Tennessee Valley Realty Associates

Commercial Property Owner's FAQ


Questions new clients frequently ask:


  • Q: What services are included when you lease and/or manage a property?

    A: Our fee structure is typically broken down into three fees: a leasing fee, a management fee and a renewal fee.

    Our leasing fee includes:
    • Assessing market rent amount
    • Coordinating the advertising for the property for rent
    • Showing property to potential tenants
    • Screening potential tenants
    • Procuring lease
    • Collecting security deposit
    • Performing move-in inspection
    • Coordinating routine maintenance issues while property is vacant (cleaning, lawn maintenance, etc.)
    Our management fee includes:
    • Collecting rent
    • Notifying tenants with a pay or quit notice when they are late
    • Assessing and collecting late fees
    • Coordinating evictions
    • Receiving maintenance requests from tenants and dispatching professional, reliable, and fairly-priced subcontractors
    • Performing regular inspections as well as move-out inspections
    • Reconciling security deposits
    • Strategic long-term planning including recommendations for long-term maintenance issues, potential rent increases, etc.
    • Monthly and year-end financial reporting to make your year-end tax filing as simple as possible
    Our renewal fee includes:
    • Reassessing market rent
    • Contacting owner to ask if they want to renew and advising owner on new rental amount
    • Reaching out to tenant to negotiate the renewal
    • Procuring a signed renewal letter or in some cases, a new lease
  • Q: What is done to market my vacancies?  Where do you advertise?

    A: TVRA coordinates all property marketing. A professional stake or mounted sign is posted on the outside of each property with a vacancy. Every vacant unit is listed (on the website), Local MLS and syndicated to several real estate websites. 

  • Q: I interviewed several property management firms and found a lot variation in fees. Why is that?

    A: Property Management companies operate completely independently from one another, and set their fees according to what is consider reasonable returns for their efforts. There are no “standard” fees for particular services. At TVRA, our emphasis is on quality, convenience and your peace-of-mind. We believe our program provides excellent value for our investment property owners. Our philosophy is to deliver an exceptional range of services to our landlords, tenants and investment property owners with full disclosure and integrity. We also provide property owners with a full array of services that are normally reserved to large commercial properties. Our expertise is in the details and providing extraordinary customer services.
  • Q:Why do property management companies charge leasing commisions? How are these diffferent from management fees?

    A: Monthly management fees cover the cost associated with day-to-day property management. We operate as a boutique management service, thus all of our services are customized to meet your very specific needs. Why pay for services that you don't need. With Personal Property Managers, you are in the drivers seat. Tell us what you need and we'll help you accomplish your goals.

  • Q: How are tenants selected?

    A: We screen tenants using the following methods:
    • Credit screening
    • Employment/Income verification
    • Rental history verification
    • Eviction History
    • Criminal background check
  • Q: How are repairs handled at my property?

    A:  TVRA orders out and supervises all the repairs at your property. Independent contractors and handymen are hired who give us the best price in the marketplace. Any discounts are passed to the property owner. Annual inspections are conducted to check for plumbing leaks, roof wear, pealing paint, mildew, and tenant damage.  Tenant caused damage is billed backto the culpable tenant or taken out of their deposit, if they do not pay the bill back promptly.
  • Q: What types of properties do you manage?

    A: We manage single-family homes, multi-family dwellings, apartment complexes, office space, and retail space.


  • Q: Where do you manage property?

    A: TVRA has managed property all over East Tennessee. The company has the largest number of units in Knoxville metro area. Call to see if your location will fit into our management area of expertise.

  • Q: How do you handle maintenance requests?

    A: For emergencies, tenants may leave a voicemail message that pages one of us 24 hours a day. In a non-emergency situation we have an online form that can be filled out.  After we receive a repair request, we may contact the tenant and ask them questions which will help us determine the exact nature of the problem before sending a service technician. We also make sure it is not something the tenant can fix themselves (ex. Reset button on the disposal, tripped breaker) before your money is spent on a service call. After determining that it is a legitimate problem, we will send the appropriate service vendor to make the repair.

    We tell our tenants that we are able to handle most repair requests within 1-3 working days, and in fact are usually able to do so. Comfort items such as A/C, no hot water or heat, receive highest priority and are usually attended to the same or next business day.

  • Q: How informed will I be about what happens with my property?

    A: Absent any special considerations unique to you or your property, our rule of thumb is this: If something may cause a potential interruption in your ordinary cash flow (loss of tenant or major repair), we will let you know right away. Other than that, the saying "no news is good news" is most appropriate. Non emergency items will be communicated along with your monthly statements and, of course, we encourage you to contact us anytime you have a question or wish to discuss something.
    We know some owners desire a level of involvement that our property management system is not designed to accommodate. We try to make sure you are a good match for our style of property management. Part of this process is this FAQ section so you can obtain a sense of our operations.

    If you are a worrisome property owner who needs constant involvement, we may not be a good match for your needs. The property owners that appreciate us the most are ones that truly want everything handled for them turn-key and don't want to be bothered unless something important is happening.

  • Q: Do you hold some of my money for repairs? How much?

    A: We will hold back $300 per unit in your account so that we always have funds to pay our vendors quickly.

  • Q: How do I know you won't spend my money on large repairs without my approval?

    A: This is a legitimate fear. We promise in writing not to do that. For ordinary maintenance and repairs of less than $300, we take care of it without notifying you. You will find out when you receive your monthly statement. If we think a repair might exceed $300, we will call you and let you know what is happening, what we think should be done, and what the estimated cost might be.

    Sometimes expenses such as replacing a bad water heater, a roof leak that needs patching or repair, or emergency A/C and furnace repairs are unavoidable. In those cases where 1) the health or safety of a tenant is an issue, or 2) in instances where there is only one option to consider or 3) the property will incur damage if immediate action is not taken, we will initiate the repair work, even if it is higher than the $300 limit, and then let you know of the situation and what we are doing about it. Mainly, we don't think important repairs should be delayed while we try to contact you for permission to do the obvious.

  • Q: How much do you charge the tenant for security deposit? And who holds the security deposit?

    A: We typically charge a tenant 100% of one full months' rent. This is what will be asked by most property owners and managers. We do not hold on to security deposits. Once we receive them they will be mailed to you. You will then be advised on how hold them.

  • Q: When do you mail the owner's checks and statements?

    A: Owner's checks and statements are mailed by the 23rd day of each month. Most months you will have your check and statement in hand by the 26th. You can also log in to the site to see all your past statements.

  • Q: Are your property management fees negotiable?

    No. We don't try and compete against lower priced property management companies. The ultimate cost of using a property manager is determined by many things other than the fee charged. Namely, the efficiency and manner in which maintenance and tenant relationship problems are handled. We feel that our set of services, our systems, and the experience and expertise we offer are a great value at the fee structure we have established.
  • Q: Could you explain the "owner statement" that I receive each month?

    A: This report shows the cash balance at the beginning of the month and all funds into and out of your property's operating account. The last figure in the "Balance" column shows the cash balance at the time reports are sent. The Reserves Defined figure is the amount that TVRA is holding in reserve for your property. This is usually a fixed amount agreed upon in your management contract. The amount may be changed when additional funds will be needed in such cases as a large repair bill or when a tenant moves out. The figure 9999.99 means that all funds are being held to meet those costs. A copy of this monthly report can be found in your account.

Do you have another question that was not answered? Would you like to find out more about how we can help you manage your property?

Send us your question or contact us for more information here.

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