• First Coast Realty

Property Management-An 8 Part Series


First Coast Realty’s Property Management uses best practices for optimal results. The following begins our 8 Part Series of Property Management. We will address in depth each of these practices over the next 8 weeks. Our goal is to provide thorough and professional service to both homeowners and tenants, while utilizing technology to meet the ever-changing demands of the property management business. Good property managers keep up with these demands to provide the best service possible.


“Best Practices” are described as professional procedures that are accepted or prescribed as being correct or most effective. First Coast Realty’s core values center around best practices. Professional property management demands the use of best practices. The following 8 categories exemplify the usage of best practices for property owners and tenants.


1. Effective & Frequent Communications


Effective communication is the fundamental key to successful property management.

Communications should be effective and frequent with the property owners, tenants, vendors, and support staff for the following reasons:


  • Homeowners: accounting of all funds, timely collection of rent payment, updates on property condition, expirations/renewal of leases, needed repairs.

  • Tenants: the application process, deposits, fees, property inspections, property maintenance.

  • Vendors: a network of service vendors is necessary for prompt and effective property repairs and maintenance.

  • Support Staff: a good support staff is necessary to keep communications on-going in a timely manner. This staff may include personal assistants, accounts receivables clerk, staff attorney, tax accountant, and real estate colleagues.

2. First Coast Realty offers 2 Property Management Programs


Tenant Placement


  • Create marketing video

  • Market property for rent in local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and additional internet sites including Zillow, Realtor.com, and Apartments.com

  • Schedule and facilitate all showing appointments

  • Interview perspective applicants and collect completed application

  • Order credit and background searches

  • Consult with property owners about prospective tenants

  • Order written lease from attorneys

  • Instruct new tenants on rental fees: first month, security deposit, and advance/last month rent

  • Schedule appointment with property owner and tenant to sign lease

  • Provide new tenant with property owner’s contact information for future payments and repair issues

  • Property owner takes over all management duties

  • Fee: 1. Lease preparations $50.00 2. 60% of first full month rent

Full Month to Month Property Management


  • Create marketing video

  • Market property for rent in local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and additional internet sites including Zillow, Realtor.com, and Apartments.com

  • Schedule and facilitate all showing appointments

  • Interview perspective applicants and collect completed application

  • Order credit and background searches

  • Consult with property owners about prospective tenants

  • Order written lease for attorneys

  • Schedule appointments with property owner and tenant to sign lease

  • Instruct new tenant on rental fees: first month, security deposit, and advance/last month rent

  • Collect initial fees: first month rent, security deposit and advance rent (last month)

  • Maintain security deposit and advance rent in First Coast Realty escrow account for proper accounting

  • Accompany new tenants with initial check-in, and make property condition verification video

  • Disburse monthly rent via check/on-line deposit to property owner minus any expenses paid on behalf of owner

  • Maintain communication on behalf of property owner with tenant regarding repairs issues

  • Create and distribute monthly financial statements accounting for rents collected minus expenses

  • Provide monthly statement with receipts of expenses paid on behalf of property owner

  • Perform initial post move-in inspection of property

  • Conduct quarterly property inspection reports for property owners

  • Monitor lease expirations and execute lease renewals 60 days prior to expiration

  • Monitor and accompany tenant move out and re-inspect property

Fees: 1. Lease preparations $50.00

2. 60% of first full month rent

3. 10% each subsequent month’s rent


3. Knowledge of Landlord-Tenant Laws


It is imperative that property managers and homeowners be up to date on the

State of Florida landlord-tenant laws as they apply to property management.

  • These laws include but not limited to the lawful conducting of background checks, anti-discrimination laws, eviction and inspection law, property inspections, and service animal laws.

  • Knowledge of the FLT laws is imperative to avoid legal actions against the homeowner.


4. Tenant Placement


  • Professional tenant placement includes screening verifications of credit scores, references, proof of employment, and criminal background checks.

  • Clarification and execution of the application process

  • Clarification of any homeowner association requirements

  • Collection and accounting of all initial funds

5. Property Inspections

  • Regularly scheduled property inspections are part of best practice of property management.

  • Continued maintenance and upkeep are necessary to avoid costly repairs of the property.

  • Exterior appearance of a property is to be regularly inspected and maintained.

  • A full accounting of the property’s condition is to be documented upon occupancy and when vacating

  • FCR provides written and video documentation for all their rental properties.

6. Accounting for All Funds


  • Professional property managers account for all funds to the homeowners on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis.

  • All documentation of repairs and receipts should accompany all invoices.

  • End-of-the year statements should be provided to homeowners for tax purposes.

  • FCR provides all documentation on a monthly and yearly basis.

7. Property Advertising & Marketing

Not all property advertising and marketing are safe and productive. FCR advertising and marketing of their rental properties include:

  • Use professional photos

  • Use professional video

  • Networking with the multiple listing service (MLS)

  • Network on Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and additional social media pages

  • Promote on the local Facebook “Market Place” website

  • Post the vacancy on the company web page

  • Promote on the FCR “Consumer Coaching” radio show twice a month

  • Promote on Instagram


8. Avoiding Property Management Scams

  • National scams are on the rise. Rental property scams are among the top 5 in the nation.

  • The biggest culprit is rental properties advertised on “Craigslist”. FCR does not advertise any rental properties on Craigslist.

  • Scammers have two objectives to steal your money and your personal data

  • Perspective tenants should do their homework and verify with the property owner or the property management company.

  • Perspective tenants should not meet anyone at a vacant property or send money through the mail.

  • Use the rule-of-thumb “if it is too good to be true it probably is”.

  • Do not be scammed; be safe.


Professional property management requires knowledge, experience, and a commitment to best practices. This 8-part series is an outline of what to expect and require from a property manager, whether you are a property owner or perspective tenant. The responsibilities to both tenant and property owner require exceptional communication skills, professional marketing and technology tools, accounting abilities, knowledge of the landlord laws, and public relation proficiencies. The First Coast Realty Property Management Division offers all of this and more. Reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter and we would be happy to walk you through our two great programs or speak to our property manager by calling/texting today 904-494-8408 or email info@firstcoastrealtyinc.com

About the Authors: The video "Property Management-An 8 Part Series" was provided by Broker and Broker-Associate Gene and Libby Johnson with First Coast Realty Inc. We have built a top notch Rental Division, sure to meet everyone's need. We service St Augustine, Palm Coast, Palatka, and Jacksonville areas.

#RealEstate #StAugustine #FirstCoastRealty #REALTORS #HomesforRent #StAugustineRealEstate #RentalAdvice #PropertyManagement #TenantPlacement

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2746 US Hwy 1 South, St Augustine, FL 32086

Office:  904-494-8408 | Fax:  1-866-528-2323

info@firstoastrealtyinc.com

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