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We Love Hearing Great Things About Propman
11-02-2016
11-02-2016

 

Property Management in Northern Virginia isn’t a glamorous job, that’s why we are always excited when somebody takes the time to give us a great review. We work hard at what we do and it’s nice to be recognized by the homeowners, tenants and Realtors we serve.

 

Here are some of the reviews we’ve received recently:

From a Homeowner Client

“Propman has managed my rental properties for years now and I have never had an issue. Their communication is always clear and prompt and they do a way better job working with the tenants than I would. I would recommend them.”  --Helen M.

From a Tenant

“Propman has never let me down! I’ve been a tenant almost three years and they have been totally accommodating. Great listeners and fast responders, with a wealth of knowledge and experience. THANKS, PROPMAN.”  --Laura L.

From a Former Tenant

“I was a tenant for three years and Propman took wonderful care of our home, and us! Steve and Frank were quick to respond, even about little things. When there was a need for expert assistance (say, an appliance repair), the folks they sent to help were always terrific too. Plus, you will never meet two nicer people. When our lease was up, I was as sad to leave them as I was to leave the house! Cannot say enough good things.”  --Risa M.

We’d Love to Hear From You

We’d love to hear about your great experiences with Propman Property Management as well, and encourage you to post your testimonials using this link. Google Testimonial

If you own a home you’d like to rent out, or an investment property that needs a qualified tenant, and would like to talk to us about professional property management, please contact us. If you are looking for a property to rent, please review our available rentals. We look forward to serving you. 

Help! My Landlord Isn’t Responding!
10-25-2016
10-25-2016

When a friend of ours called Propman Property Management recently to complain about their landlord’s lack of response to a simple issue, our thoughts were, “We hear that a lot.” In this case, the tenant is in a home of a private landlord and had asked for a repair for several months in a row, with promises to fix it on the first month, and no responses the subsequent months. She is frustrated and said she is considering making the repair herself and asked our advice on how to do it.

She may or may not be qualified to make the repair, and if she isn’t, the result could be a shoddy job that may cause future problems for the landlord. In addition, her frustration with the landlord causes her to think that the landlord just doesn’t care about her or the property, and that leads to her lack of confidence in him and her decreased sense of caring for the property as well. She is likely to stop caring for the home as if it were her own, quit reporting problems, or move to a new location – all of which create potential losses for the landlord – just because he didn’t respond.

Unfortunately, many tenants who live in homes not represented by a professional property management company are subject to the whims of their landlord when it comes to fixing or repairing simple issues. Landlords are required to respond when major issues like plumbing or heating arise, but for the little things…not so much. We hear this complaint far too often.

Propman Takes Every Call Seriously

At Propman Property Management, we take every tenant call seriously, and respond immediately. We never know whether the issue is truly small, or whether the tenant is trying to make it sound not so serious. If it is small, we can take care of it quickly and immediately, and if it is a large problem, or will lead to a large problem, like a small leak, we can fix it or be aware of it before it becomes disastrous.

Responding quickly to tenant requests also places value on both our company and positions both us and the home’s owner as caring, involved and responsive. Our tenants are happy, our owners are happy, and the property is well-cared-for.

If you are a landlord, you may not want to or be able to respond quickly to tenant requests. That’s why you should considering hiring a professional property management company – like Propman. Give us a call and we’ll review our policies with you and show you how we can take the burden of being a landlord from you. With us on call, you can relax and enjoy the monthly rental income without the hassle of being on call for repairs. As another benefit, if a repair is necessary, we use our dedicated team of repair personnel who provide us with bulk-discounted rates, which we pass directly along to you.

Don’t forget that we also have a stringent screening process for all tenants and can help place only the best into your home here in Northern Virginia. We want to find the tenants who will care for your property as much as you do. Call Propman today.

 

3 Things You Need to Do if You Are an Absentee Landlord
10-20-2016
10-20-2016

 

If you don’t live in the area where property you rent out is located, you are what we call an “Absentee Landlord.” And although it’s wonderful to have rental properties, not being nearby can cause challenges. Who is looking after your property? What are the current Landlord/Tenant laws? How do you find not just a qualified, but a GOOD tenant?

