How to choose the perfect insurance company for you￼
After the effort it takes to acquire properties, you want to make sure your investment is as safe as possible.
Every home has different needs and with a whole array of insurance companies out there trying to get your business, it can be hard to decide which company suits you best, but we’ve got you covered!
Keep reading and learn our tips to choosing the perfect insurance company:
Compare every company
Do as much research as you can. Every company will promise the moon and the stars, so be careful and apprehensive. It is very important to compare the coverage each policy will provide and ask for the discounts they will give you.
Review their accessibility and digital management to see how easy they are to reach in case you need them.
You can use this website to compare rates by company.
Consider the location
The cost of an insurance policy varies according to state, city and zip code, so make sure you do your research before starting to look for a company. Some things you need to take into account are:
- Crime rates in the area
- Weather conditions
- Proximity to fire events
These factors can severely impact the cost of your premiums! You should keep them in mind and specifically ask about how the insurance company covers events related to those issues.
Check the policies thoroughly
Before you sign the contract, take your time to read it through. Ask for the forms you need to fill to file a claim to make sure you understand them. Here are somethings you should look for:
- Are the documents you need to file a claim easy to get?
- How is the reimbursement process?
- How long will it take them to reimburse you after the claim?
- How do they handle settlements?
It is very important that you ask these questions to be prepared for any eventuality that happens on your property.
If you feel like you need more guidance, our expert property managers will be happy to help you make the right decision!
You have a property you need help with? Contact us today!
All you need to know on Subletting
One of the trickiest issues that come with leasing a property is subletting. It can be hard to understand how it works and the pros and cons for you as the owner.
Continue reading to see everything you need to know on letting a tenant sublet your property.
First of all, you need to know that in Texas a tenant cannot sublet if the terms of subletting are not explicitly described in their lease or without the express permission (preferably in writing) of their landlord.
Types of subleases:
–Short-term: When the current tenant is planning on returning to the property after a short time away due to personal or professional issues. The person subletting rents the property for as long as necessary.
-Permanent: When the tenant is moving away permanently and wants someone to take over the rest of their lease.
Your property will not be vacant for any time with the tenant finding someone to sublet it which will mean no lost rental for you.
*Helping your tenant:
Subletting doesn’t have to be for the whole property, so allowing your tenant to sublet a room or two can help them be able to pay the rent on time, which in return will help you avoid eviction costs. Win win!
*Not good screening:
Since the tenant will be the one to be in charge of the vetting and choosing of the subletter, if they don’t have a good screening system, it can result in unreliable people being in your property.
Because the person subletting the property or room may be there short-time only, they may not know the rules or may not care enough about them to properly follow them, so they may cause some damage to the property.
Some things to consider:
There are ways to make sure your property is well protected. If you are thinking of letting your tenant sublet the property, you can add verbiages to the sublease to hold the tenant responsible for the subletter.
If you have a property and you are feeling overwhelmed, reach out to us today!
Do you have a property you need help with? Contact us today!
Some Must Reads for Real Estate Investors: Multi-Family Edition
Real Estate investing can be a daunting industry to break into! Between determining how to obtain financing, picking a property, and figuring out how to get the best ROI (return on investment) there is so much to know and learn that it can be overwhelming to the point of discouragement. One of the best ways to learn about real estate investing is to read books written by investors and other experts.
Below is a list of some of the most popular books among multi-family real estate investors.
Multi-Family Millions: How Anyone Can Reposition Apartments for Big Profits
This book is often mentioned as one of the best books to get started in multifamily investing. It focuses on scaling up from single family residences into multifamily. He offers strategies for finding the properties, fixing or flipping them, and then selling them. It uses a step-by-step system for each part of the investment, which can be great to use as a starting point for creating your own efficient system.
