadn’t been to this house, so I drove out there, and as I was driving through the neighborhood, I kind of understood a little bit of the difficulty.

Neighborhood Scene

And so number one is just the neighborhood scene. So the neighborhood scene where his place was, where his condo was, was not great.

There was a lot of trash on the streets, some loitering, some things like that.

It just didn’t seem like a very friendly and receptive neighborhood from that standpoint.

And so that’s always going to be a little bit of a red flag to prospective tenants as they pull up.

They’re not going to get this warm and fuzzy feeling. So again, you don’t really have anything to do with that.

This is something beyond your control.

Steep Driveways and Funky Layout

Another thing, just, and this may sound strange, but you know, steep driveways, you know, can keep people from renting your house.

Also along with that, an odd layout of the home.

So if your house has a funky layout, then you probably are not gonna expect it to rent very, very quickly.

So there’s a reason why these national home builders, these multi-multi-million-dollar home builders essentially have the same floorplans for all of their homes.

Because that’s what people like!

So if your house has a funky layout, you may love it, but that doesn’t mean a tenant or a prospective tenant is going to love it.

Busy Street and Train Tracks

Then, you know, just somewhat we call white elephant issues. And white elephant means it’s almost impossible to ignore things like you are on a very, very busy street.

That’s obviously gonna take away from a prospective tenant’s desire to rent, especially if they have small children.

If you live near train tracks or near power lines they make keep your house from renting very quickly.

Again, you don’t really have any kind of control over those. So focus on what you do have control over, these things that I mentioned.

The appeal, the street appeal, when they pull up, pride of ownership inside the home, outside the home.

If your home looks great and like that, and there’s another house on the same block or down the block or in the next block that is not kept as well, 9 times out of 10, they’ll choose your house if all things being equal.

So I hope this kind of helps you think about some things and will help you rent your house quickly.

Whether you do it yourself or whether you choose gkhouses to help find a great tenant for your home.

Thanks so much.

Do you allow dangerous pet breeds in Chattanooga? 

Alex Smith here from gkhouses, Chattanooga, with another edition of “Questions Owners Ask.” Today’s question is “Do you allow dangerous pet breeds in Chattanooga?”

Short answer? No.

Our list of prohibited dog breeds includes but is not limited to: German shepherds, pit bulls, American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, doberman pinschers, rottweilers, chow chows, akitas, Siberian Huskies, malamutes, and a partridge in a pear tree.

This list comes from our gkhouses insurance policy. Your homeowner’s insurance policy likely has the same breeds listed, especially if it’s geared towards renters

You could potentially bypass these restrictions if you wanted to do so.

If a tenant wants to rent with one of these breeds, we request approval from the owner. We also require a $300,000 insurance liability coverage with the owner listed as additionally insured. This would be in addition to the standard pet fee requirement. 

The decision to allow a dangerous breed is 100% up to the owner. 

If you want to rent to someone with a dangerous breed, check your homeowner’s insurance policy for such a clause.

If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to us! We would love to talk to you!

Refer A House To gkhouses

If you are a Real Estate Agent and refer a house to gkhouses, we will pay you $555!

What’s up, real estate agents? My name is Matthew Whitaker and today I am going to talk to you about what happens when you refer a house to gkhouses.

I am the founder of gkhouses. And you clicked on this because you are interested in working with us, and we absolutely want to work with you if you are a real estate agent.

So the big question is, how much will we pay you for a referral?

If you have a client and maybe you can’t sell that house. Or you have a client that is interested in renting their house and that’s not something you do, you can send that house to us.

And when we lease that house we will pay you a referral fee of $555. When the house gets rented and the tenant moves in and essentially they pay their first month’s rent, we are going to send your broker a check for $555.

You can also lease the house for us

So if you have a tenant that you’re interested in leasing one of our homes, first thing you need to do is get set up as a vendor and there’s a video on how to get set up as a vendor.

But if you lease a home for us and you show the tenant the house, we’ll pay you $250.

So you have a tenant who wants to see it, $250. If you refer a house to gkhouses, that means you have an owner with a house, $555. So that’s it.

That’s another installment of Questions Owners Ask. If you have a client and they have considered renting their home, please tell them about us. We would love to give you $555!

This was actually from a real estate agent. I am Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

starting a property management company

Have you ever thought about starting a property management company?

What’s up, everybody. My name is Matthew Whitaker.

And this is going out to my property management or potential property management buddies out there.

So if you’re already a broker and you’re considering getting into property management, I have three things I want to tell you, three quick things.

Number one, managing 1 or 100 houses is still a full-time business.

You’d be surprised because when you’re only doing one or two or three houses, you’re doing a lot of things manually that we can process out and do…use a lot of automation to do.

