Most people think of summer and winter to be the big seasons that need to come with a safety warning. While there are clear and present dangers in both of those seasons, fall is not without concerns of its own. Here are a few things to think about in regards to your rental property in the autumn. 1. Check Detectors. Most fire stations suggest testing the batteries and detectors twice a year. Once when the clocks go forward, and once when they go back. We recently "fell behind" an hour, so reminding your residents to check their smoke detectors would be a good thing to do. Depending on the laws in your county or town, you may be required to supply a carbon monoxide detector as well. Make sure these are not forgotten in the check. While you're at it, take a quick glimpse at the fire extinguisher just to make sure everything is still good. 2. Cold Weather. If you pay for your tenant's heat, then you know they will most likely use it. If they pay for their own, however, do what you can to make sure that they are staying warm as the nights become colder. This is especially true of the elderly and people with young children. Although heat can be expensive, it is a necessity and you should do what you can to make sure that everyone is safe during these times. 3. Fireplaces. If your rental property came with a working fireplace, please make sure that either you or your tenant is responsible with its operation. Clean out the chimney and only burn safe wood. Make sure that there is a screen to stop any loose embers that may come shooting out. Keep carpets far enough away and if it is a gas fireplace, always make sure to remind your tenant to turn everything off. While many concerns that begin in the fall cross over into the winter, we want to make sure you don't forget them before they occur. Things like fireplace use can be dangerous any time of the year. It is normally around now that people begin using theirs to take the chill and damp out of the air, but that means accidents can occur more often as well since they haven't been used for almost a year. Always use common sense and exercise caution with safety during the autumn.
Property managers need skills to build relationships on which they may depend on. This article is about three of the most reliable words to create an environment of trust and loyalty in all aspects of management in the housing industry. These three words are necessary for success in the field. Integrity The first is integrity, without which your reputation and relationships are not going to stand the test of time. Are you a person who keeps his promises and whose word is as "good as gold"? Is what is offered on the home leasing agreements and property listings what you actually offer? Without integrity there lacks credibility, and without trust, faith withers and fades. To keep its clients, every property management firm should be trustworthy. Yes, this is a simplistic word. The question here is can you deny its importance? Dedicate an early morning or a weekend 'downtime' to review the promises made to colleagues, customers and residents. Are they dedicated to their satisfaction? It is so easy to fall into the habit of using promotions or marketing and sales concepts that tend to over-promise and under deliver. If you're really honest with yourself and others, people will trust you. Ultimately, we all want to do business with honest people whose personal ethics are based on integrity. Through self-assessment and with the help of trusted advisors we can strengthen our own. Improvement The second word is improvement. This may especially be related to the sectors of services and maintenance of the buildings we manage. Have your maintenance problems improved in recent years since you've been a property manager? What have you done lately to assess how to handle complaints and maintenance issues? It is because of improvement that cities like Charlotte, Gastonia and Rock Hill in Carolina have booming housing industries, thanks to firms like Tallley properties. The opposite of improvement may be the word "deterioration". If your rental units are not preserved and carefully maintained at a scheduled basis, deterioration is the result. To begin to improving in this area as a good property manager, begin meeting with service providers on a regular basis. Look at several things like the history of work orders, go ahead and check how they were addressed, and what percentage of success resulted. Is the quality of its maintenance processes proportional to the owners and residents who pay rent? What steps can be done today for continuous improvement? Innovation The third word to get the best results in your business as a good property manager is innovation. In short, innovation is the will to be creative, think outside the box. "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it," said the genius Albert Einstein. Are you open to better ways, more efficient ways of running your business? Procrastination is a major obstacle to preventive innovation. Start today to find out who you work with, explore great ideas for innovative progress. Watch how you approach ideas. Many of the latest available technologies arise from the need of innovate effective solutions. This helps in saving time and protecting your most important relationships. Find out where these technologies are. Integrity, improvement and innovation will maintain those aspects of daily life that most clients treasure. These three powerful words when utilized effectively ensure you serve and succeed where others fail.
