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Del Val Property Management Blog

How to Simplify Accounting Statements for Rental Property Owners

Web Admin - Friday, June 09, 2017

It is very important that rental property owners understand the activity in their account each month. This is, after all, their money and they should feel confident that their property management company is portraying to them an accurate and easily read accounting of where their money is coming from and what it is being spent on.

One of the most common reasons I have seen rental owners change Property Managers is due to lack of communication in regards to their financials. If their funds are not being reported to them in a logical fashion, on a consistent basis, it creates a lack of trust with their Property Management Company. This can also lead to the rental property owner feeling that they are being taken advantage of, even to the point of them feeling like they are being robbed!

So, how can this be prevented? We prepare not only monthly financial reports, which rarely make sense to anyone who is not an Accountant, we also take a little extra time to give our reporting a personal touch. This includes providing all the transactions that have taken place in their account each month in a simplified, easy to read and understand Owner Statement Summary Sheet.

It is a great way for the financial team to become familiar with each owner’s properties and cash flow so when you do receive an occasional call you will already have the knowledge of their account.

Here is a list of items that can be extremely helpful to a rental property owner, when viewing their summary sheet:

·       A section that includes a total dollar amount of revenue collected that month, broken out between rent, utility reimbursements, late fees, etc.

·       A listing of which units have outstanding balances owed at the end of the month.

·       A section that includes all expenses for the month. This doesn’t have to be detailed, a simple line marked electric bills, or maintenance costs is sufficient. If they do need more detail of the specific charge and what it entailed, they can reference the financial reports, which will provide this information for them. 

·       A total amount of owner disbursements that were paid that month.

The summary sheet should always include the beginning balance in the owner’s account, as well as the ending balance. The rest of the information doesn’t do much good if the owner doesn’t know where they stand when the month is over.

As I mentioned before, not all rental property owners are Accountants and do not want to take time digging through debits and credits. That is that the reason they chose a Property Management Company in the first place! They want to know what rent money came in, which tenants are delinquent and the biggest question: Where is my money being spent?

If you are a real estate investor or property owner and want to learn more about how we can help you buy investment properties and our property management program, please go to our website at http://www.delvalproperty.com/ .

Christie DeLaney is the Accounting Manager of Del Val Realty & Property Management ("Del Val"). Del Val is a FULL SERVICE Residential Property Management company with over 15 years' experience and manage over 2,500 single family homes, HOA units and multifamily properties in and around Philadelphia, PA.   We advise property owners how to build wealth and financial security through hassle-free ownership of rental real estate with our NO "Hassle" FULL Service Management Program.   This proven management system allows owners to enjoy the financial benefits of cash flow, tax savings, and wealth creation.   All this while it GUARANTEES you will never have to deal with maintenance or tenant issues.

Six Critical Elements of Great Ad Writing for Rental Properties

Web Admin - Friday, June 09, 2017

As marketing coordinator for Del Val Realty & Property Management I write ads every day and follow the 6 rules below to make our ads standout.

Headline / Ad Banner

I write my Ad first and see what details jump out at me for the Ad Headline. Is it on tree-lined street?  Is it near a park or something of interest? Then I incorporate the most important items, like number of bedrooms, the address and points of interest into the headline. For example:

“3 Bedroom Condo for Rent – 123 American Drive – Award Winning School District”

Use Key Words in your Headline /Ad Banner and the Ad

      A keyword is generally a word or phrase that is a topic of significance. Prospective tenants use keyword searches as a way to identify and locate a property that will suit them. They can enter this word when searching for a property online.  For example:

“3 bedrooms”, “single family home”, “Valley Forge Park”, “fenced yard”, “pets allowed”

Details, Details, and more Details!

Beyond the basics like number of bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage, include as many other details of the property that will appeal to your renter. 

  • Is there a microwave in the kitchen?
  • Does the home have a washer and dryer?
  • Does it have new windows or carpet?
  • Is there a fenced yard?

Always include information about the home’s neighborhood, access to public transit, shopping, school district, swimming pools or other area features that can effect a renter’s decision to contact you.

We recommend that ads are written in bullet point statements versus a full sentence. This allows the reader to scan ads versus reading long sentences or paragraphs.

