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Doorstead Guarantee explained: what is guaranteed rent?

Rent guarantee
How to rent out your home
Property management tips
Doorstead Guarantee explained: what is guaranteed rent?

If you're a homeowner, you might have heard of the term "rent guarantee" and might be curious about what it means. In this article, we'll explain rent guarantees, Doorstead's guaranteed rent model, and the benefits of guaranteed rent for homeowners. If you're looking for extra peace of mind, this lower-risk property management model may be what you need.

What is guaranteed rent?

Guaranteed rent means that a homeowner will always receive the rent owed to them. Homeowners use a guaranteed rent scheme to have someone else manage their property in exchange for a predetermined payment. The homeowner will still get paid, even if the property is empty or the tenant does not pay rent.

The Doorstead Guarantee means that if a tenant does not pay their rent or the property stays vacant, Doorstead will pay the rent for a set period as a service guarantee to the owner. Please note that the guaranteed rent offered by Doorstead differs from rent guarantee insurance, which you can read more about here.

With Doorstead's Guarantee, homeowners get paid on time every month. Get started today: www.doorstead.com

Why do we offer guaranteed rent?

Doorstead brings you the best of full-service property management. We believe a guarantee is better than a promise, and we use data and lean operations to guarantee your property's monthly rent and start date upfront. The Doorstead Guarantee is a property management contract that ensures your property's monthly rent and start date upfront. Doorstead has the best data and leasing practices because we're on the hook to deliver 100% of guaranteed rental income to you every month. We align our incentives and maximize customer results while simultaneously decreasing risk.

"With Doorstead, the response time, communication, and level of the specification have been outstanding. I appreciate the total professionalism and level of commitment to my satisfaction that I've experienced since working with Doorstead." Read more about this customer testimonial from our homeowner Cher in Oakland. 

The Doorstead Guarantee is a service by the Doorstead team that ensures homeowners and tenants using the platform have an excellent experience. Our guarantee also covers the full suite of tasks included in property management, like tenant placement, rent collection, maintenance coordination, and more. Learn how we make this possible through thoughtfully designed operations and machine learning [link to Doorstead's mission piece]. By using the Doorstead Guarantee, homeowners can relax knowing that their rental is in good hands.

How does the Doorstead Guarantee work?

Doorstead provides a guaranteed rent and start date for your property once you request an estimate on our website. After discussing your estimate with a rental advisor and signing our agreement, we inspect the property and take care of any repairs to get it rent ready. When your property becomes rent ready, we begin finding and placing the best tenant for your home and manage everything from start to finish so that you don't have to lift a finger.

What properties are eligible for a rent guarantee?

 Doorstead takes on the risk with a guarantee, so we maintain stricter requirements around initial property repairs to get your property to our Rent-Ready standards. Under a Doorstead Guarantee, Doorstead also has complete control over tenant selection. Please enter your address and answer some simple questions to see if your property type is eligible to be managed under the Doorstead Guarantee. You will receive an email with the recommended service.

Guaranteed Payments

We charge an 8% monthly Management Fee (the standard market rate) for guaranteed contracts. We will also charge 50% of the first month's rent as a fee if we need to place a new tenant. After that, Doorstead negotiates your rental price for you. If we beat our guarantee, you get more income. If your property rents out above the guaranteed price, you get to pocket the extra income. And if it falls short of the guaranteed rent, we cover the difference. Your rental payments will start on the Guaranteed Start Date. You will receive rent on the 8th of every month, 2-3 business days later, depending on your bank transfer time.

What are the benefits of the Doorstead Guarantee?

Doorstead firmly believes that a guarantee is more substantial than just a promise. Therefore, before any work begins, we guarantee your property's monthly rent and start date upfront. In addition, we align our interests and incentives to yours, ensuring we fill your unit quickly with only qualified tenants.

The Doorstead Guarantee minimizes the personal stress of dealing with vacancies, shortfalls in income, and constantly working to manage your property.

This process maximizes your rental income while simultaneously risks on your part. Doorstead offers a traditional contract for properties not eligible for the Doorstead Guarantee or for homeowners who prefer a traditional full-service property management approach. Begin by entering your property address, and our team will guide you to the right partnership option for your property.

