Houston Property Management
Let us manage your Houston rental property
Most people believe that a property management company just collects rent and schedules repair calls. A property management company should do much more. At Empire we provide the following services to you:
What We Do As Your Houston Property Manager
- Provide rental market analysis for your property
- Provide 24 hour marketing of your property to prospective tenants using signs, website and texting technology
- Utilize the Centralized Showing Service (CSS) for appointments and feedback from showing agents
- Walk vacant properties weekly to ensure property looks its best
- Provide weekly updates to the owner on all vacancies
Tenant Screening, Move In and Lease Signing+
- Thoroughly screen all prospective tenants following Fair Housing laws
- Take over 100 move-in photos and video of property prior to tenants moving in
- Write up and sign the lease on the property owners behalf
- Have tenants sign “rules of the game” addendums that benefit the property owner
- Supply all documentation to the resident that meets the state landlord/tenant laws
- Re-key each property based on the Texas Property Code
- Collect rent through e-payment ACH transfer
- Collect rent through credit card if tenant does not have necessary funds
- Fully account for all deposits throughout the life of the lease term
- Maintain a separate account for the tenant security deposit as required by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC)
Month End Reporting+
- Provide month-end and year-end reporting
- Provide necessary year-end tax forms as required by the IRS
- Direct deposit monthly payments into the owners bank account
- Provide a 24 hour emergency phone line for tenants to call
- Ensure all required maintenance is completed based on the Texas Property Code
- Ensure any maintenance requests are responded to by our staff within one business day
- Notify owner of any repair request and when the request has been completed
- Obtain repair bids and notify owners prior to any excessive expenses regarding their property
- Communicate with tenant on any issue in a timely fashion
- Handle any Home Owners Association (HOA) issue with the house or tenant
- Charge residents appropriate fees based upon the lease agreement and addendums.
Move Out Procedures+
- Take over 100 move-out photos and video when a tenant moves out
- Perform the Security Deposit Disposition
- Disburse the tenants security deposit refund based on the Texas Property Code
- Act as a collections department and contact tenants who have not paid rent
- File eviction on any tenant who has not paid rent
- Perform the eviction process based on state law
- Meet constable at property for possession
- Send tenants who owe money to collection agency
- Obtain make ready repair bid and send to owner for approval
- Complete all make readies based on the Texas Property Code
Frustration Free Management+
- Manage properties with state of the art computer software
- Keep up with state and federal regulations to maintain compliance and keep up to date forms
- Inspect the property for any lease infractions or maintenance issues
- Provide a copy of all invoices, work orders and paperwork in the owner portal
- Provide any ad hoc reporting the owner requests
- Provide investment guidance to investors – including type of home, area of town, rent and sales comps
Why Empire +
We are investors just like you!
We have been investing in Houston real estate since 2001. We understand what it is like to have “skin in the game”.
We are a professional management company.
Unlike many property managers, we are not agent’s first and property managers second. Our company focus is to manage investment properties. We are licensed agents with a Certified Property Manager (CPM) on staff. We are one of the few single family property management companies with a CPM on staff. Our CPM keeps up with relevant laws and regulations and has the knowledge and experience to keep the investor out of court and to make the investment profitable.
We serve on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM).
NARPM holds its members to a higher standard. To become a member and keep your membership, additional ethics courses and educational courses are mandatory. View the link to see why hire a professional property manager http://www.whyuseone.com
We Are an Award Winning Company
Empire was a top semi-finalist for a National Business Excellence Award in not just ONE, but TWO categories, Customer Service and Marketing. Over 200 businesses from all over the country participated. Empire has won achievement awards from Century 21 and local business awards from the ActionCOACH business program.
We offer a 7 Point Guarantee or No Management Fee
Unlike other companies, we put our money where our mouth is. View Our Guarantee for more information.
Save Money With Our Volume Based Discounts
We have been extremely diligent in our negotiations with our vendors to receive discounts from them, which we pass on to our clients. These are the same vendors we use for our own personal investments. Our clients on average save 40% on their maintenance costs.
Get Paid EARLY!
We are investors like you, so we understand how important it is to receive your rent payment. Most management companies will send out payments on the 10th or 15th of the month, Empire pays out our owners on the 5th. Empire will send multiple payments throughout the month ending on the 25th of the month. Other management companies think we are crazy. We tell them we are not crazy, we are just investors ourselves.
No Setup Fees!
No Upcharge on Maintenance!
Some of our competitors might be cheaper with the management fee, but watch out for the huge upcharges on their maintenance. At Empire we do not upcharge on any of our maintenance and every invoice is uploaded to your portal.
Maintenance on Staff
Empire employs their own maintenance technicians to handle small maintenance tasks. We have found that we are cheaper and more dependable than outsourcing these tasks.
No Hidden Fees!
All fees are disclosed on the management agreement.
Our owner portal allows you to see all documents, all maintenance requests, all reporting and allows real time conversations with our staff.
No longer email your property manager and never hear a response. At Empire our goal is to respond to all queries within one business day. We typically respond within the same day.