Take Great Pictures!

Every prospective renter looks for a property that suits them financially and esthetically. There is greater turn off than too few photos, blurry photos or dark photos. Try to take as many photos you believe will result in a minimum of 10 great photos that capture the essence of the home. And be sure to capture both the exterior of the home and yard.

  • Take pictures on a sunny day, everything looks better in sunlight
  • Make sure blinds and curtains are open to maximize the natural light;
  • Try for an angle to add dimension and visual interest (no corners of bedrooms!)
  • Get rid of piled personal items in a room to let the room be seen, not personal stuff.
  • Follow bathroom photo etiquette, put the lid down!

Make sure your Rental policy is clearly stated

Although the rental price, security deposit, any fees and lease term are important, be very clear about any policies that could threaten the deal with the prospective renters. Make sure they understand pet policies, smoking in the property, parking and anything else that might affect their rental decision. Also, if the property is located within a housing community that has their own set of rules and regulations, be sure it is clear in your Ad that the residence is in a housing community.

Formatting the Ad Itself

There is sometimes a lot of information to include in the Ad. Paragraphs with lots of information and details are too hard to read and a prospective tenant will lose interest. Keep your Ad format the same each time and make it easy to read.  Use bulleted short statements in a list versus long sentences in a paragraph. Make sure they are clear and concise and add value to the Ad.

If you follow these SIX critical elements your Ad will give prospective tenants the desire and confidence to see the property. And in representing your rental property well, your prospective tenants will be assured they have found their new home!

 

If you are a real estate investor or property owner and want to learn more about how we can help you buy investment properties and our property management program, please go to our website at http://www.delvalproperty.com/ .

Terri Ulaner is the marketing coordinator for Del Val Realty & Property Management ("Del Val"). Del Val is a FULL SERVICE Residential Property Management company with over 15 years' experience and manages over 2,500 single family homes, HOA units and multifamily properties in and around Philadelphia, PA.   We advise property owners how to build wealth and financial security through hassle-free ownership of rental real estate with our NO "Hassle" FULL Service Management Program.   This proven management system allows owners to enjoy the financial benefits of cash flow, tax savings, and wealth creation.   All this while it GUARANTEES you will never have to deal with maintenance or tenant issues. If you want to learn more about Del Val Property, please visit us at http://www.delvalproperty.com/

 

Tax Time: Tax Reporting Requirements for Property Managers

Web Admin - Friday, June 09, 2017

The beginning of each calendar year is a very busy time for many businesses, and Property Managers are not left out of that category! Whether you are a large Property Management Company or an individual Property Manager, this is the time when all tax forms should be issued for funds paid out to Rental Property Owners or Vendors during the previous calendar year. The form that is used to complete this task is the 1099-MISC, and this form must be submitted to the recipient and the IRS by a specified date each year. When 1099s are submitted to the IRS, they must be accompanied by a summary form, Form 1096, to meet the tax filing requirements.

Why is the 1099-MISC necessary?

The IRS uses 1099s to monitor any income source that is not filed on a traditional W-2 form, which only shows income received as a salary or wage. This is a way in which the IRS captures any income received by an independent contractor or rental property owner that may otherwise go unreported. A Property Manager or Property Management Company is acting as a reliable source for the IRS to help enforce that all income is being reported.

Who should receive a 1099-MISC?

  • Rental Property Owners - all rental property owners that have received $600 or more in rent disbursements in a given calendar year should be issued a 1099-MISC.
  •  Vendors all independent contractors or vendors who are unincorporated and have received $600 or more in a given calendar year for services provided should be issued a 1099-MISC.

When does a 1099-MISC NOT need to be filed?

Every situation has exceptions, and tax filing and reporting is no different. Here are some of those exceptions:

  • If the total payments to a rental property owner or vendor are less than $600, a 1099-MISC does not need to be filed.
  • If a rental property owner is a corporation, a 1099-MISC does not need to be filed.
  • If a vendor is an incorporated business, a 1099-MISC does not need to be filed.  

What information is required on a 1099-MISC?

