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Budget for Amenities!

Budget for Amenities!
A Budget Including Amenities Can Help You See and Save Green! It's that time of the year again: the preparation of next year's budget for your community. Your budget is likely to cover a lot of different areas; from marketing and sales to staffing and screening. While these are necessary for the property to keep functioning, make sure to make room for amenities. Amenities can increase occupancy and drive increased revenues. It can also be used in your marketing efforts to generate leads. When budgeting for amenities, there are a few things you need to consider. If you follow these three steps, you'll be good as gold! Survey The best amenity is a wanted amenity. A good way to gauge interest in a potential amenity before purchasing is to survey your community.  What do they want? What amenity adds convenience for them? What's going to make them want to renew their lease? You may think your community desperately needs a guinea pig playroom, but you better check first. An amenity collecting dust is a waste of money and isn't generating ANY revenue. ROI Stemming off of the first point, when you figure out what amenity or amenities your community wants, it's important to consider the ROI. You don't want to commit to an amenity with a short lifecycle. You're looking for an investment with long-term results. This can be challenging, especially when trends can come and go. Doing your due diligence through research will be vital to making sure your addition isn't a dud. Find industry resources......
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Ways for a Property Manager to Save $$$$

Ways for a Property Manager to Save $$$$
  Perhaps the most crucial challenge facing a property manager is finding ways to cut cost and turn a profit.  The conscientious property managers are constantly looking for ways to meet this goal so, in preparing for this article, I reached out to a few clients and vendors who graciously shared their money saving ideas and experiences. One idea I found particularly interesting is to brainstorm with other property managers about common needs such as pest control, pool maintenance, trash collction, landscaping, etc. on how to reduce cost.  This economic approach is suggested by CCA Global Partners who created INNOVIA, a community management cooperative that provides members with opportunities to improve profitability.   "The purpose of INNOVIA is to bring together property management firms from across the United States so the services can be achieved at a greater discount than by going it on your own."   (Justin Gargiolo-senior VP of Corporate Management for Great North Property Management, 2013)  This method is designed to be an effective approach to cutting cost while maintaining quality services for residents.  Additional cost cutting ideas?  Start at the office by reducing  staff or closing on days when business is normally slow leaving the residents with an emergency maintenance number contact number.  Another office cost cutting idea is to "go green". This approach not only saves money but is good for the environment! Florida Power and Light (FPL) recommends switching from conventional light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) which will save as much as 75% on......
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Why It's Okay to Outsource Your Property Management

OutsourcedA guest post by Brooke McDonald, Apple Valley Property Management, Minnesota As we all know, outsourcing is a risk that can turn out to either be the best decision you ever made or the worst thought to ever cross your mind. When it comes to property management, you have to decide: Am I willing to put the care of my rental property into the hands of a stranger? Will the investment be worth it? The stereotyped and semi-popular sitcom Outsourced didn’t last long on NBC, but it aired long enough to remind Americans of a poignant truth: Any kind of outsourcing involves some kind of learning curve, frustration, and a little bit of humor. Thankfully, outsourcing your property management does not have to be as hairy as Todd Dempsy’s struggles to run his Indian call center, nor will it require working with an office on another continent (unless you hire a property management company in another country, which we don’t advise). No, local property management companies can, in fact, be an incredible benefit to you as a property owner, saving you time and money and providing real estate expertise that can protect you from legal trouble. When you think of the word “outsourcing” in terms of property management, get rid of the negative connotations you often hear. Retrain your mind to hear the word “outsource” in conjunction with “property management” and think smart, wise, and worth it. Outsourcing can be an outstanding decision Doing all the management yourself is a heck of a lot of work ......
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