Monday, 30 December 2013

Should You Collect A Rental Application Fee??

The application process is the first step in verifying rental references, performing vital credit checks and gaining a commitment from your potential tenant.  Application fees not only compensate you for your efforts involved in screening an applicant but also can help to reduce the number of unqualified applicants who may apply for your property. Applicants with a history of non-payment or bad credit often will not move forward with an application if there is a fee involved, however if there is no application fee collected they will move forward thereby wasting your time.  Additionally, the collection of rental application fees sends a clear message to your applications that you handle the operation of your rental business in a professional manner.  From the beginning this will serve to establish the tone that you are not a pushover and that while you are providing your tenants with a service, you also expect them to maintain their end of the agreement.  A few things to keep in mind when establishing your rental application fee policy, the fee needs to be the same for all applicants and once collected you must perform the screening or return the funds.

Monday, 23 December 2013

The 5 Best Things About Property Management Technology

Over the last several years, the technology being utilized to assist with residential property management has changed by leaps and bounds!  Where it used to be that only hand written tenant ledgers were possible, the new technology allows for accurate electronic tenant ledgers, up to the minute accounting, constant communication with tenants and residents and much more.  Additionally, it is a great way to document and communicate issues within the "Rental Property Triangle" of the tenant, owner and property management team.

Here are just a few examples of how the new technology assists with residential property management:
1. Property owner 24/7 access to information about their property
2. Detailed accounting record regarding the cost and revenue of your rental property
3. Faster response time to your questions and quicker resolution of issues for your tenants
4. Less owner time spent dealing with getting facts clarified - no need for owner's to wait for the one assigned staff member to return their call as all staff can access the electronic system to read through detailed/accurate notes
5. Electronic history of important details about your property

When shopping for Phoenix residential property management services, be sure to inquire about the property manager's current technology and access for property owners and tenants as it could be the difference between selecting just a property manager or selecting the best property manager!

Monday, 16 December 2013

The importance of Inspections

As Phoenix Property Managers, we know that as a landlord, you have a number of worries and responsibilities. It is not only important to make certain that your investment is protected, but it is just as important to ensure your home is safe for habitation. One of the best ways to accomplish both goals is with inspections. Conducting a move-in inspection documents the condition of the home when the tenant takes position so that there is no confusion at move-out. Periodic inspections preformed during the lease term provide an added incentive to tenants to keep your property in good shape, and you should have fewer problems with tenant concerns regarding defects or issues that are not being addressed. Additionally, by completing these periodic inspections it will be more difficult for your tenant to sneak in for example an unauthorized per or unauthorized occupant. Also, inspections are a good way to quickly nip any costly damages that may be occurring in the property. So to protect your investment remember with each tenant to complete a move in inspection, periodic inspections throughout the lease term and a move out inspection.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Rent Check

According to Rent Check, ARML's monthly publication showcasing the Phoenix residential leasing market, rental properties were on the market on average 46 days in November 2013.  Additionally, the median lease price was $1095.  Executed lease agreements have been trending down since August which had a peak for the year of 4209 homes leased as compared to October with total homes leased of 3311 and November with 3297 total homes leased.  One reason for the decline in executed lease agreements may be because the previous homeowner's who became tenants during the housing bust a few years back can now purchase again with some loan programs only needing a minimum of one year from a foreclosure.  With executed lease agreements trending down, competition for landlords is high meaning that how a property shows cosmetically and the price are more important than ever.  Additionally, with the holidays this month and people low on funds from the holidays next month, we can expect even lower rates of executed lease agreements until most likely February/March of 2014.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Leasing Tips: Quickly Filling Vacancies

Marketing a phoenix investment property home and finding a good tenant is critical, as the cost of a vacancy is the single highest expense for phoenix investment property owners. The top priority is to keep rental income coming in by quickly filling vacancies with tenants who will pay and care for the property.

How Long Will It Take To Rent My Property?
The average rental home stays vacant for about 52 days, and can be higher than 120 days if the home is not in rent-ready condition or if the rent is priced too high compared to other homes tenants can choose from.

