We pride ourselves on providing the highest level of service for our property owners. Here are some commonly asked questions and answers about the rental process for property owners. Have a question not answered here? Feel free to contact us directly by phone or email and we will be more than happy to answer any question you may have.
Q. What should I think about when I am listing my apartment?
A. Our primary mission is residential leasing. We understand this real estate niche and always strive to outdo ourselves. Before we place tenants in your apartments, we subject them to a rigorous qualification process: credit reports; employment, salary, and financial verifications; notarized co-signers if necessary, and landlord reference checks.
We stand behind every rental applicant and this attention to detail is our secret for minimizing your apartment turnover while maximizing your profitability.
We promise to be always accessible and respectful to our landlords; tenants, and clients.
Q. What is your business model?
A. The brokers fee is equal to one months rent but it can handled three different ways. Usually the fee is split between the landlord and tenant 50-50. It can also be listed as a full fee to landlord or a full fee to tenant. You don’t have to sign any agreements to list with us. You are free to rent the apartment yourself or have it listed by another rental agency. We don’t charge you a fee to preview; photograph, or to list your apartment.
Q. I want your rental agency to rent my apartment. What’s the first step?
A. Know what you are looking for. Consider what is the most important priority for you. Is it location; quality; proximity to the T; space; pet-friendly, etc?
Consider where you are commuting to everyday. How important is it to be close to public transportation? Will you have an auto?
How much space do you realistically need? Do you need an extra bedroom or would a study be OK?
To qualify for an apartment, your income should be at least three times the annual rent. Please keep this in mind as you are deciding what you can afford? If you don’t qualify for an apartment alone, some landlords require a co-signer. The guarantor will need to demonstrate financial stability and good credit.
Q. What is the most efficient way to get good tenants as soon as possible?
A.In the Cambridge, Somerville, and Arlington markets, we start to see a spike in rental activity beginning in the March/April time frame. The most common lease start dates are June 1st; September 1st; July 1st, and August 1st. Try to get your listings out ideally 60 to 90 days before the lease start date. The rental logic is that you can test the waters a little bit and adjust your asking rent if necessary. An aggressive asking rent might yield only one tenant in the course of several weeks; whereas, a slightly lower rent could yield a greater selection of quality tenants Sometimes, offering to pay the full fee is an excellent incentive to attract timely rental applicants.
One key element is a mutual understanding between the landlord and the tenant (s) as to how the apartment will be shown; if the current tenants are treated with respect and receive a reasonable notice (ideally 24 hours in advance): it creates goodwill all the way around. Landlords, if we are given an apartment key: it makes showing the unit that much easier. In our leases, we include an additional provision where the tenant (s) agrees to allow the apartment to be to shown by the landlord or agents of the landlord. Our rental agents will never enter an apartment unless we call first and get permission to do a showing. If it’s inconvenient showing time for the tenants, we will reschedule it.
Q. I just renovated my apartment and it looks really good. Why should I take a chance on a tenant with pets?
A. Tenant (s) love their dogs and a landlord can be selective as to the breed and weight of the dog: i.e. no aggressive breeds and under 50 pounds. Many dog owners consider their pet to be part of the family and are willing to pay a higher price for an apartment that is pet friendly. If they are cat owners, make sure the cats are spayed and neutered.
Q. Do you have any other helpful hints for the landlords?
A. Yes, certainly. If the apartment is still occupied, ask the present tenant (s) to keep the place as clean as possible. Make sure the rental agency has a full set of working keys and the present tenant’s home and work phone numbers. Keep an open mind. If the apartment is still vacant after 30 days, consult your rental agent. Is it price, cosmetics, or market conditions? Don’t accept an unqualified tenant just to fill a vacancy.