Owner Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why should I use a professional to manage my home?
  2. Can I choose to disallow pets, smokers, large families, etc.?
  3. Do I get monthly statements?
  4. What is the leasing process?
  5. How do you do lease renewals?
  6. How long does it take to lease my property?
  7. When you find residents for my rental home, how do you qualify them?
  8. How quickly does Blue Heron Realty process the monthly rents and statements to property owners?
  9. How often and how are property inspections conducted?
  10. What if I want to sell my property, can Blue Heron Realty help?
  11. How are rental collections handled?
  12. Who handles problems late at night?
  13. Why should I choose Blue Heron Realty?
  14. How are repairs dealt with?
  15. Can I get my statements on line?
  16. What do I need to do to list my property?
  17. How will my property be marketed?

  1. Why should I use a professional to manage my home?

    While the reasons our clients choose professional management vary, here are some of the key reasons many people elect professional management over self-management:

    • We handle maintenance and emergency repairs, allowing you to sleep at night.
    • We enforce collection of rents and serve the proper notices upon failure to pay.
    • We understand and apply the correct federal, state, and local laws, keeping you and your investment out of trouble.
    • We know the local market, have an extensive network of contacts, and have advertising resources available to us at discounted rates. This allows us to effectively market your vacant home to prospective residents to get it filled.
    • After you add up the increased rent we can often command, the discounts you'll receive on advertising, and the company rate we get on repairs, you'll often make more money than if you managed the property yourself!


  2. Can I choose to disallow pets, smokers, large families, etc.?

    We comply fully with the Fair Housing Act. This means that you can not choose to disallow anyone that is a member of a protected class under the act. You can choose to disallow pets and not permit smoking in your home, but you cannot deny a service animal. If you have additional questions on the specifics of the Fair Housing Act, please see our
    fair housing page.

  3. Do I get monthly statements?

    Blue Heron Realty, our property management software is the top internet based property management software in the industry.

    1. You will receive a monthly computerized report showing all income and expenses of your rental property.
    2.  After deducting management fees and repairs an owner check is generated.
    3. The check is electronically deposited in the owners account. Arrangements can be made to mail the check if desired.
    4. You will receive a year end summary statement for your tax purposes showing all of your yearly income and expenses and categorizing said income and expenses.
    5. You will to receive an email with instructions on setting up on line access to your monthly statements.
    6. During the last month of a tenants lease, We will hold funds in your trust account to protect you by ensuring that adequate funds are available to make your rental home "rent-ready", thereby ensuring faster lease ups and less vacancy time. 
    7.  We will make every effort to collect rents in a timely manner . Any late fees will be retained by Blue Heron Realty to offset the collection process.


  4. What is the leasing process?

    1. *We will place our attractive "Home For Rent" yard sign on your property,  prior to any known vacancy, or immediately if you have just listed your rental home with us.
    2. *We will advertise your vacant property on the World Wide Web. We contract with a national company which places are rentals on assorted paid rental sites. Our Property management program feeds our rentals to various free and paid sites. We also place our rentals on AHRN which is the military housing site for both the Navy base and TAFB as well as the local MLS within our company web site at : www.blueheronrealtypc.com
    3. * We will schedule showings of your property 7 days a week to all prospective renters until your rental home is leased.
    4. *All rental applicants will be subjected to:
      1. A credit report on each adult rental applicant.
      2. An eviction search of the Florida panhandle public records to ensure that the applicant has not been evicted in the preceding 7 years.
      3. A verification of applicant's former landlord's references.
      4. A verification of the applicant's employment or income.
      5. A Florida "Criminal Back Ground Check" if deemed necessary.
    5. * We will lease your property at the asking amount of rent, (as outlined in your management agreement with us) or higher. * we will not lease your property at a lower amount, without first obtaining your permission.
    6. * Once the rental applicant process is approved, we will complete and execute the lease agreement and give the residents possession of your rental home.
    7. * We will conduct a "Move-In" property inspection and complete our detailed property inspection data sheets of your property
    8. We will notify you that your property has been leased. A copy of the lease agreement is available, once all parties have properly executed it and the residents have taken possession.


  5. How do you do lease renewals?

    1. * We will attempt to renew the residents lease at least 60 days prior to the anniversary date of their lease agreement.
    2. * We will renew the tenants lease for another year at the same or at a slightly higher amount of rent, if possible. We will not renew the lease at a lower amount, without your specific permission to do so.
    3. * We will place our home for rent sign and begin showing the property for lease as outlined in the leasing section above, in the event that the current tenants are not renewing their lease.
    4. * We will renew the residents lease agreement, or re-rent your property to new residents, unless We have a written directive from you not to renew the lease or re-rent the property.