What does the Doorstead Guarantee include?

Doorstead covers full-service property management. On top of the rent guarantee service agreement, this also includes:

  • Getting your property rent-ready by conducting necessary repairs
  • Taking high-quality photos and creating a 3-D walkthrough video of your property for listing
  • Listing and marketing your property on top rental sites
  • Conducting showings with our field agents 
  • Screening applications and selecting qualified tenants
  • Moving your tenant in
  • Performing regular property inspections
  • Handling maintenance requests
  • Renewing Leases
  • $10,000 of damage and eviction protections.

The takeaway on rent guarantees

Doorstead is a full-service property management company providing peace of mind to those renting. With guaranteed rent, homeowners no longer need to worry about vacancy periods or finding suitable tenants. 

If you want to rent out your property passively while eliminating any risk, the Doorstead Guarantee might be just right for you. So sign up today and get started on your guaranteed monthly rent contract.

Ally Gong
Ally Gong
Content Specialist

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10 features that tenants expect from rental homes
Home improvement
How to rent out your home
Property management tips

10 features that tenants expect from rental homes

Are you getting ready to rent out your rental property? If so, it's essential to ensure that your property has what tenants expect. This blog post will outline the different features that renters expect to find in a rental home. This information can help you get your rental property up to speed and appeal to more prospective tenants.

What are the main features tenants expect in rental properties? 

The main determinants that renters have in mind when looking for their dream property are location, price, size, and features.
  • One of the most critical features tenants look for is a good location.
  • Tenants want to be close to schools, public transportation, and other amenities.
  • Another important factor for tenants is price. Tenants wish to find a rental that fits their budget.
  • The size of the rental is also an important factor for tenants.
  • Tenants want a rental with enough space for their needs and usually have a pre-existing idea of how many rooms they want or their ideal size requirement.
  • Finally, tenants also look for rental properties with desired features. For example, some tenants might require a rental with a washer and dryer, while others might want a garage.

By keeping these essential features in mind, you can make sure that your rental property has what tenants are looking for:

  1. Washer and dryer

An in-unit washer and dryer is a feature that tenants often look for in a rental, especially in suburban neighborhoods or single-family homes. Consider installing one if your rental does not have an in-unit washer and dryer. It would be a worthwhile investment that would make your rental more attractive to tenants.

  1. Kitchen appliances

Tenants prefer newer appliances and usually look for functional microwaves, dishwashers, and large refrigerators and freezers.

Microwaves are another kitchen appliance that tenants often look for in rental units. If your rental kitchen has no built-in microwave, consider installing one or purchasing a stand-alone microwave. Another kitchen appliance tenants often look for is a large refrigerator, which can be especially important for families who need more food. Finally, a dishwasher is another valuable appliance that tenants might search for in rental units because it is efficient and durable.

You can find some of the best deals for appliances at Costco, Home Depot, and Amazon. These three are our team's top picks for the best pricing and quality of delivery and installations.

  1. Blinds/window treatments

Blinds or window treatments are other features tenants might want in rental units. Standard blinds provide privacy and help to keep the unit cool in the summer. If your rental does not have blinds or window treatments, consider installing them.

  1. Well-maintained backyard/outdoor space

A private balcony or backyard is an attractive aspect that will help your property stand out from the competition. People are always searching for a little piece of nature, so by providing even a small outdoor space, you'll be able to draw in more interest and charge higher rent.

  1. Neutral, freshly painted walls

If you have any loud or eccentric wallpaper or colors in your rental, you should consider painting over it with a neutral color. Neutral wall tones appeal to the most extensive range of renters. Fresh and neutral paint colors are a winning combination that will make your rental more attractive to tenants. 

  1. Safety and Security Features

The security of your home is essential, and there are a few key things you can do to help keep it safe. Ensure all doors and windows have secure locks, install a burglar alarm, and double-glaze any vulnerable windows. It's also worth installing smoke alarms on every floor of your house and carbon monoxide detectors in rooms with solid fuel appliances such as fires or boilers. Remember that annual gas safety checks or having working smoke alarms installed can be required by law.

