Leasing

LEASING AGENTS

Most real estate agents don’t like handling residential lease properties.  They don’t like working for the property owner or the prospective tenant because the commission paid out to them is so low.  Big Dog Property Management, on the other hand, appreciate lease listings.  We believe that real estate leases are the stepping stone to building long-term relationships with our clients.

In leasing, the most important thing we can do for you is to find you the most qualified applicant for your real estate investment property.

Our leasing service is for owners of rental property in the Greater Raleigh-Durham-Wake Forest Areas who appreciate assistance in locating qualified tenants.  Out-of-town landlords especially value this service.

The property leasing services our leasing agents provide for you include:

  • Preview your home and make recommendations for any needed work prior to leasing
  • Take multiple pictures of your home (inside and out) for marketing purposes
  • Install a professional For Lease sign in the yard
  • Market to and attract qualified tenants
  • Show the home and answer any questions the prospect may have about the process or the property
  • Gather and process application paperwork and deposits
  • Screen prospective tenants before showing the property, weeding out those who don’t meet basic criteria or pet restrictions
  • Run various background checks
  • If accepted, prepare the lease and coordinate move-in.  If not accepted, prepare and submit the appropriate denial letter.

Don’t make the biggest mistake that most landlords make by putting tenants into your property without having them properly screened and checked out.  It is much easier, and less expensive in the long run when you factor in your time and the added risk, to let us do the work for you.

In what areas do you offer leasing services?

Big Dog Property Management offers leasing and property management services for homes located throughout the Greater Raleigh NC Area, to include:  Apex, Cary, Clayton, Durham, Fuquay Varina, Garner, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Morrisville, Raleigh, Wake Forest and Youngsville.

What needs to be done to my home before it is ready to rent?

You should keep in mind that the better condition that your house is in, the better quality tenant that it will attract.  Your home must be left in professionally cleaned condition.  Your property manager prefers to arrange this cleaning to ensure that the cleaning guidelines are strictly followed.  The carpets must be freshly cleaned (professionally) and all debris and personal belongings removed from the house, prior to tenants taking possession.

It is typically not necessary to paint every room, but you should consider painting any room that has dirty or marred walls.  A neutral color is best.  Your property manager will be happy to discuss any necessary repairs or painting with you.  Neutral window coverings such as blinds should be left, but not curtains that match a particular bedspread or couch.  Tenants moving into a rental property do expect some sort of window coverings to be provided for privacy and safety.

The tenants are generally requested to maintain the yard in the condition it is provided to them.  Therefore, the yard should be freshly mowed, weeded, trimmed, mulched and the leaves and debris removed.

How do you set the monthly lease price for my property?
We perform a detailed rental market analysis of your home including neighborhood factors and current market conditions and use this information to determine the most competitive price. 

How does Big Dog Property Management attract qualified tenants?

  • Internet / Websites:  Historically, newspaper advertising was the most effective means for marketing homes.  Nowadays, newspaper advertising is probably the most expensive and least effective way we have to market your property for lease.  Bringing us in to this day and age, the internet has proven itself to be extremely effective in marketing to tenants.  Prospective tenants are incredibly savvy, and they can log on to multiple real estate websites and see several photos of the interior and exterior of your property.  All of our listed properties get plenty of internet exposure on our company website at www.BigDogPM.com, Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com, and several other supporting websites.
  • Triangle Multiple Listing Service (TMLS):  We will list your property in the Triangle Multiple Listing Service (TMLS), where national statistics claim that over 90% of all properties leased are advertised.
  • Yard Sign:  All of the above-listed approaches are excellent means of marketing your property.  But to tell you the truth, one of the most effective ways we have of advertising your home for lease is the professional lease sign we will put in your front yard.  Old habits are hard to break, and there is no better way for a potential tenant to find the home of their dreams, than by driving through the neighborhoods in which they want to live.
  • Leasing Agents:  It is our goal to attract not only potential tenants to your property, but their agent’s as well!  To do so, we offer leasing agents (from other agencies) some of the highest referral fees in the Greater Triangle Area.

What sort of background checks do you perform on prospective tenants?

One of the most important aspects of a successful rental experience is selecting quality tenants.  We accomplish this by including the following procedures in our screening process:

  • Credit report
  • Nationwide criminal records
  • Eviction report
  • Terrorist watch list
  • Verify income
  • Verify rental history

That’s pretty inclusive – don’t you agree? 

What if the potential tenant has bad credit?

Sometimes an applicant may qualify based on income and rental history, but have poor credit.  In some instances, if we think the applicant is a ‘reasonable risk’, we will recommend offering to them approval with additional security deposit equal to at least one month’s rent.

