Sound City Realty FAQ
We do not get paid until we collect funds from your tenants or guests on your behalf. The work to prepare the condition of the property for rent, marketing, vetting, and securing the tenant is our investment in the long term. Some companies charge owners 100% of the first month’s rent to rent a property because an owner might want to “take it from here” once it’s rented. Property management is about ongoing relationships, not a month to month commitment. By securing a tenant with a high tenant stability profile (TSP) it not only earns your trust, it is our goal for your property. Finding happy tenants who will be accountable to your property with our extensive lease and polite but firm rules and regulations.
Our fee is a percentage of all non-refundable fees (like pet fees, cleaning fees, application fees, and of course, rent) for long term property management. We do charge a pre-leasing fee to place a fully screened and vetted tenant into your properties. All repair expenses and management fees are not marked up, any expense for repairs and labor are fully disclosed on your monthly Owner Distribution profit & loss statement. We find that securing the right tenant is one of the most important decisions we all will make….because we don’t get paid until you get paid. (We do not collect a percentage of refundable fees like tenant Security Deposits, those are placed in a separate account used only for the purposes of holding tenant security deposits).
We use the same philosophy with our short term rentals as our long term rentals…our short term rental fee is 20% of the non-refundable guest fees collected (nightly rent, pet fee, cleaning). The nature of short term rental/AirBnB management looks a lot less like traditional property management and more like hospitality management. The short term rentals are set up as a small business and guest comfort and satisfaction are our goal. These rentals are furnished with everything from beds and sofas to coffee and dish soap. Setting your property apart to gain repeat business and 5 star reviews are our top priority. This vigilance creates more visits to the property, more shopping on your behalf, more interactions with Guests or potential guest, more escrow accounting, and more follow up and communication in general with past and future Guests. The 20% management fee is reflective of that increased time and hustle on our part.
We keep diversity with the range and scope of our vendors and subcontractors. We feel it helps keep our pool of “go to” guys competitive in their pricing and eagerness to call us back first. We have a variety of licensed and insured interior and exterior vendors and subcontractors who we call on in various trades.
Our company does not mark up any repair invoices or make a profit on top of the cost of the repairs we arrange for your property. When we hire someone to repair your property we include a copy of that invoice to you and we pay the repair company on your behalf. We deduct that exact amount from your rental income in that month’s statement, no extra fee, that’s our job! We are happy to arrange and manage any needed improvements or renovations but will have a project management fee for larger projects and renovations.
The trust account also known as Escrow account is everything to our relationship. We are trusted by you with your property and your rental funds. As a licensed Broker we adhere to the TREC laws of fiduciary requirements and escrow. In addition to the law of our state licensure, we understand that to maintain the level of trust you place in us requires transparency. Our Escrow account is in a FDIC insured non interest bearing account and your balance is available to you whenever you would want to review. Your monthly statements will show all income and expenses collected and paid on your behalf. This statement, along with your distribution each month will arrive between the 7th and the 10th of each month for long term rentals (pending your tenant is timely with their rent payment) The short term rentals are paid every month. Security Deposits are held for the Tenant in a separate security deposit account.
Although we are not lawyers, we are very familiar with the Uniform Landlord Tenant Act (ULTA) and can help you make decisions if a bump in the landlord road happens. With your authority, we can file evictions in General Sessions court on your behalf and follow up on those decisions and deadlines. To avoid this most unpleasant process as much as possible, we commit to finding tenants with an extremely high score on our proprietary Tenant Stability Profile screening. An empty rental or a tenant that is not paying means you don’t get paid and therefore we don’t either. We have developed a detailed application that investigates not only rental history and employment but overall financial health, background and criminal checks. For short term rentals all guests pay in advance through online third party booking sites so there is a very rare occasion there is a problem with getting paid.
We are a management company that is present. We show up in person to represent you and your high standard. This is not a “set it and forget it” relationship. This is us being there for your property, your tenants, and your short term rental guests. In the case of long term rentals, we hand over the property to tenants with every light bulb lit and every HVAC filter changed, and we ask them to continue to keep the property up in the same manner you would. We set expectations, and we show up often to check on the property, and make frequent visits. For short term/AirBnB management we handle all turn-overs with check in/outs to ensure that everything is in place for a first impression.
We show up in person for guests and tenants. We know that relationships and strong communication yield 5 star ratings and happy tenants.
This is where the rubber meets the road with long term rentals. This process can be tricky or super smooth depending on the expectations we have set on the front end with your tenants. We begin communicating with the tenant about their “exit” process at least 90 days prior to the end of their lease. We continue to communicate with them every step of the way explaining exactly how the property needs to be returned to us; clean, undamaged, and ready to re-rent as quickly as possible. We use polite but firm communications about the expectations to guarantee the return of their security deposit. The costs associated with cleaning or repairs should never land on the landlord beyond normal wear and tear. We are here to maximize the chances of that not happening to you.
We are licensed and insured Real Estate Brokers and Affiliate Brokers in the State of Tennessee. We are licensed to engage in the business of buying, selling or renting property in the State of Tennessee. We have over 20 years of experience in buying, selling, renovating and managing property in Nashville. The Nashville short term rental laws and code are constantly changing, we are members of NASTRA (Nashville Short Term Rental Association) and have completed the TREC course required to work with vacation lodging in TN; VLS certification (vacation lodging services) FIRM# 263417 Broker license #290497 Insured by CNA-Rice Insurance Services in Real Estate Services and Property Management.