  6. How long does it take to lease my property?

    At Blue Heron Realty, our average time to lease your home on the rental market varies depending on market conditions, hoWever in recent years it has averaged less than 30 days! This is because We begin marketing your rental home the moment it becomes rent ready, or as soon as the current residents give us their 60 day notice of their intent to move out.



  7. When you find residents for my rental home, how do you qualify them?

    We strive to provide you with the caliber of residents that you want in your rental property. This includes:

      1. A complete national credit report on each adult resident.
      2. A Panhandle court search to see if the applicants have ever been evicted in the past 7 years..
      3. Verification from their former landlords.
      4. Verification of their employment.
      5. A Florida "Criminal Back Ground Check" on each adult applicant, if deemed necessary.

    In addition to the normal financial qualifications, We always try to accommodate the housing needs of our residents to ensure the home they rent is convenient to their work, shopping and desired school district. This will help to ensure that they will remain happy residents and remain longer in your rental property.



  8. How quickly does Blue Heron Realty process the monthly rents and statements to property owners?

    We pride ourselves on quick turnaround of your rents and statements. We offer "Electronic Direct Deposit" to your bank account. Rent proceeds are deposited into your bank account on or before the 15th day of each month.  Statements are sent via email.



  9. How often and how are property inspections conducted?

    When your property is vacant, We generally inspect it each Week.

      1. The next inspection is done prior to the residents moving in. This is know as the "move in" inspection, where We detail the condition of your property on our move-in inspection form. We also generally video tape the move in inspection.
      2. We inspect the exterior of our properties on a periodic basis and We also conduct other inspections when requested, or if We determine that checking the property out is warranted.
      3. Within 90 days after the residents move in, We contact the residents to ensure that all is Well with your property and your residents.
      4. Between the 10th & 11th month of the residents lease, We discuss with the residents their intent to renew their lease for another year. If they are not renewing, then We advise our leasing staff to ensure that We are able to get the home re-rented quickly with little or no vacancy.
      5. When the residents move out of your property We do another detailed inspection known as the "move out" inspection. The move out inspection is done to ensure that the residents returned the rental home back to us in the same condition as when they first rented it. If damage is found, then We impose a claim on the Tenant's security deposit as required by the Florida Landlord/Tenant Laws, (F.S. 83), if no damage is found, then We promptly return the security deposit to the former residents.


  10. What if I want to sell my property, can Blue Heron Realty help?

    YES, Blue Heron Realty has licensed real estate agents to sell your property. For information on how We can help you sell your property, call us manager at (850) 215-9442



  11. How are rental collections handled?

      1. All rents are due on the 1st of each month and late on the 5th of each month.
      2. All residents who have not paid by the 5th of each month receive our first notice, a friendly reminder, placing them on notice. We also attempt to reach them by phone.
      3. Any remaining residents who have not remitted their rents by the 6th (or 7th, if the 6th is on a Weekend) will be served between the 7th and the 9th with the legal prerequisite paperwork to file an eviction against them, should they fail to remit the rents due.

    NOTE: All of the above items are included at no additional cost to you as a service provided by Blue Heron Realty.

    While it is doubtful that an eviction will ever be necessary, as We at Blue Heron Realty carefully screen all prospective tenants, occasionally financial hardships do arise requiring our prompt collections attention.

    Should it be necessary to file an eviction We then perform the following steps:

      1. The above three items are performed by our firm.
      2. All paperwork, (including, but not limited to) copies of the lease, and our notices served upon the resident are forwarded to the court to proceed immediately in filing the eviction action.

    Most evictions are settled without ever going into court. Should a court appearance be necessary, We cannot appear for you.



  12. Who handles problems late at night?

    Our property managers take turns being "ON CALL" to handle late night calls from our residents. Many times We solve problems right over the phone avoiding what might have been an additional maintenance expense



  13. Why should I choose Blue Heron Realty?

    In a word, "Experience". Our customers know that, "Our people make the difference". We believe that the key to our success is in the personal relationships that We have developed with our customers over the past 25 years. We are here to serve you and your residents. At Blue Heron Realty We will work to earn your trust.

    If you have a residential rental property in Bay County Florida, there is no better choice for your investment and peace of mind, than Blue Heron Realty.

