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Empire Industries - Monday, June 19, 2017

How can I tell if a tenant has vacated my rental home?

Empire Industries - Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Hey everyone, this is Steve Rozenberg with Empire Industries Property Management and Realty Services.

Today I’d like to talk…a lot of investors want to know how do they deal when they have an eviction going on, they think the tenant has left. How do they really know the tenant is gone?

Well, you know, you may drive by the house. You kind of look in the windows, see stuff, did they leave it? Is it really vacant? What’s the situation? And what I have been told and advised to do by our attorney, what I would recommend to you to do, is go through the legal process. You never really know if the property has been abandoned or not. And you have to remember, the tenant can always come back and say I didn’t leave the house, I still had stuff in there.

So, my recommendation for you is, if you have a tenant that’s not paying, have policies and procedures. File the eviction on the tenant. Go through the legal process. After you get awarded possession of the premises, we recommend always do, here in Texas we have what’s called a writ of possession. It may be called something different in your location. But get legal possession of the premises back. We get a writ of possession to our constable comes by, and actually says there’s nothing of value in this property.

So when they do that, we can take any trash out of the property, so that the tenant does not come back and say, oh I didn’t leave the property; I was just on vacation and I had $10,000 in jewelry there that’s gone now. Now it’s your word against theirs. They call that the Rolex role. They always seem to have a lot of expensive jewelry when they can’t pay the rent. But nevertheless if you do not have legal possession of the premises back and you cannot verify that the house was abandoned, you could be putting yourself into some serious litigious situations now that you are defending whether or not the house was legally abandoned. You may wanna check. See if the power is turned off. See if the water is turned off. Those are other indications. I would be very weary of going into a tenant’s property when you think they’re gone and you’re not sure. If the tenant says they left, I would recommend get it in writing so that you have proof that says they left, maybe in an email or in a letter. But don’t just take their word over the mail that says over or over the phone that says that they left because that could get you in trouble.

Hopefully this helps. This is Steve Rozenberg with Empire Industries Property Management and this is how you can tell whether a tenant is or is not vacated your rental property. thank you.

How tenants can apply for an Empire rental property

Empire Industries - Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Hey everyone, this is Steve Rozenberg with Empire Industries Property Management and Realty Services.

First of all, I’d like to thank you for wanting to apply for one of our rental properties. As you know, when you want to apply at a rental property, there’s always a lot of information you’re not really sure of what you should and should not have.

What I recommend is make sure you go through our qualifications. First of all, make sure that you fit the qualifications of a property that we wanna rent. Then I recommend that you get all of the documentation correct and you make sure that you submit it all in a timely manner because most applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis once they have a completed packet.

So, whenever you’re renting, whether it’s from our properties or it’s anyone’s properties, always make sure that you do your homework first. Get all of your paperwork, W2s and paycheck stubs, whatever may be asked of you. Make sure that you have all that prior to submitting the application because you’re gonna be asked for those things and that will just help expedite your application being approved.

So, again, check the application qualifications. Make sure that you fit the qualifications as far as income, verification and those kinds of things; and then, if that works, then obviously go online and submit the application, and it should not take very long as long as you have everything submitted, because normally the application will not start being processed until you have a completed packet, which means all the documentation that’s required.

If you have any other questions, you can go to our website: www.empireindustriesllc.com. You can find more information there. Thank you very much.

Should I hire a real estate agent or do it myself?

Empire Industries - Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hey everyone, this is Steve Rozenberg with Empire Industries Property Management. And today we’re gonna talk about: should I use a realtor or should I do it myself?

As an investor myself, I understand that everything is all about numbers, and it’s about cash flow. And sometimes I have investors that tell me, hey if I use a realtor, that just cuts too deeply into my cash flow; and I go from making money to losing money. And I would say, first of all, that’s a perception; that may not be a reality, because what a lot of investors do not factor in is the word: leverage. And leverage is the fact that you are using someone else to do work for you and your time.

