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How Has Covid-19 Changed Property Management?

System - Tuesday, September 8, 2020


Covid-19 has changed the world in every way, especially since hitting the United States in March 2020 and causing lockdowns across the country.

The big question is how has this virus changed the property management industry? In this article we will answer this question and provide insight into how property managers are moving forward in a Covid-19 world.

How Covid-19 Has Changed Property Management

1. Landlords are going virtual

Due to social distancing mandates, landlords are now conducting much of their business virtually. No longer do landlords meet new tenants at the property, show them around, and then sign a paper lease. Most work is now done online.

Cloud-based technology has made it possible to do most property management tasks remotely. Here are a few examples:

  • Arrange for virtual walkthroughs to show prospective tenants rental properties.
  • Use electronic signatures to sign leases.
  • Accept online rental applications.
  • Use property management apps to collect rent, accept maintenance requests, and communicate with tenants.
  • Carry out virtual property inspections.
  • Install lockboxes to allow tenants access to properties without landlords being physically present.

Many analysts say that digital technology will transform the way landlords operate even after the coronavirus has passed.

2. Landlords are communicating proactively with tenants

Apart from using digital tools for rent collection and lease signing, successful landlords see the need to communicate frequently with tenants. The majority of renters face financial uncertainty during the coronavirus. Landlords who are proactive in communication find that it’s easier to work out solutions to rent payment issues.

Many rental property owners who use property manager apps also find it easier to communicate with tenants. For example, it's possible to send bulk text and email or share documents with all residents.

3. Rental property maintenance

The COVID-19 health crisis meant that landlords had to rethink how they carry out essential and non-essential property repairs. Laws mandating social distancing and concerns about the virus mean that tenants want to limit in-person interactions.

Of course, there’s no question that it’s crucial to carry out emergency repairs quickly. But landlords are coming up with intuitive ways to care for non-essential maintenance and repairs. For example, landlords send step-by-step tutorial videos on how to do certain repairs. Or they do doorstep drop-offs with the equipment and necessary replacement parts.

Many landlords realize that video calling has the potential to address issues with non-essential repairs in the future.

Changes in Property Management Due to Coronavirus

Beginning in March, landlords had to quickly and utterly rethink the way they operate. But thankfully, digital technology provides property managers new and exciting opportunities to transform their business.

While some tenants will want to visit apartments after the pandemic is over, virtual tours will still be an option for many. Other technologies such as online rent collection, e-signing documents, and property management apps look set to stay.

More on bigger pockets

Contact Martin Property Management 

For more information about Covid-19 and it’s affect on property management, or to speak with us about our property management services, contact us today by calling (617) 957-0166 or click here to connect with us online. 

The Ultimate Guide to Getting a Rental Property Ready During COVID-19

System - Thursday, September 3, 2020


The outbreak of COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on many landlords. With many tenants out of work and unable to pay rent and eviction moratoriums in place, landlords are facing a tough time. But despite the challenges brought on by the coronavirus, people are still looking for places to rent. This means that landlords must find ways to prepare the rental properties for new tenants.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the residential market, it’s not as bad as some predicted. According to the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), nearly 90 percent of tenants continue to make full or partial rent payments during the pandemic. This is about the same amount when compared to 2019.

But times are changing in the rental market. To meet the COVID-19 challenges, landlords must adapt to change. For example, analysts predict that more of us will be working from home in the future. This fact means that more tenants will require fast broadband and space for a home office. Also, with social distancing in place and hygiene a top priority, showing prospective tenants around a rental presents new challenges.

How can landlords best get rental properties ready during COVID-19?

This guide looks at vital steps to prepare a rental unit for new tenants. You’ll also find out how to arrange for showings that don’t put you or the tenant at risk of catching the coronavirus.

Changes to Renting Properties During COVID-19

In many cases, the changes that COVID-19 has forced on landlords may become the "new norm." And many of these changes may benefit the property management business. For example, virtual tours, video conferencing with prospective tenants, accepting online payments, and electronic lease signatures save you time and money.

