From apartments to luxury homes, Realty Masters manages the largest portfolio of rental properties in the Pensacola area. Our property managers are licensed real estate agents who are equipped with the knowledge and experience needed to properly manage your investment property. Our motto is to treat your rental property as if it were our own!
We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions by prospective and current property owners. Of course, reach out to our team with any questions you may have.
Do you have advice for New Landlords?Being a landlord can be tough. Some years are good with high income and low expenses but other years can drain you. Head over to our to our blog to read dozens of landlord articles for the new and seasoned investor.
What is Fair Housing?
We comply fully with the Fair Housing Act. We are obligated by ethics and bound by law to be an equal opportunity housing partner. Realty Masters does not discriminate against race, color, age, sex, religion, familial status, or handicap, nor does Realty Masters work with any property owners that discriminate.
For this reason, and to stay compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, when we screen applicants, we only provide information relative to passing or failing the criteria. Do not ask us to provide any other information, especially any information that would violate the Fair Housing Act. If you are not comfortable with that, unfortunately, Realty Masters is not the property management company for you.
Are you licensed?Yes, our firm is a licensed real estate brokerage. Our license number is CQ1007988. Our team is led by three licensed real estate brokers, Nicole St. Aubin, Christine Laughlin, and Pam Keen. Each of our property managers also hold a Florida real estate license.
What types of properties do you manage?
We lease and manage a variety of duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, condos, townhomes, single family homes, and small apartments in Pensacola, Cantonment, Beulah, Pace, Milton, Gulf Breeze, and Navarre.
We prefer to manage vacant, long-term rentals. We do not manage short term rentals, defined as a rental with a lease term of less than 6 months. We also do not manage commercial real estate.
Why should I use a professional to manage my home?
While the reasons our clients choose professional management vary, here are some of the key reasons people elect professional management over self-management:
- We understand and apply the correct federal, state, and local laws, keeping you from making serious mistakes you don’t even know you are making.
- We know the local market, have an extensive network of tenants ready to rent, and have advertising resources available to us at discounted rates. This allows us to effectively market your vacant home to prospective residents to get it filled faster.
- Our screening tools are superior to the products available to the DIY landlord.
- We conduct routine property evaluations. Many landlords underestimate the value of gaining access into the property while it’s occupied or properly documenting the property before and after tenants.
- We handle maintenance and emergency repairs using licensed, insured vendors with proper worker’s compensation coverage.
- We enforce collection of rents and serve the proper notices upon failure to pay.
- After you add up the increased rent we can often command, the discounts you'll receive on advertising, and the company rate we get on repairs, you'll often make more money than if you managed the property yourself! As a plus, our fees are tax deductible.
We have been in the Pensacola property management business for 25 years and have placed over 7,500 tenants in that time. Through that time, we’ve seen a little bit of everything: hurricanes, mold, carbon monoxide leaks, death of a tenant, evictions, and vandalism. Luckily, the majority of tenant relationships are smooth, but when something bad happens, it can be made worse with inexperience and the wrong actions. We always say, we can’t always prevent bad things from happening, but we sure know how to handle it when it does! Don't let your inexperience as a landlord cost you income or litigation.
Ready to hire Realty Masters as your professional property manager? Read more about Full Service Property Management here.
Do you charge a security deposit?We charge a security deposit equal to one month’s rent.
How do you screen applicants for my property?
Our rental application criteria focuses on: credit, income, and rental history. We use Transunion to provide nationwide credit, eviction, and background checks on each applicant. We also contact the past two rental references when possible to get a complete picture of the renters history. You can elect to consider unqualified applicants or require that all applicants meet the criteria. Conditional approvals typically come with an increased security deposit.
To view the full rental criteria used to screen your tenants, view our application criteria.
What are your fees for property management?
Our standard monthly management fee is 10% of the rent. We do offer preferred pricing for active duty military and investors with 3+ units at a discount rate of 8%. Visit our pricing page for more details.
Keep in mind, there are no fees while your home is vacant or until your property is rented. If you aren't collecting rent, we aren't collecting a management fee.
What is your company's policy on pets?
As statistics show nearly 70% of renters have pets, we do recommend you consider pets at your properties. Because each owner has individual preferences, we leave this up to you! Be specific with your details for preferences on pets, and we’ll advertise and screen prospective renters accordingly. We do have blanket breed restrictions for dogs. Typically, tenants pay a $250 non-refundable pet fee per pet at the time of move in. The renter signs a pet addendum stating to care for the animal and assume responsibility for any damages caused by pets.
Please keep in mind that assistance animals including service animals and emotional assistance animals are not considered pets. Under the ADA and Fair Housing guidelines, a property owner cannot deny an emotional assistance animal or a service animal as long as proper documentation is provided to document the animal and need for assistance. We will verify the documentation provided meets the threshold required under the law. Assistance and service animals are not subject to pet fees or pet rent.
