OWNER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
At Gordon James Realty, we know finding the right property management firm to entrust with your investments is a critical process that’s bound to provoke questions. We’ve compiled the answers to the ones our prospective clients most often pose to help make your search a bit easier and give you a feel for the comprehensive services we offer. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us by e-mail or phone at 202-800-2610.
But we don’t stop with the requirements. We are also members of the National Association of Residential Property Managers and the Property Management Association, so we adhere to an even stricter code of ethics and consistently improve our knowledge with continuing education. When you hire Gordon James, you can rest assured that your interests are represented with qualified, experienced professionals.
Our property management clients own single-family homes, multi-family homes and condominium units in the DC metro area, including the district, Arlington, and parts of Alexandria. All of our clients are looking for help with the burden of managing a property on their own and they look to Gordon James as their trusted advisor throughout the partnership. If you’re unsure if professional property management is right for you, this graphic and article can help you decide.
We want our clients to sleep well, knowing that we’re providing all needed services. We handle maintenance and emergency repairs, enforce collection of rents and serve the proper notices upon failure to pay. We understand federal laws, as well as those in each jurisdiction we serve, ensuring your investment is protected. We also want clients to get the highest possible return on their investments. We leverage our knowledge of the local market and extensive network of contacts to manage our properties more effectively and at reduced costs. Our systematic approach to managing rental properties puts us at the forefront of the property management industry.
The staff at Gordon James Realty are experts in the industry. One of the major benefits of quality property management is having someone you trust to take care of all the details. With over 30 years of combined real estate experience, and our continued investment in technology and better systems, our customer satisfaction is one of the highest in the industry.
- We handle all aspects of managing your rental property. We advertise the property, screen prospective residents, negotiate leases, collect rent, schedule maintenance, maintain accurate records, and resolve resident complaints.
- We know the local market and have an extensive network of contacts. That allows us to manage your investment property more effectively and at reduced costs. You save because our preferred contractors have lower rates and earn more because our properties typically command higher rent, which often adds up to greater profits than managing the property yourself.
- Gordon James Realty uses the most up-to-date advertising techniques and best practice approach when coordinating and conducting viewings, exposing your properties to a wider market of renters or buyers and increasing conversion rate which reduces vacancies.
- We enforce collection of rents and serve the proper notices upon failure to pay. We follow all federal, state, and local laws, making sure you and your investment avoid legal problems.
- We handle maintenance and emergency repairs with our 24/7 emergency response team, so you can sleep at night.
- The seasoned team at Gordon James Realty constantly monitors changing trends and legal issues in the real estate market to best represent and protect our clients’ interests.
- Gordon James Realty does not force you into a one-year contract, which is the practice of many of our competitors. We earn our clients’ loyalty through our high-quality service, rather than locking them into long-term contracts.
- We use a cloud-based software system that allows owners to see what’s going on with their properties 24/7.
Our careful tenant screening helps to prevent costly problems and ensure that your property will continue to earn rent. If resident issues do occur, we catch them early, helping to avoid future property damage and increasing the likelihood of successful cost reimbursement before lease termination. We also understand that addressing maintenance issues early prevents more serious and costly property damage. And that helps to keep your long-term costs lower and improve your rental’s property value.
In addition, we also give owners 24-hour access to information about their property through our online portal, so you can check on it at any time. And we’re always here to discuss your property and any questions or concerns you have.
Our two basic property management fees are:
- Management Fee. Our fee to manage your property is based on a percentage of the gross monthly rent collected, which covers our comprehensive services, including collecting rents, lease enforcement, handling repair requests, performing inspections and keeping records. We only collect the management fee when rent is collected. You do not pay a fee when your property is vacant.
- Leasing or placement fee. To place a qualified tenant in your property, we a percentage, based on one month’s rent. We do not charge any additional fees for a lease longer than one year.
To manage your property, we charge 8.5 percent of the monthly rent, which is collected only when rent is collected on your property. That fee covers our full suite of management services. For our comprehensive leasing services, we charge 90 percent of one month’s rent. We believe our services are a great value for our clients and you’ll find our fees stack up well against the local competition.
We also help keep maintenance and repair costs low by using our in-house maintenance division and network of reliable, cost-effective contractors to handle issues that may arise with the property. We help property owners save money long-term by ensuring high quality work at fair prices.
We obtain a credit report, criminal background report, check employment verification, rental history, and eviction history on every prospective adult resident. Once we gather key information, we compile it in our system, contact you with the list of qualified tenants and help you make a final decision on your new tenants. Placing qualified residents in your property is one of our most important responsibilities as your property management company.
If tenants break their lease, they must pay rent until the property is leased to a new tenant or until their lease expires. In addition, they may pay advertising costs, real estate commissions and other costs directly related to efforts to lease the property.
If tenants are moving out, we will check with you before we begin marketing your property. We begin our comprehensive search for new tenants 30 to 45 days in advance of the lease termination date, minimizing vacancies so you continue to earn rental income.
Gordon James can also make recommendations to preserve the value of the property and decrease the vacancy time. We can arrange for one of our reliable contractors to complete any needed work to return the home to optimal, ready-to-rent condition quickly and cost-effectively.
To capitalize on the interest our advertising generates, we respond rapidly to all inquiries, schedule and conduct showings with pre-qualified tenants and issue applications. Our leasing service also includes performing thorough credit and background checks for all applicants, verifying employment references and contacting prior landlords, drawing up the lease for tenants and conducting a move-in inspection on the lease start date.
As part of our marketing services for your rental, we help ensure the property is in optimal condition and priced well. That improves the chances the home will lease quickly, minimizing any disruption or hassle involved in showing it.
Gordon James Realty provides owners with a rental analysis and uses it to help owners arrive at a competitive rental price. We may also recommend small repairs that will improve the property’s appeal. Our residential leasing services include comprehensive, professional advertising campaigns that market properties on more than a dozen websites, ensuring they get maximum exposure. So, though we recommend property owners allow four to six weeks to lease their property for the first time, the process usually takes far less time.
After a management agreement is signed, Gordon James Realty sends owners a questionnaire to determine what utilities the owner is responsible for and what utilities the tenant will be responsible for. We then outline the tenant’s responsibilities in the lease and ensure they are met.
About 75 percent of renters nationwide own pets, so allowing pets can increase the pool of potential tenants and may decrease turnover. To ensure a tenant’s pets are well behaved and cared for, we ask prior landlords. We charge a $250 pet deposit to help defray any pet-related expenses and outline additional requirements in the lease, including having the carpets and property professionally cleaned when vacating. Tenants living in condos with pet rules must abide by all restrictions, according to their lease.
- Completed new client questionnaire, which we send after the contract is signed
- Keys to the property, including mailbox keys, if applicable