Crushing It in Apartments and Commercial Real Estate: How a Small Investor Can Make It Big
Crushing It in Apartments and Commercial Real Estate is a beginner’s guide to investing based on Murray’s experience bootstrapping his way from newbie investor to award-winning CEO of Washington Street Properties. Murray shares the secrets to his success through straightforward, actionable advice that will help you get started no matter what your experience level, or how much cash you have on hand. You’ll learn how to:
- Find and creatively finance commercial property
- Grow a portfolio without any help from outside investors and without taking on excessive debt
- Use your small-investor status as a competitive advantage over corporate investors
- Identify simple, practical ways to increase profits while keeping costs low
The Complete Guide to Buying and Selling Apartment Buildings
Whether you’re a first-time real estate investor or a seasoned professional, The Complete Guide to Buying and Selling Apartment Buildings helps you map out your future, find apartment buildings at a fair price, finance purchases, and manage your properties. Now revised and expanded, this Second Edition includes tax planning advice, case studies of real acquisitions, and appendixes that add detail to the big picture. Plus, it includes a handy glossary of all the terms investors need to know, helpful sample forms that make paperwork quick and easy, and updated real estate forecasts. With this comprehensive guide at hand you’ll find profits easy to come by.
How To Create Wealth Investing In Real Estate: How to Build Wealth with Multi-Family Real Estate
This is not a book about flipping or wholesaling homes, its about investing in real estate that is a proven method for creating massive wealth.
This book is about how you can buy income producing real estate, protect your capital, and provide you and your family with passive while the property pays down debt and you wait for asset appreciation.
This book focuses on buying and holding income-producing multifamily properties to provide passive income to support you and your family. The author worked his way to nearly 1 billion in real estate holdings with 5,000 units and shares the tools he used to get there. It details how to properly evaluate a property and then secure bank financing for a secure long term investment.
How to Make Big Money in Small Apartments
How to Make Big Money in Small Apartments reveals the opportunities, strategies, myths, secrets, and internal obstacles for those considering investing in multifamily housing. Readers will discover step-by-step approaches for finding and qualifying deals, identifying buyers or investors, monetizing small apartment deals, and how to scale-up to larger apartment communities in a readily understandable format.
Sharing his experiences along with over forty case studies of other successful investors, Edwards offers a guidebook to success for every investor, instructing both beginners and professionals on how to make money by wholesaling, buying, and/or rehabbing apartment buildings without using their personal cash or credit.
Dive in to learn proven strategies for moving into the fast lane and making small apartment deals now.
Investing in Apartment Buildings: Create a Reliable Stream of Income and Build Long-Term Wealth
The author of 2 Years to a Million in Real Estate gives you a step-by-step plan you can follow to generate a business plan that scales up as you grow. He helps guide you through the initial deal finding, how to manage the properties, and then how to exit and roll the profits into your next deal. It will help you build your real estate portfolio so you have income-producing properties to rely on.
The Science Of The Deal: The DNA Of Multifamily & Commercial Real Estate Investing
From his roots in Hyderabad, India, to the heart of Texas, Shravan Parsi tells the story of his journey from pharmaceutical scientist to founder and CEO of successful real estate investment firm American Ventures. The secret to his investment success is like any science: a marriage between quantitative and qualitative facts, between abstract numbers and concrete action. Here Parsi outlines the technical information you need to learn how to invest in multifamily and commercial real estate, how to understand what makes a good potential investment, and when to walk away. In conversational style, the book shares ideas about how to identify, evaluate, and mitigate risks; how to learn from downsides as well as upsides; and how giving back to your community is as important to success as the right numbers. It’s wisdom that benefits any entrepreneur.
Do you have a property that you need help with? Contact us today!
Why Choose a Professional (And Licensed ) Property Manager?
As the demand for rental property increases more and more investors are turning to real estate as a reliable and timeless investment. And while real estate can be an extremely profitable investment, it can also be very time consuming and become extremely overwhelming if you are not well versed.
If you, like many, have ever wondered if professional property management is worth the expense. The answer is: Absolutely! As long as you partner with the right company. Here are a few ways that Frontline Property Management can increase your profits and improve the value of your investments.