  • Tax ID # - this can be an individual’s SSN or an EIN for an unincorporated organization.
  • Address – this is needed for the 1099-MISC to be sent to the recipient.
  • Funds Paid – this includes a total of all income paid to a vendor or individual rental property owner during the previous calendar year. (Remember, only if the total is greater than $600)

What boxes are used on a 1099-MISC to report income?

  • Rental Property Owners – all income collected that was for rent should be reported in box 1 “Rents” on the 1099-MISC. Any additional income paid (late fees, utility bill reimbursements, NTQ fees, etc.) should be reported in box 3 “Other Income” on the 1099-MISC.
  • Vendors – all payments made for vendor services should be reported in box 7 “Non-employee Compensation” on the 1099-MISC. 

It is also good practice to send all rental property owners a copy of their financials for the previous calendar year so they can see where the amounts in each box on the 1099-MISC were derived from.

Not filing 1099s when required can lead to penalties and fines by the IRS, so it is very important to keep accurate records of amounts paid to each vendor and rental property owner and request any necessary forms that you may need to file the tax forms to be compliant in this process.

 

If you are a real estate investor or property owner and want to learn more about how we can help you buy investment properties and our property management program, please go to our website at http://www.delvalproperty.com/ .

Christie DeLaney is the Accounting Manager of Del Val Realty & Property Management ("Del Val"). Del Val is a FULL SERVICE Residential Property Management company with over 15 years' experience and manage over 2,500 single family homes, HOA units and multifamily properties in and around Philadelphia, PA.   We advise property owners how to build wealth and financial security through hassle-free ownership of rental real estate with our NO "Hassle" FULL Service Management Program.   This proven management system allows owners to enjoy the financial benefits of cash flow, tax savings, and wealth creation.   All this while it GUARANTEES you will never have to deal with maintenance or tenant issues.

 

 

 

Respectful Communication and Teamwork Leads to Success

Web Admin - Friday, June 09, 2017

There is an old saying that resonates in all aspects of life.  "Respect is earned."  A very wise former Manager of mine reminded his staff that we must respect our customers at all times.  In business, the customer is not our only client. Our co-workers are our internal clients.  The customer isn't always right, but every person deserves to be treated with respect and in adherence with the golden rule:  "Treat others the way you'd like to be treated."  There will be times when these adages are not being followed by your customer.

 

Communication: 

 

  • It is okay to respectfully disagree with a client, however there's a right way and a wrong way to articulate the organization’s point of view.  The resolution to an issue may or may not address the client’s concern form his or her perspective.  

 

  • Communicating effectively when the client may perceive a request or a complaint is not addressed the way that the customer would like is of extreme importance.  The customer will appreciate the fact that they've been heard and that their concerns have been acknowledged.

 

  • Document, document, document.  Communication is the key to excellent customer service.  Not everyone learns or comprehends the same way.  There are times when a conversation is more effective than an e-mail.  When you're speaking with a customer, they can hear the tone in your voice and pick up on nonverbal cues that an e-mail just can’t convey.  When information is communicated verbally, follow up reiterating what was said and agreed to in an email.  This way, there's a record verifying the conversation, and everyone is on the same page. 

 

Regardless of the position one holds within an organization, recognizing the importance of each person’s function to the success of the company helps to create a more cohesive work environment.  Every employee has an important role, independently and as a team, to adhere to the processes, procedures, and guidelines, to ensure that the company is successful. 

 

  • The Owner or CEO of an organization plans, budgets and works so that the company's vision and success will come to fruition.  

 

  • It has been said that the janitors carry and distribute the most important paper in an organization!

 

  • Every level and department in an organization matters.  If an area is weak, the company may not succeed to the level that it should.  

 

  • Treating everyone with respect creates an environment where ideas, knowledge and experience are freely exchanged and where people support one another.  Such a team environment allows the organization to thrive, expand, retain and attract the best people.

 

The "sundown rule" (answer all e-mails or return all phone calls by the end of the business day) is a good rule to follow.   Occasionally, it will be necessary to take time to gather all of the pertinent information to accurately respond to a client’s concern or request.  Let them know that!  Even if you respond advising them that you will get back to them at a later date, their concern has been acknowledged and they’re aware that you’re working on a resolution or response.  When the customer is happy, the business will thrive.  Word of mouth endorsements and referrals can be as, or even more effective than paid advertisements.

