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Property Management Blog

Top 3 Property Management Companies in the East Bay

Deanna Hansen - Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Our topic today is sharing the top 3 property management companies in East Bay – besides Aapex Property Management, of course. There are many fine companies in this area that do property management. Each company does things a little bit differently. They all have their own personalities and a different sense of services. It’s important to do a little research before making a decision. We always recommend that you talk to a few property managers before you hire one.

Harbor Bay Realty in Alameda is a wonderful property management company. They do a lot of great work, and your investment property would be very well taken care of under the management of Harbor Bay.

There is also CWP in San Leandro, which we can recommend very highly. You will get the chance to work with Karen Bergendahl, who offers wonderful service.

Finally, there is American Property Management, run by Walt Wilte in our area. They are very professional and good at what they do.

I recommend any property management company that is an active member of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). You can find property management referrals on their website if you visit narpm.org. Companies that are active with this association really stand out for property owners because they adhere to a high code of ethics, and you know the property managers are well trained and educated.

 Top 3 Property Management Companies in the East BayOf course, I recommend Aapex Property Management as your number one choice. We are proud of the services we provide, and we are also the only company in the East Bay that has earned the designation of Master Property Manager from NARPM.

If you have any questions about the property management services we provide, or you’d like more information on property management in the East Bay, please contact us at Aapex Property Management, and we’d be happy to give you some help.

When to Fire Your Property Manager

Deanna Hansen - Wednesday, May 28, 2014

In this blog, we are covering the touchy subject of when to fire your property manager. Owning a rental property is really the same as owning and operating a business, and when results are not being attained, that’s the time to consider making a change. Before doing that, I suggest sitting down with your property manager. You should always take the time to communicate and discuss the problem. Talking things out with your property manager is similar to talk about problems with a business partner. Try and come to a decision about what steps can be taken to resolve the problems so results can be attained again. If you’re not able to come to an agreement or results are still absent, it’s time to look for a new property manager.

Buying and owning investment property is also an emotional process. This means there is a lot of communication required. Constant dialogue is necessary to feel comfortable with your investment. You don’t want to be awake in the middle of the night wondering what’s going on with your property. If you are having problems communicating with your property manager, talk to him or her about that and see what improvements can be made in the sharing of information. When there is not adequate communication, it’s time to find a new property manager.

Lastly and probably most importantly, there has to be the honesty factor and trust. These are the most important components of your relationship with your property manager. If honesty isn’t there or trust hasn’t been developed or you think they’re absent, take the time to do a little investigating and find out for sure. If you confirm the person you’re working with is not honest, even in little ways, it’s time to let go of that relationship. You cannot be successful working with someone who you cannot trust.
 When to Fire Your Property Manager
These are hard decisions to make, and finding a new property manager is always a challenge. But in some cases, it has to be done. Remember that letting go of a property manager that isn’t a good fit will open the door for a new property manager who can give you better results with your investment property.

If you have any questions about Hayward property management, we’d be happy to help you out. Please contact us at Aapex Property Management, and we’ll talk about what you need.

3 Biggest Mistakes New Landlords Make in Hayward

Deanna Hansen - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

One of the three biggest mistakes that new landlords make is not putting the home on the market in good condition. They think that if they just touch up the paint or do a minor cleaning, everything else will be fine. If something needs to be done, they say they’ll do it before the tenant moves in. The problem with that approach is good tenants don’t want to believe you. They aren’t willing to take the risk and they want to see a house that is in good shape. So, the property stays vacant for longer and you lose rent. When you do finally rent out a property that isn’t in perfect condition, the person who agrees to take it is probably a less than perfect tenant. That will end up costing you in the end. Take the time to make the place move in ready before you show it.

The second big mistake is not screening tenants properly. A lot of landlords are squeamish about asking the right questions. Sometimes, it’s easier for them to believe the stories and the explanations that come with why they didn’t pay rent in a former property or why they didn’t get a good reference from their current landlord. You’ll hear every excuse – maybe their grandmother died twice in the last year and so they couldn’t come up with rent. Do a thorough screening job so you get better tenants in your property.

Lastly, setting rent incorrectly is a big mistake new landlords make. When you set the price too low, you’re obviously not going to get as much money for the property. That costs in the long term, especially if you keep the same tenant for many years. If you set rent too high, that’s also a p 3 Biggest Mistakes New Landlords Make in Haywardroblem. Lots of landlords think if they set rent a little higher, they will get a better quality tenant. Actually, the opposite is true. A well qualified tenant will rent a property at market rates and in good condition. Only those tenants having trouble qualifying for homes elsewhere will be willing to pay higher rent. You might get that higher rent for a month or two, and then they will stop paying it. Evictions and vacancies are very expensive. Then, the damage a bad tenant can do to the home makes your problem even worse.

