stress free property management logo
Rental Application | Owner Login | Tenant Login | Contact Us |

813-831-7368

813-831-RENT(7368)

MAY
31
0

Paying Vendors Weekly As A Property Manager Vastly Pays Off In Meaningful Ways

stress free property managementWritten by David Lowrey, Owner of Stress Free Property Management

As a Wesley Chapel Property Management Company, we have a hard and fast rule that vendor bills are paid weekly. Why?  Well, I got this idea from an owner of an apartment community I met 15 years ago. Every time he entered the property manager’s office, this guy would turn over the “Bills to be paid” accordion folder and shake it. If any bills dropped off, he would gently admonish the property manager. You see this guy remembered how much he struggled with cash flow when he ran a smaller construction company. Clients were notorious for delaying payments 30 to 120 days. This put a tremendous amount of pressure on this guy’s business. 

When you think about it, most Wesley Chapel property management companies and any other small business will net 10-15% of revenue if they are well run. If customers delay payments 120 days, the small business owner must borrow off credit cards or not take a salary to meet payroll and overhead. A lot of bigger clients (Fortune 1000 companies) delay payment so they can collect the interest earned on the money for the extra time. Smaller clients delay payment because they are not organized, don’t recognize the importance of paying their vendors fast, or they are being stretched by their own clients.

Continue reading
  342 Hits
342 Hits
MAY
18
0

Your Property Owner Is the Hero of This Story OR You Lose!

St Petersburg Property Management Hero

Written by David Lowrey, Owner of Stress Free Property Management

I’m reading a very interesting book on marketing called “Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen.” In it, the author discusses the critical need to make your client the hero of the story to capture their interest and get them emotionally invested in your message. Too often, Saint Petersburg Property Management Companies tell the same old, trite story about how they’ve been in business for over 20 years, have XYZ designations or licenses, and customer service is their number one priority. Blah, Blah, Blah, right?

Saint Petersburg Property Management clients are looking for solutions for a happy ending to their story. They are not interested in how great my company is and all the technical features that make us look brilliant. I’m the first to admit that I sometimes lose track of this concept and wallow in all the details of property management that my client probably could care less about.

I’ve started giving serious thought to every aspect of my client experience. How can I make my clients the hero and myself as just the guide, or the Obie Wan to their Luke Skywalker?

My first efforts have been

Continue reading
  315 Hits
315 Hits
MAY
16
0

Staying off the Phone is the Key to Your Sanity as a Landlord but…

Clearwater Property Management Manager

Written by David Lowrey, Owner of Stress Free Property Management

As a Clearwater Property Manager, I’ve found it critical to have a system for dealing with tenant requests and concerns rapidly while staying off the phone as much as possible. I just had a tenant who was charged a non-refundable pet fee. He had already been living in the unit for a few months and my maintenance man reported a dog when he went by to do a repair. No pet was listed on the lease. The tenant claims he removed the dog and was just house sitting for the animal for a family member. Since we gave him the option of either removing the dog or paying the pet fee and he choose removal, why were we charging him a pet fee, he asked?

He had emailed our Clearwater Property Management Company three times today (Friday) asking this. It was close to closing time, and I double checked with a staff member to see if we had replied. We had not. Evidently the person who had charged the pet fee was off today. So, I shot an email to the tenant letting him know this and made a reminder task to make sure this was addressed on Monday. The tenant responded immediately expressing his gratitude for my response.

Continue reading
  344 Hits
344 Hits
MAY
09
0

Why Filing Your Own Eviction Costs You A Lot More Money Then You Save

Wesley Chapel Property Manager Dont File Eviction Yourself
Written by David Lowrey, Owner of Stress Free Property Management


As an owner of a Tampa Property Management Company, we used to file the occasional eviction paperwork for our clients. We thought we were providing a good service.  We were dead wrong!

It took me a couple of years to notice what the judges were doing in dealing with evictions cases that we filed instead of using an attorney. First off, I notice the cases would take longer. Normally in Florida, a typical eviction case takes about 30 days from filing to getting the property back. As a Tampa Property Manager, our cases were stretching 60 and 90 days. I thought at first it was just an anomaly, but it kept happening.

Then I noticed, the judges would allow a tenant to contest our eviction and have a court date to argue, without first putting all the past due money into the court registry. In Florida, it is a state law that tenants cannot request a court date to argue an eviction, unless they pay the past due money into the courts (of course there are exemptions for extremely bad behavior by the landlord). The reasoning for this law I’m sure is to prevent tenants from causing expensive delays to landlord, when they have no intention of paying the rent. 

Well, what I found is that the judges would routinely give the tenant a court date to argue the eviction, without having paid the past due rent. 

What finally clicked for me...

Continue reading
  365 Hits
365 Hits
APR
26
0

Keep A Channel Open for Bad News or Your Business can slide into Bankruptcy!


