Looking For A Great Property Management Company in The Villages ???

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  #1  
Old 08-27-2017, 12:28 PM
giggleez giggleez is offline
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Default Looking For A Great Property Management Company in The Villages ???

Villages Hometown Property Management Company:

We bought an investment property in January, 2017, and decided to have it managed by The Villages Hometown Property Management (HPM). After meeting with their representative, we moved forward to acquire all of the home accessories required on their list (4 pages of items) in order have the property "accepted" into the HPM rental program. The required accessory inventory list was very extensive………to the point of being ridiculous. After acquiring all of the required items on the list and placing or installing them in the home, we were told that everything was in order for HPM to "accept" the property, and we went on a cruise for a week. While we were on the cruise, they contacted us repeatedly and we had to deal with them on the phone, text messages and emails…...needless to say all of that put a major damper on our vacation! Once again, after going through all of this back and forth and answering multiple questions posed by HPM, we thought that we were finally going to be able to start renting our home and generating income. WRONG!! Hometown still needed to take pictures of the property for its web site (which ended up being terrible photos), and then we found out about all of their website issues.......ugh!!

Finally, after all of the red tape and delays, around March 1st, we thought our home would start renting and generating income. Wrong again!! HPM had to do one more 'final inventory' check, and this time they decided that our dish cloths were not acceptable (after not raising this issue previously), and they took it upon themselves to throw them away without our consent. When we found this out, we told them that we were unhappy about them taking this unilateral action, and also told them we wanted to be compensated for our personal property; unbelievably, the snarky response we received was "what do you think used dish rags are worth?" Ultimately, we were essentially forced (if we wanted the home to be approved by HPM for the program) to purchase brand new dish cloths, and we were never reimbursed for anything, or even given an apology!

The next issue we encountered, shortly after we returned from our cruise, was a phone call from The Villages Sales Office on a Sunday afternoon, who told us a neighbor had reported that there was water running out from under our garage door. So we immediately went to the house, where we found that the hot water heater was gushing water out the top. We called HPM and we were told that someone from their office had been there earlier in the day and they had "prepped" the house for our first tenants (who were due to check-in the next day), and the HPM person had turned on the hot water heater in preparation for the guests. When we called HPM, we asked if someone could come over and help us deal with this major leak issue, and their response was to suggest that we "call a plumber." Seriously, we said, 'what are we paying you for?'

When our home started renting, items were taken by tenants in the 5 months HPM was managing our home…items taken…dish rags, cutting board, king-sized pillow, bath towels and wash clothes…..we again complained and were told "that's normal wear and tear"........good grief that's just ridiculous!! If you have a home managed by HPM be prepared to have things taken......and you will be expected to replace those items that are taken!

HPM contacted us regarding a yard plant that was dying. We then contacted the Landscaping company which taking care of our yard. They immediately said they would check the setting on the irrigation system, but they needed access to the garage. We contacted HPM because there were tenants in the home at the time, and requested they take care of the meeting with the landscaping company (which the landscaping rep. wanted to handle on July 4th), and HPM told us that we'd have to handle it ourselves (again)........seriously?? Why are we handling all of these issues while HPM is collecting a 20% management fee for doing nothing!!??

HPM is a great property management company if you like 1) dealing with disgusting, pompous attitudes, 2) having your requests repeatedly ignored, 3) if you want to take care of all of the maintenance issues on your own home, 4) having to deal with having your personal items stolen and being told by HPM that's just 'normal wear and tear' all while they take 20% of your rental proceeds for doing NOTHING, then HPM is the firm that you should hire to manage your property!!!

Just Disgusted
  #2  
Old 08-27-2017, 03:27 PM
dnobles dnobles is offline
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They use to be good and unfortunately have gone down hill. Our last experience was not good with them. Not as bad as yours
  #3  
Old 08-27-2017, 05:08 PM
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Best property manager is yourself using the various homes for rent sites and a GOOD house watcher who enjoys taking care of renters. A lot less hassle than you'd think -- you negotiate the rental price and dates, your house watcher takes care of repairs, renters' needs, pre- and post-cleaning, etc.
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  #4  
Old 08-27-2017, 05:56 PM
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Theft is not "ordinary wear and tear" - duh!