How long will it take to lease my home?

There are a number of variables involved in the tenant placement process.  We pride ourselves on finding you the best tenant through a rigorous screening process.  Other factors involved may also include the size of your property, its location, the overall condition of the home, the asking price (relative to that of comparable properties in the surrounding neighborhood), as well as the time of year the property is on the advertising market.  The average time for renting is generally much shorter than the time required to sell the same property, and landlords can usually expect to have tenants within 30 to 45 days, although it may take longer during the winter months.  Pricing your property competitively, as well as making sure your property is in the best condition possible, are crucial factors.

Can I say that I don’t want any pets or smokers in our house?
Pet owners make up 75% of people in the market for a rental house.  Being open to allowing pets will make your property available to more potential renters.  Pet fees generally run between $150 and $300.  However, if you feel strongly about this issue, we will agree not to show your property to anyone with a pet.  (Please note that you must allow service animals, even if you choose not to accept pets).

All of our properties prohibit smoking, in the interest of protecting your investment.

What are service animals?

Service animals for handicapped persons are NOT pets by federal law, and owners cannot discriminate against handicapped/disabled persons with a service animal.  Fair Housing legislation does NOT allow owners or property managers to collect deposits of any kind for service animals.

However, we can still process applicants who are handicapped or disabled on the same criteria as other applicants:  income, credit, and tenant and criminal history.  If the applicant fails to qualify in these areas, then we can deny the application, handicapped or not. 

How does Fair Housing impact me?
Fair housing laws were enacted to protect against illegal housing discrimination based upon “protected class status.”  The intention of federal, state and local fair housing laws is to require that all individuals be given the same treatment, the same services, and offered an equal opportunity to live in a home of their choice.  In other words, the same rights as everyone else.

Federally Protected Classes include:  race, color, national origin, religion, gender, familial status, and disability.

What is the application process like for the potential tenant?
Once a prospective tenant has made their decision to apply for the home, they will be provided with a copy of our Lease Qualifying Criteria so they can understand what our requirements are for getting approved.  If they pass that hurdle, the next step is for them to complete and submit the Residential Lease Application.  The Lease Application must be filled out by all prospective adult tenants for the property, and returned to us for processing.

This is when we begin doing our due process on your behalf.  The verification process takes anywhere from 24 to 72 hours to complete, based on many factors.  The more complete the applications are, the easier the applications are to process and verify.  If the tenant’s application appears favorable, then we will contact either the applicants Realtor or the applicant themselves to inform them that the have been approved for the home.  We will then make arrangements for them to pay the security deposit and formally sign the lease.  If you are one of our property management clients, Big Dog Property Management will sign the lease on your behalf.

Who approves the applications:  Big Dog Property Management or the owner?
The team members of Big Dog Property Management has an excellent track record of placing tenants.  Since we screen our applicants so thoroughly, we have very few evictions or other tenant problems.  Big Dog Property Management makes the decision of which applications to approve.  You are, after all, paying us to take care of these items for you.  That being said, if we have had difficulty finding a tenant for your property and therefore are considering an applicant we regard as high-risk, we will consult you and make this decision together.  By maintaining consistent standards in screening, this also helps avoid any potential Fair Housing claims from applicants that are denied.

How are utilities handled?
Tenants are responsible for all utility charges, unless otherwise agreed upon in advance between Big Dog Property Management and the property owner.  If an owner is willing to pay any portion of utility charges, that will be disclosed to the tenant in advance of the lease signing.  As stated in their et, tenants are responsible for change all billing information to their name and mailing address effective with their scheduled move-in date.  During non-tenancy times, though, the owner is responsible for having the utilities turned on.

What leasing fees do you charge?

The leasing fee is the amount that goes to the real estate broker(s) responsible for marketing, listing and locating a qualified tenant for the home as compensation for the time invested in showing the home and aiding in the marketing, application and lease preparation process.  Our network with other real estate firms and referral systems also strengthens our ability to locate a qualified tenant.

The leasing commission for our management clients is only 75% of one full month’s rent (min. of $750).  For non-management clients, the fee will range between 75% and 100% of one full month’s rent.

If the initial lease term is longer than 12 months, do I owe you more money?

No.  Unlike some of our competitors, we don’t charge you more money based upon a longer lease term.  We are performing the same amount of work whether we type a lease for 12 months or 24 months.  Our work does not increase – so why should our fee?

Do I need to pay the leasing fee up front?

No, we will deduct this fee from the tenant’s first month rent.

The real estate agents at Big Dog Property Management would be honored to help you with acquiring a qualified tenant for your property.

Contact a Leasing Agent today.

Ready to learn about our Property Management services?