Letter From The President

anthony pics 001Property Management is the cornerstone of your rental house portfolio. To truly be a passive real estate investor, you have to select a property management team. This is not easy as different companies provide different services and have an array of fees, some seen and many hidden. Most companies use one year leases and charge a half month renewal fee every year if the tenant stays. They also charge a fee on top of every repair or when a property has to be rehabbed. The hidden fees come in the way of discounts they obtain from the various contractors and service providers they use. Another big difference lies in the way they obtain tenants and the due diligence that is done on them prior to tenant placement.

  There are no short cuts to property management. Pity the “penny wise pound foolish” investor that makes his selection based on the fees. These decisions should be based on results only as they impact your rate of return and more importantly, your safety.

Clearly at the end of the day, the only thing that counts is how well the communication is between owner and manager with the emphasis on realized expectations.

Currently, National ERA Servicing manages over 400 properties with 95% of them located in the Atlanta Metropolitan area. We’ve been adding a  minimum  of 10 houses per month in 2013 and have added several key individuals to facilitate improved reporting, tenant management, lease ups, video for investing and inspection reports.

Our property management system is unlike every other property managers out there and candidly, we select whom we will manage for and whom we will not.

Our investors come from 6 continents and have become very accustomed to our tried and true results. Are we satisfied? Never!

We constantly modify and change procedures to deliver the results you, the owner expect.

Our collection rate has improved to over 95% this year as a result of all the changes we’ve made.

Different seasons of the year require a much more aggressive approach to property management. For example, we rented of 30 houses in July this year and in December of 2012, we rented 9. That’s’ why we have our lease expiration end at the end of May or August as these are the easiest months to rent houses.

By managing exclusively for BCFP, we are able to access their 9 full time crews at their cost. Not only does this keep your cost of any repairs to a bare minimum, it allows us to complete turnovers in 1-10 days.

With hedge funds putting so many houses under rent, we must act differently in a competitive market. We are still getting similar rents as we were in 2012 because we only manage for owners who are committed to keeping their properties in great condition. Candidly, our houses are beautiful.

You can easily view the type of properties we are managing for you and others by going to our “tenant friendly” website at www.GotOurHome.com. Click on the rent to own properties and see for yourself the latest properties we have for rent.

I encourage you to take a few minutes of your time and read the other articles in the newsletter as they will explain your contact person within our newly aligned structure and provide you important information about the success of our recently launched Landlord Protection Plan (LLPP).

 

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and your family.

Anthony Salmeri

President

National ERA Servicing Inc.

Your Specific Contact Person

phone1NES continuously focuses on scalable growth with cost efficiencies to better serve our owners. Thus, we have added staff and have modified the way for you communicate with us.

The following personal should resolve any situation that occurs and for redundancy purposes, we prefer you to only contact the person that is best qualified to answer your question.

The preferred way to communicate is by email and these are typically responded to twice per day, early morning or in the evening.

It is impossible for any person on the team to drop what they are doing to answer a question at any given moment. Phone calls should be reserved for emergencies only. As the staff must remain focused on their task at hand.

Elsa Mastascusa – Elsa is involved with the reporting of all money and expenses for owners. If your question is about a report, quarterly distribution, property taxes, Home Owner Association fees (HOA), then contact her at Elsa@buycashflowproperties.com. For emergencies only (813) – 435-1551 extension 1002.

Jill Fox – Jill is the closing coordinator for the Buy Cash Flow Properties (BCFP). All questions related to your upcoming closing and Home Owners Insurance should be directed to Jill@buycashflowproperties.com. For emergencies only (813) – 435- 1551 extension 1023.

Anthony Salmeri – Inquires about the status of your property, repair expenses and new properties to purchase should be directed to asalmeri@nationalservicing.com. For emergencies only (877)–803–2078.

Anthony’s phone number should be used in Extreme Emergencies only as his oversight overall other managers on the team is why you are so successful.

The NES Difference

nesIn this article I am going to cover the most important aspects of our management system that separates us from all other property managers.

The areas of interest for you are as follows:

1)   3 year lease

2)   Option to buy

3)   Due diligence on tenants

4)   Master Lease with owner

5)   Landlord Protection Plan (LLPP)

6)   Tenant Protection Plan (TPP)

7)   Common Sense and long term relationships

3 Year Lease

  The biggest expense of property management is turnover. The more often tenants move out, the more it cost the owner by way of lost rents, rehab cost, new fees to the property manager and time. We take a psychological approach to management and increase your cash flow by keeping tenants longer without the need for fix up on an annual basis. Most property managers want a 1 year lease and most get half of the first month’s rent for renewal or a full month rent for a new tenant.

Option to Buy

  With every 3 year lease, we give the tenant an option to buy their home for the same reasons we use a 3 year lease. It’s psychological. Some will buy and most will not. We look for a tenant that wants to be in your house for as long as possible to reduce turnovers. If they decide to buy, it will be at a price significantly higher than you paid. Don’t worry about income taxes or finding a replacement house. If you bought with retirement account funds (IRA or Solo 401k) there are no taxes. If you bought with personal funds or a corporation or an LLC, we can assist you with a 1031 exchange and no income taxes will apply to your sale.

