NEVER SETTLE FOR LESS THAN THE BEST!

Here at Specialized, we believe no property owner should have to settle for substandard service. That’s why we gladly match any competitor’s price for equivalent services (see the complete Price Match Guarantee terms below).  While it may seem every property manager makes similar promises, the protection of your investment depends on asking specific questions to determine how they plan on keeping those commitments. Make sure you protect yourself by always asking the questions below before you decide whom you will trust with your investment.  

Needless to say, the Specialized answer to every question below is YES—because we believe you deserve nothing less!

7 CRITICAL QUESTIONS TO ASK
BEFORE HIRING A PROPERTY MANAGER

1. DO YOU OFFER A MONEY-BACK SATISFACTION GUARANTEE?

Don’t settle for less than a 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee. We are so confident in our services, we offer a money-back guarantee of your management fee for the first 60 days of your agreement period if you are not satisfied with our attempts to make it right. A truly professional firm will keep its clients through superior performance and strong relationships, not by tying your hands with red tape. Ask these additional questions to ensure your satisfaction:

  • Do you have a full team of experts in leasing, maintenance, accounting, compliance, and rental management?
  • Will I have 24-hour access to all property activity, reports, and inspections?
  • Is there a Hassle-Free Cancellation Guarantee if I need to end my services?
  • Does your company have at least 35 years of experience in rental property management? (This complex industry demands expertise and time to encounter all the potential issues, don’t be anyone’s guinea pig).

2.   DO YOU GUARANTEE THE TENANTS YOU PLACE?

Expect that any tenant placed by the manager will be guaranteed for ten months and that the manager will cover the cost of replacing any tenant who breaks their lease without complying with the terms of the lease.  Here are additional questions to ask to protect yourself in the leasing process:

  • Do you use the most advanced 3D video tours and 4k high definition photos to set apart and highlight the owners’ homes from others on the market?
  • Do you provide prospective tenants a floor plan showing each room and the layout of the home?
  • Do you provide owners with photos of all mechanical systems and appliances including serial numbers of the make, model and age?
  • Will you provide a pre-leasing property assessment to ensure my property is ready to rent quickly at an appropriate market rent rate? 
  • Will I have a dedicated leasing expert ensuring my property is leased quickly and who will provide me with weekly status updates? 
  • Will my property be advertised on the industry leading rental listing sites including Zillow, Trulia, HotPads, Homes.com, Apartment List, Zumper,PadMapper, Facebook Marketplace, Realtor.com, Move.com, DoorSteps, Apartments.com, Apartment Finder, ApartmentHomeLiving, RentJungle, The Zillow Rental Network of sites, Yahoo, Multiple Listing Service, MyNewPlace, AOL, MSN, and HGTV FrontDoor as well as others.
  • Do you pay a premium to outside Real Estate Agents to show your clients available rental properties?
  • Do you offer both in-person and electronic self showings for faster leasing?
  • Do you conduct professional, applicant background checks on all adult tenants and guarantee the tenants you place for 10-months?

3. DO YOU GUARANTEE MY COSTS WILL NOT GO UP?

It is so frustrating to settle on an affordable fee structure with a manager, only to have it increased at every lease renewal, or to be blindsided by hidden fees. At Specialized, we believe our clients deserve better. That’s why we lock in the fee structure in your service agreement for a period of three years, so you can budget for the future without worrying about potential fee increases. Ask these additional questions to protect your pocketbook:

  • Will I be notified of any other fees, not included in the monthly management fee, before signing an agreement with you?
  • Will my initial fee structure be honored for any additional properties I add, even if your fees for new clients go up?
  • Do you offer discounted pricing for professional home and yard maintenance services?
  • Do you offer online, in-person, cash-pay rental options at over 10,000 retail locations to ensure on-time rent payments?
  • Do you offer introductions to third party agents and brokers for discounted property insurance services?

4. DO YOU GUARANTEE COMPLIANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAWS, INDUSTRY REGULATIONS, AND FINANCIAL CODES REGULATING RENTAL PROPERTIES?

Sadly, our industry is plagued by discount “managers” that violate trust accounting rules, fair housing regulations, property code requirements, and landlord and tenant regulations, or overlook the complex accounting compliance procedures required in the residential property rental industry. Whether due to ignorance, neglect, or unethical business practices, exposing rental owners to compliance issues can create serious financial and legal risks, as the penalty for a single violation can far outweigh the cost of professional management. Additional questions you can ask to avoid costly mistakes include:

