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The Americans with Disabilities Act for Landlords And Property Managers

The Americans with Disabilities Act, commonly known as “ADA” is a federal civil-rights law protecting the rights of people with disabilities. The ADA places guidelines for access to: Employment State and local government programs, services and buildings Access to places of public accommodation such as businesses, transportation, and non-profit service providers Telecommunications George Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; standing left to right Reverend Harold Wilkie, Sandra Parrino of the National Council on Disability; seated left to right, Evan Kemp, Chairman of the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission, George Bush, Justin Dart, Chairman of the ‘s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities. Washington DC, USA, 26 July 1990. (Photo by Fotosearch/Getty Images). The scope of the law is fairly broad and addresses many of the obstacles affecting the participation of people with disabilities within society. Many of the ADA’s civil rights protections parallel the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the protections it established for racial, religious minorities and women. Occasionally, management companies may be faced with a lawsuit for non-compliance with ADA laws.  These compliance problems are usually preventable as many times they result from violations which stem from the lack of proper guidelines, policies, procedures, and/or practices regarding accessibility. Implementing current policies can go a long way toward avoiding the expense associated with ADA lawsuits. As owners, landlords, managers, and tenants can be jointly and severally liable in the event of non-compliance. Making it important to ensure you have safe practices in place to address......
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A Day in the Life of a “Smart” Apartment Renter

According to a study published on Business Insider in 2016, the average cell phone user touches his or her phone 2,617 times each day. The modern individual’s reliance on technology stems further than just mobile devices. Everything from our cars to our watches and cell phones have an operating system today. So, what does an operating system look like in a smart apartment? It’s no secret that the smart home revolution is upon us. From the smart lock on the door to Wi-Fi thermostats, residents in smart homes and apartments are be able to customize their living spaces far beyond paintings hung on the walls or carpet on the floor. Home automation is used to describe devices that utilize connectivity and embedded sensors to complete common household tasks. With the implementation of home automation, a single-family resident is able to enter a personal pin code for their smart lock that opens the front door, which then triggers their music of choice to play on speakers, while the lights adjust to a relaxing preset, and the oven preheats for that night’s meal. The advent of the smart home has been made possible through the Internet of Things (IoT), which allows everyday objects to send and receive data, making home automation and related products easier to use and more affordable for the average renter. But it’s not just the desire of being on the cutting edge of technology and having the highest end amenities that attracts renters, owners and property managers to smart technol......
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How to Fix Slow Internet, Generate Revenue and Ditch the “Cable Guys” With a Multifamily Internet Service

An Educational Series for Apartments, HOA’s and Co-Op’s: Part II “Pure Internet”   Pure Internet, the refreshing, no hassle experience of fast, fiber backed“Internet That Just Works”. It flows like the crystal clean rivers in the Glacier Mountains, unpolluted by the impurities of the big cities. It rushes to its destination, shimmering off the rocks with a turquoise clarity. Pure Internet is an unadulterated network of low latency paths, moving data directly and efficiently to its endpoint. Traveling unobstructed by bottlenecks or inefficiencies; safely and securely arriving to its destination.  The pipes are bountiful, clean and safe; the obstacles that litter most networks have been removed. The end-user is left with a great sense of freedom, ease and gratitude from the Internet experience, so much so they may even begin to take it for granted.    In contrast, in part one; we discussed the current “Dirty City Water” Internet experience that most Americans are accustomed to. In short; you have been sold Internet speeds that are not really speeds at all but rather capacity, on an oversubscribed network.  Speeds that are asymmetrical, transmitting over antiquated wiring technology, first used 100 years ago. You have “hired” yourself to configure your network, trying desperately to fend off dirty data and professional hackers with an over-the-counter router. You call for support and reach your, “not-so friendly” monopolistic ISP who has no financial incentive to improve the situation. For an “arm-and-a-leg” they promise they will give it their “best effort”; however they seem to be having a hard enough time fix......
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Want to Be a Real Estate Investor? Try Starting Here!

