Guest (Fremont Plumbing)
Once a plumbing problem occur we need to check it immediately through professional. We can also try ...
I agree it's a two way street. IT should never take their reason for existence for granted. Ever. Th...

Training Trivia

Which of the following is an assumptive pre-close?

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Posted by on in Resident Retention
Activities at your community are critical to a sense of "community," and have a significant impact on  your resident retention.  What activities work at your site and are perceived as "value" to your residents?  The first part of the process is understanding your demographics of your resident profile and what are the key interests of your residents.  You can plan functions, parties, and activities, but without interest and perceived value to your residents you are wasting your time and resources.    Look at the lifestyle of your residents as well as other factors such as income levels and age groups.  Unless you are managing a senior community or college property, you may have a very diverse profile living at your site.  Remember, activities do not have to be a cookout or what we traditionally have known as events most of us have tried (end of summer party, holiday events, etc.).  We live in an information age any there are so many factors related to information that may benefit them.  Let's look at some of the examples of events you can consider:   *  Genealogy has turned into a passion for many people.  Web sites and even television shows have been developed for tracing your family tree.  The resources are as far as the imagination can take you, and you can visit foreign lands and do research without leaving the comfort of your living room.  Bring in someone who has expertize in genealogy and research to assist residents in tracing their family...

Posted by on in Construction and Development
A neglected plumbing system is a ticking time bomb As buildings age, building components need to be replaced—some more regularly than others. The best property managers know what these components are, and they plan for (and, more importantly, communicate regarding) their replacement well in advance so building owners can budget and be prepared. Unfortunately, many building components are hidden and therefore easily overlooked. To make matters worse, some managers and owners operate under the false assumption that certain parts of a building are meant to last the lifetime of the building. This is simply not the case, especially with plumbing. Whether defective or age-related, plumbing issues can be some of the worst a property can experience, given the nature of flooding leaks and their total potential damage to a building's structure and the property of residents. Other interior wall systems (i.e., electrical wiring or HVAC ducts) tend to have longer lifespans than plumbing, and they fail less often and less spectacularly. It's one thing to have your lights not turn on when you flick the switch— but having water flowing all over your furniture represents a totally different level of urgency and crisis. As such, it's critical that building owners and property managers inspect their pipes regularly. Obviously a small leak or drain stoppage is the first warning sign, but as leaks or stoppages begin to occur regularly, it's a good indication that there is a more systemic problem. While repiping a building is not inexpensive, it can be far less...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Pets bring unconditional love and affection into the lives of millions of Americans, and whether an apartment community permits pets can clearly become a deal breaker for many renters. There has been a nearly 30% spike in pet ownership among renters over the past two years, according to a recent survey by Apartments.com. Despite this surge in pet-owning renters, many indicted they still faced difficulty finding an apartment that allowed their four-legged friend. The good news for these renters is increased demand is driving new apartment construction to accommodate the needs of pet owners, especially in urban centers. Some of the innovative spaces and luxury amenities being offered include pet spas, rooftop walks, pet decks, washing stations and outdoor dog runs. With nine out of 10 renters saying pet policies play a deciding role in where they choose to live, how will your pet policies and amenities keep pace with the needs of this important and growing segment of renters? For more survey results, check out the infograph below. ...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
 Real estate investing is a great long term investment strategy to store some of your money while also accruing profit overtime.  No matter the size or type of property, making a smart and carefully chosen investment can significantly increase your income.   Let’s play out this scenario: Craig see’s a four bedroom house for sale for $240,000 and plans to put down 20,000 for a down payment. Today’s mortgage rate averages at about 4.5% per year, so that would cause his 30- year mortgage payment to be $1,114.71 monthly.  Using a worst case scenario in Los Angeles, the average rent for a four bedroom house is $2,163 monthly, which brings Craig’s gross income to $1,048.29.  Subtract from that the costs of property insurance at $208 a month ($2,500 yearly) and property management fees of about $250 a month, plus taxes, you’re looking at about $394.04 in monthly net income. That’s an additional income of $4,729 every year! Keep in mind that real estate investing is not for the faint of heart.  There are always risks and you should be careful when deciding to buy an investment property.  The above scenario is basic in terms of the profitability to an investor.  Make sure you do extensive research and planning before making every purchase.  Here are a few tips on what to know before investing: 1.      Decide what kind of property you want to purchase:  There are many types of properties to invest in.  Each requires different kinds of knowledge.  Some property types are doing better...

Posted by on in Student Housing
First thing’s first, don’t panic! Often the reasons for a lack of rental inquiries are easily diagnosed and can be remedied without much difficulty. This blog post will highlight some of the key reasons why a rental advertisement may not be performing well and how it can be tweaked, with the specific goal to increase call volumes and tenant inquiries.   Before placing a rental advertisement, the first step every landlord and property manager should take is to do some basic research into the rental market. It’s important to understand what the competition is offering. To accomplish this, simply look at other properties advertised online and compare them to your rental. The important things to review are what the average rental rate is, what utilities and amenities are included, the standard lease term, what information is detailed in the description, type of pictures showcased, and so forth. Often the biggest deterrent and reason why potential tenants don’t respond to a listing is that the rental rate is too high. In the student housing market, pricing a rental unit competitively is incredibly important, as students are often on a relatively tight budget. If other property owners are renting out rooms between $500 to $600/month, it’s important to try and stay within this range as well. On occasion, exceeding this average range is acceptable, but the property must have great selling points that justify the higher price. Pricing may vary greatly in different rental markets, but that is not generally the norm.  ...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
I was recently in the market for a pair of eyeglasses.  I was actually pretty excited to shop for them because it was an opportunity for a new look. But I needed them quickly, because my new puppy ate my old pair.  This limited me a bit. Like apartment communities, shopping for a pair of glasses is pretty customer experience driven.  You think about how each will make you look and feel, but also ask yourself if it is practical. And you depend on the sales person for feedback and information. When you wear something on your face the emotional factors weigh a little heavier, so the first store I selected definitely had the “cool” factor. They’re trendy, their branding is fantastic, they share a great story about the company and their employees, they’re affordable, and they give back to those in need. Sounds like a perfect storm, right? Wrong. The in-store experience was awful. The store design continued their brand, and they hired really hip and attractive people to work there.  But that is where it all ended.  Those hip and attractive people were shells. They didn’t make an effort to have conversations about what I needed or desired.  There wasn’t even a sincere welcome, or an effort to help me find the right frames. After 5 or 10 minutes of frustration, I walked out empty handed without so much as a good bye from the employees.  The point of this story is to remind all of us that having...