    Our People Make The Difference



  14. How are repairs dealt with?

    At Blue Heron Realty, We believe that it is a conflict of interest for us to profit from the misfortunes of others. Therefore, We do not assess a surcharge or make a profit of any kind from maintenance & repairs to our property owners for their properties.

    However, rental homes must be properly maintained in order to preserve the value of the property and maintain a positive relationship with the residents. Florida also has laws that require landlords to comply with certain basic maintenance and repair items.

    1. * Blue Heron Realty will not effect repairs to your property in excess of $350.00, without first obtaining your approval. NOTE: This excludes repairs deemed by manager as emergency repairs or repairs that are required to be effected to bring your property into compliance by law, governmental building, zoning, safety and municipal codes, or the restrictive and protective covenants of your homeowners association or repairs that in managers sole judgement are necessary for the safety of the tenants or your property. Manager shall proceed with these repairs and bring property into compliance, subject to funds being available in property owners account.
    2. *If your property is vacant, We will effect items necessary to improve the property's show-ability to prospective renters. This means faster lease ups and less vacancy for you. Examples would include: lawn service, carpet cleaning, maid service, pool service, utilities and painting when necessary. In the event that any of these repairs Were due to the former rental residents tenancy, * We will spend all of their security deposit first (not your money) to put your property back into it's pre-rented condition.
    3. * We will institute minor maintenance & repair items ($350.00 or less) as requested by rental applicants to secure a lease to quality residents for your rental property. To avoid the possibility of major liability to you We also change the locks between each tenancy.
    4. * During the residents tenancy, We will institute minor maintenance & repairs ($350.00 or less) when deemed by us to be necessary for the preservation of your property and/or the continuation of the residents tenancy, usually occurring at the renewal of their lease. If the property owner provides manager with third party service contracts or maintenance warranties then manager shall contact said provider for covered repairs, otherwise, manager shall assume that none exist.
    5. * We will only use repairmen, vendors and tradesmen that are properly licensed and insured to handle the type of work being performed on your property.
    6. * We keep the original invoices of all repairmen, vendors and tradesmen employed to effect repairs on your property in your file. Copies are available upon request.


  15. Can I get my statements on line?

    We are always looking for ways to improve our business so we can provide you with the best service and manage your properties efficiently and effectively.    We have invested in a new property management software called AppFolio Property Manager (www.appfolio.com) and wanted to share just a few of the benefits that we will be able to pass on to you:

     

           We can respond faster and provide better service to both owners and residents.  AppFolio is web-based so we can securely login and access information about all properties at any time and from anywhere.

           Owner statements can be delivered to your email inbox, saving time and paper too.  The statements are very simple (see attached) and provide you with a quick snapshot of your property details for the past month.

           We address property maintenance issues faster.   We use AppFolio for electronic work orders and communication with vendors so we quickly solve issues.   At your request we can email you a copy of the work order and relevant information at the time of completion, giving you real-time updates.

           You will be paid faster and more securely. We are able to use the ACH functionality to deposit funds directly into your bank account.

           We can more effectively market your properties and fill vacancies sooner.  AppFolio allows us to quickly advertise vacancies online, posting to our website, the Internet and Craigslist.org.   

    We thank you for your business !



  16. What do I need to do to list my property?

    A. Call our office to set up an appointment.

    B. We will view the property and recommend a rental rate.

    C. We will review the Property Management Agreement with you.

    D. You will need to provide us with keys to the property, warranty information, insurance information, and items to be included in the rental.

        1. You are not required to leave a washer and dryer in your rental unit. We do ask that you provide a refrigerator.

    E. We will take pictures and begin marketing your property.

    F. We ask that you leave the electric on when you vacate the premises. You may disconnect the water and gas.

     



  17. How will my property be marketed?

      1. A For Rent sign will be placed on your property once your current tenant submits a 30 day notice to vacate or immediately if you have just listed your property.
      2. Internet
        1. On our web page
        2. MLS ( public can now search for rentals)
        3. AHRN ( military housing site)
        4. Assorted Rental sites on the WWW
      3. Newspaper- we currently advertise in the local Newspaper,  The Free Papers   available throughout town and Military news available on TAFB and NAS.
      4. We currently run ads in both the Real Yellow Pages and the Talking Phone Book. They also provide us with additional internet advertising.


 

Blue Heron Realty
429 S Tyndall Parkway Ste. F, Panama City, FL 32404
Phone: 850 215 9942 Fax: 850 215 9943
Email: blueheronrealty@att.net
Licensed in Florida


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