What fees do you charge for leasing and ongoing property management?
We charge an initial fee of $395 to take in a new property. This is a one-time fee and we do not charge re-listing fees when the property turns over. Once we have a rent paying tenant in place, we charge 10% of the collected rent. This monthly percentage is contingent on rent collection so if the property is vacant or the tenant hasn’t paid, we are not collecting a management fee until you receive your rent. Reduced rates can be negotiated for property owners with multiple unit portfolios.
What background checks will you conduct on a prospective tenant?
Detailed background screenings are a very important part of the tenant selection process. At Acorn + Oak, we conduct in-depth criminal and credit background checks, ID verifications, and eviction scans on all applicants 18 years old or older that will be occupying the property. In addition to these checks, we also verify income and employment and contact the applicant’s current landlord for a rental reference if applicable.
What deposits do you collect from the tenant before they move in?
At minimum, one month’s rent is collected as a security deposit and additional deposits are collected for pets. All security deposits are held in a trust account per North Carolina law.
How do you handle needed repairs? Are we able to get quotes from various handymen or are we locked in to using a company with which you contract?
When things break, having a property management company ready to respond is ideal. While you are always notified of any maintenance requests at your property you are not required to call repair people or set up appointments for these repairs—we’ll do this for you! To keep costs low, we do not have an “in-house” maintenance staff and contract all repairs to local licensed and insured vendors (plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc.). We have 2-3 of each of these vendors that we use on a regular basis as well as numerous “general handymen” that we contact for miscellaneous repairs. For most repairs, our vendors are able to give you estimates regarding maintenance if requested. We also are happy to use preferred vendors that you have used in the past if you would like.
How do you handle late rent payments?
Timely rent payments make us happy and we go above and beyond to make sure our tenants know when rent is due. We send a friendly rent reminder on the last day of every month to remind tenants rent will be due by the 1st and late if received after the 5th. On the morning of the 6th, if rent has not been received, we contact the tenant to alert them that rent is now late. We try to work with tenants as much as possible and understand that sometimes mistakes happen or emergencies come up. However, if we have not received communication from the tenant about paying due rent, we can file for eviction on the 10th of the month. Bragging rights: our eviction rate is less than 1%.
We will be living locally. Can you explain the advantages to using a property management company as opposed to managing the rental ourselves? And the advantages of using your company specifically?
We’ve heard that a good property manager is worth their weight in gold. By hiring a property manager, you are actually hiring an adviser, a photographer, a tour guide, a negotiator, a coordinator, a 24 hour emergency phone line operator, a mediator, a bookkeeper, a problem solver, a multi-tasker and an agent all in one. Need we say more?
Your property manager is your buffer. He or she is the contact point for the tenant so you can rest assured that the property is being cared for and that you will not have to deal with a maintenance issue at the drop of a hat. You will not need to stop your daily routine to address an HVAC issue, a running toilet, or a tenant who refuses to pay rent. In a nutshell, your property manager will take the headache out of owning an investment.
As for Acorn + Oak, we take pride in wearing all these hats. Our mission is to secure tenants that will maintain the value and condition of your property. We incentivize our tenants to pay rent on time with monthly giveaways and treat them as more than just “end-users”. Our Acorn + Oak team has over a decade of property management experience and has managed hundreds of units in the Triangle area. We continually strive to improve our processes and our business so we can provide the highest level of service to our owner clients and our tenants.