Prospective Owner FAQ

What are your fees?

Residential management fees are 10% or $100 minimum, whichever is greater in management fees per month and 1 month’s rent to lease out your property.  If you have multiple properties, please contact a property manager for more details.

View Our Residential Services 

 

Commercial fees vary, we encourage you to reach out to us so we can answer this question as it pertains to your asset.

Where do you find your tenants?

We market globally to multiple different websites are members of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  Through the MLS we market your property to all licensed real estate agents whom are members allowing both sales and leasing agents access to show their clients your listing.

View our Residential Services

 

Commercial and Multi-family properties have customized marketing plans that fit each individual property.  Our Commercial Agents/Asset Managers are available to discuss this further at your convenience.

How do we get started with LGA/WPM managing our property?

Give us a call!  You will be connected to one of our professional property managers who will in return be able to; go over our services, answer your questions, run pricing from comparable listings, visit your property and make any recommendations that your property may need.

When should we start listing the property?

This can vary.  Usually we like to market a home 6 weeks before vacancy to avoid potential vacancy time.  Some owners prefer to wait until they are out of the home to list as showings will occur once the home has been listed for lease.

 

If your property is under construction our team will work with you on a marketing campaign with a series of pre-leasing events to ensure the property is well exposed prior to its completion date.  Many times our team has been able to get ahead of absorption goals exceeding bank loan expectations.

 

Stabilized assets with vacancies should be marketed now!  Give us a call, let’s get going.

Can you come out and tell us what we need to do to get our property ready to list?

Absolutely. Being in the business we can give you advice of what potential renters may or may not like.  For example, we don’t want you to go and paint the property in a color that may turn away potential renters and then have to re-paint because all the feedback is that they couldn’t live with the color.  For the most part, we key in on making sure that the property is clean and all the systems and fixtures are in good working order prior to listing.

What happens if the tenants don’t pay rent?

As your property managers we will be your advocate to enforce the terms of the lease.  If a tenant stops paying, under your approval we will start the necessary legal proceedings to enforce the terms of the lease.  If necessary, we will see through the eviction process on your behalf as part of your management contract. As the owner, there is always risk in being a landlord, the financial responsibility to enforce the terms of the lease will fall upon the landlord but we will be your representative working on your behalf.

What will my property rent for?

As part of our services, we will do a market analysis of your property.  We will look at historical rents and days vacant of comparable properties.  We will also look at current rental listings to see what you would be competing against.

Can I get more rent if I ____?

In general, people looking for a home want clean, new and fresh.  You are competing against other properties on the market.  If your competition is updated and priced a little higher, most likely the renter will lean toward that home.  Typically, the way you represent your home is how the tenant will treat it.  You also need to consider that if the vacancy is prolonged as a result of testing the higher price that will cost you more in the long run.  Considering the mortgage, taxes and insurance are still due whether or not the home is occupied.  For specific questions on what you are considering updating, it is best to contact a property manager and they can show you comparable listings and what they rented for.  The greater Seattle area also happens to be quite high in household pet ownership per capita, so to increase your potential tenant pool and demand for your home, we encourage you to consider renting to pet owners.

 

Commercial spaces should also be clean and in decent condition.  It is less of a priority to have it in turn key condition because it can be difficult to forecast the exact use the next occupant will need it for.

How long does it take to find a tenant?

Finalizing a residential tenant can vary depending on the time of the year, inventory levels, pricing, etc. On average, WPM/LGA rented our homes in 21 days compared to our competition who took 34 days. Also, WPM/LGA rented our properties at 17 cents more per square foot over our competitors.

 

Multi-family vacancy is averaged at 4.5% today in the Puget Sound region.  Our team has experience with just about any type of Multi-Family structure.  We can better answer this question for you once we know the property and complete an area market study for you.

 

Commercial absorption is a tough one to generalize.  Different spaces, use, and location impact this result immensely.  Our team is ready to provide more detail for your investment.

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What makes you different from other property management companies?

