Owners FAQ

Future Owners FAQ

The following 8 questions pertain to owners trying to decide on their management company, further down you will see specific operating answers for our current owners.

Q: Do you make money on maintenance of my property?

Frontline Property Management, Inc. Policy: WE DO NOT.

This is an age old struggle for many management companies. Maintenance can be a great determinant as to whether an investor’s portfolio is successful, or not! Our company has been on both sides of the equation; back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s we did have an “in-house” maintenance company. Now we “outsource” 100% of our maintenance to other vendors.

Our number one goal is attracting and keeping good tenants IN our properties. The personality strengths that it takes to be great at this primary function are; excellent communication skills and very attuned customer service skills. Now, take a look at what it takes to be an EXCELLENT maintenance tech and diagnostician; construction knowledge, detailed understanding of plumbing, electrical, HVAC, sewage systems, etc. It is rare to find an individual who can perform both of these duties at a high level! For this very reason, we decided to outsource our maintenance to a competent company that will go out and get competitive bids for our owners. What we like about this is that we can also go out and get competitive bids for property projects in addition to the bids that My Labor Resource provides and this leads to our second point of why we do not make money on maintenance.

We simply have a fiduciary responsibility to our owners to represent you and keep your “needs” in mind at all time. If we make money on our maintenance, then WHO wins if your property suffers a series of repair needs? We then would have a “vested interest” in something breaking down and not be as motivated to go out and try to get separate quotes for those issues.

Q: Do you use familial relationships for any of your regular vendors such as make ready, HVAC, extermination, lawn maintenance?

Frontline Property Management, Inc. Policy: WE DO NOT.

There was a time when we did. We do not any longer. The reason we do not is that things just happen with family. It is hard to keep perspective and normal business procedures when family come into play. Pricing, scheduling, customer satisfaction, volume are all points of discussion in our business and it is much harder to iron out points of contention when family is involved.

Again, who wins when you need those services for your property?

Q: Do the company, employees and/or independent contractors accept favors from vendors?

Frontline Property Management, Inc. Policy: WE DO NOT.

It is tempting, we must say to be “offered” special services from vendors who perform regular services on our portfolio, but it is also a huge conflict of interest. Our employees and independent contractors sign an agreement that they will not accept “freebies” from our vendors. If they do, it is grounds for immediate dismissal. It is just not good business practice.

Q: Do the company, employees and/or independent contractors accept favors from vendors?

Frontline Property Management, Inc. Policy: WE DO NOT.

It is tempting, we must say to be “offered” special services from vendors who perform regular services on our portfolio, but it is also a huge conflict of interest. Our employees and independent contractors sign an agreement that they will not accept “freebies” from our vendors. If they do, it is grounds for immediate dismissal. It is just not good business practice.

Q: Do you work with tenants who are experiencing hardship in their lives in regard to rent collections?

Frontline Property Management, Inc. Policy: WE DO, with FULL disclosure and approval of the owner of the property.

In all cases, we follow the lease, payments due on the 3rd and late on the 4th (for most of our properties). We feel that during the height of this economic downturn we were able to “save” many honest tenants who experienced unfortunate personal financial downfall. We work hard to come up with an “agreeable” payment arrangement and get them signed by the tenant. If the tenant breaks the payment arrangement, we then begin immediate action on the eviction process. Many times we are able to ask the tenant to leave peaceably which saves eviction and court fees. If we try to work with them, they usually respect this. Tenants that have “made it through” a difficult time and have caught up with their rent tend to be very loyal to our company and tend to remain as residents with us.

Please know it is harder to work with tenants through payment arrangements. The “easier” way is to file eviction and move on. We know pretty quickly who will abide by the arrangement and who will not.

Q: Does management participate in the Multiple Listing System through your board of Realtors?

Frontline Property Management, Inc. Policy: WE ABSOLUTELY DO!

We don’t mind paying a coop fee for area Realtors to lease our properties. This is one of our competitive advantages and many months we obtain over 50% of our leasing activity from outside Realtor showings. We enjoy working with them and go out of our way to make the transaction as smooth as possible.

Q: Does our property managers hold current Texas Real Estate Licenses?

Frontline Property Management, Inc. Policy: YES, We require that all of our Property Managers are licensed and are members of the Texas Association of Realtors.

As a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, you pledge to follow the Code of Ethics, which outlines our obligations to clients, colleagues, and the general public.

Established members must complete a Code of Ethics course once every two years. Click here for a copy of the Code of Ethics and Standard Practice www.texasrealtors.com

Q: Does the management company have general liability and E & O coverage?

Frontline Property Management, Inc. Policy: YES.

We have hold E&O insurance policy for 1,000,000 in coverage. Personnel dishonesty coverage is included with our General Liability insurance.

