Prospective Client FAQ
Get answers to your pressing questions.
What are your fees? Allowing a third party to manage your investment property may create some anxiety and questions. Here are some questions that are frequently asked of us by new clients. If you have questions that
are not addressed below, please feel free to contact us.
What are your fees?
To see a list of our typical fees, please click on the property type that corresponds with your property on our website. However, generally there are two fees we charge owners, fees for leasing and fees for management. You can hire us for either or both.
The leasing fee is a fee that is charged to screen and place a new tenant and is charged every time a new tenant is placed. The other fee that is charged is a management fee. This is the fee to handle the management of the property- everything from move-ins to move-outs and everything in between such as repairs, maintenance, inspections, collection of rents, paying bills, complaints and emergencies. Some fees are paid directly to Umano by the tenant such as lockout fees, violations, etc. per the terms of the lease. Unlike other property management companies, we don’t charge a fee unless the tenant pays—so we don’t get paid unless you get paid!
Do I need to pay for the marketing of my property?
There is no cost to the owner for the marketing of the property for residential owners. We pay for signage, flyers, online ads, and various other marketing services. We typically do not put the properties on the MLS, since very few real estate agents have renters, and few properties are advertised for rent there. For owners of larger multi-family and commercial, we will typically pay for all “outside marketing.” These properties, however, will be taken on a case-by-case basis.
Who does the actual marketing of my property?
We will be the responsible broker for the marketing of your property. Your property will receive professional tools and marketing expertise.
Does it cost anything to put my property up for lease?
No, we are paid a percentage of the monthly lease payment once we have secured a tenant.
What do I need to do to prepare a property to be rented?
Tenants expect all major systems to be operating condition, all health and safety issues to be addressed, and the property to be ‘move-in’ ready. This may include painting, carpet cleaning, interior cleaning and minor repairs.
Who pays for repairs and maintenance during the tenant’s stay?
The owner is responsible to pay any costs for repairs or maintenance related to the property. We typically will hold back an agreed upon amount for repairs and maintenance to ensure the property is up kept and items are fixed within a timely manner. Any charge above upon that amount would need to be approved by you as owner. We will typically obtain multiple bids from contractors, or leverage our volume discount with our vendors, to ensure you are getting a fair price for any work that needs to be done.
How does Rainmaker Management Group determine the monthly rent amount?
In order to make sure you are getting the best rent possible, our Georgia property management team will perform a detailed analysis of the current rental market. This allows us to compare your rental property to other properties that are similar which helps us identify the appropriate rent range for your investment. Things that we take into consideration would include how many bedrooms and bathrooms, age, square footage, location, appliances, etc. We also take into consideration upgrades like hard wood floors or granite countertops, but we have found that these types of improvements do not usually increase the value but instead only help the property lease out more quickly. Once we have identified the rent range, we then contact you to discuss what your starting rent price will be.
How are the tenants selected?
We pride ourselves in our tenant screening process. Our search for the most qualified tenant begins with the initial tenant phone call or walk-in from our marketing efforts. We will not send a tenant to your property who has not been through a prescreening process. This will determine if they meet the lease requirements of the prescreening before even applying for the property. If they have viewed the property, the next step is filling out our detailed rental application. We use a third party vendor to do the screening though they do follow our strict criteria we have set for tenants. All important factors are verified such as income, employment, credit worthiness and past landlords, and criminal check. By following these steps we can obtain the best-qualified tenant for your property, and thereby minimize your risk.
How much security deposit do you collect?
Landlords and management companies in Georgia usually request one months’ rent towards the tenant’s security deposit. However, we will charge more if they have qualification issues.
How do you respond if a tenant pays their rent late?
Step 1: Rent is due on the first. If rent is not received from the tenant by the third the following steps are followed.
Step 2: Our property management team will try to make contact with the tenant either by phone or email to discuss why the rent payment is late.
Step 3: We will initiate the eviction process around the 8th of the month starting with at 3 Day Pay or Quit. The three business days starts once it’s received by or delivered to the tenant. There may be delays in processing this notice based on weekends, holidays, or if our property management team has been in contact with the tenant and are actively working on a payment agreement.
Step 4: If the tenant does not respond within the three business days, our property management team will attempt to make contact with the tenant to discuss the past due rent.
Step 5: If we are unable to get a hold of the tenant or they are uncooperative, our property management team will contact you and request and eviction from the court. We hire an attorney to assist with the eviction in order to make sure that the process is carried out correctly. Procedural mistakes or poorly written legal documents can result in delays to the eviction process.
