Managing Your Property: How We Do It

Setting The Price: We perform a detailed rental market analysis of your Northern Virginia home including neighborhood factors and current market conditions and use this information to determine the most competitive price.

Finding A Tenant: Your home is aggressively marketed through the Metropolitan Regional Information System (MRIS, formerly Multiple Listing Service), yard signs, and a variety of websites. We also network with agents from other firms who specialize in working with renters, and with local corporate relocation contacts who assist individuals moving into our area. We begin the marketing process 60 days before the property is available to rent and our listings reference a 12- to 24-month lease requirement with the understanding that any other term must be negotiated with the landlord. On the issue of pets, we recommend indicating in the listing that you will consider pets on a case-by-case basis with an additional security deposit. In this way you may choose among applicants depending on what pet situation you are comfortable with. We do not collect a nominal “pet deposit” as most other firms do, but rather require a larger security deposit, a minimum of $500 additional deposit per animal which affords you much greater protection.

Rental Agents: We have our own staff of leasing agents, skilled professionals who specialize in showing rental property, are good at evaluating tenants’ needs, stay informed of all Fair Housing codes, and will present your property in its best light.

Qualifying The Tenant: Our strict requirements and careful evaluation of prospective tenants have led to an enviable eviction rate far below the average for our area. We verify prospective tenants’ employment (salary, position, length of time on the job, probability of continuing) and contact their landlords for references. We subscribe to Safe Rent which provides us with credit information from all three of the nation’s largest credit reporting bureaus, as well as criminal background checks. Applicants are qualified financially using a 40% debt-to-income ratio including the cost of housing. Once we have verified all information and obtained references we will make a recommendation to you. The final choice is yours, but of course must be made within Fair Housing guidelines.

Lease Preparation: We use the standard Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® Deed of Lease which contains many provisions designed to protect your investment. It is regularly updated by NVAR legal counsel to reflect any new requirements or protections available under the law. Unless you specify otherwise we will negotiate a minimum twelve-month lease.

Tenant Handbook: All tenants are given a copy of our Tenant Handbook© pdf, which outlines what we expect from them and what they can expect from us as your property manager. It includes such topics as care of the home, emergency procedures, and move-out requirements for when they vacate.

Rent Collection: We believe in actively communicating with tenants to prevent various situations that may arise from becoming collection issues. In the event of a problem our timely procedures assure you of minimum income loss.

Inspection Schedule: An extensive report is generated prior to tenant occupancy, noting the interior and exterior condition of your home. Comprehensive interim inspections are conducted throughout the tenancy (these are posted on our website and include photos) with a final inspection being made after tenants have vacated. This schedule helps ensure that your home is properly maintained for as long as it’s in our program.

Maintenance, Repairs, and Preventive Maintenance: Deferred maintenance can be very costly in the long run so we make every effort to prevent small problems from becoming bigger ones. Our prompt response to any problems that may arise keeps tenants happy and also encourages them to inform us of problems in a timely manner. We encourage tenants to take care of as many minor items as they can. If they are unable, we call the appropriate vendor, pay the bill when the work is completed, and charge your account. For major repairs we solicit bids for your review and selection. We work hard to find competitive prices for quality work.

Accounting: Your net share of the rent (rent received from tenant minus our fee and any expenses) is sent electronically to your bank on the 6th of each month, providing the date does not fall on a weekend or holiday. You receive a monthly statement as well as a year-end income and expense summary. All invoices which we have paid on your behalf are posted to our website. We also submit the required annual IRS Form 1099 for you.

Investment Information: We can assist you in evaluating your real estate investments through market analysis and our extensive experience. If you are planning to buy a rental property, let us have the opportunity to evaluate it before you make your final decision. Our background has helped many to make informed decisions concerning their investments.