So the first thing you need to ask yourself is how valuable is your time and what can you better use with your time? I can tell you personally, when I first started off, I did not use a realtor and I thought that I was saving money by doing the work myself, running around, putting signs out, taking applications, trying to screen tenants on my best guess; and the reality was is I ended up putting not good tenants in; being stood up many many times at the property because they didn’t show up and getting very frustrated and saying real estate is not what I thought it would be.

The challenge was I was doing it as a single person not as a team concept; and when you own a piece of real estate, you own a business; and when you own a business, there’s multiple players, and a very vital person to that player is a realtor. The realtor is the one that is a leverage. You’re using them as leverage. They’re the ones screening the tenants, they’re taking the calls, they are opening up the door, then they are vetting the tenant to make sure that they fit the qualifications, and they are not emotionally attached.

One of the things you have to remember is sometimes when you are wanting to lease a property, you may make a decision based on the fact that the house had been vacant too long, and maybe you’ll bend those rules a little bit. What you have to remember is when you bend those rules a little bit, you may be construed as discriminating because if you denied somebody earlier for the same qualifications that you’re now accepting, you may be into a fair housing potential problem, because by turning someone down and accepting someone else can be construed as discrimination.

And you wanna make sure that you are valuing your time, so whether you could be working at your career, you could be spending time with the family, you could be looking at buying other properties, there’s probably something more valuable with your time than running around doing these tasks, and maybe not even doing them correctly. So when you’re doing these kind of things and you’re doing real estate, remember it is a team sport. Having a realtor will actually make you money because you have to factor in what is your cost of your time, which many people do not do. And the fact that maybe they will put a better tenant in, they will be able to go out through the MLS, multiple listing service or other things, be able to get a larger net, be able to get more people to call, to get a better tenant which will, in turn, help you get your money quicker, to make your property run like a profitable business.

If you’d like to know more, go to our website: www.empireindustriesllc.com, or if you’d like to give us a call, please do and we’d be glad to help you out. We can have one of our agents help you find a property as well. Thank you very much.

Is a flat fee management company better than a percentage fee management company?

Empire Industries - Monday, May 15, 2017

Hi, guys. This is Steve Rozenberg with Empire Industries Property Management Company. As a property management company and as an investor, we do get a lot of people that ask us: what is the difference as to why some property management companies charge a flat fee and other property management companies may charge a percentage. And, first of all, I would say it depends on the business model of the company. I did a lot of research before we even started the management company. I was trying to understand the difference myself because I was looking for my own properties. I couldn’t find one, which is why I created my own company; but there is a large discrepancy in not just the service that you get, and obviously the price of what you’re getting.

And the other thing I have learned in my personal experience is cheaper is not always cheaper. You know, we don’t go with the cheap guy in the truck, because I learned when I used the cheap guy in the truck for my rental properties a long time ago, that cheap guy in the truck would have to come back three or four times when I could have just hired a regular plumber. He would have fixed it right away. So there is value of service and it’s kind of like you know, do you drive a better car or do you drive a car that’s nicer? You do that because of the perceived value.

So when you’re looking at choosing a property management company, whether it’s a flat fee or whether it’s a percentage fee, always look at what is the value of what they’re offering, and more important, do those values match up with yours? Because if you have a certain expectation of how you think your property should be treated, and you’re basically going off of a few dollars a day of savings, just because you think you’re gonna save a bunch of money. It’s probably not gonna save a lot of money. You’re probably gonna make that up in headache and stress of dealing with someone and chasing after them, where you may be more frustrated at the end and may end up getting in a bigger mess with the management company that’s not doing their job, and isn’t treating it professional. Maybe they’re doing it on the side, and that’s not their real thing. Maybe they’re doing it as a secondary source of income for themselves.

So you know, our main focus of what we do at Empire is we only manage properties coz that is our main focus. And we try to make sure that that is what we’re doing. We’re protecting the investors’ assets and by doing that, we do a very good job of it, which is why we’re the highest reviewed on the Internet and we’re the fastest growing company in Texas, is because we’re so focused on protecting the investors’ assets.