 

Team Work:  Be excited to work for your company!  The more successful each individual is, the more successful your team will be.  

 

  • Working as a team, with mutual respect and effective communication, provides an opportunity for each individual to succeed and as a result, the organization will grow.  

 

  • Give credit where credit is due.  Engaged employees are happy and productive employees!   Happy clients are committed clients.  It's a win-win for all!  

 

 

If you are a real estate investor or property owner and want to learn more about how we can help you buy investment properties and our property management program, please go to our website at http://www.delvalproperty.com/ .

Harumi Russell is the Office Manager at Del Val Realty & Property Management ("Del Val"). Del Val is a FULL SERVICE Residential Property Management company with over 15 years' experience.   Del Val manages over 2,500 single family homes, HOA units and multifamily properties in and around Philadelphia, PA.   We advise property owners how to build wealth and financial security through hassle-free ownership of rental real estate with our NO "Hassle" FULL Service Management Program.   In addition, we advise and manage homeowners and condominium associations on the daily operations of their communities.  This includes but is not limited to sales, collections, maintenance, contract negotiations and management as well as various accounting functions.

Process to Collect Past Due Rent

Web Admin - Friday, June 09, 2017

I have developed a list of practices I use to facilitate the collection process. 

I have set up strict procedures that are followed each month.  I am aware of the financial implications that can arise from the monthly rent not being paid or being paid on time to an Owner.  Del Val uses many tools to ensure that the rent is paid in a timely fashion. 

·        We use a software program called Buildium which is a cloud-based property management software package. This software helps property management companies keeps track on what tenants owe. It also has the capability to be an intermediary between the tenant and myself.

·        I create a firm and friendly relationship with tenants, which can make it easier for them to communicate any financial difficulties they might be experiencing.  A positive open dialogue usually motivates a tenant to pay on time. 

·        Using Buildium, Del Val Realty provides an online tenant portal, which gives the tenant the option of paying the rent online and enables a tenant to pay on time. 

·        Having the tenant portal also allows us to communicate with the tenants electronically, which can remove the confrontational part of collecting the rent.  It also communicates with the tenants, sending reminders of upcoming rent charges, any late charges or utility charges. 

·        There is no doubt that clear and open communication in any business is essential, especially in property management and the collection of rent.  Keeping strong and detailed records are key in collecting and managing rental payments.

We believe in being fair in our efforts to collect rent by not crossing the line in Fair Debt Collections.  An example of being too aggressive would be to “threaten” eviction without the proper communication.  With following our Rent Collection Procedures, we are certain to treat everyone the same.   

 

If you are a real estate investor or property owner and want to learn more about how we can help you buy investment properties and our property management program, please go to our website at http://www.delvalproperty.com/ .

Mary Ann Brennan is Manager of Delinquent Accounts at Del Val Realty & Property Management ("Del Val"). Del Val is a FULL SERVICE Residential Property Management company with over 15 years' experience and manage over 2,500 single family homes, HOA units and multifamily properties in and around Philadelphia, PA.   We advise property owners how to build wealth and financial security through hassle-free ownership of rental real estate with our NO "Hassle" FULL Service Management Program.   This proven management system allows owners to enjoy the financial benefits of cash flow, tax savings, and wealth creation.   All this while it GUARANTEES you will never have to deal with maintenance or tenant issues.

How to Get a 4.0 or Higher Rating on Social Media Sites

Web Admin - Friday, June 09, 2017

Most businesses these days rely heavily on internet marketing. And part of internet marketing are comments left by your past and present customers. In today’s world it’s not who you know that is important, it’s what the people who know you are saying about you on social media!

In today’s instantly accessible internet world through the use of smart phones, the social media platforms of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google, Yelp, LinkedIn and others, allow access to a company’s current online “rating”.  You can also post a review of a business instantly with the same tools. This is a good thing for consumers and can be a good thing for businesses…or not. When someone is not happy with the service you just provided, the food they had for dinner at your restaurant or the product they just purchased that broke, they can tell the world immediately. They feel better and your internet rating just plummeted.