Q: Does the management company require that all vendors working on property have worker’s compensations insurance?

Frontline Property Management, Inc. Policy: YES.

We do not utilize vendors unless they provide us with a copy of their General Liability insurance.

Current Owners FAQ

Q: How do I read my statement?

Q: When do I receive my equity distribution?

Equity distributions are made on the last business day of each month. Net proceeds, less reserve, are directly deposited into our client’s accounts on that day through an electronic ACH transfer. Monthly statements are also e-mailed no later than the 6th business day the following month. Should there have been any invoices paid during the reporting period, the scanned invoices are available upon request via email, please simply ask your property manager. Download ACH authorization form.

Q: What is this payment for?

We do not make equity distributions “for” specific items, but distribute all net proceeds from the month less any required reserve and security deposit responsibility.

Q: Why are there different income categories on my statement?

In an effort to provide as much detailed reporting as possible for our clients, we allocate income to proper accounts for the charges paid.

Q: What is an allocation order?

In Texas an allocation of payments received must be established. Our company policy dictates that all outstanding charges must be paid prior to allocating payments to rent. Should the resident in your property need to be taken to court to recover monies owed, this will be to your benefit as many courts will not allow the recovery of late fees.

Q: My property is vacant; do I still get charged a management fee?

No. We do not charge management fees on vacant properties. Our company feels that this is a win-lose position. Unless otherwise dictated by your management agreement you will see no charge for vacant units.

Q: Must I maintain a balance in my property’s Trust Account?

We do require a balance to be maintained in your property’s Trust Account in an effort to ensure there are enough funds available to properly manage your property. This amount is dictated by the parameters of your agreement.

Q: What is a Trust Account?

A Trust Account is a bank account that is maintained at an insured Texas bank. The account is not an asset of Frontline Property Management, Inc. The Texas Real Estate Commission sets the standards for Trust Accounts in the Texas Trust Account Guidelines.

Q: What happens to the security deposit from my resident?

We account for the security deposit from your tenant separately as indicated on your owner’s statement. When the tenant moves out, we process the security deposit disposition and deduct all costs that are considered “beyond normal wear and tear” of the property from the security deposit. Tenants are informed of these potential costs prior to moving in as well as in their move out packet upon notification of move out. The tenant is issued their security deposit refund and any damages deducted from their deposit are then transferred into your operating account.

Q: How do I pay management fees?

Management fees are deducted from your monthly equity distribution.

Q: What if my resident does not pay?

If rent is not received on, or before, the 5th of the month, residents will receive a three day letter to vacate, (pay to stay letter) notifying them that they are in breach of the lease and payment must be made promptly. If no response is obtained three days after the tenant receives the three day letter, we can file an Eviction. At the Eviction filing, the county clerk will issue a court date at some time usually within the next 7 to 10 days.

Q: What if I win eviction?

Winning the eviction is the first step in the eviction process and should not be taken lightly. A decision in favor of the Plaintiff (landlord) can stay on a resident’s record for 10 years and might make it difficult to obtain future housing and credit. An eviction is also expensive; fees can reach over $200 and are the responsibility of the resident. The preliminary funds are charged to the owner account and then we try to collect the fees back from the tenant.

Q: What is done after a resident moves out?

● We perform a move out inspection of the property. During the inspection, we identify items that should be charged to the former resident. We also will make recommendations to preserve the value of the property and decrease the vacancy time. We document the condition of all our properties with digital pictures.
● We supply a summary of the inspection to you as quickly as possible.
● We supply you with make ready bids to get the property in leasable condition.
● Once the property is ready for marketing, we allow prospective residents to view your property.

Q: How does Frontline Property Management screen prospective residents?

We perform a credit check, criminal background check, employment verification, and rental/ mortgage payment history on every adult prospective resident. We evaluate the lease rate /income ratio to insure the prospect can afford the rental unit. Upon approval, the prospect is given 72 hours to sign the lease and pay the security deposit.

Q: What does Frontline Property Management do before a new resident moves in?

● A move in inspection is performed in which we document, both in pictures and writing, the condition of the property.
● As required by law, all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors must be tested and the batteries replaced regardless of how new they are. We abide by the Texas Property Code for the proper number and location of smoke detectors.
● Furnace filters will be changed, as needed. Not only does this help protect your investment, but sets the benchmark for new residents. Per the terms of our lease agreement, residents are required to replace them throughout and at the end of their tenancy.
● The property will be re-keyed to ensure the safety and security of both the property and new resident.

Q: Can I be responsible for maintenance on my property?

Yes, please download the proper form to give us the proper notice. Please read carefully as you accept certain responsibilities if you decide to perform your own maintenance.

