Paying Utilities is Easier than Ever Thanks to Atlanta Property Management

For the majority of tenants, moving is a stressful process. With so many details to organize, it can be easy to drop the ball here and there. At our Atlanta property management company, we work hard to make moving as seamless and low stress as possible. From our streamlined application processes to our comprehensive walk-throughs, we strive to make everyone’s moving experience a good one. That is why we now offer SimpleBills, a service that consolidates your utilities into a single bill.

See All Your Bills in One Place

SimpleBills is an easy way to see and pay your utility bills. Right now, most people pay each utility bill separately. That means one payment for electricity, one for natural gas, one for water, and so on. SimpleBills turns this model on its head by combining all your utilities into one bill. When you use SimpleBills, you are getting a one of a kind experience, designed for simplicity and transparency. The easy to use dashboard gives users a breakdown of each utility bill so you can see exactly where your money goes. Better yet, it is easy to access from both your computer and mobile device. Streamline your bill-paying process and spend more time doing the things you love.

Splitting Your Bill? Now it is Easier with SimpleBills

Living with a roommate is a great way to save money. Sharing living costs may allow you to move into a more beautiful neighborhood or put money aside for more important things. As experienced property managers in Atlanta, we have seen these situations work out nicely for everyone involved. However, paying utility bills is almost always a source of tension. Typically one roommate is in charge of paying the bill, taking care of the upfront costs, and receiving reimbursement from their roommates. As long as everyone pays on time every month, things are good. But what happens when one roommate doesn’t reimburse the payer promptly? Or what if the payer forgets to pay the electricity bill and the lights get shut off? We have seen plenty of tenants whose relationships turned sour all on account of the utility bills. Now, thanks to SimpleBills, each roommate will receive a separate statement and pay SimpleBills directly. No more relying on your roommates to pay you back, or trusting that the one roommate in charge will always pay the bill on time.

Tenants who work with our Atlanta property management company already benefit from our streamlined processes, but as one Google reviewer points out, SimpleBills provides one more way to make life easier. “SimpleBills is great for roommates,” writes Diana F., “Once registered, they take care of splitting the bill and each roommate gets their own bill and is responsible for their own payment. No more paying someone else back, or worse – never getting paid back. They are always easy to work with and walk you through the set up process. Have used them for 7 years now with college students and recommend them to anyone splitting bills.” SimpleBills gives roommates accountability and takes the pressure off, relieving tensions at home. 

How SimpleBills Provides Transparency for Tenants

If your name is not on the account with the utility company, chances are you will never receive a bill and you simply need to trust that your roommate is being honest with you when they tell you what is owed each month. But what would you do if you found out your roommate was overcharging you for your portion of the utility bill? It may sound like a “roommate horror story,” but experienced property managers in Atlanta will tell you it happens more often than you would think. At Specialized Property Management Atlanta, we know how important transparency is, which is why we provide owner and tenant portals. Now with SimpleBills, your utility bills will have the same level of transparency. SimpleBills provides a PDF bill each month, so you know exactly where your money is going. 

Never Forget Your Utility Bills with SimpleBills

Let’s face it; no one is perfect. Even the most organized among us get sick, busy, or simply forget things from time to time. Maybe you forgot to call your mom on Mother’s Day or forgot to pick up your suit at the dry cleaners right before a big interview. However, when it comes to paying your utility bills the consequences for forgetting are a little more serious. Forgetting to pay your electricity bill can mean a late fee, or having your power shut off. Even if your account is on autopay, it is still essential to know exactly when the payment will be debited so that your account is never overdrawn. SimpleBills provides helpful payment reminders, so you never forget a payment. 

Why Atlanta Property Management Encourages Utility Reporting 

Your time and money are valuable, and with SimpleBills you can keep more of both. Most people believe that when it comes to utilities, it is difficult or impossible to cut back and save money. You need lights, your refrigerator has to stay plugged in, and running the air conditioner is a must during the hot Atlanta summers. But changing some small habits can actually save you a lot of money. SimpleBills provides usage reports to give you insight into where your money is going. Now you can learn about your utility usage, daily habits, and where you could be saving money. SimpleBills also offers tips and tricks for lowering your utility costs. With SimpleBills, it is easier than ever to save money.

