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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

Background & Experience
Vacancies
Policies
Fees
Contact
Financials
Maintenance & Repairs

BACKGROUND & EXPERIENCE

  1. How long has the managing broker been in property management?

    A: Since 1996. Currently licensed in Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina. 

  2. How long have you managed in the Greater Chattanooga & NW Georgia area?

    A: Since 2005.

  3. What is your field of expertise?

    A: Single-family and small multi-family (up to 25 units) residential properties, such as duplexes, triplexes, quads and small apartment buildings, and HOA management. 

  4. What is the managing broker's educational background?

    A: An accounting major for two years before changing direction and obtaining degree in Business Management. 

  5. What professional organizations do you belong to?
    • National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM)
    • Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)
    • Chattanooga Apartment Association (CAA)
    • Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors and MLS
    • GA Association of Realtors
    • SC Association of Realtors
    • TN Association of Realtors
    • National Association of Realtors (NAR)
    • Notary Public in Georgia
    • Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce
    • Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce
  6. How many units do you currently manage?

    A: As of January 2016, 347 and growing.

  7. Do you handle purchase and sales transactions also?

    A: Yes. However, we limit our sales transactions to our existing clients and/or tenants. We do not handle sales for the general public. We are a fully-licensed real estate firm, and since we handle property management, it only makes sense that we will assist in acquisition or disposition of investment properties for our clients. 

VACANCIES

  1. What is the average time to fill a vacancy?

    A: This is the “crystal ball” question, and depends on a number of factors, such as location, price, condition, pet policy, etc. However, generally speaking, our vacancies remain on the market less than 24 days on average, and we have maintained that average for the past 8 years and counting.

  2. How many vacancies do you currently have?

    A: Our vacancy rate has consistently remained at or below 8%.

  3. What percentage of tenants have to be evicted?

    A: Typically, this is less than 2% annually, and many of those are for job loss-related reasons.

  4. How long does it take to get a non-paying tenant out?

    A: If the process goes precisely along the minimum time frame outlined in the law, a tenant in TN can be out of the property in approximately 28-42 days (4-6 weeks), and a tenant in GA can be out of the property in approximately 21-28 days (3-4 weeks). These estimates can vary based on a number of factors (ex. A setout cannot be done in the rain, or if the tenant cannot be promptly served).

  5. Do you charge for monitoring and maintaining vacant units?

    A: We do not charge a management fee for vacant units. We do regularly (approximately weekly) visit and inspect vacant units to ensure that thermostat settings have not been altered, lights have not been left on, doors are properly secured, grounds and interior are clean and ‘show-ready’.

  6. How do you market vacant units and what does it cost?

    A: We employ a number of relevant marketing venues, depending on the location of the property and the target market of tenants that we are seeking. Generally, we use our own website, our local MLS, Craigslist.org, Hotpads.com, HometownRent.com, Google.com, Yahoo.com, Bing.com, Trulia.com, Vast.com, MyNewPlace.com, various other websites, flyers, faxes, direct mailing, and neighborhood canvassing. Our listings wind up on approximately 75 additionall websites - and all of this is FREE!

  7. Do you recommend incentives for filling vacancies?

    A: Occasionally, yes. Sometimes there are many available properties on the market in a relatively small area of town, or perhaps a property is off the beaten path & requires an extra nudge to make the property more appealing than the competition.

  8. How do you screen applicants?

    A: We submit applications to our third-party objective credit and background reporting company to obtain a complete history of applicant’s credit, criminal, and eviction history. We cross-reference previous addresses with ownership records, and we contact landlords and employers for direct verification. We also require 30 days’ worth of pay stubs or 2 years’ tax returns for self-employed individuals.

  9. Who handles yard care on vacant units?

    A: We have a team of landscapers who take care of the vacant units at a minimal fee per visit, with visits every 10 days during peak growth season. They can also handle year-round grounds maintenance for your property if you desire, at a negotiated rate.

POLICIES

  1. What is the late payment policy?

    A: Rent is due on the first of the month and late after the fifth of the month (excluding Sundays and holidays). Any unpaid balance on the 10th is set for eviction filing unless special arrangements have been made and approved.

  2. Who will be the person handling my property?

    A: You will have a designated Property Manager. This is the person who will know all of the details pertaining to your property, the tenant, maintenance issues and other details that pertain to the property. This will be your direct contact person.

  3. What is the policy regarding pets at my property?

    A: This is determined initially by you. If you decide to allow pets, we require a non-refundable pet fee, per pet, plus additional pet deposits (refundable to the tenant to encourage leaving the property in good shape). The fee is simply for the convenience of allowing the pet on the property and is not applied toward any cleaning or damages that may be caused by the pet. Those costs are held from the additional deposit. The fee is passed on to you at the termination of the lease agreement with the tenant. It is estimated that approximately 60% of tenants have pets; however, pets can be very costly to rental property owners, so deciding whether to allow pets is a large and important decision. Under no circumstances will we allow aggressive breeds of dogs, as this may have an impact on your insurance coverage, as well as pose a threat to neighbors.