The ability of many landlords to survive COVID-19 may depend on how well they embrace these new technologies. So, rather than the coronavirus pandemic being a “stumbling block,” it could become a stepping stone to future success.

Let’s look at ways to prepare your business now for long-term changes in the rental market.

How to Get a Rental Property Ready During COVID-19 & Beyond

First, property managers and landlords need to prepare rental units for the new coronavirus era. Preparing rentals well not only helps protect your health, but it also puts the tenants' minds at ease when viewing a rental property.

Here are five ways to get a rental property ready for showings.

1. Clean and sanitize the rental property

The first step to getting any rental property ready is a thorough cleaning. Properties that are maintained to a high standard attract the best renters. However, due to COVID-19, getting the unit spotless has never been so crucial as now.

Because of the risk of infection, it’s best to call in a cleaning crew to get the unit ready for renting. Most cleaning firms have training in cleaning and sanitizing buildings during COVID-19. Also, a cleaning crew will get the unit rent-ready in optimal time, meaning that you can start showings as soon as possible after the previous tenant has vacated it.

When advertising the property for rent, remember to specify that you took particular measures to sanitize the whole property to meet stringent hygiene standards during COVID-19.

2. Arrange for virtual tours

Putting technology in place to provide virtual showings can help to fill vacancies during COVID-19. Due to "shelter-at-home" orders and social distancing, rental showings present challenges for tenants and landlords. While residential real estate services are an "essential service" during the pandemic, tenants are still nervous about physical meetings.

Virtual apartment tours allow prospective tenants to view a property without physically being there. You probably have all the equipment you need to film a video walkthrough—your smartphone. Here are a few handy tips for shooting a virtual tour on your phone:

  • Turn on all the lights and open all the blind to make the apartment as bright as possible.
  • Hold the camera or smartphone steady, keeping it at a 90-degree angle.
  • Start at the entryway and walk through the property as a regular tenant would.
  • Move slowly through the apartment, taking care not to pan left and right too quickly.

Apart from a walkthrough video, you should arrange for high-quality photographs to showcase the best features of the unit. Also, provide floor plans, pictures of common areas, and amenities. Your goal is to provide as much visual information as possible to any prospective tenant.

Other useful ideas for preparing to show a rental property to a tenant include the following:

  • Provide an interactive 3-D virtual tour that allows tenants to explore the unit themselves.
  • For single-family properties, take drone footage of the surrounding area and the property.
  • Offer a live video tour where you are at the apartment and can discuss details with the tenant via video link.

Of course, you can hire a professional to make a high-quality video walkthrough of the rental unit.

3. Install the latest technology

Providing fast broadband is vital to getting a property ready for renting during COVID-19. According to McKinsey & Company, surveys show that more and more people are working from home. Also, many remote workers expect to continue working form home after the pandemic is over.

To attract the best tenants, fast broadband service is crucial. Workers who telecommute need reliable internet connections with plenty of bandwidth for video conferencing and other communication.

4. Utilize a lockbox

Lockboxes are a great tool to avoid unnecessary in-person meetings. You can use lockboxes to facilitate move-ins and move-outs so that you don’t have any physical contact with the tenant. Also, lockboxes are handy for allowing cleaning companies to clean up units to get them ready for the next tenant.

5. Prepare for remote rental closings

Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, it’s becoming more necessary for landlords to work remotely. To make sure that it’s possible to meet with tenants and close deals, it’s vital to have the right tools in place.

Thanks to new technology, it’s possible for the whole tenant journey to take place online—from viewing the unit to filling in the application and signing the lease.

Here are a few ways that landlords can fill vacant units without physically meeting the renter:

  • Provide tenants with an electronic rental application or online form to fill out.
  • Invest in technology such as DocuSign to sign lease agreements digitally.
  • Have the right equipment, such as full-HD cameras and fast internet, to communicate with clients.
  • Spend enough time screening applicants to ensure they can pay rent on time.
  • Use property management apps to collect rent online, manage leases, or accept maintenance requests from tenants.

