GENERAL OWNER QUESTIONS
What types of properties do you manage?
We manage Single-Family homes, Townhomes, Duplexes, Triplexes, FourPlexes, and Multi-Family Apartments up to 30 units. We also manage Home Owner Associations (HOAs).
In addition, we manage Commercial Office Buildings, Commercial Office Space, Commercial Industrial Space (Bulk Warehouse and Flex Industrial), Commercial Retail, Shopping Centers and Strip Malls.
What types of properties do you not manage?
We do not manage Medium and Large Apartment Complexes that require onsite staff and management. We don’t manage Mobile Home Parks, Manufactured Communities, or Special-Purpose Housing which targets a particular population segment such as student housing, senior housing and subsidized (either low income or special needs) housing.
We also do not manage Heavy Manufacturing or Light Assembly Commercial Buildings. We also do not have experience in or manage Hotels, RV Parks, or Special Purpose Commercial Real Estate such as churches, self-storage, large shopping malls. We do not manage single tenant buildings for retail such as pad sites (banks, restaurants, anchors) located within a shopping center unless we manage the entire shopping center.
Are you licensed?
We are licensed Real Estate Agents in Utah and Arizona. We also belong to:
- The National Association of Realtors® (NAR)
- Utah Association of Realtors® (UAR)
- Arizona Association of Realtors® (AAR)
- Salt Lake Board of Realtors® (SLBR)
- Washington County Board of Realtors® (WCBR)
- West & Southeast Realtors® of the Valley (WESERV)
- National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM)
- Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)
- Utah Apartment Association (UAA)
What experience and credentials do you have?
Derek M. Seal, Designated Broker/Owner, RMP®, CRS, CCA
At the age of 22, Derek developed a love for the real estate industry. In 1993, Derek sold and managed his first rental. Since that time Derek has represented thousands of clients from the individual to large banks and institutions like the FDIC. Derek has won numerous awards from Rookie of the Year to being nationally recognized by the National Association of Property Managers in 2019.
Derek opened a property management division in 2009 when there was a large need for accidental landlords not being able to sell their property and needing to rent their homes. Derek’s experience helped hundreds of owners save their homes, reduce the impact of the recession and weathered one of the most difficult times in the real estate industry.
In 2019 Derek was awarded the Residential Management Professional Designation, (RMP®).
In 2020, Derek will be awarded the highest level of NARPM a Master Property Manager MPM® designation and also the Certified Residential Management Company destination (CRMC®). Less than 1% of companies earn the CRMC designation, as it requires Auditing, Education, and more than 500 Unit Years of Experience. Derek’s company is the first in Utah and one of a handful in Arizona that have this coveted recognition.
Derek is the President of the Utah Chapter of the National Association of Property Managers(NARPM), South Regional Ambassador of NARPM, Board Member of the Utah Apartment Association and a member of IREM.
What is your Monthly Management Fee?
We evaluate every property and charge a fair fee to cover the costs to manage the property to our minimum standards. The actual cost to manage properties will vary depending on the type and location as well as the number of properties an owner has.
Owners should be cautious about any property management company that quotes the same fee to everyone. Costs to manage properties will vary depending on the size, type or location of the property.
Our management fee is a percentage of monthly rents with a minimum of $80 per unit. Residential properties generally will run between 5-8% per month. Commercial properties will run 2-5% per month.
We would be happy to prepare a free, no obligation quote for us to manage your property. Please contact us for details.
What is a Leasing Fee and/or Marketing Fee?
In addition to a monthly management fee, many property managers will charge a leasing or marketing fee. Sometimes this fee can be equivalent to one month’s rent in addition to the monthly management fee.
Depending on the management plan you choose, we either include any leasing fees in our monthly management fee or charge a reasonable fee to cover the cost of preparing the lease, screening tenants and scheduling and showing the property to prospective tenants.
Some companies increase their leasing fees to cover marketing costs, however our experience has shown that there may be more costs upfront to lease a property but not necessarily on going. This is why we have separated our Marketing Fee from our Leasing fee. Our marketing fee is $150 and covers the cost for professional photos. Professional photos help lease the property faster and reduce vacancy costs which means more money for the owner. We don’t charge this fee each time the property is vacant. Typically this fee is charged only as needed.
How do I know you won't spend my money on large repairs without my approval?
This is one of the greatest fears of most new owners and we promise in writing never to do that! In our management agreement owners authorize up to $350 for residential and an amount agreed upon with commercial properties. Ordinary maintenance and repairs of less than $350 are paid out of your account and you will see this on your monthly owner’s statement.
The only exception to this rule is a repair that (1) threatens the health or safety of a tenant, (2) the property will incur damage if immediate action is not taken, (3) in instances where there is only one option to consider. We will not leave a tenant waiting in 90++ heat without A/C or without hot water, or a leaking roof while we try to contact you for permission to do the obvious.
Can I go by and view my property?