Maximizing Rent by Monitoring the Market
Did you know that, in the state of Texas, professional property managers must also be licensed real estate agents? One of the many benefits to hiring a professional property manager is their vast knowledge of the real estate market. Knowing the market will ensure that you are listing your rental property at the right price and will get you the most bang for your buck!
One of the quickest ways to kill your profitability in a rental property is to approve the wrong tenant. While you obviously want to put focus on whether or not a prospective tenant can pay the monthly rent there are many other items to consider when approving a tenant. Some of these items include: How will they care for the property? Will they fulfill their lease obligations? Are they likely to be there long term, or will they be likely to move after just one lease term?
Hiring a property manager can help ensure each tenant is screened thoroughly before they move into the property.
Once the tenant has moved in, the monthly rent must be tracked meticulously. In addition to tracking the rent a professional property manager will have systems in place to ensure that any late payments are handled appropriately and that prompt and proper action is taken in the event of non-payment.
Keeping Your Property in Tip Top Shape
At the end of the day your investment is only as good as its value. Having a professional property manager on your side will ensure that your investment is well cared for. A good property manager will track and perform preventative maintenance resolving issues before they become costly.
Considering taking advantage of this knowledge by hiring a professional property management company?
Frontline Property Management has been dedicating itself to the well being of our investors for over 30 years. Reach out today to see how we can help protect your frontline in order to increase your bottomline.
Have a property that you need help with? Contact us today!
Why You Need a Property Management Company in the DFW Area
Whether you are an out-of-state property owner, a longtime local landlord, or are just getting into the property rental business, there are plenty of reasons why you need a company like Frontline Property Management on the ground for you in the DFW area.
2021 has been an interesting year for the Dallas / Fort Worth rental market – to say the least. As we’ve discussed before, the DFW is a very attractive market for Millennials & Gen Z, and is one of the top destinations for out-of-state moves. Investors have used this information to capitalize on the need for housing – and you may have, too! You have a property in a hot market that you’d like to rent. But now what?
You Need Management that Knows the Market
On top of the complications that the pandemic has had on the housing market, the failure of the Texas power grid in February of 2021 exacerbated conditions by forcing many renters out of damaged properties. In a seller’s market like the one we’ve seen this year, many individuals who would otherwise be buying houses are choosing to rent a bit longer. Meaning that there is immense competition between renters for available housing – which is good for DFW landlords. Competitive rental markets translate to higher rents in keeping with the average rent of a given neighborhood in the face of the market overall. A property management company that wants to grow your business is always aware of the many factors and nuances in the market.
You Need Vendors You Can Trust
Frontline Property Management employs many Property Managers who bring decades of experience to the table. The maintenance vendors we use are also experienced, vetted, and local. Relationships are what property management is all about! We take our time to strengthen our vendors with the online tools they need to be the most accessible and responsive. There’s an increasing number of vendors in the DFW area, which makes it daunting to choose a company to work with (particularly if you’re not a local). Transparent communication between our clients, our Property Managers and the vendors we use ensures that you are always up to date with your properties.
You Need Eyes, Ears, and Hands-On Management
While it takes a certain amount of business and research skills to stay on top of the market, there is no substitute for hands-on experience. You need Property Managers who know the Dallas / Fort Worth area down to the neighborhoods. You can trust the assessment of our Management team when it comes to evaluating your property’s value, condition, and what it takes to have it ready to become your passive income! With Frontline, you’re able to rest easy in the knowledge that our Property Managers are on top of any issues – sometimes before they start – so that you don’t have to think about it.
Out of state investors, especially, need to be able to rely on a company that can view, assess, and respond on-site.
You Need Management that Will Help Grow Your Investment
Property Management alone is only an organized system of processes. There are thousands of details to set up these processes, but to put simply it’s getting rental income from a tenant into your bank account. A Property Manager facilitates this process and cares for the physical property in the owner’s stead, but Frontline takes this relationship and builds on it by going a step further: We work to keep you informed. Not just about your property, but about what opportunities may arise due to market conditions. Our client newsletter provides you with up-to-date business information, including pertinent legislation. Property owners looking to get the most out of their investment, and then to grow their portfolio, will find that Frontline provides all of the necessary experience and drive to help you get there.