 

 

Here are three things every absentee landlord needs to do.

  1. Hire a Professional Property Manager

Your first step is to hire a professional property management firm that specializes in the region where your rental property is located. Don’t hire one that works where you currently reside; it will be difficult for them to be responsive to issues or to really know the marketplace. A good property manager, like Propman Property Management, adds a real estate professional to your team and can provide many services that can make your life easier, like finding the right tenants, handling repair issues, and protecting your property.

  1. Provide Complete Information

Once you have chosen a reliable property manager, provide as much information as you can about the property, your expectations, and your current situation. The more your property manager knows, the better they can represent you and your wishes. Keep an open flow of communication going and be responsive. Sometimes issues come up that need your immediate attention. On our part, Propman also lives by these rules of communication. We keep our owners informed with regular reports and monthly statements, and contact our owners immediately in case a situation arises concerning their property. We can be reached 24 hours a day for emergency situations.

  1. Keep Your Property Maintained

Properties that are in tip-top shape tend to attract and retain the best tenants, so keep abreast of not only repair issues, but regular maintenance as well. Select a property manager that performs regular inspections, as well as offers suggestions for ongoing maintenance. Let them be your eyes and ears on the ground. At Propman, our owners benefit from our dedicated service teams who provide Propman with discounted service costs for repairs, replacements and maintenance – which we pass along to you.

We cannot stress enough the importance of having someone nearby to look after your property. When tenants know a property manager is nearby, they are less likely to take advantage of an absentee owner. In addition, with regular inspections, thorough tenant screening, and a network of service professionals, you can rest assured that your property will retain its value for years to come.

If you have questions about the benefits of a property manager here in Northern Virginia, call Propman. We’ll be glad to help. 

What Millennials Want in their Rental Property
10-18-2016
10-18-2016

Loosely defined, a millennial is a person who is generally between the ages of 18 and 35 in 2016. They have also been called “Gen Y.” Mostly children of Baby Boomers, millennials are the first generation who aren’t aware of life before the Internet and personal communication devices.

When it comes to renting properties, millennials know what they want and will look for homes that meet their specific needs.  Here are some of the items on their list:

Space

Cleanliness and room to spread out are top priorities for millennials, along with plenty of natural light. Kitchens are also high on their list, with updated appliances and modern features taking precedence over original fixtures. They are also value-conscious, and won’t mind spending money for a place they like.

Neighborhood

Millennials tend to prefer an urban neighborhood where they can walk to stores and entertainment, and enjoy history and character. They also prefer having a fitness center nearby and a place to walk the pets, like a dog park.

Technology

Most millennials do not have land lines, and a majority do not have cable TV. Instead, they want high-bandwidth Internet access. Properties should have plenty of electrical outlets to accommodate multiple electronic devices.

Since millennials make up the largest generation since their parents, Propman Property Management is seeing more and more millennials apply for rentals. As representatives for our property owners, we update owners on trends and advise them as to repairs or updates to their properties that will suit this generation and ones to come. We find that a sadly-outdated property is more difficult to rent, and does not garner as high a rental price as one in better condition, with updated amenities. In addition, tenants care more about the property when it is obvious that the owner cares about it too.

If you have a property in Northern Virginia you’d like to put on the rental market, contact Propman Property Management. 

How Propman Prepares a Tenant for a Move-Out
09-29-2016
09-29-2016

When you think of the term property management, you think of renting out and caring for properties that are under the manager’s supervision. But there are other aspects to property management as well, such as moving tenants out.

At Propman Property Management we utilize a well-constructed system for the move-out process that begins at the lease signing. From the very first, we establish our move-out policies, giving new tenants a list that includes what the tenant is responsible for in terms of maintenance and cleanliness during their stay and what they are required to do to ensure a smooth move-out.

When a tenant gives notice or a lease is terminated, Propman issues a move-out letter that reminds the tenant, highlighting the items within the lease for which they are responsible to complete prior to moving out in order to recapture their security deposit. Items not completed create grounds for deductions from or complete forfeiture of the security deposit, as it takes our time and staff to clean up a mess or replace broken items. Normal wear and tear is acceptable.

