Smart Move and screening/finding renters Plano townhouse.

10 Replies

Hello,

I have been reading and following many posts. This has given me the courage to pull the trigger. We have decided to rent our townhome in the Shops at Legacy. I have some varied questions.

--- Regarding Bigger Pocket's "Smart Move", what experiences have any had with this? 

--  How do we write a lease that allows us to keep it on the market while we are renting it?

--  Can I take a flyer to the corporate headquarters as a rental space for their corporate clients. There are about a dozen corporate HQ's within a few miles. 

-- Should we furnish it for corporate?

Thanks so much.

Hi Chelle,

First, congratulations on pulling the trigger. You will love maintaining that steady cash flow, as long as you select the right tenants (and avoid evictions / tenant issues). You are on the right track. Here are my thoughts:

1. Smart Move: I've used SmartMove before, and I think it's great ... it's comprehensive with both the background check and tenant screening. The only reason to use something else is if you prefer a different Credit Bureau (for example -- Experian rather than TransUnion). I tend to think that there's no difference. Today, I use Experian + CIC background, but I've used SmartMove in the past.

2. Writing a Lease: You'll want to check the state laws and regulations (connect with a lawyer) in Texas, regarding the policies and disclosures on renting the property while listing it for sale. Most likely, the lease is still effective (for duration of lease) in the event of a transfer of ownership. You can contact a lawyer or I can put you in touch with one at RocketLawyer. I also don't recommend writing your own lease, as you'll want one specific to your state. 

3. Corporate Rentals: I think that I know where you're going with this one. Corporate rentals tend to be shorter term, and therefore it's better in the event of a sale. At most corporate offices, it's very difficult to get to the HR relocation representative to agree to advertise, especially when you only have one unit. These corporate offices look to sign larger deals with corporate relocation firms. Therefore, I'd recommend posting on standard advertising websites and connecting with people you know at these HQ offices (they may know how to get you to the relocation team).

If you plan to put/keep it on the market, then I don't know if renting is the best thing. You want it to be in great shape and having tenants may not make it the most presentable place. Just some initial thoughts. 

Good luck!

Dana

Hello @DanaHoffman (did I do that right, folks? I am learning as I go. ) We drove through your beautiful city twice, two years ago for a business meeting, then headed up to Sonoma. 

I would like your Rocket Lawyer contact. Thanks.

I REALLY appreciate you sharing this great information with me. The feedback on Smart Move and your choice of screening is great. You are most helpful and I will research it in the morning. Tomorrow I am meeting the handyman to go over a few minor issues at the place. This is exciting! I am so happy to have discovered BP.

Chelle, I commented on another of your posts I think.  Like I mentioned in my previous post to your questions.  Being in the background check industry I need to help you understand something, some of the information you are getting from service provider(s) could be out of date; as it relates to data like criminal information etc. Some providers of this info only report this info on a quarterly basis to the large repositories, so if your new potential applicants have started the eviction process e.g. notice to quite as been served (the start of an eviction) then some repositories will miss this info....something to consider regarding services you sign up to use.

My mission is to create a network of landlords/property managers who all work together around a common mission which is to keep tenants accountable. Find an all in one or one stop shop service whose mission aligns with your goals and who can provide you with services to assist you versus just products to sell you and who ultimately empowers you by coming along side of you as you begin this great journey of real estate investing. You will need varying levels of help early on in this venture and as you gain experience you need your partner to be able to grow with you. Arm your self with knowledgeable partners.

Background checks are vital to creating a great community for you and your tenants as well as for the neighborhoods, so consider the bigger picture of how you will impact those in your neighborhood.

Jeremiah Stephen, Tenant Watch


Originally posted by @Chelle Knijnenburg :

Hello,

I have been reading and following many posts. This has given me the courage to pull the trigger. We have decided to rent our townhome in the Shops at Legacy. I have some varied questions.

--- Regarding Bigger Pocket's "Smart Move", what experiences have any had with this? 

--  How do we write a lease that allows us to keep it on the market while we are renting it?

--  Can I take a flyer to the corporate headquarters as a rental space for their corporate clients. There are about a dozen corporate HQ's within a few miles. 

-- Should we furnish it for corporate?

Thanks so much.