  1. Parking availability

Not providing parking for tenants makes you more likely to have difficulty filling your vacancy with high-quality renters. Many people own cars and don't want the additional hassle and expense of finding street parking or paying for a commercial lot. By including secure on-site parking, you can make your property much more attractive to potential tenants. If you live in a crowded city, parking is essential to finding a home. If your building doesn't offer off-street parking, try to direct tenants to a nearby parking garage that's at most five or six blocks away.

  1. Clean/empty garage or additional storage

Tenants would value a rental that includes a clean and empty garage or additional storage. Having storage space for belongings can be especially important for families. Consider installing more storage units in individual rooms if your rental does not have a garage or extra storage capacity. 

  1. Move-in ready condition

Make sure that all repairs have been made before listing and showing your property to prospective tenants. Getting your property in move-in-ready condition means painting, carpeting, or cleaning- anything to ensure an excellent first impression. Remember, the rental unit should be in move-in-ready condition. A good impression sets the expectation for the tenant that they will also have to maintain high standards of cleanliness and respectful upkeep. Here's Doorstead's comprehensive guide to getting your property ready for move-ins.

  1. Air Conditioning

Installing air conditioning is a great way to make your rental property more attractive to tenants, especially if you live in an area with hot summers. Tenants will be willing to pay more for a rental unit that includes functioning air conditioning. Air conditioning expectations can differ by state, and this article from U.S. News explores air conditioning rates in the largest U.S. cities. Air conditioning is standard in cities like San Diego and Los Angeles but is surprisingly less common in other areas like the Bay Area or Seattle.

By keeping these ten expected features in mind, you can ensure that your rental property meets the expectations of quality tenants looking for a home. By having an attractive rental to tenants, you will be able to rent out your unit more quickly and for a higher price. For more ideas on creating a valuable and attractive rental property, check out our top seven ROI-generating remodels. Consider some popular home improvement trends reaching 2023 and beyond.

10 surprising home features that sell for more than you'd expect
Home improvement
Interior design
How to rent out your home

10 surprising home features that sell for more than you'd expect

If you're planning on selling your home soon, you'll want to highlight notable or desirable features that today's buyers value. Zillow recently analyzed over 3.1 million home sales from 2020 and 2021 and looked at how much more money or faster a deal went when a house had a specific feature. The features on this list may surprise you, but they can all add emotional and monetary value to your home.

A home's well-designed ambiance and overall convenience can generate a cumulative value greater than the value of its individual components.

 In this blog post, we will discuss ten unexpected home features that recently sold for more than expected, according to the Zillow analysis. Consider these when considering value-adding remodels or preparing your home for sale!

Steam oven 3.7%

Steam ovens are rising in popularity as a home feature and come with a healthy price premium. Cooking with steam has become increasingly popular because it's a fast and easy way to make healthy meals. A steam oven uses hot vapor to cook food, saving time in the kitchen. Further, this cooking method doesn't strip away essential moisture and nutrients from your dishes like other methods might, so you can be sure that you're enjoying all of the flavor and health benefits your meal offers. Listings that mention the presence of a steam oven sell for an average of 3.7% more than those that don't.

Modern farmhouse 3.0%

Move over, mid-century modern – the rustic, homey style of the contemporary farmhouse is having a moment. In response to the stark, minimalist style popular in the 1990s and early 2000, a cozier interior design trend arose: modern farmhouse. This look combines classic comfort with rustic features like reclaimed wood. Modern-day farmhouses usually consist of newer homes that builders have designed to look like older country houses. These new construction homes include focused contemporary elements such as light and neutral color schemes, smooth lines, and modern appliances. In addition, they often feature exposed beams, large porches, and a rustic feel. And apparently, buyers are willing to pay up for that chic country vibe: Listings that mention a modern farmhouse style sell for an average of 3.0% more than those that don't.

New appliances 2.6%

Nothing says "move-in ready," like a home with brand-new appliances. New appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, and washers and dryers can add value to a home. They can make a home feel more luxurious and comfortable, with a corresponding elevated price tag. Listings mentioning new appliances sell for an average of 2.6% more than those with older appliances.

