Guest (Fremont Plumbing)
Its true saying that prevention is better than cure. Plumbing problem may come anytime so we should ...
Elesa~you're absolutely right...and thank you for adding that essential truth about selling!! Thanks...

Training Trivia

Which of the following is an assumptive pre-close?

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Property Management

- Blog posts tagged in Property Management

Posted by on in Property Management
As each year goes by, more and more people utilize iPhones and BlackBerrys. With all of this instantaneous email access, communication skews a little more toward email all the time. Certainly, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing—but it is important to evaluate which situations are most appropriately handled with email and which ones call for a good old-fashioned phone call. Phone: Making a connection. It’s basic, but it’s worth noting—if face-to-face interaction isn’t possible, a phone call is the next best way to make a lasting first impression. Emails are great for a lot of reasons, but they do not allow for the voice inflections and dynamic back-and-forth that phone calls offer. When you’re dealing with a new client or discussing potentially tricky matters, a phone call is often the best route to take. It personalizes interactions and allows you put more personality behind your words. Not only do phone calls allow you to sell yourself, but they can also provide a valuable first impression of potential tenants and may help you determine whether or not they are the type of renter you’re seeking out for your property. Email: Documenting information. Emails are great for record keeping. When it comes to dealing with vendors, accounting issues, and legal matters, emails create a clear trail of regulations, promises, deadlines, and other important information. As noted above, tricky situations should be handled with a phone call, but it pays to follow up with an email reiterating key points when specific information is disseminated....

Posted by on in Property Management
Over the months, we’ve discussed the value of many different types of technology: websites, Twitter, and social networking sites like Facebook. But one thing we haven’t yet looked at is YouTube. Have you considered including YouTube videos into your online marketing strategy? Well, here are a few reasons you might want to. Save yourself some time. Photographs are a near-essential part of any rental listing. With a text-only listing, it’s often difficult for would-be renters to distinguish from one property to the next and, therefore, your units are at a disadvantage from the start.  But even photographs are sometimes misleading. Based on angling and point of focus, it’s possible to (either strategically or inadvertently) make a rental unit appear much different than it actually looks. Videos allow potential tenants to obtain a more realistic feel for what a given unit really looks like. As opposed to photographs, videos can provide a potential tenant with a realistic vision of the layout of a unit, its size and, if you’re feeling really ambitious, exterior and building features. Providing this sort of “advance preview” means that you can save yourself a lot of time by paring apartment showings down to those who are really interested in putting in an application on your unit, saving you a lot of time in the long run by allowing you to hone in on serious potential renters. Show off your stuff. Because videos inherently provide a more all-encompassing, realistic preview of your units, they allow you to demonstrate...

Posted by on in Property Management
As of today, April 22, 2010, all contractors that work on pre-1978 homes and may disturb paint through their work MUST become a Certified Renovator and the firm they work for must become a Certified Firm through the EPA.This rule affects painters, carpenters, plumbers, handymen, restoration companies, property management firms that do their own repairs.The EPA is fining $32,500 per day per violation and they are serious about enforcement.  If a building takes out a permit for work you can bet your are on a list for enforcement personnel to stop by to make sure the RRP Standards are being followed. [video: 433x300] To learn more visit:

Posted by on in Property Management
Juggling and staying on top of the frequently changing federal, state, and local laws that apply to rental housing is one of the trickiest tasks you’ll have to master as a property manager. At the top of the list of housing regulations you must abide by are equal housing rules and regulations as determined and enforced by the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO). As always with rules and regulations, it’s imperative you stay on top of regulations as they’re subject to change. With that in mind, following are some basic equal opportunity housing rules and regulations that every landlord should be aware of. The Civil Rights and Fair Housing Act mandate that landlords may not discriminate against potential tenants based on their race, color, familial status, or handicap. It’s important to note that, under the Fair Housing Act, it is illegal to refuse rent to families with small children, based on that fact. (For more information and tips for renting to families with kids, check out our previous blog post.) The Equal Credit Opportunity Act also applies to landlords, as it makes discrimination unlawful “with respect to any aspects of a credit application on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program.” Additional anti-discrimination rules apply to those properties that have received federal funding. For instance, under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, HUD enforces...

Posted by on in Property Management
One of the biggest challenges for property managers is staying on top of all the tasks they have to do in a given day. What with unit inspections, apartment showings, incoming and outgoing payments, resolving maintenance requests, signing leases, and responding to various queries, it’s all too easy to look at the clock at the end of the day and wonder where all the time went. Following are a few tips to help you make the most of each and every day. 1. Stay Organized Sometimes it can feel like there’s no time to actually get organized. But the truth of the matter is, no matter how time-pressed you are, investing in organizational time is almost always worth it in the long run. Time saved trying to locate paperwork, contact information, financial records on your computer, or any other number of other items adds up quickly. Creating a system of organization (the more automated the better) will allow you to perform all your duties in a more streamlined fashion … which ultimately results in a whole lot of time saved. 2. Prioritize Some days you may have to choose between getting one or two time-consuming tasks done versus completing a number of smaller tasks. Whatever the case, it’s most important that you use your time wisely. Take stock of your task list and check items off not according to the amount of time they’ll take, but by which issues must be resolved most immediately. 3. Stay on Task There’s no doubt...

