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10 Property Management Pitfalls

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) ,......
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Did You Know This About Most Carpet Cleaning Companies?

So I know this is not my normal positive leasing blog but I wanted to give a shout out to the Carpet Cleaning Industry and maybe educate some one else today. So here is my Did You Know blog.Recently my significant other ( boyfriend, not legal husband but we call each other husband and wife, children’s father, free thinker, best friend) has become a Carpet Tech for a local Turn Key Company that specializes in Carpet Cleaning- they do a wonderful job seriously even before my honey pie went to work for them. Now if you had ask me four years ago when he was let go from his awesome IT Job would I ever see him cleaning carpets I would have laugh at you because the idea was absurd. But desperate times call for different ways of thinking and well now he is very happy about being a Carpet Tech- he even gave me a lecture on why I can't use Resolve to get my stains out of the carpet anymore... it was quite cute actually. Anyways getting off the subject matter and that is Did You Know That Most Carpet Cleaning Companies pay their techs on straight commission?I for one did not know this nor did I even care at the time how they got paid just that my carpets in the units got clean at a low price. But boy has my thought process change sense my honey pie went to work as a Carpet Tech. He gets oh lets just......
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Protecting your Business Records from Natural Hazards

Guide to Protecting Business Records

Does your business operate in a city that is prone to natural hazards such as Earthquakes, Floods, or Hurricanes? Do you keep all your files and records on-site? Then, read the following tips to protect your files and records in an event of a natural disaster:

Guide to Protecting Business Records

 

1. To reduce the loss of important records and documents, first identify which files are the most important and their vulnerability to damage. 


2. Know your Insurance Policy. Talk to your insurance agent and get all details of your flood and/ or hazard insurance policies. Be sure to know what is and is not included in your policy and the conditions associated with each of them.

3. Keep your Equipments in a Safe Place. For example, computers kept near large windows could be damaged during hurricanes. 


4. Have an Emergency Plan Ready! For example, a few employees could be responsible for backing up computer files, and delivering copies to a safe location.

5. Estimate the cost of your property. Calculate the costs of Repairing vs. Replacing costly equipments. Your estimates will help you assess your vulnerability and help you plan accordingly. 


6. Keep an inventory of your files and equipments. Maintain written and photograhic inventories of all important materials for tax and insurance purposes.

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Fetch Plus: Mobile and Social Media Application Blog for Multifamily Housing

The apartment industry is getting very savvy towards employing social media and mobile marketing into their media/marcomm mix and why shouldn't they? The industry has a structured revolving door of customers coupled with the fact that they sell lifestyle, a perfect marriage when it comes to running positive returns from social media and mobile marketing efforts. 

In this Blog, you will find weekly (and spur of the moment) updates on mobile and social media tools that are becoming available (i.e. anyone here of augmented reality tools and how this plays into mapping and community tours?) as well as research on usage and redemption rates.

This blog will not discuss why you should be social, how to be social or other points addressed in other blogs regarding social media team level techniques as we specialize in mobile and social media applications.

Final note, we are builders of social media and mobile applications for the multifamily industry as well as the hospitality, membership, retail and real estate (residential and commercial) industries. We build both proprietary and commercial use apps for these industries.

To learn more about our company you can visit us at www.FetchPlus.com. To visit our company blog, please go to www.FetchPlus.posterous.com.

To contact me direct please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by telephone at 312-985-7668.

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Property Management Companies and Property Managers- How to Get a Business Loan Request Approved

Property Management Companies And Managers Top Tips Business Loan ApprovalIf you are looking to expand and grow your property management business, you should position your business opportunity as an attractive investment opportunity to the banks and lenders.   Here are some tips to get your Business Loan Request approved:1. Research Potential Lenders Within your IndustryApproach a bank that understands your industry. Gather more information from your business networking group, or a small business development industry. You might stand a better chance approaching smaller community banks as they may be more familiar with the local target market and may have prior knowledge of your business. You might also consider loans that cover start-up costs and business expansion costs, such as supplies and machinery.2. Gather Relevant Documentation  Gather documentation about you and your business – such as your income record. Obtain a  Loan Checklist that you will need for any small business loan application.3. Loan Application formsThe loan application process differs for different banking institutions. The Loan Application Checklist may list the forms you need and may help you understand the loan application process.4. Preparing for the InterviewPrepare for questions that you may be asked as you will be asked to substantiate your claims. Be confident and professional in communicating the amount you plan to borrow, how you plan to use it and what are you revenue streams.  Have a repayment plan ready and include it with your documents.  5. Talk to the ExpertsTalk to your local bank or Small Business Development Center. They may have the latest information on changing market......
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Roadmap to Successful Business Plan for Property Management Companies

Having a business plan will enable new property management companies and property managers encourage loans and promote growth. A formal business plan is just as important for an established property management company as it is for a new company.What is a Business Plan?A business plan is your firm's resume. It defines who you are, what your goals are and what is your revenue model.  A business plan aligns employees, sales personnel and vendors with the company's goals and operational procedures. A good business plan helps you make good business decisions in allocating resources and handling unexpected situations.  A good business plan should include a current and pro forma balance sheet, an income statement, and a cash flow analysis.Why Write a Business Plan?A Business Plan is an important document in any loan application because it provides organized information about your company and how you will repay borrowed money. A good business plan serves as a blueprint of your organization for outside management of your operation and finances, promotion and marketing of your business, funding, credit from suppliers, and achievement of your goals and objectives.Before you begin writing your business plan, consider four core questions:Don't rush into a New Business Venture without answering these questions: * What is the Nature of your service or product?* What Needs does your business fill?* Who are the potential customers for your product or service? * Why will they purchase it from you?* How will you reach your potential customers?* Where will you get the financial resources to......
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Affordable Housing: What is it? How can we, as Vendor/ Associates better serve the needs of these managers?

