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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Property Management

- Blog posts tagged in Property Management

Posted by on in Property Management
Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right? What Ideas and Strategies Can We Imitate From Single-Family Home Builders? I commonly hear from the multifamily industry how “the big builders have deeper pockets and can afford more for marketing campaigns”.  I wonder how true this is.  What campaigns have you seen from a home builder (or any other industry) that made you think, “Ugh, if we could only afford to do that we would get so much more traffic to our properties (or website)”.  Once we get a few ideas down, let’s take the discussion to the next level on how adjustments might be made to make similar and more affordable campaigns for multifamily....

Posted by on in Property Management
Rebuilding communities By Jo-Anne Oliveri, ireviloution intelligence, Brisbane, Australia Property management… just mentioning those two words usually sets off a plethora of comments, memories and grunts. Most of them are bad memories and grunts of frustration, annoyance and mild to wild anger. Yep, this sector of the real estate industry has grown up to be like the delinquent teenage child who is hell bent on causing pain and humility, rebellious in every sense of the word. You only have to ask around to discover that this is a problem the world over… yes, that’s right, the world over. Why? There are many reasons why, but the good news is there is no need to be seen as the delinquent and rebellious child anymore. Property management is set to become the golden child of every real estate business. For those agencies that don’t provide leasing and management services it’s time to sit up and listen. It’s time to feel confident in knowing that as a business owner you can design and deliver the leasing and management service of your choice. It’s important to truly understand what we mean when we say the world is changing and so is the industry. Real estate businesses can no longer rely on commission from property sales alone. The last few years have highlighted the vulnerability each and every real estate business faces. First there was the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). The GFC should have been the wake up call to every real estate business owner needing to understand that...

Posted by on in Property Management
Leasing Strategies By Ben Holubecki, STML Realty Group, Glen Ellyn, IL As the weather warms up and the rental leasing season gets into full swing it is easy to get caught up in the rush of showing requests, rental applications, lease signings, and new tenant walk through appointments that usually fill these months for leasing agents and management companies. From what we are seeing in our area and what I have heard from managers and agents in other markets this is one of the more active springs in recent history for tenant moves and new leasing activity. We have seen our average vacancy time decrease from 30 days to less than 20 days over the last few months and some properties are renting as soon as they hit the open market. This is a far cry from just a few months ago when we were in the middle of one of the least active leasing winters that we can remember in the Midwest. While this is all great news for those of us who earn a living filling and managing these vacant units, we have noticed one area where things have not picked up all that much. The “tough to rent” properties are still hard to move. The nice unit in the dirty building, the overpriced 1 BR apartment, the house with the crazy wallpaper, the home next to the hoarding neighbor, and other general nightmare rentals still continue to be issues. While the market seems to be increasingly active, I see the activity...

Posted by on in Property Management
Courthouse By Geoff Roberts, Buildium, Boston, MA Unfortunately, sometimes tenant-related situations happen that require you to consider restitution: a tenant submits a bad check; causes significant damage and destruction to your property; moves out on the sly; or abandons his possessions on your property, leaving you to clean up the mess. None of these situations are pleasant, particularly because they generally leave you at best out some cash and, even worse, with a mess to clean up in your tenants wake (which, of course, may require even more expenditure). Of course you want to be paid the money you’re owed, but is it always worth pursuing such matters? Let’s take a look at some common scenarios. Small Claims CourtSmall claims court may be a good option in certain circumstances (note that some districts have a specific landlord-tenant court). Small claims complaints may be viable if your tenant does not pay rent, willfully damages or causes destruction to your property, or violates rules and regulations repeatedly after written notice to comply. Generally speaking, small claims courts handle matters under a certain dollar amount—usually $5,000 or less. All of the specifics vary on according to state, so be sure to check the specifics in your area. In most states, you will have to submit a small fee to file a complaint (generally around $25). If the case goes to court, witnesses may be required to appear in person, and you should be prepared to provide relevant documentation, such as receipts, leases, estimates, bills, check copies, and photographs....

Posted by on in Property Management
Online reputation management By Peter Lamandre, Better By Design Real Estate, Scranton, PA “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” - Benjamin Franklin We all work hard to build our reputations. I was speaking with a potential property management client yesterday, when I asked him if he had any questions about my firm. His reply was simple; “Yes, are you honest?” I chuckled and reminded him that he was a referral from one of our oldest clients. The fact of the matter is that people like to do business with those they know, like, and TRUST. In property management the TRUST part is a big piece — after all the owner of the property is basically saying here is my single biggest asset, you’re in charge; please make me lots of money. In the old days you would go to a chamber of commerce meeting, or an apartment association meeting, or a similar in-person event (we still do these things). In today’s internet-driven world, clients often first find you online then send you an email or fill out an online prospect form. The consumer will then conduct research online to find out all they can about you and your firm. The hard part is knowing what is said about you online — have you ever given thought to how many websites are out there? Here are some quick stats from Websites 255 million – The number of websites as of December 2010 21.4 million – The number...

