Frequently Asked Questions
What experience does your company owner have in managing rentals?David and Maria have been involved in Real-Estate and Investing for 40+ years and are fellow investors…therefore, we understand precisely how owners want to be treated. The critical thing to an investor is to be profitable and worry-free. This is our goal.
How many rental units do you manage?
Currently, our company manages around 450 units. We believe in quality over quantity…so that we can maintain high levels of responsiveness to our owners and tenants.
We focus on our specialty which is managing Single-Family Residences such as Houses, Townhomes, and Condos and smaller Multi-family such as Duplexes, and Triplexes up to Ten Units.
Are you currently an active real estate investor in your market?Yes. We are active investors in the Charlotte Real-Estate market and have several rental properties in our own portfolios. We are active members of the local Real-Estate Investor Association (REIA Groups)
Is this your full-time job?
Yes, this is our Full-time job.
You will find that some Realtors do this part-time or on the side and do not have the time, resources, or commitment.
Be careful who you choose if you want PM done right.
How big is your Team?Currently, our Team consists of 16 full-time employees in the office and out in the field to support our portfolio. We also have a large extended team of 3rd party Vendors that we outsource and refer maintenance services.
What professional organizations do you belong to?
Continuing education, compliance & networking is very important to us:
- National Association of Property Managers (NARPM)
- National Association of Realtors (NAR)
- Charlotte Regional Real-estate Association (CRRA)
- Better Business Bureau (BBB) A+ Rating
- Metrolina Real-Estate Investors Association
- Charlotte Real-Estate Investors Alliance
Could you provide a few references to me?
What kind of properties to you manage?
We specialize in single-family and smaller multi-family residences such as:
Single-Family Houses, Townhomes, Condos, Duplex, Triplex, and Fourplex Units up to 10 Units
We do not manage:
Large apartment buildings, commercial property, AirBnbs, short term rentals, or HOAs.
Are you local or national?
TouchPoint is a locally owned and operated Real-Estate and Property Management firm. We emphasize having a more hands-on approach, more local market knowledge, and having more boots on the ground than National or out-of-the-area firms.
The Charlotte area and surrounding markets are our specialties.
Services & Pricing
What are the various services that you offer to your clients?
We are a full-service Real-Estate Firm which means that we can help you buy, sell, rent, manage and repair your rental properties.
Our Rental Services include Tenant Placement, Tenant Screening, Rent Collection, Bookkeeping, Bookkeeping, Financial Reporting, Property Surveys, Maintenance Coordination, Eviction Oversight, and Legal Compliance.
What are the Tenant Placement & Property Management pricing options?
Property Management is 8% of the Monthly Rent with $125. Minimum
Tenant Placement is 50% of the First Month’s Rent
Lease Renewals are $200.
What miscellaneous fees could I be charged for the management of my property?
We believe in having a simple, transparent, and all-inclusive pricing structure without extra junk fees. We do not have a surcharge on repairs or maintenance.
Some companies will try to get you to sign up because they offer a discounted rate upfront. As the saying goes, if it is too good to be true, it probably is. Once you’ve signed up, a company that seemed inexpensive will now charge you lots of extra fees.
Remember, a property management company has to make money and pay for the resources to deliver its service. If they aren’t making money from the low monthly fee, they will find another way to do it.
Are there fees when the property has no tenants?We do not charge any fees until the property is rented unless we are involved in coordinating rehab and rent-ready projects. We start marketing for new tenants 14 days before a tenant leaves to ensure low vacancies
What steps do you take to market properties?We market our properties on the Realtor MLS system and over 100 high-traffic rental websites and signage to guarantee maximum exposure. We use wide-angle lens photography and video tours to make your property stand out.
Do you charge a signup fee?
A $150 Set Up Fee will be charged to the Owner upon taking on a property.
This fee accounts for the Initial Home Survey, set-up of all bank accounts, software, introduction packets, Collect HOA Documents and Questionnaire, organizing with any existing tenants, outgoing tenants, co-operating Realtors, Transfer from Previous Agent Manager, and/or Owner's points of contact to gain access to the home to integrate the home into Agent’s care.
Do you provide payment statements, and if so how often?Yes, On the 2nd Friday of every month, we will send you a detailed owner packet containing an End of Year income-expense report, invoices, receipts, and surveys. In addition, you may access this information 24/7 from your online Owner Portal.
How is rent collected?Our tenants pay their rent through their online tenant portal.
When and how are owners paid?
Rent is collected from the Tenant between 1-5th of the month...or it is considered late.
If it is late, Owners will be notified via email on the 6th of the month.
If a Tenant is late, it is typically no more than 1 to 2 days late, which should not affect the time Owners receive disbursements.
