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How Rental Property Management in Atlanta Finds Reliable Tenants

Vacancies are an unavoidable part of rental property management in Atlanta. Smart investors put aside a portion of their rental income each month to cover turnover costs like rekeying, cleaning, and advertising their vacancy. However, even with careful planning and budgeting your rental could start losing money if you have an extended vacancy, which is why it makes sense to try and fill a vacancy as quickly as possible. But, before you fill your vacancy, it is important to know the ins and outs of tenant selection. Poor tenant selection can actually lead to more serious issues down the road including rent delays, property damage, high turnover, evictions, and legal problems. How do you balance finding the right tenants with filling your vacancy quickly? With over 35 years of experience, Specialized Property Management Atlanta is here to help. Read our seven tips for finding more reliable tenants below.

Step 1: Gather Applications

After a prospective tenant decides they want to rent your property they must fill out a rental application. A standard rental application includes important information that helps rental property management in Atlanta decide whether or not the tenant is a good fit for your property. We recommend every tenant over 18 fill out an application, regardless of whether or not the lease will be in their name. As you will see below we take into consideration a wide variety of factors beyond income when approving applications. By gathering applications from every individual over 18, you reduce risks such as high turnover and legal issues.

Step 2: Verify Income and Employment

It goes without saying that your new tenant should be employed and that their salary should cover their rent. However, there are different opinions on how much rent an individual can afford. We recommend prospective tenants have a combined income of at least 3x the rent rate. That means if you charge $1,500 per month, your tenants should make at least $4,500 after taxes. Why do we recommend this? Your tenant should not feel burdened by their rent payments or forced to decide between paying their rent and paying other bills. A combined income of at least 3x the rent rate gives your tenant a needed cushion in their finances and lowers your risk as well.

Thorough rental property management in Atlanta also means verifying income and employment, not just taking your tenant’s word for it. Before moving your tenant to the next step of the application process call their employer to verify employment dates and current income.

Step 3: Credit Check

A good credit score is an indicator that a prospective tenant pays their bills on time and doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of debt. However, a tenant with poor credit isn’t always a bad choice. Oftentimes individuals with poor credit who want to buy their own home decide to rent while building their credit and saving for a down payment. For these individuals, it is crucial to make payments on time and never miss a payment. Other prospective tenants may be young and do not have enough credit history for a high score. Property owners should not discount a prospective tenant with a low credit score without first looking into why that number is low.

How does professional rental property management in Atlanta sift through applicants with low credit scores? The first step is to verify employment and income. After that, take a look at the reasons your applicant’s credit score is low. Did they miss a rent or utility payment? Do they have a high debt to income ratio? Do they have a recent bankruptcy, foreclosure, or eviction? For past late payments request a written explanation from your prospective tenant. We recommend avoiding applicants with prior evictions and judgments as these situations represent a higher risk.

Step 4: Verify Rental History

Where did your prospective tenant live before applying for your rental? On the rental application, each tenant must include their past two years of rental history. Addresses, phone numbers, and landlord or property manager’s names should be included. As part of your due diligence, you must contact each residence to confirm the tenant lived there. When speaking with the landlord or rental property management in Atlanta about their previous tenant, ask questions like: did they pay their rent on time? Did they leave the property in good condition? Were they easy to communicate with? Did they break any of the terms of the lease? 

If the tenant did break the lease, pay rent late, or leave the rental a disaster try to get more information about the situation. Most of the time these situations mean the tenant wasn’t great, but there could be more to the story that the landlord can fill you in on. Verifying a tenant’s rental history will oftentimes give you a better picture of whether or not they were a good tenant than a credit check can do alone. 

Step 5: Background Check

We recommend submitting every applicant over 18 to a background check and screening out any applicants that may bring additional liability. Consider denying applicants with the following history:

  • Drug-related charges
  • Theft
  • Violent offenses
  • Sexual offenders

These behaviors can bring about extra risk and liability. For more information about background checks talk to your rental property management in Atlanta.

Step 6: Reference Check

Your applicant should be able to provide several character references on their application. Oftentimes we see applicants list close friends or family members in this section. However, in order to get a better picture of the applicant, we recommend asking them to provide alternate references such as colleagues and employers. Taking this extra step is one more way you can reduce risk when choosing a new tenant.

Step 7: Comply With All Housing Laws

Federal, state, and local housing laws ensure both tenants and landlords are protected from unethical practices. However, with so many laws that pertain to housing, it can be difficult to keep them all straight. If you don’t devote significant time and energy to learning about all the laws that pertain to your specific area you could face steep fines that put your investment at risk. If you own multiple properties across the Atlanta metro area each property may have different HOA bylaws and local ordinances that apply to them. Staying on top of these laws while you move through the various steps listed above is challenging.

In addition, COVID-19 has placed new and rapidly changing restrictions on local businesses. For both compliance and safety rental property management in Atlanta must be up to date with these restrictions. Fortunately for our clients, Specialized Property Management Atlanta is dedicated to staying on top of COVID-19 restrictions, while maintaining our unparalleled customer service. 

Google reviewer Glory T. recently reported their experience working with our team during COVID-19,

“It was a great experience working with Arleth, Jarrod and Stephanie.  During COVID-19 restrictions, they were responsive and answered my questions timely.  Moving has its own level of stress so it’s great when working with a team that recognizes in advance what is needed and are proactive.  AWESOME team!!”

Staying in compliance with the law at every level will protect your investment and ensure that you maintain a good reputation in the property management industry. Our team of experts is dedicated to staying up to date with the ever-changing landscape of housing regulations. For a more in-depth look at housing laws that affect Atlanta rental property owners visit our blog

Why You Need Expert Rental Property Management In Atlanta

As you can see, property management is complicated. Making the wrong decision puts your investment at risk and opens you up to liability. Though it may be tempting to choose the first tenant who submits an application, that isn’t always the best choice. When you’re looking for the right tenant to occupy your property you cannot rush the process. 