My guess is they do not want to pay their employees to take the time to properly inventory your property after its rentals, charge stolen items against the tenants' deposits and deal with the flack the thieving tenants will lay on them. In actuality they are your agents, not the tenants. Since they do not actually own the property they are not paying for the losses, you are. It seems to me they do not want to do what they are both paid and obligated to do.
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  #5  
Old 08-27-2017, 06:47 PM
dalecrenshaw dalecrenshaw is offline
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I have told this story before on this website, but since your post is new, I will repeat my experience with property managers.

We have tried 5 or 6 property management companies. None of them took care of any maintenance. We would get calls in the middle of the night or early morning telling us of some problem (like disposal being stuck) and for us to take care of it (even though they claimed to have a handyman that would take care of things). None of them did anything except collect their commission. We even gave the last property manager our long time tenant that came every Jan/Feb/March for the past 15+ years...so they didn't even have to find a tenant for those months, but got paid their commission...and they treated our tenants like they were trash. This particular property manager had her sister-in-law do the cleaning for $250 (a little excessive, I think, but then again she had to make sure her sister-in-law ate well!) before our long time annual tenant arrived. Our tenant arrived at the house and found the place dirty and disorganized, in addition to several other complaints. They contacted the property manager and were treated poorly. Then our tenant complained to us about how the property manager treated them, which we passed on to our property manager, and the property manager proceeded to tell us off. A few months later, this property manager finally rented it out for 6 months off season (the only time they ever came up with a new tenant). They told me this person was a lovely lady. The lovely lady trashed our place. It is a non-smoking home (which was in the contract) and she burnt cigarette holes in the custom bedspread, new carpeting and furniture. She spilled sticky coke on furniture and the carpeting. She then proceeded to invite her brother and wife and 2 little kids to live with her. The kids broke 4 lamps and drew crayon pictures on our newly painted walls and on some white dressers. She also let her brother bring in a dog, without permission, that also did a lot of damage chewing up things. Upon leaving, they stole sets of towels, sets of sheets, pillows, even laundry basket among other things. We complained to the property manager and was told that she had done a walk through and the house was just fine and she found everything in order. I told her she could not have done a walk through since anyone opening the door would have noticed how the tenant had trashed the place. Unfortunately she had given back the $1000 security deposit. The Property manager refused to take any responsibility. It costs us several thousand of dollars to learn our lesson...never hire a property manager again. We do it ourselves now and everything goes a lot smoother and I have never had a problem since. I do a lot of screening before I decide to rent to someone (which the property managers don't do).
It works a lot better. There might be some descent property managers out there...but after trying a least 5, I gave up.
  #6  
Old 08-27-2017, 07:09 PM
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I had very similar experiences with them. Also What they don't tell you is they have lots of homes on rental program and they rent their plac s first! Pretty low business practices!
We had the same problems with property managers in Vermont.
Property management companies to me are like slum lords. They don't care about the property only the $$ they get.
We found our own tenants and we manage our own home!
  #7  
Old 08-27-2017, 07:23 PM
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Thanks for posting OP! It makes the minor irritations that I get from managing my own property seem pretty insignificant. I run 75% occupancy rate as a DIYer and my commission rate is zero.
  #8  
Old 08-28-2017, 02:02 PM
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We lived in California and Down Home Property management handled ours and they were great. When the microwave stopped working they got it fixed. When the sprinklers needed adjustment they met the landscaper so he could get into the garage. They checked on the house twice a month when not rented and would recommend them to anyone who was looking for a property manager.