Getting Rental Properties Ready During COVID-19

Landlords face new challenges due to the COVID-19 health pandemic. Embracing these challenges now can help ensure that your property management business survives the major changes ahead.

Preparing rental properties during the COVID-19 crisis means more than sanitizing surfaces. It requires the right investment in technology to attract new tenants and rent properties remotely.

More On Bigger Pockets

Contact Martin Property Management

For more information about the property management services that we can offer you, contact us today by clicking here.

Tips For Writing A Great Rental Listing

System - Monday, August 10, 2020


Do you own a Bedford Massachusetts home that you're planning on renting for the first time? If so, you come to the right place! 


Even though many people think that owning a rental property is easy, the key to success with enjoying long-term profit from your rental property all comes from attracting the right tenant, and to attract the right, you have to write a great rental property listing.


In this article, we will provide you with several tips that you can use for writing a great rental property listing that's going to attract the most qualified tenant soon possible.


Tip #1 - Know Your Property


Even though you may have lived in your home for years, do you know your home? Knowing your home is important because, when you write a rental property listing, you want to write more than just “the home has four bedrooms and two baths”, you want to write about the features that the home has to offer. 


For example: does your home have hardwood floors, marble counter tops, Central Heating and Air, a sunken tub in the bathroom, walk-in Shower, Game Room, movie room, plenty of parking space for a boat or an RV?


These are some of the questions that you should ask yourself before writing your rental property listing because, instead of writing a basic listing, you want to write a detailed listing since this is ultimately what's going to attract the most qualified tenants possible who may be interested in those specific things


Tip #2 - Know The Area


Besides knowing your rental property, the next thing that you should do is know the area where your property is located.


Does the area where your property is located have great schools, shops, stores, things to do, and plenty of employers in the area? If so, you should create a list of some of the things that the area has to offer a potential renter so that you can include them in your rental listing


Tip #3 - Words To Avoid In Your Rental Listing


Last of all, but most important, when writing a rental listing, it's important to avoid certain Buzzwords including the following: cute, cozy, retro, or comfortable. Adding any of these buzzwords in your rental listing will make a potential renter think that your property is small, doesn't offer enough space, and has been updated in some time.


Contact Martin Property Management


Are you tired of having to manage your Bedford area rental property yourself? If so, contact Martin Property Management today by clicking here to connect with us online. 


We can save you the time, money, and hassle of managing your bed for a rental property yourself while helping to ensure that it's rented to the most qualified as soon as possible. Learn more about the services that we can offer you by contacting us today. You'll be glad that you did!




Baker Extends Moratorium On Evictions, Foreclosures In Massachusetts

System - Friday, July 31, 2020


Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has extended the state’s moratorium on evictions and foreclosures for another 60 days. The law will keep tenants and homeowners impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in their homes during the state of emergency, even if they can’t make their rent or mortgage payments. 

During the pause, landlords are prevented from sending notifications to residential tenants that threaten eviction.

The Baker Administration notes the law “does not relieve tenants or homeowners of their obligation to pay rent or make mortgage payments.”

Lisa Owens, Executive Director of City Life/Vida Urbana says this is a move in the right direction but she is calling on the Legislature to do more by passing a bill that would protect renters and homeowners from eviction and foreclosure for a full year.

The bill would also cap rent prices at pre-covid-19 levels.

“Our state has record unemployment right now and people are struggling to pay their bills,” Owens said.

Continue reading

Contact Martin Property Management

For more information about the rental market in Massachusetts, or to speak with us about our property management services, contact us today by clicking here.

Tips for updating your rental property this year.

System - Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Are you planning on updating your Bedford area rental property in 2020? If so, you're making a smart choice.

Rental property improvements are important because the simple fact that not only do they make your rental property stand out from other properties that are for rent in the Bedford area, they also help to increase the value of your investment property as well.