Specialized Property Management Atlanta has the experts you need to find the right applicants, comply with housing laws, and protect your investment. With over 35 years of experience, we know how to move your applicants through the pre-leasing process efficiently, reducing vacancy days and ensuring you have a high-quality tenant in place. 

In a recent Google review of our rental property management in Atlanta property, owner Silis J. said,

“Our rental property stayed on the market for only three days before we had a signed lease. SPM of Atlanta did a magnificent job. We are very pleased with the service we’re getting. I believe that our property is in good hands, and would not hesitate recommending them.”

Finding reliable tenants is just one of the many factors in running a successful rental property. Throughout the rental cycle you must work quickly and efficiently to communicate with your tenants, keep your property well maintained, and stay on top of housing regulations. That’s why smart homeowners choose to work with the experienced property managers at Specialized Property Management Atlanta. When you’re ready to leave the hassle of self-management behind, contact our office for a professional rental management quote. Simply call 404-596-8429 to get started.

Seven Rent Collection Tips for Better Property Management

In a perfect world collecting rent from your tenants would be simple. Every tenant would pay their rent on time, in full, without a reminder. But we don’t live in that world, and the truth is that even the best tenants can miss a rent payment. When you’re in the business of Atlanta real estate management you need rent paid on time each month to keep your business afloat. In order to avoid becoming a collections agent or facing an eviction, you need to start early in the rental cycle. Read below for our seven steps for better rent collections that will help you not only avoid evictions but will establish a great tenant-landlord relationship.

Step 1: Strict Tenant Screening

Finding a high-quality tenant starts with proper tenant screening. Every resident over the age of 18 should be screened, even if they are not responsible for paying rent. And while tenant screening cannot predict things like a job layoff, it is the best way to ensure your tenant is capable of taking care of their responsibilities. Here is what we recommend:

  • Background Check: Perform a criminal background check on every applicant. Take note of anything concerning that shows up, such as a recent felony conviction.
  • Credit Check: Property management experts will tell you less than perfect credit isn’t always a reason for concern. After all, many tenants rent while they build their credit and save in order to buy a house. However, you will want to steer clear of tenants with recent bankruptcies, auto repossessions, evictions, or anything else concerning on their credit report.
  • Employment and Income Verification: Always verify your tenant’s place of employment and their income before approving their application. As a rule of thumb your tenant should earn three times the monthly rent in order to qualify.
  • Rental History: Tenants applying for your rental should supply information about their rental history. Even if they do not have an eviction on their record, there could be other red flags. A history of late rental payments, property damage beyond normal wear and tear, or lease violations could disqualify them from renting your property.

After more than 30 years in the Atlanta real estate management business we can tell you that most evictions could be avoided with proper tenant screening. For more information on how to screen tenants visit our blog post here

Step 2: Setting Clear Expectations Upfront

You found a tenant, screened them, and now it is time for lease signing and move in. You may think the hard part is over, and now you can just sit back and collect the rent checks each month. However, before you move on, you need to set clear expectations for your tenant about rent. Turnover and evictions are often caused by simple misunderstandings between tenants and landlords, which is why we work hard to communicate clearly from the very beginning. 

When your tenant signs their lease point out things they need to know, including

  • Rent due date.
  • When rent is considered late.
  • What fees will be added to late payments.
  • Process of notifications and eviction.
  • What forms of payment are acceptable.
  • How to contact the landlord or property management company for questions or concerns about rent.

It is important to be firm but fair when discussing rent payment with your tenant. When they know exactly what to expect from the tenant-landlord relationship, you are setting yourself up for success.

Step 3: Establish Incentives

Let’s face it, paying rent is not always going to be at the forefront of your tenant’s mind. Some tenants are simply forgetful and need a little incentive to remind them. Rather than waiting until they miss a payment and hitting them with a late fee, we suggest establishing incentives for on-time payments. Our Specialized Resident Benefits Program offers savings to tenants who pay their rent on time. Tenants can save hundreds of dollars each month on things they buy every day. We find that when tenants are offered incentives like our benefit program it makes them more likely to pay their rent on time and in full every month. Talk to one of our property managers today for more information about our Specialized Resident Benefits Program.

Step 4: Technology Driven Atlanta Real Estate Management

How do you collect rent? If your tenant has to mail a rent check or deliver it to your office once a month you are living in the dark ages. Paying rent with a physical check is not only a hassle for everyone involved, it increases the time between collecting rent and receiving funds.

Cut down the barriers to quick and easy rent payment by using a technology-driven platform like our tenant portal. By logging on to their personalized tenant portal your tenant can easily pay rent, from the comfort of their own home, any time they want. No more writing out a physical check and placing it in the mail or delivering it to your office. 

Electronic payments are beneficial for property owners as well. When a tenant pays their rent online the funds are electronically deposited into the property owner’s account via ACH. The process is simple and quick and ensures your rental income is delivered on time. For more information on how we use leading technology for property management, visit our recent blog post here

Step 5: Automatic Collections Process

We recognize that even when all the steps above are followed, a tenant may still miss their rent payments. When rent is not paid on time what do you do? In order to be fair you must have a process in place before your tenant signs their lease, and clearly communicate the process to your tenant. At Specialized Property Management Atlanta every time a tenant’s rent is not paid on time it triggers an automated collections process. This process ensures tenants are given proper notice of late rent, fees, and consequences if the rent is not paid. Here is the process we use:

  • Warning of overdue rent
  • Notice 1
  • Notice 2
  • Notice 3
  • Eviction

Evictions are bad for both the tenant and the property owner, which is why we do our best to avoid them through expert property management. However, when an eviction becomes inevitable our team is respectful yet tough to ensure your investment is protected.

Step 6: Legal Expertise

Evicting a tenant is a legal process that, if not handled properly, can be costly and drag out for months. Filing and delivering the appropriate paperwork, showing up to court, and making sure you have all of your documentation in order takes time. In addition, if you are evicting a tenant for non-payment of rent, every day that your tenant remains in the property is a day you are not collecting rental income.

