Below you'll find some frequently asked questions and answers regarding our property management services.
How does M Squared find tenants and what screening measures are used?
We’ve developed a great reputation around town for having high quality, well managed rentals which allows us to maintain a wait list of tenants eager to rent from us. If that wasn’t enough, we take high quality photos and submit listings through our 200 plus syndication partners on the internet including Craigslist.org and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). We perform countless showings until we find the right tenants which are screened for employment, income, credit, background, criminal history, past rental history, social media and local personal references.
What if the tenant breaks the lease and moves out 2 months into a 12 month lease?
We guarantee our tenant will complete their full lease term or we will find you a new tenant free of charge. Even though we screen tenants to the highest standards, major life events such as layoffs, military deployment and divorcee force responsible tenants to have to break their lease. In these circumstances, we are often able to switch out the tenants seamlessly without any disruption to the monthly rent disbursements to our clients.
What do I get for my monthly management fee?
With M Squared’s all-inclusive management fee, you get the ultimate in piece of mind. Like an insurance policy, you can rest assured that no matter what happens to your property, there will be a highly skilled professional manager restoring it back to its original condition. Your monthly management fee also includes the following:
- State of the art rent collection by direct debit.
- Your rent disbursement deposited directly into your account by the 5th of every month.
- Monthly statements delivered by e-mail as well as year-end 1099 summaries.
- Professional maintenance staff to handle any property issue.
- Rent collection for delinquent tenants.
- Processing of insurance claims and full restoration of your property in the event of a loss.
- Access to service contract discount pricing with key contractors.
- The best pricing on all appliance replacements with free installation.
- Access to our Landlord / Tenant legal team for unlimited questions.
Can I make more money by offering my unit as a furnished rental?
No, the only person that will make more money renting your unit furnished is your leasing agent (and that’s why they love pushing this option). The best way to maximize your rental income is to find a long term tenant that will take care for your property as if it were their own. Tenants who rent furnished units are typically short term and are only looking for lease terms from 1 to 3 months. While you may get 20% more in rent, you will have to pay a 1 month leasing fee every couple months in order to secure a new tenant. There will also be vacancy losses since it’s difficult to keep a furnished rental fully rented 100% of the time. Finally, you will incur additional maintenance and turnover costs because of additional wear and tear on both the property and the furniture inside the unit.
Can I hire M Squared to lease my home but save money on the management by doing it myself?
No, unfortunately our services cannot be separated a la carte. We will not rent a property to a tenant unless we can guarantee the highest quality leasing experience by managing the property ourselves. Since we have a reputation of delivering everything exactly as we promise, many tenants will commit to renting from us sight unseen just to get into one of our properties.
How long will it take to rent my property?
The answer to this question will always depend on the property, however for the vast majority of our clients, the only time their property is vacant is during the 2-3 days it takes to turn over and freshen up the rental for a new tenant. For new clients, as long as you give us 30 days notice of an upcoming vacancy, and follow our recommendations on pricing and unit preparation, we will usually have a tenant for you the moment the property becomes available.
I interviewed several managers and found a lot of variation in fees. Why is that?
Real estate companies operate completely independently of one another and set their fees according to what they consider reasonable returns for their efforts. There are no “standard” fees for particular services. When comparing management firms, please make sure to compare the total long term costs; including fees for additional services much as managing insurance claims, collections and repair expenses; vacancy costs and finally, the cost from leaving money on the table and not realizing the full market potential of your rental. Some companies like to offer a low upfront fee but then nickel and dime you for every little thing they do including changing excessive rates for repairs. M Squared provides full service, all inclusive management for a flat fee with no additional charges and all our repair costs are pure pass through expenses from our deeply discounted vendors.
Are property managers required to be licensed?
Yes, M Squared is a fully licensed Real Estate Brokerage and Property Management Firm in DC, MD & VA. Property managers must be licensed and cannot work independently. They must work under the supervision of a licensed real estate broker firm and complete continuing education every two years in order to renew their license. To verify if the individual you are looking to hire is properly licensed, please visit https://www.pulseportal.com.
My property manager has suggested that I paint, replace a few rooms of carpet, and have the house power washed before placing it on the rental market. I’m not selling—why should I go to all this trouble and expense for tenants?
A well-maintained property attracts better tenants, leases in a shorter time, and generally brings higher rents. Well-qualified tenants realize they are sought after and shop homes that are in good condition and offer the best value for their rent dollars. The money you “save” by not having the property in top condition will be spent on longer vacancies and the problems associated with attracting lesser qualified tenants.