You Need Frontline Property Management
We’ve faced some unique challenges over the past two years, but Frontline has risen to meet them every step of the way. Utilizing our team of experienced professionals, we have been able to be proactive rather than reactive, and have continued to provide quality service to both our clients and our many tenants. We strive to strengthen our relationships and to create new ones as we move forward!
Contact us today to learn more about our Property Management team!
Have a rental property that you need help with? Just fill out this form and we will reach out to you!
5 Pieces of Tips and Advice for Investing in Rental Property
Written By: Andrea Erickson
Rental properties are a hot topic again since the real estate market is a madhouse currently, and many people are trying to figure out how to cash in on this. Although you can’t go back in time and buy properties when they were far cheaper: you can get the most income possible out of the currently available properties.
Here is some important information you should keep in mind when looking at which properties to invest in.
Consider if There’s Extra Land to Develop
When buying land, look beyond the current buildings that are sitting on it. Although things are far easier if you can rent out already finished units: there’s always room for more. While still maintaining common spaces, room for parking, and the apartments themselves, consider if there’s enough room on the property or neighboring property to expand the apartments further. The more units, the higher return, and the faster the property gets paid off so that it’s nothing but income.
Use Software to Manage Everything
Although it might seem obvious, many first-time renovators don’t realize how much goes into owning a rental complex: the more units, the more problems. Good software will let you track when an apartment was last renovated, how many issues a renter has caused, and who’s paid on time or not. Seek out landlord maintenance software that will help you track this information.
A worthwhile software should also notify you when a renter’s lease is closing soon, take care of maintenance, and be easy to use. If a property management app doesn’t have what you need, it’s never too late to switch to a new one.
Ensure the Property is Appealing
Aesthetics matter to everyone. Even though sometimes people will overlook an unattractive property if it means the costs are low enough: you don’t want your property to be like this. The lower the rent, the lower the profit. When purchasing a property, ensure that you pick one that people will want to move into.
The top things that build appeal are:
- Natural areas with trees and grass.
- Beautiful, clean, and fresh-looking exteriors.
- Amenities like pools and tennis courts are visibly well maintained.
- Gorgeous skylines if within a city.
- Attention to detail in everything from a well-maintained sidewalk to the apartment number signs.
The attractiveness can always be built upon by creating areas with natural beauty, like portions of land with trees and grass, or updating the interiors with the best flooring for rental properties.
Look Into the Current Rental History
If the property you’re looking at has already operated as an apartment complex or a rental property in general, what’s its history look like? How long have other land buyers overlooked this property? Ask the current owners how much they get on average for rent and if the current renters are responsible and pay on time.
Changing management doesn’t mean that the renters will necessarily have to leave, depending on the terms of their lease, so it’s a good idea to get to know the type of people who live in the area. If the complex seems to have a lot of eviction notices, or it’s in a place where the cost of rent wouldn’t be sustainable for the average wages of the area, this might not be a great property.
Don't Assume Any Project Could Be Considered Small
Looking at rental units to purchase, it can be tempting to view them the same way we view homes when we are buying them. A fresh coat of paint here, composite slate on the roof there, it might seem simple: but apartment complexes will quickly become expensive. Unfortunately, there’s no way to avoid these costs if they’re necessary, so when you’re shopping around, consider which projects you’d be willing to do for every single unit that you’ll be renting out.
It might not be a big deal to remodel the bathroom of a home, but remodeling the bathrooms of an apartment complex will eat up a lot of time and resources. Avoid this; take the time to make sure the property you purchase is the best fit possible. If you do need to do extensive updates, budget to ensure there’s room for that in your time and financial budget. Don’t leap into a project without knowing the full story.