Get Pictures and Videos of Your Property
Have you ever had to approve a make ready bid without seeing a video? Have you ever waited weeks to get move out photos? Empire provides move-in / move-out, listing and make ready photos and videos within 3 business days.
We Know Our Numbers
Does your property manager know the average days on market for their vacancies? What about average cost of a make ready, vacancy rate, and collection rate. At Empire we believe in numbers and we disclose those to our clients. See Empire by the Numbers for more information.
Our company vision is to be the #1 rated customer service property management company in Houston. Empire has a friendly, helpful staff. Don’t believe us, see what people are saying about us.
Why Use A Professional Management Company+
To Market your property and get it rented quickly.
Most self-managed property owners do not rent their property at market rent. Some overcharge and unfortunately lose money because the home stays vacant until they get the person willing to pay more. Most undercharge on rent because they are scared the property will not rent right away.
Run Credit, Criminal, Eviction and Employment History
Most self-managed property owners do not perform enough due diligence on their prospective residents, especially new landlords. Most residents have been leasing their whole life and they know what to say to have a landlord approve them without running their full report or getting all of the documentation needed.
Keep Up With all the Paperwork – Leases, Addendums, HOA Notices, Etc.
Most self-managed owners do not have a copy of the lease, let alone the rental application and all correspondence between them and the tenant. A professional management company will keep all of these documents in their computer system for the owner to access at any time.
For the Book Keeping
Why pay a book keeper when you can hire a management company for about the same price and perform all other aspects along with the book keeping. Clean book keeping is imperative for your year-end taxes.
Keep Up on the Latest Local, State and Federal Laws
Most self-managed landlords do not know the Texas Property Code, the Eviction Laws or Fair Housing Laws.
Have someone else take those late night phone calls or the phone call on Thanksgiving. Do you really want to take late night phone calls from residents regarding anything that is serious to the mundane? A professional management company will have a 24/7 system to handle such calls.
Have Someone Who Knows How to Handle Almost Any Situation
A professional property manager has seen a lot more in their experience than you have as a property owner, plus they have the resources and the knowledge to handle almost any situation.
Have Maintenance Go to Your Property in the Middle of the Night to Take Care of that AC Issue
A professional management company will have maintenance partners that will go the extra mile for them because they give them continual business. Most landlords do not have relationships that will go in the middle of the night and not charge an extra fee.
Have Maintenance Completed Quickly by a Licensed and Insured Company
One of the biggest issues for the landlord is to get a maintenance person to the property for small issues like installing blinds, fixing a hole in the wall, or installing weather stripping. Our vendors routinely schedule work orders the next business day. Our vendors are licensed, if required, and all of them have the required insurance needed.
Save Time and Money on Your Make Readies
One of the biggest complaints from landlords is how long it takes to coordinate a make ready and how expensive they are. Professional management companies have relationships with companies that perform all aspects of a make ready. Not just painting but cleaning, carpet shampoo, AC and plumbing, etc.
To Have Your Property Inspected
This is extremely important for those out-of-town owners. It is surprising how many local owners never go inside their property to inspect it. A property needs to be inspected to make sure it isn’t a “grow house” or breeding dogs. We all know those are extreme cases, but you would be surprised how many unauthorized pets, people or lease infractions are saved by performing periodic inspections.
To Have Someone Go to Your Property Instead of You
Your time is money. Why go to your property to inspect or to meet the maintenance person? Spend your time with family or finding new investments.
The Management Company is Not Friends with Your Tenants Nor Are They Related to Them
It is frightening how many landlords are friends with their residents on facebook or worse, allow their residents to be late on rent because they have been told some sob story.
To Save Money on Volume-Based Discounts on Maintenance
On average a professional property management company will save a landlord about 40% on maintenance and make ready costs.
Discounts on Insurance
Did you know some insurance companies give a discount if the property is managed by a professional management company? Another discount offered is if the company has a Certified Property Manager on staff.
Keep You From Getting Sued
Most landlords make emotional decisions when the resident is not responding the way they should. A lot of times this gets the landlord into a lawsuit. A management company has processes and procedures that are followed. Decisions are not based on emotion.
To Run Your Property Like a Business
Whether you own one home or twenty you own a business. You must treat your property like a business. Most landlords treat their property like a hobby, they want to learn leasing, management, maintenance, etc. instead of learning to be an investor and business owner.
The biggest investment most people make is purchasing a rental home. They hire a professional agent to find the property, they hire a professional banker to obtain financing, they hire a professional insurance agent to provide insurance, but when it comes to managing the asset, they feel they can do it themselves, even though they have never owned a property. They do this to save a few bucks, when in actuality it will cost them thousands of dollars. Not to mention the amount of time it takes to learn all the aspects of how to successfully manage a property
Common Owner Mistakes+
Hiring a Real Estate Agent to Manage Your Properties
Even though an agent may be perfectly qualified to sell you a home, they certainly do not specialize in property management. Many agents are unaware of the specific legal policies that could cost you thousands of dollars when a problem arises. Many agents do not have the systems, infrastructure or the team in place to successfully manage your property.