Saint Petersburg Property Management Company LeaderWritten by David Lowrey, Owner of Stress Free Property Management

I used to have a receptionist at my office who never stood up when clients walked in the door. Just a simple decision made without any negative intent, but it sent a message subconsciously to every tenant: “You’re Not Welcome.” This message seemed to escalate the emotion of a tenants if they are coming into our office upset for some reason. In their mind, we at fault because their refrigerator broken on a Saturday night. The receptionist wasn’t thinking about the perception of her remaining seated behind the desk. Fortunately, I eventually noticed and got it corrected. 

The point is as an owner of a Tampa Property Management Company, I discovered it was critical to keep some line of instant communication open between my clients and myself. Currently, I do this by putting on my website that they can contact us immediately by Facebook posting. The only person who monitors the Facebook page is me. Do I get bombarded with emails at all hours of the day and night? No, typically I get less than one message a day.

Continue reading
  356 Hits
356 Hits
APR
24
0

Losing Your Mind On The Phone? Consider This Funnel System

Clearwater Property ManagerWritten by David Lowrey, Owner of Stress Free Property Management

Most landlords or Brandon Property Management companies put up their ads for an available rental on the Internet and wait for the phones to ring. STOP…there is a better way!  The problem with answering your phone is often you find yourself answering the same basic questions over and over again. This is mentally draining and a big waste of time. It took me many years to figure out a better way. Now I set up a funnel system as a Brandon property manager.

First off, I try and make my rental ads far more descriptive and include a detailed YouTube Video of the rental. My website has my qualifying criteria and is referenced in each ad.

The phone number is given in the ad, but I request them to email or text me instead, because I can answer far more quickly. This allows me to shoot them standard answers and details, without getting involved in a lengthy conversation of the application process, their life story, or why something bad on their credit, is not such a big deal after all. This is the hidden gem of my funnel system.

We still respond 7 days a week to prospective tenants but were able to get people answers or provide direction, while sidestepping time consuming conversations with prospects that haven’t even seen the property.

Continue reading
  356 Hits
356 Hits
APR
18
0

2 Little Used Techniques for Responding Effectively to Unreasonable Tenant Demands

Tampa Property Management Upset TenantWritten by David Lowrey, Stress Free Property Management

Let me start by saying, that a landlord has two primary responsibilities. The first is providing a well-maintained property and staying on top of maintenance. The second is treating your tenants with dignity and respect. Violate any of these two, and you can find yourself in for a world of aggravation and potential legal hassles, or worse. The goal of this article is to give you two tools that I’ve found work extraordinary well, when facing a tenant making unreasonable demands.

We’ve all encountered moments where a tenant is behaving in a rude, threatening manner when you are doing the right thing. How do you confront them with a firm “No” or with an answer that is not what they want to hear?

The most common reason for this negative tenant behavior is maintenance requests. Sometimes, the tenant refuses to think that a non-emergency repair can’t wait a day or more, and should be fixed right now.  While this can be true for emergency repairs, like a burst water pipe, 95%+ of the time this is not the case. The tenant is frustrated, and the maintenance issue is making his or her personal time uncomfortable in some way. We can all relate to the common example of the AC breaking in the evening, right?

The key in these “Moments of Truth” is how you respond to their verbal tirades, threats, or aggressive stance. 

Continue reading
  335 Hits
335 Hits
APR
16
0

Exciting Improvements Means More Savings for You

Tampa Property Management Getting Great Ideas

written by David Lowrey, Owner SFPM

Things We Have Recently Done as a Tampa Property Manager to Improve!! (April 2018)

Outside Vendor Website Complete!

We just completed the outside vendor website for our Tampa property management company. I’ll be testing it this month and rolling it out sometime in May of 2018, for all our outside vendors.

Hopefully, this should decrease the time it takes to complete turns and getting your vacant home ready for marketing and a new tenant. By allowing outside vendors to access their work orders from a website (instead of sending them emails), they can complete real time and their bill will be processed within a couple of days. This gives these vendors an incentive to use the system and tells us the moment the work is complete, so we can immediately move to the next assignment in finishing the turn of the property.

Continue reading
  304 Hits
304 Hits
APR
12
0

If A Property Manager Skips This Inspection, their Dead!

Clearwater Property Management Inspecting

Written by David Lowrey, Owner of Stress Free Property Management

What to avoid having a rental property sit vacate for months? Inspection by you or someone other than the contractor is the key.  As a Clearwater Property Management company, we developed an extremely detailed checklist for this inspection.  I highly recommend as a landlord, you have a detailed inspection form that you go through after you complete each “Turn” (repairs needed to make unit ready for marketing). 

The first inspection after turn is complete will save you a lot of money in lost rent, because contractors you hire will miss things on their punch-out list or simply do a poor job on certain repairs.  Other times, you missed or didn’t notice something when you made the original punch-out list, or something bad happened during the Turn, like a leak or the contractor left trash from supply purchases.