Step 6: The tenant will be served a notice that an eviction filing has taken place and that an initial response is required.
Step 7: During the initial response, the tenant will be given an opportunity to contest or state their claim. Once served the tenant will have 7 business days to answer. If the tenant does not respond, then the court will issue a default judgement granting the eviction.
Step 8: If the tenant responds to the eviction, we will be informed by the court when the hearing date is where a judge will allow both the tenant and landlord an opportunity to speak. Based on the information provided, the judge decides if they will grant the eviction. It may take a couple weeks before the hearing date will be set.
Step 10: If the judge grants the eviction, a legal notice will be sent to the tenant informing them that they will need to vacate the rental property.
Step 11: The eviction lockout will be performed by a sheriff, locksmith and eviction team. Anyone who may be at property will be required to leave, property removed and the locks will be changed.
Step 12: Once the eviction lockout is complete, we will get the new keys from the locksmith.
Step 13: Our property management team will go out and evaluate the property once the keys have been received. We will be able to determine if the property needs any repairs and/or cleaning.
Do you offer discounts and lower management fees?
Rainmaker Management Group is committed to exceeding your expectations with our innovative team in hopes of developing long term relationships. To accomplish this, we must provide exceptional service without making sacrifices in quality that is often found in other companies practicing property management on Georgia. Common problems that exist in the industry includes poor communication, erroneous or unexplained spending, and overlooking the small details.
Our management fees are based on the overall cost to manage a property in order make sure that we are providing you with the best service possible. However, we do offer discounts for high-end or luxury rentals starting around $3,600 per month and investors with multiple properties or communities.
Why is there a minimum reserve balance?
As your property management company, we will need to retain a small reserve to cover expenses which could come up during the month while we are waiting for the tenant to pay their next month’s rent. It can also be used towards small expenses while the rental property is vacant like utility bills or advertising expenses.
Are management fees charged on vacant properties?
Management fees are only charged when a lease has been secured, depending on the selected service.
Rent is due when?
Tenants who are on Rainmaker Management Group’s lease agreement will be required to pay rent each month by the 1st, late after the 3rd. There are certain cases in which rent may be delayed such as those participating in section 8 or tenants who receive some form of government aid in which we are legally obligated to grant them additional time.
What is the significance of trust accounts and why do you use them?
Trust accounts are FDIC insured accounts specifically designed to hold funds on someone else’s behalf. Georgia law requires Companies specializing in property management to use trust accounts when processing money that belongs to tenants or property owners. Owners managing ten or more of their own property are required to use trust accounts. These funds are usually only held for specific purposes as detailed in our management and lease rental agreements. Money and rents held in trust accounts will be used only according to the terms within the agreement between the all parties involved.
For example: Rainmaker Management Group will hold onto the tenant’s deposit with a separate trust account until a tenant moves out. During this time, the money still legally belongs to the tenant, however, we are holding on to it as a form of collateral to ensure that the tenant adhered to the terms of the lease rental agreement. When the tenant moves out, we must then return the deposit to the tenant after making any appropriate deductions based on the terms of the lease agreement.
When should I expect my monthly rent distributions?
We understand the importance of processing payment to our property owners as quickly as possible. This is why Rainmaker Management Group is committed to initiating disbursements in a timely maner and is typically deposited around the 10th or 11th depending on weekends or holidays. This is to provide our property management team sufficient time to process the rents that are received, pay any outstanding bills and invoices, as well as preparing monthly financial statements. Please note that it may take several business days before the funds are deposited into your bank account
How quickly can you find me a tenant?
There are three major components that factor into how quickly a property will rent out; condition, location, and the rent amount. Properties that are in great condition and priced correctly should be leased within two to three weeks. If a property is vacant longer then this time period, it usually means we need to adjust the rent price and possible make some additional improvements to the property depending on the condition.
How can I pay repair bills and other charges like the management fee?
When renting a property through Rainmaker Management Group, we use the income from monthly rent to pay expenses that you may incur. In some cases, we may ask the owner to provide us with money to pay for expenses if the monthly rent amount is not enough to pay for all the charges or the property is vacant. This does not happen very often and normally only comes up during larger repairs such as installing new flooring.
A benefit with using our management services is that we have established great working relationships with some of the best vendors available in the area.