The Right Rent Price
Unfortunately, the phoenix rental market is indifferent to your monthly mortgage. If you are holding out for $1200 in rent when the market rate is closer to $1000, you are only prolonging the inevitable, as rental prices typically don’t change within a 90-day period.
Let’s assume that market rent for your home is $1,000/month, but you need $1,200/month. Now let’s assume that after two months of vacancy, the property rents at $1,100/month for 12 months. How much actual rent are you receiving over that 14 month period, (2 months vacant + 12 months occupied)?
12 x $1,100 = $13,200 divided by 14 months = $943/month!
If you had set the price at the market rate and rented the property at $1,000/month (market rent) right away with no vacancy, you would have made $798 MORE MONEY over the same 14-month period!
$1,000 x 14 months = $14,000
$  943 x 14 months =  $13,202
In this scenario, you would have lost $798.00 by trying to get higher than market rents.
Real Property Management has specialized expertise in area rents and market forces. Rely on us to help you set rent in a way that balances your ideal with shorter vacancy times.

The Right Condition

Your home must stand out and be in rent-ready condition to compete for tenants. Or, if you are unable to make improvements due to budget constraints, the home must be adjusted below the market to offset the quality of the home. Available rental property is at an all-time high due to the number of foreclosed homes that are being rented by banks to create cash flow, so tenants have more choices. Again, what you are trying to save in maintenance and upkeep costs may end up costing you in longer vacancies, so you are wise to improve the condition or adjust rents down accordingly. 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Screening Potential Tenants

While it might not be fun to say no to a potential tenant, it may be necessary. As a Property Manager we know that no landlord wants to deal with late payments or destructive tenants. In an effort to prevent future issues you should carefully screen each potential tenant. This is a simple process that you can do yourself, or it you opt to hire a professional Phoenix Property Manager they can help with this process. A simple background check including criminal history is always a good place to start. It is important to know what the laws are in your state regarding your rights as a landlord. The next step should be income verification and employment history. It is important to look for stable employment and check references. Don’t just look to see if references are included on the application, take the time to call them and confirm the numbers are valid. A final check of previous rental history is extremely important. You can also improve your chances of getting a good tenant by always checking to see how many rent payments were late or missed. With this application you should ask about damages and unauthorized occupants. As a landlord, you want to be sure than anyone you rent to is going to be easy to deal with, pays there rent on time and take good care of your investment. By properly screening your renters you may have just won half the battle!  

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Importance of the Legal Class of your property!

What you don’t know CAN hurt you!  There are many laws and requirements associated with renting a property.  Each state, county, and even city is unique.  And unfortunately, saying “well, I didn’t know” does not exempt you from the sometimes harsh consequences.  For example, if you have a residential rental in Maricopa County, you are required to register it with the Maricopa County Assessor’s office.  Here is their website: 
It’s easy and the fee is just $10.  The form can be filled out and payment made online, or you can print the form and mail it in with a check.  If you fail to register your residential rental property with the Maricopa County Assessor’s office, “the city or town may impose a civil penalty in the amount of $150 per day for each day of violation” ( In addition to hefty fines, the tenant at your property can legally terminate the lease at any time if your property is not listed as a residential rental property!  In addition to breaking the lease with just 10 day’s notice to you, you would be required to return all pre-paid rent to the tenant.
With so many rules and regulations surrounding property rentals, it’s nice to know that there is a professional Phoenix Property Manager can help you navigate your way through these tricky situations.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Should I Manage My Own Property?

Most rental housing investors consider self-managing their properties at some point. For some investors, self-management works, but for many, the hassle and time commitment isn't worth it. If you are considering managing your own property, take some tips from the phoenix property management leader. Here’s what you need to know. 
Make time. Arizona Property management is much more than collecting a rent check each month. And remember, if you only spend time on the properties when they demand your attention, you are likely missing opportunities to save time and money. Allow for time to proactively attend to the property and prevent future problems. Recognize that property management is at least a part-time job, and you are on call 24/7. Schedule accordingly.
Prepare for everything. Property management can be a rough industry, and even with your best efforts to place good tenants, you are in for some surprises. Accidental and intentional damage, drug and crime activity, fire and natural disasters, family crises, tenant excuses, collections, and evictions—the seasoned property manager knows all of these are part of owning rental property and isn't ruffled. Accurate expectations and a professional attitude help, but are just the beginning. Learning how to handle each of these events comes with time.
Study up. Successful property management is a combination of several different disciplines, including marketing, leasing, maintenance, collections, evictions, accounting, inspections, and legal compliance. Professional property management companies have spent several decades and millions of dollars developing best practices in each of these areas. If you choose to manage your own rental property, dedicate time to study and make a plan for each of these aspects of property management.
Get connected. In addition to being your own “jack-of-all-trades,” you will likely find yourself in need of a small army of partners as you work to prepare, clean, maintain, repair, landscape, and buy parts and equipment for the rental unit. It can be difficult to get volume discounts if you don’t manage a large number of properties, so do your best to hunt for deals and participate in loyalty programs that can help you make your dollar go a little further and avoid paying full price.
Reconsider. If you really don’t enjoy the extensive demands on your time and energy that property management requires, you likely are trying to save money by doing it yourself but you should definitely calculate how much each of your hour is worth versus how much property management services are per day.  You may be surprised to learn that many property management services are less than a cup of coffee a day!