Once move-out is completed, Propman performs a post-tenant inspection, working from our checklist and inspecting the property for issues. If issues are found, and are caused by or neglected by the tenant, they can also create grounds for loss of the security deposit.  Items that are required to be returned, such as keys, garage door openers, remote controls and parking passes are additionally enumerated on the checklist pertinent to the particular property. Missing items will be charged to the tenant.

Most of the time, move-outs occur without a hitch; the inspection goes well, the renters receive their money back and new tenants can move in sooner.

If you are interested in renting out your home or in finding a rental property in Northern Virginia, please contact Propman Property Management. We’ll be glad to walk you through the process.

 

Helpful Moving Tips
09-20-2016
09-29-2016

 

Moving can be fun and not fun at the same time. It is exciting to look forward to a new place to live, but at the same time, the process of moving all of your stuff from one location to another can be daunting.

 

Here are 15 helpful tips from Propman Property Management to help make your move a little easier.

 

 

  1. Donate unneeded items. It doesn’t make sense to pay to move items you no longer use. Donate them to a local charitable organization. Clear out clutter and trash.
  2. Create a playbook. Use a spiral-bound notebook to record everything. Include mover contact numbers, friends’ numbers, schedules and to do lists. If you’re really organized, number each box and write a brief contents list in your playbook for each box. Keep important papers in a location you can access quickly.
  3. Pack an overnight bag. Put what you will need today, tomorrow and the next day into a small bag or suitcase and keep it handy in the car so it doesn’t get mixed in with the other boxes.
  4. Pack a “first open” box. For the items you will need first, like cleaning supplies, toilet tissue and cookware, pack them in a clear box, or a clearly-marked box on which you write “open first.”  Place this box on the truck last and designate a spot where this box will be delivered in the new home.
  5. Pack like things together. Keep a theme to each box, like shoes, daily dishes or office supplies to make it easier to find things later. Include cords with electronics.
  6. Mark boxes by room. With a marker, write on each box the name of the room it goes to in the new home. Be specific; assign numbers to bedrooms and bathrooms.
  7. Pack plates vertically. When placed in boxes vertically, rather than stacked, plates are less likely to break. Mark “fragile” on these boxes.
  8. Secure valuables. “Hide” valuables in a box mismarked with a label like “miscellaneous kitchen items” or plan to store them away from the home prior to the move.
  9. Hang a plastic bag over clothing. Bring a large plastic bag up over a bunch of clothing still on the hangers and pull the drawstring around the top with the hangers showing for an instant clothing carrier.
  10. Eat up groceries ahead of time. Stop buying groceries about two weeks ahead of the move and eat up what is in the house.
  11. Keep snacks on hand. To stave off hunger pangs, keep a variety of snacks and drinks on hand during the move.
  12. Defrost the refrigerator a day or two ahead. Empty and unplug the refrigerator a day or two before the move, and wipe up any condensation or water.
  13. Hire a pet or baby sitter. Free up your attention by hiring someone to watch your pets or children while you’re packing or unpacking the truck.
  14. Put masking tape over picture glass and mirrors. This will help keep glass in the frame and help absorb shock.
  15. Maintain a sense of humor. Moving is stressful, so keep that in mind, and keep a sense of humor about the little things that might go wrong.

Propman Property Management is a leading property management firm covering Northern Virginia. If you are looking to rent out your home, or are looking for a place to rent, please contact us.

How to Make Your Rental House a Home
08-23-2016
08-23-2016

 

Even though you’re not the owner of the home in which you are living, there is no reason why you shouldn’t make it a home. There are hundreds of ways you can incorporate your personality without risking your security deposit. Here are just some of the simple things you can do.

 

Unpack

You will never feel at home while your belongings are still boxed up. Unpack everything and get rid of the boxes.

Add Lighting

You can change the mood of a room with lighting. Swap out high-wattage bulbs for softer ones, use table lamps instead of overhead lighting, or strategically place floor lamps for reading nooks.