How You Can Save Even More Money with SimpleBills

With all the benefits we have laid above, you may be surprised to learn that there is even more to love about SimpleBills. As any tenant, property owner, or Atlanta property managers will tell you, one of the worst parts of moving is setting up house. We’re not referring to hanging curtains and arranging furniture, we’re talking about the dull, time consuming, and expensive process of getting your utilities connected. Before you move in, you have to wait on hold to set up services, then pay expensive deposits and set up fees. Thanks to SimpleBills, this process is a thing of the past. When you use SimpleBills, there are no provider fees, no deposits, and no waiting on hold with utility companies. All you need to do is fill out a SimpleBills application online and start receiving all your utility bills in one place. Save hundreds of dollars on deposits and get back hours of your time, all thanks to the efficiency of SimpleBills. Moving has never been easier!

What Other Tenants are Saying

SimpleBills makes life easier for Atlanta property management, tenants, and owners by easing workloads and cutting costs. SimpleBills may sound too good to be true, but we promise it’s not. Just take a look at a few of the over 2,000 reviews on Google:

“Nothing but great and positive experiences to report here. Customer service is awesome, the service is simple and the app is amazing and so user friendly!!”

– Google reviewer LM

“I could not be any happier with SimpleBills. Very easy to sign up for new service and the staff was very helpful. I would recommend SimpleBills to anyone wanting an easy and painless way to sign up for utility services! Thank you very much for all your help SimpleBills team!!”

– Google reviewer Steve

“I have two accounts for my children in two different cities and enjoy the ease of paying their utility bills.  We own the properties so we benefit from Simple Bills divvying up the bills among the roommates.  Very pleased with the service we receive and the help when questions arise.”

– Google reviewer Rachael

Start Saving Money Today with SimpleBills

When you are ready to sign up with SimpleBills let your Atlanta property managers know, then follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Look out for an email with your sign-in information; you’ll need this information for Step 2. 

Step 2: Visit SimpleBills.com with your temporary sign-in information.

Step 3: Complete your account at SimpleBills.com before moving in.

Step 4: Relax! SimpleBills will remind you when your payment is due and provide a PDF copy of your bill.

After you sign up, all you need to do is pay one bill each month, which can be done easily on your computer or through the SimpleBills app. Check out the breakdown of costs so that you know exactly where your money is going, and learn how you could be saving money. If you have roommates, see which roommates have paid their portion and keep each other accountable. 

Never worry again about paying large deposits, waiting on hold with providers, or dividing costs with your roommates. SimpleBills helps you keep your life organized so you can spend your time and money on the things you love.

Contact Our Atlanta Property Management Company to Learn MoreIf you still have questions about SimpleBills, contact one of our property managers. We are here to help you, whether it is during move in, move out, or in the middle of your lease. Learn more about our experienced professionals and proven processes at specializedatlanta.com or by calling 404-862-8980.

How I Rent Out My Home In Atlanta During COVID-19

If you are wondering “how do I rent out my home in Atlanta during COVID-19?” you are not alone. Property owners, managers, and tenants all over the world are adjusting to a new normal as the effects of COVID-19 take hold. When it comes to owning rental property in 2020, we have to balance the health and safety of everyone involved with the continuing needs of property owners and tenants. Find out how we are achieving this balance through virtual showings and more.

How Property Management Has Changed

It is safe to say that most businesses have had to change their day to day operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While property management is a necessary service and thus allowed to operate without major restrictions, there have been some needed adjustments to how we do business. In the past, inspections, in-person showings, lease signings, and more were part of a normal day. Now, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, more of our daily operations are being moved online. For other Atlanta property management companies or property owners who self-manage, this transition has been difficult. Without existing digital infrastructure, these businesses have had to start from scratch, putting other tasks on hold. At Specialized Property Management Atlanta, the transition was easier, thanks to our already technology-driven operations. The technology we had in place before the pandemic started allows us to safely continue to manage our rental properties. Virtual showings, online rent collection, and our easily accessible owner portals have made our operations not only possible, but highly successful. 

