Property Management Blog

Advice for Out-of-State Investors with Boca Raton Real Estate

System - Friday, December 6, 2019


Many investors have begun buying rental properties outside the cities and areas they live in, and even outside of the markets that make them the most comfortable. If you’re planning to invest in the Boca Raton area from out of state, we recommend you work with a local property management company.

We’re sharing some additional tips to help non-local investors have a good investment experience.

Get Outside Your Comfort Zone

The best advice we always have for people is to go outside of your comfort zone and outside of your market to a region where you can actually make money. Often, people choose comfort or what they know over what will actually make them money. If you dive into the numbers and find a market that makes sense financially for you, then that should be your number one goal when investing out of state. If you are going to invest out of state anyway, you might as well do the research and find the market that will make you the most money.

Analyze the Local Market

As you are analyzing those markets, use the data and the technology that is out there. There’s so much information now, and it can help you analyze new markets and make decisions based on those markets. The number one thing we always look at is population growth. This is important because you don’t want to invest in a city that has a dying population or a slowing population. That tells you people don’t want to live there. If people don’t want to live there, it won’t make sense for you to invest there or buy property there. As the population keeps declining, the demand for your property would become lower and lower.

Check the Local Demographics

You also want to take a look at job growth. You want a market with a growing population and additional jobs growing as well. If the population is growing and the job market is growing, this will allow people to need rental properties, which can bring in money.

Another thing to look at is whether people tend to rent more or own more. What is the average income for people in the area? Is this a middle class town or higher-end area? It’s important to understand the demographic so you know what kind of renter would fit in your property.

Put Together a Real Estate and Property Management Team

Something we always recommend is to put together a team. Two main people you would want on your team would be your real estate agent and your property manager. These two people can help you analyze and get to know a city. They can predict your returns and what you can expect in the market in the area.

Once you start talking to your agents, get to know your neighborhood. If you’re investing in a new town that you aren’t familiar with, get to know the area first eve before flying out there. Making frequent trips to check out multiple areas of interest can get expensive. Use tools like Google Earth where you can put in any address and get a feel for the neighborhood online in front of you. On the top corner of Google Earth, as you walking around the neighborhoods, it will tell you when the video or pictures were taken. Keep an eye on that because a lot of times those pictures and videos can be old. Another great website that really allows you to get a great feel for a place is neighborhoods.com.

Visit the Area

visit the areaAfter you have done all the groundwork, and you have found an area where the job market is high, you can make money, you have a great real estate agent, and a great property manager, we recommend you visit the market before you invest.

Take a trip there and really get a feel for the area. Go around and talk to people and really experience the city and see what it’s all about. This is a great way to understand who your tenants are likely to be.

If you have any questions about investing in our market or you need some advice from a Boca Raton property manager, please contact us at Domu Property Management. We’d love to tell you more about investing here.

How to Reduce Vacancies in Your Investment Property | Boca Raton Landlord Tips

System - Friday, November 22, 2019


How can you keep your Boca Raton tenants?

Once you are able to fill the vacancy you have, your next goal is how do you make sure you are able to keep the tenant for as long as possible and paying the highest possible rent. As a landlord, you know the turnover cost, vacancies, and possible leasing fees are some of the biggest factors that will impact your cash flow at the end of the year.

When you place a good tenant, you want that tenant to stay in the property for as long as possible. Today, we’re sharing a list of things you can do to keep your tenants in place and avoid the expense of vacancy.

Keep the Property Clean

One thing we recommend no matter what the situation is with the property is that you keep it clean. Whatever you are responsible for as the landlord, make sure you get it done and keep the home clean. If you have a smaller property where you are responsible for the common areas of the building, make sure the area is clean so people feel welcome when they come home. You also want your tenants to feel like they can have family and friends over and not feel embarrassed about where they live.

Respond to Tenant Issues

Respond promptly to all requests, especially maintenance requests. One of the worst things that can happen for a tenant is that they are having some sort of problem with your property and you are not being responsive or communicating with them. This makes them feel like you don’t really care about them. This will make the relationship difficult. If you don’t have time to be accessible and available to your tenants, consider working with a Boca Raton property management company. Responsiveness is important to retention.