Shiplap 2.6%

The fixer-upper trend popularized by HGTV shows like Joanna and Chip Gaines' "Fixer Upper" has led to a renewed interest in affordable reclaimed materials like shiplap. Shiplap is a versatile wooden board used for wall coverings and ceilings. Homes across the country have adopted and adapted on top of shiplap material. It's no secret that shiplap is one of the most versatile and popular materials today. Due to its durability, buyers can find it in homes across America. That's good news for sellers, as listings mentioning shiplap sell for an average of 2.6% more.

High-speed WiFi 2.5%

In today's world, high-speed WiFi is a must – and buyers are willing to pay for it. Broadband or high-speed WiFi is an essential feature for many homebuyers, as it allows them to work from home, stream movies and TV shows, play games, and stay connected. Although a broadband connection costs $100–500 more per year than a dial-up service, it is estimated to be five to 50 times faster than traditional dial-up services. Broadband and high-speed WiFi are becoming increasingly important for people who work from home or need to be constantly connected. The advantages and speed of broadband make it worth the price for most consumers. Listings mentioning high-speed WiFi sell for an average of 2.5% more.

Nautical 2.4%

A nautical theme is a way to go for buyers who want to feel like they're on vacation all year round. Nautical-themed homes often have coastal or maritime-inspired design elements like ship wheels and blue and white shades to evoke feelings of relaxation and leisure. A nautical-themed interior design can make you feel like you're living right by the ocean. This theme in your living areas instantly creates a sense of comfort. With its connotations of tranquility, this design trend is common in bathrooms but is also easily incorporated in other areas. Listings mentioning a nautical theme sell for an average of 2.4% more than those without.

Seismic retrofit 2.4%

In earthquake-prone areas, a home with a seismic retrofit is a hot commodity. A seismic retrofit strengthens a house or building to make it more resistant to earthquakes.

A seismic retrofit is an important feature for buyers in earthquake-prone areas, as it can help protect their home and their family in the event of an earthquake. Safety comes at a price: Listings mentioning a seismic retrofit sell for an average of 2.4% more.

Metal roof 2.2%

A metal roof isn't just for barns anymore – and apparently, buyers are willing to pay a premium for the durability and style that a metal roof can offer. Although metal roofs cost more upfront than cheaper options like asphalt composite shingles, there are several compelling reasons to switch. Metal roofing is much more durable and can last two to three times longer than a traditional roof, so you'll save money in the long run. Metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular for their durability, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal. Listings mentioning a metal roof sell for an average of 2.2% more than those without.

Heated floor 2.4%

For buyers who want to feel like they're living in the lap of luxury, a heated floor is a way to go. This feature is becoming increasingly popular in high-end homes, offering comfort and style. Heated floors are also energy efficient so buyers can save money on their energy bills. Radiant floor heating systems heat the floor directly with thermal radiation and electromagnetic waves. The heat from the bottom rises and disperses throughout the room, warming up the entire room more efficiently than traditional bulkier methods that only heat the air. Heated floors are popular for people who want warmth and comfort incorporated directly into their homes. Listings mentioning heated floors sell for an average of 2.4% more.

Dog and pet houses 2.3%

68% of pet owners said that they prioritize their pet's needs when choosing a house, according to Homes.com. Furthermore, a 2020 Zillow report found that homes with animal-inclusive additions sell quicker and for more money. Dog houses and pet houses are becoming popular for buyers who want to ensure their animal friends have a comfortable place to call home. And like dog houses, listings mentioning pet houses sell for an average of 2.3% more than those without.

While these ten home features can help increase the sale price of your home, it's important to remember that not all buyers are looking for the same things. Adding these design features to a home, or just adding these words to a for-sale listing description, does not always cause the final sale price to increase in the exact percentages listed. Some buyers may be willing to pay more for a feature vital to them, while others may care less. Homes with these kinds of features in their descriptions may be of generally higher quality all around (or are at least perceived to be) in ways that are difficult to observe or quantify but which tend to lead to a higher final sale price ultimately.

Homebuyers tend to see these features and updated design choices as modern and valuable, so if your home has any move-in-ready qualities, promote these features. If you want to definitively increase the value of your home or property, here are seven value-adding remodels you can consider. If you're looking to remodel your space and keep it up to date, check out nine trending home improvements for 2023 and beyond.