Posted by on in Property Management
How did the painter get paint on the sprinkler head and other deep questions. This is the final installment in a three part series about building vendor relationships.   Is there anyone messier than a painter?  They can’t hide what they do.  It’s so hard to be neat when applying a drippy liquid on a vertical surface, so you can’t judge them too harshly… unless it’s your apartment they’re working in! Many of us contract out our paint, as it is a one “t” away from being a pain!  And many of us have gone through several painters trying to find the right person.  That’s part of the first secret to your painting vendor relationship:  find the right one.  Ask your prospective painter to do a test apartment for you (and pay them for it).  If it’s not perfect, then you know that the rest of the under pressure, every day, got-to-get ten turns done apartments are going to be even messier.  If they don’t impress you with the first paint, move on. The second part of finding a painting vendor is to get to know them as people.  Just like an employee, you need to know what motivates your painter.  My painter enjoys bowling and the only vacation he takes is to a bowling tournament. He’s been to Florida and Colorado recently.  He lives in the neighborhood I grew up in, and remembers the mean old dog that lived on the corner.  When he comes in the office and I’m...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
I’m reminded on lazy, hot summer days of the hours I spent as a child entertaining myself outdoors with adventures and discoveries.  Day dreaming was an acceptable pastime along with the challenges of finding something to do that didn’t involve someone else finding it for you.  It comes as a shock, though, when I watch my teenage children glued indoors to technology on beautiful sunshiny days.  I find myself asking where the simple pleasures of imagination have gone. In the world of financial services technology, imagination – much the opposite of my wonderful Gen Y kids, is bursting with the type of energy that kept me and my friends out all day until the mosquitoes started biting. New innovations in e-commerce, online payments, mobile payments and online lifestyle services are sprouting faster and more furiously than weeds on a summer lawn.  Who benefits from this new breed of discovery?  All of us, but none as much as the financially underserved segment of our population who live outside what was once defined as the ‘financial mainstream’ and can now only be regarded as a ‘new normal’ for America’s fast growing, financially insecure middle class.  These are modest-to-healthy wage earners with 50 percent living paycheck-to-paycheck to make ends meet. The phrase “it’s expensive to be poor” was purportedly coined by none other than American Express, the leader in exclusive financial services for the financially elite.  But Amex and their brethren in financial services, like MasterCard and J.P, Morgan Chase, are dedicating major resources...

Posted by on in Apartment Investment
While both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are still the big dogs in multifamily lending, their biggest competitors have begun doing what they must to win over new market share–and with everyone from the House of Representatives to the President of the United States looking to phase out Fannie and Freddie all together, it looks like the competition is heating up as the local banks have begun chomping at old Fannie and Freddie’s heels.  After the market crashed, accessing capital via traditional lenders and banks was nearly impossible and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were there to lend for multifamily. Unfortunately, in recent years, the amount of multifamily financing available has been stretched thin because of the increase in competition. How is the impact is being felt? In 2014, Fannie Mae’s overall multifamily lending business has totaled a mere $6 billion or less than half the $13.6 billion in multifamily loans they did during this same time last year. Aside from lowering interest rates, this drop-off in volume has had a surprising side effect in that there are fewer loans to turn into bonds. Which translates into potential bond investors being forced to compete for a limited supply of bonds, paying more, and reducing their overall yields by more than 20 basis points just in the last eight months. Is phasing out Fannie and Freddie the solution? As a result of the collapse of the mortgage market, many feel that replacing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is a necessity, but, according to an article...

Posted by on in Apartment Maintenance
I’m not married. So, when my married co-workers talk about their funny little marriage stories, I’m always curious to get that peek into married life. Sometimes the stories are unsettling, sometimes they’re hilarious, and sometimes I can apply them to the multifamily industry. This happens to be one of those lucky times. “Tell me again about the time your father-in-law critiqued your yard,” I requested of my co-worker this morning. “My father-in-law critiquing my yard? Which time?” He responded. This was going to be good. “The most recent time was last Friday. He stopped by and just started walking around the yard. He mentioned that our flower pots were looking a little sunburned and asked if we’d been watering them daily like he told us to do.” At this point he slowly shook his head, sighed, and did a poor job of holding back his frustration. “He said ‘You guys need to be weeding a lot more than you are.’ We have three kids under five including a 17 month old girl and they’re all very very active. We don’t have time to weed.” At this point another co-worker chimed in and said, in her dry way “She’s already walking. It’s time to show her the value of hard work and the difference between a flower and a weed.” Curb appeal is a real thing; a book is, in fact, judged by its cover (which is why romance novels always pick those ridiculously attractive models). For all you single people out...