Property Owner FAQs

Once we’ve decided to work together, the next step is to sign a property management agreement. Your Realtor®/sales consultant will prepare this document and send it to you digitally for signatures. As soon as that is signed, your assigned account manager will contact you for onboarding.

We love getting asked this question because we love sharing what’s special about us! There are three main ways in which we stand out:
  • Our focus on education. We believe the best way for a rental investor to be successful is through knowledge. This includes teaching our clients on such topics as: what it takes to be a good steward of your home; taking care of tenants so they take care of your property and stay longer; being financially prepared for the costs of owning a rental property; choosing the best properties to buy; and many more.
  • We don’t just “babysit” your property—we actively seek to help you save money and make money. This includes maintenance troubleshooting that leads to simple no-cost repairs performed by tenants; protesting your property taxes; choosing the best qualified tenants (not the first qualified) as this allows us to get you more rent when applicants bid for it competitively; sending air filters to tenants (at no cost to you) to protect and enhance the life of your HVAC system; and having a Resident Benefits Package that rewards tenants in various ways for on-time payments.
  • We keep the most critical functions of property management in house and don’t outsource them. There are companies that will vet applicants, lease homes and handle maintenance for us but we don’t use them. We know that the best way to ensure quality, timeliness and accuracy is by performing these key services ourselves. It creates a greater connection with our tenant community and ensures that we know what is going on so we can better serve you.
If we manage one property (one door) for you, the monthly management fee is 8% of rent collected. If we manage more than one door for you, the monthly management fee is 7% for all units managed.
The fee to lease a unit is one month’s rent and this fee is all-inclusive: Preparing your property to list, professional photos, advertising, showings, vetting of applicants, putting approved tenants on a lease, overseeing make-ready repairs and moving tenants in.
Nope! Once approved tenants sign a lease, they are required to pay a full month’s rent upfront, which we will use to cover the leasing fee.
  • You pay your mortgage, property taxes, insurance and HOA dues and we do the rest! This includes getting your home ready to rent by handling all repairs; leasing it and finding you great tenants; handling maintenance issues; disbursing rent to you directly into your bank account monthly along with a rental statement detailing income and expenses; and sending you year-end statements with 1099s for tax purposes. We also handle lease renewals, we work with a property tax protest company to protest your property taxes, and we provide a weekly blog to educate you about rental investment issues.
  • Above all, we offer peace of mind. No late night or holiday calls for emergency repairs, no dealing with tenants paying rent late, no searching for vendors to handle maintenance, no need to know the laws affecting real estate and property management. We simply handle all of that for you and more. In fact, our systems and processes have been designed for you to be hands off.
This is a personal choice and there are pros and cons to doing so. We can not provide legal advice, so we recommend you speak to an attorney or CPA regarding your options.
  • The reserve ensures that we have funds available to pay for repairs between the time rent is disbursed to you one month and rent comes in the next month. Part of having great vendors who respond quickly to our work orders is paying them timely, and most simply can not wait a month to be paid. Having the reserve allows us to pay for their valuable services quickly so they continue to prioritize your rental property.
  • Occasionally repairs exceed the amount of the reserve and in those cases we will request that you deposit funds into our bank account. Thankfully most repairs can be covered with the reserve amount.
We disburse rental income on or around the 10th of each month. If the 10th falls on a weekend, rent will be disbursed on the next business day. Funds should post to your account within 2–3 banking days.
When you sign up with us, we have you fill out an ACH form providing us with your bank account information. Each month when rent income is disbursed, it gets deposited directly into the bank account we have on file for you.
We do! For many landlords, maintenance is the most challenging and time-consuming aspect of rental property ownership. We take this off your hands and make it easy for you. We have a dedicated maintenance coordinator who responds to maintenance requests that are submitted by tenants and an after-hours service to handle emergency requests.
When a maintenance request comes in, we carefully evaluate it to determine: Is it a legitimate service request? Is it owner or tenant responsibility? Is it a simple repair that the tenant could make? If not, who is the best technician to send out on the job? We have extensive troubleshooting protocols as well as a video library of simple repairs that tenants can make on their own. If you have a home warranty policy, we’ll contact them for covered issues. If it’s damage covered by insurance we’ll contact you about submitting a claim. We take maintenance very seriously!
We are set up to take care of most property management decisions for you so that you don’t have to think or worry about your properties. To that end, we have a $500 threshold for repairs—any repairs under $500 we will take care of without contacting you ahead of time; any repairs over $500 we will contact you for approval. All repairs will be recorded and invoices uploaded to your owner portal. You’ll see what repairs were done in your monthly rental statement and can also log in at any time to view completed repairs and invoices.
In order to ensure quality, accuracy and timeliness of repairs, SmartEgg uses only vendors of its own choosing, and coordinates maintenance, repairs, cleaning, and the like. Our reputation—and yours—is on the line, so we work only with competent and reliable vendors to make sure the work is done correctly the first time and our properties are prioritized. Exceptions to vendor choice, at SmartEgg’s sole discretion, may include lawn care and pest control, or rare cases where the Owner pays a vendor directly.
Yes, with some exceptions, such as an emergency or the home warranty’s inability to complete the repair in a reasonable timeframe. It is the Owner’s responsibility to provide SmartEgg with a copy of the policy, including account number, effective dates and service phone number; and to provide authorization to the provider for SmartEgg to make calls on the Owner’s behalf.