Listing with High-Quality Photos

As experts in leasing, we know how important high-quality advertising is. Even before the pandemic hit, most potential tenants searched for rental properties online before scheduling a showing. That means the first impression of your property comes from the photos and videos attached to your listing. At Specialized Property Management Atlanta, we use High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos to boost the quality of your listing. HDR photos take several photos with different light and dark saturation. The photos are then combined in editing software to even out the dark and light portions, giving you a higher quality and more realistic looking photo. If you are looking to rent out my home in Atlanta posting HDR photos will allow potential tenants to see your rental property in its best light.

Leasing 360 Technology

Uploading HDR photos is the first step to giving your property a boost during listing, but you shouldn’t stop there. It can be difficult to picture the floorplan of a property from pictures alone, which is why we offer Leasing 360 Technology. Leasing 360 Technology takes 4D pictures and data from around the property and puts them together to give prospective tenants the experience of walking through the property. Visual walkthroughs are a powerful tool to market your property efficiently, and gathering the photos and data takes as little as 30 minutes. In addition to high-quality images and video walkthrough, Leasing 360 provides:

  • A floor plan providing prospective tenants the layout and dimensions of each space.
  • A fact-sheet with details about the property including square footage, wall space, ceiling type, and volume.
  • Information about appliances provided by the property owner. Brand, serial number, size, and model number of each appliance are provided in this report.

Leasing 360 is just one way our Atlanta property management company boosts your listing and keeps tenants safe during the pandemic. The photos, walkthrough, and data provided give tenants a feel for the property and confidence when leasing sight-unseen. For more information about Leasing 360, visit this page. To see an example of a virtual listing, visit this page.

Safe Property Showings

When a tenant decides they want to see the property in-person, how do we do that safely? In-person showings are an important part of the leasing process, and even with Leasing 360 technology, some tenants want to walk through the property before signing the lease. Thankfully our property management company uses secure electronic entry boxes. This technology allows prospective tenants to view the property in-person, with no risk to leasing agents and property owners. It also means prospective tenants have the flexibility to visit the property on their schedule, a fact that has led to an increase in showings and applications.

Secure Online Documents to Rent Out My Home in Atlanta

Reducing in-person contact will help stop the spread of COVID-19. However, reducing contact does not mean relaxing tenant screening standards. Our property managers work hard to protect the privacy and security of applicants, and we know a lot of trust goes into sharing the personal information needed to perform screenings. That is why we offer a way to share documents securely online. Applicant screening should include the following:

  • Background check
  • Rental history
  • Credit check
  • Employment and income verification

With our proprietary Rental IQ™ technology, we rigorously screen tenants based on the above factors and analyze data to determine a tenant’s reliability. By using a secure online portal to share and sign documents and utilizing Rental IQ™, we are doing our part in reducing in-person contact, protecting applicant information, and placing high-quality tenants.

Online Tenant and Owner Portals

Before COVID-19 hit Atlanta, property owners asked us “how do I rent out my home in Atlanta without the hassle?” One way we make things easier for both owners and tenants is by offering online services through owner and tenant portals. Now that we are striving to reduce physical contact, these portals are even more crucial. Portals are easy to access at any time of the day or night. 

Tenant portals include access to:

  • Electronic rent payment
  • Maintenance request form
  • Secure documents and communications

Owner portals provide:

  • Property inspection reports and updates
  • Recent photos of the property
  • Important accounting and year-end tax information
  • Secure documents and communications

Access to an online portal means tenants and owners do not have to visit the office to access important paperwork, submit maintenance requests, or pay rent. Before COVID-19 our portals were important; now they are necessary.

Keeping Everyone Safe During Property Maintenance

Of course, even with our leading technology we cannot avoid all in-person contact. Our Atlanta property management company is committed to serving our tenants and property owners, which means we must answer maintenance calls. While non-health and safety repairs may be requested at any time, we are answering them on a case-by-case basis. Both tenant and vendor must agree to the repairs before they will be performed. For both non-essential repairs and emergency repairs, we are committed to following strict COVID-19 protocols in order to protect vendors and tenants. Failure to perform needed maintenance results in higher rates of turnover. According to research we collected, 77% of tenants reported maintenance speed and quality as one of the top factors they weighed when deciding whether or not to renew their lease. Safe, effective, and efficient maintenance sets our property management company apart from the competition. For more information about how we perform safe maintenance on your property during COVID-19, visit this page.