In this article, we will provide you with a list of updates that you should consider making to your Bedford investment property in 2020.

Kitchen and bathroom updates

The first upgrades or updates that you should consider making to your Bedford area rental property this year our kitchen and bathroom updates.

These updates are important because of the simple fact that homeowners and renters spend the most time in either the kitchen or bathroom of their homes so it makes sense to update these areas of your rental property to create the most comfortable rental possible. 

If you're on a budget, you can still update the kitchen and bathrooms in your rental property simply by focusing on doing basic tasks like painting, replacing flooring, refinishing cabinets, replacing drawer hardware, and also replacing light fixtures.

New paint

After updating the kitchen and bathrooms in your rental property, the next thing that you should focus on doing is painting your rental property inside and out.

Besides helping to increase the value of your rental property, new paint is also important because it's going to make your rental property look cleaner, well-maintained, and a fresh paint job is also going to help prospective tenants see that you've taken the care and time to maintain your rental property during the years that you’ve owned it.

Add New Landscaping

Last of all, but most important, another update that you should focus on making to your rental property this year is to add any landscaping. Specifically, your goal should be to focus on adding drought tolerant landscaping because our state has gotten less water than in years past so it makes sense to add landscaping that's going to not require as much water to maintain it.

Contact Martin Property Management

For more tips on things that you can do to update your rental property this year, or to speak with us about our Property Management Services, contact us today that calling or click here to connect Us online.

Tips for buying a duplex

System - Tuesday, June 30, 2020


Are you thinking about purchasing a duplex in the Bedford area? If so, you're making a smart choice.

Adding a duplex to your investment portfolio is a smart way to generate rental income but there are several things that you should look for before purchasing a duplex including the following:

1.) Get Educated

You are already doing step one, so congrats! It’s important you gain a solid understanding of how the process works, how to analyze deals, etc. before getting in too deep. This will help you avoid the risk of getting taken advantage of.

I’d also recommend you read through “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing” to help you gain a solid foundation for your future as a real estate investor.

Also, the BiggerPockets Podcast is, perhaps, the single greatest resource for real estate investors in the history of mankind. Seriously. And it’s nothing David Greene or I do to make it that way; it’s the honest, brutal truth from our guests. Incredible!

2.) Get Pre-Approved

When you are ready to start the process, it’s important to get your financing lined up first. Granted, you may want to switch around step #2 and step #3, because a good agent can refer you to a good mortgage broker. But either way, it’s important to get your financing lined up.

We’ll talk more about the different financing options you have in a little bit, but definitely get to a bank or mortgage company and open up the conversation.

3.) Get in Touch with a Real Estate Agent

If you are buying on the MLS (this is the list of all properties for sale through other agents—the most common way to find properties), you'll want to find a great real estate agent to work with. Don't worry, real estate agents are typically FREE for the buyer, as the seller pays the fee!

I’d recommend finding an agent who has the following traits:

  • Knowledgeable about working with first-time homebuyers
  • Knowledgeable about duplexes and other small multifamily properties
  • Tech-savvy
  • Quick to respond to questions
  • Patient with you
  • Hungry (They want to help you. You are not a burden—you are their paycheck!)

4.) Define What You Are Looking For

It’s important that you let your real estate agent know exactly what you are looking for. If you want a duplex, let them know!

A good agent can hook you up with automatic emails that inform you about all the new deals that come up on the MLS. So be sure you have some defined criteria set.

This criteria should include, at minimum:

  • How much do you want to (or can you) spend?
  • What towns/neighborhoods will you buy in?
  • What property type do you want? (duplex, triplex, etc.)
  • What kind of condition would you prefer? (trashed, move-in ready, etc.)

Let your agent know about your criteria and have a discussion about what that might look like. A good agent will know the local market and can help clarify what is possible.

5.) Start Looking

Next, it’s time to start looking for a good deal. There are several methods you can use to find good deals, which we’ll talk about in a moment. But most likely, your real estate agent will supply you with a list of potential properties.