Being a real estate investor is one of the leading wealth creators in the United States so many of us want to know how to become the next great real estate investor. Some have bought books and watched videos on how people have made their fortune in the industry, others have applied what they know works in their business towards real estate. I have learned over the years that there truly is no better way to learn the real estate industry than simply going and being part of a property management team. PLUS….you are getting paid to learn! By being part of a property management team, you can learn everything you should know from marketing, maintenance, leasing and operations. When you find a company that you feel is a good fit for you, sit down with the management and tell them that you want to learn everything from top to bottom about real estate investing from them and if they seem receptive to your idea then jump in and prepare to learn. I would recommend you start at the bottom and work your way up. In their leasing department, learn how a vacant unit is prepared for market. Price the unit and then learn how to advertise the unit to the right individuals. After you have spent enough time in leasing look into moving to an assistant manager position, while in this position learn the ins and outs of the daily operations of the property and how you can increase the R......
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How to Handle Existing Leases after Change of Property Ownership

Let’s imagine that you scoped out the perfect property investment.  Maybe it’s a property that will increase in value after refurbishment.  Or you just know that the neighborhood is in high demand because of the local amenities and you believe this demand is going to rise.  In most cases, the new landlord has some ideas on what they want to do differently with the property in order for it to increase its value.  Something to keep in mind when making this purchase decision is the tenants that already occupy the property.  This may delay some of your plans for the property. The New Landlord Must Honor the Current Lease Typically when a property gets a change of ownership everything is taken as is.  That means that the new landlord must honor the terms of the lease for those tenants that are currently residing in the property.  The landlord will not be able to raise rents, make major changes to the interior, or make other changes that conflict with the present lease.  The new landlord should be well read on the old lease.  Is the tenant permitted by the lease to a 2’ by 3’ garden space outside?  Then that re-landscaping project intended to increase property value will need to wait. What can the Landlord Change? Any exterior changes that the landlord would like to make that does not conflict with the lease can be made on the property.  The landlord will not be able to make upgrades to the interior unless you are given p......
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5 Vital Questions To Ask Yourself When You Are Stuck

5 Vital Questions To Ask Yourself When You Are Stuck
Have you ever been cruising through life, when all of a sudden, you hit a wall? I experienced this feeling of being stuck shortly after the Great Recession of 2008.  My business and life were both in the midst of an upheaval, and I began to question my purpose in life. I decided to take massive action and enroll in Life Coaching School at IPEC (Institute For Professional Excellence In Coaching), and was presented with these five vital questions during the training:     What do you want? What frustrates you about your life/business? What would it take to double your business? What have you tried and not tried? What is the number one thing you are trying to accomplish?   What do you want? This may seem like a fairly easy question to answer, but I will guarantee you that if you ask most people what they want, they will quickly proceed to tell you what they DON’T want. Therein lies the enormous problem. Most people’s focus is on what they don’t want, and any successful person learns that what you focus on is what grows in your life. It may appear to be a simple question, but once you can address the question, answers will begin pouring out. Let me give you a personal example.  During the time I became disgruntled with my business, I kept telling myself that I did not want to continue down the same path. I knew what I didn’t want, to work at the restaurant. What was it that I ......
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How to Fix Bad Cell Phone Coverage for an Apartment Complex?

How to Fix Bad Cell Phone Coverage for an Apartment Complex?
How to Fix Bad Cell Phone Coverage for an Apartment Complex? Carrier Grade WiFi Calling for Apartment Buildings is Finally Here. “Can You Hear Me Now?” “Can You Hear Me Now?” It’s happened to everyone. You’re locked in, completely engrossed in conversation. All of a sudden a little static begins on the line. Then a bit more and before you know it, you have missed every other word. Eventually the call drops completely… You look at your phone to find that you have no service, 0 bars. Hopefully, it was just friendly banter and not something vitally important. God forbid that it was an important sales call or a hard-to-reach individual. We’ve all experienced bad cell coverage and while it’s a pain, hopefully it only happens once in a “blue moon”. We may expect it while driving through a rural landscape, but if it happens from home; it’s an entirely different frustration. If you’re an apartment owner with this scenario you can rest assured… your residents will quickly be finding a new place to live, costing you and your brand. Let’s face it, not all apartments have good cell coverage. These days this can be a major problem for apartment owners. Bad cell coverage can drive occupancy, loyalty, satisfaction and retention down fast. Residents do not put up with bad coverage; many will post negative online reviews which could damage your online reputation. Some may try to change cell providers; however, they are not usually happy to do so. WiFi Calling Replaces DAS – “Two Birds, On......
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Top 5 Trending Topics of Middle Market Forum- West

