Bigham & Associates, LLC
What We Do
Once you have invested in a rental property, the responsibility of maintaining and running the property can quickly become overwhelming. For many owners, the logical solution is to hire a residential property management company to oversee their rental property.
We firmly believe that a full-service professional property management firm should do more than collect rent and pay bills. When you hire us as your professional property manager, you get a firm that is dedicated to keeping your investment in good repair and at minimal cost. We know the market and how to get you the best rent and the best residents for your investment. No shopping malls, no apartment complexes, just homes, individual condos and duplexes like yours. It is all we do.
Property Preparation - Today's residents are more demanding; therefore, it is critical to the success of your property that it is in top-notch condition. A property is more likely to lease if it has quality curb appeal to a prospective resident, is clean, and is as modern as possible. Properties that are not properly prepared for the leasing market will sit vacant.
Local Knowledge of Rental Rates – A market analysis and our extensive local knowledge of rents helps us determine the highest rental rate possible for your property based on current and recent leases. With the internet and the ability to do large scale searches for rental properties, potential tenants know if your property is overpriced. Knowledge of rental rates is a key factor to fast rentals and quick cash flow. Proper pricing is critical, as overpriced property sits vacant.
Marketing Expertise - We use our experience to market your property online and offline to maximize exposure and find qualified tenants ready to rent your property quickly reducing vacancy.
- We use yard signs where possible. Prospective residents drive through neighborhoods that they would like to live in and friends, relatives and co-workers often spot property for them.
- The number one place people look for property to lease is the internet. That is why, in addition to our Web site, we post your property on over 25 other additional Internet sites.
- As members of the Austin Board of Realtors®, we list your property in the MLS data base. This makes your property available to thousands of other leasing agents in the Austin and surrounding areas, at no extra cost.
- Show the property. Many property management companies only place your property on the market and hope an agent from another company shows it and leases it. We are available for prospective residents to call to set up a showing appointment seven days a week. We want your property leased as quickly as possible. We work only with properties that we manage. We are not showing listings from other companies.
Resident Screening and Selection - Leasing your investment to the wrong resident(s) can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs, lost rent, and damages. A professional management company is experienced at selecting resident(s) and thoroughly investigating the background of the resident(s) that will live in your property.
Since 1987 Bigham & Associates has processed hundreds of applications and signed hundreds of leases. These years of extensive experience and success in judging qualifications of resident applications pays dividends to you. We require a detailed written application from each adult with photo identification and run credit, criminal, social security and public notice searches to determine if the application is accurate. We verify employment, landlord and other references and have set requirements and standards for accepting or declining applicants. We comply with local, state and federal fair housing rules and regulations. For each applicant, we will:
- Verify each resident's current and previous lease history (if available)
- Check each applicant's eviction history (if any)
- Run a detailed credit report to determine each applicant's credit worthiness
- Run a cross check on a landlord reference with local property tax records (when possible) to verify property ownership
- Drive by check the applicant’s current residence (if local)
- Check criminal and terrorist records
- Verify each applicant's employment and income
- Require any guarantor who is allowed to further secure a lease to complete an additional application and submit to the same background check
- Use only comprehensive leases and lease documents from the Texas Association of Realtors®.
Provide written lease – We use the Texas Association Of Realtors® Residential Lease which is one of the best, if not the best, residential lease our industry has to offer. The current lease is recognized as a powerful tool in our industry. Over the last several years, the TAR Forms Committee has worked with staff attorneys and property managers to keep this lease compliant with requirements in the Texas Property Code, TREC regulations and good legal and ethical practice.
Collect rent - We have systems and strategies to improve on time rent collection that allows us to make swift and consistent rent payments to you. Quick and consistent rental proceeds are absolutely critical in this real estate market where good cash flow can mean the difference between success and failure as an investor.
- Our rent collection policies are fair but firm.
- Residents can make their lease payment online through our web site. They can pay by credit card, e-check, have their checking account automatically drafted each month.
- Send a reminder email that their rent is due if necessary.
- Serve the proper notices upon failure to pay.
Resident Care - A primary goal is to provide residents with superior service. If residents are receiving quality service, chances are they will stay longer and this helps keep your costs down. This proper resident care approach has enabled us to maintain a high occupancy rate for the last several years! This is accomplished in various ways:
- We lease and manage only properly maintained properties.
- An initial condition report is completed prior to move-in.
- The property is clean and in good repair at move-in.
- Tenants receive a written lease so there will be no surprises or misunderstandings.
- Residents can complete a maintenance request through this Web site 24 hours a day.
- We respond to a resident's maintenance request, in some form, within 24 to 48 business hours
- Management team is available to answer questions.
- As a Texas licensed real estate broker specializing in professional property management we are regulated by the state to assure fair and proper treatment.
Tested and Reliable Maintenance Professionals - No management company would be complete without the ability to handle every conceivable maintenance issue at your property 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
We have vetted numerous vendors, suppliers and contractors to make sure they provided good quality work at reasonable prices. Our service contractors can respond to maintenance requests quickly. Our policy is to respond to a request within 24 to 48 hours (or as quickly as possible if it is an emergency). Repairs are billed to clients at actual cost. We provide you with a copy of the vendor’s invoice (no markup) in our monthly statement.
Property Check Reports - We check before, during and after a tenancy to find faults in your property that can be resolved before they become expensive items of disrepair.
Property Management Software and Data Protection - We provide detailed income and expenses reports every month saving you the bookkeeping headache. Additionally, we also manage your security deposit escrow funds and make sure you are in compliance with local and state regulations. We provide end-of-year reports for your accountant or financial advisor.
- Our accounting and record keeping systems are computerized with state-of-the-art software and hardware for accuracy and efficiency.
- Maintenance and repair work is tracked by property and unit. This aids in identifying warranty work and avoids repetitive costly repairs.
- Owner portal is provided at no cost for anytime access to monthly statements and invoices.
- All data files are backed up daily off site. We understand the consequences of lost data.
- We have a disaster recovery plan for our office systems. In the event something should happen to our office, our goal is to do everything possible to assure that services to you and your residents will not be interrupted and data will not be lost.
Direct Deposit of Owner’s Funds - We deposit your monthly proceeds directly to your bank account at no cost to you. No more lost checks or last minute trips to the bank.
Property Law and Regulations - We have extensive and up-to-date knowledge of property laws and regulations and will assist you in making sure you are in compliance with local, state and federal rules and regulations. These rules and regulations include complying with fair housing regulations, the Americans with Disabilities Act and other applicable local, state and federal laws. Avoiding just one law suit will more than pay for any fees many times over.
Low Costs - All fees are negotiable depending upon the property but we normally work with 7 % to 10 % of one month's rent as our monthly management fee. We do charge a minimum monthly management fee (usually $50.00 per unit). Leasing fee 70% of one month’s rent on most properties due at move in. We do not have a long list of extra administrative fees or service charges.
BONUS - FREE TIME - We will free up your time for doing deals that make money. I mean serious money as opposed to dealing with non-money producing activities like tenants and property management.