Please email details of the warranty together with the paperwork to
The cost for a make-ready varies depending on the size and age of the home, as well as how long it’s been since a make-ready was last performed. For example, if your previous tenants were there for ten years, that will cost more than if they were there for two years, as you’ll likely need to repaint the home, change the flooring, and so on. A newer home usually needs less work than an older home because systems (HVAC, plumbing, electrical, etc.) are newer, and a smaller unit will typically be less expensive than a large home. We track make-ready costs among the homes we manage and the average cost among all property types is $3,500. Because average tenancy is two years, we encourage our clients to set money aside for this eventuality so that when it comes up, it’s as easy and painless as possible.
Great question! Any type of investment includes risk and one of the risks of being a landlord is your tenant not paying rent. The mortgage company doesn’t let you off the hook so we strongly recommend that you keep a financial cushion of 3–6 months of rent set aside for this type of situation. This will also cover you in case of an unexpected, expensive repair or a vacancy.
  • This is such an important question because homes are like living, breathing organisms that require ongoing maintenance and do break down at times. While we don’t know what repairs your home will need or when, we do know that your home will need them. Some of them may be costly and won’t be covered by insurance, such as an old, leaking roof.
  • While many repairs will be covered by the rent we collect, we can not stress enough how important it is to create a financial cushion set aside specifically for your rental home/s for costs that exceed rental income. In addition, particularly if you have a mortgage, you need to be prepared in case a tenant pays rent late one month or not at all, or if there is an extended vacancy. We recommend that you have a minimum of 3–6 months’ worth of rent set aside.
  • To emphasize how important having proper finances for your rental property is, we’re going to take this a step further and let you know up front that we don’t take on clients who can’t take care of their properties, and we don’t keep clients who won’t. In working with us, you agree to keep up your property based on our expert knowledge of what needs to be done. During a make ready, this might include significant repairs, so we need you to be prepared for that and ready to provide the funds. In return, we promise to protect your investment, be mindful of your wallet, and spend only what’s necessary.
  • When it comes to federal taxes, we track all income and expenses on your property that go through us and, each January, provide a year-end income statement to you. We will also email you a 1099 showing all rental income. Together, these documents can be used to prepare your own taxes or can be sent to an accountant. You will also want to provide your expenses on mortgage, taxes, insurance and HOA dues.
  • You’re responsible to pay your property taxes, but we’ll protest your property taxes for you through our tax protest affiliate. The third party company we work with works on contingency, so if they don’t get you any savings, you don’t pay for the service. We’ll handle the entire process for you and cover the cost of the service fee with rent income, so it’s as easy and hands-off for you as can be.
  • We are required by law to rekey the locks in between occupants. This is true regardless of who was the previous occupant, including yourself. The locksmith provides us with a number of key copies that we keep in a locked key box. We don’t send you a copy to protect both you and the tenants. It protects you by ensuring that you don’t violate the terms of their lease regarding notification, and protects the tenants from that potential violation.
  • One of the important factors in ensuring our ability to be successful on your behalf is by enforcing the lease and having a single point of communication for the tenants. If you want to visit the property, please contact us to ensure proper protocol. We will meet you at the property and provide you with access.
  • If there are inspectors or appraisers who need to gain access, please let us know and we’ll arrange it. If in the future you decide to sell the property or move in, we’ll make sure all the proper parties have keys.
  • We here at SmartEgg are animal lovers and Austin is a pet town! We welcome pets. It’s your decision, though, whether or not you want to accept them but please know that if you say no to pets you are most likely decreasing the pool of potential tenants by quite a bit since approximately 70% of renters have pets. It has been our experience that homes take longer to rent when pets aren’t accepted.
  • We mitigate the risk by having applicants fill out a third-party pet screening application and collecting a pet deposit for each animal. The pet screening company evaluates risk based on factors such as type, breed, size, age and status of vaccinations. They come up with a risk score, called a FIDO score (cute, right?), and rank animals 1–5 paws (also cute). The pet deposit we collect varies from $350–500 per animal depending on their FIDO score. It is rare for damages, if any, to exceed the security and pet deposit funds we have on hand.
  • If you do accept pets, we’ll need to know if your insurance company has any size or breed restrictions, so please be sure to find out and let us know. SmartEgg will otherwise accept any size or breed, as we believe it is the pet owner who determines the behavior of the animal and not the size or breed.
  • Emotional Support Animals (ESAs): ESAs are not considered pets and, as such, we can not deny people who have them, even if you have a no-pet policy (except in rare instances that have to do with hardship to you—please contact us if you believe that applies). We also can not collect a pet deposit. The tenants are nonetheless responsible for any damages the animal incurs and we can use the security deposit to cover them.
  • You may be aware that ESA certificates are easy to buy online, even though those certificates are bogus and invalid. Our third-party pet screening company verifies all ESA requests and determines if they are legitimate. If the animal turns out not to be an ESA, the tenant may still have the animal (if you accept pets) and then is given a FIDO score and pays a pet deposit.
For any questions about your account, please contact your Account Manager.
There can be many reasons why the amount you received is different from what you were expecting. We may have withheld funds to cover the cost of an existing repair/make-ready or an unexpected but necessary repair, or the amount of rent collected changed. Please be sure to review all pages of your rental statement to see the details of income and expenses. If you still need assistance in understanding your statement, please contact your Account Manager.

