Great point, Brent! That's also where AFPOE can be helpful. Responses which come off like "because...
Wendy Dorchester
Hire for culture, train for skill! Love this. Jared, you have always emulated great culture in every...
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- Blog posts tagged in Rent

Posted by on in Property Management
As we begin to look forward to closing another year out, it’s a great time to look ahead and get your ducks in a row for 2011. Aside from all of the  information and lessons you glean out on the property management field on a daily basis, incorporating continuing education into your professional program is a great way to ensure you continue growing and perfecting both your business and your personal skill sets. Though complete certifications and ongoing classes may simply be unfeasible for some of us, property management related seminars and conferences are a great time-efficient way to add to your knowledge base. 2011 NAA Education Conference and Exposition June 23-25, 2011 Las Vegas, Nevada The National Apartment Association tags this event as the opportunity to “educate, energize, and empower” yourself and your organization. This well-attended event brings together 5,000 multi-family housing professionals from across the nation and 300 service providers, not to mention a wealth of high-profile keynote speakers, including Condoleezza Rice. NPMA 2011 National Education Seminar July 25-28, 2011 Las Vegas, Nevada Hosted by the National Property Management Association, this multi-day seminar provides a wealth of practical business advice, offered from a wide variety of field experts who have an in-depth working knowledge of how property management works from the inside out. In addition to seminars, the NPMA also offers break-out groups that allow attendees to discuss special interests with colleagues and experts. 23rd Annual NARPM Convention & Trade Show October 19-21, 2011 Dallas, Texas As the largest...

Posted by on in Property Management
A few weeks ago, we talked about 10 Signs of Property Management Success. This week, we’re going to take a look at the flip side of that coin, reviewing some indicators that it may be time to make some changes (after all, the time for New Years’ resolutions is just around the corner!). Following are a few red flags to keep an eye out for in your property management business. 1. Lack of referrals – This applies to both tenants and property owners. In an ideal scenario, you should be creating a web of referrals that expands year after year. If you’re not, it may mean that: 1) existing tenants and clients aren’t confident enough in your work to refer you or 2) business-building incentive programs are not in place. 2. Haphazard organizational systems – If your office doesn’t have an organizational system in place for things like accounting, rent payment tracking, and maintenance requests, your efficiency and accuracy may be taking a hit. An investment in property management software will pay off big in the long-run. 3. Sporadic maintenance schedule – Staying on top of regular maintenance (like winterizing) and repairs will keep your property value up and your tenants happy. Creating and sticking to an annual maintenance check-list is the most sure-fire way to stay on track. 4. High turn-over – This applies not only to your tenants, but also to your property management staff. While people move on for any number of reasons (both personal and professional) ,...

Posted by on in Property Management
It’s the holidays!  Peace on earth; good will towards…delinquents?!  During the holiday season rent collections can be particularly difficult—especially considering our economic climate.  But in order to ensure effect collections over the holidays, the time to start is now. Today:  Do you have chronically late people?  Take a moment to sit down and make a list of every resident who is typically late.  If you have been at your property for a while, this list will come very easily.  If you are new you will need to take a look at your receivables from prior months.  Start the Process Early:  Take some time the week (before the first) to make positive personal contacts with everyone on your chronically late list.  It is a good idea to set up clear expectations right from the start (e.g. When will you be paying?  How many times will I have to hound you?  How much of my mental energy are you going to take?!)  Call and say, “Hey, I just wanted to call and thank you for paying your rent.  Next month’s rent is coming up—are we going to be okay?” Take time to briefly listen to the ‘story’.  Some may have fallen on hard times.  For cases like this, it is an excellent tool to assemble a list of local charities and houses of worship that provide emergency assistance.  Pass this list on.  Be compassionate and respectful but firm.  Remind your customer that rent is due on the first and that you will be...

Posted by on in Property Management
Setting your property management fees can be tricky business. Obviously, you’d like to obtain the greatest amount of money possible for your services. On the other hand, it’s important that your prices remain competitive in order to secure new clients. Following are some things to take into consideration when setting and evaluating your property management fees. Know Your Competition While your prices shouldn’t be totally dictated by what your competitors are doing, it is important that you have an idea of the going rate for property management services in your area. While you don’t want to undercut yourself, you will likely also have a difficult time selling your services to potential clients if your rates are significantly higher than your competitors’. If they are higher, be sure you have a compelling answer lined-up when potential clients ask why that is (for example, “We offer more automated services for you to utilize” or “We have twenty more years of industry experience than our closest competitor”). Compare Apples to Apples In that vein, when evaluating competitors’ prices, be sure that you are taking similar companies into account. For example, if you have ten years of experience and several successful properties under your belt, you should not compare your prices to those of a relatively novice, start-up property manager. Obviously, the converse of this also holds true. Account for the Local Economy How are things in your area? Are vacancy rates high? Or is business booming, bringing lots of new residents to town? Keep...