 Hello Chelle,

Great questions! Unfortunately, I have never read "Smart Move" although it is on my summer reading list.

In terms of keeping your property on the market while you are renting it...I would recommend putting it on the market when the lease is close to expiring. Maybe 60 days or so? It is very difficult to show a unit while someone is living in it! It normally doesn't go well for the tenant and for the prospective tenant. It will never look as good as it would when it is staged. Just make sure you put it in your lease so your current tenant knows you reserve that right.

You may take a flyer to the corporate offices. Never having done that I am not too sure how that will be looked at. Some might be very excited at the idea, others might not like being solicited at work. Go ahead and give it a try (as long as they don't have a sign stopping you)

If you want to furnish it for corporate, I would recommend only if that is all you are doing with it. If you are going between corporate and regular tenants it might be frustrating to remove the furniture in between tenants. If you are going to ONLY rent to corporate then keep it furnished. That would really play into your interests.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

@Chelle Knijnenburg , I don't know about TX, but here in NY, the new buyer is obligated to uphold the previous lease for current tenants--at least for duration and rent price (I usually make them sign a new lease with me that's more strict). When selling, this is usually a good thing for most investment properties and buyers as they like the idea of already having a tenant and immediate rent with no vacancy. However, the only issues I have with this personally is 1) if the rent is too low then I'm stuck until that tenant leaves and 2) if I think the house will sell to a larger home-owner demographic than investor demographic. Homeowners don't want a tenant, they want the house themselves obviously, and will want to move in upon closing. 

I would ask around to other investors, realtors, a lawyer friend, or even find someone on here who works in TX and may know how that works there. Your other option is to be up front with the renter and put them on a month to month lease, maybe for slightly less rent so they are getting a deal and aren't so put out by the fact that they may have to move. 

It really depends on what type of home you have. Is it nice? Are the tenants going to be high end or not? If it's a low end property, they are used to month to month leases and can move fairly easily, though I'd always be honest with them up front.  

Thanks @TomOtt. Good points. This area has a huge amount of corporate headquarters with more coming in. Our 'lifestyle' development is being copied all around. The town homes have become popular with investors.

@ShannonSadick  Thanks for more good information. I am told that turning it into a TRUE three bedroom, which is how it was sold, will make a difference in rentals and sale price. I am investigating the costs on that now.

@JeremiahStephen  Thanks for your valuable insights on tenant screening. 

Also, I agree that I need good people around me and am trusting that BP is going to be invaluable for me and other newbies. 

I wish you all the best in your endeavor, too. Great idea!

Originally posted by @Chelle Knijnenburg :

Thanks @TomOtt. Good points. This area has a huge amount of corporate headquarters with more coming in. Our 'lifestyle' development is being copied all around. The town homes have become popular with investors.

@Shannon Sadick  Thanks for more good information. I am told that turning it into a TRUE three bedroom, which is how it was sold, will make a difference in rentals and sale price. I am investigating the costs on that now.

I wish you the best of luck! It seems like that will be a perfect place for REI! I hope it all goes well.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Originally posted by @Chelle Knijnenburg le Knijnenburg:

Hello @DanaHoffman (did I do that right, folks? I am learning as I go. ) We drove through your beautiful city twice, two years ago for a business meeting, then headed up to Sonoma. 

I would like your Rocket Lawyer contact. Thanks.

I REALLY appreciate you sharing this great information with me. The feedback on Smart Move and your choice of screening is great. You are most helpful and I will research it in the morning. Tomorrow I am meeting the handyman to go over a few minor issues at the place. This is exciting! I am so happy to have discovered BP.

 I am not sure you did it quite right.  After you do the "@" then start typing the persons name, a selection box will appear below.  Click on the person's name to address the response to them, like this: @Chelle Knijnenburg

Regarding Tenant Screening, I do like that TransUnion handles both the Credit Report and the Criminal Report.  Experian only does the credit report.  So that is a big plus, in my book and one of the reasons our company partnered with them to bring tenant screening to our users.

Update-  Thanks to you all for support, wisdom, and sharing your knowledge. 

We decided to list it, along with creating a formal closet using a beautiful, stainless barn door over out "open" closet. Totally excited to use this money to create more RE opportunities. Wish us luck!

@Dana Dunford