These days, it’s very important for your satisfied customers to leave positive feedback about your company on the internet. People looking for anything from a restaurant, a haircut, a jewelry store or a property manager can search out a company based on their internet ratings while having a cup of coffee. Why would you choose a company that has 2.5 stars out of 5 when you can choose a company that has 4.5 stars out of 5?

But how do you get your customers to post positive comments? In the property management business, we have two main groups; owners and tenants. Each is approached in the same manner and good service is not restricted to either group. We work hard to provide the best service to our owners and our tenants and in providing great service to both groups, we have a larger audience to approach. But don’t stop there, approach everyone you do business with; current customers, former customers, vendors and professional contacts too.

All staff at our company are instructed to be aware of positive comments they receive from any viable business contacts. If they receive a compliment or some positive verbiage regarding a situation or issue, we follow these guidelines:  

Send that individual a pre-formatted email requesting a comment.

Staff members thank the individual for the compliment and request they do the staff member a favor and post a positive comment on line.

Ask for a “five star” rating.

Provide the link(s) in your email to the social media platform where you want them to post. This is important as most individuals will need your guidance to get to the proper online platform where you want them to post. Also, you can control where they are posting so it has more value in your overall rating.

Thank the owner, tenant or business contact again and let them know you appreciate their time and positive comment.

Unfortunately, you will not always receive positive comments and that is hard to control. On some social platforms, you can refute the negative comment and sometimes that will result in it being removed. Also, when you ask for “five stars” that will give the positive comment more weight than the negative comments and your rating will come up.

The best policy of course is to provide great service to ALL your customers. Since the internet and online ratings are not going away, just consider this part of your everyday business life and just keep at it! And remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

If you are a real estate investor or property owner and want to learn more about how we can help you buy investment properties and our property management program, please go to our website at http://www.delvalproperty.com/.

Terri Ulaner is the marketing coordinator for Del Val Realty & Property Management ("Del Val"). Del Val is a FULL SERVICE Residential Property Management company with over 15 years' experience and manages over 2,500 single family homes, HOA units and multifamily properties in and around Philadelphia, PA.   We advise property owners how to build wealth and financial security through hassle-free ownership of rental real estate with our NO "Hassle" FULL Service Management Program.   This proven management system allows owners to enjoy the financial benefits of cash flow, tax savings, and wealth creation.   All this while it GUARANTEES you will never have to deal with maintenance or tenant issues. If you want to learn more about Del Val Property, please visit us at http://www.delvalproperty.com/

 


7 Crucial Parts of the Application Process When Renting an Apartment / Home

Web Admin - Friday, June 09, 2017

Rental applications, whether submitted on line via a website or by hard copy, should go through a standard process to determine the eligibility of the applicant. Here are some criteria that should be considered:

1.     Application fee.  This will cover the costs of processing an application and should be paid with the application submission. Many companies charge between $30 and $60 per application.

2.     Income.  A good standard measure is an Income to Rent Ratio of 3.0, (gross monthly income of three times the monthly rent).  This income could be from current employment, Government payouts such as SSI, Child Support, Assistance agencies such as Section 8, and Pensions.  The Applicants must supply confirmation for all their income.  An applicant which does not meet the 3.0 requirement may be required to have a Co-Signer who would also need to meet the requirements.  For payroll income, it is best to have a current paystub which shows the Year-To Date income over a period of time, rather than a onetime payroll amount.

3.     Criminal Background. A good credit reporting service will give at least 10 years of law enforcement records on an applicant. 

4.     Eviction History. It is important to know if the applicant has had any evictions over the last 5 to 10 years.

5.     Credit History.  It is advantageous to use a service which gives a concise summary of the credit background.  The important items are the number of positive and negative trade lines, past due amounts and current collections.  Medical bills and student loan debt does not receive the same weight as outstanding charges from utilities and credit card accounts.  A good report service will also give a list of civil judgments, bankruptcies, etc.

6.     Rental History.  Applicant should supply at least two years of verifiable residency.  If the applicant is breaking a lease, they should supply a written release from the current landlord.

7.     Age of Applicant.  The applicant should be at least 18 years of age and all adult occupants should be required to complete a separate application and submit it along with income verification.