Due Diligence on Tenants

  This is a big one and can be the beginning of the end for many investors. We have a full time person that only works on tenant applications. Every potential application is then reviewed by me, Anthony prior to their approval. We do all the usual due diligence on the applicants most recent landlords, personal references, verification of employment and income and credit background check.

We also visit their current residence and see how they are living. We inspect it for bugs, pets, junk automobiles and talk with the neighbors if appropriate. Large management companies don’t do this as it takes a lot of time. We want to make sure that they can vacuum the carpets, cut the lawn, maintain the shrub beds and keep the property in the same condition the property is in at the time of rental. If they don’t have vacuums, lawn mowers and hedge trimmers, they must hire out these services and whenever possible we want them to use our crews. At minimum, we want to know who is doing it and have their contact information.

    For the same reasons, we always have at least one of the neighbor’s phone numbers so in the case of late rent or if your tenant is not maintaining the property or acting right, we can call them or they will call us.

  And yes, we will still get fooled from time to time as tenants could lose their jobs, get transferred or die. It’s the part of the business that we refer to as human element that is outside of our and your control.

Master Lease with Owner

Most property managers use a long drawn out property management agreement that requires an attorney to review. Our master lease is simple and easy to understand. You get 90% of the rent collected, pay one full month’s rent upon rental and a 6% commission on the sale which includes a reality agent.

If a tenant renews their lease in three years, you pay a half months’ rent.

Landlord Protection Plan (LLPP)

We created the LLPP to increase the safety of your investment. In addition to providing safety, there are cost cutting measures by potentially reducing property taxes and lower homeowner insurance cost. It provides you with three inspections per year that could not otherwise be done with an interior and exterior check up on the property. As a freebie, we also guarantee zero eviction cost for that year, should you ever need to evict a tenant.

Tenant Protection Plan (TPP)

The only way to make the LLPP be financially feasible is to offset the cost with the tenant. All new tenants must pay $200 a year for the TTP while each investor pay $399.

Besides the extra income from the TPP that allows us to afford the provided services, it is psychological.

The tenant knows that inspectors are coming and they know we are not their average property management company.

They realize we expect the property to be maintained in excellent condition and more important, we are checking on the house and on them.

This is part of the NES difference that separates us from other property management companies.

It’s also why we won’t manage houses for investors that don’t appreciate how important the psychology is with the tenant and the safety this program along with the LLPP provides them.

Most investors that are cheap and want to negotiate everything to the lowest price usually screw themselves up.

Tenants have to be trained and the TTP is critical to that training.

Common Sense Approach and Long Term Relationships

  Did you ever hire a cheap contractor? If you did, you realize that it’s less expensive to make repairs properly the first time.

It’s like the repairman that fixes the ceiling leak without checking out the roof. He didn’t solve anything.

Property management is my life. I love what I do and am excited to wake up each day and be productive.

Every procedural change we make is so we can offer our owners exceptional service that they can’t get anywhere else.

In essence, we use common sense in our decision making with the ultimate goal of delivering the best service possible to the owners and the tenants.

It’s a difficult business at times and we understand the financial intent you have in the US. We will always make the best decisions possible for you to mitigate losses and increase revenue.

Last month we got $5000 option money upfront for an owner. Why? Because we asked for it.

We had one owner’s property taxes reduced over 40% as a result of our real estate tax appeal program with the LLPP.

We had a hail storm a few months back. Due to the fact that we allow owners to be on our master insurance policy: one owner pocketed over $8000 on an insurance claim.

The fact that we don’t ever markup repair fees for any of the contractors provided to us by BCFP will save you of dollars over the time you own your cash flow houses. And eventually, your house will need some type of repair if you hold it a long time.

You know why? Eventually tenants move out and the property needs repair. Since you bought your house from www.buycashflowproperties.com, that allows us to use all of the repairmen and rehab crews and they don’t make any money off of this. Why? Because they appreciate your faith in them and they understand the value of a long term relationship. We have to systematic everything we do for cost efficiency for you.

By using 3 year leases, you have less t and turnovers. By utilizing the LLPP and our due diligence on tenants you will make more money over time.

As we continue to grow, we want you to grow with us.

If you have a friend or coworker that wants to buy cash flow houses, BCFP has offered to pay you the property management fees for 1 year for every house your referral buys.

 

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you

The NES Team

Landlord Protection Plan (LLPP)

inspectionOffered Exclusively by National ERA Servicing, LLC. This plan grew out of our desire to increase the safeguards for all investor’s properties. It allows us to afford you with three inspections per year which allows us to gain access to your house to do a detailed inspection of the property and the occupants.

Really it gives you an inside look at how your tenant behaves which allows us to take a proactive modified approach with specific tenants. It will help us determine in the future whose rent gets raised, and by how much, and allows us to re-set boundaries if tenants are failing in their responsibilities.

