~Interview of Pam Blanco by Tim Houghten
It all falls apart, or comes together in the property management. What should real estate investors be looking for in order to get the most out of their assets and portfolios now? Property management is such a critical issue, especially in a market that is as large and popular as Texas. So, we tapped into the mind of Pam Blanco, who has been a professional investor, broker, and asset manager in the DFW area for over 20 years, to find out the types of services investors should be seeking today…
– The Performance Issue –
It is in the management that investments are proven or broken. In reality, what should be amazing investment opportunities can miserably fail to live up to their potential, if the management isn’t good. At the same time, a borderline, mediocre investment property could become a star asset and multiply in value, with great management. Every real estate investor knows they need professional third-party management. At least if they are to ever really get the best benefits out of their investments, and to be able to enjoy the rewards of their investments, while achieving optimal returns.
Of course, finding a great property management service isn’t always easy, even when you are buying ‘turnkey’ properties from out of the area. It’s much the same as trying to pick out a good Realtor, attorney, lender or internet service provider. Sometimes you have to do a little hunting to find a great one.
The need to secure great management is urgent more than ever today, and here’s why…
– Stopping the Leaks Before the Market Changes –
The Dallas-Fort Worth area real estate market has been one of the strongest and fastest growing in the US over the past few years. Even though data suggests that markets like San Francisco, may already be deflating. Zillow predict Dallas home values will continue growing, at least through April 2018. With its high rents and high rent-to-price ratio, and reputation for its insulation from market fluctuations, Dallas could become even more popular with global property investors over the next year.
However, this is not the time to be lax in property management. Spreads may be great, and tenants may still be plentiful. Yet, these dynamics are constantly influx. Asset prices are expected to rise over 5% in the next year, rents may soften as they push affordability to breaking point, and some tenants may make the leap to homeownership as flippers offer seller financing, and to beat higher interest rates.
Landlords must lock in great tenants now, provide an experience which will keep them, ensure their properties are maintained in premium condition, and operate at extreme efficiency to maintain cash flow yields despite converging economics. Pam Blanco says that these are some of the important factors buy and hold investors should be seeking, and signals that they are working with a reputable company that is serious about providing a stellar service.
1. Mobile First
Approach to Service
Google has moved from preferring ‘mobile friendly’ websites, to giving preference to mobile-first websites. That makes it smart from a marketing point of view, but is also just common sense in the effort to best serve both investors and renters who are now mostly mobile.
2. Online Rental
No one wants to be bogged down in paper today. Much less having to be emailed documents and find a print shop, fill things out and find a way to fax things or drive them back. That’s dinosaur age. Prospective renters should be able to apply online, and that serves the process with increased speed too. Not to mention preserving the environment.
3. Clear Qualification Criteria
Landlords have to be very, very careful in approving and denying tenants today. Qualifications must be clear and applied evenly and lawfully to avoid expensive lawsuits. Having clear requirements also streamlines the leasing process and keeps the pipeline clear of those who won’t qualify.
4. Fast Tenant Approval
Slow operating property management companies and HOAs that drag their feet on approvals are a major detriment to the real estate market today. They hurt all parties involved, including neighboring unit owners.
5. Track Record
Just as with looking at renters’ track records, property owners should be looking at manager’s track records to predict future performance. Many, many people are trying to jump into the PM game to capitalize on the current surge in rental property ownership. Watch who you pick.
6. Online Payments
Renters must be able to pay online today. Failing to have this capability is just asking for performance issues.
7. Regular Property Inspections
Pam Blanco says, “It is surprising how much damage a bad tenant can do to an asset in a short period of time.” Sometimes you just never know, despite how great a prospect appears on paper. Thorough managers will schedule regular property inspections and document them to preserve assets.
8. Online Management Tracking
Investors should also expect transparent and up to date details on their property to be accessible online, all the time. This may be proprietary software, or using property management tech tools like PropertyWare or Rent Manager.
Pam Blanco is the founder and owner/ broker of PAMS (Property Asset Management & Sales). She has been in real estate since 1991, and has built a robust team of industry experts to service single family, multifamily, and commercial real estate income properties in Texas. For a list of properties, which are ideal for turnkey cash-flowing investments in Texas, or to find out more about how PAMS can enhance the performance and profitability of your real estate assets, or help with evaluating potential acquisitions, go online to: www.PamTexas.com or call 682.558.8900.