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The Plaza Lights

A local tradition for Kansas City is the Plaza Lights.  It is a 15-block holiday spectacle on the famed Country Club Plaza.  The annual event features thousands of glimmering lights that highlight the architectural features of the Spanish-inspired shopping district.  This holiday would not be the same in Kansas City without the Plaza Lights

The In’s and Out’s of a Big Profession

Property management is an unpretentious term for a profession comprised of a huge range of expertise.  Property managers need to be able to handle customer service, legal disputes, collections, tenant complaints, neighbor conflicts, repairs, maintenance personnel, vendors, inspectors, emergencies and more!  Considering the demand placed on a rental property management company, it is easy to see why Alpine Kansas City greatly benefits from strong business processes.

Alpine Kansas City places a strong focus on constant improvement and efficiency as a key factor, as well as communication and automation.

Communication between phone calls, text messages, emails and walk in traffic, can easily become chaotic if not handled correctly.  Documentation is very important.

Alpine Kansas City has found great success in having a 24/7 emergency line and ensuring all owners, tenants and staff communicate within the online portals.  This serves as documentation for all correspondence, reduces phone calls to the minimum and eliminates scattered information.  Having established communication policies ensures efficiency for staff, owners, and tenants alike.

Downloading the Propertyware app on your smart phone can expedite conversation with Alpine Kansas City.  The app is free and easy to use.

As the year comes to a close, we look to the horizon for continued successes and improvement that benefit you.

Low Supply, Rising Rent

Each market is unique and Kansas City is no exception. As housing prices have continuously risen, the market has quickly reacted with bidding wars and buyers frenzy. The KC Metro area is now beginning to give sentiment that the housing market is stabilizing for home buyers.

The inventory for available homes continues to remain low with the median price for a starter home in 2017 at $65,167, up 7% from 2012. This booming housing demand is continuing to impact how much people pay for rent.

Real estate analytics show KC a top contender in the rental market year after year. Home value forecast, appreciation and vacancy rate, along with affordability and economic environment, benefit the rental housing market.

Nationwide, the number of rental households rose to 10M in 2016, marking 12 years of consecutive growth. Growth is primarily seen in new rental construction. These recent additions are primarily aimed at the upper end of the market ($1,800- $2,400+) while existing stock of single family homes targets affordable housing ($600-$1,200).

After more than a decade of soaring demand and five years of sourcing supply, the Kansas City market remains extremely tight. Rapid growth in both renters and rents continues to fuel the ongoing demand to meet housing needs.

To Your Success…Cara

AlpineKansasCity Broker Associate, Owner

Metro K-9 for Hire

Alpine Kansas City strives for Drug Free, Crime Free housing.  As part of our ongoing training and awareness, the staff had the pleasure of training with Ray M. with Metro K-9.  Ray discussed the many needs for professional narcotics detection and beautiful and smart Phoenix gave a live demonstration of her detection techniques as Ray explained how management companies, like us, can use narcotic inspections as a deterrent for drug activity in our housing units.  Implementing random narcotic inspections at our multi and single family units will positively impact the residents.

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Inspiration Comes in Unexpected Places

Nowadays, I am working in Real Estate investing: selling houses that produce income for the buyer. Not too long ago, a young man walked into Alpine Kansas City. In one hand he held up the county record for a property we owned, and in the other, ca$h! It didn’t matter to him if the property was for sale, or what the condition, nor did he ask the price. He was seeking opportunity. Success.

After speaking with him, I learned his parents are immigrants from Mexico and he was born in LA. At 12 years old, he moved to Kansas City with his Dad, learned to swing a hammer, and work hard. Since he was old enough to earn a paycheck, he has been working at Denny’s. In his 12 year career there he has risen to manager. After working his first shift, he picks up a second at McDonald’s. With that cash, he purchases investment properties. How many? “A few,” he says.
He is hustling, making it happening, investing in his future. There is a lot to learn from from this young man, but the take away, TAKE ACTION!

What is TAKING ACTION?
Capitalizing on the opportunities, seizing responsibility, and treating success as your duty.

To your success….Eddie V.

Aquisitions Manager – Alpine Kansas City

Contact me: 816.566.5011

Partnership for Crime Free Housing

Alpine Kansas City is a proud participant in the Mid-America Crime Free program.  Mid-America Crime Free is a non-profit organization that assists the Police in keeping neighborhoods and apartment complexes free from illegal activity. The staff is certified in Advance Management Techniques and can identify and alleviate key contributors, both environmental and physiological, that help resolve common liability issues.

The partnership between the Crime Free officers and Alpine Kansas City helps to strengthen our position as local property managers and develops a strategy for continued neighborhood improvement.  Partnerships, such as these, has proven to be very successful with the reduction of criminal activity and an improved quality of life for our residents.  Our managers have been successful participants in the program for many years.