And when you’re doing only one, two or three, you do a lot of manual things.

So it is a full-time or at least it feels like a full-time business, whether you’re managing 1 or 100. Please, don’t underestimate how long it takes to manage just a few houses.

The second thing is you need to make sure you create a vendor list, a preferred vendor list prior to meeting them.

The last thing you want is to need a vendor to go out to do something for you and you’re scrounging in the phone book for your clients to find somebody.

That’s going to be really expensive for your clients, you’re not going to provide a good value for them.

The last thing is Accounting. I see people screw this up the most is in accounting.

You got to make sure that you’re handling your clients’ money with trust. And it’s funny, they call them “trust accounts.” But you’ve got to make sure that your clients’ money is accounted for.

You have to be very diligent.

I would even suggest using property management software like Appfolio. Maybe even Propertyware so that you can make sure that every dime, every penny is accounted for.

I see so many people screw this up, it gets them into trouble really quickly and it’s not fair to your clients.

So that’s it. That’s what would I do if I was starting a property management company.

I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

Benefits of a property manager

What are the benefits of a property manager other than the normal things, like collecting rent?

What’s up, everybody? Matthew Whitaker here with another “Questions Owners Ask.” Today’s question is “What other benefits of a property manager can I expect other than managing my property?”

So the first thing I want to say is the separation from tenant to owner.

I think it’s very important for you as the owner to make objective decisions about your rental property and have that buffer. And so we do a good job.

Just like a real estate agent does a good job of that in a real estate transaction, we do a great job of being a buffer. This helps you to make objective decisions.

One of the things that we see when people manage their own property is they start to listen to the stories of tenants.

And certainly, there are some reasons that you would want to listen to the stories of tenants. But all too often we find that owners are messing up when they start to listen to stories. They aren’t able to be objective about their decisions.

The next thing is the wisdom and handling situations that don’t happen very often.

If you have one or two houses, you may have a situation, a random situation happen once every 5 or 10 years.

Whereas we see things happen on a consistent basis.

And so we can use the wisdom of managing thousands of homes to managing this certain situation. This helps you save or make the most money in that situation or decrease the amount of liability.

The third thing is all our ancillary offerings. We offer things like rent guarantee.

If you’re running your own house, you don’t have guaranteed rent. Access to vendors. If you’re renting your own house, you don’t have the preferred access to vendors that somebody like us does.

And the last thing I would say is landlord-tenant laws.

Just because you don’t understand a state’s landlord specific tenant laws, then that doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow them.

And it’s very important. We know those types of things and we know how to make sure to keep you out of trouble.

So that’s it. I’m Matthew Whitaker with “Questions Owners Ask.”

agent showing a gkhouses house

We love to hear when an agent showing a gkhouses house has been paid a commission!

It means they were able to show the home and the tenant loved it enough to rent it! If you’re an agent showing a gkhouses house, this video will walk you through the easy way to show one of our houses.

Now hear from Matthew Whitaker as he explains how easy it is for an agent to show one of our houses.

What’s up real estate agents?

I’m Matthew Whitaker here with a little help for you. I’m super excited that you’re interested in showing one of our properties.

We’re agents ourselves. We love to work with agents. Really what we like to do is rent houses.

So if we don’t rent them, and you can rent them, then heck, we’re happy to pay you a referral fee for that.

But the big question right now is, how do you get into one of our houses?

You Need To Be A Vendor In Our System

The first thing I would say is, you need to get set up as a vendor in our system.

We use a self-show lockbox system called Rently.

And what it allows you to do is to be a vendor and have access to all of our properties. So as an agent, you can get access to all of our properties.

Each individual, like if somebody was gonna go see one of our houses, they only get access to one at a time.

You as an agent get access to all of it.

The easiest way to do that is to shoot an email to support@gkhouses.com.

Give us your brokerage name, your real estate license number, and then make sure you include your cell phone number.

And we’re going to text out the instructions on getting into our Rently lockboxes.

So that’s step one.

Each Lockbox Has A Number

The second thing is you’re going to use those same messages to look at the lockbox code on the top.

Each lockbox has a number.

You’re going to visit the house, call the number, and put in the lockbox number. And then you’re going to have access to that home, and show it.

Reference On The Application

The third thing is, make sure that your resident names you down as a reference on their application.

There’s a place to do that online.

The tenant can fill out an application online at our website, gkhouses.com.

Submit Our Agent Referral Form

And then the last thing, once they get approved, and they move into the house, you need to submit the form on our website.

This will ensure you are paid.

You’re gonna have to submit a W-9 form.

Once you fill this out along with an invoice, we will pay you.

So that’s it. That is how to see one of our houses. I hope that’s helpful.