  • Will my trust funds be audited monthly by an outside firm to ensure compliance with applicable real estate regulations and laws?
  • Are you a licensed real estate professional supervised by a broker?
  • Do you have a history clear of violations with the state’s Real Estate regulatory agency? (Do an independent check to be sure.)
  • Do you guarantee my records will be in order in case of an audit by the State Department of Real Estate and that the financials for my rental properties will comply with all applicable accounting standards?
  • Will you provide a legally valid lease for my property or audit my current lease?
  • Will you coordinate the rental property registration and file the required property tax related filings with the City and/or County Assessor?
  • Do you document tenant negligence and hold tenants accountable by using detailed pictures and reporting?
  • Do you maintain and regularly back up all required legal documentation and records for my property, including move-in/out and inspection reports, photos, and tenant notices?
  • Do you provide monthly and year-end property accounting reporting, including 1099 and Schedule E?
  • Do you have an affiliate who can provide me with property tax reduction analysis, tax filing, and assessment protests if needed?
  • Do you conduct a thorough lease deposit calculation, detailed itemization, and tenant disbursement at move-out to ensure compliance?

5. DO YOU ENSURE MY PROPERTY IS PROTECTED? 

A property manager must be skilled in vigilant, proactive care to safeguard the significant investment your rental home represents. You should expect strict policies and systems to protect your property’s value, physical condition, and ensure its long-term performance while always being mindful of your costs. Additional questions you can ask to protect your property’s value include:

  • Do you provide move in, move out, and regularly scheduled property inspection reports (all with photos) to document the home’s condition?
  • Do you provide 24/7 tenant emergency support and track response time for issues and repair requests?
  • Do you have processes to ensure tenant satisfaction and retention to reduce turnover and encourage care of the property?
  • Do you use a customized filter program to ensure ongoing tenant-provided maintenance such as monthly filter change programs and functioning detectors?
  • Do you provide constant owner communication while coordinating, approving, and paying for maintenance?
  • Is your firm of sufficient size to be able to negotiate wholesale pricing from reputable, licensed, and insured, third-party maintenance providers for the services that are common for rental properties?
  • Do you guarantee any repairs performed?
  • Do you pay service vendors directly for services I approve in order to expedite repairs?

6. DOES YOUR TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM ENSURE MY PROPERTY’S PEAK PERFORMANCE?

In the current highly regulated, complex real estate investment market, technology is now the essential backbone of successful asset management—just as with any other investment portfolio. Ensure that your property is performing its best with up-to-date technological systems that provide real-time data to avoid unnecessary costs and support informed decisions. Ask these additional questions to protect yourself:

  • Do you offer investment analysis technology with real-time business intelligence reporting?
  • Does your company offer Artificial Intelligence information to your staff to anticipate problems before they occur,  thus reducing the cost to owners and increasing the owners’ retention of tenants?
  • Does your business intelligence software help me set a market-appropriate rent rate by not only the CMA (comparative market analysis) but also market trends not normally found in the CMA to reduce vacancy days for faster leasing?
  • Does your technology ensure that leases are renewed and inspections and routine maintenance are conducted proactively to protect my home?

7. WILL YOU PROTECT MY RIGHTS IF AN EVICTION IS NECESSARY?

When a property manager leases your home, you expect them to find the most qualified tenant that will pay the rent each month and not leave you in a bind.  Yet even the most skilled manager faces the occasional eviction. Protect yourself in case of eviction further by asking:

  • Do you cover the cost for the standard eviction filing of a tenant you place for the first ten months of the management agreement, and waive the leasing fee on the replacement tenant?
  • Do you offer a low-cost, optional Eviction Protection Guarantee to cover eviction costs after the first ten months? (This program is only $15 a month per property here at Specialized.)
  • Does your Eviction Protection Guarantee include the costs and effort of filing for eviction, court hearings, and representation at the court hearing?

You deserve nothing less than YES on all of the above.

If you get  “NO” to any of the above questions, you—and your property—are not fully protected and the long-term return on your investment may be compromised.  Beware of cut-rate providers that offer inadequate safeguards for your investment!

THE SPECIALIZED PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE
How It Works

  1. Simply present the competitor’s proposal to your Specialized representative before signing your management agreement.
  2. The Price Match Guarantee only applies to new contracts for a property we do not already manage, as price matching cannot be applied retroactively.
  3. Your Specialized representative will review the competitor’s offer and services, and your new management agreement will be modified to cover only identical services.  
  4. Your services under the Price Match Guarantee may not cover the level of management services that we recommend, and your representative will explain the differences so you can make an informed choice.
  5. Agree upon the terms and sign the management agreement—knowing you’re in the hands of the company that sets the standard of performance for the rental industry!

Remember that all the features and guarantees above, which are included in the Specialized monthly management services, may not be included in a Price Match agreement unless they are expressly included in the competitive offer. As a result, your monthly services may be reduced below our recommended level in order for us to offer equivalent pricing for identical services. Whatever your situation, we are committed to working with you to get the risk-free, transparent, expert care you deserve and that will put your mind at ease.

You owe it to yourself to talk to your Specialized Representative about our Price Match Guarantee.  Put the stress behind you today—one call is all it takes.

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