On a monthly basis, our staff attends a professional development class.  This opportunity has broadened the spectrum of my staff and the services we provide. We look to continue to learn and improve.

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Angie P. is a valued participant in the Crime Free program and has been recognized for her partnership with officers in developing and applying strategies for safe living.

2017 Outlook

In 2016 we saw a strong real estate market in Kansas City and the forecast calls for continual growth this year.  With a short supply of homes, buyers and tenants simply have fewer homes to choose from.  For homes priced right, this means high interest within a few days of listing.

Real estate is still a local business and based on location.  A local real estate agent is the best source for management and narrowing down the lifestyle needs of the client.

Thank you for helping Alpine Kansas City reach our goals for 2016, and exceed far beyond them.  Our company has seen exponential growth and it doesn’t look to slow as we embark on another year of creating opportunities.

Ten years ago we launched on a journey of improvement for both our family and our community.  Through this combined venture, the efforts have changed the lives of many people, including our own.  Our company looks to continue this focus by creating harmonious, sustainable achievement through value and benefit.

Protect your home from flash flooding

With the rRainecent heavy rains and forecast for continued storms throughout the week, the Alpine team wants to remind all tenants of a few tips to protect your home.

–  Keep gutters free and clear of debris, i.e. leaves, twigs, etc., to help properly deflect water away from your property and keep your home dry.

– If your home has a basement, remember to store any items you want protected from leaks off the floor using pallets, shelving, or other strucutres. Missouri terrain makes sunken foundations, especially those in older homes, prone to some seepage during extremely wet weather.

– Be proactive! If you are experiencing leaks, move any items you do not want damaged away from the source and place buckets or other items below ceiling leaks to catch drips.

– If you live in an earth-contact homes or other house with a main level partially underground, sandbags can be used to direct water away from your property. If you do not sandbag or water finds its way in around sandbags, use a push broom to remove the bulk of the water and place fans to dry any remaining dampness.

As always, Alpine Maintenance is happy to help in the event your home does take on water. Please let the maintenance team know of any leaks or flooding in a timely manner so we can send a crew to asses the situation and make necessary repairs. If a leak goes unreported, you risk structural damage to the property. Maintenance issues can be reported through your Tenant Portal or by calling 816-800-5115.

Alpine Property Management is not repsonible for personal items damaged by leaks or floods, and we strongly recommend securing Renter’s Insurance to cover such damages. This can often be purchased through your car insurance agency for a minimal monthly cost.

 

Prepare your home for spring and potential rainy-season leaks

Spring is wonderful! Flowers blooming, birds chirping … and heavy rains!

Whether it’s a trickle or a flood, leaky basements are common in Missouri. Alpine is here to help! We want our tenants communicate with us in order to protect you and the integrity of the home you are renting. There may be several causes when it comes to wet basements. When you call our office, we can go through a few questions to help you troubleshoot.

Before leaks happen, you can also do a few things to stop the problem before it starts.
1. Make sure gutters are clean and free of leaves and debris, which block proper drainiage.
2. Ensure windows are closed and properly sealed.
3. Keep an eye on the main drain to make sure it is draining properly.

If you do experience basement leaks, take these steps to dry it out once the water is gone:
1. Place large fans toward any wet areas.
2. Lift wet carpet to let it dry.
3. Use a solution of water and bleach to kill any musty or wet smells and prevent mold from forming once carpets are dried out.

As always, if you have any questions, please let us know!

 

Thanks!

The Alpine Team

816-343-4520

Need a property manager? See if Alpine is right for you!

Investing in rental property can be a big decision, or you might already be a seasoned pro. Either way, there are many factors to consider: location, price, condition, etc.

One of the biggest decisions, however, can be selecting a property management company. There are many situations owners will encounter and challenges they will face in regard to their rental property, and the right property manager will be there to assist all throughout.

So how do you know what company is the right company for you, and for your investment? Some key questions will help you make the right choice. If you’re in the market, give us a call at 816-343-4520.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

When choosing a management company, start off with a little bit of basic background information.

How long has your company been in business? How many staff members do you have and what are their job functions? What professional organizations do you belong to or participate in? How many units do you manage, and where?

An established company will know what they’re doing and how to run their business effectively. They will also have a good support staff who specialize in the wide range of responsibilities required of such a company, and the business or individual employees might belong to professional organizations.

If they already manage a diverse portfolio of properties, you can find out if any of them are in similar neighborhoods to your own. They will likely have some properties that would rent for a similar price as yours, and you can ask what factors are accounted for in setting that price.

Feel free to ask about other industry- or company-specific rules, regulations or policies. You can also ask for references if you want to gain perspective from other clients versus the company itself.