If I had lived here maybe it would of been cheaper to do it our selves but from a distance they were worth every cent.
  #9  
Old 08-28-2017, 08:59 PM
dnobles dnobles is offline
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My friend has HTPM I went over today to look around her house because of all the rain. Tried the liani door it was unlocked tried the slider it was unlocked. Apparently her house has been unlocked since May. Great job HTPM. Yet she is charged every month for someone to check it out. Newspaper in the driveway was dated July. We used HTPM 5 years ago they were great. We used them a second time not so good.
  #10  
Old 08-29-2017, 12:52 PM
Arubagirl33 Arubagirl33 is offline
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I second that!! Do it yourself!!
  #11  
Old 08-29-2017, 07:17 PM
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We used a company first year, it was a nightmare. Abuse to our home, items taken including pictures off the wall. House never checked after renter left and cleaning people charged unbelievable amounts, only to find nothing had been cleaned. Fired them, rented it ourselves from 1000 miles away. Have had the same full time perfect renter for over 6 years.
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:04 PM
Arubagirl33 Arubagirl33 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crash View Post
We lived in California and Down Home Property management handled ours and they were great. When the microwave stopped working they got it fixed. When the sprinklers needed adjustment they met the landscaper so he could get into the garage. They checked on the house twice a month when not rented and would recommend them to anyone who was looking for a property manager.

If I had lived here maybe it would of been cheaper to do it our selves but from a distance they were worth every cent.

I think you were one of the lucky few.... would not recommend!!!
  #13  
Old 08-30-2017, 03:53 AM
Tom53 Tom53 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crash View Post
We lived in California and Down Home Property management handled ours and they were great. When the microwave stopped working they got it fixed. When the sprinklers needed adjustment they met the landscaper so he could get into the garage. They checked on the house twice a month when not rented and would recommend them to anyone who was looking for a property manager.

If I had lived here maybe it would of been cheaper to do it our selves but from a distance they were worth every cent.
Same here since 2015. Some minor issues, but satisfied overall.
  #14  
Old 08-30-2017, 05:38 AM
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I have managed my own properties since 2008 both living remote and now living here. When living in Virginia, I used Redwitch for my home watch and would highly recommend her if you're not local. She knows who to call for every issue, she treats your tenants great, and overall does an excellent job. Now that I live here I do it myself and still use her if we are traveling or need something done and out of town.

My tenants (with one exception) have all been excellent in 9 years with two properties. I maintain 9 to 11 months rented every year. My property management costs are very low. My tenants are 90% repeats. Overall a very successful business plan.

By doing everything myself it allows me to use a small amount of what would be spent for a property management company for extras. Discounts for repeat renters, multiple month renters, and folks you really want back. It allows us to provide extras for the tenants. Simple things like a bottle of wine and water in the frig when they arrive. If they need a cookie sheet, a special type pillow, a new XYZ, or anything not usual, I can do it. When I get a great tenant I can go the extra mile and make their stay an experience they want to repeat.

I send Villages news letters to prospective tenants, do last minute specials, and work at this as a small business. Takes a few hours every month but it has been rewarding. I now have two homes more than 50% paid off by someone else, homes have increased in value, have made several new friends and it has actually been fun.

My recommendation would be if this is something you plan to do, treat it as a job and do it yourself. Build that list of qualified service folks. You will need a plumber, an AC person, garage door person, golf cart service person, appliance repair, pest control, lawn and shrub, and a few others. I actually hire a retired guy one day a week to do lawns, shrubs, minor repairs, pressure washing, furnace filters, and a few other things for all three homes. (rentals plus ours) If around I do most things anyway, but you still need the list. Treat it as a part time job and you will be successful. If you can't do that, than I suggest you don't rent.
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Old 10-13-2017, 02:27 AM
grayemma grayemma is offline
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Yes, you can simply do it yourself. Online property management software makes the job of property management much easier which otherwise is a Herculean task. Online property management is used to perform all the tasks from finding tenants to collecting debts. It provides additional features which makes it a necessity in the real estate management business.

I recommend you to try a free software Innago that offers a cloud-based property management platform for landlords with small to midsize property portfolios. With Innago, users can collect rent, manage leases, collect signatures and manage tenants.
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