Professional Property Management Helps Rent Out My Home in Atlanta

Navigating the new COVID-19 world of property management is tricky, but with help from professional property management you don’t need to worry about a thing. Our property managers are experts in the rental cycle, and with our 7 Specialized Guarantees our clients know they are getting the best service at the best price. 

  • Money-Back Guarantee: We know you will love our full range of professional services, which is why we offer a 60-day money-back guarantee.
  • Price Match Guarantee: Does a competitor offer the same level of services at a lower price? Bring us the competitor’s proposal before signing and we will match it. Talk to our property managers for more details.
  • Quality Tenant Guarantee: Our strict screening guidelines mean we only place high-quality tenants. If a tenant we place moves out within 10 months of signing and does not comply with the terms of the lease, we will cover the costs of placing a new one.
  • Satisfaction Guarantee: Your property is an investment, and we do our best to protect its value. Our Atlanta property management company will always do its best to keep your home running smoothly while keeping costs down. 
  • Legal and Accounting Compliance Guarantee: Ignorance, neglect, and unethical practices plague the property management industry and cost owners thousands of dollars in violations. We guarantee you will always be in compliance with local, state, and federal laws and accounting standards.
  • Leading Technology Guarantee: Our data-driven approach to property management takes the guesswork out of decision making. With our technology-driven approach we guarantee you will be provided with the information needed to avoid unnecessary costs and make informed decisions.
  • Customer For Life Price Guarantee: You should never worry about hidden fees and sudden price changes. We guarantee your affordable fee structure will not change after you sign a three-year service agreement.

Leave the hassle and headache of self-management behind when you work with our experienced professionals. To learn more about our services and get a professional rental management quote call 404-862-8980.

6 Warning Signs Your Atlanta Rental Property Management Isn’t Doing Their Job

So you’ve decided to hire a property manager to take care of your investment property. That is a good call! Rental property owners who self-manage often find themselves making mistakes that cost time and money, lead to property damage, and even open owners up to risk and liability. Hiring a trustworthy property management company should allow you to relax knowing your property and tenants are being taken care of by industry experts. But when you’re ready to hire an Atlanta rental property management company, how do you know what to look for? And more importantly, how do you know you won’t get stuck with a shady property manager who deals unethically and puts your investment at risk? Learn 6 warning signs your property manager isn’t doing their job, and how to find one that will, in our guide below.

Warning Sign #1: Lack of Communication

As a property owner you should be aware of everything that goes on at your property. No, we aren’t talking about invading your tenant’s privacy. We are talking about weekly updates during the leasing process, and regular updates after that. If your tenant has a maintenance issue, such as a leaky pipe or broken window, you should know. If your property manager does not provide updates that is a red flag.

In addition to providing regular updates, your property manager should be easy to get a hold of. Missed calls happen, but they should always be followed up with a call back within 24 hours. Property managers who are challenging to get on the phone, or difficult to communicate with in person, will not be able to handle the interpersonal nature of residential property management in Atlanta. You should never be left in the dark when it comes to what is happening at your property. At Specialized Property Management Atlanta, there is always someone on call when you need to reach us. During the leasing phase, we provide status reports, so you are kept up to date with the progress. After that we provide regular updates, inspection reports, pictures, and accounting documents you can access at any time from your online owner portal

Warning Sign #2: Failure to Respond to Maintenance Requests

While this warning sign is related to warning sign #1, we felt it was so important that we needed to give it its own bullet point. The fact is, tenants cite failure to respond promptly to maintenance requests as one of the top reasons to move out at the end of their lease. If your property manager is slow to respond to maintenance requests, it could mean a higher turnover rate. In addition, your property manager should be taking good care of your property in order to keep your property value up and costs down. Failure to respond to maintenance requests means your home may fall into disrepair, and may not meet the requirements for a “safe and habitable” space for your tenants.

Warning Sign #3: Inadequate Atlanta Rental Property Management Services

Many property management companies claim to be full service, but not all of them are. If your property manager does not handle every aspect of the leasing cycle, chances are you are not getting your money’s worth of services. Specialized Property Management Atlanta provides a full range of services including:

  • Inspecting
  • Marketing
  • Showing
  • Screening
  • Signing
  • Collecting
  • Maintaining
  • Renewing
  • Moving

In short, we take care of every aspect of the rental cycle, so you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your investment. Don’t hire a property manager only to get stuck doing the hard work of managing on your own, hire Specialized Property Management Atlanta and know you are getting what you paid for.

