Finding tenants is in itself a challenging task sometimes, and finding loyal and respectful ones is even more difficult. However, it is worth the effort, since property management will not have to deal with property damage, late rent, and/or criminal activities.
Having a thorough screening procedure is the only way; you can avoid renting the property to problematic tenants. Even though this is a vital step, many aspects of it are often overlooked due to various reasons. Here are some of the worst mistakes that you can avoid while trying to fill up vacancies on your property.
Compromising on a Detailed Background Check or not Running One
According to studies done by experts, it is quite clear that when someone is committing vandalism, theft, fraud, or any other crime; they are not going to stop suddenly. Such a person will continue doing it, and therefore it is so important to conduct a detailed background check on prospective tenants. A nationwide pedophile and criminal search is necessary and you need to cover your bases. You do not want to be derelict in your duties as a property manager.
There have been instances where property managers have been influenced by the story of a tenant who has fallen on hard times or has been unfortunate. However, that should not stop you from running a background check, since being a victim of misfortune is one thing and having a criminal mind is entirely different. If the background check reveals repeated criminal offenses, then you cannot give in to such a person just because he is a victim of unfortunate circumstances.
Not Verifying Rental History
The person might not have any criminal record but could be a serial defaulter in rent payments. He could still be owing money to the property owner, where he stayed last, or he could have lost the security deposit due to extensive damages caused to the unit.
Rental history for the past couple of years will reveal a lot about the person, and this could be accomplished by a simple phone call or searching a database. However, there are instances where the person might not have had his or her name on previous leases, which in itself is a red flag.
Not Checking Employment History
Almost all tenants use their monthly earnings to pay the rent, and finding a tenant having a trust fund is extremely rare. Therefore, your chances of getting the rent on time will be directly influenced by the person's employment.
Check to see if the person has been holding a steady job for the past couple of years. Secondly, the person's present job should provide an income that is three to four times the rent. If the tenant has a shaky employment history, ask for an official letter from the company to verify his transfer to the area you are in.
Not Running a Credit Check
Credit check will reveal whether the person is in credit card debt, and if he has a habit of defaulting on payments. A person might be earning three to four times the rent amount, but if he has a huge credit card debt, it will be difficult for him to pay the rent. It is also indicates financial irresponsibility.
Heating units and furnaces should be maintained to prolong their life and reduce energy consumption. With the heating season set to begin in fall, you need to schedule a regular maintenance check of your furnace by a HVAC specialist. The specialist will check your furnace and heating unit visually and clean blowers and other components.
The technician will inspect the furnace for signs of dust, debris, wear and tear of moving parts, heck the heat exchanger for rust and cracks, inspect the burners, and tighten the wires. The technician will check the furnace for minor issues and fix them before they develop into major ones. As debris and dirt can cause friction and damage vital components of the furnace, the technician will clean these parts. They will also lubricate the motor to ensure less friction and longer life for the motor.
You can also ask the technician who comes to check the furnace to inspect the ductwork. This will help spot leaks from cracks, holes, and gaps in the duct work. A properly sealed and insulated ductwork will deliver the heat to where it is required and reduce energy consumption. If heat is lost from the duct work, the unit will have to work more, consuming more energy and undergoing more wear and tear.
Changing Air Filters
While an annual inspection of the furnace by profession technicians will get it ready for the cooler months of the year, you need to change the filers at least once a month. A dirty filer can clog the airways and make the unit work harder. Apart from the greater energy consumption, blocked filers can also lead to uneven heating of rooms. Depending on the type of filter you are using, you need to either change them or wash them before reusing them.
Program the Thermostat
At the beginning of the heating season, program the thermostat to keep the home warm when you are in and cooler when you are away. This will help reduce energy bills without reducing your comfort.
Keep Vents Clear
Another way of ensuring optimal use of the furnace or heating unit is to ensure that the vents are not blocked by drapes, furniture, or other obstacles. Check all vents to ensure that free flow of air is possible.
Scheduling a furnace inspection before the heating season begins can help ensure that you stay warm throughout the fall and winter months without having to worry about unusually high energy bills or sudden breakdown of the heating system.
Tenant retention is the key to maximizing net operating income. It’s plain to see why because on every occasion a tenant leaves there are a whole lot of additional expenses involved. You have to repaint and repair the premises, advertise them and in some cases offer free rent incentives. Add to that the revenue lost during the period the premises were vacant.
It’s precisely for this reason that tenant retention and lease renewal ranks high on the development strategies which property owners and managers of multi-family properties adopt as a cost-effective measure. This is not just when the going is good but always.
You can go online to find a basket of solutions for retaining tenants like gift cards, raffles, and providing free WiFi in common locations like the laundry area and so forth. These will always be appreciated as will amenities and friendly service, but sometimes the basic things are forgotten.
What is the real cause behind tenants moving out?
A study conducted in 2010 concluded that tenants opted out of renewing their leases for reasons which were within control. The vast majority of them made the decision because of poor customer service by way of unsatisfactory handling of maintenance requests and a lack of response to their concerns. Here are three cast-iron ways to help you improve your tenant renewal record.
There is nothing a tenant would like better than to know that their concerns are being taken seriously by property managers and homeowners. Ongoing communication with tenants is crucial during their period of residence. Keep them informed of all events such as construction issues, or scheduled maintenance. This sends a signal to the tenant that you care. Tell them about your proposed plans for upgrades and improving amenities. Highlight the positives to give them a reason to renew their lease when it comes to an end.
Swift Maintenance and Follow-Up
Conduct a tenant satisfaction survey at regular intervals. It’s a fantastic tenant retention tool and helps with improvement planning as well. A survey will give you an insight into what your residents need to improve the quality of their lives. It also helps an owner or property manager identify projects which will benefit the tenants and by extension themselves. It is also another way to attain feedback on earlier projects how well they were received and how well they have delivered. A structured approach like this helps generate satisfaction, dedication to service, and intrinsic value all of which significantly counts toward lease renewal.