So again, when you’re looking at a company, look at their Google reviews. Look em up online, see what people are saying about them, and remember cheaper is not always cheaper. If you’d like to know more, go to our website. Go to our blog page. Look us up. We’d be more than happy to talk to you and just let you know the value of what we bring to our clients. Thank you.

How long should my rental home be vacant for?

Empire Industries - Monday, May 15, 2017

Hey everyone, this is Steve Rozenberg with Empire Industries Property Management Company. You know, a lot of people that are investors, especially if they’re new investors, they have a vacant property and they start to get nervous and they don’t know what to do, and the property’s vacant for longer than what they think it should be vacant. And they start, maybe they call us for advice or they just are curious, they don’t know what to do.

Couple things you wanna remember. First of all, having a rental property and when it is vacant is very cyclical, meaning normally in the summertime, properties will move faster and will rent faster than in the wintertime because it’s pricing demand. So, if you happen to have a property that you’re leasing out in the wintertime, I would suggest writing the end lease date to maybe become vacant or have the lease end in spring time so that you can utilize that time frame to get it rented during the peak time. So you may have to write a fourteen or sixteen month lease agreement so that you can get on that right cycle. Not saying that you want the tenant to move, but if they do move, you want it to be optimum for yourself. There’s nothing that says you have to set it for a certain 12-month period or anything like that.

The other thing you wanna remember is it is a business. And when it is a business, you wanna think about the fact that every day it’s vacant, you are losing revenue and you are losing money. And you could get to a point where you have it vacant for so long that you can never regain that loss of revenue, so you can go a whole year of it being rented, but because it was vacant for so long, you may not be able to recapture those losses. So sometimes it is better to just lower the rent amount. If you lower the rent, you can get it rented quicker and start getting cash flow into the property because if it’s vacant for two months, one month of it being vacant, you may not ever regain that capture of revenue.

So again, remember, it is a business. Don’t go off of the assumption that maybe what you rented it for in the past if the economy has changed, what you think a neighbor could have rented it for, what you feel it’s worth. You have to go off the rental analysis. We always give our clients a free investor rental analysis, what it’s renting and what the days on market is, so you really wanna identify that when you’re looking at properties, how long is it going to be vacant for and what can you expect it to be vacant for, meaning if everything in your neighborhood is vacant for ninety days, don’t expect to get your property rented in thirty days if for some reason you are at the same market rent or there’s nothing special about your property.

So again, just remember it is a business. It is cyclical. Try to get it rented. If you have it vacant or if it’s going to be vacant in the spring/summertime so that you can make sure to have a lot of potential people when it is vacant. Hope this helps.

What You Need to Know About the Eviction Process

Empire Industries - Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Hey everyone, this is Steve Rozenberg with Empire Industries.

A lot of people are always asking me about the eviction process: how does it change? When does it change? And I will tell you the process and the laws change all the time. So if you have a property, you are an owner of a property or management company, make sure you realize that you have to be up on the current laws and the eviction codes. Here in Texas, it’s the Texas Property Code. Make sure you know what is going on. More importantly, you have to remember that the tenant has rights and you wanna make sure that you are complying with those rights, meaning that you are abiding by the lease agreement.

A lot of owners think that the tenants have to comply, but the owners do not have to comply with the lease agreement and that is just not true. Make sure that you have a lease in place, which you should, that you are complying with the law and you are making sure that you are not infringing on their rights and that you are running your property like a business, and make sure that if the tenant is supposed to pay the rent, that they pay their rent and if they don’t then you have to perform, per the agreement, charge late fees, do the eviction. You really don’t have the right to be able to decide that you’re not going to charge late fees in the eyes of the law. So please make sure, if you’re not sure, contact an attorney. Make sure that they can help you. I’m not an attorney. I’m not giving you advice, but I would tell you that the eviction laws change. We are constantly getting information from Austin because we like to stay up to date on what the laws are, and we are surprised at how often they change, and things that you need to know.

