In today's video (Part 4 of Rental Owner Frequently Asked Questions) We discuss how we keep you informed, our communication, how the tenant screening process works and our property inspections. Don't forget to check out Owner FAQs, Parts 1, 2 & 3 for more information!
Hello, and greetings from Colorado Springs. My name is Lance Kohler. I'm the managing broker of the Cornerstone Real Estate team. Today, I'd like to bring you part four of our Rental Owner Frequently Asked Questions. We've done a series of frequently asked questions from rental owners who are considering hiring a property manager. If you look back part one, we discussed some of our property management services and fees. In part two, we discussed our accounting procedures and how and why we do full month accounting. And now parts three and four, I'm covering just some frequently asked questions from rental owners.
So today I'll cover four more questions. The first one being, “How will I know what's going on with my property? How do I know if rent was paid? Was there damage? Are we doing preventative maintenance or some routine maintenance? Are there any repairs?” So there's a couple different ways you can find that out and the first way is through your property manager. We are a portfolio managed company. What that means is every property in our portfolio is assigned to a property manager. They're your single point of contact for all information regarding your property.
It doesn't mean you can't contact somebody in our admin division or in our accounting division or leasing, but that means that the property manager is really the best source of information for your property. And if he doesn't know the answer or she doesn't know the answer, they'll find it out and get it back to you.
A second way you can do that is through your Owner's Portal. So our property management software system is Buildium and through that, we can establish an owner's portal for you. If you don't have access to that, let us know. We'll make sure you get the login information and can do that. We typically do that initially when a new owner comes on board; we set up the portal with them. You'll get an email. You can then access the same portal that we use. You can pull down any of the reports that we can pull down. You could get a rent range report. You can see when rent was paid. You can see if an invoice is paid. You can run the report by year, by quarter or by month and see what your income is or what your expenses are for your property. So that's the second way. The third way, if neither of those work for you, is you can call or email our office anytime, and we'll make sure to get an answer to your question and get back to you.
Second question today: “How does the tenant screening process work?” Applications are submitted by any prospective tenant online. We do all our applications online. We have a 12-step screening process that we run a tenant's information through. We require an application from all potential residents, aged 18 or over, and I really went into detail in another video on that; the video is titled Landlord Topics – Tenant Screening. So if you want the nitty gritty, please go to that video and you can get more information on our screening process.
“What type of property inspections do you conduct?” We do multiple property inspections over the course of a 12-month tenancy. At the end of a tenancy, when a tenant moves out, obviously we're going to do a move-out inspection. And in that inspection, we're documenting if there's any damage or any cleaning that needs to be done. If there's – maybe the carpet's worn and we're going to recommend to the owner that it'd be replaced, those sorts of things. That becomes part of that tenant’s record as they move out, and that's what we use to adjudicate any questions on the condition of the property – and if there's any questions on the adjudication or disposition of the security deposit.
We'll get the property listed and leased and, once we have a new applicant approved for the property, we're going to do a move-in inspection. The move-in inspection ideally is after the property is rent ready and a tenant is ready to move in. We'll again do a photo inspection of the property and a written condition report. And that's to establish the condition of the property, prior to the new tenant moving in, so that we know exactly the condition of the property at the start of their tenancy.
Once that tenant moves in – about 45 to 90 days after their lease begins – we will do another inspection. We'll go by the home; we'll set it up with the tenants. We'll go by the home. That provides us an opportunity to answer any questions they may have about the property. Maybe they have questions about how the thermostat works. We can remind them where the main water shutoff is, remind them and show them how to change the furnace filters. If there are questions about any of the plumbing or the sprinkler system, anything like that, we can answer that then. And it also gives us an opportunity to see how they're taking care of the property, and if they're maintaining it to the standard that we gave it to them.
Then after that, between 60 and 90 days before the end of their lease, if the tenant is considering staying and wants a lease extension or lease renewal, we'll do another inspection to again see the condition of the property and make sure that they've maintained it before we offer that lease extension.
“How long does it typically take to fill a vacancy?” Our average over the last year was 14 days. Our average over the last six months has been 10 days and our vacancy rate is less than 2% over the last year and a half.
If you haven't taken advantage of it, please do. You can get a Free Market Analysis off our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us on our website or through our main telephone line, which is (719) 243-6400. And if you enjoy this, check us out on our social media accounts.
Thank you for your time. Thanks for joining us today. Have a great one!