Hiring Companies That Only do Leasing and Not Management
Companies who only do leasing have no incentive to lease to the best candidate. The incentive is for them to lease to the first person that walks through the door. Without managing the property, there is no recourse if the tenant they leased to is not behaving appropriately. The bad tenant becomes your problem.
Not Having the Proper Insurance
Considering the cost of insurance, many investors purchase the minimum amount to save a few bucks. The truth is, proper insurance can save hundreds even thousands of dollars. This is a classic case of penny-wise, pound-foolish. It is crucial that you understand the different options available to you to mitigate coverage holes. Investment insurance is much more complex than your typical home owner insurance. It is imperative you discuss your insurance options with a Texas licensed insurance professional that understands property investment. Empire has partnered with Benchmark Insurance to provide very competitive property and liability insurance for properties under our management.
Please contact Jivar Foty at (832) 640-2478 or firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain information and request a quote.
List of Essential Coverage
- Property Manager listed as Additional Insured
- 100% Replacement Cost
- Landlord Liability Protection (AKA General Liability)
- Accidental and Sudden Discharge of Water or Steam
- Dwelling VS. Homeowners Policy
- Vacancy Clause
- Vandalism and Mischievous Misfit (VMM)
- Loss of Rents
Did you know that the TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® management agreement requires you to list your property manager as an additional insured? If you do not have this protection, you are violating the contractual agreement between you and your property management company. This protection is provided for FREE with many reputable insurance carriers.
Minimum coverage of $70-$85 per square foot in Texas is recommended in order to ensure your property is completely rebuilt in the event of total loss.
Many basic policies only cover up to $100,000 of liability per property. This may barely cover legal fees, let alone actual damage. Coverage of at least $300,000 is recommended.
Coverage for pipe bursts and other common plumbing issues are typically not covered by your basic policy. The most common issue is the toilet supply line bursts and no one is home for a couple of days. This causes massive amounts of damage and is not covered on a normal policy.
If you have a homeowner’s policy on your investment property you need to switch it to dwelling policy. Your current policy has a provision that excludes coverage if you are not occupying the home.
Most dwelling policies exclude coverage for any property left vacant for 30 days or longer. If there is a claim on the home and the insurance company finds out it was vacant for 30 days, they will not pay out on the claim unless this clause is in the policy.
Most dwelling policies exclude this coverage. If the property is vandalized by your resident, this clause will pay out.
If your property is significantly damaged due to a covered claim, your tenant will move out and not pay rent. This clause pays you rent while the home is being repaired.
Not Updating Your Mailing Address With the Home Owners Association
A common, but costly mistake that investors make is failing to update their mailing address with the Home Owners Association (HOA).
If your investment property is in a HOA you MUST contact them to ensure they have your current mailing address and phone number. HOA’s can charge large fines if HOA fees are not paid, are late, or if HOA violations go unanswered. There have been instances where HOA’s have foreclosed on properties where the owner did not pay dues or cure a violation of their property simply because the HOA was uninformed of the owner’s current mailing address.
Being Friends With Your Residents (on Facebook)
Do be courteous to your residents. Do not become friends with your residents. Landlords who become friends with their residents tend to give them preferential treatment. Rent is late and late fees aren’t charged, or the eviction isn’t filed when it is supposed to. This is a potential lawsuit. If other residents find out you are not treating them the same you will be looking at a fair housing lawsuit.
Not Charging Fair Rents
Vacancy is your biggest cost. By trying to charge above market rents you end up losing out in the long run. A property may be vacant an extra month or two.
Taking the “Principal” Road During a Dispute
It is almost always better to settle a dispute with a tenant then to fight it in court. The landlord-tenant laws are usually extremely unfair to landlords. In addition, tenants often have access to “legal aid” lawyers who will fight you with tax-and-charity dollars almost indefinitely with all the laws on their side. You may be right and you may win the case, but it will cost you thousands of dollars in legal fees that you may never re-coup. It will definitely cost you time and energy and most importantly, it will cause you undue stress in your life.
It is almost always better to make a deal, even if you are right and are giving in to the resident, for a few hundred dollars than the cost of stress, time and money it will cost to win the “principal” battle.
Not Treating Your Investment Like a Business
Whether you own 1 property or 20 properties make no mistake you own a business. If you do not create and more importantly follow processes and procedures and have a business plan you are planning to fail.
Inquire About Our Services
Owner Frequently Asked Questions
We do not manage any properties with conditions that will affect the health and safety of a tenant.
Houston Area Information
In August 1836, two real estate entrepreneurs—Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen—from New York, purchased 6,642 acres of land along Buffalo Bayou with the intent of founding a city. The Allen brothers decided to name the city after Sam Houston, the popular general at the Battle of San Jacinto, who was elected President of Texas in September 1836.
Houston was granted incorporation on June 5, 1837, with James S. Holman becoming its first mayor. In the same year, Houston became the county seat of Harrisburg County and the temporary capital of the Republic of Texas. In 1840, the community established a chamber of commerce in part to promote shipping and waterborne business at the newly created port on Buffalo Bayou. From Wikipedia
Areas We Serve
South and South East Houston
- Clear Lake
- League City
- Santa Fe
- La Porte
- Deer Park