Guest (Matt Mauldin)
Using a simple magnetic sprinkler head cover available from most maintenance supply companies can sa...
I really like the idea of a roommate agreement, and if the community is involved, they may take it m...

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Amenities

- Blog posts tagged in Amenities

Posted by on in Property Management
I came across an interesting twist on the self storage concept today, and just had to share. Storagebymail.com offers free round-trip shipping to a centralized warehouse where your boxes are kept until you need them back. All you have to do is download a label (they even have an app for that), schedule a USPS carrier pickup and pack your boxes. That’s it. The price is $29 per month for 5 boxes, $49 for 10.Easy breezy. Somebody else does all the work. Convenient. And a new solution to that old objection, “not enough closet space”.Take a peek. They’ve taken the U Store It concept and truly made it all about you.Let me know if you have tried this service and what you think....

Posted by on in Property Management
In many ways, the current economic climate makes for a great time to purchase a multi-family investment property. The prominence of short sales and foreclosures has given way to good purchase prices in many areas of the country. Add to this the fact that there are some incredible interest rates out there right now (even for investors) and the fact that many former homeowners have now found themselves back in the rental market, and there’s a very valid argument that this is a good time to get into the multi-family market. If you are considering making a multi-family property investment of your own, following are a few things to consider before taking the leap. Know what you’re looking for Before you even begin to look at properties, have a clear idea of what you’re looking for and what you’re willing to put into a property, both financially and in terms of your time. Of course, this is always subject to change if you find just the right place, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go into the house-hunting process without a fairly narrow baseline in mind. Aside from basics like location and size, you also want to have know whether you’re looking for a “fixer-upper” or a “as-is” property. Look at the whole package Looking for a multi-family investment property is different from looking for a single-family home and requires a bit more of a discerning eye. Remember that you will be renting multiple units out to different tenants. To...

Posted by on in Property Management
There’s definitely much to be said for setting oneself apart from the pack in business. In fact, particularly when it comes to business, establishing a reputation that sets you apart from the pack in a certain niche or area of expertise can be invaluable. This allows you to be the go-to source when a client is seeking out specific information, thus distinguishing your company from the competition. Of course, there’s also a risk involved in all of this: When dabbling in specialties, you need to make sure there is ample clientele out there for that specialty to keep your business profitable. These considerations should come into play for property managers that are considering investing in unique or specialized properties, such as waterfront or luxury properties. Following is a brief listing of essential pros and cons you should consider when determining whether or not adding more specialized properties to your portfolio is the right business decision for your company. Pros Brand building. Specialized properties can assist in building your brand. For example, realtors in your area with clients looking to rent a luxury apartment will learn to go directly to you, setting your business apart from competitors. Market stability. It goes without saying that the economy and rental market are out of your control. However, certain sectors of the market are more stable than others—if you can identify one of those sectors and cater to it, this will go a long way toward insuring your business thrives even in difficult times. Look...

Posted by on in Property Management
Determining when the time has come to do renovations on your rental property is a process that requires good judgment and a careful analysis of your goals. Depending upon your situation, renovation time may occur before you ever even move tenants into your property or, alternatively, it may be one of the final things you do before selling your investment property. Following are a few key questions to consider when contemplating a renovation. Would I want to live here myself?While you don’t have to outfit every rental you manage like a luxury penthouse complete with every amenity imaginable, it is important to make your rental units as comfortable and livable as possible for tenants. Upon purchasing a rental property (and every few years thereafter), look around your rental unit and ask yourself: Is this somewhere I would want to live? If the answer is no, it’s time to start taking a serious look around at what features could stand changes or improvements. The better condition your rental units are in, the more quality tenants you will attract. And the better quality tenants you attract, the better care they will take of your units. Good tenants are a key element to consistently maintaining the value of your rental property. How do I stack up with the competition?If you are looking to sell your investment property at any point in the near future, you should make yourself familiar with comparable properties in your area. In real estate, sale prices are determined in large...

Posted by on in Property Management
Resident Activities are very important selling tool for us! I remember four years ago when I was on the apartment hunt looking for an apartment community that was going to be home for my self and three children I wanted something that I could find living in a neighborhood but with in an apartment community. I must have look at ten different community's and left each one dissapointed. Several times I ask what do you do for the residents and got oh well we have these great amenities. I wanted to feel connected to my community and get to know my neighbors. I know its a crazy thought but I really wanted that. See I was a single mom going out on my own for the first time sense having kids and previously had only lived in student housing(which trust me there are lots of activities going on it was alot of fun) so I knew that I would need the connection to others and hopefully find a friend or as Anne of Green Gables states, a Kindred Spirit. I finally found what I was looking for in the community that I currently live and work for. I was blown away by the fact there were kids outside playing and the amount of resident activities they had.  I knew right then and there that was where I wanted to be. It also helped that it was close to my employer at the time. As you can see having regular resident activities...