Affordable Housing: What is it? How can we, as vendor/ associates, better serve the needs of these managers? Recently, during a conversation I was having with a new Atlanta Apartment Association member, I was asked what exactly it means when someone refers to a Community as Affordable or Tax-Credit. This individual was under the impression that these properties were essentially low income properties in undesirable neighborhoods with like deferred maintenance issues! I am familiar with many communities which fall into the Affordable Housing category that are newer, attractive A properties in very desirable locations. I hope to shed some light on this important component to our industry. The difference between these Affordable/ Tax-Credit properties and their Conventional Market-rate competitors is that the developer/ owner of the property will receive a Low Income Tax Credit Benefit to provide housing to those earning below a certain wage. There are many variations of this; some properties may be 80% Affordable Units and 20% Market Units. Some properties may receive Government subsidies for the rent as assistance to its residents.  These communities are heavily regulated by HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) and by DCA (Department of Community Affairs) for their compliance within the legal guideline of the program. Many of the AAA Owner/ Manager companies across Atlanta and beyond manage Affordable Properties. A few of these are Aderhold Properties, Lincoln, Vista Realty Partners, Walton Communities, Signature Management, Ambling and Wood Partners who has management of some of their communities but also hire Third......
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Customer Service Aptitude- Associates

A few days ago I was on the receiving end of some particularly poor customer service. Know the feeling? Yuck! I have such a poor taste in my mouth I may not shop at Macy’s again for a whole month! But seriously, I was reading on MultiFamily Insiders and came across this interesting topic in their archived discussions relating to the Customer Service aptitude of Associates. The discussion was about the challenges with getting into contact with Owner Managers, beginning conversations and obtaining appointments. An associate felt he had a legitimate service or product to offer and that he was being disrespected by a particular Decision Maker that he was calling on. He did not know this customer. He wasn’t getting a return phone call. From what I could gather, this particular vendor did not seem to have any empathy for the person from whom he was attempting to gain business. It is Associates such as these that telephone every single day, refuse to take no for an answer, etc. that send Owner Manager’s seeking cover. You may not catch the Owner Manager today, next week or next month but if you do not operate with a Customer Service Aptitude you will never earn their business. I love what Jen Piccotti, an industry colleague on the west coast, had to say on the topic! “I guess it comes down to this - we can't control those around us, we can only control ourselves and our own interactions. I choose to approach......
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Taking Care of Vacated Units

The last box has been hauled down the stairs and the moving van has pulled away from the curb. Now that your former tenant has vacated his apartment, it’s time for you to get to work, flipping the unit in preparation for the new tenant that’s on her way. We’ve talked about the differences between normal wear and tear versus damages previously—so now let’s take a look at what tasks you can expect to complete on a routine basis when a tenant moves out of one of your units. Cleaning Appliances No matter how cleanly your former tenant was—and even if he cleaned the apartment himself prior to vacating—chances are some spots were missed. And some of the most common missed spots that require your attention are appliances, such as stoves, refrigerators, and built-in microwaves. Cleaning Floors and Laying Carpet Flooring is another one of those areas that may still be a bit grimy upon your previous tenant’s departure. As with the appliances, you will want to make sure that they are all thoroughly clean for your next tenant. Don’t just clean—use this opportunity to get rid of scuffs, stains, and any other markings that may be more permanent than just dirt. If you have hardwood floors, you may want to consider adding a coat of wax while you’re at it. Not only will it look great for your next tenant’s arrival, but it will also protect the floor against nicks and scratches from your next tenant. If you’re dealing ......
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Quarter 2 Atlanta Performance Highlights from MPF Research

Apartment demand in Atlanta really took off during the April-June time frame, when just over 8,100 units were absorbed. That quarterly blast took demand during the first half of the year to nearly 11,300 units, far surpassing the concurrent completion count of about 2,900 units. Thus, occupancy is starting to rise. However, the metro's June occupancy rate of 90.3 percent still ranked among the nation's weaker performances. Thanks mainly to a little bit of pricing momentum seen in the urban core neighborhoods, effective rents edged up by 0.4 percent during 2010's 2nd quarter, but annual change remained significantly negative at -3.8 percent. Dwindling new supply volumes will help Atlanta's near-term performance move toward recovery, as ongoing development is down to a total of fewer than 2,100 units.

Performance Highlights are sneak peek views of the latest apartment market performance information from MPF Research. Check out their Apartment Market Reports for detailed findings, including results on the neighborhood level and analysis of factors shaping the shifts in conditions.

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