Hecht Property Management, LLC

Call Today!  704-489-9949

Fax  704-631-3493

Is it time to hire a Property Manager?

The staff at Hecht Property Management would like to thank you for considering us as your rental representative.  Below are some questions we would like to suggest that you ask any company you are considering for managing your property and to explain our process.
How long have you been in business?
We have observed that during the difficult real estate market that has persisted since 2008 many agents feel they are now qualified to be property managers.  This is most likely an act of financial survival for them and not based on a real interest in this area of expertise.  When the market improves they will most likely again be sales agents.  We encourage you to ask about their experience and familiarity with NC Landlord Tenant Law and how they stay updated on changes to this law.
Some companies have added a property manager to recruit listings currently for lease with the understanding that when you are frustrated by the rental process you will list your home for sale.  They may even operate this department at a loss but to what result for you? We are a full time property management company with over 30 years of experience.  If you are ready to sell your property, we will advise you on your landlord/tenant responsibilities and you may choose a sales agent or we will be glad to refer you to someone we know will represent you well.  We are members of the NC Association of Realtors Property Management Division, monitor all changes to the Landlord/Tenant Act, and maintain errors and omissions insurance that is tailored to our business.  This insures that you are always in compliance with laws that could financially affect your liability from a tenant.
How much will it cost to manage my property?
The fees a company charges are always a major factor to take in consideration.  Make sure you understand the total cost. Are there hidden fees that will increase the overall expense from 8% to 12% or even 15%? Ask about hidden repair fees, charges for visits to the property, mandatory new CO detectors fees, HOA hearing attendance surcharges, start up fees, advertising fees, etc.  Read your management contract closely, some companies won't let you out of you agreement years later if the tenant doesn't move even if they are mismanaging the property.  Be on the lookout for unsavory maintenance markups.  We recently had a customer switch to our company when the found out that their previous property management company was entitled to a 10% mark up or $500 on their new $5000 AC system. 
Is there a member of your staff available 7 days a week?
Everyone needs some down time, vacation time, and family time.  It is important that your property manager have a method of covering these times or your property may be exposed to unnecessary damages or not available to potential tenants.  Our team of five property managers and three office staff ensure that someone is available to answer questions and deal with emergencies 7 days a week/365 days a year.
How do prospective tenants see my property?
Some companies allow prospective tenants to pick up a key and enter the property alone only secured by a credit card or driver's license.  At Hecht Property Management a qualified broker/realtor accompanies each showing.  We do this because we do not think it is safe to give out your key to a stranger.  He/she may return it to retrieve the license/credit card but there is nothing to say they did not go by Lowe's on the way and make a copy of the key.  This meeting also gives us the opportunity to meet the prospective tenant and hear questions or complaints they may have about the property.  Their general demeanor may influence the decision to rent to them.

Co-operation with other agents is a big part of our business.  Your home will be listed in the Western North Carolina Multiple Listing Service (MLS) making it available to over 7100 realtors and real estate professionals from Asheville to Charlotte and every in between.  We make it easy to show your property by installing a supralock on the property.  Agents call Centralized Showing Service to make an appointment to show your property to clients and use a realtor access key to gain entry.  They do not have to contact our office to set up an appointment, pick up a key or call the current tenant to gain access as this is all handled by Centralized Showing Service.  This service maintains a record of who shows your property in case any questions arise.  If the process of showing your property is cumbersome an agent is much less likely to show the property so we ensure that all agents can easily show your property.
How can my tenant pay rent?
It is also important to know how a company interacts with your tenant.  Is the process for paying rent or reporting repairs clear and established?  At Hecht Property Management a tenant can create a tenant portal that allows him/her to pay rent online by ACH transfer from his/her account to ours, report a need for a repair, track the progress of the repair, and see an account balance.  Tenants also have the option to pay rent via credit card with the cost of such payment being assessed to the tenant not the owner.  The ability to come by at the office or by mail is also available.

Late and slow payments are also a part of this business and no amount of screening can prevent them.  Therefore it is important for a company to have a late payment/eviction process.  Ours is as follows:  Tenant payments are due on the 1st and considered late by midnight on the 6th day of the month.  Late notices are sent at this time and include a late fee.  You are copied on this notice to make you aware of the situation.  Most tenants bring their accounts current before or by the 20th of the month.  Our property managers make final collections calls towards the end of the month and decisions are made on evictions unless the tenant(s) make approved payment arrangements.  Due to the size of our company, we have partnered with an attorney to handle evictions for a flat fee of $65-$75 plus court costs.  Their experience in both proper filing and court proceedings result in a timely and positive outcome almost every single court appearance. 

The accounting software we use automatically reports payment history to the credit bureau.  This serves two purposes:  If a tenant wants to rebuild their credit it will reflect well that the bills have been paid in a timely manner.  If a tenant is constantly late  it will reflect in the rent report which is pulled when screening a new applicant. Since many people are now trying to rebuild credit this becomes an incentive to pay on time.
Will you do a credit and background check on an applicant?
Tenant screening is something everyone says they will do.  The question is do they do a thorough job of it?  It is important that every effort is made to know as much as possible about an applicant before writing a lease.  A thorough job upfront often makes the entire lease period go more smoothly.  Our effort includes screening credit, criminal, and landlord eviction history.  It also includes speaking with employers, past landlords and references.
What if a repair is needed at my property?
Unfortunately from time to time repairs are needed.  We try to make this as painless as possible.  Tenants can call us or submit a repair request online.  Our software program allows us to generate a work order, assign a contractor, and track the job all the way to completion and payment.  All emergency repairs will be handled immediately.  For non-emergency repairs we contact you based upon your instructions during the initial set up of your property.  All repairs are contracted out.  Your misfortune is not a profit center for our office.  We know it is our job to procure the most reliable repair at the best possible price.  When a company has an in house repair service they have a vested interest in using the service regardless of ability which creates a conflict of interest.  That employee also needs to keep working which in turn may affect the amount of repairs your property receives.  The second method we have seen companies use with regard to repairs is to hire outside companies, transfer the bill to their letterhead, add 10 or 20% and send you the bill.  This increases your cost.  With Hecht Property Management you will receive  a copy of the actual invoice and will be billed for the contracted amount only.
The decision of which company to go with is often made on price alone but the old adage of "you get what you pay for" is very true.  Do not be fooled into paying too much for too little.  I have been running a property management company for 20 years and know if you are charging less than we do, you are cutting corners somewhere or acquiring income in some other less obvious means.  We pride ourselves in good customer service to our owners and tenants and make efficient use of our resources.  We look forward to possibly working with you. Please don't hesitate to call our office if you have any additional questions.  704-489-9949.

Doug Fisher
Broker-in-Charge/Property Manager
Hecht Property Management