Continue reading
  271 Hits
271 Hits
APR
11
0

7 Reasons Why Having an In-House Maintenance Staff Benefits You

Brandon Property Manager  In House Maintenance Staff

written by David Lowrey, Owner of Stress Free Property Management

As a Property Manager in Brandon, Tampa and other areas, we developed a custom software that allows us to assign repair requests directly to our in-house staff via computer tablets.  Here are 7 reasons why this will benefit you as a client of Stress Free.

Continue reading
  206 Hits
206 Hits
APR
09
0

Pre-Screen Rental Applications and Possibly Refund Money, Avoid Vandalism

Tampa Property Manager Refunding Money

Written by David Lowrey, Owner of Stress Free Property Management

The idea here is that you do some checks before you spend the rental applicant’s money on THE background checks.   That way, if they are clearly not qualified, you can refund the application fee back to the applicant before you spend any money.

Now I know there are some landlords that will keep the money, no matter what and I don’t have the space to argue this point in this article.  However, as a high-volume Tampa property management company, I have come to understand the importance of pissing off, as few people as possible.

Continue reading
  209 Hits
209 Hits
APR
04
0

Be Wary of Work Orders Reported by Tenants Paying Rent Late

Tampa Property Management Woman On Phone

Written by David Lowrey, Owner of Stress Free Property Management

Have you ever noticed when a tenant is late with the rent they start reporting repairs that are needed? This sort of behavior ends up costing you a lot of money in unnecessary repairs, aggravating conversations with the tenant, and constant fights about whether the late fee will be paid. Am I right?

As an amateur student of psychology over the years, I’ve formed an opinion and a system for dealing with this situation more constructively.

Continue reading
  227 Hits
227 Hits
APR
03
0

Never Give Out Your Phone Number to A Tenant!!!!

Tampa Property Management Girl Photo

Written by David Lowrey, Owner of Stress Free Property Management

It just seems like good customer service as a Riverview Property Manager or private landlord to give out your phone number to a tenant. After all, if something goes wrong like a pipe bursting, you want to know about it right away, right?   

Please keep in mind this article is written for landlords just starting out.  I do not condone ignoring tenant repairs or being a slumlord. I recognize that some landlords are like this. I'm trying to give out tips to help quality landlords not burn out and sell their rentals. Enough said, please continue reading. :)

Well the answer to that is yes & no! You or a Riverview Property Management company do need to know about emergency repairs right away. Having a pipe burst in your rental homes is a big deal, obviously. However, there is no reason why you can’t just give out your email address and develop systems for true emergencies.

Continue reading
  206 Hits
206 Hits
MAR
30
0

7 Red Flags (Part 2) That Typically Mean A Horrible Prospective Tenant!

Fotolia 117253980 Subscription Monthly M

Written by David Lowrey, Owner of Stress Free Property Management

4) They delay submitting their rental application and leave information blank, while pressuring you with a deadline of how they must move in or else something terrible will occur. This is a common one that shows up after the tenant has met with you. If they’ve succeeded in getting you to take their money, they will try and delay and guilt you into letting them move in before this is done. Even worse, they’ll just move in. 

Continue reading
  202 Hits
202 Hits
MAR
29
0

7 Red Flags That Typically Mean Your Rental Prospect Is A Nightmare Tenant! (Part 1)

Fotolia 117253980 Subscription Monthly M

Written by David Lowrey, Owner of Stress Free Property Management

As the owner of Stress Free Property Management, a Tampa Property Manager, I reviewed thousands of rental applications and talked with more potential applicants than I care to remember. What I’ve discovered over the years are certain behaviors, actions, or stories that if they show up, almost always point to a terrible prospective tenant.  

Continue reading
  220 Hits
220 Hits
MAR
26
0

Screening Tip Property Management

Fotolia 175252127 Subscription Monthly M

Written by David Lowrey, Owner of Stress Free Property Management

I’ve literally processed and screened thousands of rental applications over the years as a Tampa Property Manager. What I discovered after a few years is that credit and criminal background check companies do not update their database in a timely manner. In other words, there could be civil, criminal, and evictions filed in a county the applicant lives in that will not show on the credit and criminal background check that you pull.

Continue reading
  220 Hits
220 Hits
MAR
07
0

5 Free Property Management Tools Every Landlord Should Be Using

5 Tools Every Landlord Should Be Using

It makes perfect sense that the internet is inundated with discussions about the best property management tools for landlords. The Utah rental market is growing in a way many us have never seen before, and the opportunity to take renting from a side gig to a constant cash flow is the reason real estate investment is so appealing to many Utahns right now. It’s also why so many people are seeking a way to make renting out their property easier.

Continue reading
  226 Hits
226 Hits
Related Companies
© 2010, Stress Free Property Management, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.
Stress Free Property Management, Inc. is a Licensed Florida Real Estate Brokerage
Custom Joomla Website Design by J2 Studio - Tampa