Use Plants

Add color to your outdoor space with plants. Use a tiered plant stand to hold several varietals, place pots around the entryway or plant a small herb garden outside the back door. Fill a vase with fresh flowers and display it on your dining table. Be careful to insulate any containers against water that could damage floors or surfaces.

Buy Real Furniture

There’s no reason to live with your old college couch. Start investing in good furniture like a bed, couch or dining table that you can take with you when you eventually move. If you don’t want to spend the money on high-end furnishings until you get your own home, haunt the consignment stores for perfectly-good bargains.

Hang Curtains

Even if your rental comes with window blinds, hang curtains to soften up the room, coordinate with your furnishings, and add a real homey touch. They can also function as insulation against the outdoor elements and lights.

Lay a Rug

Lay an area rug down on a hardwood floor for instant warmth or to cover any flooring you consider ugly.

Accessorize

Accessories can brighten or coordinate any room, so invest in throw pillows, cuddy afghans, colorful guest towels, and meaningful knickknacks.

Use Real Dishes

Get yourself a set of real (matching) dishes and glassware, and use them. The act of cooking and eating at home brings the feel of the hearth to the family. Invest in a colorful tablecloth and create a beautiful table tableau.

Paint

Call Propman to get permission of the landlord, you may be able to paint a room or an accent wall to personalize your rental space. Check on their regulations on restoring the property to its original condition and colors.

Hang Pictures

Decorate the walls with a strategically-placed painting, or hang framed photos of the kids. To try to keep nail holes to a minimum, however; don’t overly-decorate the walls. And check with the landlord beforehand for their hanging policies.

Just because you’re renting, it doesn’t mean you have to stare at white walls. Use this time to experiment with your decorating tastes and hone your skills in selecting just the right accents to make your house a home

We Love Realtors Who Find Us Tenants
08-18-2016
08-23-2016

 

Propman Property Management lists numerous properties each and every year and we are excited to work with so many fine Realtors who direct renters our way. Thank you!

To make sure your client’s application goes smoothly (and you get paid), we’ve listed a few ways you can help us with the application process.

 

Deliver a Complete Application

Double check to make sure the rental application is completely filled out. Many times applicants tell the Realtor that they will fill out the application and send it in, but we often have incomplete applications submitted by prospective tenants. And that really holds up the process. You can make their job (and ours) easier by simply double checking the application before submitting it for the approval process. The quicker they are approved, the sooner they can move into their new home.

A complete application should include:

Full Name of all occupants

Applicant Social Security Number

Confirmation of income

Current landlord

Copy of driver’s license attached

For convenience, access our online Rental Application form.

Include Your Business Card

Propman is pleased to pay Realtors a percentage of the first month’s rent as a commission for helping to lease a property, so please attach your business card to the application so we know where to send the check!

Call Propman if You Have Questions

If you have questions about the application, how to earn a commission, or our rental process and policies for our Northern Virginia properties, please pick up the phone and give us a call at 703-593-8637. We’d rather have you ask questions now than go back and forth later when you are submitting an application. We don’t want to hold up the process for you or your client.

Propman is On the Job 24-7
08-17-2016
08-17-2016

 

When you’re in the business of property management, you have to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Because that’s when life – and its unforeseen emergencies – happen.

For Normal Problems

When non-emergency problems arise in your rental property (and they do from time to time), please try to contact Propman Property Management during Monday-through-Friday office hours. This way we have our full team of resources available to help you.

Non-emergency problems include things that are inconveniences, but do not cause potential harm to either tenants or the property itself. It can include a stopped-up drain, clogged disposal, fallen gutter, or an ant invasion. Please reserve the after-hours emergency number for true emergencies.

For Emergencies

If, however, your problem is a true emergency, like your heat has gone out in the winter, you have no water, or a tree limb has fallen through the roof, please call us immediately at 703-593-8637. We are available 24 hours a day for emergency calls.

Tell Us About Potential Problems

Since you are living in the home, you have the best viewpoint for any potential problems and can alert us ahead of time so that an emergency situation is not created.  For example, if you hear that the air conditioner is making a lot of noise or that it is not issuing cold air, call us as soon as you suspect or detect a problem. It is better for us to hear about this on a Tuesday than wait until Friday night to call us as we have many more resources available during the business week to get to your problem much more quickly. We surely don’t want you to be inconvenienced any longer than necessary.

