Tampa Property Management Part II – Understanding the Blue Collar Property Group
Blue collar tenants are your bread and butter working class folks. They work in construction, retail, and industries of all shapes and sizes. They are usually high school graduates with little or no college experience. Often they work with their hands and are in the field as opposed to behind a desk
Blue Collar Rental Property Group in Tampa Property Management
This type of tenants will often be late on the rent and are a bit rougher on your rental property. They will also tend to move out sooner than a white collar worker because of changes in employment or financial crisis. Evictions will be more prevalent in this group and their credit will not be nearly as good as the white collar group.
However, blue collar works will typically pay the rent and be reasonably good tenants. In regards to maintenance, they will be much more patient than white collar workers and sometimes will handle the repairs themselves.
Blue Collar Tips for Effective Property Management in Tampa
1) Look for okay credit and stable employment. This group as a whole doesn’t have great credit. You are going to see collection accounts. The key is the prospect has some good credit accounts, and they do not know owe money to another landlord or the electric company.
The most important thing about their rental application is the rental history. You want to make sure there are no collection accounts to landlords or evictions showing up on the credit report. If you see one or two of these accounts, you must instantly disqualify the prospective tenant, no matter what story they tell you. And they will tell you some terrific stories about their “Attila the Hun” previous landlord who refused to fix the leak in the roof when the ceiling caved in over their bed, the night before Christmas. NO MATTER WHAT, you must not accept any story. Turn them down, and get off the phone immediately. You do not have to justify yourself in anyway. Avoid being drawn into an argument with the prospect. The rules are the rules, and this one should never, ever be broken.
You are looking for people who tend to stay at a home for 2-4 years and it can be confirmed with two previous landlords. Avoid tenants who like to jump from place to place each year. A property owner only makes money with long term tenants.
2) The property management company should complete the repairs in a timely manner. This builds good will and keeps your property in great shape. If you do not take pride in your rental property, how can you expect the tenant to?
3) Insist all rent is paid on time and charge a late fee when it is late. If a blue collar worker has been with you awhile and once or twice a year pays late, I would waive the late fee once in awhile. However, you should point out to them that the late fee is being waived for this reason, and you will charge a late fee, if it happens next month.
4) Every Tampa Property Management company should realize that payment plans and flexibility will sometimes be needed for this group. Some tenants will lose their overtime hours, and others will be financially irresponsible. You should be flexible if this is a long term tenant. However, if they just moved in to your property, you must insist the rent is paid in full by the 15th of the month, or you will file for eviction. Some tenants just will not believe they really have to pay by the 15th or pay a late fee, until you enforce it.
You simply cannot insist the rent is paid by the 5th. At least half of them are unable or unwilling to meet this requirement. If you get the rent by the 15th including the late fee, what is there to really worry about?
5) It is much better to talk and dress as just an everyday person. If your dress, speech, or car is too expensive you will not develop rapport with your tenants.
Traps to Avoid as a Tampa Property Manager with Blue Collar Workers
1) There are professional deadbeats that will walk, talk, and behave like model tenants, when you first meet them. It will be very tempting to skip the rental application process and not check their credit, criminal background, job history, and rental history. This is the number one reason Property Managers fail in Tampa and everywhere else. No matter what, you must do these checks or your unpaid rent and evictions will soar.
2) The full month security deposit is, in my opinion, a bad idea unless you are in a hot rental market. These people do not have a huge amount of savings, and often it takes every dime they have to pay for the moving truck, utility deposits, the first month’s rent and security deposit. The rental property rents much faster if the security deposit is ½ of the first month’s rent. The money you save by having the house rented sooner will far offset the extra ½ month in security deposit.
Warning: if the tenant would like to make a payment plan for the security deposit, you should immediately turn them down and move on. They are much too financially irresponsible to be good tenants. Ignore any explanations and just assume all such stories are lies, which is the case 99% of the time.
3) Beware of any tenant showing up with the first and last month’s rent and a security deposit in cash, and they need to move-in this weekend. This is an immediate red flag, and 8 times out of 10, the tenant is trying to get you to skip the application process, because they have evictions or a criminal background. You must complete the application process no matter what the story or circumstances.
4) Make sure these tenants have okay credit history. If they have never paid anybody on time or in full on their credit report, they will be a constant headache and most likely a future eviction. You want someone with at least ½ of the credit accounts in good standing. They should value their credit score to some degree. The credit will not be as good as the professional group but it should still be decent.
Understanding the psychology of this tenant group will take you a long way in becoming an excellent Tampa property management company.