Rental Properties Are Passive Income Gold
Whether you’re purchasing several apartment complexes or a single-family property, rental properties have the potential to divert thousands upon thousands of dollars to your bank account.
To build upon these properties, it’s good to update each space within the room by room when people move out. This will allow for a more gradual transition to a completely updated property while still ensuring that most units are in use or are more quickly available.
Andrea Erickson is a contributor to Innovative Building Materials. She is a blogger and content writer for the real estate industry. Andrea is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that increase property value, maximize energy savings, and turn houses into homes.
Have a rental property that you need help with? Just fill out this form and we will reach out to you!
Determining Qualifying Criteria
Before detailing how to determine which criteria you will use for your applications, first be aware that you are legally required to inform your applicants of what they are. Making this information part of your application ensures that the applicant both has the opportunity to review the criteria and signs the document attesting as much. There are legal ramifications if this signature is not captured, as the presumption is by default that the information was not provided for review.
Details about the following criteria should be provided:
Specify which kinds of convictions and adjudications will disqualify an applicant. Establishing a clear timeframe will also better inform an applicant with a criminal background as to whether or not you will consider prior convictions from three, five, or twenty years or more in the past. Check out our previous post that discusses the criminal background check! Understand that requiring an entirely spotless criminal record is considered a violation of the Federal Fair Housing Act. Otherwise, having a substantive reason for disqualifying based on certain other convictions and adjudications (namely violence, sexual offenses, and drug manufacturing and distribution) is reasonable.
Previous Rental History
You won’t be relying solely on the information provided to you by the applicant. Using a third party (or several) to verify rental history will help you to establish the kind of renters the applicants are. By having the applicant sign a release form, you will be able to inquire as to whether their rent was paid on time, whether or not any lease violations were documented, if there were any pets with the applicant, and what condition the property was left in. You are entrusting your property to your future tenant, and you want to know that it is in good hands!
The standard household income requirement is a gross total of three times the monthly rent. This comes from section 8 of the Housing Act of 1937 which in 1981 was amended to state that a tenant must pay at least 30% of their monthly income towards housing. Between the rising cost of living and wage stagnancy, some renters in large cities are spending up to two-thirds of their income on housing. According to the 2020 Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, one in four renters pays more than 50% of their income on rent. If this trend continues, you could expect (due to supply / demand) that income requirements will be reduced to asking that the total monthly household income is only twice the amount of rent. However, three times the monthly rent currently prevails as the industry standard and a change to that threshold is not on the horizon.
Many landlords have a flat credit score threshold for their applicants, while others prefer a context-based approach. Credit scores as we know them today began in 1989. As a landlord, you will most likely use credit reporting to screen your applicant for unpaid debts and other financial burdens that exist outside of their monthly income. While you may decide not to rely on the score itself, you will need to review the report for information that will be pertinent to you as a property owner such as unpaid utility bills, evictions filed against your applicant, and bankruptcies. The leading cause of bankruptcies in America is medical debt, with two-thirds of all bankruptcies filed due to the high cost of healthcare. Being informed of where exactly your applicants stand financially will help you make the best decision in your process.
Failure to provide accurate or complete information on the application form.
As previously discussed, online applications open the door to increased fraudulent activity. If at any point in the process you determine that documents, contacts, or any other information is fraudulent, you can deny based on this alone. If you can’t count on an application being accurate, then you can’t use it to qualify a tenant!
Keep in mind (as always!) that these qualifying criteria standards must fall within the guidelines of the Fair Housing Act. Meaning also that they must be applied to every applicant, every time, no matter what! Standardization not only makes for effective processing, it also protects you in the event that an applicant assumes that they have been unfairly disqualified for your property.
Adding another buffer between you and the applicants is also recommended! You can do this by hiring a qualified and experienced Property Manager who will screen applicants on your behalf. Frontline Property Management has a team of Property Managers as well as a department dedicated to processing applications. Our Tenant Coordinators work every day to handle incoming applications and find you the best tenant for your property!