The Best Way to Contact Propman

The best way to let us know about any problem or emergency is to call. And when you do, please leave a complete message including your name, your property address and a return phone number. You wouldn’t believe how many people leave out this basic information. This especially happens when people try to text us (which we don’t recommend). We have hundreds of tenants, so we need to know who you are in order to respond quickly.

Propman’s goal as one of the premier property management companies in Northern Virginia is to provide an excellent tenant experience while protecting the properties of our property owners. We can best achieve this with your help, so don’t be afraid to give us a call. That’s what we’re here for. 

What is the Summer Rental Market Like?
08-09-2016
08-09-2016

 

The summer rental season is the most active time of year, according to our experience at Propman Property Management. People are moving in between school sessions and using the nice weather to look for new lodging.

 

 

This summer’s rental market has already shown to be hotter than last year’s. The rental demand rose in May, and more potential tenants are active in their rental research, contacting the listing agent directly rather than using a leasing agent.

People are Using Technology to Find Homes

We contribute this increase to the development of user-friendly real estate websites (like ours) directed at the rental market, and easy access to the Internet through mobile devices. In one case, we even “showed” a property to the wife of a serviceman who could not make the showing using Facetime as a live video feed. He was able to view the entire property while asking questions about the unit, and we were successful in renting the unit without the need of an additional showing.

At Propman, we like to contract with our property owners before the busy season, often in winter or early spring. This gives us time to prepare the property for incoming renters to make them most attractive before the market heats up. After all, a desirable property can earn you more monthly income.

Preparing a Property for Summer Rental

To prepare a home for rental, we suggest that owners overseed and fertilize the lawn, powerwash siding, and perform spring maintenance, like cleaning gutters and inspecting chimneys. We also recommend that they repair or replace broken or damaged appliances. For example, a 25-year-old rusty appliance can show lack of interest in your rental property and in almost all cases, be reflected in your tenants’ attitude toward the property during their tenancy.

Owners should also deep clean their unit, professionally cleaning the carpets and painting if needed. Wood cabinets and floors should be cleaned and treated.

In our experience, the biggest mistake a homeowner can make is to place their property on the market when it does not show well. It is a big waste of time for rental agents and applicants, and if you do get a tenant, they will likely not respect the property as you would like them to.

Propman Property Management tries to make it easy for potential tenants to learn about our rental properties. They can search online through our “Available Rentals” and even answer questions (FAQs) and submit an application online.

Our property owner clients rely on Propman’s expertise in preparing properties for rent, and in finding the right tenants. If you have a property to rent, or are looking for a rental home, please contact Propman.

Pool Safety Tips
07-14-2016
07-14-2016

With Memorial Day came the unofficial launch of summer—and the opening of pool season here in Northern Virginia. Whether you have a pool at your home or whether you visit your local pool, we at Propman Property Management thought we’d share a few safety tips that can keep your family healthy and happy this summer.

Watch the Little Ones

Unfortunately, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1-4, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Please keep an eye on your children at all times to ensure their safe enjoyment of the pool and never leave a child unattended in or near the water.

Teach Your Children to Swim

Knowing how to swim is a skill all children should have. Enroll them in a swim class or swim school, or simply teach them yourselves. Check the YMCA and Parks and Recreation for affordable lessons.

 

 

Stay Away from Drains

Children’s hair, limbs, jewelry or bathing suits can become sucked into drains or suction openings, especially in spas and shallow pools. Teach your children to avoid playing near these openings, and never enter a pool that has a loose, broken or missing drain cover.

Ensure Proper Barriers

For your own pool, you are required to provide a self-closing, self-latching gate. A four-foot fence, barriers, pool alarms and pool covers are other safety measures. If you are renting one of our properties with a pool, please make sure proper barriers are in place and in working order. If they are not, contact Propman Property Management immediately.

Learn CPR

Bystanders are often the first responders for a drowning victim and knowing CPR can enable you to save a life. Take a course through your local hospital, community center or the American Red Cross to become CPR certified, and keep your certification current.