Maintain the Property’s Exterior

Make sure you keep the exterior of the building looking clean and fresh. If there is major maintenance that needs to be done, get it taken care of. You always want to make sure you are doing preventative maintenance. If the building needs to be repainted or pressure-washed or if there is mold growing on the outside, it will not look as nice. If the property doesn’t appear clean, the tenants will not be happy or want to live there.

Understand the Local Rental Market

A good property manager can help you understand the local rental market and its rental values. It’s important for you to measure your asking rent against the competition. If you’re having trouble getting tenants to stay for more than a year, it might be due to your rental rate. Sometimes, tenants will rent a property that’s priced higher than they want for a year, and then spend that year looking around for something that costs a little less. If you want to retain tenants, analyze your rental rate and consider the exchange of rent versus value.

Programs to Reward Tenants

Once you have those good tenants in place, you should reward them. Be mindful of the fact they always pay their rent on time, and tell them you appreciate that they don’t make any noise. When it comes time to raise the rent, consider consistency and the value of your tenant. Keeping a good tenant is often more cost-effective than losing them over a rent increase. The cost associated with turning over the unit and losing a good tenant is far greater than the few extra dollars you’d earn in rent.

Provide Tenant-Friendly Amenities

Be mindful of what is around you as far as amenities go. Your property needs to compete. If you have a unit in a multi-family building that does not have a washer or dryer, maybe consider putting them in the common area of the building. Or if it’s a building with old washers and dryers, consider upgrading them. The tenants will see that you are continuing to put money into the property to make it better. This shows them that you care about the quality of their living situation.

Offer Tenant Incentives

Incentives are always good, and tenants appreciate them. Maybe if a tenant agrees to sign a 12-18 month lease, you could offer the first month free as an incentive. Or, you could include some of the utilities that the tenant normally pays. As an owner, if you were able to negotiate rates with the WIFI or cable company, maybe you could pass those rates onto the tenant as an incentive.

Provide Comfort and Safety

location Always be aware of where your property is located. Know the neighborhood, and if your property is not in the greatest neighborhood and your tenant would not feel safe there, address it. Make adjustments and corrections to make the property safer and make your tenants feel more comfortable. Investing in security lights or security cameras is a big help in this area. They may seem like little things, but it makes the tenants feel like you are thinking of their well-being.

Real estate is a people business. It helps you to really get to know your tenants. That doesn’t mean you should be overly nice or overly lenient with them. Maintain a professional and respectful landlord/tenant relationship.

If you’d like to talk more about avoiding turnover, or you’re interested in our professional property management services in Boca Raton, please contact us at Domu Property Management.

Landlord’s Guide to Preparing Your Boca Raton Vacation Rental Home for Guests

System - Friday, August 30, 2019


Once you decide you want to make some extra cash and turn your Boca Raton property into a vacation rental home, there are some things you need to consider when preparing for this move.

Here are some of our tips to getting your home ready to be a vacation rental.

Furnish the Home Completely

First off, make sure your property is furnished completely. Vacation guests will expect to find a vacation rental fully furnished and well-equipped. The property should be ready for them to enjoy. This means the kitchen should be stocked with complete sets of pots and pans, glassware, and silverware. Bedrooms should have beds completely made with extra sheets accessible and available.

Quality is Key for Vacation Rentals

One of the things we cannot stress enough is to really invest in quality. This will ensure you have a successful vacation rental. When you go to a nice hotel, think of the qualities that make it the best. You have an amazing bed with comfortable sheets. You have the softest towels in the bathroom. You go to this hotel, and everything feels so good. That’s what you need to provide in your vacation rental. Really invest in beds, sheets, towels, etc. Keep the best pots and pans in the kitchen with shiny silverware and sturdy glasses. Quality in brings quality out. People will love and give rave reviews because everything was comfortable and very high quality.