In order to minimize rent-free days and get your investment back up and running our Atlanta real estate management experts move through the eviction process as efficiently as possible. After over 30 years in the business, our team has the legal expertise you need to process an eviction fairly and quickly.

Step 7: Keep the Process Professional

In property management it can be difficult to separate the personal from the professional. After all, you are dealing with your tenant’s home and personal space. However, at the end of the day, owning rental property is a business and all interactions should be handled professionally. By setting expectations early, communicating clearly, and handling all issues professionally you are setting yourself and your tenants up for success. 

If you are finding it difficult to keep the professional and personal aspects of owning rental property separate it is time to hire a property manager. Our team of property managers handle every aspect of the rental cycle with ease and expertise. Whether it is collecting rent, sending late notices, or beginning the eviction process, our property managers will navigate the process effortlessly. Just look at what a few of our property owners and tenants have to say about their experience with our Atlanta real estate management company:

“This company as a whole works together and it’s so refreshing. …the showing process was seamless and the team was readily available for questions. I wish all companies worked like this one.”

– Eddie C. Google review

“I am really impressed with this organization. The communication and professionalism is beyond excellent; they are light years ahead of all of the property management companies I have done business with.”

– Andrew W. Google review

“SPM has a lot of systems and procedures in place that were lacking for me before.  I feel like if I ask a question or if my tenants do, they will be quick to respond and know what to do.  So far my experience has been good!”

– Jessica F. Google review

If you’re ready to leave the headache and hassle of managing rental property behind, give us a call. Our experienced professionals and proven processes will work to turn your investment into a success.

To request a professional Atlanta real estate management quote call us today at 404-596-8454.

How Atlanta Property Management Companies Help Landlords Avoid Legal Problems

Rental property ownership, like any investment, comes with a certain amount of risk. However, with industry knowledge and planning you can decrease that risk. Before you invest in real estate you should know what risks you could be facing, and how best to avoid them. As one of the top Atlanta property management companies we can help you avoid the legal hassles that will put your investment at risk. Read below to learn our best tips for avoiding legal problems as a landlord.

Know the Law 

When it comes to managing rental property, local, state, and federal laws abound. From your neighborhood HOA bylaws to Federal fair housing laws, it can feel like there is no end to the rules you must abide by as a rental property owner. With so many different rules and ordinances, which are often being changed, it can be difficult to keep them all straight.  But ignorance of these laws, no matter how small they seem, is not justification for breaking them.

The numerous housing laws, rules, and ordinances protect both homeowners and tenants, ensuring that neither party is treated unfairly. However, if you are found to be in violation of certain laws you could be facing steep fines. In addition, if your situation requires professional help, attorney fees can be $250 per hour or more. Being in violation of just one law could wipe out your profits for the year. Working with a professional Atlanta property management company not only helps you avoid the hassle of keeping up with the ever-changing landscape of laws and regulations, but you avoid the high cost of violations.

Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act was put into place to help those with disabilities from being discriminated against in a variety of ways. In housing, it means that Americans with disabilities must have equal access to resources and features. For example, if the only way to get into your rental property is to walk up several steps, an individual in a wheelchair will not have equal access. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that you allow tenants to install adequate access features, which in this example is a wheelchair ramp. It also allows property owners to require the tenants to put the property back into its original condition when moving out.

In addition to equal physical access, the ADA requires that Americans with an assistance animal are given equal access to housing, even if the property has pet restrictions. If an individual has an assistance animal they may request to keep their animal as a reasonable accommodation. Because the animal is not a pet, you cannot charge extra fees such as “pet rent.” 

As an experienced Atlanta property management company, Specialized Property Management Atlanta can help you navigate these types of requests and ensure you are accommodating to any potential tenants with disabilities.

Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act, and other laws like it, aim to make housing fair for everyone. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development

“It is illegal to discriminate in the sale or rental of housing, including against individuals seeking a mortgage or housing assistance, or in other housing-related activities. The Fair Housing Act prohibits this discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability.”

Fair housing laws are not only about legality, they are about common decency. As a rental property owner, you must act fairly to all prospective tenants. For examples of what housing discrimination looks like visit the Housing and Urban Development website or our recent post here

Georgia Habitability Laws

It is important to remember that while your rental property represents an investment for you, for your tenant it is a home. Your tenant should reasonably expect their home to be safe and habitable, and Georgia law requires it. Your Atlanta property management company will help you understand what this means in your unique situation and location but, generally, landlords and tenants are responsible for different aspects of home maintenance. According to the Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook a landlord must “maintain the building structure; keep electric, heating, and plumbing in working order; and exercise ordinary care to keep the unit and access safe for tenants.” Tenants can expect they will be protected from the elements, have running water, plumbing, electricity, and functioning smoke detectors. In addition, they can expect that they will not be subjected to noxious smells, mold, noise, or garbage.

If your tenant brings a maintenance issue to your attention and you fail to respond you could be faced with a lawsuit, your tenant could “repair and deduct,” or they may move out and claim “constructive eviction.” All of these situations are costly and cause unnecessary tension between the landlord and tenant. The best way to avoid these adverse situations is to work with a professional Atlanta property management company. The qualified team at Specialized Property Management Atlanta works hard to ensure your property is safe and habitable for your tenants. With our 24/7 emergency call line, there will always be someone on the line to help your tenant with maintenance issues.

Licencing Requirements

It can be tempting to fix everything at your property on your own. After all, you can find instructions for just about any home maintenance project on the internet, and with a little elbow grease you can save a lot of money. Some property owners decide to hire a “handyman” who may have some practical experience but doesn’t have a license or insurance. Before you replace a toilet or install an electrical outlet, take a step back and think about the consequences. 

If something goes wrong you could be looking at property damage and a possible lawsuit. Most states require professionals, such as electricians and plumbers, to be licensed and have liability and workers comp insurance. Saving a little bit of money is not worth the liability you open yourself up to when choosing to DIY maintenance around your property. Fortunately, as your Atlanta property management company we will provide a list of vendors who perform high quality, cost-effective maintenance around Atlanta. 

