Month: February 2016
Better Tenant Communication
Posting news and events on your company website provides the information in one place. Updating tenant news on your company’s website requires minimal effort, but it’s a passive means of communication. Your tenants aren’t checking your page daily or at all.
Emails and e-newsletters
This offers landlords a more active way of distributing information; in other words, when you send out an email or a newsletter and you know that your tenant will see it in their inbox. You will have to update mailing lists, deal with distribution and bounce-back emails, and may even have to invest in a specialized mass mailing system.
Sending out notices via snail mail involves putting a mailing together, spending money on postage, and accounting for the lag time it takes between when communication is sent and when it is received. This is compounded by the fact that because many of your tenants communicate primarily electronically, they may not even check their mail boxes that often anymore. In other words, all of this effort could potentially be for naught in the end.
If you do want to utilize hard copy communication methods, your best bet is to post bulletins in highly visible areas of your property.
Ask your Tenants
Go straight to the source for input from your tenants. Ask them what their preferred method of receiving information is and after you’ve received this feedback you can either go with the majority, target specific people or a mix of both.
Use them wisely
Whether it’s electronic or paper, any type of communication will simply become white noise if they are constantly overwhelmed with information.
How to Choose the Right Repair and Maintenance Service for Your Home
Do you find yourself engaged in repair and maintenance tasks around your home on a regular basis? Not only does it take up a lot of time but you have to invest your energy in handling menial tasks. The hassle is only exacerbated if you are managing a luxury apartment building.
The reason why most people choose to go DIY is because of the cost involved in hiring a repair and maintenance company. However, given the effort and time you will have to invest in the process, it is often a better option to spend some money on getting professional repair and maintenance. However, you cannot just go for the first company you find.
There is no dearth of options in the market, but not all repair and maintenance companies are made equal. Therefore, you have to consider a few factors before you select one:
- References: Any decent service provider is willing to provide references of their past clients. Ask for references and follow up. If their past clients are happy with the quality of their services, you should have no qualms about hiring them.
- Range of Services: The repair and maintenance service you should hire should offer a wide range of services. For instance, they should not just handle electrical systems or appliances, but take care of any small or big repair and maintenance tasks that come up.
- Cost: Of course, you have to consider the cost of the company you are planning to hire. Given that there are a number of companies offering repair and maintenance services, you can afford to be selective with the prices being quoted. You can get the best quality of services at a price that fits your budget.
Consider these factors and you will be able to choose the perfect repair and maintenance service for your home or commercial building.
Good News! Apartment Rent Growth Levels Hit New Highs
New highs in rent growth were seen for both new resident leases and for renewal leases.
April 2015, total lease-over-lease rent growth nationally measured 6.1% — well above the 2011 peak of 5.3 percent. And New leases surged 7.8 percent.
New lease rent trade-out is highly seasonal. April is an especially important month, being the start of the peak leasing season.
Most property managers strategically schedule the bulk of their leases to expire in spring and summer months, when demand is strongest.
The results to date continue to show the impressive depth of demand for apartments, even with rising rents and record levels of new supply in markets all across the country. Neither headwind has proven to be as formidable as anticipated. As additional proof: Apartment resident turnover remains low.
Maximize Apartment Value with Good Management
A good location, well-tended units and common areas, and the right amenities are no longer enough to keep occupancy rates up and a property’s value high.
To maximize value, there are two main goals:
Meet or exceed budgeted rental income
Meet or exceed budgeted net operating cash flow.
Two areas of apartment operations that directly affect a property’s economic performance:
Occupancy and rental maximization
Expense management, as it relates to unit turnover
To meet each property’s challenges and its owner’s demands, the manager must integrate these disciplines into daily operations.
95 percent Occupancy
From both an investment and an operations standpoint, 95% occupancy is considered the optimum level for multifamily properties. Lenders use the 95% occupancy rate to structure loans, while managers consider 95% to be the balancing point between keeping a property full and focusing on raising rents.
In most situations, prospects will either inadvertently drive by the property, or will be drawn there by an ad or a current resident’s referral. For this reason, curb appeal is vital to draw in prospects.
Reducing costs is crucial to maximizing apartment property value.
There are several basic approaches that any size management company can use:
Install and enforce tight checks and balances on all purchases, no matter how small. Every purchase must fit into the property’s approved budget, which specifies the use of all purchases.
Repair first, and replace only when necessary. Although it is easier and more convenient to replace a broken item for a few dollars, very often the problem can be resolved with parts that cost only a few pennies.
Prepare Your Rental Property for Occupancy
The law provides for a warranty of habitability. This means that the dwelling must be considered habitable and any known problems must be fixed before you allow a tenant to take occupancy.
When a tenant vacates one of your units, take this opportunity to perform a walkthrough of the unit to determine its condition and discover what repairs or maintenance need to be done.
Properly working fixtures – faucets, showers, tubs, toilets, etc.
Address any leaks or other problems before you rent out your property.
Thoroughly clean your carpets.
Mold, mildew, and pet stains are considered health hazards, and such problems should be completely resolved before you rent out your property. Diseases such as toxoplasmosis, which is normally found in cat urine stains, can be deadly.
Clean the cabinets, closets, and storage areas.
Mildew and mold can lurk underneath cabinets, especially if you have had a problem with leaky fixtures. You may have to replace a cabinet if the damage is severe.
Check the closets.
Closets are one area that tenants frequently neglect when they vacate a property.
Make sure that these areas are completely cleaned and that any forgotten property is handled appropriately.
Make sure the walls free of chips, marks, and holes.
Depending on the length of the previous tenancy, you may have to repaint the unit. Any existing holes should be fixed before you rent out the property. If you do not plan to repaint, examine the condition of the walls carefully and make notes so you do not hold your new tenant liable for damage caused by someone else. At a minimum, you should patch any obvious holes.
Make sure the appliances operate properly
Old appliances waste lots of energy, which is a consideration for landlords providing free utilities to their tenants. Replacing old appliances with new models will save you money on energy and repairs and maintenance.
Make sure all of the doors and windows operate properly
Check all of the doors and windows of your property to make sure that they open and close properly and that they are in good working order. This includes cabinetry, patio doors, and windows.