FAQ's

FAQ's

Are you looking for a Property Manager or Property Management Company in Chicago to manage an existing rental home or an investment property you are about to purchase?

Below you will find answers to common questions regarding our Chicago Property Management Services. These are questions you should ask any Chicago Property Manager you are interviewing. If you have questions not answered below, feel free to contact by web or call us.

What are the benefits of using a professional property manager in Chicago?
Utilizing the services of a Professional Property Management Company in Chicago relieves you from the burden of unexpected and untimely tenant and repair issues. It also provides you with a tested and true vendor team (via your property manager) to handle repair and maintenance issues at your home. Having a Chicago Property Manager handling the details of managing your rental home allows you to focus your time and talents on other matters instead of worrying about your Chicago rental property.

How long have you been managing real estate in Chicago IL?
Gold Coast Property Management has been leasing homes in Chicago since 1994. We started our Property Management Company  in 2009, and since then have leased and managed  a multimillion dollar portfolio of property.

To which professional organizations do you belong?
National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM)
- Property Manager Mike Kravitz , CRPM, has been a member of the Chicago Chapter of the NARPM since 2010, and served for over 10 years on the Board of Directors of  a prominent Chicago high rise. 
Chicago Association of Realtors (CAR) Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR) and National Association of Realtors (NAR)
– Mike is a member of the Chicago Association of Realtors, the Illinois Association of Realtors and National Association of Realtors.
As Realtors, we are able to place your home for lease in the Chicago MLS.
No matter which company you choose to manage your rental home in Chicago, make sure you pick a Chicago property manager who is serious about the profession of property management. Many property managers operate as a sideline business or an afterthought to their sales business, and make no effort to stay educated or updated on landlord/tenant laws or current industry practices. In fact, some property managers in Chicago are not even licensed real estate agents.

What is your style or philosophy of Property Management in Chicago?
We believe that you hire a property manager to manage your rental home, not to assist you in managing it yourself. We offer a turnkey style of property management service which is most appreciated by those property owners who prefer to be “out of the loop” on all but the most important matters related to the management and leasing of the property.
We don’t pester you with small details, questions, information or “updates” about your property or tenants, except for those matters which will have a significant impact on your monthly cash flow. Instead, we simply take care of the things you have entrusted us to handle on your behalf.

What if I want to be informed to a greater degree than you’ve just outlined?
For some property owners, our system is not a good match, and we understand that. We are very up front about the fact that we don’t want you to hire us if you expect to be involved in minor details or decisions related to the management and leasing of your property. We simply haven’t designed our systems and procedures to accommodate that level of involvement by owners and would instead refer you to a property manager who accommodates the level of involvement you desire.

Under your “turnkey” system of property management, how informed then will I be about what’s going on with my property?
Our general rule of thumb is this; if something has happened, or is about to happen, that will disrupt your ordinary monthly cash proceeds by more than $500, we will let you know about it.
An example would be that we receive a 30-day notice from your tenant, and therefore a turnover, along with related expenses, is pending and we want you to be informed and prepared for it.

Another example would be that your A/C unit has failed during the middle of a hot summer; we’ve determined that the 12 year old compressor needs replacing and have initiated the work to replace it. We’ll call to let you know what has happened and the expected financial impact.

Finally, for new owners that seem a bit nervous, we do tend to accommodate a “break in period” whereby we will in fact keep you a bit more informed than usual during the initial lease-up and make-ready maintenance process. We do want you to be comfortable working with us going forward, so the startup process may involve more communication, if you so desire, than is outlined above. You will settle in and become comfortable with us very quickly though, and after the initial period of getting started, we’ll revert to our normal routine and level of communication.

What type of rental properties do you manage in Chicago?
We manage residential single family homes condominiums, lofts, duplexes and multi-family es that are in good to excellent condition. Another way to say it is; we manage safe, well maintained homes that attract good, quality renters.

In which areas of Chicago do you offer property management services?
 Our Chicago location services the Gold Coast, Streeterville, Lincoln Park, Lake View,Down Town Loop, South Loop, West Loop, Bucktown, Wicker Park, and surrounding Near North Chicago region. If the mailing address for your home is not an “Chicago” address, it’s probably outside our management area.
Exceptions are made if you own multiple rental properties including some that are inside Chicago and some that are not, call us to discuss whether we can handle your group of properties. We do sometimes make exceptions for the right properties and owners.

How do you determine the rent value of my home when it needs to be rented?
Each time your home comes up for rent, we will perform a market analysis to determine how much homes similar to yours have been renting for recently. Once we determine a starting value, we add or subtract based on the time of year, competition from other available rental near yours, the condition of the property (older vs. newer carpet, age of appliances, floor plan, etc.), and other relevant market factors.

As a general rule, we believe it’s a good idea to price your rental property at or slightly below market value and get it rented quickly. Vacancy is your worst enemy and we work hard to prevent excess vacancy loss. Sometimes owners get hung up on trying to squeeze out a little extra rent, but we will council you against being too optimistic.

Additionally, we stay very tuned in to the rental market all across Chicago. No other Chicago property manager that we know of provides monthly leasing market and sales market statistics like the ones we can provide you.

How will your Chicago property management company market our home when it needs to be rented to a new tenant?
Exposure and good photos are the name of the game. We market your home for rent as follows:

* Listed in the Chicago MLS with good quality photos and full descriptions.
* Listed on our website and over 30 other Nationally recognized websites
* Listed on Craigslist.com
* Realtor.com
* ChicagoHomeSearch.com
* ListHub.com, and other various affiliate websites (that receive listing feeds from Listhub, including Yahoo! Real Estate, AOL Real Estate, Trulia, Zillow.com, Google Maps, Cyberhomes, Oodle, Homefinder, Hotpads, + 25 more (as of Aug 2010).