Accounting Laws and Money Management

One of the most misunderstood aspects of property management is the security deposit. We often see first-time rental property owners mishandle security deposit funds, thinking it is simply part of their monthly cash flow. Security deposits serve as a protection for property owners. If a tenant moves out without notice while still owing rent, or causes property damage, the security deposit is meant to cover these costs. However, if the tenant gives proper notice, and the damage is limited to normal wear and tear the security deposit must be returned within one month.

Accounting laws dictate how security deposits should be handled, giving clear and specific instructions to property owners. Handling these funds incorrectly could result in fines up to three times the amount of the deposit. When you work with a professional Atlanta property management company like Specialized Property Management you can be sure your security deposit is kept safe and distributed correctly at the end of your tenant’s lease.

In addition to keeping track of the security deposit, property owners should keep a good record of all transactions and communications with tenants. Detailed and accurate records, including when and how you responded to requests, are invaluable to property owners. If a lawsuit is filed, these records are often pulled up as a primary source of reliable information. Make sure you keep time and date stamped records for the length of time required in your specific location.

Keeping Private Information Secure

Your tenant trusts you with their private information, such as their social security number and bank account information. While it is unlikely that you would intentionally share this sensitive information, unintentionally sharing it can lead to liability. How would you unintentionally share your tenant’s private information? It is easier than it sounds and is typically due to a lack of digital security. If you are asking your tenant to share sensitive information over the internet make sure you have a secure route to do it. Our Atlanta property management company provides a secure owner portal and tenant portal to view and share important documents, ensuring that private information stays private.  

Stay Up to Date and Vigilant

What is our best tip for avoiding legal issues as a landlord? Remaining constantly vigilant when it comes to the ever-changing landscape of property management. Understandably, many rental property owners don’t have the time or interest to stay on top of it all. Managing a rental property is a full time, nights and weekends type of job. But even if you don’t have the time or interest, you can still have a successful investment. Working with Specialized Property Management Atlanta not only reduces your legal risk, it provides you with peace of mind and a higher return on investment. 

Don’t take unnecessary risks with your investment. Trust the impeccable integrity, proven systems, and local expertise of our team of professionals. To request a professional rental management quote from the top Atlanta property management company call 404-596-8454.

Six Ways Property Managers in Atlanta Reduce Vacancies

Vacancies are as much a part of owning rental property as collecting rent checks or performing maintenance. Even the best tenants with long leases will eventually move out. When you own rental property it makes sense to plan and budget for vacancies and all the costs associated with turning over your property. 

While the average rental home vacancy is over one month, some vacancies can last even longer. And every day without a new tenant is a day without rental income. That is why our Atlanta rental property management team works hard to reduce vacancy days. With help from local experts, you can reduce vacancy days and protect your investment. Read the top six ways we reduce vacancy days below.

1 – Preparing the Property for New Tenants

Putting your vacant property back on the market as soon as possible is a top priority. Or is it? Unfortunately, what many inexperienced property owners don’t know is that rushing to list your vacant property can actually make it less marketable. Always wait until your old tenant has moved out to relist your property. New tenants can be swayed by the sights, sounds, and smells of another tenant in transition. In addition, you should perform a few basic maintenance tasks before posting pictures or scheduling shows. Here is what we recommend:

  • Rekeying: Your property needs to be rekeyed after every tenant to ensure safety. This step is quick and easy, and should never be skipped. After rekeying make sure you install a lockbox to make showings easy. Our property management company uses secure electronic entry boxes to further increase safety. 
  • Improvements: If your property needs improvements, such as putting on a new roof, now is the time to schedule them. We do not recommend showing the house while making repairs or improvements. Our professional property managers in Atlanta will help you identify areas that need improvement, repairs, or just a little bit of attention.
  • Cleaning: Give your rental property a deep clean, including shampooing the carpets and washing the windows inside and out. You never get a second chance at a first impression so make sure your property looks its best before putting it on the market.

If you are new to owning rental property, it is important to make sure your rental is up to code according to the Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook. Your property manager will help you understand what this means for your property specifically. In addition, we perform periodic inspections to ensure the property continues to meet local, state, and federal standards. That way, when it comes time to put your property back on the market you already know it is up to code. With experienced property managers getting your rental property ready for new tenants is efficient and thorough.

2 – Expert Property Managers in Atlanta Set Accurate Rent Rates

Most property owners know setting your property’s rent rate too high is one cause of an extended vacancy. But did you know that setting the rate too low can also be bad for business? A rent rate that accurately reflects the current market conditions will lead to fewer vacancy days and more profit. Here is how it works:

  • Too low: Many inexperienced property owners think if they price their rental significantly lower than competing properties it will reduce vacancy days. Even when this plan works out, which it does not always do, these property owners aren’t getting the full value of their investment.
  • Too high: As we stated above, pricing your rental too high leads to extended vacancy days. An extended vacancy means that even if you do end up renting at a higher rate the money you lost due to the vacancy is not offset by the higher rent.
  • Just right: Our expert Atlanta rental property management team will look at what your property has to offer, compare it to other local properties, and help you set a rent rate that will bring you high-quality tenants quickly, without missing out on profit. Without professional evaluation by a local expert, you could be missing out on investment income, or setting yourself up for an extended vacancy.

3 – Aggressive Advertising In Local and National Outlets

Once your rental property is prepped and priced how do you attract high-quality tenants? When you only advertise on a few websites or with a simple sign in the yard you are limiting your reach. Not only will it mean fewer applicants to choose from, it will take longer to receive any applications at all. Our team of leasing experts use yard signage in addition to advertising across dozens of websites. We list your rental property on popular real estate websites applicants from all over the world visit. We also use local advertising methods including posting your property on our own rental listing page. The bottom line is, the more exposure your rental property gets, the less time it will sit vacant.