Go the Extra Mile with Your Home

As a vacation rental landlord, you really want to put yourself in the shoes of the guests. Go that extra mile to make your guests feel welcome. Add some extras along the way in the rooms. In the bathroom, keep shampoo, conditioner, and soap. In the laundry area, provide detergent and dryer sheets. In the kitchen you can provide bottled water or leave coffee packs for the next morning. Put yourself in the guest’s shoes. Maybe they have been traveling all day with kids. The vacation rental they arrive to may be perfect, but think of how nice it would be to arrive and open the fridge to find a nice bottle of water.

Going the extra mile always adds a little something extra to your rental and is appreciated by guests.

If your rental is around a beach or lake or someplace where water is within walking distance, it’s always great to provide bikes, beach chairs, or kayaks for your guests to use. These are things guests will enjoy and appreciate not having to bring or pack themselves. They will love having them once they arrive at their vacation rental. Every cent you spend to improve your guest’s experience will come back to you. This will be in the form of reviews, bookings, and returning guests.

Really invest in your vacation rental because your investment will guarantee your future success.

If you have any further questions about how to prepare your vacation rental in Boca Raton or the surrounding areas, please feel free to contact us at Domu Property Management.

Using Your Vacation Home as a Vacation Rental: What to Know in Boca Raton

System - Friday, August 16, 2019

We all know that the vacation rental business is exploding right now. There are a lot of landlords and investors looking at vacation rentals as a viable way to make money. There is also a whole other group of investors that have had second homes for a long time, especially down here in south Florida, that come and use the home a few times a year or have family use the home, but it’s not being used all the time. 

Only using your vacation home a few times a year is basically like leaving the money on the table. There is a great opportunity to put your home on Airbnb and rent it out as a vacation rental when you aren’t using it.

Keeping the Home Safe

One common concern for owners is their personal property in the home. There are things in the home that you may be emotionally attached to or things you have spent a lot of money on, and you don’t want people to damage those things. If that is one of your concerns, you don’t need to worry. One of the things we do in all the homes we manage is to set up owner closets. There are specific closets around the rental home where we keep the owner’s private things. These are things that the owners do not want renters to use or have the potential to ruin. Even if it’s the towels and the bed linens, you can put those in the closet to keep them safe.

Buy Plenty of Insurance

Most vacation rental sites and Airbnb rentals come with insurance. The listing itself is protected with a million dollars of insurance, so there’s a good chance anything that could potentially go wrong would be covered financially.

Peace of Mind with Extra Security Deposits

When you don’t want to make a lot of changes to your home because you still plan to use it yourself, we can charge your vacation renters an extra security deposit. This guarantees that renters will be extra cautious not to do anything to damage the property. They’ll want to get that deposit back.

Reviews for Owners and Vacation Renters

feedback - thumbnailVacation travelers have a profile on vacation sites and they get reviewed. So just like they review you and your rental, you have the opportunity to review them as well. A traveler does not want a bad review because then a future landlord or homeowner will not rent to them. 

Vacation renters are going to be very different than normal, long-term tenants. The wear and tear on the home is going to be different, and you can prepare your home by taking away anything of value and putting it out of potential harm’s way. You can give your rental the look and feel of what it’s like to own it and enjoy it yourself, even if you’re renting it out. 

Please contact us at Domu Property Management if you have any questions about renting out your vacation home.

Landlord’s Guide to Utilizing Technology for Your Boca Raton Vacation Rental Property

System - Friday, August 2, 2019


Vacation rental sites have become incredibly popular, and it’s amazing how much money is going into optimizing the industry. You’re probably familiar with sites like Airbnb and Vacation Rental by Owner (VRBO). There are all these websites that actually allow you to take pictures of your property, list it, and put it up online.

If your goal is to just have one vacation rental, you could probably get away with just doing that. You can list the rental on Airbnb and VRBO and link it to have the rentals go between each site. If, however, you are a real estate investor or someone who is using vacation rentals to make some extra money on the side or maybe this is your vacation home that you are now choosing to rent while you are away, you are going to want to use technology to maximize your return.