Yes. We do recommend that you schedule your inspections around the time of vacancy but with about a week's notice we can arrange to have a property manager accompany you to inspect the property. We recommend that owners inspect their property every 2-3 years.
Often the trip to inspect the property may be tax deductible - please consult with your tax advisor.
How soon can Maxfield Property Management start managing my property?We can start today! Contact us to begin the process. We guarantee an easy process whether you are self managing or have another company managing the property. We handle all the details - all you need to do is reach out to us to begin the process.
MANAGING THE MONEY
How is rent collection handled?
We believe that making several forms of payment available to tenants reduces late payments and possible defaults. Maxfield Property Management gladly accepts payments by mail or online through our online portal.
For convenience, we allow tenants to pay ECheck, Credit card or cash at any 7-Eleven or CVS pharmacy with our PaySlip™ program.
Who holds the security deposit and how much is it?
The security deposit is the tenant’s money and a guarantee to honor the contract terms. As such, we hold all tenant security deposits in a separate trust account that is approved by the real estate department for the state where the property is located. Generally security deposits are one month’s rent. Sometimes we will ask for more deposit if a tenant does not meet our standard qualifications.
If you are self managing your property and hire us to manage your property, we will ask that you send us the security deposit to be held in trust.
What is a Security Deposit Bond?Occasionally we will have tenants who wish to pay for a security deposit bond in lieu of placing a deposit. We have accepted these types of security for many years and they work great. As the owner you are still protected as if we were holding a deposit.
Do you charge last month’s rent?We never charge last month’s rent. We would rather increase the deposit as it allows us to use the money for any lease term rather than just for “last month’s rent”. Secondly, if a landlord renews the tenant at a higher rate, typically landlords do not collect the difference and the last month’s rent will not cover the increased rent. Lastly, we want to avoid any confusion with the tenant as to what monies are for what purpose. Deposits are to guarantee performance and rent is rent.
When do I get my money and owner statement?
We process owner payments around the 10th of each month. If the 10th falls on a weekend or holiday you will receive the money the next banking day.
You will also receive your owner statement on the 10th which includes all income and expenses for the accounting period. If you owe money for repairs or other items, we ask that you bring your account current by making an Owner Contribution through your online portal.
How do I get my money?
We pay all owners through direct deposit into any bank or savings account of their choice. Owners may also update their account information in their owner portal.
Owners who wish to receive paper checks by mail may not receive their funds until the 20th of the month and may incur a small processing fee per check.
What bills will you take care of getting paid for me, related to the rental property?
Under our normal property management programs we will pay your lawn service and any other bills or invoices generated as a result of repairs, utilities or services to your property we initiate. If you receive such bills please forward them to billing@MaxfieldRents.com and we will make sure they are paid and reimbursed accordingly.
We do not manage third party contracts or relationships such as home warranty, maintenance or utility agreements and will work with owners who have these in place.
Under our Asset Management option, we will pay any bill that is received by us including HOA fees, Mortgage, or Insurance Payments on your behalf. The benefit of having us manage your asset under this arrangement is that your accounting will be all in one place and that tax time will be a breeze for you and your accountant.
What will I receive with my owner statement?You will receive your owner statement, cash flow copies of invoices and repair bills with your owner statement.
MANAGING THE TENANT
What do you do to qualify a tenant?For more than 10 years, Maxfield Property Management has successfully vetted thousands of applicants, signed hundreds of leases and has had an eviction rate of less than 0.1 percent which is better than 99.99% of all property management companies.
What is the duration of the lease?
Leases are typically for a 1 year period. However, exceptions are made based on demand and peak rental season cycles. The best time to rent property varies by state, region and even neighborhood.
For each property we manage, we analyze the supply and demand ratios for different times during the year and design leases to renew or expire during peak seasons to reduce vacancy costs for our owners.
For example, if a property becomes vacant between November and February, which is not during peak season, we may shorten or extend the lease duration to ensure that the property becomes vacant at the best time to minimize vacancy.
What happens if the tenant does not pay rent?Our basic philosophy is if someone doesn’t pay, they don’t stay. Rent is typically due on the 1st and late on the 2nd. We remind tenants to make payment, and also notify them of any payments not made on time. If payment arrangements cannot be made to bring the account current quickly, we will serve a Notice to Pay or Quit and notify you, the Owner, no later than the 7th of the Month.
What should I do if the tenant contacts me?
We prohibit tenants from contacting owners as this is a red flag. Tenants are like kids and sometimes they are not happy with a decision we have made and try to circumvent the communication or go ask the “other parent”.
Owners hire us to take care of the day to day management of their property. If a tenant reaches out to you directly, simply redirect them to our office and let them know that we handle all the management issues. Also please let us know and we will reach out to the tenant to resolve any issues.
MANAGING THE PROPERTY
How often do you inform me about my property?We believe that you hire a property manager to manage the property for you, not to assist you in managing it yourself. We offer 2 levels of service: Professional Management and Asset Management. With both levels of service we don’t pester you with small details, questions, information or “updates” about your property or tenants, except for those matters which will have a significant impact on your monthly cash flow. Instead we simply take care of the things you have entrusted us to handle on your behalf. Our Owners sleep well each night knowing that their property is being well cared for.