Posted by on in Property Management
While profitability is one great sign of success, there are also many other less tangible indicators that your property management business is doing well. Following is  a list of ten signs you’re running a good property management shop. How many items on this list apply to your business? 1. Your vacancy rates are low. Low vacancy rates can mean any one (and often a combination of) several good things: 1) that you’re doing a good job marketing your property to new tenants; 2) that you’re maintaining existing tenants; and 3) that your units are generally sought-after. 2. You receive new property management clients from referrals. In business, referrals are the sincerest form of flattery. When existing clientele are referring potential clients your way, it is a sure sign you’re doing things right. 3. You receive new tenants from referrals. Chances are tenants who are displeased with your property aren’t going to recommend your property to their friends. As with client referrals, tenant referrals speak kindly of your work and may also indicate that you’ve successfully instated a good tenant referral program. 4. Your tenants stay put. They like you, they really like you! As with all business, it costs far less to keep existing tenants than it does to find new ones. If your tenants tend to remain in your units for multiple lease periods, chances are you’re pricing your units right and making tenants feel well cared for. 5. Other property managers contact you for advice. While it’s nice 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
  STOP ask yourself do you do your follow up calls or thank you cards?!?!?!?  By Jolene Sopalski Leasing Specialist WRH Realty Services If you answered no to that question then I want you to hold up your right hand and pledge the following “ I will  start following up with my prospects no prospect will go un-followed up”. Good now if you are one of the ones that said yes I do my follow up calls and thank you cards I want to give you a big hug so just picture me giving  you a hug.  Why are follow ups with prospects so important to you and your owners? They are important to us because our prospects are the key to our success in this industry with out them leasing our apartments there would be no need for us. So why would you let them walk out of your office and never make contact again with money? All to often we use the excuse there's just no time to follow up. I really don’t like hearing there is no time to follow up on a potential lease because that is our job. I want to share with you some tips on following up on prospects that will hopefully increase your leases, make your owners happy and make it easier for you to follow up.  Always keep in mined that you are not the only property that your prospect is looking at so you want  to stay in the game by...

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
Anyone who has made a career in real estate knows that the market is always changing. There’s no arguing the fact that real estate professionals must have the ability to accept that while there are times of feast, there are also times of famine. But even when buyers are hard to come by, opportunities for income generation exist. And one of those opportunities is property management. Adapting to change. It’s not news at this point: Over the past couple of years, the real estate market has taken a huge hit. With foreclosures running rampant, loan qualification processes that can be difficult at best, and severe job losses across the nation, successful real estate transactions have been hard to come by. Even successful transactions now require far more time and effort than they once did. While things are slowly beginning to turn around, the real estate market is cyclical — we will at some point see it dip again. This is why it’s so important for real estate agents to have a back-up plan when times get rough. Property management offers realtors a great way to remain in the field and put their skills to use, even when the market is down. Steady income. No matter what, people will always need shelter. Particularly during economic climates like that of the past couple years, home sales may go down, but renting goes up, with all of the displaced former home owners looking for new places to lay their heads. No matter what field...

Posted by on in Property Management
One of the most encouraging results seen in the country's apartment market during 2010's first half was a notable upturn in demand for middle-tier product. Previously, almost all the absorption occurring across the country was being captured at the very top end of the market, reflecting new completions moving through initial lease-up as well as high-end units attracting move-up renters via price cuts. Looking specifically at 1980s-generation developments, the middle of the product spectrum in most metros, occupancy across the nation as a whole climbed 2 percentage points during 2010's initial six months, improving from 91.7 percent to 93.7 percent. At least a little bit of growth occurred virtually everywhere, and the jump was more than 3 percentage points in select areas like Upstate South Carolina's Greenville area, San Antonio, Kansas City and Nashville. An especially interesting shift in 1980s-era apartment occupancy registered during recent months in metro Atlanta. While those units were just 91.3 percent occupied as of mid-2010, the performance in the sector improved by 2.9 percentage points from the late 2009 result. Making the change especially intriguing, almost all the upturn occurred in just a few neighborhoods, specifically the arc stretching from Gwinnett County across the Roswell/Alpharetta area and into eastern Cobb County. That's a cluster of product that on the surface would seem to face a particularly difficult road to recovery, since it lies amid a huge selection of now really, really cheap single-family homes offered both for sale and for lease in very large numbers. What...