Yes, we can do this. Each owner who will receive a percentage of income must provide us with a completed W-9 form and ACH Authorization form (available in the Resources page of our website), and let us know what percentage of income goes to each owner. We’ll take care of the rest.

Absolutely. To update your bank account information, please go to the Resources page, download the ACH form, fill it out and return it to
Please go to the Landlord Login. Once logged in, click on the Send Funds button near the top right and fill in the form. There is a $0.50 fee per debit transaction and a 2.95% fee per credit card transaction.
If your property has previously been your homestead you will need to change your insurance to a landlord policy. SmartEgg requires that the landlord policy maintain at least $300,000 Liability, and highly recommends a Personal Umbrella policy for $1,000,000. The insurance policy for the Property is required to name SmartEgg Properties as an Additional Named Insured.
We don’t allow our clients to meet tenants. One of the primary reasons we get hired is to take the day-to-day management headaches off your hands. If tenants have access to you, they will contact you. Not only does this defeat the purpose of hiring us but it also makes it harder for us to do our job properly as you may have communications with them that we don’t know about. It can also undermine our effectiveness if they believe they have access to you. We also try to protect you from any number of liability concerns, which we can best accomplish by maintaining a buffer between you and the tenants.
To protect your tenant’s privacy and information, we do not provide sensitive personal information. General information like rent, lease duration, pets, etc., can be disclosed.
No—and that’s to protect you! The number one concern we protect you from is Fair Housing violations. It’s our job to know when we can and can’t reject an applicant—allowing you to weigh in could lead to discrimination claims. In addition, we are required to publish and follow our rental criteria, so we can’t risk violating our policies. Rest assured we have a comprehensive and thorough process we follow to select the most qualified tenants for your property.
No. Under the U.S. Fair Housing Act and Texas Fair Housing Act, we can’t refuse to rent to anyone based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or familial status. In addition, per the City of Austin Fair Housing Ordinance, the following populations are protected based on: sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, student status, and age.

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