Contact us today to learn more about how Frontline Property Management manages thousands of doors in Dallas / Fort Worth and surrounding area, and how you can turn your property into truly passive income!
Do you have a property that you need help with? Just fill out this form and we will reach out to you!
Sustainable Property Management: Making Your Property Energy Efficient
Energy, efficiency, and sustainability are going to be hot topics as we enter both a new decade and a new age of environmental awareness in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Dallas has enacted its first climate action plan, Fort Worth is following suit and four out of five Texans understand climate change.
With 38% of Texas households being rentals, property owners will be at the forefront of the increasing demand for “green” business strategies. Get ahead of the market and what the newest generation of renters want by making environmentally-friendly improvements to your property!
How This Helps in the Long Run:
Suburban neighborhoods contribute about 50% of all household carbon emissions in the US. As we continue to invest in housing, we must recognize the current and future legislative pushes that aim to reduce the average American’s carbon footprint. By implementing strategies now, you will be ahead of the curve should any mandates come down the line later on
The newer generations of renters – Millennials and Gen Z – have demonstrated that they will readily spend more money with a company that reflects their eco-friendly values. Promoting that your property has taken measures to be energy efficient is a great marketable sales point to what is quickly becoming the largest renting demographic!
Cost-Effective Energy-Saving Upgrades:
- Energy Audit – You can hire an expert or do it yourself!
- Caulk Interior Windows and Door Trims
- Use Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs
- Keep / Install Wooden front doors – hollow metal doors invite cold air in!
- Use Native Plants for Landscaping
- Go Paperless!
- Install a Water Leak Detector
Larger Energy-Efficiency Investments:
- Insulate the Attic – this can reduce your energy bill 10-50%!
- Tankless Water Heater
- Solar Panels
- Programmable Thermostats
- Install low-flow showerheads and toilets (or even dual toilets!)
- Install low-consumption dishwashers and washing machines
The possibilities are nearly endless with green remodeling!
Whether you’re looking to rent one property or invest in a multi-family unit, a property management company like Frontline Property Management can help define your strategies as well as handle the day-to-day operations for your property.
Contact us today to learn more!
Choosing a Real Estate Market
The Dallas / Fort Worth real estate market, where Frontline Property Management does the majority of our business, is one of the hottest real estate markets in the US – and that’s even considering recent shutdowns and other issues caused by the pandemic. But what makes a market a good one to invest in, or to convert empty property into rentals in, and how do you determine if it’s right for you?
Study Population Growth (& Watch What Millennials Do)
The housing market isn’t the only thing that’s booming in the Dallas / Fort Worth area. We’re on track to have the most new residents of any metro area through the end of the decade. That’s not just native growth – due to low mortgage rates and other influences we’ll discuss, more people than ever are moving to the Dallas / Fort Worth area.
Where people are moving – especially millennials, who make up the majority of the workforce – there will be a demand for housing. The way things are working out for the largest portion of the population, we can expect that renting will be the most common form of housing financially available and affordable. (That’s where you come in!)
Quality of Life
There’s a reason some small towns are struggling to thrive and suffer housing depreciation while places like DFW are experiencing a skyrocketing population: accessible and diverse activities. The Dallas / Fort Worth area boasts of things to do! Everything from parks to the arts can be found, and everything in between. These are very important to millenials, who will more readily take a job in a city with entertainment, public transportation, and affordable housing over a market that has very cheap housing but not much else. After 2020, you can expect that millennials will emphasize connectivity.
For this reason, among the others, the home appreciation in DFW is expected to do nothing but climb.
Of course, there are a lot of nuts and bolts in the property management machine to consider! Frontline Property Management will help you evaluate your rental property and the market that it’s in, down to the competitive pricing of the neighborhood. If you haven’t yet invested in a property in the DFW area yet, but would like to, we’d be more than happy to discuss helping you build and manage a portfolio with us!
Do you have a property that you need help with? Just fill out this form and we will reach out to you!