4 – Shorten Response Time By Using Property Managers in Atlanta 

When it comes to learning the details of a property or scheduling a showing, tenants don’t like to wait around. The longer a tenant has to wait the more likely they are to move on and find another property. For some tenants, waiting even 24 hours for a response is enough to make them move on. That is why it is imperative that you respond quickly to requests for information and showings.

This can be difficult for property owners who manage their own rental properties. With daily responsibilities like a full-time job and family, managing a rental property often has to take a back seat. Property owners who hire professional property managers lease their properties faster because there is always someone on call to answer questions and schedule showings. 

At Specialized Property Management Atlanta we not only have managers on call daily to answer questions, we include a number that potential tenants can call or text on the yard sign for more info. When an individual contacts our property managers for a showing we work hard to schedule the showing with one of our experienced agents as quickly as possible. Short response times by our Atlanta rental property management team reduces vacancy days and increases the number of applicants so you can pick the best one.

5 – Collecting Applications and Screening Tenants

How do you choose the best tenant for your property? And what does picking a tenant have to do with reducing vacancy days? Experienced property managers will tell you picking the right applicant is one of the most important parts of owning rental property. With the work you put into your property before and during the leasing process, you should have multiple applicants to choose from. Your property manager will collect applications and set to work screening immediately. While screening applicants is not a process you want to skip or take shortcuts in, when you know how to properly screen an applicant you can expedite the process. Tenant screening should always include the following:

  • Criminal background check
  • Credit check
  • Employment history
  • Income verification
  • Rental history

Our team knows how to screen applicants quickly and thoroughly so you can pick the best tenant for your property and get them in their new home faster.

6 – Managing Lease Signing and Move-In

Comprehensive Atlanta rental property management should always include lease signing and move-in procedures. After screening applicants and choosing the right one the leasing documents must be created quickly, so there is no delay in move-in. Having an experienced property manager on your side will help this process move quickly and efficiently, without cutting any corners or making costly mistakes. Our property managers speed the process further by providing secure owner and tenant portals available 24/7.

Property managers prepare leasing documents that are specific to your property. The lease should include information like when the rent is due and who is responsible for lawn care. At lease signing your property manager will review the lease with the tenant to ensure they understand their responsibilities. In addition, your property manager will perform a move-in inspection taking note of any maintenance issues and answering any questions your new tenant may have. With an experienced property manager handling lease preparation and move-in procedures, you can reduce vacancy days and start off your tenant-landlord relationship on a good foot.

Get Unsurpassed Service with the Top Property Managers in Atlanta

While all of our vacancy reduction tips are worthwhile, the only way to really ensure you reduce vacancy days is to work with the experienced professionals at Specialized Property Management Atlanta. Our team has the experts you need on hand to make the most of your investment. Just check out this recent Google review:

“Specialized Property Management has been very instrumental in vetting and placing qualified tenants into my rental property. Communication with the whole Specialized team is second to none. I would recommend Specialized Property Management to anyone looking to rent out their property with very little time spent empty.”

– property owner Manny B

With unsurpassed service you can be sure your rental property and tenants are well taken care of, saving you time and money at every stage of the leasing cycle

To learn more or schedule a professional rental management quote call 404-596-8454.

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.

How Atlanta Property Managers Give Back

At Specialized Property Management Atlanta, we seek to support strong communities where people of all abilities are able to thrive. We believe that everyone should have equal access to the things that bring confidence and build self-esteem. As part of reaching these goals, we look beyond property management services in Atlanta to where we can make an impact in the lives of those in our community and around the United States. We are proud to support the National Ability Center and the Wounded Warrior Project, bringing much-needed assistance and programming to those with differing abilities. Through these two organizations, Specialized Property Management Atlanta has the opportunity to give back to the community we love. Read below to learn more about these two organizations.

The National Ability Center

The National Ability Center, based in Park City, Utah, provides adaptive programming for individuals of all abilities to explore, adventure, and have fun. They believe nothing should be able to hold you back from reaching your full potential. Through sport, recreation, and education, individuals can build skills and confidence that will last a lifetime.

Programs Offered Through the National Ability Center

Testing out your abilities does not come as a one size fits all, which is why the National Ability Center offers a wide range of programs from beginners looking to have fun to advanced professional athletes. Our Atlanta property managers are proud to support recreation programs, including archery, cycling, aquatics, rock climbing, skiing, sled hockey, snowshoeing, and water sports. Typically these activities are available only to those of certain ages and without disabilities, but through the unique equipment and techniques developed at the National Ability Center they are accessible to all. Learn more about all the adaptive recreation activities offered at the National Ability Center on their program page.

Splore Outdoor Adventures

An adventurous spirit does not discriminate when it comes to ability level, and neither does the National Ability Center. Through their Splore Outdoor Adventures, the National Ability Center provides access to longer excursions, including overnight adventures. Camping, backpacking, mountain biking, and rafting are all among the Splore Outdoor Adventure activities offered. These excursions are only possible because of the hard work and ingenuity of individuals at the National Ability Center, and companies like SPM who choose to look beyond property management services in Atlanta and support their work of inclusion. Learn more about this adaptive programming by visiting the Splore Outdoor Adventures page.

Equestrian-Assisted Activities

Equestrian-assisted activities (EAAT) are used in many therapies, including occupational and speech therapy with great success. At the National Ability Center, participants are paired with a horse, instructor, and volunteers so they can take part in a variety of activities and therapies. These include adaptive horseback riding, trail riding, hippotherapy, and equine-assisted learning (EAL). To find out more about Equestrian-assisted activities offered at the National Ability Center, visit their website.

Community Programs

The National Ability Center is interested in creating a fun and safe environment for all and offers community events and camps to support that cause. Community events such as the Spring Formal teach life skills, build friendships, and foster a sense of community. Year-round camps are designed to meet the needs of differing skill levels and introduce campers to new experiences. Read more about community programming at the National Ability Center on their website.

