How to Find a Great Property Manager

5 Questions to Help Find a Great Property Manager.

As a Property Manager I meet numerous property owners, who all have varying reasons for needing a property manager. Many that I meet ask a lot of great questions, while others don’t know where to even begin. Property Management for many people is an unfamiliar concept. If you are thinking about searching for a Property Manager for your home, here are some great opening questions to ask during an interview to make sure you find a great Property Manager.

1. “What do you charge, and what is included in your management fees?” This is usually one of the first questions I get asked at every appointment I go on. It’s an important question, but the question itself is not a great question. While knowing how much is charged is important, understanding what is included, and more importantly what is not included, should be explained by the manager. Be sure to get a breakdown of the common services or items that are not covered by the management fees to avoid misunderstood charges.

2. “How is your company structured?” The property management industry generally recognizes 3 different “standard” company structures that most management companies fall into; Portfolio, Departmental, and Hybrid. While you don’t necessarily need to fully understand the ins and outs of each management style, it is important know how the company is set up. Portfolio managers generally employ a manager to handle a certain number of properties, and that manager is responsible for all of the expectations of each property he or she manages. In this setup, you would most likely only have 1 point of contact who should know all of the ins and outs of your property. Under a Departmental structure, each department (think accounting, advertising, leasing, etc) handle groups of responsibilities for the entire portfolio of properties. You may have a singular point of contact, or you may speak to the department that is most relevant to your concerns when reaching out to the company.

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2013 Year in Review and Thank You!

As we enter into 2014 we would like to take a moment to thank all of our clients, owners, tenants, and vendors alike for their support and trust throughout 2013. We are fortunate to be able to say that we work with and interact with some really great people and we really appreciate your business.

Overall, last year was a banner year for us. We have almost reached 300 actively managed units, with more than 300 when including the properties that we performed Lease Only services. We saw a record low in total evictions performed and overall had higher rent collection and on time payments from our tenants. Disputes for security deposits were also lower than ever, and while we expect that we always get into disputes of some kind from time to time, overall we feel like tenants were generally happier and our retention numbers were very positive and saw a very high percentage of lease renewals.

We are proud to say that based on the MLS statistics, we are still the Number 1 property management firm in Santa Rosa County, both in the number of properties rented, and in the total volume of rental rates. It makes us proud to say we rented more properties, for higher rental rates than our competitors, while maintaining a high level of quality in all of our homes. We are also excited that we placed within the top 4 property management companies in the entire Greater Pensacola area. We could not have reached these milestones without your help and support.

For 2014, we have started making plans to continue improving our services to both our tenants and owners. We have implemented new inspection guidelines and schedules to make sure our properties are being maintained and serviced correctly. We have also made significant improvements to our website and accounting procedures. We will continue to update these services and are hoping to have full online access for owners and tenants in the coming month.

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Merry Christmas!

Seasons Greetings and Best Wishes for a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Our RE/MAX family wishes you and your family a Christmas that brings all the festive cheer and Happiness possible to make it a memorable time. Merry Christmas!

We would like to thank all of our clients, customers, and vendors for all they do and we hope you all have a wonderful Holiday Season.


Merry Christmas to you all!

-RE/MAX Infinity Property Management Team

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Happy Thanksgiving! Office Hours

Happy Thanksgiving everyone from the RE/MAX Infinity Property Management Team!

In celebration of the holidays, our office will be closed Wednesday, November 27th until Monday, December 2. We will reopen Monday the 2nd and resume our normal operating times, 8:30am – 5:30pm.

If you need to reach us, please e-mail us at as this e-mail will be monitored throughout the week. In the event of an emergency, please call 850-341-5394 and leave a message. All messages will be reviewed and followed up on quickly as possible.

Please have a safe and happy holiday!

RE/MAX Infinity Property Management

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Tenants: Get Your Deposit Back!

Ensuring the best chance for the return of your security deposit:

One of the most common and frustrating problems both Landlords and Tenants constantly fight with is the move out process.  Property Management Companies act as an intermediary for the owner of the property and the tenants of the property. The managers are hired to protect the investment of the owner, and as the point of contact for the tenants as well, we want to make sure you are returned all of the deposit you are entitled to.

We would like to go over a few strategies to help you, the tenant, make sure that you have the best chance at getting your deposit back. Believe it or not, most managers don’t “want” to claim your deposit just because. A move out in which we can release 100% of the deposit back to a tenant is typically the easiest transition and means we are able to quickly find a new tenant, which is our primary function.

–  Read your lease agreement: I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten into a dispute with a tenant who had never read the lease document they signed. In most cases, the terms of the lease are not overly strict, but they can be very specific. Most lease agreements will include move out procedures, or will reference a move out guide that must be followed. The purpose of these procedures is to set the guidelines for you, which if followed, will normally result in the return of your deposit.

– Put yourself in the shoes of the incoming tenant: Once you have finished packing and the house is nearly ready to return to the management company, think a minute about the new family moving into the house you just finished calling home. Would you be happy moving into it like it is tomorrow? This is the situation we, as managers have to assess each time we conduct our move out inspection.

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Tenants: Why You Should Never Call Your Property Manager!

Well…almost never.

The first impulse of many people when dealing with problems or issues that come up is to pick up the phone and call the person or company to seek resolution. In Property Management, the phone may not always be the best or most efficient method of handling your issue.

Throughout the day, a Property Management company is constantly fielding calls and e-mails, meeting with clients in the office, and may be out of the office on appointments. Even the best Property Manager, Receptionist, or Maintenance Coordinator is still human, and is prone to being overwhelmed, distracted, or just making a mistake. Most of the disputes that occur during move out, missed maintenance items, or problems that occur during tenancy can be attributed to miscommunication or failed to act upon calls that get over-looked or forgotten about once the call has ended.