One of the most important things for landlords to do is collect the rent at the end, or beginning, of the month. Every landlord has a different way of doing this, and now that technology has progressed even farther, there are dozens of possible routes to take to get this done. Here are some ideas if you are tired of the same old rent collection routine. 1. Mail It In. Some landlords prefer to have the rent check mailed in to them every week. There could be a multitude of reasons for that, but it is a tried and true method that rarely goes wrong. 2. Credit/Debit Card. Instead of having your tenant write out a rent check every month, some landlords instead use a card swiping technology such as Square to collect the payments. This means that everything is electronic and there is no paper waste. If the resident wishes, however, they may be emailed a receipt for their own records. 3. Online Banking. Some landlords prefer to have everything done online. A few days before the rent is due, the tenant will go online and transfer the funds into an account that was set up specially for them which the landlord also has access to. In their leisure, then, the landlord will withdraw the money from this account and place it in their own. This may also house the security deposit so that the tenant can see, but not access, the money that is there. This way everyone knows when the money goes in and a check or card cannot bounce or cause overdraft fees. 4. Use Talley. This is our personal favorite technique for collecting the rent. If you are located in the Charlotte North Carolina area, using Talley is going to be your best bet for collecting the rent. You don't need to worry about keeping track of everyone's payments since we do all of that for you. We have a firm policy and you can always be sure that the payments will get to you in a timely fashion. While any of these tactics are going to work for you, we believe your best choice is to contact Talley Property Management and allow us to collect the rent for you. We have a set schedule of rent being due on the first of every month and late after the fifth. This takes the concern off of your shoulders and allows you to worry about all the other things in your life.
Now that Halloween has come and gone, November is here to stay. November brings daylight savings time to an end, it brings Thanksgiving, and it almost always brings snow. This means that colder nights and days will begin to really set in soon. Now while this is easily combatted by simply turning on the heat or putting on a sweatshirt inside, this can present a problem if it seems like there is more heat going into the apartment than is staying in. No matter who is paying for the heat bill, the recipient will not be happy if it seems there is more heat going in than is being felt. While everyone likes their homes a different temperature, most people can agree that winter gets very cold. November is the real start of this weather shift and so most people will begin turning their heat on sometime this month. Some will notice that no matter how high they turn the heat on, it never seems to warm up. This is a problem many of us face and is one that you, as a landlord, may be able to help fix. If you pay for your tenant's heat, you'll certainly want to think about this as a route to save some money. The first thing to do to help save money and heat is to make sure all cracks and gaps to the outside are sealed. Any drafts will quickly cause the heat to disappear and the heat bill to become much worse than it should be. If you know there is a draft but can't seem to find it, a small puff of baby powder or corn starch should point you in the right direction and the air flow pattern will be different. One of the best ways to keep heat in is with double paned windows. Having windows put in that are thicker will help to keep the place warm in the winter and cold in the summer. This will lower electricity costs for whoever pays that bill. Although they may be more expensive to begin with, the cost it will save in the long run is more than worth it. Keeping residents warm is a large priority for many landlords and these are two simple and quick ways to do so. Make sure winter is as enjoyable as it can be.
By law, most buildings need to have certain areas that are handicap accessible. While there are some ways to work around this if you have a historical building and such, newer buildings are mandated to have certain accommodations for those who may be wheelchair bound. While it may take a bit of extra work and planning on your end, taking handicap accessibility into consideration can help you immensely down the road. The first thing that comes to mind when most people say "Handicapped" in regards to accessibility is parking. This should be something at the front of your mind as well if you are planning on modifying your rental property to accommodate those who may be less mobile. Having close parking that is specifically for those who are handicapped is something that you normally need to speak to the town about, however it usually is not a problem. Those who may need the accommodations are always extremely thankful for the proximity parking and this will reflect well on you even from those who don't have the need to use it. This shows that you care about those who you may rent to, regardless of any disability they may life with. The second thing that you need to think about, and possibly fix, on a property you are meaning to rent out to someone who may be disabled is front door accessibility. While it's wonderful if they have preferred parking, that won't help if there are stairs or ridges that need to be dealt with. Having a ramp put in to allow access to an entrance and exit is always a good idea, however in this case it is essential. Also be careful to make sure there are no lips at the doorways that could cause problems for a wheelchair if someone were to try to bring one across the threshold. Also, they can be trip hazards, so even if you are not thinking of letting it out to someone disabled, perhaps try and take the ridge or bump out to lessen your liability. There are many more things to be considered and they will be talked about in the next article. For now, think about the properties that you have and if any of these fixes could be made to your buildings. Even if you don't have any disabled residents, perhaps someone who you rent to has family that cannot access the apartment. Again, it can only help you to increase your accessibility.