Lamplighter Realty 828-524-5601

It is the property manager’s job to interact with tenants, vendors, contractors, neighbors, insurance adjusters, city, county, state and/or federal government officials, and anyone else who might influence the day-to-day operation of your property.

A good property manager can maximize income, minimize expenses, and help you maintain the highest property value possible while avoiding legal hazards. A good manager can set high standards for tenants and inspire them to meet and sometimes even surpass these ideals. A good property manager can put more money in your pocket than you can. A strong manager makes up for the commission paid with good management practices and attention to detail.

Your manager will know the rental value of your property based on the rental values of similar properties in your geographical area. She will also know what vacancy rate you can expect and how long it will take to rent your property successfully.

You will reap the benefits of rents that keep up with market conditions, limited vacancy, and connections to good vendors and repairpersons. Many landlords believe that limiting rent increases keeps good tenants in place. A good manager, on the other hand, will raise rents reasonably, increasing the owner’s bottom line and keeping the good tenants happy with realistic rent increases. Managers are in touch with the rental market and know at what price to advertise a rental, thereby reducing the vacancy factor between tenants. Because of their connections to prospective tenants, a good manager will often facilitate a new tenant moving in as soon as the departing tenant moves out, eliminating vacancy altogether. Your manager knows which repairpersons to hire. She/he also knows which ones not to hire. The manager can save you time, money, and aggravation by getting the right person to your property to solve problems efficiently and inexpensively.

Marketing your property to prospective residents and providing those prospects with courteous service are part of the repertoire of a good manager. A good manager will have the “science” in place to expose your property to a large number of prospects through a web site that is high on widely used search engines and a vacancy hotline. She also has effective systems in place to insure that your home is shown to as many prospects as possible.

A manager’s expertise in this area allows her to draft rental agreements that meet your needs while conforming to all applicable regulations. If addendums to the rental agreement are necessary, she has the capability to draft those as well. The manager knows how much security deposit she can legally collect and she knows what disclosures must legally be made to the tenant. A good manager makes it a habit to provide the tenant with a move-in inspection report to verify the condition of your property on the day the tenant takes occupancy.

A good manager relieves her clients of the work, time, and stress involved in the general maintenance of the property. The property manager has plumbers, electricians, painters, handypersons, housekeepers, and numerous other vendors at her fingertips to keep the properties she manages in top condition. Property owners don’t worry about their properties when they hire professional property managers. Professional property managers are dedicated to selecting quality tenants and keeping their clients’ investments in good repair with minimal cost. They want your real estate investment to be a success, not a failure.

And finally, one last benefit – your leasing and management fees are usually a tax deduction (please seek advice from your financial advisor). So when the tax deductions, reduced vacancy factor, and timesaving’s are factored into the cost of professional property management, most property owners find good management a real bargain.

What services are provided in exchange for commission on the rent collected?
We advertise our business locally, nationally, and internationally; we screen and take applications from prospective tenants; we negotiate and draw lease agreements; collect security deposits, rents, and cleaning fees; we send late notices to delinquent tenants if necessary; we check your tenants in and out, and we provide keys to tenants and collect keys upon departure; we contract for cleaning services following the departure of your tenants; we maintain emergency maintenance service 24 hours a day for plumbing, electrical, sewer, and other problems; we remit a monthly check with an itemized statement and, at the end of the year, an IRS form 1099.

How does Franklin Home Store screen tenants?
Long-term tenants are subject to a credit history check, references check, employment verification and are required to remit a full months rent and equivalent security deposit in advance. Short-term tenants pay the full amount of the rental in advance along with a security deposit and some customers are referrals. Our computer system allows us to keep history records of all our tenants so we can note the ones we would rather not rent to again!

How are the rates set for my property?
Rates for long-term rentals are based on the rents for comparable properties in similar locations.
Rates for short-term vacation rentals are also based on comparable rentals, rents are much more dependent on the location and condition of the property. Rates are also dependent on the time of year and whether any special events are taking place. We like to have your permission to be flexible on the rates for short-term rentals since there are times when we will be able to get more than the published rate for your property. At the same time, we would like to be able to lower the rate under special circumstances as an alternative to allowing the property to sit empty.
Rates are not set by totaling your mortgage payment, your taxes on the property, and your expenses! While it might seem reasonable to attempt to set your rates in this way, keep in mind that there is no correlation between what a property costs an owner and what it will generate in rent.

What about pets?
It is at your discretion whether or not to allow pets in your home. If you choose to allow pets our policy is to retain a $100 non-refundable pet fee. These funds are utilized for any extra cleaning costs and “bombing” the home in the event of fleas. We require that pets be kept off the furniture and bedding and pets should be on a flea control program. It is requested that pets be crated during the times the owner is away and not allowed to wander or chew. Pet owners are responsible for picking up any pet droppings outside of the home and properly disposing of same.

What if I want only non-smokers on my property?
Our standard contract has a no-smoking clause in it. Smoking outdoors is permitted and guests are asked to use caution as we live in such a heavily forested area.

How do my family, my friends, and I schedule the use of our vacation home?
You may book your home for yourself, family, or friends simply by calling or emailing Franklin Home Store, Inc. the dates you require. We will promptly “block” those dates on the calendars on all websites. Should your plans change, please notify us as soon as possible.

How am I protected from long-distance telephone charges at my vacation home?
Your local telephone service provider, Verizon, will place a long-distance blocking service on your telephone line for a very minimal charge. This prevents tenants from charging to your number but allows them free local calls and the opportunity to charge long-distance calls to their calling cards. It will be up to you to make those arrangements with your carrier.

Are there risks to renting my home?
Certainly, no business endeavor is without risk. However, it is rare in the vacation rental business that the need arises to evict a tenant. We have occasional damage such as a broken dish or a burned saucepan but do not consider these types of incidents as negligent or malicious and will not charge a renter. Spilled wine on a light carpet that is left unattended, missing linens or any other real damage to the premises will result in forfeiture of the security deposit and can result in further action being taken. Sometimes it is difficult for a property owner to make the transition from regarding his property as a personal residence to perceiving it as a business asset. To be successful, the owner must look at it as a resource from which he will most certainly generate business income and from which he may sustain some business losses. It is also important to remember that unless a business asset is maintained, it will produce less and less income, so it is vital to keep the property in top condition at all times. There will be some wear and tear, just as there is wear and tear in your own home. For this reason, Franklin Home Store works extremely hard to ensure that the properties are being maintained in the condition that will generate the most income for the owners we represent.

What if I have more questions?
If we have not addressed all your questions use the form on the Contact Us Link to email a question or feel free to call 828-524-5601.