1.        Compressed cap rates in major markets; Large companies are now starting to compete in the secondary markets showing interest to explore investments outside of traditionally hot core.  As rents and sales prices at those core markets are reaching a plateau, investors seem willing to entertain slightly lower returns because of the reduced risk profile associated with not chasing top of the market rents or sales price.  This makes the middle market investors relationship with local Brokers and governments along with extensive market knowledge an advantage to this new competition.     2.       Development vs. purchasing value add properties; As construction costs rise faster than rent growth, redevelopment and rehabs ROI analysis plays a key role in determining value of acquisition.  Urban infill projects close to employment hubs and rapid public transit markets have faster rent growth, where the secondary or tertiary markets show better ROI with light renovations or rehab program.   3.       Value add opportunities are very diverse; From interiors to common areas, owners are getting creative.  From common area repurposing to creating four-bedroom student housing out of conventional two bedroom properties.  Dog washes, common area coffee bar lounges get repurposed from traditional clubhouses and utility closets.  More thought is put into bringing the luxury amenities to vintage properties.  Unused common areas turn into useful space for residents at a very low cost.    4.       Diversify Real Estate; A growing number of middle market owners are purchasing manufactured home parks, student housing, creating property management support software, single family homes......
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Sharing Real Issues for the Middle Market Multifamily Executive

mmf-4.jpgAs an Executive in a mid-sized company, it was refreshing to attend an event geared mid-sized multifamily leaders at the Middle Market Forum- West Coast.  The specific needs of a mid-sized company have many benefits, but challenges too.  One benefit allows the development and opportunity to wear many hats.  You can be an expert in IT, marketing, legal, as well as acquisitions, valuations and investment strategy.  This opportunity also meets a challenge when growth and industry standards are changing and you are left with too many hats and not enough heads.  I have attended AOA (Apartment Owners Association) as well as NAA (National Apartment Association).  One was too small, the other too large.  I always had to customize the information to fit my needs.  This forum format specialized in the needs of the Owner/Operators/Investors with 100 units and fewer and the larger mid-sized company interests by providing two (2) sessions for each time slot.  There were also some entertaining “Shark Tank” moments where a tank panel had properties presented to them for sale.  Networking opportunities were ample at this forum.  The luncheon featured an option to sit in a selected geographic roundtable.  This was a great opportunity for me to sit with colleagues in a state or region I was interested in buying in.  The casual conversation lead to new insight on some of the new markets I was researching.  Many developers discussed the rents vs. building cost struggle.  Currently, the cost to build is inflating faster than the rents.  Generational inv......
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Gigabit Fiber For Apartment Complexes -- An Easy 8% Increase In Rental Income Is Just The Beginning.

Gigabit Fiber For Apartment Complexes -- An Easy 8% Increase In Rental Income Is Just The Beginning.
“Gigabit Fiber” or “Fiber to the Unit” (FTTU) is now an easy, affordable and revenue-generating way to provide Internet access to most apartment complexes. When the service is done right, the benefits include profits, resident attraction, brand recognition, loyalty, retention, and new marketing capabilities. Often missed are the cost savings found in the overall construction outlays; redacting the antiquated wiring expenses from the buildout are now possible. Properties can go ALL FIBER for their telecommunications needs. Additionally, Gigabit Fiber creates an infrastructure which is “future ready” and allows for a whole new realm of ancillary add-ons.  This concept is often thought of as the Internet of Things (IoT). Allowing apartments to bridge the gap between a temporary living environment and the long term comforts of a futuristic home intrinsically can shift the residents overall satisfaction. Millennial and remote work populations are on the rise; just the mere mention that your apartment has fiber is enough to have residents and prospective residents clamoring. Why Gigabit Fiber? If you are the end user (resident) this question is rather easy to answer. You want the fastest, most reliable speeds available.  Fiber provides this. Further, you are sick and tired of antiquated DSL and cable Internet options. If you are an apartment owner it boils down to 4 things: 1) Profits (Recurring and Intrinsic) Fiber and other high-end Internet services like Fiber Backed WiFi,offer the real possibility of monthly recurring profits that can be entered into your balance sheet as “Internet Income.” Selling quality Internet services to you......
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