Monday, 4 November 2013

5 Reasons to Outsource Arizona Rental Property Maintenance Hassles

As an Arizona rental property owner, have you experienced the following situations?

1. You have just been served a fine meal at the restaurant you have been looking forward to going to for days. This is when your tenant starts to blow up your phone with rapid fire calls. You finally give in and go outside to see what kind of an emergency they are having. They let you know that “direly urgent situation” is a just a toilet running. They inform you that this is entirely unacceptable and it they want it fixed in the next hour.

With a Phoenix Property Manager, this situation simply will never happen to you. The tenant will be able to vent through the maintenance manager. The problem will be reviewed and classified as far as importance and solved without any effort or involvement from you. 

2. You have a tenant that requests work done every time they note the slightest trivial problem. You either fix it simply to shut them up or partake in a two day argument on why you won’t fix it since it is so minor. This wastes your time as well as your pulse.

With a Property Manager, we know exactly what items are the owner's responsibility to fix and what items are simply trivial pursuits of the tenants.  The lease is structured so that minor imperfections of no significant importance need not be addressed and other more vital maintenance items are emphasized.

3. You have good tenants who have a legitimate maintenance issue that requires attention. However, you don’t know what vendor to use and the ones you try off the internet won't return your call. The longer it takes for you to respond to the repair, the more frustrated your tenant becomes.

With a Property Manager we have built long term relationships with various skilled professionals across the key repair categories needed to address tenant maintenance issues. We have been doing this for several years so you will be comfortable knowing that every person that touches a repair job at your Arizona rental property is qualified. We also warranty our work for a reasonable period of time and will be able to discuss items if an owner should ever have a concern.

4. You don’t know what you should fix and what you should left "as is"

Knowing what needs to be fixed and how it should be done could be tricky. Property Managers have made several thousands of rental property repairs in Arizona. We have seen just about everything that could happen to your Arizona rental property. We know how maintenance repairs relate to AZ tenant landlord law. We know how to fix problems efficiently and what is best for the owner.

5.  Unless you are a General Contractor, your knowledge of potential repair problems is limited.

With a Property Manager we watch out for minor repairs needed which if unattended can lead to larger issues. We have specific knowledge about common Arizona maintenance issues such as A/C issues and plumbing problems from hard water.

Monday, 28 October 2013


If you’re not allowing pets, you’re turning away a large subset of renters. As a Phoenix Property Manager, we know the thought of allowing pets in your home can be scary but in a recent survey by, it was found that 75% of renters said they owned at least one or more pet. That’s up a staggering 32% since last year. Most of those pet owners are found to have cats and dogs with only 6% having fish or other types of pets. Pet owners understand they are required to put down a pet deposit, the most common deposit is about a $200 / $250 in addition to the security deposit. What’s more interesting is that of the 25% of non-pet owning renters 58% of them still looking for pet-friendly units.

