We pride ourselves on our thorough, accurate record keeping. The computer system allows us to provide services that would be difficult or impossible with a conventional manual accounting system.
Accounting is done on single-entry cash basis with separate income and expense ledger maintained for each property, just as if your property had its own checking account. Each property always has its own separate complete accounting record.
All work orders and bills are kept on file throughout the year.
All rent is due on the 1st of each month and is considered late after that time. A late fee will be assessed if rent is not in our office by the 3rd. If rent is unpaid on the 4th, tenants are called. If still unpaid on the 7th, late notices are sent and legal action is generally initiated if the tenant has not made satisfactory arrangements for payment. Late fees are retained by us to help cover the tremendous time and energy involved in collections, so we do not charge you additional fees to cover collections, court filings, etc.
Vacancies are expensive for both of us. Realty Services makes every effort to keep vacancies to a minimum. We have a large network of people looking for rental property at all times. The computer system allows us to carefully monitor your lease expiration dates. It gives us the opportunity to renegotiate the rent on a renewal lease. We proceed, at least 45 days before the expiration, to send a notice to the tenants of their need to renew (if they are satisfactory tenants) or to vacate the property at the end of the lease. Before actually renewing the lease, we will review the property condition and the tenant's file to make sure a renewal is desirable. Generally we increase the rent for the renewal or re-lease and notify the tenants accordingly. If a renewal is declined, the tenant is required to give us 30 days prior written notice of their intent to vacate. This helps prevent unexpected vacancies and gives us plenty of time to prepare, advertise and show your property. If the lease is not being renewed we will do a pre-move-out inspection of the property to determine what action will be needed to re-lease it. When the tenant vacates, the property must pass a thorough check-out inspection before the deposit is returned. The inspection will not be done until the tenant has vacated and turned in the keys.
Maintenance and Repairs
Timely, competent maintenance is one of the keys to maximizing your investment. Our goal is to provide you with this important service at a reasonable price using only the best contractors. Specially trained technicians perform our repair and maintenance services. Each has been selected because of their ability to provide you the best possible service. Each is properly insured. Before any repairs or maintenance is performed, the property manager in charge of your property reviews the job request. A work order is generated and the job is assigned. Any work over an agreed upon dollar limit, which is not an emergency or part of a routine turnover would be discussed with you for approval. Our maintenance technicians will not perform any unauthorized maintenance requests from a tenant. In addition, maintenance and repairs that are the tenant's responsibility, or a repair caused by the tenant's negligence, will be charged to the tenant. We insure the quality of the work performed by making spot checks and making follow-up calls to the tenant.
In addition to your normal homeowner's fire and extended coverage insurance policy, you need to have a landlord's rental dwelling policy with proper liability coverage. The purpose is to provide you coverage now that you have a tenant. If you would like us to arrange coverage, please let us know. We must have proof of insurance coverage before we can manage your property. Realty Services must also be listed as additional insured on your policy so we can keep track of it. There should not be any additional charge to you from your insurance agent for adding this. If you self insure, please confirm with us.
The amount of the deposit is based on the monthly rental rate. Applicants with pets will be required to pay an additional deposit and, if the market will allow, collect an increased rent amount. All deposits are kept in a special escrow account until they either are refunded to the tenant upon successful checkout inspection of your property or are forfeited to cover damage caused by lease violations. While the lease is in force, the deposit is legally the tenant's property.
Realty Services has been in business for over 30 years and is the largest single family residential property management company in Southwast Florida. We are charter members of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM).
We handle the leasing and management of residential properties in Southwest Florida area and are the best-known and most widely recommended company in our field. Our rental properties range in value from $400 per month to as high as $4000. We tailor our services to the needs of our clients and take great pride in our reputation, integrity and professionalism.
At Realty Services, we have a strong customer service philosophy. Our goal is to make each of our clients totally comfortable and satisfied with our services, professionalism and the details of handling their properties. We strive to competently handle all problems so you will have the peace of mind of knowing that your property is in the hands of the very best company available. Each property is managed as though it were our own.
We make investing in real estate and being a landlord painless, easy and profitable for you by handling every detail in a professional, personal and conscientious manner. We know the market and how to get you both the best rents and the best tenants. We are accomplished experts in showing homes, advertising and presenting properties while also being one of the few professional property management companies who deal exclusively in residential properties. We have years of experience in tenant selection and take great pride in our record of obtaining qualified, responsible tenants and keeping vacancy time to an absolute minimum. Our Certified Residential Management Company designation (CRMC), the third granted in 1996 in the U.S., attests to our professionalism.
What needs to be done to my house?
The better condition your property is in, the better quality tenant we will attract for you. This means that the property should be clean, walls should be painted (a neutral color is best) if they are dirty or marred, and things should be in good repair. It is best to have window coverings on the windows, such as blinds. Depending on the time of the year lawn care should be done prior to the new tenant moving in. Upon taking over management, we will go through your property and make note of the condition and what we would suggest being done. You would then instruct us what you want done.