*The percentages listed are the amount of extra upsell you can expect to get for your house if it has that feature after considering how popular that feature is among buyers. For more details or to check out their methodology, read their full report on modern home features that sell. 

Did you find this article surprising or helpful? If so, please share it! And if you're looking for more helpful tips and resources on property management and home improvement, visit the Doorstead blog.

Should you self-manage your San Francisco rental home? Here are some important considerations before deciding
Property management tips
How to rent out your home

Should you self-manage your San Francisco rental home? Here are some important considerations before deciding

San Francisco is one of the most affluent cities in America and home to some of the world's most desirable real estate. San Francisco homeowners who can effectively navigate the city's complex rental market can enjoy a steady income stream and long-term growth potential for their real estate portfolio.

If you own a home in San Francisco, it's essential to understand the pros and cons of self-managing versus hiring a professional property manager. We'll cover the important considerations to factor into the decision-making, outline self-management benefits, and share best practices for this approach. In self-managing your property, prepare to learn about some unique challenges of this rental market alongside the standard demands of property management. The best option ultimately depends on your specific property and your capacity.

A broad overview of San Francisco's real estate environment

Whether you choose to self-manage or hire a property manager, it's essential to have a solid understanding of San Francisco's rental market and local environment. The San Francisco region is one of the most expensive and lucrative real estate markets in the United States, with average rent for San Francisco at $3,397 a month for an average apartment size of 740 square feet

Broad trends in San Francisco's rental market for homeowners to evaluate are:

  • In San Francisco, 65% of households rent their homes versus 45% region-wide.
  • More than 60% of renters live where the city can control rent. This means that the rent can be raised very little, if at all. The number of rent-controlled units almost doubles rental units not under rent control.
  • San Francisco has a lot of old housing. About 80% of the City's housing was built before 1980.

Home to leading technology and consumer companies and startups, a deep and diverse history, and a thriving modern culture, San Francisco is one of America's most iconic cities. San Francisco is home to a diverse population, with residents from all over the United States and the world. You can read all about San Francisco's demographics, seasonal trends, housing trends, and employment trends in our 2022 guide.

Property management statistics in San Francisco

San Francisco property management encompasses everything from preparing the property to be up to market standards, finding and screening tenants, collecting rent, conducting repairs, performing maintenance, and adjusting to local laws and regulations. Three main challenges of self-managing property in San Francisco in 2022 are high turnover rates, strict rental rules, and budgeting accurately for repairs and maintenance. Homeowners in San Francisco frequently hire professional management companies to help navigate these complex tasks. According to a recent Buildium report, the number of rental owners who use a property manager rose to 64% during the pandemic. It settled at a new high of 61% as of mid-2021. In addition, 25% of rental owners working with an external property manager do so primarily to ensure their properties are being run compliant with current San Francisco regulations.

Doorstead has helped manage hundreds of homes in San Francisco. Learn about the advantages of working with Doorstead as your property management service. 

When self-managing your property is the right option

Rental homeownership or property management is more hands-on than, for example, investing in the stock market. With the latter, you can invest funds into a mutual fund as a passive investment. However, generating rental profit from home needs more effort from the homeowner if self-managing. Although it's difficult, many rental homeowners have successfully managed a property in San Francisco. The most important determinants to deciding if you should self-manage your investment home are property size and type, property location, and personal bandwidth. 

The first determinant to consider is the size and type of your property. The lot size, the physical condition of the buildings, and floor plans vary significantly across San Francisco and by neighborhood. Discerning accurate property and monthly rental values for your property is challenging but key in helping you benchmark the rest of your management strategy. You can enter your address into Doorstead for a pricing analysis of your property compared to millions of recent data points. Vacancy rates in San Francisco also vary by unit size and building age. Larger units rent out for higher rates and experience less churn. According to housing data from San Francisco Planning, smaller housing units like studio apartments and one-bedroom units tend to have higher vacancies. Small rental property owners can manage their own units, but it becomes more challenging to handle everything by yourself as the number of properties or size of each unit grows. Older buildings have costlier or more specific renovations that might be harder to scout and manage without solid expertise. Older housing stock also has higher vacancy rates than new construction housing. Through Doorstead, you can get an immediate pricing assessment of your property and when exactly we can help it start generating rental income. 