The Trend Is Clear, more renters own pets and even those without pets look for pet friendly units to have the option of owning a pet in the future. In addition to pricing and condition, it is clear that having pet-friendly unit could put your property at a competitive advantage over those that are not pet friendly.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Preparing your Phoenix Rental Property in 15 Easy Ways

Given the number of available rental properties in Phoenix, it is important that the property look its' best for each potential tenant showing.  As a Phoenix property manager, here is a list of items you should keep in mind as you prep.
  • Landscaping: Front & back yards should be landscaped and well-maintained while property is vacant. Grass should be mowed and sprinkler timers should be set. The property should be free of weeds. All trees and bushes should be trimmed. Keep in mind that the  property owner is responsible for replacement of landscaping damaged by natural occurrences, like the weather. 
  • The property should be completely free of all furniture, junk, debris, etc.
  • Patios and porches should be swept and free of garbage.
  • Pools: Appropriate city codes must be met for pool security and the owner is responsible to meet that requirement. Regular cleaning and chemical service must be scheduled while the property is vacant. During vacancy, power should be on at the property so the pool equipment is operational. 
  • Garbage Receptacles: Should be empty and inside the fence or garage. 
  • Interior should be clean and odor free.  While on the market be sure to remove any bugs and/or dust that accumulates in between showings.
  • All door & window locks must function properly. Any window screens with holes or not fitting correctly should be removed and discarded. All doors should be present and operational. Window coverings (basic blinds are fine) for windows facing the street and in the bedroom are strongly recommended because if not provided it will be an extra expense to the tenant at move in.
  • Carpets should be professionally cleaned. 
  • Air filters and furnace filters should be new or clean and free of dust and lint so they operate properly. Air conditioning and heating must be operational. Electrical outlets, lighting, and fans should work properly. All outlet covers and switch covers should be installed.
  • Appliances: Must be fully operational and clean on both the outside and inside of the appliance. 
  • All plumbing must be in good working order.
  • The property must be free of mold issues.
  • Walls, ceilings, and baseboards must appear nice and clean. Neutral colors are recommended. Walls should be free of pictures, decorations etc.
  • One remote should be provided for properties with an automatic garage door. 
  • Smoke alarms should be in working condition.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Phoenix Home Owner Association Management Rules

Having grass in the front yard of a phoenix rental property requires more maintenance than just mowing.  Around the end of September you need to start preparing to over-seed your grass with winter rye which should be completed by mid-October. Then to ensure the full re growth of Spring Bermuda grass, you should accelerate the death of Ryegrass by letting it dry out in early May.  Typically, two weeks without water is sufficient to kill the Reygrass.  After it has turned brown, resume watering to encourage the Bermuda to come out of dormancy.  Unless you have a tenant who has a green thumb, it is recommended that the property owner include front yard landscaping services to avoid HOA violations or fines.  Alternatively, you can look at removing front yard grass and installing rock (only after approval from your HOA) which has a large upfront cost if done correctly but very little ongoing maintenance cost.

Monday, 7 October 2013

What Experts are Saying About September Phoenix Rental Property Statistics

Rent check is ARMLS's monthly publication showcasing the Valley's residential single family leasing market. It only accounts for phoenix rental properties that are advertised for lease through the Multiple Listing System (MLS) and does not include rental homes advertised through all other sources including phoenix property managers.  According to this data, the median lease amount for September 2013, was $1,100.00 while the average lease amount was $1,386.00 and the average days on the market was 41.  Typically, October and the beginning of November are strong leasing months however January can be slow as many tenants don't have the funds after the holidays to for moving expenses and security deposits.  

Monday, 30 September 2013

Phoenix Rental Property Legal Class Registration

Everyone is familiar with the saying "What you don’t know can hurt you" well in this case, what you don't know may COST you!  There are many laws and requirements associated with owning a phoenix rental property and one such is the requirement to register all rentals with the Maricopa County Assessor's office. Luckily it is a pretty easy process in which you complete their form which can be found on their website and mail along with a check for $10.00.  You will need your parcel number which can also be found on their website and if you live outside of Arizona you will need a Statutory Agent.  Some phoenix property management companies include being your agent with your services.
                Now if you fail to register your residential rental property with the Assessor’s office, “the city or town may impose a civil penalty in the amount of $150 per day for each day of violation”.  Additionally, the tenant at your property can legally terminate the lease with ten days notice and  you would be required to return all pre-paid rent to the tenant.  


Monday, 23 September 2013

The Beginner's Guide to the Two Most Expensive Phoenix Rental Property Repairs

As a phoenix investment property owner, you should budget for two common repairs that are somewhat costly:

The first expensive repair is a water heater replacement. It is pretty common to see water heater leaks due to corrosion at anywhere from 6 to 12 years. Due to Arizona's hard water, corrosion in water heaters tends to happen faster than in other parts of the country.