Athletic Training and Competitions

Our Atlanta property managers know that with ingenuity, anyone can follow their dreams. At the National Ability Center, athletes with developmental, cognitive, or physical disabilities can train for competitions. The athletes who hone their skills at the National Ability Center go on to compete in the Special Olympics, Paralympics, and other local, national, and global sports competitions. Without a place like the National Ability Center, these athletes would likely be unable to train and compete.

Changing Mindsets

No one should be held back from achieving their goals because of a disability. Thanks to the National Ability Center, those with differing abilities have been able to change their mindset from “I can’t” to “I can.” In addition to the programs listed above, the National Ability Center offers family activities, equipment rental, education, and training. These important services and the staff members who help implement them ensure everyone who comes to the National Ability Center feels included and supported. If you know someone who would benefit from the programs and services offered by the National Ability Center, or you would like to learn about partnering with the organization, visit their website.

The Wounded Warrior Project

Companies offering property management services in Atlanta often encounter veterans and have great respect for those who have served our country. In recognition of their service, we support the Wounded Warrior Project. This project offers support and programs to servicemen and women returning from their service, in an effort to make the transition home easier.

Why Support Wounded Warriors?

According to the Wounded Warrior Project website there are “more than 52,000 servicemen and women physically injured in recent military conflicts. 500,000 living with invisible wounds, from depression to post-traumatic stress disorder. 320,000 experiencing debilitating brain trauma.” These servicemen and women experience a profoundly altered quality of life after their experiences in conflict. With the help of doctors, community members, and donors, these brave men and women can begin their path toward recovery.

Programs Offered Through the Wounded Warrior Project

There is no “typical case” when it comes to a Wounded Warrior. That is why the Wounded Warrior Project offers a wide range of physical activities, mental health care, educational opportunities, community support, and other resources. Programs are available to support individuals and their family members at every stage so that they can reach their full potential. Our Atlanta property managers are proud to partner with this project and help servicemen and women achieve their goals.

Physical Wellness Program

Getting into shape is an important part of living a full life, but for servicemen and women returning home, it can be difficult to add physical activity to their daily routine. This is especially true of those who have experienced an injury, whether physical or mental. With help from coaches at the Wounded Warrior Project, individuals meet their physical fitness goals, whether to lose weight, eat healthier, sleep better, or increase mobility. The program also connects warriors in the same area in order to encourage and motivate. Learn more about all the ways the Wounded Warrior Project helps warriors maintain physical health on this page.

Mental Health Services

Mental health challenges such as PTSD and depression can cripple a service member, keeping them from returning to their normal life. However, with the help of the interactive programs offered at the Wounded Warrior Project, veterans have access to professional services, rehabilitative retreats, and community support. With help from our property management services in Atlanta and other donors, the Wounded Warrior Project has provided over 42,000 hours of care in the form of therapy and intensive outpatient care.

Career Counseling

Transitioning back to civilian life can be daunting for many servicemen and women. Fortunately, the Wounded Warrior Project offers career counseling and VA benefits counseling. Every veteran should be able to understand and navigate their benefits and find a career that fits their needs and skills. The counseling offered by the Wounded Warrior Project ensures servicemen and women are able to reach their goals.

Building Independence 

For warriors who have experienced a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or other neurological impairment, the Wounded Warrior Project offers support toward gaining independence. Warriors, their families, and their caregivers are recruited to form an individualized plan with the goal of gaining independence. With the help of experts, veterans can find relief and a positive path forward.

Supporting the Wounded Warrior Project

If you are like our Atlanta property managers, you know a veteran or a veteran’s family member who would benefit from the support provided by the Wounded Warrior Project. Help is available to veterans anywhere on their path to recovery. Assistance is also available to those living abroad through the Wounded Warrior team at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. To connect someone you know with the project, visit their registration page

However, you don’t have to be a veteran or the family member of a veteran to support the Wounded Warrior Project. Opportunities to support the Wounded Warrior Project are available through the Carry Forward 5K, fundraisers, and more. If you are interested in helping the brave men and women who have fought for our country, visit their give back page and learn how you can get involved.

Learn More

At Specialized Property Management Atlanta, we know that happiness at home starts with the ability to achieve your goals. We are proud to donate to these worthy causes so that every member of our community can have the tools to succeed. To learn more about the National Ability Center or the Wounded Warrior Project, visit their websites today.

Find out what sets Specialized Property Management apart from other property management services in Atlanta by scheduling a professional rental management quote today.

What You Need to Know About Rental Property Maintenance

Benjamin Franklin one said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This quote can be easily applied to many areas of life, but we think it is especially applicable to rental property maintenance. Owning rental property is a long-term investment, which means you need to pay attention to regular maintenance in order to save money. If you are vigilant about maintenance at your property your home’s systems will last longer and you will be less likely to have an emergency situation. Find out how you can stay on top of regular maintenance tasks at your rental home with our short guide to maintenance below.

What is a Property Owner Responsible For?

Before we discuss how you should approach routine maintenance we need to define what a property owner is responsible for, and what a tenant is responsible for. Incorrect expectations and miscommunication about maintenance issues can lead to tension between tenants and property owners. This is why we work hard to clearly explain a tenant’s responsibilities when they sign their lease.

According to the Georgia Landlord-Tenant Handbook, “residential landlords have a duty to keep a unit in a safe and habitable condition and in good repair.” Generally, landlords are responsible for maintaining the structure of the home including plumbing, electrical, and heating. They are also responsible for ensuring their tenant has safe access to their unit. Tenants are responsible for keeping the home clean and tidy, as well as reporting any maintenance issues to their landlord as soon as possible.

Your Atlanta property manager can help you and your tenant understand how these rules apply to your property specifically, and it is important to know that maintenance responsibilities may change based on lease requirements. For example, some landlords require their tenants to maintain the landscaping while others do not. 