Assuming we have collected rent, we process all of your expense payments to vendors, and then Our Team pays/disburses money to Owners on the 2nd Friday of every month.
Depending on the Owners receiving bank, please allow 2 to 3 business days for the electronic transfer to hit your bank account.
Owners will also be emailed an Owner Packet containing a detailed income and expense statement and copies of all invoices paid.
Do I have to sell my property with you if I want to list it?
Although we would like to earn your sales business…You are not required to sell the property with us.
Most of our customers decide to sell with us when ready to cash out because we are a full-service real estate firm with complete working knowledge of your property and access to the existing tenant.
- We will get your property maximum exposure to buyers and investors by posting on all of the major real estate websites and the Realtor MLS.
- We also have a database of over 1000 national investment buyers who often buy tenant-occupied properties for cash and in As-Is condition.
- Often we can sell your home to one of our other customers as seamlessly as possible for everyone involved.
- We can sell the property while the tenant occupied or vacant.
- If we sell the property on the MLS then our sales commission is discounted to 5%, which includes the buyer's agent commission split
- If we sell to the current tenant, then we discount the price even more to 4%.
How often is my property visited and inspected?
At the minimum, we perform an interior and exterior survey report of the property upon:
- taking on a new property,
- before marketing,
- before tenant move-in,
- following tenant move-out, and
- in the middle of the lease term.
In addition, whenever our Maintenance Technician visits the property, they report the property's condition back to our team.
The goal is to find any red flags, such as deferred maintenance or lease violations, so we can nip them in the bud before minor problems escalate.
How often will I get updates on my portfolio?
Call or email us anytime, and someone will either pick up the phone or respond within 4 hours or less. Depending on how much interaction you want, we will keep you in the loop with all pertinent matters. In addition, we email out owner packages monthly which include property notes and detailed financial and maintenance reports pertaining to your account.
These reports are available 24/7 on our online Owner Portal.
Whenever a maintenance work order is created, you will receive an email notification and updates on the status.
How responsive is your Team?
It is very important to us that we are responsive to all of your questions and concerns promptly. Because the nature of our job requires us to be on the telephone all day coordinating items between owners, tenants, vendors, utility companies, and HOAs...It is challenging to get to every call right away, and at the same time, we don't want you to have to navigate through our phone system and leave a voicemail.
Therefore… The best way for us to communicate is over email. That way, everything is also documented.
To make it easy for you, our entire Team shares one email address which is firstname.lastname@example.org.
So if you have any questions at all… we ask that you send us an email to email@example.com with your question, and we should be able to reply quickly….but keep in mind…. that if you would like a telephone call…. that is not a problem. You can simply send us your inquiry by email and tell us the best time to call you back. This will allow us time to research the matter and call you back at a convenient time to avoid leaving each other voice messages and playing phone tag all day.
Note: Please add this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org to your email "Allowed", “Whitelist” or "Safe List" to ensure that our email doesn't go to your junk mail or a spam folder. Naturally, always check your junk mail if you are expecting an email from us.
In some cases, our Team may send system-generated SMS text message notifications to let you know to expect an important email.
Do you guarantee tenants for any amount of time?
We guarantee tenants for the first 6 to 12 months based on your plan.
Meaning that if we placed the tenant and managed the property and it doesn’t work out…then we will place a new tenant free of charge.
Do you offer rent loss protection?Yes, Up to 2 Months' loss rent
Do you offer eviction protection?Yes, Up to $1000 for Legal Fees
Do you offer Pet Damage Protection?
Yes, Up to One Month's rent
We use Petscreening.com, which verifies the pet's breed, background, and records.
We are so confident in the pets that we place...TouchPoint will pay up to 1 month's rent in pet repairs that exceed the tenant security deposit for pets that we place.
You have the right to choose the type of pet, breed, and size. You can refuse pets but keep in mind that around 70% of today’s renters have pets. So by allowing select pets, you can increase the demand on your property, which helps get the top price in a shorter amount of time.
What is your cancellation policy?
We believe in earning your business on a month-to-month basis. If we are not a good fit to work together, we do not believe in holding you hostage.
Our PM contract terms are 90 days long and auto-renew. That way, you can feel comfortable and confident.. We simply require 60 days' notice of cancellation. There is no Cancellation Fee
How long are your properties typically vacant?
Typically, 21 days or less. We start marketing for new tenants 30 days prior to a tenant leaving to ensure low vacancies. We also have a very high tenant retention rate on average our tenants stay 3.25 years.
Our vacancy rate rarely goes over 2%
In the high demand Spring and Summer Months, it is not unusual for us to place tenants in under 7 days.