It’s also a good idea to look online for properties yourself, in case your agent missed any. Websites like Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin can be great for scanning through potential deals. But keep in mind, these sites never contain all the information and may also contain faulty data. Your agent will ultimately have the best data.

6.) Do the Math

Once you find some potential deals, it’s time to get out your pen and paper and start analyzing the deals. We’ll talk more about analyzing deals in a moment, but I’d recommend that you use the BiggerPockets Rental Property Calculator to analyze potential deals.

Just the other day, I looked at a duplex deal that appeared to be awesome—but after running it through the calculator, it was clearly a terrible deal! Again, we’ll talk about the analysis side of things in just a moment.

7.) Make an Offer

Once you find a deal that pencils out, it's time to make the offer. Your agent will do the bulk of the heavy lifting with this and will fill out the paperwork for you. If you are not using an agent, you may have to find the correct forms yourself—which you can usually obtain for free from a local title company.

At this point, your offer will either be:

  • Accepted (yay!)
  • Rejected (boo!)
  • Countered (most likely)

You will need to engage in some negotiation with the seller until you either come to an agreement or part ways. Keep in mind, negotiating can force you to get emotionally involved and encourage you to pay more than you should for a property. Stick with your math and don’t pay more than you should!

8.) Do Your Due Diligence

Once you and the seller agree to all terms (known as "mutual acceptance"), it's time to do your due diligence. This is the time when you will inspect the property and make sure it has everything it is supposed to have. I'd HIGHLY recommend hiring a professional home inspector (usually under $500) to look at the property and give you a detailed report of what needs to be fixed.

After the inspection, you can either choose to accept or reject the property—or make the seller pay for all/some of the repairs. It's all up to negotiation. During this time, you will also finalize all the loan documents (which can be annoying!) and review any leases on the property.

9.) Close on the Property

Next, it’s time to make the property your own. Depending on what state you live in, you will either close at a title company or an attorney’s office. Your agent should help you walk through any difficult spots up to this point.

10.) Rent the Unit(s) Out

Finally, it’s yours! However, the fun is just beginning.

Source 

Contact Martin Property Management

For more information on how to find the right duplex for your investment portfolio, or to speak with us about our property management services, contact us today by calling (617) 957-0166 or click here to connect with us online. 


How to Rent Your House: The Definitive Step-by-Step Guide

System - Monday, June 22, 2020


Are you thinking about renting out your home but you don't quite now how to get started? If so, you've come to the right place!

In this article we will provide you with a list of things that you can to effectively get your home ready for the rental market including the following:

Many people mull over the idea of renting out their homes. They may want the benefit of extra income to save money or pay down debt, or they may see it as an option to selling during a housing slump, a way to wait things out until the economy improves.

The motives are many, but it's possible for this plan to become more trouble than it's worth when appropriate considerations aren't made. Here are five steps that will get you going in the right direction.

If you are lucky enough to live in a tourist-friendly area, like near the beach or a major city, renting out your home as a short-term or seasonal rental may be an option, too. Before you sign up with a short-term rental group, like Airbnb, find out the rules and regulations for these types of rentals in your town and city.

Understand the Responsibility Involved

First, you must determine whether being a landlord is an obligation you can even handle. The benefits of renting are numerous, such as the ability to deter the vandalism that often plagues an empty home, the ease of tax breaks and the ability to generate income that covers the bills and possibly even creates a profit.

However, being a landlord is also one more responsibility you'll need to fit into your life, and it's safe to assume that things will sometimes fail to run smoothly. You'll need to stay on top repairs and maintenance, collect rent, dole out more for your homeowner's insurance policy, and try to avoid wear and tear on your property by keeping an eye on your tenant's housekeeping skills.

Prepare Your Home for Renters

In a down market, you probably won't be able to get away with renting out the home as-is. Tenants are more attentive and choosy at such times, because of the increased availability of rental homes, and their expectations are much higher.