During the initial walk-through your tenant should make a note of any maintenance issues that make the home unsafe so the maintenance team can fix them. It is also a good time to explain to your new tenant exactly what they are responsible for, and how certain maintenance tasks should be performed. Tasks such as changing the AC filter may not be intuitive to a tenant who is new to renting a single-family home. Remember that communicating clearly about maintenance upfront will help you avoid tensions and reduce turnover.

Planning for Maintenance

Every home needs maintenance, whether it is a brand new build or a 50 year old home. Carpets wear out, faucets leak, and windows break. If you supply major appliances such as a refrigerator, washer, or dryer, you are responsible for repairing or replacing them. That is why it is important to include rental property maintenance in your yearly budget. How much should you set aside? A good rule of thumb is 1-2 months rent. However, if your home is older you may need to set aside more. Talk to one of our experienced property managers if you are unsure how much money to budget for maintenance issues.

In addition to routine maintenance costs you need to stay up to date with how well your rental home’s systems are working and set money aside for replacing them. With proper maintenance your rental home’s AC system, furnace, and water heater should last 10, 15, or even 20 years. Eventually though, they will need replacement. Typically replacing one of your home’s systems isn’t an emergency. Your AC may stop working one day, but if you are maintaining it properly you will see warning signs long before it kicks the bucket. Take note of these signs, as well as the age of the system, so you can plan for the cost of replacement. 

Why Atlanta Property Managers Recommend Property Inspections

Effective maintenance starts with regular property inspections. If you are only inspecting your property at move in and move out you are doing your property and your tenants a disservice. We recommend quarterly or biannual inspections for three reasons:

  1. Inspections allow you to identify areas that need repairs and plan for future expenses.
  2. Communication between property managers and tenants is improved.
  3. Your tenant sees that you are invested in their wellbeing and their home, and are thus more likely to take good care of the home.

Regular property inspections save you money in the long term by identifying problems at your rental home and reducing turnover. For more information on why you should never skip an inspection read our blog post here.

Regular Maintenance By Season

Now that you know why routine maintenance is so important you are probably wondering how to perform routine maintenance tasks. At Specialized Property Management Atlanta we perform inspections nearly every day at the properties we manage across the Atlanta metro area. We recommend performing rental property maintenance quarterly or biannually, and checking specific items based on the season of the year. Even if you choose to inspect less frequently we recommend reminding your tenant of the routine maintenance tasks they should be performing each season. Here is a brief list of the tasks you should do according to season:

  • Spring: When the weather begins to warm it is time for spring cleaning. Walk around the outside of the property to make sure freezing temperatures did not damage outdoor pipes or the foundation. Schedule an AC tune-up before the weather gets too hot. Check attics and basements to ensure critters did not make homes there during the colder months.
  • Summer: Check that ceiling fans are turned to their summer setting to ensure correct airflow. Remind your tenant what their responsibilities are in regards to landscaping, particularly if they need to water the lawn periodically.
  • Fall: Ensure your rental home is ready for colder weather by scheduling routine maintenance for your furnace. Ask your tenant to take note of any windows or doors that are leaking air so your Atlanta property managers can reseal where needed. Yards should be clean of anything that cannot stay out in freezing temperatures.
  • Winter: During the holiday season home fires are at their peak. Make sure your tenant is prepared for the worst by checking smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. Ask your tenant to alert you if they will be gone for an extended period of time over the holidays.

Some maintenance tasks should be performed regularly, but aren’t based on the season. These include tasks like changing the AC air filter and checking for common safety hazards. For more information on performing a routine inspection visit our post here.

Responding to Maintenance Requests

How quickly do you respond to tenant maintenance requests? Slow response to maintenance issues is one of the top reasons for tenant turnover. When tenants feel their problems are being brushed off they get frustrated and are less likely to re-sign their lease. In addition, the Georgia Landlord-Tenant Handbook states that a landlord is responsible for responding to maintenance requests in a reasonable time, otherwise the tenant can sue for damages. Responding quickly to every rental property maintenance request, no matter how small, will help you avoid tensions and reduce turnover. 

Responding in a timely manner to every maintenance request can feel impossible when you self-manage, especially if you own multiple properties, live outside of the Atlanta Metro area, or have a full-time job outside of property management. Maintenance issues don’t wait for you to have the day off. Self-managing your rental property means you must be on call nights, weekends, holidays, and during vacations. That is one reason property owners turn to our team of experts. With Specialized Property Management Atlanta taking care of your property you never have to worry who will answer that middle of the night maintenance call. 

At Specialized Property Management Atlanta we make it easy for tenants to report maintenance issues, no matter when they happen. Our online tenant portal is available 24 hours a day for tenants to submit a maintenance request. We also provide an emergency phone number your tenant can call if they need someone right away. Our property managers are always available to address maintenance emergencies, and are quick to respond to requests of any kind. 

The Atlanta Property Managers You Can Trust

With nearly 30 years of property management experience we know how tricky it can be for property owners to take care of every aspect of the rental cycle. If you are new to property management, or you are trying to manage your rental while working another full time job, chances are some things will slip through the cracks. Unfortunately when that happens your investment could be put at risk. 

Property owners who choose to work with our Specialized team benefit from our experienced professionals and proven processes. We use the latest technology to analyze data from your property, helping you avoid unnecessary costs and make informed decisions. On your online owner portal you can view the latest property updates and inspection reports so you are always informed about what is happening at your property. 

You owe it to yourself, your tenants, and your investment to work with the experts at Specialized Property Management Atlanta. Get started today by calling 404-596-8454.

How Realtors and Property Managers in Atlanta Can Join Forces

Real estate is an industry that rewards experience. The more you know about trends in your local area the better you can help your clients. This holds true for both real estate agents and property managers. That is just one reason our team of property management experts chooses to partner with local realtors. We want the best for our clients, so we partner with expert agents to get them the best results. If you are a realtor in Atlanta we invite you to join our Realtor Referral Program.