How much security Deposit will you require from new tenants?
We stay within the customs of Chicago, and our competition, and normally require a full month’s rent.

Will you allow tenants to have pets in our property?
We would rather not. If we do, pets will be limited to 35 lbs each and a maximum of two total animals. We also prohibit certain aggressive breeds of dogs such as Pit Bulls and Rottweilers.

If you instruct us to market the home as a No Pets property, we are happy to do so, and will not allow pets at all. Or you can instruct us to allow cats only, or dogs only. Be aware that pets can cause damage beyond the normal pet deposit of $200 to $500 per animal. On the other hand, not accepting pets eliminates a lot of prospective renters, so the more restrictive the pet policy, the greater likelihood of a longer vacancy at lease-up.

How will prospective tenants be screened and qualified by your property management company?
We require tenants to provide at least two years of good verifiable rental history (or proof of home ownership), good credit, and verifiable income at least 3 times the monthly rent. That’s it in a nutshell, but a lot more goes into the screening than just those three items.

Rental History
We call the applicant’s current/previous landlords and ask about the applicant’s payment history, whether there were bounced checks, late payments, unauthorized roommates, pets, noise, damage, etc.
If the former landlord is a private home owner (instead of an apartment manager), we pull the County tax record to verify that the person listed as the landlord is in fact the owner of the former rental property.
We also run an MLS search on the tenant’s former addresses to see if there was any MLS sales or rental activity that contradicts the rental time frame listed on the application.

These two additional cross-checks alone have caught many bogus applicants in years past who might otherwise have slipped through a less rigorous screening process.

Employment Verification
We fax an employment verification form to employers, and ask the applicant for a recent check stub. Income must be at least three times the monthly rent to qualify.

Criminal Background, Eviction and Terrorist Database Search
We perform a Illinois Criminal Background check on each applicant as well as an Eviction History search and Federal Terrorist Database search.
Most good applicants will sail through the screening process and be approved. Otherwise, the screening process may reveal “red flags” which we look into further. Commonly, an applicant may qualify based on income and rental history, but have poor credit. In some instances, if we think the applicant is a reasonable risk, we will offer them approval with additional security deposit equal to at least two month’s rent.
In all instances we are very thorough with our screening of tenants, probably more so than many other property managers, and will never let an urgency to rent diminish our screening requirements.

Do you use a well written lease agreement that protects me and my property?
Yes. We use the most recently updated Chicago Residential Lease Agreement including; Lead, Mold and Radon Disclosures.Landlord Tenant ordinance, and Security deposit receipt.
How strictly do you enforce the lease agreement after the tenant moves in?
We enforce the lease very strictly, including late fees, pet policy, unauthorized occupants, vehicle limits, HOA Rules, lease term, and all other terms and conditions of the lease agreement. If we become aware of a lease violation, the tenant promptly receives a violation notice and is required to cure the violation to avoid further action.

How does your Chicago property management company handle repair requests from tenants?
All non-emergency repair requests are reported to us in writing, as required in the lease agreement. We provide tenants a convenient online form to submit repair requests. We strive to respond to and complete most ordinary repair requests within 1 to 3 business days.Why are repairs so important?
Nothing affects the reputation of a property management company more than the manner in which repairs are handled. Tenants judge us by almost no other measure. It therefore makes little sense to entrust vendors we don’t know, whom we have no relationship with or control over, with the reputation of our company and the relationship with your tenant. Instead, when repairs are needed, we will send our trusted vendors with whom established relationships and excellent communication exists, and they will provide the quality service we require in a professional and timely manner.
Will you use my brother-in-law to perform repairs, he’s fairly handy?
No, we only use our qualified vendors. We are not able for liability reasons to use your friends or relatives to perform work on your home unless they are in fact licensed vendors (see below).

Repairs and property condition issues offer the greatest opportunity for friction and ill will between landlords and tenants. A property manager walks the line between a tenant who wants things fixed ASAP, and an owner who is sensitive to repair expenses. We in fact want the tenant to enjoy a well maintained home in which everything functions as designed and intended. It’s to your advantage that this happens, as a happy tenant is more likely to remain in the property at renewal.

Will you use my favorite Plumber, A/C Company, etc. each time a repair is needed?
We will be happy to invite them to join our vendor list, if they are qualified and insured.

What are your fees for managing homes in Chicago?
Management fee is 10% of the monthly rent collected, with an $125 per month minimum.

Leasing commission is  of one full month’s rent each time a new tenant is located, $800 minimum.

Do you charge a “setup” fee?
No, there is no setup fee, but we will need you to mail your repair hold-back of $500 to us along with the management agreement. If an existing tenant is in the property, we will need you to send the security deposit to be held in our deposit escrow account.

What type of Property Management Agreement will I be signing?
We use our Gold Coast Property Management Agreement along with some other forms as listed below.
Owner Notice of Property Condition
Addendum to Property Management Agreement
W-9 Form

What is the process once I decide to have you manage my home?
We will visit your home to make sure it meets our condition requirements. Then we will send you a management agreement and initiate the process of assuming management of your property.

Other Questions
If you have any questions not answered above, or wish to further discuss anything listed above, feel free to call Mike Kravitz ,  at (312) 485-9868, or contact us online.
Mike Kravitz
Gold Coast Property Management
1205 N. Dearborn
Chicago IL 60611
(312) 485-9868

 


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If you have any questions not answered above, or wish to further discuss anything listed above, feel free to call Mike Kravitz

Gold Coast Property Management.

mikekravitz@goldcoastpropertymanagement.com

Phone: 312.485.9868
Fax: 312.951.9868
or contact us online.