How will you find tenants and how long will it take?
Once we start management, a rental file is made up. Your property is added to our list of available properties.Your property is also listed on the Internet where prospective tenants can see information about your property 24 hours a day. Newspaper ads are generally run each week.. We will also place a for-rent sign on your property in most cases. The time of the year, condition, location and price of the property will determine how long it takes for your property to rent. Generally, it takes up to one to two months to lease up a property in good condition during the spring and summer months. High price ranges and properties on the fringes of the Metro area can take longer. Some properties lease within weeks. There are many variables. Normal advertising is included in your management fee.
Can I say who I want as tenants for my house?
You can specify whether or not you want tenants with pets (in most situations) or even tenants who don't smoke. However, the more restrictive you are, the longer it could take to rent your property. You cannot discriminate against any protected class under the federal fair housing or local fair housing laws, such as saying you don't want children. Because of this, it is best that you stay out of the selection process. We are professionals in leasing. We have specific criteria that every applicant has to pass in order to rent your property.
When do I get my money each month?
Rents are due in our office on the first of each month. In order to avoid violating trust accounting laws, we need to wait until rent checks clear before we can send payment to you. We will collect the rent, pay the bills and then by the twentieth of each month, provide you with a detailed monthly statement showing all the income and expenses for the month along with payment of your cash flow
Who does the repairs on my property?
The tenants do have responsibility for some of the maintenance on your property. They have to replace burnt out light bulbs, change a.c. filters, change batteries in the smoke detectors, and provide other "maintenance" on the property. Tenants are usually responsible for the lawn care and other yard maintenance and for any repairs necessitated by their own actions or negligence. When repairs need to be done outside the scope of the tenant's responsibility, we would have one of our independent maintenance companies handle the job. Anyone doing maintenance on your property is selectively screened and insured for liability and workers compensation to protect you from unnecessary exposure. Our workers are available for your property maintenance needs 24 hours a day and their work is guaranteed. Because of the volume of work we do with them, we usually get lower rates than what you would get if you called them directly.
Can I use my own contractor?
You can use your contractor if you wish; however, they would need to complete the work on a timely basis. You would pay them directly.
What happens if a tenant does damage?
A security deposit taken at move-in is usually adequate to handle most damage that a properly screened tenant may cause. Tenants with good credit and prior rental of ownership history seldom cause much damage. The horror stories you may have heard about a property being "trashed" generally are less expensive properties that have been rented without the proper application and screening process. Our screening process is very through and includes credit, rental and ownership, criminal and eviction history, income and employment, with specific acceptance guidelines for each. Should the tenant leave your property owing more than is covered by the deposit, they will be billed. If they do not pay, they will be turned over to a collection agency or court action may be taken if appropriate.
What happens if the tenant leaves before the end of the lease?
The tenant is responsible for the rent for the duration of the lease. If they choose to leave prior to the termination date of the lease, they will be charged for the rent until the property is re-rented again. They are also responsible for paying us a re-leasing fee and advertising costs so you do not incur this expense. Most responsible tenants value their credit and their commitments and therefore honor their lease.
Realty Services is the most widely recommended single family, condo and duplex residential professional property management company in your area. We also receive referrals from around the country. Realtors, relocation companies, major corporations, other management companies, individuals, professionals and present and past clients constantly use, refer and recommend us to others. We are proud of our reputation and do everything possible to maintain it by giving the very best service possible. Many of our clients are interstate and international transferees, some away from this area permanently and some temporarily. If you fall into this category, we would be happy to provide you with references from our current or past list of satisfied clients. Many other clients are homeowners who have wisely chosen to rent and retain their home as an investment rather than selling it. If you are in this group, we can provide you with names of others who have made the same wise decision. Still other clients are investor owners, some of whom have several homes which we handle for them. This type of investing takes out the time commitment and the problems - we handle it all, you just make the money. If you are an investor, we will gladly give you names of other clients in this group all of whom are becoming wealthy through their investment in real estate. We work hard to do the best job you can find in the property management business. We handle each property as if it were our own. Our business is constantly growing and we owe that to you and our other valued clients. The one real difference you will notice in dealing with our company is that we really do value your business - and we show it in every way possible. Let us work with you - you'll be glad you did.
Our property managers also own rental properties and average 18 years of experience.
Realty Services provides all the care and attention of a small, hands-on company, but with all the resources and experience you expect from a large company. Our services and professionalism far exceed the levels provided by other companies of our type. Our staff size, for example, is much larger than other companies handling fewer properties. This allows us to provide the higher level of service needed to make sure you are totally satisfied with our company.
In spite of receiving so much more, you don't pay more. Our fees are very competitive, the same as most other professional companies, and lower than some. Fees lower than ours can usually only be found with companies or individuals managing homes as a sideline business or offering substantially less services or professionalism.