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT FEES

There will, of course, be costs as associated with managing your rental. Find out how those will affect your profit margin.

What are your leasing fees and do they include any marketing costs? What are the management fees when the property is being rented? Are there any miscellaneous fees I could be charged for the management of my property?

Learn the final cost of doing business. The company will have to account for compensating the leasing agents who show your properties, the managers who sign your leases and the crews who maintain the homes, and you will want to account for those costs in setting your rent prices.

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SERVICES

Not all property management companies will offer every service you or your tenants require during your tenure as a rental owner. Your portion of the job will be easier if you seek out a company that handles as much as possible in house.

What are the various services that you offer to your clients? Do you offer direct deposit for your owners? How do you collect rent from tenants? Do you conduct property inspections and, if you do, what charge is associated with them? What steps do you take to market properties?

You want to make sure that you find a property management company that can market, lease, manage, and sell your property. It is also important to make sure they can provide top-notch maintenance, conduct inspections, and administer in-depth background checks. You’re in an even better spot if they provide services to you as an owner, including statements, renter guarantees, etc

KEY SUCCESS STATISTICS

The numbers don’t lie! Asking for a few company stats can give you a good summary of multiple areas involved in management.

What percentage of your rentals are usually vacant? How long are your properties typically vacant? What percentage of tenants renew their leases? What percentage of tenants do you need to evict? What percentage of the billed rent is paid to owners by the last day of the month? What percentage of the security deposit is usually refunded to tenants?

These statistics can help assure you that the property management company you select  is thoroughly marketing your property and appropriately screening tenants. The vacancy rate should never be above 4 or 5 percent, and the vacancy length should not be overly long. You should also look for low eviction rates and a lease renewal rate above 80 percent. Rents collected on time and in full mean fewer evictions, less vacancy and better tenants. Tenants who renew are steady cash flow for you, and those who receive back the largest portion of their deposits when they do move on took good care of your home.

COMMUNICATION

In case all the questions you have up front aren’t enough, you’ll certainly have questions once you sign on with a property manager. Find out how you, the management company, and tenants will interact once the ink dries.

How many property managers will I interact with and how often? How do your tenants contact you? How quick is your average response time to owners and tenants?

Determine the type of interactions you will have with a property manager on a regular basis and what kind of information they will send to you monthly, quarterly, annually, etc. Managers should be communicating effectively with both their owners and tenants. Tenants will have questions and concerns too, and as the owner, you will want to be sure those issues are handled in a timely manner.

TENANTS

Investing in rental property is quite literally inviting a stranger into YOUR home. Be sure your management company is placing good tenants and handling appropriately handling any issues that might come up in regard to them.

What are your income requirements for tenants? Is there a grace period for tenants to pay their rent? What control do I have over the tenant lease agreement? Do you require tenants to have renter’s insurance?

Successful property managers make sure prospective tenants make enough income to pay the rent, for the good of both the tenant and the owner. They will also keep rental collection timelines tight and ensure that tenants adhere to the clauses of their leases. You should have some input in this lease agreement but also feel confident that the company’s standard lease would cover you well.

MAINTENANCE POLICIES

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it … But what if it does break? Know before an emergency how maintenance issues will be addressed.

Is there a maintenance reserve requirement? How are maintenance requests handled? How do you go about notifying me if there is a cost for maintenance?

Having a reserve maintenance fund helps property managers tackle issues for tenants that need to be addressed immediately, but you shouldn’t need to put so much in reserve that you wouldn’t have to provide approval if the costs start piling up. You wouldn’t want to receive large maintenance bills without a conversation first. Make sure maintenance policies keep you in the loop while also taking care of your tenants.

THE EXTRAS

A good property management company will have its finger on the pulse of the industry and their market, which can help you make the best of your investment going forward.

How much advice can you give me to help with growing my property portfolio? What market updates and education can you offer?

Property investments can be very lucrative, and it is helpful to have a property manager who will help you grow. A good management company can help you with anything from buying your first property to finding additional ones in up-and-coming neighborhoods.

BONUS QUESTIONS

Because there’s no such thing as a stupid question … especially when it comes to business. Some additional questions you may want to consider:

-What software do you use to help you manage properties effectively?

-What steps do you take to be “available” to your owners?

-In your opinion, what should a property look like when it is ready for tenants?

-Should we put a rental property on the market before it is ready for tenants?

-Do you employ bilingual or multilingual employees?

For more complete answers to these and other questions, please visit http://www.noradarealestate.com/blog/83-questions-to-ask-before-hiring-a-property-manager/?email=marcus@mcpropertieskc.com&utm_source=Investor+Network&utm_campaign=00e6168af0-83_Questions_to_Ask_Before_Hiring_a_Manager&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9a73d40f82-00e6168af0-399273417 to read this post in full.