These are the most common mistakes we see. Working with an experienced Hayward property manager can help you avoid these errors and have a more successful experience as a landlord. If you have any questions or need any help, please contact us at Aapex Property Management.

I’m Relocating – Should I Sell or Rent my Hayward Home?

Deanna Hansen - Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A common question we get from people who are relocating is: “Should I sell or should I rent?” That’s really an individual decision that you have to make, so it’s important to gather all the facts you need to make a good personal decision. I don’t know whether you’re planning to move back to the Bay area to live again in the future, or whether you want a long term investment or whether you just want to buy something new elsewhere, and you’d rather just sell your existing property. So, gather your facts.

If you decide to sell your house because you won’t need it again in the future, talk to a good real estate agent who can tell you what you can actually get for a sales price. This will help you prepare and make your decision. You don’t want to rely on some pie in the sky estimate that shows you what you might be able to get if you wait 300 years to get the right price. Talk with someone you trust and feel good about.

The same steps should be taken when you decide to rent your property out instead of selling it. When you rent your home, you can hang onto the property if you decide to move back into it down the road, and you’ll also continue to earn on the investment if the rental income is right and the value continues to increase. Talk to a property manager to find out what kind of rent you’ll be able to expect from the market. The rental amount is important and it’s no fun having someone tell you that the house will rent for $1,995, and then when you put it on the market you find out that you won’t be able to get more than $1,595 for it. That’s going to suddenly throw your cash flow expectations off and your projections will mean nothing. You don’t want to make a bad decision.

 I’m Relocating – Should I Sell or Rent my Hayward Home?Whether you decide to rent your home out or sell it when you relocate, make sure you talk to a Hayward property management company you can trust who can give the financial realities of your decision and guide you through the process. You’ll be more comfortable that your decision was a good one.

If we can help you in any way when you’re trying to decide what to do with your property, please contact us at Aapex Property Management.

What is the Cost of Hayward Property Management?

Deanna Hansen - Tuesday, May 06, 2014

One of the basic questions we always get is: how much does it cost to employ you as a property manager? I think the better question to ask is: how much value are you going to get from the services we provide? A good property manager should be able to provide a return on your investment. In the end, most good property managers will save you more money than it costs to use their services.

Here’s an example. We recently got a phone call from an owner we had worked with about eight years ago. She had used us to help her find a tenant for her property, then we turned the management over to her and she handled everything herself ever since we placed the tenant. She called, and as we were talking, we asked how much the rent is on her property now, compared to eight years ago. She told us she had not raised the rent at all in eight years. Now, over those eight years, we probably would have raised the rent between 12 and 14 percent. So, if she had kept us on to manage her property, we would have made her more money than it would have cost her to have us do it.

The cost of a property manager also has to be measured against the amount of time it takes to do the work. As an owner, you might spend a lot of time on your property, whether it’s answering phone calls, finding a tenant, coordinating maintenance, handling bills or chasing down late rent. You must consider how much your time is worth compared to what you pay a property manager on a monthly basis.
 What is the Cost of Property Management?
In the end, you need to look at your long term investment and how much return you should be able to get from your property manager. In this area, the average cost is between six and 10 percent of monthly rent, depending on the property management company and the services that are provided. There might be additional charges on top of that fee. Think about what kind of value you are getting and what kind of returns you can project on that investment. A good property manager should be able to answer those questions for you.

If you have any questions about hiring a property manager, or what you should expect to get in return for your fee, please contact us at Aapex Property Management, and we’d be happy to talk about it.

Hayward Property Management Should I Raise Rent in 2014?

Deanna Hansen - Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Many property owners are wondering whether they should raise rent in 2014. It’s best practice to raise rent a little bit every year or at least consider raising rent every year so your tenants become conditioned to that and it’s not a big shock to their system when you do ask for a little bit more when they renew their lease. Rents are going up between five and 15 percent this year, depending on the area you have your property in. So, yes, you should definitely raise rent.

The question is always how to raise rents and still keep tenants. As we all know, if you lose a tenant, that vacancy is much more expensive than that little bit of extra income you get from a higher rent every month. It is important to raise the rent a bit over the long term, however, because year after year the increase amounts to a lot of money.