Do you provide monthly statements?Yes! Your online portal houses monthly statements of rent and other income received, as well as maintenance and additional expenses paid on your behalf. Your portal also houses important documents including leases and occupied property evaluations, and provides a real time accounting of funds. We also provide a year-end statement and 1099 tax documents.
Where do you advertise?
Nearly all prospective renters are using the internet to find housing. That’s why we focus our leasing efforts on two categories: the internet and the pool of tenants who contact us for housing. Every day, we work to strengthen our internet presence to boost exposure for your vacancy. Our listings are advertised on over 75 rental websites including Pensacola MLS, Zillow, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, realtor.com, Hotpads, Trulia and more.
Additionally, because we lease more homes than any other Pensacola property management company, we have a huge pool of existing renters looking to move, and we likely have a tenant ready to lease your property.
How long will it take my property to rent?Our team rents a house every day in the Pensacola area. While each property is different, our average days on the market is 14.
How soon can you start managing my property?In many cases, it only takes us a day or two to get started.
How does the Section 8/ HUD process work?There is no requirement to participate with the Section 8 program in Pensacola, Florida, as program participation is voluntary. If you want to read more about how the local HUD program works, read our blog.
When do I receive rental proceeds?Direct deposit is usually done to your account by the 10th of each month. If your rent has not been collected, you will be notified by the 7th of the month.
How do I access my online statements?Choose owner login to access your account. Your online portal houses monthly statements of rent and other income received, as well as maintenance and additional expenses paid on your behalf. Your portal also houses important documents including leases and occupied property evaluations, and provides a real time accounting of funds. We also provide a year-end statement and 1099 tax documents. If you do not have access to your online account, please reach out to our team.
Where can I get a copy of my current lease?Your online account holds a copy of your current lease, as well as any repair bills or other invoices we may pay on your behalf. Choose owner login to access your account.
Who does maintenance repairs on my property?
Realty Masters does not own or operate a maintenance business, nor do we profit off any maintenance done to your property. Some companies make the fact that they have an in house maintenance program seem like a benefit for you.Sadly, it has also become accepted in the industry to charge a maintenance premium and mark up maintenance costs 10-15%. Several local management companies are doing this. As we are fellow landlords ourselves, we don’t feel good about profiting off your repairs, and repair expenses are too high these days anyways. That’s why we promise never to charge a maintenance premium or surcharge on repairs.
With that being said, we have long standing relationships with local Pensacola area contractors who complete all work on our properties. They are vetted, complete a rigorous application process, and provide the proper documentation to be added to our vendor list. We only hire licensed and insured vendors with proper workers compensation. Rest assured that we are using well qualified vendors to complete routine maintenance and repairs in your home. To review our vendor requirements, head to the Vendors tab.
Can I get multiple bids for repairs?
Of Course! Realty Masters tries our best to get multiple quotes on major improvements like roofing and HVAC replacement and for turnover repairs like painting and flooring. With increased gas prices and short staffing, we try to be respectful of vendors' time and do request that small tickets under $200 are completed without an estimate. Our team typically provides 2 quotes in these instances, and you may contact vendors and request additional quotes. Our team is happy to provide access!
In some cases, we are not able to call around for best prices as work is needed urgently in order to prevent further damage. In addition, night and weekend emergencies are assessed at a premium rate by vendors.
How do you handle emergency repairs?Our staff carries an emergency phone for tenants to call when the need arises 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We screen out non-emergency calls, troubleshoot calls as possible, and contact technicians to diagnose the problem as fast as possible when emergencies arrive.
When is hurricane season and How do I prepare?
Hurricane season is June 1st through November 30th. We spend our time preparing for a potential storm by contacting residents, notifying them of responsibilities, and securing vacant properties.
One of the best ways to protect your property is to have hurricane shutters with all necessary hardware at the house. Plywood is not a viable option at the time of a storm and can damage your home if installed improperly. While we can request a tenant complete the installation of hurricane vendors, we recommend you pay a vendor to deploy shutters if desired to prepare for a storm.
Selling Your Property
I need to sell my property, can you help?
Yes! Realty Masters is a full service real estate company with a sales department. Our Realtors are happy to provide a market analysis to determine an accurate value for your Pensacola real estate investment. Request a market analysis on our website now and one of our agents will follow up with you. If you’re not set on whether to sell or rent, let us help you with both at the same time.
Here's an article and video with some advice to consider before selling your tenant occupied property.
Interested in buying another property?Our Realtors are trained to work with investors! Most of our sales listings are investors liquidating their portfolios. We work daily with investors around the country and keep our eye on all new foreclosure listings hitting the market. With our unsurpassed knowledge of the rental market, we can help you find another investment property or find a nice place for you to live in our area.