And, more importantly, as a property management company, we are looking out for our clients’ best interest to make sure that we are on top of things and we are running their property like a business. So I would say, most importantly, if you have a property and you’re thinking of evicting the tenant, follow your policies and procedures. If you don’t have them, write them down. Make sure you have a manual structure that you follow because if you have to go to court, you’re gonna have to be asked probably are you following your company’s policies and procedures? Whether or not you have one property or fifty properties, you own a company, and that company needs to have rules because the law says you’re a company. iRS says you’re a company. Fair housing. Discrimination. Here in Texas, Texas Property Code. Texas Real Estate Commission. They all say you’re a company. The challenge is most owners don’t think they’re a company, and that’s why most owners get into legal trouble because they don’t follow the rules of the law.

So make sure you abide by the law. Make sure you know the current laws. If you’d like to know more information, you can give us a call. We’d be happy to give you some information that we get from Austin and pass it on or call your local real estate attorney or local real estate investing group but know the laws before you start filing an eviction, you start doing stuff, make sure you are doing your business correctly. Hope this helps. If you’d like to know more information, go to our website: www.empireindustriesllc.com. We’ve got a lot of blogs on our blog page. We’d be happy for you to give us a call. We give you a free 30-minute consultation. Let’s see what you’re doing wrong, what you’re doing right, and see how we can maybe help advance you within the real estate investing war. Thank you.

How easy is it to hand over my property to a property management company

Empire Industries - Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Hey guys, this is Steve Rozenberg, owner of Empire Industries Property Management Company. Thank you for watching the video.

A lot of people always want to know how hard is actually the process to turn over a property when it’s going to be managed by Empire or another company. The truth is it should not be very difficult. I know at Empire we try our best to make it very seamless and easy. Once we get the management agreement signed, it’s really just a matter of us loading the information, getting some background from the owner as far as what’s needed with the property when our business developer has that conversation with you to make sure that we are all on the same page so that when the property’s handed over and the property manager does the initial conversation with our owners, they know what is needed with the property. They have a discussion with the owner so we’re all on the same page if we have to get a team out there to get the property ready for rent, whatever is needed, we have that discussion. So that’s the thing when it’s being handed over, when it’s empty.

Now, if we’re handing it over with a tenant in the property, there’s more information we’d like to have: like, for example, we’d like to have the application of the tenant, we’d like to have the lease agreement of the tenant so we know how to enforce the lease because whatever lease you have in place, we have to honor that lease by law, which we do. If you have the rent roll or tenant ledger, we’d like to have that as well. We’d like to know how has the tenant been paying on time, as far as their record, and as much background information we can have. For example, if there’s any maintenance history on the house, any warranty information you have, those kinds of things are really helpful. It helps us build a story so that we understand when we take a property over what is going on.

Likely sometimes people come to us from another management company, which happens a lot, and when we get a property from another management company, we simply can call that management company. We talk to them, and they will be able to get us that information about the tenant as long as they have the information, we will be the person that gives them the call and does all that once the agreement is signed with the owner.

So the process is very easy. It’s just a matter of us transferring information, and more importantly, I think it’s the communication. We just need to know the situation of the property of the tenant where you’re at in the process and all that helps us understand where we’re at with the situation so that we can effectively manage the property as quickly as possible.

So hopefully this helps. If you have more questions, you can give us a call: 888-866-6727. Go to our website: www.empireindustriesllc.com. You can fill out a form to contact us or you can go to our blog page. You can watch all the videos we have there that help educate our owners on how we can manage your property successfully. Thank you very much.

Who is the top management company in Texas?

Empire Industries - Monday, May 01, 2017

Top property management company in Texas. This is Steve Rozenberg with Empire Industries Property Management Company. So who is the top management property company? I’m gonna tell you that is probably gonna depend on what type of properties you have and what your goals are.