When we evaluate your property and the level of service needed, we will be able to give you specific amounts for the cost of our services. We handle each property we manage as if it were our own. We understand that income, expenses and profitability are critical to you, and everything we do, including setting our fees, is done with that in mind. We strive to give you the very best value at the lowest possible costs.
Most of our clients have found that hiring us actually saves them money and produces more income, instead of costing them. We pay our way. We save you money by getting your property rented more quickly, keeping it occupied, keeping tenants happy, keeping maintenance costs as low as possible, keeping the rent flowing and getting you the best rent. We are also often able to get you reduced prices on maintenance and equipment that may be needed for your property.
Besides all the value you receive from us, we work to provide you with the peace of mind in knowing that you have a partner in your investment venture whose goal it is to make sure your property is protected, profitable, and problem free.
Property Evaluation and Start-up Services:
- We conduct a complete initial evaluation of your property.
- We establish market rental value based on comparables for your area.
- We evaluate the property condition and recommend repairs and decorating.
- We make suggestions to maximize rental value and property appreciation.
- We identify and correct conditions that might expose you to liability.
- We collect all necessary information and review existing documents pertaining to your property.
- We set up your property in our computer system and create files and checklists to cover all details of handling the management.
- We comply with any applicable municipal requirements for registration or inspection.
Attracting Qualified Tenants:
- Our extensive advertising and marketing get your property leased in the shortest possible time.
- We handle all tenant inquiries and property showings.
- Our 24-hour internet never stops promoting your property.
- We provide internet exposure for your property, complete with digital photos.
- Our huge Realtor network and multi-list service give added exposure.
- We participate in a nationwide referral program to further promote your property.
Careful Tenant Screening and Selection:
- We have an average of 18 years of experience in judging qualifications.
- We have instant access to detailed credit, criminal or eviction information.
- We perform thorough reference checks covering employment, former landlords and credit history.
- Each applicant is required to complete a detailed application form.
- We conduct in-depth interviews with every rental applicant.
- Our committee review process uses a complex scoring method to approve tenants.
- We are a buffer for you - we do the rejecting and ask the hard questions.
- Our record of selecting excellent tenants is outstanding.
Comprehensive Legal Forms and Leasing Documents:
- Our legal agreements cover all important areas to protect all parties.
- We have developed very comprehensive leases based on years of experience.
- We cover all required legal disclosures, all security deposit forms and legal notice forms.
- We comply with Florida Landlord/Tenant Act, and Lead Paint Disclosure requirements.
- We carefully explain all legal issues and responsibilities to tenants at sign-up.
- All tenants are required to sign written leases and supplemental agreements.
Rent Collection Services:
- We handle all billings, notices and collections, keeping your income flowing.
- We apply fair but firm rent collections policies.
- We take quick action should delinquencies occur.
- Although problems seldom arise, we will handle legal and court issues if needed.
- We are a buffer for you when firmness is required.
Complete Security Deposit Handling:
- For your protection , we collect the maximum security deposits allowed in our market.
- We hold all deposits in our tenent trust account, subject to state inspection.
- We handle all legal procedures & notices in conformance with state law if forfeits or damage claims occur.
- We perform move-in and move-out evaluations and carefully document any chargeable items.
Comprehensive Accounting Services:
- Our totally computerized accounting and record keeping, using the latest in property management software, provides accuracy and efficiency.
- We maintain all tenant accounts and deposit records.
- We provide you with detailed monthly statements, which itemize all income and expenses each month.
- Our end-of-year statements and complete documentation simplify the job of tax preparation for you and your accountant.
- We pay all bills and payments pertaining to your property except mortgage payments.
- Because of the number of properties we manage, we have arranged for discounted prices to save you money on special rental ads, appliances, carpeting, maintenanceand repairs
Property Evaluation and Protection:
- We perform routine drive-by inspections to monitor how your property is being maintained.
- We maintain a video library of each property covering interior and exterior.
- We make property condition reports upon tenant move-in and move-out.
- We have a key control system to help protect you and the tenants against unauthorized entry.
- We protect your property by keeping close watch over it.
Repair and Maintenance Contracting and Services:
- We have 24 hours, 7 day per week maintenance to provide you and your tenants the professional attention needed.
- We're maintenance experts - we know properies, the problems that occur, what repairs should cost and how to get good service.
- Anyone working on your property has proper liability and workers compensation insurance, which is added protection for you.
- Because of our volume, we can negotiate the best prices for you with carefully chosen contractors. We can use your licensed and insured contractor if you prefer and you can pay them directly.
- We help prevent costly repairs through preventive maintenance.
- We maintain a systematic follow-up procedure to make sure work is done in a timely and satisfactory manner. This provides better relations with your tenants and helps to keep them in your property longer.