If you’re an agent showing a gkhouses house, don’t hesitate to refer to this video for instructions!

I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

Before you hire a property manager, you need to have a clear answer to the question, ‘What Do Property Managers Do?’

The question I’m going to answer today is, “What do property managers do?”

The first thing I want to talk about is there’s really four things that I think are important about the property manager.

#1 – Property Managers help with Leasing

Leasing your home, understanding how to lease your home, understanding how to market your home, most importantly understanding what a great tenant looks like.

I think a lot of times owners that to try to do it themselves will fall victim to tenants that tell them stories. This will lead them down a path and they end up feeling sorry for them, and they rent their home to the wrong person.

So marketing and leasing the home are some of the most important things we do. It is all about finding the right tenant and putting the right tenant in your house.

#2 – Property Managers Help With Accounting

I think a property manager should be really good at accounting and communication.

Obviously, we’re dealing with your money. Tenants are paying us rent and we’re paying you the money after that.

  • Doing a good job of accounting for all the monies that are sent to us
  • Making sure we hold the tenant accountable to paying the rent on time
  • Making sure that they pay the right rent

These are all imperative skills a property manager should possess.

That also gets into communication, us communicating the accounting to you is very important. We have systems for doing that.

#3 – Property Managers Help With Tenant Management

Another area a property manager should be an expert in is tenant management. From managing the tenant to understanding landlord-tenant laws of the local state.

That’s a full-time job keeping up with because it’s constantly changing.

I always tell people just because you rent your house to somebody and don’t know a law exists, does not mean you don’t have to follow that law.

So understanding the state-specific landlord-tenant law is a huge thing property managers take care of for you.

#4 – Property Managers Help With Maintenance of your Home

Our team works on a lot of houses. We understand how houses break. Our maintenance department has a lot of internal vendors and we also understand what things cost to get fixed correctly.

And so those are the four things, the four things again are leasing accounting, tenant management, and maintenance.

I hope this was helpful in answering the question ‘What does a property manager do?’

I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

Not all fees are created equal…so what are the average property management fees?

Hey. What’s up, everybody? This is Matthew Whitaker here. I’m back with Questions Owners Ask. Today’s question is, “What are the average property management fees?”

So really, I think there are two main types of fees we need to talk about.

One is what is a management fee? And there are two types of those. And the other one is kind of the other fees that are associated with property management. There are really two types of management fees.

One is a percentage-based management fee

Meaning a property manager collects money for…that’s a percentage of the rent they collect. A lotta times, you see somewhere between 8% to 10% for this number. A lot of it depends on some of the other fees that they charge, but in general, 8% to 10%.

Now, at gkhouses, we do a flat management fee, meaning we don’t care how much the house rents for. What we care about is just charging a monthly, flat fee. And so generally, it’s cheaper than a percentage.

You know, if you had a $1,500 house or a $1,000 house, the change in management wasn’t that much. And so we felt like it was just fair to charge you for what we were working for, and it didn’t make sense that 10% of $1,500 was $150, and 10% of $1,000 was just $100.

We aren’t working anymore for the $1,500 house than the $1,000 house, so we charge a flat fee. So there’s a percentage and flat.

The next thing is all the ancillary fees that property managers charge. Two of those I’m going to talk about today. First one is a leasing fee. So generally, property managers charge a fee when they rent the property.

So this goes for all the marketing, the showing of the houses, the underwriting of the applications, and then choosing an appropriate tenant for your house. That’s a leasing fee. Sometimes, people call it a procurement fee.

The second one is a markup on maintenance

A lot of property managers will charge a markup on the maintenance that they do to handle that maintenance and deal with the vendors and those types of things.

So today’s questions is, “What are the average property management fees?” I’m Matthew Whitaker. I hope that helps.

What’s up, everybody? Matthew Whitaker here.It’s late at night, and I just wanted to shoot a quick video. This video is called “Why I Would Not Quit My Day Job.”

Oh, let me get it straight. Oops. Sorry about that.

And one of the things I think a lot of real estate investors do incorrectly is they don’t have, like, a day job that allows them to invest and grow their rental house business. Also a lot of people wanna jump into, like, full-time real estate investing. And you can certainly do that, but you need to create a day job that creates income that allows you to do all your investing. That way you’re not having to eat out of your business.

Where I see a lot of people get in trouble is when they’re having to eat out of the cash flows of the business.

The business, something goes a little bit wrong, and then all of a sudden they kind of get off track.

So, what I would say is, don’t quit your day job. So, you know, work during the day, invest on the nights and weekends, or have something that’s creating income as a day job that allows you to invest without having to eat out of your rental properties particularly when you’re getting started.

That’s it. Thanks. Matthew Whitaker here.