In the Fall and Winter when the market is slower it can take a little bit longer.
How many tenants have been evicted in the last year? How often have you had to evict, and what are the steps in doing so?
Because we thoroughly screen tenants and perform detailed background checks...out of 350 properties that we manage we may only need to evict 1-2 tenants that we placed per year. This is a very low ratio.
We do help evict Tenants that have been placed by Owners and other PM companies upon taking over Property Management.
How many days a week are you available to show the house, and at what times?Everyday
What is the average length of tenancy?
Our belief is that the better we take care of the property and the tenant's needs...the longer the tenants stay.
At the current time...Our tenants stay on average 3.25 years
Our standard lease is 12 months.
How long on average does it take to fill vacancies?In the Spring Summer market...Under 14 days in many cases less. In Fall Winter when there is less demand under 21 days
How long is your contract?
We believe in earning your business and do not want to hold you, hostage, if we are not a good fit.
Our contract terms are 3 months and auto-renew and you can cancel with 60 days' notice with any penalty.
That way you can feel comfortable
How do you determine rent amount?We use 3 different data sources to create a detailed comparable rental analysis report for you. The report will show rent values and days on market for similar properties in the same area that have been rented or are currently on the market over the last 6-12 months. We make it a point to compare apples to apples to help you decide on the best rental price that will open the market vs narrow the market.
What are your income and screening requirements for applicants?
Rental screening requirements:
- Government Picture IDs
- Employed with a verifiable household monthly gross income of at least 3x the rent
- Credit Check:
- 600 or higher (Pass)
- 575-599 (Conditional) Requires increased security deposit of 2 to 3 times the monthly rent
- 540-574 (Higher Risk) Requires double security deposit and qualifying cosigner
- 539 and below (Automatic Denial)
- 60 days’ recent pay stubs
- 2 years Income Tax Return and 3 months’ bank statements for self-employed
- Good references and verification from current & previous Landlords
- No evictions in the last 3 years
- Evictions within last 3 to 5 years require balance paid off and higher security deposit
- No Felony Conviction record within 7 years for any of the following:
Murder, Manslaughter, Assault, Robbery, Rape, Child Molestation, Kidnapping, Arson, Manufacture, Delivery, the sale of Illegal Drugs, or Possession with Intent to Deliver
- No Registered Sex Offenders
- Good attitude and ability to cooperate during the screening process
How do you collect rent from tenants?Our tenants pay rent through their online tenant portal which pulls money directly from their bank account or their bank card. This is very convenient for them and for us because payments clear our accounts quicker.
What control do I have over the tenant placement and lease agreement?We do allow for owner input. Keep in mind, we have been doing this for a long time and have executed thousands of successful leases...Our screening process and lease agreement is extremely comprehensive and designed to protect you….so we encourage you to leave this to us and depend on our experience.
How do security deposits work?Typically, security deposits are equal to one month’s rent in some cases more. The deposits are held in our secure trust account. When tenants move out we inspect the home and withhold anything above and beyond normal wear and tear. The money is credited to you to be applied towards maintenance and repair if necessary.
How are pet policies handled?
We use a service called Petscreening.com that verifies the pet's breed, background, and records.
We are so confident in the pets that we place...TouchPoint will pay up to $1000 in pet repairs that exceed the tenant security deposit for pets that we place
You have the right to choose the type of pet, breed, and size. You can refuse pets but keep in mind that around 65% of today’s renters have pets. So by allowing select pets, you can increase the demand on your property which helps in getting the top price in a shorter amount of time.
How many days a week are you available to show the house, and at what times?Every day.
Do you allow Owners to be involved in approving the Applicant?
We do not for a few reasons
The goal is to follow a proven system and set of checklists...to remain objective vs subjective and to avoid mistakes and liability
1-We have systems in place that work to better serve you. We do this day I and day out and have a screening process that we do not deviate from to ensure success and decrease liability.
2-We also want to protect you and us from Fair Housing Lawsuits that can easily result in not following our system verbatim for everyone. And also sharing sensitive screening info with Owners
3-Here is a link to our screening parameters. And if we approved the applicant...that means that they have passed and that's all that is necessary to avoid liability and avoid making statistically bad judgment calls
4-We haven't had to evict a Tenant that we placed in over 1.5 years using our system
5- You chose us for a reason. Because you felt that we can manage your property effectively...which we will do as long as we follow our systems and procedures.
Furnished vs Unfurnished?
Unfurnished properties appeal to the masses and will have higher demand. They will rent quicker and have less vacancy and decreased liability. Traditional tenants have their own furniture and want to bring it with them.