Posted by on in Property Management
It seems that most companies are still buying URLs that promote themselves. Even though many of us have read "the cluetrain manifesto" and are working hard to use our "human voice" in business. Many of the best resident oriented URLs are still ripe for the picking. If we are going to be "found" in the new marketing world, the content must attracts renters when they are looking (Googling) for answers and information that mattes to them. While in Canada I searched for the availability of the follow URLs and found everything I could think of AVAILABLE!  I just heard that $200,000.00 was paid for How valuable will the best resident oriented  site names be once everyone begins moving in this direction? If I had a ton of cash laying around, I think I would pick up a few of these and see what happens.  Have you thought about how you are going to attract the public to your apartment community blog? What key words will move a renter's google search to land on a blog built by YOU? What can you share in the spirit of "pure giving" in a human voice that services the public? How can you create blog content that will build trust and loyalty in total strangers and inspire them to find out more about you? Is the URL stile available to share that message? Here is a list of blog names and content descriptions that I started and shared with my executive audience in Toronto.Before I close...

Posted by on in Property Management
When it comes to tiny property repairs, a molehill can very easily become a mountain if it’s not resolved quickly. Whether you’re a DIY kind of person or would prefer to have a contractor or handyman take care of your property’s repairs, time is of the essence. Not only is it important to take care of repairs and maintenance quickly for your tenants’ sakes, but also for your bank account’s. In so many cases, a little problem that goes unaddressed can turn into a big, expensive problem not so far down the line. Budget for the unexpected. As we’ve discussed before, setting money aside for those unexpected repairs that always come up sooner or later is one of the smartest moves you can make as a landlord. No matter how good your intentions are, it’s almost impossible to move on any repair quickly if the funding simply isn’t there. Move quickly, no matter how innocent an issue appears. Cracked plaster? Leaking roof? Chipped window? All of these are examples of “little” issues that are easy to set aside, but will only grow with time. Cracked plaster can easily begin to crumble, resulting in a much bigger mess. A leak can expand and run rampant, causing significant water damage. A tiny window chip can quickly spread, leaving no other option than a complete window replacement. Maintenance and small repairs go hand-in-hand. There are some maintenance duties that count just as much as repairs, and should be performed just as efficiently. Cleaning gutters...

Posted by on in Property Management
Newsletters are one of those aspects of property management that can swing either way. Depending upon your business and goals, newsletters can either go a long way toward improving and growing your business or, frankly, result in a relatively low payoff for a lot of effort on your part. So how do you know where you fall along the spectrum? Following are some ideas to keep in mind that will help determine whether a newsletter is a good business strategy for you and your property management business. Newsletters offer a great medium for getting information out there in a regular and proactive manner. Rather than requiring people to actively take the time to come to your website, a newsletter gets the information you want spread right into their inbox. Generally speaking, property managers want to get three primary forms of information out there: 1) vacancies, 2) company marketing information, and 3) information that affects tenants such as policies and procedures and property updates. With this in mind, although you ultimately want to spread all three varieties of information, the best medium for doing this is not uniform across the spectrum. Let’s look at each of these areas specifically. No: Advertising Vacancies Advertising vacancies is one of those scenarios that is most often best handled through mediums other than newsletters. For newsletters to work optimally, you need a targeted mailing list. By its very nature, it would be almost impossible to formulate (much less keep updated) a list of potential tenants. When...

Posted by on in Property Management
Litmus Test - Ric Campo, CEO of Camden, national REIT based in Houston, BELIEVES in litmus tests. Camden is awaiting waves and raves. Multifamily Executives are asking for it. They're sticking their toes into the water...they just want Reviews and Communication through Social Media done RIGHT. They are seeking new ways to bridge the Consumer & Community Gap. Check out these recent Tweets; A national Apartment Management Company sent out this St. Paddy's Tweet..."My Lucky Day! I just turned my first negative Resident Tweet into a Positive!" And this one during March 19th's weekly Friday afternoon Twitter #AptChat. "Rented on of our apts recently? If so, let other renters know how you like it by rating it at http:..." In an ironic twist and despite the ever-growing frustration with various apartment ratings sites, several Multifamily executives are not only willing to put their properties up for review, but they are actually asking for it. “Regarding apartment reviews, it’s not that somebody has to do it, it’s that somebody has to do it right,” said Mark Juleen, VP of marketing for the JC Hart Company based in Carmel, Indiana. “Ratings and reviews have been out there for a long time in the form of and now The problem is, these companies aren’t fostering open communication between the renting community and the apartment community.”  Companies eager to engage in the two-way dialogue taking action today include Camden, Mission Residential, Mills Properties, Gables Residential, Urbane Apartments, and the JC Hart Company.“We believe in...

Posted by on in Property Management
Embarking on renting to Section 8 tenants is one of those decisions that property managers should undertake only after thoroughly researching all the implications of renting to this very specific demographic. Following are some of the primary pros and cons to consider when evaluating whether or not Section 8 rentals are for you. Pros: Government subsidies mean that your rental income is more assured than in other cases.Since Section 8 tenants are by nature low-income tenants, many landlords are rightfully concerned that renting to this sector will result in difficulties with rent collection or, even worse, default altogether. The truth of the matter, though, is that in many ways Section 8 rental income is among the most reliable. Under Section 8, tenants are responsible for approximately 30 percent of their rent, while the US government picks up the balance of the rental payment. This US government balance is paid directly to the property landlord. Cons: Renting to Section 8 tenants puts your property under greater scrutiny due to government rules and regulations. Be aware that before approving one of your units for Section 8 occupancy, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will determine your unit’s Fair Market Rent (FMR). Once the FMR is determined, you are obligated to cap your Section 8 unit’s rent at that rate and are not allowed to accept outside payments that will result in a rent higher than the FMR. In addition to FMR restrictions, Section 8 properties are also subject to a...