  4. How many people will be permitted to live in my property?

    A: Our policy is to permit two people per bedroom.

FEES

  1. What are the monthly management fees?

    A: We offer several management packages, depending on the level of service desired by the owner. These packages vary in price from 9-11% (or less for multiple units).

  2. What is the fee for procuring new tenants?

    A: Our leasing fee is the lesser of $500 or 50% of one months' rent. 

  3. What is the fee for renewing leases?

    A: $50-100, depending on the management package selected, and includes an interior condition evaluation with results provided to you.

  4. Are the procurement fees refundable or guaranteed?

    A: Yes. If the tenant fails to remain in the property for the entire term of the lease, the leasing fee will be credited back on a prorated basis & applied toward any subsequent procurement fees. The credit is calculated at 7% (of the original charge) per unearned month.

  5. What is the reserve requirement & what is it for?

    A: The reserve is currently $400 per (single-family) property, to a maximum of $1,200 per owner, and it is for incidental expenses that may occur when there may not be any funds on hand to cover them. For example, a leaking water heater on the day after owner proceeds are disbursed. This is fully refundable at the termination of the management agreement, provided the account is in good standing, otherwise this will be applied to any outstanding owner balance at that time. Specialized reserves apply for multiple unit buildings.

CONTACT

  1. How do tenants contact CPM?
    • Tenant Portal
    • Phone
    • Fax
    • Email
    • Office
    • Office hours are: Mon-Sat 9 AM to 6 PM (Feb-Oct) and Mon-Fri 9 AM to 6 PM (Nov-Jan)
    • We also have after-hours info and appointment scheduling available by phone and online
  2. How do owners contact CPM?

    A: Of course, all of the above options are available, but all owners are given the direct cell phone extension of their assigned Property Manager.

FINANCIALS

  1. How often are financial statements prepared & delivered?

    A: Always and monthly. All of our owners are able to sign up & login to our system to view their financial information anytime, 24 hours a day. All that is needed to enroll is a valid email address. Also, at the time of owner proceeds disbursement, the owner statement is delivered via email, and at the end of each month, statements are posted to the Owner Portal.

  2. How are owner proceeds disbursed?

    A: We have the ability to disburse owner proceeds via direct deposit, or we can mail a paper check. There is a minimal fee for the paper option.

  3. When are proceeds disbursed?

    A: This depends upon the management package selected. Disbursement dates range from the 15th to the 25th day of the month.

MAINTENANCE & REPAIRS

  1. Who handles maintenance and repairs?

    A: We have a team of in-house techs, as well as a pool of competent, trusted vendors, that we use for maintenance. We can handle any type of problem or equipment failure that your property may suffer.  All maintenance techs or vendors that do any work on your property are properly licensed and insured.

  2. What is the cost for maintenance and repairs?

    A: Our in-house maintenance fees are $50-60 per hour during regular business hours, depending on the management package selected. After-hours rates are $75 per hour. Vendor rates are set by the individual vendors, however, we have negotiated below-market rates from any vendor that we use in order to keep your costs to the absolute minimum.  Anytime a single repair is expected to exceed $400, you will be contacted for prior authorization (emergency repairs excepted).

  3. Do you check on occupied units periodically?

    A: Yes. We do a drive-by of each unit periodically. If we note any kind of issue or concern, we schedule an inspection on the unit, and take a closer look. If we find that there are tenant-caused or tenant-related problems, we address those directly with the tenant, requiring them to resolve the issue promptly. We schedule follow-up inspections as needed to ensure compliance.

  4. Do you conduct interior inspections periodically?

    A: The Property Manager conducts an interior inspection at the time of offering a lease renewal. This is included in the renewal fee. In addition, we offer an optional inspection plan that you may sign up for. This provides an extra measure of peace of mind for owners. The inspection is intended to be a method of early detection for any type of leaks, roof or gutter problems, tenant abuse or neglect, and to confirm that the HVAC filters and smoke detector batteries are being properly changed by tenants. This is not intended to be a thorough home inspection such as you might get at the time of property acquisition, nor is it any kind of appraisal. 

  5. How long does it take to get a vacant unit ready for occupancy?

    A: We can have a vacant unit ‘turned’ and rent-ready within 10 business days from the date of receipt of funds to do the work.  This can include complete painting, re-carpeting, repairs, cleaning, etc. If you authorize us to do so, we can hold the final months’ rent from the exiting tenant, which can then be applied, again with your approval, toward the costs of turning the unit. This eliminates the delay for mail time. If significant and unusual repairs are necessary (such as sub-floor replacement or re-roofing), additional time may be required. A complete itemized estimate of turnkey repairs and anticipated costs will be sent to you for approval before any work begins.             

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