Under your system of property management, how informed will I be about my property?
Our general rule of thumb is this; if something has happened, or is about to happen, that will disrupt your ordinary monthly cash proceeds by more than $350 per repair not total invoice; we will let you know about it.
An example would be that we receive a 30-day notice from your tenant, and therefore a turnover, along with related expenses, is pending and we want you to be informed and prepared for it.
Another example would be that your A/C unit has failed during the middle of a hot summer; we have determined that the 12 year old compressor needs replacing and have initiated the work to replace it. We will call to let you know what has happened and the expected financial impact on the following month's statement.
Aside from any special considerations unique to you or your property, our rule of thumb is this: If something may cause a potential interruption in your ordinary cash flow (loss of tenant or major repair), we will let you know about it right away. Otherwise non-emergency items will be notated in your monthly statements.
Of course, we encourage you to contact us anytime you have a question or wish to discuss something. If you are a worrisome owner that wants to be informed of every little thing, our style of management is probably not for you.
How do you handle maintenance requests?
Tenants submit maintenance requests through their online portal. For emergencies tenants may call, text or email the property manager.
After we receive the maintenance or repair request, our maintenance coordinator or property manager will call the Tenant and troubleshoot the item before dispatching a technician. We make sure it isn’t “user error” to avoid any unnecessary service fees. Once we determine that the service request requires a technician, we will dispatch the appropriate vendor to correct the problem.
We handle most maintenance requests within 1 to 3 business days. Comfort items such as air conditioning, no hot water, no heat or water damage receive our highest priority and are usually responded to the same or next business day.
As part of our No Surprises™ Guarantee we also notify you when a maintenance request has been submitted and we have dispatched a technician.
Do you use the cheapest maintenance or vendor you can find?
We use vendors who are the best value and are competitive in price, competency and reliability. Unfortunately many vendors look for ways to increase the scope of work or scare the tenant into thinking items need replacement when a repair will solve the issue. For this reason, we have developed a little black book of preferred vendors and technicians who are trained on how to work with tenants and to only service items that are approved.
Our preferred vendors are also trained to report back the condition of the property - something that most vendors will not do. We match the right vendor to the right job. For example, if a service technician can replace the sink faucet at $60-75/hr we would not send a plumber who would typically charge $125-150 per hour. This saves you money.
Do you mark up normal maintenance and breakdowns?
No we never markup normal maintenance and breakdowns like many other property management companies.
Older properties or properties that have not been maintained over time have more breakdowns or maintenance requests. It's not fair for one group of properties to subsidize the cost for coordinating these requests for a group of properties that may require more maintenance.
For this reason we charge a flat $25 maintenance per work order. If you have a well maintained property you may see 1-2 maintenance work order fees charged whereas a property that needs more TLC may see 4-5 per year. This fee covers the costs to have a dedicated maintenance coordinator schedule, inspect, and follow up on these requests.
What if I want to do the maintenance?We allow owners to perform their own maintenance or have anyone perform maintenance on the property when a unit is vacant. When the property is occupied, for liability purposes, we only use our qualified, insured and licensed vendors.
What if I want to use my plumber or A/C Company, etc?
We are always looking for good vendors and would be happy to invite them to join our preferred vendor list if they are qualified and insured. We cannot promise that a specific vendor will always be dispatched on service calls to your property, but we will do our best to accommodate your request once your preferred vendor has met our requirements.
If you have a vendor that you would like to nominate or have approved, please email their information to us at: info@MaxfieldRents.com and we will get them our vendor packet, interview them and verify they meet our requirements.
Our primary concern is to always resolve problems in the shortest and timeliest way possible, with the best vendor available. Our professional reputation is built largely upon how we handle maintenance issues and we strive to continually lead the industry in this area.
I want to use a Home Warranty for all covered repairs is that ok?
We prefer that owners do not buy or use Home Warranty Companies for their rental properties. Warranty companies are slow to respond to tenant requests, often do not approve repairs and have poor satisfaction ratings with consumers.
We recommend that owners self insure, setting aside a reasonable sum each year to cover the routine maintenance and finding reliable contractors to do the work.
We recommend that owners set aside 1-2 months (depending on the age of the property) each year for repairs and capital improvements.
Home Warranties make sense when an owner is trying to sell a property and give buyers some peace of mind as well as reducing the risk of being sued for a covered item breaking down after the sale.
My rental property has a pool or spa. How do you handle maintenance?
We typically require tenants to maintain the day to day items such as chemicals and water levels unless the tenant is not maintaining the pool or spa to our minimum standard. If the tenant fails to maintain these features, we will hire a maintenance company and charge back the tenant for this maintenance.
Owners are responsible for the overall system under normal wear and tear. If you have more questions, please contact us.