Prepare for the new tenant by thoroughly cleaning your home and making sure appliances are working and are in good condition. If you've decided that you are renting out a room or area within your house, make sure that you can secure that area from the rest of your home.

Marketing Your Home

Once the house has been straightened out, develop a list describing what makes it appealing so you can put it on the market. Take note of those commonly desirable features such as a washer and a dryer, air conditioning and garage. Use rental terms to help "sell" the property.

According to RentalsOnline.com, words and adjectives that'll help you get a renter include: "granite," "state-of-the-art," "stainless steel appliances," "vaulted ceilings," "maple," "gourmet," and "hardwood floors." Be sure to use any and all of the terms that apply to your home.

Next, post an advertisement for the home on reputable websites and in the local newspapers. In addition, some real estate agents will work with owners to help rent out their homes, although the agent will take a commission if he or she finds you a renter.

You can also hire a property management company to handle the legwork of renting out your house, but you will have to pay them. The cost varies by company but it is often between 8% to 10% of the monthly rent and there may be other fees involved.

Hire Professionals to Help You Navigate the Financials

Turning your home into a residential rental property may seem like a simple task, but it's important to talk with real estate attorneys and accountants to make sure you are abiding by tax laws, zoning ordinances, and local property rules.

You may qualify for tax deductions, but it's important to know which exact expenses are deductible. Plus, there are limits on how much you can deduct each year, and the amount you are able to deduct may differ with the rental activity reported on your tax return.


An attorney can also help you navigate the landlord-tenant regulations, which vary from state to state and help you understand your community's rules governing rental properties. You can also seek help drafting the lease, making sure that it follows local laws. Finally, talking with an attorney can help you determine suitable house rules and emergency contacts.

Set the cost of the rent by learning what other rental properties are going for in your neighborhood and community. Remember, potential tenants will be scouting around for deals, so set the rent at a competitive price and make sure you highlight all the most valuable aspects of your home.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The responsibilities of landlords are vast and can often come with unexpected costs. It helps to have some cash reserves, if possible.
  • When screening a potential renter running a deep background check is advisable. Make sure to ask for multiple references from potential renters.
  • Know your rights and the rights of your tenants—it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Fair Housing Amendments (FHA) Act.
  • According to a study by Renthop.com, during peak seasons you can rent your unit for even more. July through September appear to be the best times to locate a tenant; however, this seasonality can vary from city to city.
  • If you have a home on a lake, near a beach, or close to another seasonal venue, it may be worth it to investigate short-term rental platforms.

Screen Tenants Carefully

Start looking for a tenant as soon as your property is ready to be shown. Then, choose your tenant very, very carefully. You need to be able to depend on this person not only to pay the rent on time but also to keep your home in good condition. Also, if the person is someone you may be co-habitating with, learn their habits so you won't run into any nasty surprises.

Don't forget to gather references for potential tenants and check their credit histories. You should also take safety precautions when screening a tenant⁠—after all, this person is a stranger. Once you've found the right tenant, ask for a reasonable security deposit and arrange an appropriate payment schedule.

The Bottom Line

Renting out a home can be beneficial for both owners and tennants⁠, but only if you take the time to address and prevent potential pitfalls. After, all it's still your house.

Source

Contact Martin Property Management

At Martin Property Management we know that owning rental properties can take a lot of work, especially if you are managing them yourself!

Thankfully, our property management service makes owning rental properties EASY. To learn more about the services we can offer you contact us today at (617) 957-0166 or click here.




What Does a Property Manager Do? Here’s the Job Description

System - Monday, June 15, 2020


Are you thinking about hiring a property manager to manage one or more of your investment properties? If so, you're making a smart choice!

In this article we will break down what a property manager does and how they can help you grow your portfolio of investment properties.

1. Setting the right rates

Pricing your property competitively is vital for every landlord. Too high and you won’t fill the space. Too low? Good luck making money. A property manager knows the micro market, local area, and current rental rates, enabling them to correctly value your buildings’ worth and price the units accordingly.