Take for example a call made to an office to report a minor maintenance issue. You report the issue and the agent who answers takes the message and lets you know that someone will be out as soon as possible. What you did not realize when you were on the phone was that the agent had 2 people in her lobby, a call on hold, and a stack of files that were in the middle of being processed. After handling the other call, the guests in the lobby, and sorting out the files, somehow the message about your maintenance item was lost. Now you are frustrated because the technician never shows, and when you call back, you don’t remember who you spoke with.

A better, and usually more responsive alternative is to make sure that you submit requests and information in writing to your manager or agent. Whether the issue is maintenance, move out notices, lease changes or alterations, someone can receive the message when they have the ability to concentrate on your issue specifically. Also, in the event that a major issue has come up, you have written proof that you notified the manager, and hopefully have written confirmation of receipt by the manager as well.

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What Does a Property Manager Do Anyway? Part 3 of 3

For the conclusion of our 3-part series on what the typical responsibilities of a property manager include, we will be covering the end of lease turn. This process is one of the most hectic periods and is usually the time when most legal issues can occur. Having the move out process handled correctly and efficiently can save you thousands of dollars in both possible legal costs, vacancy expenses, and damage charges.

The Notice Period:

Delivery or Receipt of Move out Notice: Depending on if the tenant is giving notice to vacate at the end of the lease, or if a forceful move out is being delivered to the tenant, a notice to vacate will be required. The manager will either receive the notice from the tenant, or deliver the notice to the tenant in accordance with the lease provisions. Typically, a 30 day move out notice is required which means that under most circumstances there should be plenty of time make arrangements for the move out. During this time, the manager will be preparing the final charges, estimating the possible repairs and lining up tentative schedules for cleaning, repairs, and any major projects the manager may know about from past inspections. The manager should also be reaching out to the owner of the property to notify her of the house becoming available again. This allows the owner time to prepare financially for any vacancy and repairs needed, as well as to determine if the property should be leased again or if some other possible course should be taken (sales, moving back, etc.).

Listing the Property: As was done in the initial listing of the home, the house should be put back on the market. At this time, a new price evaluation will take place to make sure that the house is still competitively priced, and the advertising process will start again, following the procedures outlined in Part 1 of our guide.

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What Does a Property Manager Do Anyway? Part 2 of 3

In our last article, we reviewed the initial leasing process and what, generally, most property managers go through during the set up, showings, and leasing of a typical home. In this article, we will continue from where we left off and begin covering the day-to-day activities that property managers perform to assist you in easing the burden of owning a rental property.

A tenant moves in, now what?

Rent Collection: Often the most commonly associated task of property managers, rent collection is generally the most frequent action performed by a manager. Each month on the first (or whatever date rent is due as specified by the lease agreement), the manager begins the collection process of rent. In today’s industry, most managers are able to accept credit cards, bank drafts, checks, and other forms of payment from the tenant. When a tenant pays on time, the account ledger is updated and the tenant is given a receipt of the transaction. This is generally all very simple. The trouble occurs when complications arise. When talking about rent collection as a responsibility of the manager to collect, these complications are typically why you want a manager for your property. Once the tenant has exceeded the grace period of the rental due date in the lease agreement, the manager will begin the eviction process against the tenant. If a payment is retuned for insufficient funds, the same process is started. This includes delivery and service of a 3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit, which must be hand delivered to a tenant or placed on the door of the residence. Once served, the tenant must pay the balance owed, plus any applicable late fees by the end of the 3-day period specified in the document. Communication is generally opened with the tenant to work out payment details, and owners are generally notified of the circumstances. If nothing can be worked out or communication is not possible, the eviction process will begin in earnest.

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What Does a Property Manager Do Anyway? Part 1 of 3

Due to the nature of the housing market and the ever-changing economy, many homeowners are finding themselves in new and unfamiliar territory. People everywhere are experiencing job transfers, military relocations, downsizing homes, or just purchasing larger homes and are now having to consider what to do with the home that they are leaving. When they are unable or unwilling to sell, renting becomes a popular option for many. For the homeowner that does not want to manage a rental home themselves, property management is available to assist in more ways than many realize. For many though, the idea and scope of what a property manager does is undefined and sometimes confusing.

Below are the steps most property managers take when managing a home for a homeowner.

The listing: What happens before the tenant moves in?

The Call: Usually the first step in hiring a property manager is the initial phone call or e-mail. Use this time to ask questions about the particular services offered by a manager, their company and policies. This is probably one of the most important steps because the first contact you have with your manager and their company can tell you a lot about who they are. How professional were they on the phone? Did they call you back quickly if you had to leave a message? These questions and others like them can tell you a lot about how the company will communicate with you in the future, and that is the most important thing you can find out early on. If you have problems reaching a company or getting clear answers, be aware of the red flags.

The Appointment: Once you have set up an appointment (if you are still local), the manager or a designated agent will come out to view the property and will generally begin to determine a rental value on the property. It is critical that you use this time to discuss your needs and concerns with a potential manager.

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New Site Design

We are happy to announce that our website relaunch has been completed. A big thank you for the WebPageFX team for their work and patience with us.

We are constantly looking for ways to enhance our services, improve our ability to communicate effectively with both our tenants and homeowners, and continue to provide a professional service second to none. We hope this new site will help provide a better platform for sharing information.

We would like your feedback as well. Please let us know how we are doing and if you like the new site design.

We are looking forward to more exciting new changes coming soon. Thanks for stopping by.

Jason McGuire Property Manager RE/MAX Infinity Property Management

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