When corrosion leaks happen, there is no way to fix except to replace the heater.  The water heater itself can run between $400 and $600 depending on the size and whether it is gas or electric. Then you must also budget for labor to drain, replace and dispose of the old one. A full water heater replacement job usually takes four hours. If you are lucky, the leak will have been recognized by the tenant before any damage to the stand or surrounding walls/rooms occurs. Common stand and drywall damage usually is contained to the stand and immediate drywall and runs less than $200 to fix. However, in cases where the water heater leak is rapid and/or poor draining issues in the garage, the damage could run $1000 + depending on the severity.

The next potential large repair to consider is with the A/C unit due to the summer temperatures in Arizona causing the unit to work at a level it isn't designed for. Unfortunately the A/C manufacturers do not make specific “Desert Tough” A/C units rather the units are manufactured in mass for more temperate climates. Because of this many of these units will fail inside of 10 years. It is not uncommon for outdoor condenser a/c units to last only eight years and we have seen them fail after only five. The compressor failing is the main reason for the a/c unit going bad. When this happens, the compressor or outdoor unit must be replaced. It is almost as expensive to replace the compressor only so the whole condenser unit replacement is a better idea at a cost of anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000. 

Monday, 16 September 2013

Home Owner Associations (HOA Management)

So you’re thinking of buying an investment property in the phoenix area and have researched rental prices, crime statistics and probably mortgage rates but have you ever considered researching the Home Owners Association (HOA)?  It may be surprising but often HOAs have bylaws when it comes to such things as placing a tenant and advertising a phoenix rental property.  For example, most HOAs have additional fees for rental properties ranging from an initial tenant fee of $150.00 to annual fees of $50.00 when a tenant is living in a property in their community. Additionally, many HOA’s either restrict or don’t allow advertising at the property which negates your chance of getting any kind of drive by rental interest.  Furthermore, several HOA’s in Arizona are facing major financial crisis so they look to charge additional fines to out of state home owner addresses knowing that the owner can’t just drive by the property and confirm if the violation is even accurate.  As you can see, doing research on and about the property HOA prior to closing is a great way to save yourself potential problems and costs down the road. 

Monday, 9 September 2013

Home Warranties

In our experience servicing rental properties in Phoenix, purchasing a Home Warranty Policy on your rental is a poor idea especially if you are interested in retaining your tenant for longer than the initial 12 month lease term.  Home Warranty companies typically utilize sub par vendors who agree to steep discounts just to get the volume of work.  As a result, the vendors typically schedule home warranty work in the last open time slot so they can fill the earlier slots with customers who are paying full price.  This type of service leads to very frustrated tenants who often have to wait longer than what is really acceptable for service.  Additionally, since the vendors are sub par it is not uncommon for them to need to be dispatched multiple times in an effort to actually complete the repair - this again leads to tenant frustration.  If however you are still set on purchasing a home warranty we have compiled a list of the four major players in Phoenix from poor to horrendous. 

1.  One Guard- They are quick to respond on the phone and have the most competent vendors however frequently vendors have to be sent back out for the same problem multiple times but eventually they do get the repair completed. 

2. Old Republic- This company seems to have improved a bit over the last couple of years and they have a pretty efficient online system.  However vendors have to be called numerous times to actually complete repairs once approval has been received.

3. American Home Shield- If you chose this company plan on always paying more than just the service fee as each repair always has a competent that isn't covered or needs to be "updated to code".  They do have a cash option for several repairs so this is the best option BUT again if you are going to use the cash option might as well not get the warranty.

4. First American Home Buyers Protection- The absolute worst! 30-45 minute wait time guarantee on all calls. Unfortunately we have had to use this company for several a/c problems this summer during high heat times (100-115 degrees) and every time, the vendor has not correctly fixed the problem on the first call out. Then when you call them to try to get a new vendor assigned they won't.  