Furnished properties appeal to non-traditional tenants who want short term leases. They can potentially rent for a higher price but are in less demand therefore you may experience higher vacancy rates, increased tenant placement cost and increased liability to your personal property.
TouchPoint PM leases are typically 12 months and don't appeal to short term tenants that want fully furnished properties.
Do you Inspect the property and how often?
Below is a list of the Property Condition Survey Reports that TouchPoint PM performs on your rental property to ensure that your rental is preserved and kept in top condition
- Property Intake Condition Survey Report
- Pre Move-In Condition Survey Report
- Annual Mid Lease Term Condition Survey
- Post-Move-Out Condition Survey Report
Do you mark-up maintenance and repairs?
Our team ensures that all prices do not exceed industry and local market area averages
Our licensed and insured maintenance technicians and vendors are a good balance of fair price, dependability, reliability, responsiveness, and quality work.
How is it handled when there’s maintenance or an issue caused by a renter?
Tenant contacts us, we respond within an hour, we first try to resolve the problem over the phone where possible and if necessary dispatch one of our maintenance techs to resolve the issue.
If any maintenance issues are above and beyond normal wear and tear or tenant misuse then the Tenant will be responsible for the bill.
If it is a matter of normal wear and tear, we pay the bill out of the collected rent on your behalf, and you get a detailed accounting report, copy of the invoice, and follow up.
What is our HVAC filter changing policy?
At the Tenants, expense, we mail them HVAC filters to the home each quarter and they are responsible for changing them.
Our lease requires the Tenants to change the filters at least every 90 days. Tenants are advised of the benefits of changing the filters and that if filters are not changed, they can be held liable for HVAC Service and Repair costs.
When we do onsite property condition surveys, we check to make sure that they are changed. If not, we change them at the expense of the Tenant.
This process ensures that your HVAC system will be well maintained and have a longer life
How is lawn maintenance handled?
The tenants are responsible for basic lawn care. In cases where a property has high-end landscaping, We will manage the lawn care on behalf of the tenant and simply bill them for the expense
If the tenant is not taking good care of the lawn we will take over at the tenant's expense To ensure that you do not have HOA or municipal violations
Do you work with Home Warranty Companies?
Yes, we will work with our home warranty company however we advise against purchasing a home warranty as they do not cover what you expect and they take far too long to complete repairs….Which causes lease compliant issues for our customers.
Because the warranty companies are very slow to resolve issues...We have measured that Tenants stay longer in properties that do not have Home Warranties. This means less vacancy and rent-ready expenses for our customers that do not have warranties.
We will not use home warranty companies in maintenance emergencies as they too long to respond and resolve the issues.
Are you open to using the Owner’s Repair and Maintenance Vendors?
Yes, as long as they comply with our quality standards.
Our customers find that by using our maintenance technicians and vendors the process is more efficient and cost-effective in the long run and that is what you want.
How do you handle Utilities?
- While a property is vacant, Owners are responsible for utility costs. When the Property is Occupied…., the tenant is responsible for utility activation in their name and cost.
- When you turn your property over to TouchPoint PM. If your utilities are already activated in your name….then leave them on in your name until the tenant moves in.
- If they are not activated in your name when you turn your property over to us, don’t worry about it; we will activate them in our company name until a tenant moves in.
- When a tenant moves out, TouchPoint will activate the utilities in our name while vacant until a new tenant moves in.
- Before moving into your property, the tenant will be responsible for activating all utilities in their name and paying the bill.
Late Pays and Eviction
How do you handle Tenants that Pay late and Evictions?
Our approach towards late paying Tenants and Eviction is more of a preventative approach...meaning that we emphasize a very thorough screening process on the front end and approve only highly qualified renters that can pay their rent on time so we do not have to evict.
If these circumstances do arise here, our approach to mitigate the problem:
Rent is due on the 1st and late after the 5th of the month. By default, on the 6th of the month, we send out a "10 Day Demand Notice" to all late paying tenants, which is the first step in the eviction process. Typical most tenants pay only a few days late, and we do not need to evict them.
If we do not receive the rent within 10 days, then we file an eviction with the court.
We outsource our evictions to a local eviction attorney to ensure that it is completed as efficiently as possible. Our Team will oversee everything from beginning to end.
A typical eviction takes 60 days and in many cases where the tenant does pay up, we are able to collect legal fees from the Tenant and stop the eviction.
The cost of evictions varies depending on the scenario...but typically costs the Landlord $300-$1000 and includes.
- Attorney fees
- Court Costs
- Filing fees
- Occupancy checks
- Meet the Sheriff and locksmith for lockouts.
- Survey the property and coordinate all steps to make the property rent ready again.
- Send Tenant’s account to collections and or small claims court.