Don’t Forget Sunscreen

Summer’s rays are strong and unprotected exposure could lead to future skin damage, including melanoma. Take care to apply a protective sunscreen, and apply it often.

Propman Property Management wishes everyone a happy and healthy summer.

 

I'm Already Living Here, Can I...? (Part 1)
06-09-2016
06-09-2016

 

As a property management company representing our property owners in Northern Virginia, Propman often fields questions from tenants about what they can and cannot do in the property once they are living there. Sometimes they have a legitimate concern; other times they simply want to bend the rules in their favor.

 

Here are some recent questions we’ve heard, in Part 1 of our two-part series, and our answers.

My Roommate’s Leaving; Who’s Responsible for the Rent?

Q: A tenant called Propman to tell us that one of their roommates is moving out before the end of the lease term and asked if she was going to be responsible for the entire rent or just her share.

A:  Whomever signed the lease is legally responsible for the entire rent, whether jointly or severally. This means the entire rent needs to be paid every month, no matter who is still living in the property. If one roommate moves out, the remaining roommate must either gather the rent from the roommate for the remainder of the lease or pay the entire amount on their own.

Do You Think the Landlord Will Let Me Have a Dog?

Q: A tenant went to the SPCA and fell in love with a dog, then called Propman to ask if the landlord would approve of a dog.

A: The problem here is that the tenant already fell in love with the dog before finding out whether pets are allowed in their rental property. Generally, property owners have strict rules about pets, which we as their manager need to follow. It isn’t merely a question of “going back and asking the landlord.” Your pet policy is most likely outlined in your rental agreement. We recommend checking it, or checking with us, before falling in love with a potential pet.

If you are caught with a pet that has not been approved it is a default on your lease and your lease can be terminated and you can be evicted, which goes on your credit report. Then when you go to apply for another rental property and that landlord checks your background, your application can be denied.

Can My Mother Move In?

Q: My mother left the nursing home and wants to come live with us. I hope the landlord doesn’t mind.

A: We don’t want to be the bad guy here, but legally, anyone over the age of 18 needs to be on the lease, and Propman Property Management needs to approve anyone moving in, including your own mother. Because it is an additional adult, we must consider liability for another tenant, insurance issues and additional wear and tear on the property. Your mother will have to apply and be approved just as you did, and additional considerations may be involved, such as an increase in rent for example.

This is Part 1 of our 2-part series.

Propman Property Management is a professional firm pairing rental properties with tenants. We love our property owner clients and our tenants and want to ensure that each party has a pleasant experience. If you have a property you’d like to rent out, or are looking for a rental, please give us a call. Review our Available Properties for current rental opportunities. 

Renters and Pets
02-17-2016
02-25-2016

We love pets, and we know you love your pets as members of your family. But how do pets and rentals go together?

Through years of experience, Propman Property Management has developed a pretty solid and fair pet policy to deal with a variety of issues that may arise with pet ownership. Many times, the pet policy is set by the home’s owner, who may decline to accept pets, or make that decision on a case-by-case basis.

What Types of Pets are Allowed

In general, the types of pets allowed inside a home include small dogs, cats, birds, fish, and small mammals and reptiles. Some of Propman’s properties also include exterior facilities like barns, where tenants are allowed to keep horses.

Number of Pets

Generally, we try to restrict pets to one per household, but this depends on the type and size of your pet and the facilities provided.

Security Deposits

Tenants will be required to pay an additional security deposit to cover any potential damage their pet may cause. Refundable security deposits will be held in reserve to defray damage costs, if applicable. Security deposits may be used to clean or replace carpeting from urine and feces stains, repair wood damage, or other damage caused by your pet.

Disclosures

You will be required to disclose what type of pet, the age and weight of your pet you are interested in housing.

The reason we require policies regarding pets is to protect both our tenants and our landlords’ property.  This way everyone knows where they stand and what is expected. It is standard in the industry.

If you are interested in renting from Propman in Northern Virginia, please take a look at our available rentals. If you see a home you like and are interested in finding out more about our pet policies, please give us a call.


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