Another way to pay for larger repairs is using a credit card. A few of our preferred vendors accept credit cards. For those who don’t, you can use a credit card to fund your account with Rainmaker. This is a great tool for our property owners as you can not only stretch out payments for larger repairs, but you can also take advantage of credit card rewards that you may be signed up for. Please do note that there is a credit card processing fee.
Can you explain the move-out process?
The tenant and owner are required to supply a 60 day written notice of their intent to vacate the property. When a notice has been received to vacate the property, a document will be sent to the tenant providing them with instructions on what they should do during their final days in the home.
- The tenant must pay rent for their last month which may be prorated depending on their move-out date and lease termination date.
- We require the utilities to stay on in their name for three days after their move out.
- The tenant is required to have the carpet professionally cleaned.
- We ask the tenant to thoroughly clean the property:
- All doors, trim, and baseboards
- Draperies, blinds, windows, and window screens
- All Appliances
- Ceiling fans and light fixtures
- Water fixtures such as sinks, faucets, bathtubs / showers and toilets
- Countertops and cabinets
- Face plates and protective covers around outlets, light switches, etc.
- Sweep garages floors, porches, balconies and lanais
- The tenant must leave the yard in good condition:
- Trim and prune bushes and shrubs
- Remove trash and debris from the yard
- Pull weeds
- Cut and trim the grass
- Repair damage caused tenant:
- Patch larger holes in the walls
- Replace batteries or light bulbs that may have gone out
- Clean or replace air filters
How do you process maintenance service requests?
We understand the importance of preserving your investment which is why Rainmaker Management Group has made it easy for tenants to place a service request. When a tenant notices something that may need attention, they can notify our office quickly through our website. Before submitting a request the tenant is directed to diagnose the problem with our common problems section. If they are not able to resolve the problem, they will submit a request. Then we will work with some of the best repair technicians available and have them assess the problem. If it’s a small repair, we will have them repair it then to avoid any further inconvenience to the tenant and, more importantly, help save you money on additional trip charges. If it’s a larger repair, we will request an estimate from the technician and submit it to your for consideration.
In the event of an emergency, as a property management company, we are required to act immediately. During these rare occasions, our goal is it minimize your risk and expenses and our team will keep you informed every step of the way.
Why should the property be cleaned professionally prior to a tenant moving-in?
One of the biggest deterrents when leasing out a property is cleanliness. If a rental unit is not very clean, it will not show well and leave the prospective tenant with a bad impression. People often associate cleanliness with maintenance and a home that feels or looks dirty also comes across as not being well maintained. A clean home can make a huge difference in the amount of time it takes to lease out a home, the quality of the tenant, and the amount of rent you receive.
Another important reason to have your investment cleaned professionally is that it helps establish a standard that the tenant must then follow. One way to look at it is that it’s a onetime investment. Once it’s done, the tenant is supposed to return it in the same clean condition. If they don’t, then our property management team can use a portion of the tenant’s security deposit towards a professional cleaning service.
Why do you recommend investors to consider pets?
There are many landlords who will not allow tenants to have pets in their rental property which inadvertently makes it harder to locate a home for tenants who have pets. There are a lot of tenants, especially in Georgia, who have pets. Just by letting prospective tenants know that you’re open to considering pets, it expands the total number of potential tenants who may have interest in leasing your property.
Why does Rainmaker Management Group not show a rental property until its move-in ready?
Our Georgia property management team has determined that the best approach to lease out a property quickly and to a well-qualified tenant is by making sure the property is in great condition before showing it for rent. Presentation and perception are extremely important when leasing out property. If someone gets the wrong impression because the rental unit is not quite ready, then it can easily turn them away.
Alternatively, someone who may apply for a property that is in need of repair may have lower standards. This could mean that they will not maintain the property as well as most other tenants could prove to be more costly in the long run if they don’t maintain or report problems with the property.
Why do I need to have Rainmaker Management Group added to my landlord insurance policy?
As your property manager, we have vested interest in your rental property. By listing us on your insurance policy, it extends your coverage to help protect us, on your behalf. As you are required to protect us, acting as you Manager, it is the most prudent act and ultimately protects your best interest. This is required for all of our clients.
When do I receive my yearly tax paperwork?
Our property management team prepares all of your year-end tax paperwork by the thirty-first of January each year. We know how important it is to file your taxes early so we have made it our goal to process this information for you as fast as possible. We will provide you with:
- Annual income statement
- year-end financial statement
- 1099 tax form