Warning Sign #4: Poor Tenant Placement

Part of a property manager’s job is to screen tenants to ensure they are a good fit. Proper tenant screening means your tenant is responsible and able to pay their rent. One of the biggest mistakes residential property management in Atlanta can make is to place a tenant who is unqualified. Placing an unqualified tenant can lead to problems such as missing rent payments and failing to maintain the property. In extreme cases failing to screen a tenant can result in criminal activity, severe property damage, and eviction.

How do you know your property manager is placing qualified tenants? Strict tenant screening should include:

  • Criminal background check
  • Credit check
  • Rental history, including landlord references
  • Employment and income verification

If your property experiences a high rate of turnover or evictions, that is a sign that your property manager is not screening tenants closely enough.

Warning Sign #5: Infrequent Property Inspections

How often does your property manager inspect your rental property? If they only visit during the initial walkthrough and when your tenant moves out that is not enough. Mid-lease property inspections are necessary to ensure your property is being taken care of, and your tenants are complying with the terms of the lease. Our Atlanta rental property management company performs regular inspections and provides inspection reports to owners. Inspections can be scheduled quarterly or biannually. To learn more about what happens during a routine inspection visit this page.

Warning Sign #6: No Experience in Residential Rental Property

If you own a single-family rental property, duplex, triplex, or fourplex, your property manager should be an expert in these types of residential real estate. Property managers who primarily manage larger apartment complexes, condos, or short-term rentals will not have the expertise needed to manage your property. Knowing the ins and outs of residential property management means a property manager is less likely to make costly mistakes. The team at Specialized Property Management Atlanta has nearly 30 years of experience managing residential real estate, focusing on single-family homes up to fourplexes. Our property managers’ hard-earned knowledge and experience benefit both property owners and tenants. 

What to Look For in Residential Property Management In Atlanta

Now that you know the warning signs of a bad property manager, how do you know when you have found one you can trust? Follow these steps when interviewing property management companies to make sure you hire the right one.

Positive Online Reviews

Online reviews, particularly those on Google and the Better Business Bureau, can give you an idea of how a property management company relates to its clients. Look up management companies in your area and make sure they have a solid rating and history. Property management reviews can be tricky though, because they deal with the basic human need of shelter and rely on interpersonal relationships. To learn more about how to read reviews for property managers, visit our recent blog post.

Find a Team of Experts

Some property management companies are actually just a single person managing every aspect of the rental cycle. Other companies have two or three managers, but each manager is expected to handle everything that happens at your property. The problem with each of these approaches is that no one can be an expert in everything. Our Atlanta rental property management company has a team of experts with knowledge in specific areas. Our leasing experts know the local rental market, price your rental competitively, and ensure your rental listing is posted on the best websites. Accountants keep track of expenses and provide up to date reports so you can make data-driven decisions about your property. Our maintenance team answers requests quickly, and coordinates with outside vendors when needed. To learn more about our team of experts, visit our team page

Ask About Services and Guarantees

The last thing you need after hiring a property manager is to hear them say “that’s not my job.” Hiring a property manager means you can take a step back and focus on other areas of your life, whether that is work, family, or other investments. When you are looking for a property manager, take note of the services they provide. If they are not a full-service management company, they probably aren’t worth your money.

Before interviewing residential property management in Atlanta, make a list of services and guarantees that are non-negotiable. Here are a few ideas of questions to ask:

  • Do you offer a money-back guarantee?
  • Do you adhere to strict tenant screening guidelines?
  • Are my fees set, or will they go up?
  • Do you provide monthly and year-end accounting reports?
  • Do you guarantee any repairs that are made?
  • Does your company use the latest technology to drive decisions?

You should never settle for less when it comes to property management. At Specialized Property Management Atlanta, we offer 7 Specialized Guarantees, so you know you are always getting the best service at the best price. To see all our guarantees, and a complete list of questions to ask potential property management companies, go to our Guarantee webpage.

Don’t Settle For Substandard Service

Your property and your tenants deserve a property management company with experienced professionals and proven processes. Specialized Property Management Atlanta has the expertise you need to make your investment successful. To speak to an Atlanta rental property management expert and schedule a professional management quote call 404-862-8980 today.