Minneapolis Property Management Blog

How to Get the Best Tenant in My Rental Property | St. Paul Tenant Screening Advice

Deb Newell - Monday, October 10, 2016


So how do you get the best tenants for your St. Paul rental property? That’s a really good question and it has a really simple answer: you screen them.

Poor Screening Leads to Poor Tenants

Many times, owners will come to us after the fact. They are having problems because they have already placed a tenant who was never screened properly. It doesn’t take long for that tenant to become difficult or to stop paying rent. In some cases, property owners have had to deal with major property damage from tenants they didn’t screen. No one wants this to happen, and that’s why screening an applicant is so vital and important. It builds a foundation for what you expect from the people you place in your property.

Things to Consider When Screening

Screen for things like rental history and income verification. It’s important to collect landlord references, and then contact those current and former landlords to find out what kind of tenant this person has been in the past. Ask for pay stubs or other documentation to prove that the tenant earns enough to pay rent on time every month. Do a complete credit check to see if the tenants have been responsible with money, and if they pay their bills on time. You also want to do a criminal background check so you aren’t putting anyone dangerous into your property. All of these things can be done by a professional property manager, and good management companies will dig a little deeper to make sure only the best tenants are approved to live in your home.

Publish Rental Criteria

When you’re looking for a property management company, make sure they screen their applicants well. You’ll want to

see what kind of criteria they use to approve or decline applicants, and it’s a good idea to have that information posted on their website so potential tenants will know what kind of requirements are necessary when applying for a home.

If you have any questions about tenant screening, please contact us at Real-Time Leasing.

How to Evict a Tenant the Right Way – St. Paul Property Management Education

Deb Newell - Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Evicting a tenant is not always easy, and most landlords don’t even like to think about it. It can be an exhausting process, and it’s also a bit emotional for many property owners. Evictions take a lot of time and they cost you money. Your time and resources are valuable, so when you hire a professional property management company, make sure they can help you with this if it becomes necessary.

Tenant Screening

There are a number of reasons to evict a tenant, and most landlords will do so because of nonpayment of rent. You can also evict your tenants when they aren’t following the terms of the lease. Putting an excellent tenant in place is a good way to avoid eviction, but that’s often easier said than done. Just make sure you have screened all of your applicants thoroughly so you have a good chance of getting a renter who will pay on time and fulfill the requirements of the lease.

Following Local Eviction Procedures

Counties and cities all have difference fees and processes for eviction. You’ll have to be careful about following the proper court procedures when you serve notices and file paperwork. You want to make sure you do everything correctly, otherwise the eviction will take longer and probably be more expensive.

Getting Professional Help

As professional property managers in St. Paul, we can help facilitate a successful eviction that does not cause any additional stress or expenses for you. If it gets to the point that you need to remove your current tenants, we can help. Sometimes, you will need an attorney to represent you in court as well. Professionals can help make the entire process a smooth one. You want to make sure you understand the fees and the steps that are required, and you want to discuss what you are responsible for, and what the tenant will be held responsible for.

If you have any eviction questions, please contact us at Real-Time Leasing. We’d be happy to tell you more about how to manage the process.

What Are Property Management Fees in St. Paul, MN? | Professional Property Manager Explains

Deb Newell - Tuesday, September 27, 2016

When we are talking to property owners and investors who are looking for management services, the number one question that they ask is: What are your fees? The cost of professional property management depends on the services you’re receiving and how the expenses are structured. When you’re shopping around, you can usually expect to pay at least a placement fee and a management fee.

Placement Fees

Placement fees are often for listing a property, showing the property, screening the applicants, signing the lease, managing the move-in process, and inspecting and documenting the condition of the home. All of this is done before the keys are handed over to the tenant. In most cases, a management company will charge the equivalent of one month’s rent, or a percentage of that first month’s rent.

Management Fee

Your monthly management fee will cover all of the ongoing duties that a professional property manager performs for you on a regular basis. This includes lease enforcement, rent collection, maintenance coordination, and facilitating and coordinating with cities and counties for inspections. Your management fee will also cover things like Section 8 inspections, code violations, or homeowner’s association correspondence. Like the placement fee, this will be a percentage of the monthly rent that is collected, or a flat rate every month.

