Owner FAQs

Plum’s goal is to manage, stabilize, and elevate your investment. We know that owning an investment property is a significant benefit to your wealth management. However, we want to make sure you don’t have to deal with the stress and pressure of managing that investment. Let Plum take care of the rent collection, maintenance coordination, invoices, staying up to-date with all fair housing, discrimination, local, state, and federal laws, paperwork, emergencies, constant renter communication, and other day to day operations. We want to take care of those tasks so you can focus on future investment opportunities.

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  • Plum prides itself on its ongoing continuing education regarding the property management industry. Plum is compliant with all local, state, and federal laws pertaining to the property management industry. Plum Team members travel throughout the United States to obtain further training in the property management industry. Each Licensed Property Manager on the Plum Team must obtain 12 continuing education credit hours per year. This requirement is often exceeded by all Licensed Property Managers on the Plum Team.
  • Plum has memberships to the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), and Missoula Organization of REALTORS ®(MOR). The education provided by these programs are open to all members of the Plum Team.
  • Our other memberships include Missoula Businesswomen’s Network, Missoula Professional Business Referrals, and Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce. We are proud to network with fellow industry leaders, but also with other professionals within our community.
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Plum has a rigorous screening process. We utilize a third-party application processing company, Rental History Reports (RHR). RHR has a live person who reviews each document, contacts employers and past landlords, performs FBI background checks, and collects a credit check from Transunion. We have the same criteria for every residential renter to comply with all Fair Housing, ADA, and discrimination laws. To learn more about our application criteria follow this link: RENTER APPLICATION CRITERIA

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  • Plum proudly partners with several voucher programs within our community. Renters with voucher assistance do have to meet the same rental criteria as other applicants. Plum handles all communication with the program and case managers, and we complete all paperwork regarding voucher programs. Plum proudly promotes many resources to all renters, regardless of what they may need.
  • Common assistance and voucher programs include Missoula Housing Authority, Human Resource Council, The Salvation Army – Missoula, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Low Income Home Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), and Weatherization Assistance Programs, Tribal Housing Authorities, rental/budgeting education provided by Homeword, and other programs offered by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.
  • The Plum Team has established great relationships with program leaders and case managers for the benefit of our renters. We are proud to have constant dialog between our renters and resources to best assist our community. To see what other resources the Plum Team provides to all renters, please visit our ‘Resources’ tab.
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  • Owners will receive a monthly ACH disbursement once a month. ACH disbursements are processed on the first business day of each month. Plum runs all financial reports on a cash basis. Our reports show all income and expenses dated from the first day to the last day of each calendar month. These reports will be emailed to you and accessible 24/7 on our owner portal.
  • Our financial reports include the following: Owner Statement, Balance Sheet, General Ledger, Profit & Loss Statement, Rent Roll Analysis, and an Owner Aged Payable report. These reports will also be combined at the end of each calendar year to show the overall activity for the property.
  • How does the accounting work each month? Your renter will pay rent through their Tenant Web Access portal. Plum then uses the rental income to pay any balances due such as management fees, utilities, maintenance, and/or replenish any reserve accounts as needed. Plum begins processing month-end tasks such as finalizing investor statements, calculating ACH disbursements, on the first business day of the following month. For example, the January disbursement will be processed on or around February 1st.
  • At any time, if an owner needs to have funds disbursed to a new account, they will contact our office and we will provide them with the necessary form.
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  • Don’t panic! Our office starts communication with renters around the 6th of each month or the next business day. Our accounting team will follow up with the renter constantly throughout the month to work out a payment arrangement or encourage them to utilize their community resources. At any time, renters do not pay rent, our accounting team will begin reaching out to property owners as this will likely affect your owner disbursement.
  • Even though Plum will try all channels to collect payments from renters, sometimes an eviction is the necessary next step. As the property owner, you will be made aware of this process right away. We understand that this is a costly and time-consuming task for all involved. Plum will partner with their legal counsel to follow the appropriate steps to removing the renter from the property, mitigating any physical or financial damages, and getting a new renter.
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Through our software system, we offer an Owner Web Access (OWA) portal. Your account will be set up during the onboarding process. A detailed document regarding the use of the portal will be supplied during the onboarding process as well. Property owners can utilize the portal for the following needs:

  • Review past financial reports.
  • Review all bill and checks. Owners can view any attached PDF documents tied to a bill.
  • Review all Service Issues and notes from the Maintenance Department.
  • Make online owner contributions using an ACH Checking or Savings account, debit card, or credit card.
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  • Plum believes that property owners should be open to the idea of being pet friendly for our pet friendly community. Our base policy is that all pets must be six months or older, the pet owner has the required county pet license, if applicable, and the pet is current on its rabies vaccine.
  • Approved pets will be subject to additional costs. There will be a monthly pet rent charge and a pet deposit will also be collected at the time the renters move in. Our fees are subject to change.
  • What is an assistance animal? Per HUD guidelines, “there are two types of assistance animals: a service animal and other trained or untrained animals that do work, perform tasks, provide assistance, and/or provide therapeutic emotional support for individuals with disabilities. Those animals are referred to as a support animal.” Plum reviews all HUD guidelines regarding assistance animals and pets annually. Assistance animals go through a review process within our office and if they meet the HUD guidelines, they are not subject to any additional fees.
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  • Plum will coordinate all maintenance related needs. Part of the onboarding process is for the property owner and Plum to go over expectations regarding maintenance standards. Property owners will have the opportunity to have a say on how their maintenance will be handled. Plum coordinates maintenance and repairs with some of the best licensed and insured vendors. Some of which have had relationships with our company for 20+ years.
  • Plum has in-house maintenance technicians. We also have an emergency phone line, and a team member will be available 7 days a week. This includes holidays and weekends.
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  • Our marketing and advertising procedures start at the beginning of our onboarding process. Upon our first visit into a vacant or occupied dwelling, we begin collecting information and photos that will be imperative to our management services. Below you will find more information about our advertising and marketing strategies. Please note that our office updates our marketing and advertising strategies often and some of our procedures may not apply to specific property types.
  • Once a signed management agreement is on file for an occupied dwelling, our office will supply the current renters with a notice to enter letter. This allows our licensed property managers to walk through the home and looking for the following: 1, any health and safety tasks that need to be reminded and 2, collect all hookup/utility locations that will be imperative in case of an emergency. We have a lengthy list of items that we review and collect information on during the visit. We will collect any photos and/or videos of the dwelling that will be helpful during a vacancy.
  • Once a signed management agreement is on file for a vacant dwelling, our office will complete our normal move out process. This includes a minimum of two inspections but can include more on the condition of the home. The move out process starts with our inspector completing a thorough walkthrough of the dwelling. This includes hundreds of photos and/or videos, a recording of all cleaning and maintenance items, a 360° Immoviewer virtual tour, and a collection of the dwelling specific details. Our move out inspection is imperative to setting up the dwelling for future success for renters. We want to make sure we give renters a detailed Move In Condition report so that the may rightfully be refunded their security deposit or be held for any damages outside of normal wear and tear.
  • Once Plum has completed their move out inspection, processed the results, and set a date that the property will be ready to be rented, we start the advertising process. We create a descriptive advertisement that includes photos, a 360° Immoviewer virtual tour, application criteria, and details on showing schedules. We utilize the following platforms to advertise rentals: our website, Craigslist, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Tenant Turner. We also utilize yard and/or banner signs for every vacant property.
    • Tenant Turner provides code accessible lock boxes to allow prospective renters to access vacant home for a self-access showing 7 days a week. The prospective renters can also text with a leasing agent to ask questions about the unit. This is a great solution for prospective renters to view the property on their schedule or allows for a more efficient leasing process for our team.
    • We also utilize Tenant Turner to syndicate our advertisement to many other housing platforms. These platforms include, but are not limited to the following: Zillow, ApartmentAdvisor, Homes.com, RentalSource, Apartment List, Realtor.com, and Apartments.com.
  • Plum offers personal showings to prospective renters, coordination of professional photo and videography packets, drone footage, postcards and other printed deliverables, and email blasts. We are proud to work with a local 3rd party professional marketing firm to ensure our property owners and renters have a memorable marketing experience.
  • We are happy to note that our team also utilizes an in-house waitlist of pre-approved applicants to offer available rentals too. Our leasing team reaches out to these individuals once our advertising tasks are completed and we have a date the home with be ready to rent.
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  • Everyone is aware of how much businesses had to adapt to huge changes in 2020. At times those changes were daunting, but our team found many silver linings in the adaptations we had to take. Plum is grateful to team members, clients, and renters who have been patient during our process of discovery. As of 2022, the Plum office is closed to the public.
  • Don’t worry! Our team members are available as normal, and we are working hard. Being closed to the public has had many benefits to all parties, but mostly to the productivity of our team. Our clients and customers time is valuable, and we want to provide you with the best service. We have found that with fewer unscheduled in-person meetings we are more efficient and have a stronger focus on our goals. This has allowed us to be forward-thinking in our business, streamline procedures, and join the digital ways of doing business to meet the needs our growing community and industry. After reviewing our other FAQ’s, we hope you find the value in the services we are providing and allow us to partner with you.
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