What Realtors Do

As a realtor you are committed to staying up to date with the real estate industry so you can help your clients to buy low and sell high. The best local realtors are constantly researching market trends and looking up comps for their clients. Pricing a home correctly means your selling client will sell their home quickly and earn close to what it is valued at. Your buying client needs to know which homes are overpriced, and which are a good value. When a realtor does their job right they will help their clients buy and sell, and they will earn a commission. 

What Property Managers in Atlanta Do

A property manager at a full service company like Specialized Property Management Atlanta takes care of everything during the rental cycle. This includes advertising, showing, lease preparation, screening, collections, maintenance, inspections, and more. Part of our job is to help property owners price their rentals correctly, which brings in high quality tenants quickly. Being experts in areas like screening and inspections means property owners see less turnover and save money over time. When we do our job correctly we see happy tenants, happy property owners, and a steady income from management fees.

Why Property Managers and Real Estate Agents Should Join Forces

It may sound counterintuitive for realtors and property managers to work together. After all, a realtor only gets paid when their client decides to buy or sell. And, property managers only get paid when their clients choose to rent out their homes. However, after years of experience in the real estate industry we know that our clients have many reasons to sell their investment properties. While real estate investment is a great way to make money, it isn’t right for everyone. In the same way, some of your realty clients may look at the current market trends and decide to rent out their home instead of selling. Neither of these scenarios mean you are a bad realtor or we are bad property managers, they simply mean our clients want different services.

When a client decides to sell their investment property they often ask us for a referral. We want to make sure that our clients receive the best service possible when they work with a realtor which is why we only refer clients to realtors we have a relationship with. As a realtor we are sure you want the best for your client who decides not to sell. When you refer your client to our property managers in Atlanta we guarantee that we will help them turn their investment into a success. 

Specialized Property Management Atlanta Realtor Referral Program

How can you benefit from referring your clients to Specialized Property Management Atlanta? Beyond knowing your clients are in good hands, when you join our realtor referral program you can earn money. For each client you refer who signs a management contract we will pay you a $500 referral fee. Even better, there is no limit on the number of clients you can refer and earn through.

But what about your clients who decide to sell after a year or two of renting out their home? Some property management companies buy and sell properties in addition to managing rentals. At Specialized Property Management Atlanta our focus is on managing single-family rental homes. We do not have realtors who buy and sell, which means when our clients decide to sell they need a realtor. Why does this matter? When our clients decide to sell we must refer them elsewhere. We maintain a list of realtors we parter with through our Real Estate Agent Referral Program. That means when your client is ready to sell we refer them right back to you. You won’t lose their business by referring them to our property management company.

Protecting Your Reputation

As an established Atlanta business we know how important a good reputation is. Your reputation is based not only on the things you do but the people you surround yourself with. And, in the real estate industry your reputation and expertise are what matter most. When you refer your clients to any third party, whether it is a construction company or financier, you are putting your own reputation on the line. So how do you know you can trust Specialized Property Management Atlanta? Referring your clients to a property management company you don’t know is potentially dangerous for your reputation and your future sales. If your client has a bad experience they may not trust your judgement. Even if they do enjoy the management their business might be taken if that property management company also offers real estate services.

Your clients should never settle for less than the best property managers in Atlanta, and when they choose to work with Specialized Property Management Atlanta that is exactly what we offer. With Specialized Property Management Atlanta you can be certain your reputation, expertise, and future sales are protected. Plus, you will earn money for each referral. You really have nothing to lose by partnering with Specialized Property Management Atlanta!

7 Specialized Guarantees Your Clients Will Love

In fact, we are so confident that our clients will be satisfied with the services we offer we provide 7 Specialized Guarantees. Our 7 Guarantees include:

  • Quality Tenant Guarantee
  • Competitor Price Match
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Legal And Accounting Compliance Guarantee
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Leading Technology Guarantee
  • Customer-For-Life Guarantee
  • Eviction Protection Guarantee

Our 7 Specialized Guarantees ensure your clients never have to wonder if they are getting the best deal or best service. And if your client ever has an issue with our services we promise to do everything we can to make things right. As a real estate agent you can feel confident that when you refer your client to our team of experts they will get the superior service they deserve.

What Our Clients Have to Say

We know that our 7 Specialized Guarantees only mean so much without the positive reviews of our clients. If you’re curious how our property owners and tenants feel about our services take a look at our customer reviews. Specialized Property Management Atlanta has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and an average rating of 4.5 stars on Google reviews. Read what a few of our customers have to say about our property managers in Atlanta:

“I was on the fence about whether or not I needed someone to help me manage my rental homes. After I realized the difficulty of doing so on my own, I turned to Specialized Property Management. I had gotten many referrals and am so glad I found them. They are true professionals- extremely efficient and courteous. It was a seamless transition and SO worth the money. Jarrod and Tim are efficient,responsive, and pleasant to work with. I would highly recommend them to anyone that is considering a management company. A+” 

Google Review from Ashley B.

“We have worked with SPM for over 10 years as a property manager for our property and have been 100% satisfied with everyone on their team. Everyone is available to quickly answer questions or solve any problems. I would recommend SPM to anyone seeking a property management team.”

BBB Review from C. M.

“Specialized Property Management has been very instrumental in vetting and placing qualified tenants into my rental property. Communication with the whole Specialized team is second to none. I would recommend Specialized Property Management to anyone looking to rent out their property with very little time spent empty.”

Google Review from Manny B.

To read more testimonials from property owners and tenants visit our testimonials page

How to Join Our Real Estate Agent Referral Program

What are you waiting for? Start referring clients today and earning your referral fee. Visit our Realtor Referral Program page and fill out the form to submit your referral. As soon as your client signs a management agreement you will receive your $500 referral fee. And when your client is ready to sell again we will refer them right back to you.

You and your clients can learn more about our top rated property management company, including information about our full range of services, by visiting our services page or our FAQ page. Still have questions about our Realtor Referral Program? Give us a call anytime at 404-596-8454 and we would be happy to answer them!

With proven processes and experienced professionals Specialized Property Management Atlanta is the company your clients need to turn their investment into a success!