So when you’re looking for a property management company, make sure that your goals align with theirs. We have thousands and thousands of website visits every single month to our website. We get hundreds of phone calls. We work with a lot of investors. I get the opportunity to speak around the world and part of that is asking us why are we number one, why are we growing so fast; and I think it’s because we feel that we’re relationship-based. We truly wanna see the investors succeed. We wanna make sure that we take care of their property like we own it, and we wanna make sure that the property runs like a business.

So if you’re looking for a management company, make sure that if you choose one that they have the same goals and they are aligned with you and your property and what your goals are; and make sure that they can manage your type of property. Just because someone’s cheaper, just because they’re more expensive, does not mean they’re better. Cheaper’s not better, expensive is not better. Aligning with your goals and having the same mindset, maybe if they own properties themselves, maybe if they have properties in the same area as you, that, to me, is the true meaning of whether or not they’re going to be a successful management company.

We are successful because we are personal-based, and we wanna make sure our clients succeed. But you may have different goals for your investment properties, and we may not be a fit for you. That’s fine. We do talk to a lot of people, we get a lot of visits, a lot of people look at our blog page, our website; and they just like the free e-books, the education, and that’s great. We want to educate. But just make sure that when you have somebody protecting your asset and managing your investment property that they know what they’re doing, and more importantly, they’re looking out for the team’s best interest, not just your best interest, not just their best interest, but the best interest of everyone involved. That’s the tenant, the vendor, everybody.

So again, this is Steve Rozenberg. Look at our blog page. Give us a call. We’d be happy to talk to you and make sure that we are a good fit for you. We’d be happy to see if we can manage your property.

What are things that break in rental?

Empire Industries - Monday, May 01, 2017

Hey everyone, this is Steve Rozenberg with Empire Property Management. What we’re going to talk about today is a lot of people will call and ask me what kind of things can I expect is going to break in my property; and that’s kind of a tough question. Number one: it depends on the age of the property. If you buy an older house, then you can expect things to break probably a lot more often than maybe something that’s a brand-new house. So you wanna think about when you’re purchasing a property, do you wanna have more money saved in reserves if it’s an older property and, of course, you can also make the price reflect that, depending on your market and your conditions.

The other thing I would say is you wanna think of all the things that are moving parts, meaning appliances, washer machines, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, those are things that are high useful load. The highest is the washer and dryer. I don’t recommend putting them in your property, only because when they break, you basically become an appliance repair person and now you have to determine who broke it. And no matter what you say, whether or not the lease says it, doesn’t say it, I can tell you, in my experience, has always been that it ends up causing friction between you and the tenant as to whether or not it was in good condition and who took care of it.

Personally we do not put washers and dryers in our complexes or in our properties but if the market dictates where you are, then you may have to do that. I would say some of the things that could break are hot water heaters, airconditioning units; those are normally the higher cost things that will break. You may want to look at the roof when you’re purchasing a property. Obviously get it inspected, but roof leaks are things that happen that could be costly. And foundation…but there’s really not many things when you take out those factors, meaning appliances, hot water heaters, airconditioner heaters, roofs, and foundation, there’s really no other things that are major things that will break. Anything that’s used a lot, like for example, a door or plumbing, meaning a toilet commode or sinks, those are things that break because they tend to get used a lot.

So, when you’re looking at a property and you’re trying to figure out your expenses, first go off the age, depending how old the property is, that should tell you how much you should have in reserves. And then I would go in and say how old are the items in there and how have they been treated, and you wanna be very clear when you talk to the tenant of what your expectations are of how the unit should be treated, meaning airconditioning filters should always be replaced so many months. That should be dictated in the lease, and I would have the tenant sign acknowledging they’re going to do that, or you can just add that in to your lease agreement and add it as a value-add or something that they pay for which is annualized in your lease agreement.

So hopefully this helps explain things that will break in the property and things that you may have to replace more often. This is Steve Rozenberg with Empire Property Management. Go to our website: www.empireindustriesllc.com. We have hundreds of video blogs for free that you can look at, things like this just help investors become better investors to make smart decisions. Thank you very much.


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