3 Best Landlord Tips for Avoiding Fair Housing Mistakes in Boston

As a landlord, you want to make sure you avoid fair housing mistakes because they can be expensive and damaging. Property managers will help you stay in compliance with fair housing laws, but if you’re a self-managing landlord, you’ll need to make sure you know the law. These are three quick tips that will help you avoid fair housing problems. (more…)

What is the Real Cost of Professional Property Management in Boston?

Rental property owners often want to know what the true cost of a property manager is. I talk to numerous homeowners in the small market, which includes those owners who have a two family, three family or four family property; anything below eight or nine units. The biggest fear for these property owners is always cost. They worry that if they hire a property manager or a management firm, it will cut into their bottom line and reduce their cash flow to the point that they can’t afford it.

It can be a challenge to add professional costs to your business when you’re already working with slim and tight margins. But the reality is this: When you have a professional property manager on your side to help with the optimization process, you won’t lose money. You’ll actually earn more money, especially if you have a good property manager.

A professional manager can optimize the amount of rent you collect. They can also help with fair housing issues and with managing potential evictions. If you have compliance issues with your local board of health, a property manager will understand the intricacies of the housing laws and how to protect you from code violations. It won’t take you long to realize that property managers offset the cost of their services. They not only save you money, they make you money.

If you are interested in talking to a property manager and you want to discuss your specific situation and whether professional management is a good fit, please contact us at Hancock Realty.

3 Most Important Tips for New Landlords in Boston – Professional Property Management Advice

If you are a new landlord in Boston and you’re not working with a property management company, we’re sharing three tips that will help you get started.

Tip 1: Accounting System
Make sure you have a good accounting system in place. This is necessary to track rent receipts that come in every month as well as security deposits paid by your tenants. You need to have a system that accounts for every dollar that comes in for any of your units. You cannot co-mingle your funds with your tenants’ funds. Keep everything separate and well documented.

Tip 2: Forms Library
Create a good forms library. You can collect forms that cover everything from short term leases to long term self-extended leases. The library can hold your disclosures, addendums and whatever forms you need to do business successfully. Having an extended library will help you feel more prepared. Whether you use the forms or not, you’ll be ready for any situations where you might need paperwork.

Tip 3: Vendor List
Most importantly, create a good vendor list. All of the vendors you work with must be insured and bonded. The last thing you want is to have a 3:00 a.m. phone call from your tenants reporting that there’s no heat, and you have to scramble to find someone who can respond to the emergency and troubleshoot to get the heat back on for your tenants. Put together a list of two or three electricians, plumbers and other contractors who are reliable and can be counted on to do good work.

If you have any questions, or you’d like to talk about the benefits of hiring a professional property management company, please contact us at Hancock Realty.
How to Set a Rental Price like a Professional Boston Property Manager

On our blog today, we want to help you set a rental rate just like a professional property manager in Boston. At Hancock Realty Group, we like to use the absorption rate analysis technique. In our experience, this has been the best way to successfully price a rental property.

This is essentially a fancy way of saying let’s look at the data for the last six months or four months, right up to today when you’re putting your property on the market. As we talk about pricing, we will use a two bedroom unit as example. One of the key things to do when using this technique is to make sure that you create a submarket, and as you are creating that submarket, draw a radius around your property of two or three miles, tops. If you go beyond that distance, you’re looking at a different school district and probably an entirely different community. The goal is to compare apples to apples as best you can.

Once you have your submarket identified, take a look at the two bedroom properties currently available. You also want to look at the two bedroom units that have rented in those last four to six months, and consider how long it took for those units to rent. You need to know how long they were on market. Figure out how quickly those two bedroom properties were absorbed by the market, or taken off the shelf.

When we analyze these two data sets – how many two bedroom units have been on the market and how quickly were they rented – we are able to establish an ideal price. That information is going to give you a good idea of what the appetite is in that submarket for a two bedroom property.

If you’re attempting to put a price on your rental property and you’d like some help in analyzing your own data, contact us at Hancock Realty Group. We’d be happy to assist you.

Why Work with Hancock Realty Group

Today, I wanted to take a few minutes and tell you why you should consider working with Hancock Realty Group. As your property managers, we will be a valuable partner to have, and the largest benefit our clients get when they work with us is access to our impressive level of education and experience.

Through the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), I am an accredited residential manager and certified property manager, that’s the highest designation you can achieve in this industry. In 2014, I serve as the chairman of the accredited residential manager’s committee for the IREM chapter in Boston, which covers greater Boston and most of New England. I am also a certified apartment manager through the National Apartment Association and for condominiums and HOAs, I am a certified manager of community associations. In addition to those credentials, I am an association management specialist with a focus on financial management.

I’m also a licensed, bonded and insured real estate broker in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. All of these certifications and accreditations are what makes the difference when you work with Hancock Realty Group. We are the most educated property management company you’ll find.

In addition to our outstanding education and experience, you’ll also get personal service. We work with you one on one, which is difficult to find with some of the larger management firms in the area.

If you’d like to learn more about us and the high quality services we can provide, please contact us at Hancock Realty Group, and we would be happy to tell you more about who we are and what we do.