Q: | Does Elite own and operate the property management company?
A | Yes, Elite handles all property management services and we own the company ourselves. We work extremely hard to bring the very best customer service to our tenants, owners and create an exciting work environment for our employees.
Q: | What is the property management fee?
A | 8% of gross rents collected, only when the rents are collected and $40.00 per unit per month for landscaping, snow removal, winter salt initiation, exterior trash removal, etc. $50.00 per month for Single Family Dwellings.
Q: | What is the tenant screening process?
A | We place a high emphasis on tenant screening. We make sure that all of our tenants are screened the same way. Both Section 8 and Market Rate tenants cannot have any evictions, felony charges, we verify their current employment and landlord history to ensure we have consistencies. Market rate tenants must make 2.5x the lease amount to qualify.
Q: | How Does Elite process rent checks for owners?
A | Currently physical rent checks are sent on or around the 15th of the month. Any late rents collected past the date checks go out will be sent the following month. Elite is currently working on direct deposit check options for its owners, but haven’t found cost effective method for this yet.
Q: | How do you source tenants for the units you manage?
A | We do this just about every way you can think of. We market the units on all marketing sites available, i.e. Trulia, Zillow, Craigslist, Backpage, GoSection8.com and our website. We also put signs and banners in the front yard and on our buildings for maximum exposure. And offer incentives to our tenants who refer us friends and family. Majority of our units are leased through third party leasing agents who specialize in sourcing tenants as their core business.
Q: | Am I required to pay a tenant sourcing fee? If so, how much is this?
A | Yes, but only after your first tenants move out down the road. We source the first tenant(s) for you at no charge. Any further sourcing will cost the equivalent of one month’s rent for each tenant sourced.
Q: | Do you require a “Security Deposit”?
A | No. The industry standard in Chicago is to take a “non-refundable move-in fee” this amount is typically collected and used towards paying the leasing commission. The amount of the move-in fee is $500.00 per unit. Most companies in Chicago do not take Security deposits because the law is very strict on how to account and handle them. There is more liability to the owner/manager by taking them than by not. Also, Security
Q: | If you don’t take a Security Deposit, will the tenants ruin my property?
A | No. This is not the case. Generally tenants don’t want to intentionally ruin a property because they don’t have a security deposit to retrieve when they move out. Our philosophy in property management is to adopt the “customer is always right” mentality. We treat all tenants with the upmost respect, give them a fantastic place live and they should never want to leave. This methodology has proven to work successfully for us. We make sure to place a high emphasis on fixing repairs quickly and efficiently so that items are not deferred, which would be a reason for tenants to be disgruntled. Tenants that move-out of our properties are often times relocated to another one of our units and we try to keep them in the Elite Family.
Q: | What is your vacancy rate and what are you doing to keep it as low as possible?
A | Our vacancy rate has stayed low and is generally around 3-4%. We assume this number remains low due to quality customer service and the quality of our units and efficiencies in our processes and procedures. We rehab our units for resale quality not rental quality.
Q: | What is the average time to release a unit.
A | 30-60 days depending on the time of year and day of the month. Once a tenant moves out, we have to get the property ready for release. The marketing time to find a new tenant is quick at about 2 weeks. Depending on the day of month, tenants who are moving into the unit want to move in on the 1st of the month. If the replacement tenant is a Section 8 tenant then the time is closer to 60 days due to the administrative process of paperwork submission, processing, inspection scheduling and rent determination.
Q: | What are the expected costs when a tenant vacates my unit?
A | The cost to repair a unit and get it ready for release can range from $300 to as high as $2,000, but on average the cost is around $1,000 per unit. This includes labor and materials painting the full apartment and repairing any small repairs that may be required to get the property back in like new condition.
Q: | Does Elite require me to keep a property reserve for each unit?
A | Yes, we require each owner to deposit $500.00 per unit into our Elite account. These funds are held in reserve and is only used for tenant move-outs in the future. We must keep a reserve and every owner is required to keep their own reserve for each unit they own. It is more efficient for us to have the funds available to minimize any down time during a vacancy.
Q: | Does Elite check on units periodically to ensure units are in good shape?
A | Yes, most units are inspected at a minimum every 3-6 months for basic routine maintenance, rent collection and inspections. All Elite field staff are properly trained to pay attention to all units whenever visiting a tenant or unit. This helps to create notifications for any potentially problematic units or tenants and keep us up to speed.
Q: | How does Elite handle problematic tenants?
A | We work quickly to evict non compliant tenants if we see inconsistencies or perpetual bad behavior.
Q: | How does elite handle maintenance requests?
A | We utilize a very robust property management software system called AppFolio, which tracks all work orders. The tenants first call our corporate office to place maintenance requests. These are input into our system by our administrative staff and a work order for that unit is generated. Once the work order is created work orders are sent the same day in batches from our corporate office to our field office. The work orders are then strategically issued to our maintenance staff and completed. Once they are completed they are entered in the system as completed.
Q: | How fast is your property management company growing?
A | We are growing rapidly. Every week we average approximately 4-6 NEW tenants. This puts us at an approximate growth rate of 250 units per year.
Q: | Does Elite own and operate the property management company?
A | Yes, Elite handles all property management services and we own the company, we do not outsource our property management. We want to make sure we control our investor’s properties and are highly incentivized to make sure they have a great experience so they continue to buy more homes.