2. Marketing and advertising

You lose money every day your property is empty. Exposure helps you find tenants, and a property manager can help you create a coherent marketing strategy that will develop your brand, establish your reputation, and boost interest from prospective tenants.

3. Complying with housing regulations

State and federal laws around housing and evictions can be rather confusing. A professional property manager can walk you through everything, from paying taxes, discrimination laws, and needed certificates. But be warned that you are still liable if your property manager gets into legal trouble, so make sure they know what they’re talking about.

4. Finding good tenants

Property management companies find higher-quality tenants for filling vacancies because of their rigorous screening processes. These people often sign longer term leases, inflict less wear and tear, and cause fewer problems. If you work alone, you might find yourself drowning in applications—but a professional property manager can assess applicants quickly and easily using a comprehensive screening process, including background and credit checks.

5. Collecting and depositing rent payments

Strict rent collection is crucial to financial success. A property manager acts as a buffer between you and your tenants so you don’t have to chase up late payments or listen to complaints.

6. Providing customer service

If you’re not a people person, it may be best to have someone else deal directly with tenant complaints. Not everyone has A+ communication skills—and that’s okay. A positive, smiley, helpful property manager will build up a rapport with your tenants and placate any problems with practiced ease. A company also ensures there is someone tenants can contact, even when you’re on that two-month Caribbean cruise.

7. Handling maintenance and repair

Let’s be honest—no one wants to be woken at three in the morning because a pipe burst in a rental unit across town. When things inevitably go wrong, your property manager brings a set of management skills that help quickly and efficiently handle any problem. Remember, your tenants want problems solved immediately. Delays can lead to complaints. Thanks to their wealth of experience in real estate, property managers can also suggest preventative maintenance before a problem has even occurred.

8. Managing vendor relationships

When you do require maintenance or repairs, it can be a hassle to get the right tradesmen for the job. A good property manager will know reputable, reliable, licensed workers—and have good relationships with them. They should also have established policies to prevent any problems when the workers enter the property, which protects you from litigation.

9. Assisting long-distance investing

As your property empire grows, you may wish to begin looking for investments outside your immediate area. If you sign a contract with a state or nationwide property management company, you can rest easy. Your properties are all being looked after to the same high standard as you enjoy in your own town.

10. Maximizing profitability

If you intend to live off the revenue from your real estate business, you need to dedicate your time to searching for new investments. Once you’ve got a few rented properties under your belt, you’re probably ready to expand. But how can you do that if your time is spent dealing with tenants, addressing problems, and collecting rent? With daily operations handed over to your property manager, you’ll have more time to scour the market for that next investment.

Source

Contact Martin Property Management

For more information on the property management services we can offer you, contact us today by calling (617) 957-0166 or click here.


Landlord-Tenant Disputes: The No. 1 Way to Keep the Peace, Enforce the Lease

System - Monday, June 8, 2020


One of the most common problems that some landlords have is dealing with landlord - tenant disputes.

Thankfully, there are a wide variety of solutions that landlords can use to handle landlord - tenant disputes including the following:

1. Avoid disputes by knowing the law. The best way to resolve disputes is by avoiding them before they even begin. Many problems arise because one party does not know that they have broken the lease agreement, or they’re unaware of their rights under the law. Taking the time to learn the law — and staying up to date on changes to housing laws — will help you avoid disputes and make you a better landlord.

2. Keep your cool. When a situation arises, never lose your temper, even if your tenant does. Try to stay as calm as possible, and do your best to take care of the situation on your own. If you’re having difficulty, or if your tenant is not cooperating, you may need to seek assistance in court. However, by keeping your cool, you are representing yourself in the best possible light.

3. Talk it out. Many problems with tenants can be solved if the issue is discussed thoroughly on both sides. Do not let your temper flare, even if you are justifiably angry. There may be an honest answer to a problem, and both of you may be blowing it out of proportion. Working it out between the two parties is almost always cheaper and easier in the long term.