If you are interested in spending a lot of time on the phone and getting completely aggravated, then a home warranty is the way to go.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Distressed Property Reports

Overall the percentage of distressed sales through out Maricopa County is down by 45.7% from last year. Short sales are down 55% from last year and lender ROI sales are down 26%.  There are however still some areas such as Goodyear, Buckeye, Maricopa and Queen Creek that still have their share of distressed property.  For example, zip code 85338 in Goodyear in August 2013 had 25% of its' sales from distressed properties and close by neighboring 85326 in Buckeye saw 24% of its' sales from distressed properties. This means that if you are a property owner in these areas you may want to consider property management and retaining your home as a rental for a few more years to see if the market continues to rebound.  Many cities in the East Valley of Maricopa County are also still seeing decent numbers of distressed sales.  In 85138 (Maricopa), distressed sales accounted for 21% of the sales in August and close by San Tan Valley and Queen Creek saw similar high numbers.   

Monday, 26 August 2013

Phoenix within the TOP 10 for Rental Properties!

With the crazy adjustments in the stock market and large global cities on the verge of filing bankruptcy, investment property continues to be a valuable place for cash heavy investors.  Additionally, with interest rates rising, several hot cities should see a small increase in inventory available for purchase.  According to MSN Money, the top 10 rental cities are the following:

1. Las Vegas - 8.6% vacancy rate and average rent amount of $803/month

2. Orlando, Florida - 7.9% vacancy rate and average rent amount of $871/month

3. Colorado Springs, CO - 5.3% vacancy rate and average rent amount of $713/month

4. Memphis, Ten - 11.2% vacancy rate and average rent amount of $682/month

5. Jacksonville, Florida - 10.2% vacancy rate and average rent amount of $800/month

6. Houston - 10.2% vacancy rate and average rent amount of $792/month

7. Atlanta - 9.1% vacancy rate and average rent amount of $849/month

8. Columbus, Ohio - vacancy rate 8.6% and average rent amount of $690/month

9. PHOENIX, AZ - 8.9% vacancy rate and average rent amount of $755/month

10. Oklahoma City - 8.3% vacancy rate and average rent amount of $584/month

RPM West Valley offers full service phoenix property management services including but not limited to marketing/advertising your property on 40+ websites plus property signage; conducting thorough checks of background, criminal, credit, employment and rental history; handling all lease documentation; coordinating maintenance with our own maintenance staff or sub-contractors; full interior/exterior inspections with pictures; collecting rents, serving notices, handling evictions, providing detailed monthly accounting statements and notifications online and also offer direct deposit options with a dedicated Accounting Manager; and filing Monthly Privilege Taxes for your property.  

For more information contact us, 855 748 7841

Friday, 16 August 2013

The Myths & Realities of Rental Property Accounting in Metro-Phoenix

Because of all of the licensing and tax rules/regulations in many cities within Metro Phoenix, it can get very confusing to figure out exactly what you need to do in order to be in compliance. One of the myths I hear as a property manager is that rental tax is only required when multiple properties are owned in the city however this is very far from the truth!  Even if you only own one rental property the city wants their monthly or quarterly tax.  The cities monthly rental amount ranges from approximately 1.5 to 3% of the monthly rent and are required to be paid with the appropriate filing forms either monthly or quarterly depending on the city.  Before you can pay the tax you must file for your license through the appropriate city.  In addition to the taxes, the Maricopa County Assessor's office requires you to register your property as a rental.  Fortunately this step only needs to be done one time and the fee is minimal.  Keep in mind if you do not live within Arizona you will be required to supply the Assessor with a statutory agent who is willing to accept all service on your behalf.  For additional information you may contact the Assessor through their website  Additional you may contact the Arizona Department of Revenue through their website

Monday, 29 July 2013

It Did What? 8 Secrets About the Best Things to look for in a Rental Property


Real Property Management West Valley specializes in property management services and therefore we are constantly being asked where and what are the best properties for rental homes.  The where question is very difficult to answer because it really depends on the price the investor is willing to spend as well as what annual return versus appreciation they are looking for.  The what is a much easier question to answer and as such we have compiled the following list for properties within metro Phoenix:

1. Single story single family homes are the best properties to purchase due to the incredible heat here in the summer - tenants are afraid to take on the electric bills on two story homes.
2. Three and four bedroom single family homes tend to rent very well
3. Try to purchase homes that have larger square footage for bedroom count.  For example, a 1700 sq. ft three bedroom is much preferred to a 1300 sq. ft three bedroom.
4. You won't always get more rent for an additional bedroom AND sometimes it may be more difficult to rent.  For example, a 1700 sq. ft four bedroom means that the bedrooms are going to be really small given that 1700 sq. ft is really more the size of a three bedroom.  Chances are this type of home will sit on the market for a while. 
5.  Condominiums and town homes will have greatly increased market time since they compete against single family homes, other condos and town homes as well as apartments.  Also, the apartment market tends to offer crazy move in specials with no deposit and half off first months' rent.  
6.  The less landscaping the better!  We recommend desert in the front and just rock (that's right no plants or trees) in the back.  
7.  When it comes to pools make sure they have a second fence right around the pool and don't just rely on the main block fence around the entire property.  Also, keep in mind that the increase in rent usually just about equals monthly pool services so it is a wash.  Having a pool however if in the right location can definitely decrease marketing time.

Lastly, if you wouldn't live in the home than chances are good qualified tenants wouldn't live there either.

For more information on our phoenix property management services please contact us today!

Monday, 22 July 2013

City of Phoenix offers educational classes for landlords.......

 The City of Phoenix is the only city that offers a certified Landlord/Tenant Counseling Program in the state. If you are a new landlord than knowing the rules and requirements of tenant management is imperative. Additionally, you may be having some difficulties understanding the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act in its' entirety.  One major responsibility of the counselors at the program is to put on free workshops that educate residents on the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. The three-hour class features experts from many departments within the city including a speaker on fair housing issues, lead paint, crime and the city’s top eight code violations. The class is fully educational for landlords and tenants.  The program consists of three counselors who work for the city but educate landlords and tenants across the state on the state laws regarding landlords and tenants. The counselors are not attorneys so they do not offer advise or mediation but they can provide excellent information especially if you are currently deciding if becoming a landlord is for you.  For more information about the clases contact:

Landlord/Tenant Counselors Program
Neighborhood Services Department
200 W. Washington St., 4th floor
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Phone: 602-534-4444
Questions or comments

And for a free copy of the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act visit the Arizona Secretary of State at

For more information on Phoenix Property Management Services contact us at or 855 748 7841. 

Monday, 15 July 2013


Even though interest rates have risen over the summer they are still well below rates in the past causing home purchases to be very attractive.  Additionally, those who are now three years from their foreclosure can now purchase again and in some cases people who did short sales just two years ago can also purchase and unfortunately these individuals have been making up our tenant applicant pool for the last several years. Now landlords are faced more frequently with less qualified applicants which of course greatly increases the chances of damages and or rent not being paid.  Here are a few suggestions for landlords in order to mitigate your risks:

1. Take the maximum amount of security deposit allowed in your area.  In the Phoenix metro area for example it is 1.5 the monthly rent amount.
2. Require the full security deposit to be paid up front prior to move in.
3. Require several references on each application including family members with phone numbers and email address and don't be afraid to call the phone numbers to be sure they are correct.
4. Complete property inspection regularly in an effort to catch any issues sooner rather than later.
5. Price the property at or slightly below market rent in an effort to attract the more qualified tenant.
6. Be sure your property looks the best that it can for all prospective applicants.

Lastly, although no landlords like for their property to be vacant, don't rush into approving an applicants who really don't have the track record of paying housing and bill payments on time.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Phoenix Rental Statistics May 2013

According to RENT CHECK which is the monthly publication from the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing System, the median lease price for metro Phoenix in May 2013 was $1,074.  Additionally, the average lease was $1225 and average days on the market were 51.  Often utilizing a phoenix property management company for your investment property can reduce the number of days on the market for you rental.  For example, take a look at the average days on market for the first half of 2013 for rental properties managed by Real Property Management:

Anthem 31
Avondale 16
Buckeye 23
Chandler 31
El Mirage 11
Gilbert 56
Glendale 23
Goodyear 23
Laveen 26
Litchfield Park 26
Mesa 64
Peoria 33
Phoenix 19
Scottsdale 31
Surprise 27
Tolleson 27

As a reminder, the price and how the property shows to prospective tenants does greatly effect the ability and time to place a qualified tenant.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Bed Bugs - They are the Landlords Problem

