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Q: My rental property smells like cigarette smoke. How do I get rid of the fumes?

Q: My rental property smells like cigarette smoke. How do I get rid of the fumes?

Casey R. asks: I just bought a bargain-priced rental property. It’s well-located and has a great floor plan, so I anticipate it will rent quickly. However, the house’s former occupants smoked. How do I get rid of the smell? Rental Agent Guide answers: Ugh. There’s nothing worse than the smell of stale cigarettes, especially when […]

| August 18, 2012 | 0 Comments
Q: Should I use email to communicate with tenants?

Q: Should I use email to communicate with tenants?

Perry T. writes: What do you think about using email as a primary means of communication with tenants? I like the idea of automatically having a written record of what has been said, but are there any downsides to email, or things I should watch out for? Rental Agent Guide answers: Email can be a […]

| November 10, 2011 | 0 Comments
Q: Should I keep rent stable for a good tenant?

Q: Should I keep rent stable for a good tenant?

Ellen M. writes: I have a tenant whose lease is ending in a couple of months (yes, right in the middle of winter, terrible timing.) The rental is a cute, two-bedroom house in a popular neighborhood, where demand for rentals has increased substantially since she moved in. Based on the current market, I think I […]

| October 31, 2011 | 0 Comments

Rental Agent FAQ

What can a rental agent do for me?

What can a rental agent do for me?

Rental agents typically handle a wide variety of tasks for their clients, using their expertise to avoid common pitfalls, save money, and maximize profits. Common tasks rental agents handle include: Pricing rental properties: An experienced rental agent will put his or her deep knowledge of your specific local market to work in pricing the monthly rent […]

| October 21, 2011 | 0 Comments
Is there a difference between a “rental agent” and a “property manager”?

Is there a difference between a “rental agent” and a “property manager”?

Many people use the terms “rental agent” and “property manager” interchangeably. However, it’s possible to hire a professional to handle just the leasing of your rental property and not the ongoing management. It makes sense to refer to someone who handles “leasing only” as a “rental agent” rather than as a “property manager.” But no […]

| October 21, 2011 | 0 Comments
Should I use a rental agent, or go DIY?

Should I use a rental agent, or go DIY?

For most rental owners who aren’t making careers out of being full-time landlords, the decision to use a rental agent is an easy choice—most people simply don’t have time or expertise to deal with all the aspects of renting out their vacant home or apartment. From finding and screening tenants, collecting rent, and keeping up […]

| October 21, 2011 | 1 Comment

Rental Stories

A Tale of Two Tenants

A Tale of Two Tenants

If you don’t think you need a rental agent to help you manage your rental property, consider these two tales of trainwreck-y landlord/tenant relations from the archives of the personal finance blog Get Rich Slowly: 1. The tenant who cost his landlord over $13,000 in lost  rent over a broken air conditioner.  When this duplex […]

| October 25, 2011 | 0 Comments
Rental Owner Interview: Reggie Brown

Rental Owner Interview: Reggie Brown

Seattle landlord Reggie Brown has owned his two current rental property for approximately five years, and owned small properties “on and off” for more than a decade. RAG: In your view, what are the most important factors in maximizing a rental  property’s cash flow? RB: The big keys are stable tenants and timely maintenance to […]

| October 22, 2011 | 0 Comments
Rental Agent Interview: Tony Strobel

Rental Agent Interview: Tony Strobel

Rental Agent Guide got in touch with Tony Strobel, a rental agent with Lori Gill & Associates, a Seattle-based property management firm, to learn more about his role. RAG: How did you become a rental agent? TS: I’d been working as a sales agent since 2000.  In 2008 I was in trouble with my personal […]

| October 18, 2011 | 0 Comments