4. Meet face to face. If you have only traded angry words with your tenant over the phone or by e-mail, a face-to-face meeting may help. Hold the meeting in neutral territory, where both of you will feel safe.

5. Get a professional mediator. If you have tried without success to resolve the dispute, a professional mediator may be able to assist you. Many states now provide property-dispute mediators who are trained to deal with situations that can arise with rental properties.

6. Submit to arbitration. Arbitration is similar to mediation, but arbitration is binding. An arbitrator will hear both sides of the case and issue a binding ruling to which you must adhere. If you are worried that you’re in the wrong, you probably won’t want to take this step. Instead, own up to the problem and try to settle with your tenant.

7. Document everything. A paper trail is your best defense. If your tenant has repeatedly broken the rules of your building or lease agreement, or if they have made unreasonable demands, your documentation can help prove your case. Keep a file on each tenant, and record all that transpires. Presenting this documentation to your tenant may even dissuade him or her from taking you to court.

8. Let the lawyers decide. Many cases can be resolved before they go to court, once lawyers are involved. If you and you tenant are currently represented by lawyers, they may be able to help you settle the case out of court.

9. Small claims court. In most cases, disputes arising from rental property fall under the jurisdiction of small claims court. This option is usually cheaper than going to civil or criminal court, and may lead to a quicker resolution.

10. Take it to litigation. If you have exhausted all other avenues, you may have to take your tenant to civil or criminal court. The actions of your tenant will dictate the manner in which the case should be tried. Make sure that your lawyer is well-versed in landlord/tenant law, and capable of prosecuting the case successfully. Be prepared to supply all necessary documentation of what has transpired.

Source

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For more information about the property management services that we can offer you, contact us today by calling (617) 957-0166 or click here.

Tenant Screening Tips

System - Monday, June 1, 2020


Do you have one or more properties in the Bedford area that currently have vacancies? If so, with those vacancies you're going to have to screen tenants in order to find the right people to live in those properties.

Sadly, tenant screening is one of the top things that most landlords hate doing because of the simple fact that they either dislike having to take the time looking into a potential tenant’s background, or they don't have the heart to disqualify people based on specific criteria.

Thankfully, tenant screening can be easier than you think, especially if you know what criteria you should establish from the very beginning.

In this article, we will offer you several tips that you can use during the process of tenant screening which will make it easier than you ever imagined it could be.

Tip #1 - Criminal History

The first thing that you should establish during the process of tenant screening is your criteria if a prospective tenant has a criminal history.

In today's world, you cannot discriminate against the tenant based upon their criminal history but, you can specify which type of criminal history you’re willing to consider or not consider, especially if their offenses were violent, or non-violent.

Tip #2 - Rental History

During the process of screen tenants, you're also going to have to consider a tenant's rental history. 

This is also very important because the fact that you may encounter one or more prospective tenants who have rental histories which show that they stay an average of 3 to 6 months (or less) at the rental properties that they live in.

If you encounter a prospective tenant with a rental history like this, the most important thing to do is to ask them for reasons behind why they stay at the places they rent for short periods of time because, their job may require them to move frequently but, if they don't have a legitimate reason behind the rental history, you should consider continuing to look for the right tenant.

Tip #3 - Evictions

Last of all, but most important, another thing to consider when screening tenants to live in your rental property is if they have any evictions in their rental history or not.

During the process of screening tenants, you may encounter at least one person with an eviction, in this case, you should pay serious attention to when the eviction occurred and also verify if it was classified as a satisfied eviction, meaning that they paid any back rent that they owed, and all court costs associated with the eviction.

Contact Martin Property Management

For more tenant screening tips, or to speak with us about the property management services that we can offer you, contact us today by clicking here.


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Martin Property Management, LLC
P.O. Box 331
Bedford, MA 01730

Phone 617.957.0166

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