I suggest you get some comparables for your marketplace. Check the newspaper or look online so you can find out what the rent increases are in your area. Then, talk to your tenants. Figure out where they are and let them know that rents are going up all over the area. Show them how rents for similar properties are increasing at an average of 12 percent, but since they are great tenants and you want to keep them, you are willing to raise rent eight percent only. That would be a good way to approach raising rents so you don’t lose your good tenants.

An even better way to successfully raise rent is by using a professional property manager. When you have a property manager in place, you have someone with good negotiating and communication skills. That professional can approach the tenant on your behalf and put together a plan that everyone will be comfortable with.
 Hayward Property Management Should I Raise Rent in 2014?
I have had tenants tell me they appreciate the way we go about raising rent, and they have been more than happy to stay in the property and pay a little bit more every month. You want to keep your property rented, so make sure you raise rents the smart way.

If you have any questions about rent and how to raise rent, please do not hesitate to contact us at Aapex Property Management of Hayward. We’d be happy to share a little more information with you.

What Kind of Property Management Company is Right for You?

Deanna Hansen - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

When you’re looking for a property management company, you need to choose one that is right for you. I like to compare this to buying a hamburger. Sometimes, you’re in the mood for a burger that’s plain and simple. All you need is a piece of meat, a pickle and maybe some ketchup and mustard. It will cost you 99 cents and you don’t have to worry much about it. On the other extreme is something totally different. Instead of that simple burger, you want an Angus burger with the best meat. You want grilled onions and grilled mushrooms, cheese, the right kind of sauce, maybe a little avocado, tomatoes, whatever else you like on a premium hamburger.

There are similarities to choosing a property manager. There are lots of good property managers out there and they’re all different. Many of them are well educated and they take the time to understand your needs so they can take care of your property for you in the best way possible. It’s important to find one who fits with you, whether you’re the type of investor who wants cheap management or all the bells and whistles.

Decide what kind of services you need to feel comfortable that your property is being taken care of. We always suggest that you take the time to interview a few property management companies, and ask all the right kinds of questions. Find out what kind of services are available and whether they match what you’re looking for. You’ll have to decide if you want someone who is going to call you every time you have a leaky faucet. Do you want to make the decisions about tenants and whether or not they are qualified to live in your property? Do you want to make the decisions about rent and whether you’d be willing to reduce the amount of rent you charge, or if you want to help a tenant out? Decide what your level of involvement will be and then look for a property manager who will do things the way you want them done.

Owning an inve What Kind of Property Management Company is Right for You?stment property is a big responsibility, and you want to be able to sleep at night. You are unique and you have different goals than other people who own investment properties. Everyone has a different tolerance for risk. Find a Hayward property management company you are comfortable with so you can enjoy your investment and maximize your profits.

If you’d like more information, or you have any questions, please contact us at Aapex Property Management, and we’ll help you through the process of choosing the right property management company.

East Bay Rental Market Forecast

Deanna Hansen - Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Today, let’s talk a little bit about what the rental market is looking like for 2014. Buying a home is still a difficult thing for most people to do. Credit is tight and many lenders are requiring really high down payments. This puts a lot of people out of the buying market. There’s also a trend where buying a home is not the American dream anymore. Fewer people are doing that, and more and more people are choosing to rent. Among those renters are a group of people who would have purchased a house if they could, so they want to live in a home instead of an apartment. They will make great renters.

There are fewer rental units available right now, which means vacancy rates are down. That’s a perfect opportunity for rental prices to go up. We’re seeing that happen in this area right now. The apartment industry is surveyed more than rentals that happen to be single family residences, and they are predicting an increase in local rents that falls between four and seven percent this year. Single family homes tend to be a little big higher than apartments and with this crunch or lack of rental properties, we’ll see the rates go up even higher. They could increase between 12 and 20 percent.

What’s exacerbating the rise in rental values is that over the last few years, landlords have been reluctant to raise rents. With the economy struggling, they were afraid of losing existing tenants and having to suffer through vacancies and lost income. So, rents haven’t been raised much due to the owners’ reluctance.

In fact, we recently received a call from a client of ours who used our services to find a great tenant and then decided to manage her own property for the last eight years. We asked what she had been doing with her rent and she said she had not raised the rent on her tenant in the entire eight years that person has been living there. That one or two percent annual increase has been accumulating. When you consider she is probably 20 or 25 percent below market value already and you add that to the idea that rents will go up as high as 10-20 percent this year, you’ll see a huge rise in rental rates over the coming year.