Let’s face it, tenants are people and people are not immune to problems. We just don’t want their problems to become yours. We’ve also added some very intelligent benefits for you in hopes of providing you additional peace of mind with your investments. This plan consists of three inspections per year, approximately every 4 months, and you will be provided a report, which includes pictures of the exterior and interior of your house, along with the inclusive list of services below.

  1. Air Conditioning filters changed every 4 month
  2. Pest review and exterior treatment included
  3. Smoke detectors inspected and batteries replaced
  4. Four pictures of all exterior angles of the house and 1 or more interior pictures
  5. Eviction Guarantee – you never pay a dime for evictions
  6. Annual real estate tax review and appeal (see attachment below)
  7. Allow you to have homeowners insurance on our master policy which allows you the greatest discounts and excellent coverage.

This is the first year we have implemented the LLPP and it prevented much large problems from occurring. In one of our investor’s houses we were notified by the inspector that the place was not clean. We inspected it and the owner agreed with us to evict the tenant. This could have gotten much worse if we didn’t have the report and in the end, it saved the investor money.

The tax appeals themselves have more than made up for the cost of the LLPP for many investors.

Once we file an appeal, the taxes can’t be raised for 2 years. So even if we don’t win, we lock on the current assessment for 2 more years.

Look at the attachment below which have some of the early results in and you see the benefit our investors are getting.

In the year 2013, we made the LLPP optional and about 60% of our houses are under the safety of this plan. In 2014, it may become mandatory. We want to keep the cost below $400 for everyone and cost efficiencies comes with volume.

The link below demonstrates real reports obtained this year by our investors.

No kidding folks, the safety of your investment is important to us.

As we continue to deliver the services you expect, we also endeavor to change, modify and tighten up internal procedures to always do what is best for you.

If there is ever something you are unhappy about, contact me direct at: asalmeri@nationaleraservicing.com.

Why Tax Appeal is so Important

tax billReal Estate Investors Increase Cash Flow by Appealing Your Property Taxes

For most of the last decade, property tax assessments increased year over year with the rate of appreciation. Local municipalities structured their annual budgets around projected increases in revenue from gradual hikes in property assessments. Much like real estate appreciation, you could bank on property taxes increasing to keep pace. However, in 2008 as the market came to a screeching halt, local municipalities didn’t necessarily follow suit. Even in 2011, as it became  clear that the depressed housing market was not going to recover any time soon, many municipalities continued to assess property values at inflated values more indicative of pre-recession levels.

I have found that for most of the properties I purchased as investments, the property taxes are assessed for much higher than my investment value. With so many local governments struggling to cover budgetary needs, it makes sense that they want to squeeze as much revenue as they can out of homeowners. However, as a real estate investor, I want to make sure I am not being held responsible for more than my fair share.

For most investors, cash flow is calculated based on income minus expenses – where real estate taxes are simply a line item on the expense side of their profit and loss statement. While this is indeed where it belongs, I believe many investors don’t take their time to question their property tax assessment or research what it would take to appeal the assessment. Most jurisdictions have a formal process for appealing a given assessment. Whether it’s a 30 day window or a 120 day window after assessments have been made, homeowners almost always have the ability to appeal the assessment provided by the municipality. While some investors may choose to hire a consultant or attorney to handle the appeal, I have found that most jurisdictions have a fairly straight – forward process for appealing an assessment without the need for help.

In most cases, property tax assessments are inflated as a result of legacy data (i.e. values that reflect old real estate data). The simple way to appeal this would be to either obtain an official appraisal or provide the appeals office with a list of comparable sales near your property that reflect a lower price than your current assessment. If 5 similar homes in your neighborhood are assessed for an amount lower than yours or recently sold for less, chances are you have a good case for an appeal.

Another common problem with tax assessments is inaccurate data regarding the property itself. It’s actually amazing to me as I often find the tax record conflicting with the actual property. Whether it’s an inaccurate number of bedrooms or an inflated square footage figure, it’s important for investors to understand how the tax assessment is being calculated.

Most investors are careful to buy properties that meet their cash flow objectives. They carefully calculate mortgage payments, hazard insurance, property taxes, vacancy rates, maintenance costs, etc. in an effort to maximize the cash flow on a given property. However, many don’t take the time to analyze the possibility of a reduction in property taxes. Cash Flow goes up as expenses, such as real estate taxes are reduced. With the inaccuracy of property data and the inflated values many jurisdictions still have on the books, investors should be careful not to miss and opportunity to increase returns by reducing their tax assessments.

My company is on retainer for National ERA Servicing for appealing the real estate taxes for the clients they serve. We are still early in tax appeal season and I have already had real estate taxes reduced as much as 42%.

We take great pride in our work and were able to negotiate a tremendous discount for our service as a result of the volume of tax appeals.

 

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you

 

Jeff George

Sr. Property Tax Advisor/Analyst

KLM Property Tax Solutions