The preface to the rental application should enumerate items that would disqualify an applicant, such as eviction by previous landlord, undisclosed criminal record, conviction of certain crimes such as child abuse, current Bankruptcy proceedings, false information on the application, etc.

If you are a real estate investor or property owner and want to learn more about how we can help you buy investment properties and our property management program, please go to our website at http://www.delvalproperty.com/ .

De Mattie is the Leasing Coordinator of Del Val Realty & Property Management ("Del Val"). Del Val is a FULL SERVICE Residential Property Management company with over 15 years' experience and manage over 2,500 single family homes, HOA units and multifamily properties in and around Philadelphia, PA.   We advise property owners how to build wealth and financial security through hassle-free ownership of rental real estate with our NO "Hassle" FULL Service Management Program.   This proven management system allows owners to enjoy the financial benefits of cash flow, tax savings, and wealth creation.   All this while it GUARANTEES you will never have to deal with maintenance or tenant issues.

 

Customer Service

Web Admin - Friday, June 09, 2017

 

As Director of Operations, my primary responsibility is to oversee our HOA division.  I have found that one of the main keys to success is Customer Service.  The following rules will help you stand out over your competitors and give you credibility with your clients:

 

An effective Property Management software solution.

  • Communication can be automated so nothing gets forgotten.
  • Conversations can be automatically tracked and documented.
  • Real time information and updates, keeping homeowners informed.

Answer the phone!

  • When an owner calls, their expectation is to speak with someone.  If the phone is not answered, they may feel their property is not being looked after.
  • Owners want to know you are on top of things.  A simple acknowledgement goes a long way.

Answer your email

  • Similar to the importance of answering the phone, respond to your emails in a timely manner, even if it just a reply acknowledging receipt of the email and you will get back to them.

Set expectations

  • Inform owners when they can expect to hear back from you, and honor it.  They will respect you for it and then be properly trained on the expectation of timely communication with you.

Follow up and Follow through

  • Keep people in the loop.  Lack of information and follow up gives the perception nothing is being done and they are forgotten about.  Perception is reality.
  • Do what you say you are going to do.  This makes you credible.
  • When getting back to someone, do your research and give correct information.  Don’t convey assumptions as fact.  If you do, it will come back to haunt you eventually.  If you don’t know something, be honest about it and get the information.

 

By following these rules, your owner’s minds will be at ease that their properties and Associations are being cared for and looked after by someone competent, giving them the “warm and fuzzies” they are looking for.

 

Alan Silverman is the Director of Operations of Del Val Realty & Property Management ("Del Val"). Del Val is a FULL SERVICE Residential Property Management company with over 15 years' experience and manage over 2,500 single family homes, HOA units and multifamily properties in and around Philadelphia, PA.   We advise property owners how to build wealth and financial security through hassle-free ownership of rental real estate with our NO "Hassle" FULL Service Management Program.   In addition, we advise and manage homeowners and condominium associations on the daily operations of their communities.  This includes but is not limited to collections, common area maintenance, contract negotiations and management as well as various accounting functions.

Maintenance for One of Your Largest Investments...Your Rental Property

Web Admin - Friday, June 09, 2017

As Director of Maintenance for Del Val Realty & Property Management, I oversee all rental property maintenance. After the long cold winter months, Spring is a good time to advise owners on routine preventive maintenance for one of their largest investments, their rental property.  Here are some suggestions you may want to consider to save you money in the long run on your rental property.

Just as an annual physical is a good idea for your personal overall physical health, routine property inspections and maintenance is important for the up-keep of your investment property. Spring is a great time to check up on your roof, plumbing, A/C, and other areas of the home to avoid costly future repairs and to keep your home in great shape throughout the year.

 

Outdoor Maintenance

  • Have a clear plan in place between the tenant and landlord determining who is responsible for the lawn care.
  • Inspect your foundation and mend any cracks and gaps in concrete areas such as driveways, walkways, and patios.
  • Inspect exterior door hardware and repair any squeaky handles and loose locks.
  • Check windows and doors for cracks and gaps and seal with caulk or weather stripping, replacing if necessary.
  • Clean window and door screens.
  • Touch up exterior siding and trim with paint.
  • Remove leaves and other debris from gutters and downspouts.
  • Inspect roof for missing, loose, or damaged shingles and leaks/ flat roofs may need a coating
  • Inspect the wood deck and consider refinishing or sealing.
  • Have a professional inspect and pump the septic tank.
  • Inspect outdoor water systems such as pipes, faucets.