Another consideration when assessing self-management or working with a property manager is the location of your property. If you live near your rental property, it'll be easier to handle ongoing maintenance and repairs and check up on your building as needed. Additionally, if your property is located in a desirable area, it could be easier to attract high-quality tenants by setting reasonable prices. If your property is located in a high-crime area, it's essential to have someone who can keep an eye on things and handle any issues that may arise. With crime mapping services, websites, or phone apps, you can check recent crime reports by location. San Francisco property managers typically have a network of security guards and other professionals they can call on if there's an issue at your property. Another important consideration when self-managing rental property in San Francisco is that specific neighborhoods are highly regulated, requiring you to abide by strict local regulations.

Finally, you'll need to decide how much bandwidth you have to perform day-to-day management of your San Francisco property. If you work full-time, are raising children, or have another significant commitment, you may not have the time to handle every aspect of property management yourself. Read Doorstead's complete guide to property management to get an overview of what will need to go into managing your home and evaluate if you can balance it alongside other careers, households, and personal responsibilities. If you oversee the property yourself, you'll be responsible for everything from finding tenants and screening them to handling repairs and maintenance issues that could occur all day or night. If you have some background in property management or have plenty of time to learn and troubleshoot when problems arise, self-management could be an ideal option. Otherwise, working with a property manager will take some of the day-to-day responsibilities off your plate.

Benefits to managing your property yourself

Self-management can be a lot of work, but it can also be enriching and an excellent skill to build.

Some key benefits to self-managing your rental property in San Francisco include: 

  • Complete control over pricing, tenant selection, repairs, and other factors that may impact your bottom line.
  • Developing experience in property management that can be applied to other rental properties or investments in the future.
  • Saving money on fees and other costs associated with working with a San Francisco property manager.
  • Ability to directly build relationships with tenants and customize your tenant communications.

If you believe self-managing your San Francisco property is the best approach, check Doorstead's dos and don'ts of managing property in San Francisco!

How to effectively self-manage your own rental property in San Francisco

Be an expert on the neighborhood your property is in

San Francisco property management is a unique challenge that requires experience and knowledge of the local market. To market to and attract high-quality tenants, familiarize yourself with the amenities and attractions in your home's neighborhood and read about popular areas to live and rent in San Francisco in 2022.

Anticipate and be able to navigate challenges unique to San Francisco

There are unique challenges that come with managing rentals in San Francisco. The three main ones are high turnover rates, budgeting for expenses, and adhering to strict rental laws and policies. We give an in-depth overview of the 3 unique challenges of renting in San Francisco and how to overcome them in a separate guide. 

Incorporate general property management best practices

After factoring in regional differences and local challenges, there are general best practices for managing your rental property. For example, invest in marketing, be responsive and communicative to any issues or concerns tenants may have, and perform regular repairs and maintenance to maintain your property's value on the market. These include staying organized and keeping up with routine maintenance tasks, screening tenants carefully to avoid bad matches, fostering positive relationships with tenants, and finding reliable contractors for repairs and other needs.

You can learn more by checking out Doorstead's complete guide to property management or our comprehensive guide to renting your home.

Evaluating alternative options

If you are thinking about managing a rental property in San Francisco, consider all of your options and weigh the potential pros and cons. If you have experience with property management, live near the property in question, or are willing to take the time to troubleshoot as needed, self-management could be an excellent option for you.

If you need more assistance to handle all the responsibilities of managing a San Francisco rental home, alternative property management options are available. One option is to work with a local real estate agent who can help find tenants and handle monthly maintenance tasks like collecting rent and managing repairs. Another option is to outsource day-to-day operations to a professional property management company. We also have a guide on all the benefits of working with a professional San Francisco property management service.

Doorstead's expert team has worked with hundreds of property types in San Francisco and offers full-service property management. If you're debating between hiring a property management company or self-managing your home, Doorstead might be the right choice for you. Learn about the process of working with Doorstead, read testimonials from our homeowners, or enter your property address to get a pricing assessment from Doorstead.

Did you find this article on managing your rental home in San Francisco helpful? If so, please share it with your friends! And if you're looking for more helpful tips and resources on San Francisco property management, visit our blog.