Information on the East Bay Rental Market Forcast for 2014Setting your rental rates can be a challenge. Not everyone likes to do that. We always recommend that you talk to a Hayward property manager who knows the market and can help you establish a rental amount that is fair and reasonable.

This year will be a great year for rental prices and the market as a whole. If you need help with any part of property management, please contact us at Aapex Property Management.

5 Tips for Brand New Landlords in Hayward

Deanna Hansen - Thursday, April 10, 2014

Today, we are sharing five tips for new landlords so you can be prepared for the problems that often come with property management.

  1. Educate yourself. Find out exactly what it takes to be a landlord. Especially important is the time commitment you’re going to have to make. Talk to two or three professional property managers so you have a good idea about what they do on a daily basis. This will help you determine whether you want to self-manage or hire a professional.
  2. Find a good all-around handyman. You want someone dependable and professional. There is nothing worse than hiring someone off the street because you think you’re getting a good deal. That person is probably not licensed or insured, and lots of self managers hire these types of workers and then they end up getting exactly what they pay for. Things will break or take longer and you’ll end up losing a tenant who is tired of making the same maintenance request and things not getting handled correctly. You’d rather avoid that. Test out any contractors you’re considering on your own home and get an idea of how they do. If you’re satisfied, send them over to your rental property.
  3. Purchase a good lease. A lot of leases are made up without protecting the landlord as much as they could. Remember that not all leases are created equal, and you don’t want to copy something that doesn’t include all of the necessary information. Use a lease that protects you and your property from all potential pitfalls and problems. You don’t want to face legal ramifications because your lease isn’t strong enough.
  4. Update your insurance coverage. When you become a landlord, it’s essential to have the right kind of coverage in place. There are a lot of differences between homeowners policies and landlord policies. You don’t want to leave yourself open to liability because you had the wrong insurance plan in place.
  5. Interview and hire a good tax accountant. It will help you to have someone who can provide financial advice when it comes to the best way to own property. There are lots of things you can do to maximize the tax benefits available on your real estate investment.
 5 Tips for Brand New Landlords in Hayward
Potential problems can be easily managed when you decide to use a professional Hayward property manager. Remember that you can hire a manager to do just some of the things that you’d rather leave to a professional. For instance, many property managers, such as ourselves, can provide lease up services only, when we put a good management contract in place and screen the tenants to get you on the path towards a successful landlord experience. If you have any questions about how to start being a landlord, contact us at Aapex Property Management.

Where to Buy Investment Property in Hayward

Deanna Hansen - Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Today, we’re talking about where to buy investment property in Hayward and neighboring areas around here. Before you buy, it’s important to decide what your objective is for this particular piece of property. Determine whether you are looking for immediate cash flow or a long term investment. Or, maybe you’re looking for a place that you can move into yourself when you’re ready to retire. Understanding your goal is more important than the area you select.

From a management perspective, a relatively newer neighborhood is always easier. There is often less maintenance involved in homes that aren’t too old or neglected and there are also fewer problems with tenants in these types of neighborhoods. They make very desirable rental areas, especially for young families. You don’t have to look for a property that is brand new, but on the newer side and in good condition. You don’t want to buy something that is falling apart. There are pockets of these neighborhoods in Hayward and similar areas that are a little bit nicer and easy for attracting tenants.

Logistically speaking, you want to choose an investment home that is closer to transportation. Look for a house with local freeways that area easy to get to and plenty of shopping nearby. Schools are also important. Families will children will look for a rental home that is in a good school district, so get to know the school system in the neighborhood before you buy. Generally speaking, a three bedroom home with two baths and a garage are the easiest homes to rent. You want to find a house that is between 10 and 30 years old. These are the best the places to buy when you want to rent the property out, and there are lots of properties that fit this description in Hayward.
 Where to Buy Investment Property in Hayward Based Off Of Your Financial Goals
Get yourself a good real estate agent when you begin looking for a house. It helps to work with someone you know and someone you are comfortable with. We would be happy to give you rental values before you buy so you aren’t surprised when you close the deal and have to start looking for tenants.

If you’d like some help finding a good investment property, or you have any questions on how to choose the right one, please contact us at Aapex Property Management, and we’d be happy to help you.

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21550 Foothill Blvd. Suite 201,
Hayward, CA 94541
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