Posted by on in Property Management
Recently Apartment Guide released a list of the top 15 amenities apartment prospects searched for on ApartmentGuide.com.  Although this can't be used as a guide for ALL apartment prospects, it's an interesting read.   Washer and Dryer in Unit Pets (allowed) Air Conditioning Some Paid Utilities Washer and Dryer Connections Dishwasher Balcony Garage Cable Ready Furnished Available Fitness Center Swimming Pool Short Term Lease Available Gated Access Oversized Closets The most interesting amenity ranking in my opinion?  The fitness center and swimming pool, which is an apartment tour staple, is incredibly low on the list at numbers 11 and 12!...

Posted by on in Property Management
Homeowners and business establishments are implementing energy saving initiatives on their own accord. These moves are wise on their part as energy saving activities are a must to conserve valuable resources and should have continuous implementation until the time technology is available that can produce renewable, environmental-friendly and really cheap electricity. Although many have already started energy saving measures such as turning off the computer when not in use or using compact fluorescent lights instead of light bulbs to illuminate their rooms, many are not aware of how much their appliances are actually consuming electricity. While many are probably aware of what the Energy Star label means in their relatively newly purchased appliances, majority of homeowners may not be knowledgeable as to what appliance guzzles the most energy. Knowing this information can help in planning your energy savings program so you can focus your actions in how to control or efficiently use appliances with the biggest energy consumption – resulting in more manageable electrical bills as well as reduced environmental impact. How Much Electricity does Standard Home Appliances Use? The 2007 Buildings Energy Data Book have listed space heating as the highest energy user in a home at 31% followed by space cooling at 12%. The remaining electrical energy usage is consumed by standard home appliances for various household applications. Although each individual appliance may not consume as much as heating or cooling, summing up all the electricity usage by these appliances can be significantly big. These appliances are ranked...

Posted by on in Property Management
I gotta feeling The BlackEyed Peas will be showing up flashing Camden Residential tattoos at the 2010 NAA Education Conference and in their next music videos. You guys gotta see this. I've tweeted it and posted on the RentWikiHouse page.  Camden Residential ROCKS. Easy to see why the company is included in Fortune 100's "Top Places to Work". Come on Apartment Operators...let's see what YOU've got. [video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtFxQeJvdd0 433x300]...

Posted by on in Property Management
Seattle has proposed new legislation that will amend its Land Use Code (LUC) and eliminate parking requirements for some urban apartments -- if it makes it through public hearings and becomes law. Responding to the Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) and tree regulations, the City Council has proposed several important low-rise development zoning changes. The legislation will not affect any single-family zoning areas, but it could have a very positive impact on multifamily in these highly urban locations.   In addition to clarifying and organizing regulations, the Committee’s proposal will eliminate parking requirements for multifamily properties in urban villages within walking distance of mass transit stops. Rebecca Herzfeld, a supervising analyst on City staff well-versed on the proposed amendments, offered a specific definition of this particular zoning change.  She explained it this way:   "For our purposes walking distance is not something you can measure with a ruler the way the crow flies.  You have to measure the way someone would actually walk it, which does not include jumping over fences or going through somebody else's backyard."   In addition:   "Our traffic planners have defined a reasonable walking distance as 1325 feet, which is about a quarter of a mile.  A block outside of downtown is around 400 feet but neighborhoods vary, so it's between three, three-and-a-half, maybe four city blocks.  Of course, not everyone would walk that far to public transit, but again, our experts define this as an acceptable distance."   Herzfeld clarified whether or not Seattle's zoning laws grandfather existing buildings into some other zoning class.  They do not.  Per Herzfeld, zoning regulations blanket...

Posted by on in Property Management
Ever since the deregulation of electricity in various states such as Texas, people are given the power to select their Retail Electric Providers. This also paved the way for more competition in an otherwise monopolized industry, giving consumers the option to choose companies that can provide comparatively cheap electricity or be environmentally helpful by choosing companies that make use of alternative forms of energy resources. However, with the myriad REPs that provide electricity to the millions of consumers in the state, it would be difficult to choose among these companies without a standard or a common basis that everyone would comply with. In this regard, the Public Utility Commission of Texas or the PUC have implemented the Electricity Facts Label (EFL) that each of these electric companies should provide consumers. The EFLs provide consumers with an apples-to-apples comparison between companies helping them choose which REPs they will work with. Once they’ve chosen a company, the EFL would then serve as a contract between the REPs and the consumers, with the REPs disclosing everything the consumers need to know about their electrical service. Getting to Know the Electricity Facts Label Similar to the nutrition label required by the FDA for all food manufacturers and products, the Electricity Facts label is also required by the PUC from Retail Electric Providers to give consumers a standardized information sheet where they can learn, and compare, critical information about the REPs products and services. The EFL also serve as a compliance form that indicates the details...