And by maximize your return, we mean return on time. If you can use technology to automate your processes, there is a huge return to earn on your investment.

Sync with SmartBNB

SmartBNB is great because it allows you to upload and connect your Airbnb and VRBO so you can input automatic responses and automatic emails so you can communicate with guests 48 hours after they check in.

Try PriceLabs

PriceLabs syncs your Airbnb and your VRBO platforms and allows you to put price ranges on your rental. For instance, if the property is not rented by a certain date, it will allow you to select a price reduction based on the rental deadline you set. It allows you to change and adjust your pricing based on demand. Usually, you have to go into the system and adjust it manually day by day, but with PriceLabs, the system will do it for you.

Working with Logify

Logify allows you to upload your listings from Airbnb and VRBO, and it has a reservation software and a tool for you to create your own website. Airbnb and VRBO do not do what they do out of the goodness of their hearts. They are businesses. Businesses charge owners and travelers fees for using their service. Logify allows you to capture your clients or have a landing page of your own to gather clients.

Browsing a website - thumbnailOnce you get your clients from Airbnb, if they are ever a returning guest, you can have them come through Logify instead of going through Airbnb. So, when you’re able to get them into your rental through Logify rather going through the Airbnb or VRBO first, you’ll spend less on fees, and so will they – which means you can increase your prices since it will still be cheaper for them to reserve directly through you.

These are the three main technology sites that can help you run your vacation rental. If you have any further questions, please contact us at Domu Property Management.

Top 10 Questions to Ask a Property Manager in Boca Raton, Florida

System - Monday, August 28, 2017
There are a series of questions to ask a property management company when you’re looking for professional management services. Today, we are sharing the 10 most important questions to ask a property manager.

1. How many years have you been in the business? You want a property management company that has been around the block a few times.

2. How many properties do you actively manage? The more properties they manage, the better systems they probably have in place.

3. Do you work with investors, and are you an investor yourself? Over the years, I have found that property managers who are also investors are more prone to taking care of your property like it’s their own. They will go the extra mile to take care of preventative maintenance, and that saves you money.

4. What is your application process? Make sure the management company has a detailed and thorough application process. You want a complete background screening and a search for evictions. This will help you avoid placing tenants who may be problems down the road.

5. How do you handle the security deposit? Some management companies will hold the deposit in their own escrow account, and others will require the landlord to hold the deposit in an escrow account. Find out who handles this, and make sure it’s done legally by the book. You don’t want any issues when the tenant moves out.

6. Do you use property management software? There are so many different types of software now, there’s no reason for a property manager to still be using pen and paper. This technology will help your tenants submit inquiries and work orders online, and it allows owners to track everything that’s going on with their properties. Easy reports are generated every month.

7. What is your management fee? This will vary and many times, you might think you’re getting a lower management fee, but then hidden fees will show up. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

8. Will monthly statements be provided? You should get a statement with your rental payment every month.

9. Who is responsible for communicating? Make sure you have an idea from the beginning of who is responsible for getting in touch with you.

10. Do you work after hours? You want your property manager to at least be accessible after hours. For your peace of mind and your tenant’s peace of mind, you need a management company who is available by phone late at night and over the weekends.

If you have any questions about what to ask a property manager or you need more information about Boca Raton property management, please contact us at Domu Property Management.

How to Screen Tenants the Right Way in Boca Raton – Property Management Tips

System - Monday, August 14, 2017
Knowing how to find a good tenant is an important part of being a successful landlord. Knowing how to avoid bad tenants is just as important. A lot of times, if you have a property that’s been vacant for a while, you just want to find a tenant as soon as possible because your empty property is costing you money. It’s tempting to want to put the first person who comes by into that home. However, there is a lot of value in properly screening applicants. Today, we’re talking about how to screen tenants.