 

Indoor Maintenance

  • Change the A/C filter, check hose connections for leaks, make sure the drain pans are draining freely, and vacuum any dust that has settled on the unit and connections
  • Clean the furnace filter to remove dust build-ups. This can ultimately lower your utility bills by regulating the temperature in your home.
  • Have the fireplace professionally inspected and cleaned.
  • Replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Install a smoke detector on every floor of your home, including the basement.
  • Clean faucet aerators and showerheads to remove mineral deposits.
  • Inspect tub, shower and sink drains for debris and inspect the caulking for deterioration.
  • Vacuum lint from the dryer vent.
  • Clean the carpets.
  • Inspect the attic for insects and other pests and professionally spray all areas of the home.

 

Regular maintenance and inspections of your rental home is something we would be happy to discuss with you at any time.  Preventive maintenance and repair can save you money on your investment if a maintenance schedule is followed throughout the year. Be good to your investment and it will be good to you!

If you are a real estate investor or property owner and want to learn more about how we can help you buy investment properties and our property management program, please go to our website at http://www.delvalproperty.com/ .

Jim McEachern is the Director of Maintenance for Del Val Realty & Property Management ("Del Val"). Del Val is a FULL SERVICE Residential Property Management company with over 15 years' experience and manage over 2,500 single family homes, HOA units and multifamily properties in and around Philadelphia, PA.   We advise property owners how to build wealth and financial security through hassle-free ownership of rental real estate with our NO "Hassle" FULL Service Management Program.   This proven management system allows owners to enjoy the financial benefits of cash flow, tax savings, and wealth creation.   All this while it GUARANTEES you will never have to deal with maintenance or tenant issues.

 

The state of Philly’s rental market, in five charts

Michel Lautensack - Saturday, June 03, 2017

Are rents really too high, and can the building boom be sustained?

by Melissa Romero Jun 2, 2017, 9:00am EDT

Is Philly’s rental market oversaturated? Photo by Melissa Romero

Every month, real estate and rental sites come out with their rent reports in Philly and other major U.S. cities. The collection of headlines read something like this: “Philly’s rental prices jumped 9 percent” or “Rents are on the rise in Philadelphia.”

But parsing through the respective data reveals that the numbers are really all over the place. That’s because many of the reports pull information from their own collection of listings or focus on different types of units, often with an eye on brand new luxury rentals.

So it can be difficult to figure out whether Philly is experiencing an oversupply (Hint: Not quite) or if the rent really is too darn high. To try to come to some sort of conclusion on the state of Philly’s rental market, Curbed Philly talked to some experts and checked out all of the data out there to come up with these five major takeaways.

1. The rental boom is concentrated in Center City

At Center City District’s last count, there were 36 residential and mixed-use development projects underway or proposed for the neighborhood; nearly 4,000 units are expected to deliver by 2019. While that number does include condos, a majority of them are rentals.

“Especially in Center City, we’re seeing more high-end supply deliver all at once than we’ve seen historically,” says JLL senior research analyst Clint Randall.

Still, something is to be said that a few big-time rental developments have been put on the market in the last year, after experiencing lower-than-expected occupancy rates. Dalian on the Park listed one month after opening its doors, and 3601 Market in University City is also up for grabs.

Randall says these leasing issues aren’t across the board for all developments, however. “I think the market’s taking a moment in the sense that we don’t typically have this many new apartment options to choose from,” he says. “So in some cases that’s why we’re seeing a lag in how quickly these buildings are getting leased up.”

 

2. Yet Philly’s “boom” is peanuts compared to Dallas, NYC

With all of the cranes in the sky, there have been talks of a potential boom-to-bust scenario playing out in Philly. However, JLL Philadelphia recently put this into perspective by comparing the Philadelphia metro’s rental boom to other major U.S. cities.

