Astro Property Management Huntsville Al
Astro Property Management Huntsville Al – My name is Zac and I am one of the co-owners and founders of Astro Property Management LLC, located in the beautiful city of Huntsville Alabama. Our property management (PM) company’s forte manages single family homes (SFH) in Madison County Alabama; including the cities of Huntsville and Madison as well as the smaller towns throughout the area. In addition to managing investment properties for our clients, we also assist with the purchase and liquidation processes involved in the life cycle of investments. Now, I didn’t start out in real estate as an agent or as a property manager. I started, like many of you, as an investor looking to capitalize on cash flow (passive income) or appreciation while pursuing financial independence, aka financial freedom. However, through a series of fortunate events, my wife and I were able to partner with the manager of the PM company handling our first unit and start our own business together with her husband. Together we bought the management agreements of the former company (when the owner retired) and Astro was born.
Entering the PM field as an investor, although a relatively new one, I brought with me all the research I had done from this perspective. Well, if you remember when you started looking into REI (real estate investing) then you might have some similar memories to mine; and I know clearly already of the mixed review, pros and cons, etc. other investors indicated about property managers. It was many of these issues that helped me select the company I did to manage my property and they are the same issues that drive the way I analyze property management operations today. The previous company appeared to be well aligned with my interest and goals in REI and now that we are on the PM side, we continuously strive to improve this alignment. Professional, licensed real estate agents are bound by the same fiduciary responsibilities that other real estate agents are when working with clients. This responsibility is to protect your client’s interest above all others, including yourself, within the rules of the law. It was through my own observations and analysis as an investor combined with the knowledge I gained when I entered the property management field and obtained my real estate agent’s license that brought forth my current understanding of how these responsibilities and business models interact, for better or worse.
Astro Property Management Huntsville Al
If you hire someone whose sole position is based on acting on your behalf, you would expect their interest to be aligned with yours; whether it is a lawyer, a financial advisor, or a property manager. However, what seemed to be the underlying theme for all the various ‘noses’ of PM was an opposing alignment of interest and goals. At its simplest level, one can think of the process as a partnership; that if one wins, so does the other. I doubt that anyone would jump to the conclusion that when their investment goes through a rough patch the partner would benefit from this accident, but this is exactly what misalignment can lead to. Consider the various fees that people mention on forums and in person when discussing their property management situations. Of course, the classic PM fee will be raised and sometimes this is only used as selection criteria for management. This can be unfortunate as some other fees may be overlooked and the total cost of management can change drastically. For example, if there is a fee or markup associated with repairs and maintenance (R&M), consider the reconciliation issues here. Is there an incentive to take the higher or lower bid? What is best for your bottom line is not the most profitable route for the more short-sighted manager. Another example would be a vacancy fee, if you pay a PM company to place a tenant in the unit and they don’t, why should you pay them for that? Finally, the tenant placement fee, which I hear can easily vary from half to a full month’s rent; where is the alignment in this fee structure? Lower turnover rates are great for the ROI and keep the cash flow moving over longer periods, but these placement costs are much higher than the monthly management costs of a unit that is occupied. Financially, the incentive here to have a higher turnover on the one hand seems contrary to the needs of the owner. When all these other fees are addressed, it makes you wonder what is actually covered by the management fee.
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Matters of alignment, like those above, are the driving forces of our business philosophy. At Astro, we don’t just want to provide a service, instead we want to be a valued partner in your investment strategy. Our strategy forces us to evaluate every property brought up for consideration as if it were our own investment. Should a property show that it will have serious vacancy issues, we cannot afford to add it to our portfolio; we cannot sit back and collect vacancies fees while our clients eat them and holding costs. The same applies to tenant placement fees and R&M marking fees. Greater vacancy equals greater loss of income for us, same as you, and passing on higher than necessary repair bills will not convince our clients to stay with us. That this approach is the only viable way to develop trusting and positive long-term business relationships, the type necessary for the success of both parties, seems obvious to us. This is why every property is thought of as our investment too; if we don’t think the property will make a profit for you, it won’t make one for us either. Simply designed and stated, our fee structure does not allow us to profit at your expense; we prefer to earn our keep. Only a short-term strategy can operate in misalignment, as it requires high customer turnover. It is from partners who share in the highs and, more importantly, the lows that they come out in the end. University of Alabama-Huntsville employee Aimee Woodard is trying to find a rental home to find one in good shape that fits her price range.
Adding to her frustration is that if she renews her lease where she lives now, she will pay a bit more than she does now.
Isaac Winkles, who manages rental properties, understands their frustration. The 2022 president of the Huntsville Area Association of Retors said many people in the Huntsville area are seeing their rents increase as landlords try to keep up with the market.
“If you can do a comparison of what rents were a year ago to what rents are now, they’re going up across the board,” Winkles said. “I’ve had tenants ask me, ‘Hey, I pay my rent on time, I do everything right, why is my rent going up?’ We don’t choose you.”
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According to websites rentcafe and zumper, average house rent in Huntsville mirrors the apartment market. It costs tenants an average of more than $1,100 per month, an increase of more than 11% over a year ago. In the spring of 2019, Huntsville-area residents paid about $850 per month.
According to spokesperson Erin Cornelius with Astro Property Management, the reason home rental prices are going up is because of “supply and demand.”
Note to readers: If you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. Our services cover the entire Madison County, Alabama area. Primarily including the cities of Huntsville and Madison, along with the smaller towns around. Our small section of Alabama is one of the fastest growing areas in the state is on track to have the largest metro area in the state within the next few years. This is due in no small part to the forward thinking of our local leaders who have helped establish us as a thriving regional business and technology hub. (Where else can you see a space shuttle land when traveling through an airport!)
Tara has been a resident of Huntsville for over 35 years. After leaving the workforce to raise her children and volunteer in the community, she returned in 2007 by becoming a Realtor and in 2014 received her Brokers License. Tara has been involved in both residential sales and property management for her entire real estate career and enjoys helping her clients with all of their real estate needs. In 2016, when the opportunity presented itself to purchase the property management company she had been with since 2007, Tara and Todd partnered with Allison and Zac to form Astro Property Management, LLC. Tara likes to travel, run, cycle and hike in her spare time.
Dinner Tree Square, Huntsville, Al 35811
Formerly the Director of both H.R. & Finance for a large retirement community, Allison began her real estate career as a Realtor ® in 2015. She followed this up by co-founding Astro Property Management, LLC in 2016 and securing her realtor’s license in 2017. She enjoys all things outdoors and likes to spend her free time
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