the industry should get a grip on the websites it uses, be diligent in calling people back...get the outdated listings off the sites you use, many have been left on for WEEKS not days....finally, I am suggesting if you cannot do this ..return calls promptly and work on the professionalism.
stop using excuses..poor service is just that....poor service
Did you happen to notice that the question that you answered is over 3 years old? Also, the rental market is on fire here in Alpharetta. We have leased 10 properties in the last 10 days at rental prices 5% to 18% higher than last year. We are down about 30% in available inventory compared to this time last year and the area, as a whole, has leased at least twice as many homes as last year. We often get multple applications on properties within just a couple of days of listing them.
The market, not real estate agents, sets the rental price in our area. If they are overpriced they don't lease. We only put properties on the market that are in good condition and make sure they are maintained the same way during the term of the lease. I can't say the same for all the owners managing their own properties.
Many of our current tenants came from owner managed properties and they were not at all happy wih that situation. Some owners do as little maintenance as possible and take forever to respond to maintenance requests. Others "drop by" to check on you, and their property, constantly as if they have the right to just walk in on you anytime they want. Others, and this is what I do not like at all, will list their property for rent, knowing that they are behind on their mortgage, get a tenant moved in and just pocket the rent each month, without paying the mortgage, until the property gets foreclosed on and the tenant gets kicked out before their lease ends and they often end up losing their security deposit. Not to mention the "out of state" Landlords who think all they have to do is collect rent and do nothing else to maintain the property while there tenant is there.
The laws/rules are much stricter for Realtors that lease and manage properties. We have to keep security deposits in separate trust accounts from our regular funds. This protects the tenant's deposits much better than the owner holding it. We also have a full list of professional. licensed, insured maintenance contractors to complete our maintenance work. Many Landlords try to save money by doing the work themselves and you often end up with substandard, and unsafe, repairs. We also have a website that makes it easy for tenants to pay their rent online and also submit maintenance requests online.
As far as the ads go I will agree that they often stay on long after the property has leased. We remove our ads the same day an approved tenant signs their rental reservation agreement ....however.... some of the bigger sites where we advertise syndicate our listings out to as many as 20 or 30 other sites. When we remove them from the primary sites they often do not get removed from the secondary sites. Hotpads.com is notorious for this. There is no way we can track all of the ads down and get them removed but we definitely remove them from every site that we personally post to.
You are correct that we sometimes do not have time to respond to inquiries about properties that have already leased. This time of year is like the Christmas season is for retailers. We are working 7 days a week, 14 hours a day on weekdays and 6 to 8 hours on on Sat and Sun. Some email inquiries get lost in SPAM folders and, when we average making and receiviing 30 to 50 phone calls a day, it is pretty easy to miss one or two. There is only so much time in the day.
I am not saying all self managing Landlords are bad either . We know plenty that do a very good job. I lease properties for 3 different investors in the area that manage their own properties. They have anywhere from 3 to 9 properties, live very close to them, and take care of the properties and tenants properly....and I am sure there are probably inexperienced agents out there that do not do the best job of leasing and managing properties. It's up the the tenant to educate themselves and find out what will work best for them and their situation.
As far as rental search sites go I would look to the local MLS. Our http://www.keyrentalhomes.com website lists all properties listed for lease by other agents. These same listings syndicate to hotpads, realtor.com and Truila so there is not much difference there but it is a good idea to look to Craigslist, Postlets.com and ESPECIALLY rentals.com for additional rentals that may not be listed by Realtors and Professional Management companies.
if you are looking to lease go in with a plan, have all your information ready to go so that you can make application quickly on the property you like. If you have pets or credit issues it is best to disclose this up front. Many Landlords will work with these situations but most don't like when they find out these things much later in the application process.
Best of Luck to all you renters out there.
Key Locations Property Management LLC
Note that many of the real estate agents fail to include critical info in the ads...and cannot seem to get all of their contact ifo into the ads and sadly...they cannot seem to get listings off of the internet sites after renting ...and many will just not call you back if they have already rented the property
....i would avoid the realtors if you can and negotiate a better deal directly...rent is often overstated a little by agents and you should be able to deal a bit..even without an agent
good luck..happy hunting
Let me know if I can help you. I am familiar with that location and could save you a lot of time and aggrevation by helping you find available homes to rent that would suit your needs.
David Brower, Assistant Manager/Realtor
Best thing to do is call my wife Debi Key..."The Key To Your Real Estate Needs"...at 770-906-0317. She can do all the work for you. We run a property management. company in Alpharetta and she knows the rental market here inside and out. She also knows of properties that are not listed yet as well as different builders and rental agencies that she can get really good deals for tenants through because of her relationship with them. She averages showing properties to 1 to 3 clients per day and can save you a lot of time and money in the process. The best thing is her services are free to you. Give her a call, tell her what you are looking for, and she will email you list after list of possibilities.
The good news is that there are many options for you right now! I have several clients who are in between selling one home and buying another in Alpharetta. A lot depends on your specific situation. The apartment communities are all on Rent.com, but if you would prefer a house or condo, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), can uncover some great options. Sometimes homes that are listed for sale are also available to lease.
If I can help you at all, send me a note at Linda@LindaSchulteHomes.com.
Hope that helps!