Posted by on in Property Management
Rental rates By Geoff Roberts, Buildium, Boston, MA When determining rental rates, you want to strike just the right balance between maximizing your profit and remaining competitive in your local rental market. Following are some tips for finding that magic number. Look at rates of competitors As a property manager, you want to create business strategies that work for you and serve your best interests. However, you still need to be aware of competitors and the marketplace around you. When formulating rent rates, make sure you know what you’re up against. And the quickest way to do this is analyzing competitive prices. RentometerRentometer is a great web-based program that will allow you to see how you rank in your neighborhood. Just enter your address, rental rate, and number of bedrooms to gain access to a computerized graphic showing where your rates fall in comparison to other rental rates in your immediate area. Other Rental Listing SitesWhile Rentometer is great for a quick overview, remember that it doesn’t take specifics such as square footage, upgrades, and amenities into account. To make sure you’re comparing apples to apples, also look at competitive rental listings on sites likeCraigslist, Zillow,,, and local classifieds (both online and off). Look for places of a similar size, with the same amenities and upgrades and make sure that your rates are in the same ballpark. If your rental rates are higher than those of competitors, make sure this is justified (for example, your units have more square footage or were recently renovated). When...

Posted by on in Property Management
 Before the InterviewWhile some people have an innate talent for landing the perfect job, the art of the interview is a skill that can be learned. Remembering a few key points will help you find success in your endeavors to advance your career. Consider the following tips to do before the interview as you prepare to search for your next job: 1 - Organize the night before. Lay your clothing out and prepare your portfolio with resume and reference letters before you go to bed so you won’t have to worry about it in the morning.2 - Confirm the location, time and date of the interview. Drive by the location the night before the interview if you are not certain of your route or how long it will take you to get there.3 - Research the company and find out as much information as you can. Use the Internet to search the company Web site for general product and service information. Search for information about the company in the online archives of your local newspapers and news media.4 - Find out what you can about the interviewer, including full name, designations, title and the correct pronunciation of the individual’s name.5 - Be prepared to ask a few questions of the interviewer. Ask questions that show you’ve done your homework on the company and the position. Don’t ask questions about compensation or benefits. What follows are a few recommended questions:“What are your expectations of me in this position?”“When I come on board,...

Posted by on in Property Management
The Rule Book By Ben Holubecki, STML Realty Group, Glen Ellyn, IL I’ve always had a lot of respect for professionals who truly learn from their mistakes.  Many of the top companies and executives in the world admit that they have made plenty of them over the years.  What sets the successful companies apart from the unsuccessful ones is the ability to immediately make adjustments and avoid making the same mistake twice.  It can be costly to make an error on the job but it can be devastating to repeatedly make the same mistake over and over again.  That’s why I sat down last week to reflect upon a recent string of lost property management accounts. Those of us who manage properties owned by others all have our steady, long-term clients.  These are the ones that we can count on.  We depend on them to provide the residual revenue that drives our business and allows us to operate on a monthly basis.  These owners generally defer to our decisions, believe in our process, and most importantly trust us to manage an important part of their investment portfolio.  In our experience we have found a common theme that runs along with most of these clients.  Ground rules and expectations were properly set at the beginning of those business relationships.  Although there are always ups and downs involved in managing any relationship when you are playing with someone else’s money, those hurdles can often be overcome if guidelines were properly established at the beginning of the relationship.  If...

Posted by on in Property Management
MANAGEMENT TIPS FOR SUCCESS   Management of people can really be a tricky thing.  No matter how long you have been managing, the tips below can help to assist you in becoming a good leader or help refresh your management styles.   1.       Be Enthusiastic The best way to succeed as a manager is to be upbeat and enthusiastic.  You may not have everyone on board and agree with you, you may not know the answer to everything they ask, but if you are highly positive and let them know, together you will find a solution to any problem that arises, you will be fine.  The best thing about being upbeat and enthusiastic is that is infectious, no one wants to have a negative person leading them.  Motivation is key to a successful business, not in the old fashioned “punish if you don’t do well” way, but with praise and challenging them. Hopefully they will rise to the challenge and perform well for you.  2.  Trust Great managers do not get where they are using certain business techniques or by making themselves busy, it is because team members work well for people they can trust.  They like managers to show competence and be concerned for them. Your team members will work well when they feel their opinions are heard, if they know what is required from them and that they know that decisions are made with them in mind.  3.   Listen Team members are motivated when their managers listen to them....

Posted by on in Property Management
Burglar By Colin McCarthy, J.D., Robinson & Wood, San Jose, CA America is the greatest country in the world. There. I said it. Here’s why. There is an urban legend, if you will, that tells of the story of a burglar who sued and recovered after he hurt himself trying to steal from a homeowner. The story goes something like this. The would be burglar is trespassing on the responsible citizen’s property. Since the responsible citizen had the good sense to lock his doors when he left, the would be burglar had to find other means to enter the property. So he went up on the roof and over to a skylight. There was a known defect in the skylight – the property owner knew it was not installed correctly. The would be burglar put some weight on the skylight and (instead of supporting him!) it gave way and he fell right through into the house and onto the brand new kitchen table. He broke several bones and, after he was released from jail, he sued the property owner for premises liability. And won! Or so they say. Because I’m that kind of guy, I’m going to take the outrageous position of defending the result that is proffered in this urban legend. Wait… what?!? You are going to defend the burglar? No – that’s not what I said. I said I’m going to defend the result that is put forth as true in this legend. I don’t know if the story is...