Q: What is the Housing Voucher (formerly Section 8) Program?

This is a federal government program, administered by local housing authorities, where residents obtain assistance in meeting their monthly lease payments. The government’s share of the lease payments are deposited in our Trust account on the first of each month. Our property managers will discuss the program with you and get the paperwork together for you to sign if you are interested in offering Housing Voucher Program on your property.

Q: What happens at the end of management?

In the event that you need to end management, you must notify us in writing in agreement according to the terms of your property management agreement. Upon receiving written notice of your desire to terminate, we adjust the reserve to $500 to ensure sufficient funds to pay any outstanding charges. Approximately one billing cycle (45 days) after the termination date, we will process your final equity distribution. As with our leases, termination is only allowed on the last day of the month.

Q: What is the typical flow of events each month?

1st of the month: Rents are charged – beginning of the statement period, revenue begins to be collected for the month.
6th of the month: First three day notices are mailed regular mail and certified mail to the tenants address.
13th of the month: Evictions are being filed (after consultation with owners). Court dates are set at eviction filing and can vary.
Every Tuesday and Thursday up until Hard Close we pay any invoices on behalf of the owners.
25th through 28th: Hard Close is placed on our system and no further expenses are income can be entered.
Owner distributions are calculated and approved by our Property Managers.
29th: Distributions are then mailed or direct deposited into your account.
By the 5th of the following month Financial Statements go out via email for the prior month.

Q: What type of communication should I expect to receive?

We believe in prompt and thorough communication with our clients. Every staff member has their own telephone extension, voice mail and e-mail. We send out monthly statements in an effort to keep our clients informed. Below are some of the instances that we will initiate additional communication:
● Eviction filings
● Acceptable application or notification of an application that does not meet our qualification
● Notice to vacate from tenant
● What to expect when tenant moves out
● Lease renewals
● Extraordinary maintenance items
We are here to answer any questions that you have. Please contact us at any time.

Q: What is the BEST way to communicate with Frontline Property Management, Inc.?

We love talking on the telephone, but often our call volume is so high that we cannot answer every call that comes in immediately. Understanding the need for instant information for our clients and customers, we have invested much time and capital into developing a fully encompassing website that answers most every routine informational request we receive.
● For our owners, we offer a fully integrated client login so they can view information on their accounts 24 hours a day. The information contained in the client login is the exact data that we look at in the office. Virtually any report can be produced from our client login for any period of time for which we manage your property.
● For our current residents, we offer a fully integrated resident login where the account can be viewed. Maintenance requests can be submitted online and the answer to most questions can be found on our website. Some of the questions where answers can be found include, can I break my lease, how do I give proper notice to vacate, and what do I need to do before turning in my keys. Rent can also be paid online.
● For our prospective residents, all of our available properties are listed on our website. In fact we use our website internally to answer questions regarding the properties. Additionally the answer to most questions regarding our application process, screening process, and other pre-tenancy issues can be found on our site.
● For all of our clients and customers, there is an extensive forms section with forms for virtually every situation where one might be needed.
Should the information you are looking for not be available on our website, we welcome your call to assist you in any way possible. If you do not get a live person, please leave a detailed message for the appropriate person and your call will be returned as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding that we do not, typically, place people on hold to assist another person while the first caller waits on hold.

Q: The expenses exceeded my bank balance, what happens?

In the unlikely event that the expenses exceed your monthly income, we will contact you for payment of the expenses. Payment must be made within 7 days to avoid penalties and interest. We are prevented by law from expending money from our Trust Account if your portion of the account that does not have sufficient funds.

Q: Will you pay my monthly bills for me?

Yes, through our accounting system we can easily pay your monthly bills, including HOA dues. We pay bills weekly on Tuesday and Thursday up until our close out date each month. We do require a bank balance to be funded in excess of the estimated monthly payments in order to take advantage of this service. Please download the appropriate form to begin this service.

Q: When do you send out yearly 1099s?

Typically, 1099s are sent out the first week of January, but in no case later than January 31st of each year.

Q: What reports are available for monthly reporting?

View a list of reports that are available via e-mail each month. There is no extra charge to receive these reports via e-mail.

Q: Can you help me sell my property, or buy more?

Yes, we can assist you in the acquisition and disposition of investment property. All of our property managers are licensed Texas Real Estate agents. Should you have an established relationship with another REALTOR, we can assist you by working with them to make the process smooth.

Q: Do you have a list of clients that want to be notified of available properties for sale?

Yes, please submit a Contact Us form to have your name added to our e-mail distribution list when we get information on investment properties for sale. We have many investors looking to add to their portfolio. Also, local REALTORS also frequently inquire as to the availability of properties for their clients.