Our maintenance procedures are especially popular with our out of town investors. You are free to utilize our services as much or as little as you desire. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.
Do I have to use you for maintenance?
No. We are slammed with work and have no problem with you doing your own maintenance. Our rule issimple, if you want to handle your own maintenance, your tenants must call you first. You must determine this before we go into contract. After about 10 calls, you will probably give up on that exercise.
How do you accept payment?
Electronically. 95% of maintenance events will be covered by your tenant’s rent. Rarely do you have to come out of pocket. Our electronic payment system goes through an online property management software system. It’s the only method of payment we use. That system allows you to pay via credit cards or directly from your checking account. We do not accept checks in the mail. It’s hard enough chasing tenants down for money. By the way, we don’t make you pay a reserve up front, we trust that you will pay us in a timely manner.
How much do you mark up your vendor invoices? $0 We show you our vendor invoices.
|Utilities (we prefer you manage your own)||$10 each|
|Minor Repairs (generally stuff under $400)||$26 admin fee to process / document / pay vendors|
|Major Repairs (multiple trades involved over $400)||$100 admin fee to process / document / pay vendors|
|Major Rehabs / Trash Outs||$100 – $1000 – Rates will depend on the severity|
|Home Warranty Calls||$20 over warranty invoice|
Can I set my threshold to repairs under $400?
No. We have attempted to have “exceptions” to the rule and we fail every time. We would rather lose you now than to lose you later when we didn’t see the little note in the system for your exception. Maybe we will get clever later and figure out how to flag a property with different thresholds. For now, you have to fit into our processes. Sorry.
Do you use home warranties?
Not Recommended. Over 50% of the time, they don’t cover an issue and our maintenance department spent an hour on the phone with the tenant and the warranty company trying to get status. They are best used for major ticket items like AC units, furnaces and foundation leaks. Even then, they usually figure out a way to throw the owner under the bus. The cost benefits are dubious for small repairs. We simply don’t recommend them but we will not stop you from using them. Nearly all our owners drop them after the warranty expires because they suck.
Our Maintenance Process
When a tenant places a call to (702) 690-9201, their voice mail is converted to a text and sent to all our maintenance managers and the broker. The first person to take the call will enter the call into our system to “open a ticket” for that property. We use this call log in case we get a clever tenant who tries to use this as an excuse not to pay rent. The first person to take the call gets the $20 admin fee. The admin fee includes figuring out which vendor(s) to send, creating an invoice, creating a photo album of the before and after photos, billing you and paying the vendor. This is a complex task and the $20 barely covers the amount of time to do this.
Vendors are only paid when they provide evidence that the job was completed and they send us an invoice. We include vendor phone numbers, photos, and invoices in case you want to roll up your sleeves and quiz them on the details. We have about 4 vendors for every task you can think of because we don’t want any one of them to have us hog tied.
Rehabs / Major Events
Limestone charges a $100 to $1000 admin fee to get updated photos / videos during the progress. These types of events usually include multiple trades. A $1000 admin fee would apply to a “burn out” or massive rehab. Anything major will require your approval, so you will know the costs before work is done.
If you have a maintenance issue less than $400, we just fix it and bill you. It isn’t practical to send 3 handyman out to do an estimate on a $100 problem. We use vendors that we trust to do a good job at a fair price. If one of our vendors starts charging us too much, we simply cut them off. Vendor management is a constant internal process at Limestone.
We get love letters from HOAs on a daily basis. Not a problem. We first inform the tenant to fix the issue. We put the deadline in our calendar. If they don’t fix the problem, we fix it for them and then bill them. If they don’t pay us, we toss them out. 95% of these are resolved with the tenant fixing the problem. Sometimes, however, an HOA can get naughty by unfairly charging your tenant for a violation that isn’t their responsibility or wrongly accused. If the HOA violation requires us to fight it, then we charge $20 per hour to deal with a naughty HOA. These battles rarely go past $100.
Don’t forget that you can fire us at any time. We do things efficiently at a fair price. If you don’t think we are doing an excellent job, you can move along to another company at anytime. We fire more owners than owners fire us. The number one reason why we fire owners is because they don’t pay us within a reasonable time. We are able to retain inexpensive vendors because we pay them promptly before we get paid. Limestone is floating thousands of dollars because we trust our owners will pay us back in a timely manner.