WPM/LGA is by far and away the #1 firm in King County market share on the Northwest MLS.  We have a dedicated team of leasing agents, an amazing accounting department, and an experienced team of managers with a history of outstanding results in our industry.  Our network of resources is unmatched, and we have the market statistics to prove that on average, rental property owners retain more income with WPM/LGA relative to our MLS competition.

Why are your fees higher than others?

Here at WPM/LGA we stand behind our product, you get what you pay for.  We have an entire team that provides a full service property management package, everything from the initial interaction between the owner and property manager through to the final move out of the tenants.  Everything in between to include; all correspondence from the tenant, a complete accounting department handling the paying out of invoices on behalf of the owner as well as paying the property taxes, mortgage, etc., coordinating any repairs/maintenance needed on the property as well as a complete final inspection of the property when the tenant vacates and settling of the deposit.  And so much more…please contact one of our property managers to get a more thorough description of what we can do for you.

What is so hard about managing a property, I could just do it myself I think?

The most common answer we hear from owners that have tried managing a home on their own was that they had no idea how much work it really was.  Owning an investment property needs to be looked at like a business.  We see owners have a hard time taking the emotion out of the process.  For example, there may be sentimental value attached to a mural on the wall which should be painted over.  In other cases, it’s good to have a buffer or “messenger” to communicate difficult decisions to a tenant.  It can be a number of things.  We at WPM/LGA are here to be your advocate and to provide you with a third party perspective as well as handle all of the tasks involved in managing an investment property, including those middle of the night calls when an emergency arises.  Also, there are numerous laws to follow and timelines to abide by per Landlord Tenant laws.  We are well versed in these practices and follow them as outlined per the law.

What is RRIO?

RRIO (Rental Registration & Inspection Ordinance) was established by the Seattle City Council after an extensive public involvement process. RRIO helps ensure that all rental housing in Seattle is safe and meets basic housing maintenance requirements. Starting in 2014, all rental property owners in Seattle must register their properties with the City. Inspectors will make sure all registered properties comply with minimum housing and safety standards at least once every 10 years. At WPM/LGA, we are able to handle the registration process on your behalf as well as coordinate the inspections and repairs as required by RRIO.

Are landlord tenant laws different from city to city?

Yes.  There is Washington State Landlord Tenant Law, and there are (often more restrictive) different applications of the law which vary from city to city.  For example, the city of Seattle has stricter laws regarding evictions and month-to-month tenancy notice periods.  Depending on the city, there are additional restrictions/requirements, steps to follow, licenses to obtain, etc.

Can I deny a tenant with Section 8?

Section 8 is a protected class in a number of cities and/or counties, meaning you cannot deny a tenant with a Section 8 voucher based on their Section 8 status alone.  We have a number of Section 8 tenants in our portfolio that we work with.  Those owners appreciate that their rental payments are received on time every month as the funding comes directly from the Section 8 program.

Why are your reviews on Yelp so poor?

Doesn’t the story go that you only hear from someone when they are unhappy?  A number of the complaints on Yelp are from tenants who are unhappy about their security deposits not being returned.  They feel that the funds were wrongfully retained to make repairs, and then write a review on Yelp about it.  Unfortunately, in those reviews you don’t get both sides of the story.  Our practice here at WPM/LGA is not to publicly shame those tenants with a response but to reach out to them to try and better explain why their deposit (or part of it) was not returned.  We do not charge for items that are not damage.  The security deposit is typically used for unpaid rent or utilities, cleaning, or cost of repairs for items that were damaged.  Unfortunately, you don’t see the happy reviews as those clients are often not the ones that go to Yelp to post, rather they email us directly with their praises as can be seen throughout the Testimonials on our website.

How much should I expect each year in maintenance costs?

This can vary depending on a number of items:  Age of systems on the property, property types, natural surroundings of property, etc.  In our contract, we go over a list of property maintenance items that your investment might need over the course of a year (i.e. gutters, roof cleaning, furnace service, landscaping, etc.).  We can go over these items with you to help you budget maintenance expenses.  As an investor, there are always potential items that can come up at any time (pipe break, flood, insects/pests, appliance failure, etc.).  Those are always unexpected and seem to happen at the worst time, but by going over a maintenance plan with your property manager, this can better prepare you for potential overall expenses.