One of the largest profit eaters when it comes to investment properties is a drawn-out marketing period. Over many projects, we have streamlined the process of selling a property in order to single out the reason for an untimely sale down to price alone. We aim to have an offer in the first week and almost always close the sale within 45 days of listing. This is accomplished through a team effort and a marketing strategy with detailed responsibilities and deadlines.
We buy all of our deals as principals through agents (not auctions) so we show our appreciation for bringing us the deal we relist the renovated property with them and provide them with our marketing plan. Here’s a snapshot of what we do before and during the listing:
14 days out both we and the agent create a cma independent of one another and tour properties noting positive and negative characteristics to arrive at a listing price or range. We send the agent the marketing plan along with a commission scale that rewards them based on their work and on the profitability of the project.
7 days out agent visits the property and takes pictures and notes punch list items that need fixed before property is show-worthy. After the final construction clean we schedule staging (if appropriate) and professional photos/virtual tour the following day.
3 days out our agent prepares a marketing flyer using the new photos and calls/emails agents who work that area to inform them of the property and present an opportunity for a pre-mls showing with their buyers. We collaborate on the best pictures and wording for the flyer and mls listing.
1 day out Agent puts up a sign and sentrilock on the front door. We keep a separate combination lockbox for our contractors and maintenance personnel. Agent posts an ad on several media sites (craigslist, facebook, etc.) and we post to our company blog.
Listing day list the property on the mls the day prior to the area broker pitch/caravan. We attend the pitch session with flyers and promote the property and our company. The agent sets up the open house and caters breakfast or lunch. We offer a gift card to the agent who guesses closest to final sales price.
Agent keeps the sign stocked with flyers at all times and sets up www.homefeedback.com to collect agent feedback efficiently. Agents need to be very responsive and answer their phone at all times. We schedule periodic cleaning and lawn maintenance.
Well I was posting on one of my favorite Real Estate forms www.sdcia.com getting some feedback on the San Diego rental market and some ideas about the best ways people were renting their apartments because all of a sudden I have quite a few vacancies to fill.
Until recently it has been pretty turnkey because most of my units had been filling by the time the previous tenant had left. I probably took my eye off the ball a little bit because I had been so focused on flipping properties that I have not paid attention to talking to fellow investors in the market I own units.
Apparently, I missed the memo that said for everyone to move out because all of a sudden I had 2 vacancies in December (they were on 12 month leases that I signed the December before. I remember thinking that it would suck if they moved out next December and here you have it, Merry Christmas Mr. Landlord)
As usual there was a lot of good feedbacks and comments and the thing that stuck out to me was that you needed to call people back immediately, especially in weak markets like we are heading into and with today’s 24/7 world when everyone expects instant gratification (especially me!). I knew if I didn’t call them back to rent one of my competitors would.
One of the posts was by someone I respected who thought that if you called the tenants back at their whim you were setting a bad precedence and it got me thinking (can you spell the burning rubber?)
A lot of people (including myself more than I would like to admit) fly by the seat of their pants when managing properties and don’t have many mechanisms in place to run the operations efficiently.
One of the things we do that I feel is very helpful once we have found the resident in place is a resident welcome manual to spell out how the relationship is going to work. We did not make it up, but we purchased it from a company that creates property management operations manuals and forms and modified it to meet our needs (why reinvent the wheel? I’d rather make a better ball bearing to make it go faster.) Post a comment or send me an email if you would like their info.
So anyways I starting posting my response at click here and was pasting my table of contents of our resident manual and I had technical difficulties and it wouldn’t let me post so guess what! Yes, I am posting it here with a link to our TOC which will hopefully shed some light on a way to set the tone from the beginning.
Here is the Table Of Contents from my resident Welcome manual
GII Welcomes You 4
GII Personnel 5
Tenant Communication 6
Telephone Calls during Office Hours 6
After Hours Calls 6
Emergency Calls 6
Maintenance Requests 6
Change of Information 6
General Office Information 7
Address Information 7
Office Hours 7
Protect Your Rental and Credit History 8
Rental/Lease Agreement 8
Moving Checklist 8
Utility/Cable Companies 8
Rental Payments 8
Maintenance Reimbursement 9
Care of the Property 9
Getting To Know Your Residence 9
Tenant Renovations/Alterations 9
Tenant Maintenance Responsibilities 10
Procedures for Requesting Maintenance 10
If There Is an Emergency 10
Preventative Cleaning Tips 11
Additional Cleaning Tips 12
Energy Saving Tips 13
Renters Insurance 14
Safety Tips 14
Vacation Checklist 15
Holiday Tips 15
Drug Free Housing 16
Frequently asked questions 17
When it is time to move 18
Giving Your Notice 18
Setting Up Your Move-out Appointment 18
Preparing the Property 19
Carpet Cleaning 19
Draperies/Window Coverings/Windows 19
Pest Control 20
Landscape Clean Up 20
Your Security Deposit Refund 20
GII Additional Tenant Forms 21
Moving checklist/utility numbers 21
Emergency/disaster checklist 21
Tenant ACH request 21
Work order request 21
Add roommate request 21
Cable/satellite/TV request 21
Request to add pet 21
Partial notice to vacate 21
Notice to vacate 21
If anyone has any questions or suggestions please post your comments. Writing this blog helps me just as I hope it helps other people to.