Property Management Boca Raton: Background Checks

You’re looking for a tenant who can pay rent and has a good history of taking care of properties and not leaving any damage behind. So, when you’re screening someone, the first step is to run a background credit and criminal check. You want to make sure there isn’t a criminal record or a history of getting evicted. If you find an eviction history, there’s a good chance that it will happen with your property, too.

Property Management Boca Raton: Income Requirements

Next, you need to check the income of potential applicants. Make sure they have stable jobs and income that matches your requirements for the rental property. Some people want a tenant who earns three times the rent or even as much as five times. Regardless of your standards, make sure you implement them consistently when screening tenants.

Property Management Boca Raton: References

Tenants do give you references on the application, and you should take the time to call everyone. By really talking to previous landlords or employers, you get a chance to find out more about the tenant and what type of person you may be renting to. You can find out their history in other rental properties. They might pay on time, but if landlords tell you the property was always messy and uncared for, you may not want that tenant in your property.

Do a complete screening and you’ll end up with a great tenant. If you ever have any questions about how to do a tenant screening, or you need help with the process, please reach out to us. You can contact us at Domu Property Management for any of your Boca Raton property management needs.

3 Reasons to Find a Good Property Management Company in Boca Raton, FL

System - Monday, July 31, 2017


If you’re not sure how to find a good property management company, talk to different managers about what they will do to help you be a more successful landlord. Today, we’re sharing three reasons that you should work with a professional. These are the qualities of a good property manager, and you’ll have a far better experience when you work with someone who reflects them.

Property Management Boca Raton: Time

Hiring a property management company will save you a lot of time. Many people say they would like to invest in real estate, but they are concerned about the amount of time it will take to actively manage the property. They know that dealing with tenants can be difficult, and taking care of maintenance issues and requests can be inconvenient. When you’re working with a professional management company, your manager will take care of everything, including tenant relationships and the maintenance of your property.

Property Management Boca Raton: Market Knowledge

Professional property managers have better knowledge of the local rental market. One of the biggest mistakes that investors and property owners make is to overvalue or undervalue the property. This will result in losing money. If you overvalue your home, it will be vacant for longer because you won’t have a tenant willing to pay the rent you’re asking. If you undervalue it, you’ll be earning less than you could if it was priced properly.

Property Management Boca Raton: Leasing

A better leasing process is another benefit of working with a good management company. We are experts in screening and doing background checks on tenants. This means you get a high quality tenant and you face a lower chance of going through an eviction, which is costly and time consuming. You won’t have to worry about missed payments. With a professional manager, you lower the risk of putting a bad tenant or a problem tenant in your rental property. 
 
If you have any questions about how to find a good property manager or anything pertaining to Boca Raton property management, please contact us at Domu Property Management.

Why Owners Trust Domu Property Management in Boca Raton, Florida

System - Monday, July 17, 2017


At Domu Property Management, we have been in the business of real estate investing and property management for nine years. Today, we’re talking about why owners and investors trust us with their rental properties.

Personal Management Experience

I started as an investor myself. I have a portfolio of rental units, and I could never find the right property management company to take care of them. Any time I asked questions, I never felt entirely satisfied with the answers. So, I started managing my own properties. I began to dial into all the processes and procedures that are required to successfully operate rental properties. I learned what it would take to have well-managed properties occupied by high quality tenants who don’t damage the home and who pay rent on time.

Property Management Boca Raton

After successfully managing my own investment properties, I quickly got the attention of other local investors. They began asking me to manage their properties, and so I started doing that. Now, we are in the business of helping people buy, sell, and manage their investments. We know the local market very well, and we can help people at any stage of their investment careers. We are knowledgeable, experienced, and able to help rental properties perform better.

Vendor Relationships

We also have great relationships with vendors who have been vetted by personal experience. Every vendor we use for the properties we manage is a vendor we have used on our own properties. We look at your properties as if they are our properties. Any issues or concerns are dealt with affordably and efficiently. This has been the main difference between us and a lot of other property management companies in the area.

If you have any questions about Boca Raton property management or the services we provide, please contact us at Domu Property Management.