So your tenant's just moved in and they are calling regarding bed bugs - can you hold them responsible???  Can you assume that THEY brought the bed bugs in??  Not unless you want to risk paying high damages in court!  Not only are landlords responsible for treatment BUT they are responsible to disclose upfront if a property may have a bed bug infestation.  There is a bit of good news however in that as part of the bed bug treatment you can require the tenant to comply with a bed bug check list which includes the following:

1. Remove all clothing from furniture
2. Bag all clothing items
3. Remove bedding from bed
4. Remove all clutter from rooms
5. Throw away mattresses or purchase mattress covers

All clothes need to be sent through the dryer on high heat to kill all stages of bed bugs - prior to doing so, sort by color so you don't have to sort after.  Also, be sure that dryer isn't overloaded with each load.  After the clothes go through the dryer, place them in new bags so that none of the bed bugs or eggs transfer to the dried clothes.

Additionally, if you decide not to use professional property management services, make sure that you are doing regular inspections of the property to ensure it remains clutter free thereby reducing the risk of a re-visit of the annoying bugs.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The best tenant reasons for not paying the rent on time......

I thought I would share these entertaining reasons why a tenant can't pay their rent on time as I figure that if a landlord hasn't received their rent by the 12th of the month they can probably use a good laugh.....I hope you enjoy.

"I can't pay my rent because my BMW is in the shop, and I can't afford to pay for both."

"I can't pay the rent because my daughter ate my husband's paycheck."

"I deposited my paycheck in the bank teller machine and it got caught in the rollers.  It took six days to tear apart the machine."

"I had my choice of paying the rent or buying a car. I bought a car.  I thought you would understand." 

"I am sure I paid -- YOU must have lost it."

"It's your fault.  You deposited my check too late.  My automatic withdrawals went through the bank before the rent check."
"I am straight broke."
"I can't pay my rent because my income tax return was supposed to come in a week ago, so I spent all of the money from my paycheck, and now my tax return check has been delayed until 2 weeks from now."

Lastly if I had $1 for every time a tenant told me they couldn't pay because they were in the hospital I would be a VERY, VERY rich woman!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Understanding the advertising options for your rental

The Right Property Management Choice

Often times people who contact me regarding management services are very confused about the pricing structures and advertising that is available through management companies for their rentals so I will use this post to explain the different options that are available.  If you want your rental home rented quickly to qualified tenants than your choice should also be the company who offers the most advertising mediums and not the company with the lowest tenant placement fee because after all you do get what you pay for!  If when shopping management companies, your prospective company does not charge any upfront costs for tenant placement but instead takes all fees from the first month rent than mostly likely their only advertising medium will be the Multiple Lisiting Services ("MLS").  MLS can be a great avenue for very high end rentals in which a great number of tenants will higher a Realtor to represent them on the leasing process.  However, if you rental is more along the lines of a "typical" three or four bedroom property than you will be losing out on all of the tenants who search and find rentals on their own.  Even more confusing are then the options to reach the tenants who search on their own such options include free rental sites such as craigs list and paid rental sites.  If the management company you are interviewing does have  an upfront marketing cost, most likely they will utilize paid rental sites as some of your upfront cost will go to those costs.  Keep in mind that normally the paid advertising sites rank higher in Search Engine Optimization meaning there is a nood chance that your rental will be on a higher link during searches.  Additionally, these sites tend to draw more qualified applicants who are more diligent with their searches as opposed to applicants who only search on craigslist (the home of the most rental property scams in the US).  Additionally, these management companies may also post to free sites meaning that your rental will have the greatest exposure. But what if these companies don't utilize any of the first months' rent for tenant placement???  That means they don't offer MLS so now you are missing out on the Realtor market.  But what if they use up the first months' rent and some for tenant placement???  Now you may be paying them upfront for advertising AND paying them a leasing commission once the tenant is placed which really is double dipping.  Your ultimate choice for phoenix property managmement services is a company such as Real Property Management (RPM) West Valley in which you have all the choices - including online paid advertising, free online advertising such as craigs list AND MLS listing in which there is no additional fee or commission paid to RPM West Valley if a tenant is placed through an MLS Realtor.  Although it may seem expensive in the long run if all of the advertising mediums help to place a tenant thirty days faster than without you will be ahead in the long run.  Call today about services.  623-748-7800 x105