Additional Fees

Depending on the property management company you choose to work with, there might be other fees charged as well. Costs to consider include additional pet fees, lease renewal fees, cancellation fees, lease cancellation fees, and others. When you’re looking for a property management company in St. Paul, make sure you ask about their fees and find out what they cover. You don’t want to have any surprises once you sign a management contract. If you have questions about property management fees in St. Paul or anything pertaining to the management of your property, please contact us at Real-Time Leasing.

Why Work with Real-Time Leasing in Eagan, MN

Deb Newell - Tuesday, September 20, 2016

If you’re looking for property management services in Eagan and the St. Paul area, you may be wondering why you should hire us at Real-Time Leasing. Today, we’re going to tell you a little bit about why we’d be a great choice.

Attention to Customer Service

Customer service is our number one goal. It’s so important in our industry and to our company. For over 16 years, we have refined policies and procedures to help align our values and principles with those of our owners. Your property is your asset, and we know that. We want to make sure it’s taken care of in the best possible way.

Accountability and Accessibility

We hold tenants accountable for their actions, and we work hard to make sure that they follow the terms of their lease. This is part of how we protect your investment and provide exceptional customer service. When tenants need to tell us about necessary maintenance or have a question or a problem, we are available to help them.

Innovative Technology

We also use forward-thinking technology. Owners and tenants can log into their accounts any time to see ledgers in real time. Tenants can efficiently pay rent online, which has dramatically reduced the number of late payments that are made. Owners also have the capability to make contributions online. You can see photos of your property, upload necessary documents, and communicate with our staff at any time that’s convenient for you. We make sure we are available to you so questions are answered and concerns are addressed.

As a property owner, you are important to us. Your property is also important to us, and your tenant is too. Why hire us? Because we will work hard for you.

If you have any questions about how we can help you, or you’d like to hear more about our property management services, please contact us at Real-Time Leasing. We'd be happy to tell you more.

Are You Ready To Invest In Alternate Markets?

Deb Newell - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Considering real estate investment in Minneapolis?  The Minneapolis, St. Paul rental markets are prime for investors on any scale. Here are just a few of the highlights that make these markets some of the most desirable when it comes to rental property investment.

Untapped alternate markets can be a gold mine for CAP rate
Mass influx of out-of-state investors has not occurred in these markets, hence pricing is still very competitive
Higher amounts of non-distressed and distressed inventory than what’s available today in main-stream markets
Higher than average rent rates (MSP/STP averages 33% higher rent rate than the national average)
Wider variety of property types(SFH, TH, Multi-units/brownstones) all with strong CAP rates

Recipe for Success!
Each market is different…what works in 1 market may not work in another market
Make sure you have a business plan in place for each market
Partner with your Property Manager to validate your business plan
Your business plan should include (but not limited to)
o Neighborhoods
o Property types
o Price ranges
o Rehab expenses
o Rent ranges
o CAP rate goals
o Short term/long term growth and exit strategies

Regulation? Not to worry!
Consult with an expert Property Manager and leverage their expertise BEFORE writing a purchase agreement!
Definitions and requirements for a sale transaction are not the same for renting out a property
You need and expert to consult on the following:
Seller disclosure statements
Truth-in-housing requirements
City/State housing regulations
Tenant/Rental statutes
HOA bi-laws
Habitability code
Rental licensing requirements by city
Building/Property status (VBR, Cat. 2 etc)
City assessments

Hire a Property Manager that can execute with speed while being compliant with city/state requirements
Hire the wrong Property Manager and it can cost you time and more importantly money!
Make sure your Property Manager has your best interest in mind. Pay attention to their fee structure….does it drive toward your success or theirs, or both?
Hire a full-service Property Management Company!
o Everyone says they are full-service…make sure they really are!
o Special assessments on a property can be worked through and in some cases, negotiated or waived…..if you hire the right company to do it for you
o Hire a Property Manager who is a Licensed GC. If you hire a 3rd party contractor to perform rehabs/ready-to-rent repairs, this will add time to the equation
Make sure your Property Manager is connected and has established relationships
o City Inspectors
o Rental License Inspectors
o Section 8 Inspectors
o Real Estate Offices
o Peers/Competitors
Make sure they are accredited/have credentials
o Licensed Real Estate Broker
o NARPM members (local/national)
o BBB accredited

Contact Us

Real-Time Leasing
1895 Plaza Drive Suite 100
Eagan, MN 55122


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