As this chart dictates, 18,863 units are expected to deliver in the Philly region between 2015 and 2019. That’s less than the national average and very little compared to Dallas metro’s 85,565 units.

That said, talks of an oversaturated rental market may not be as extreme as some suggest, especially as Philly’s population grows (more on that later). Remaining “cautiously optimistic,” Randall says, “We are entering a period of slowing down as far as absorption, but not enough supply to totally overwhelm the market. It can be absorbed, it might just take a little longer.”

 

3. Average rental rates are growing—slowly

As mentioned earlier, it’s hard to offer a concrete median or average rent in Philly, since so many real estate sites use a wide range of methodologies. For example, Zumper’s June numbers show that a 1-bedroom unit in Philly rents for $1,169 right now. Adobo says it’s more like $1,202 a month, while Apartment List puts it at $957 a month. (Note: Apartment List recently changed to its methodology in attempts to improve accuracy.)

Differing numbers aside, most reports can agree on one thing: Philly’s average rental rate is steadily increasing, but not at the rapid rate that some may gripe about. National data and research firm Axiometrics recently found that rental growth has been less than 1 percent for six of the last seven months in Philly. This chart shows the rollercoaster ride that Philly and the suburbs’ rental markets have experienced over the past two years.

 

4. Affordability issues are putting pressure on Center City rent growth

Center City’s increasing supply of apartments may be playing a role in the lack of the neighborhood’s rental rate growth, says CoStar senior market analyst Chris LeBarton. In a recent report, LeBarton found that rental rates in Center City have remained somewhat stagnant over the last few quarters.

Specifically, from 2016 to 2017, rents in Center City rose just 1.1 percent. In the Art Museum neighborhood, they decreased ever so slightly by .12 percent.

LeBarton explains, “A lot of this is attributable to new supply pressure, but affordability is also a factor. There are only so many renters who can or will pony up for a $2,000-per month, one-bedroom unit in Center City.”

That may explain why many new developments have started offering concessions to lure potential renters. Hanover North Broad, for example, is offering up to eight weeks of free rent, while the Divine Lorraine is touting 10 percent off monthly rent for the rest of 2017.

 

5. While Philly rent is low vs. other cities, it’s still high for Philly renters

Compared to other major U.S. cities, Philly’s rent growth has remained relatively stable and still remains one of the more affordable cities, says Apartment List analyst Andrew Woo.

Yet, as Curbed Philly has reported before, a majority of Philly renters are cost-burdened, which is defined as paying more than 30 percent of one’s monthly income on rent. So it could be argued that Philly’s rent isn’t necessarily high, but that its wages are too low. The median income here is $41,233

However, the rental boom, at least in Center City, isn’t unwarranted, says Randall. While the city’s poverty rate is still at 26 percent, he points to recent data that found that the population of Philadelphians earning an annual salary of $100,000 or more has risen 25 percent since 2010—and a good chunk of those six-figure-earning residents live in Greater Center City.

Randall says, “While the rental rates far outpace city-wide income levels, the data around population over the past 10 years in Center City would support the notion that there are way more people living here in higher-income brackets.” In sum, these newcomers can afford these high Center City rents.

Final word:

When it comes to the future of Philly’s rental market, Center City is where it’s at, and the building boom isn’t likely to bust anytime soon. A lot of people are banking on the delivery of the Comcast Technology Center, which is estimated to bring 2,800 employees to the city. These newcomers are likely to be drawn to these new apartments for a variety of reasons, with location being chief among them.

“People moving to Philadelphia who don’t know the city well often rent first rather than buying and also gravitate toward projects that offer creature comforts and make adjustment easy,” Randall says. “I think that supports this housing pipe line.”

Still, Philly is in a unique position compared to other major U.S. metros in that it remains a buyers’ city, where a monthly mortgage is often cheaper than a monthly rent in Center City (which is about $1,950). That means the rental market isn’t just competing with itself, but with the housing market, too.

Here’s an easy answer to that perpetual buy versus rent question, if location is important to you: Rent in Center City and buy anywhere else.

 


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Del Val Realty & Property Management

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Great Valley Shopping Center
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