Update Your Website
Today we live in a world of information access at our fingertips. Most of your tenants would prefer to use the Internet to acquire updates on their issues. Most people today first try to resolve an issue on a company’s website before resorting to other avenues. When they are able to succeed they derive a sense of satisfaction. If residents are able to attain a status update on a maintenance issue they develop a sense of empowerment and a feeling of pleasure.
While property management is undoubtedly a service business, keeping a tenant satisfied and happy is the key to tenant renewal.
Setting the Bar Higher
No one is more aware of the significance of tenant satisfaction than Talley Properties of Charlotte, NC. This property management company has been providing excellence of service in and around the Charlotte area for over three decades now. When it comes to tenant service and satisfaction Talley Properties goes the extra mile and then some. This is why their lease renewal record is second to none.
New Year’s definitely a time for celebration. We leave behind the old and make way for the new. New Year’s celebration is a time to drink, eat and be merry in the company of your loved ones and friends. Unfortunately, it is also the time when impaired drivers, who have been celebrating and bringing in the New Year’s also hit the road. Such drivers endanger themselves and others, both drivers and pedestrians. So, take it upon yourself to spot an impaired driver during New Year’s and do your civic duty by informing authorities. You could be saving the driver’s life and someone else’s by doing this.
Tips to Spot a Drunk Driver
There are many ways to spot an impaired driver because they tend to drive erratically and never follow traffic rules. Here are some of the signs that the person sitting behind the wheel has had one too many drinks and is unfit to drive.
·A drunk driver tends to straddle the lane marker or center lane while driving. This is because their vision and senses are completely addled and they believe driving in this manner will keep them safe.
·Alcohol and illicit drugs impair your judgment abilities. A person who is impaired will not be able to gauge distances accurately. This is the reason he will almost strike another vehicle or object while driving in this condition.
·Another sign of an impaired driver is taking extremely wide turns. Once again this is due to impaired judgment and the driver is unable to handle the wheel deftly in an inebriated state.
·Driving on the wrong side of the road is a classic sign of an impaired driver. With their senses impaired, drunk drivers are unable to follow traffic rules and want to take the shortest route home and if this means driving on the wrong side of the road, so be it!
·Weaving from one side to the other is another sign of a drunk driver. Since alcohol (illicit drugs) has impaired the person’s balance and stability, he will not be able to drive straight. This will him lurch the vehicle from one side to the other.
·There are some impaired drivers, who know they are wrong to get behind the wheel in their state. These drivers take speed to a different level. No, we are not talking about speeding. Rather, they will go to the other extreme and drive very slowly, about 10 mph.
·Erratic braking is another sign of a drunk driver. So beware. Such a driver will invariably stop at a green signal or crosswalk even if there are no pedestrians waiting to cross.
·Impaired drivers forget the basic rules of driving. So, if you spot a vehicle without headlights, it could be a drunk driver. What to do? If you spot a drunk driver, don’t try and stop or overtake him. Instead, maintain a lot of distance between him and you, as you will never know what he will do. Such drivers tend to stop without a warning. Call the local authorities and report the driver to them. You will be doing yourself, other drivers, and the impaired driver a big service. If every person becomes responsible and reports drunk drivers, we will all be able to have a happy and fun New Year’s celebration!
Many buyers and sellers do not give much thought to the real estate agent they choose. Finding a reliable and honest real estate agent is quite a challenge, especially since it is a competitive business. The right agent can be the person to help you sell your home quickly for a price that benefits you as well as the buyers.
They can also be the one who can help you get a fantastic new home for a special price. As you know, there are hundreds of thousands of real estate agents, so finding the ideal one can be a nightmare. However, by keeping an eye out for certain red flags, you can choose one that meets your requirements perfectly.
5 Important Real Estate Agent Red Flags to Look Out For
Here is a list of 5 red flags that you should be on the lookout for when you are in the process of choosing a real estate agent:
1.The highest price is suggested for your home: If you are planning to sell your home, it is a smart move to get listing presentations from several real estate agents before you choose one. The agents should be able to give you data on the prices that comparable properties have been sold for and the approximate time it takes to sell a home. If your home is overpriced, it results in your home staying on the market for a long time and ultimately, you will have to sell it for less than you originally planned.
2.The agent is a part-time real estate agent: There is nothing wrong with being a part-time real estate agent and there are many excellent ones out there. However, it is more likely that a full-time agent will follow the market on a daily basis. If you are a buyer, you should look for an agent who is able to jump to new listings and show them to you. For sellers, the agent they choose should always be available to show the home on sale to prospective buyers.
3.The commission is low: In almost every transaction in the real estate business, the commission is between 5 and 7% which is divided between the buying and selling agent. When a commission is too low, it can drive away real estate agents as well as their clients. However, a lower omission can be negotiated if both the listing and selling is done by one agent. There are newer companies that rebate a percentage of the commission to the buyer or seller; but it is important that you do not use this as the main reason for choosing an agent.
4.The agent is not familiar with your neighborhood: According to experts, real estate is a very local business. This is why it is important to choose an agent who knows the real estate landscape in the neighborhood you live in. A neighborhood expert is important, particularly in areas where moving one block can increase or lower a home’s value by as much as $100,000. Such an expert may also be in contact with sellers whose homes are not on the market yet or buyers who are looking for a property like yours.
5.The agent does not specialize in your property type: When you are choosing the right real estate agent, you need to make sure that you pick one that specializes in the type of property you are looking for or selling. There are many agents that have multiple areas of specialty but when you choose an agent with one, you make sure that you have one who is well-versed in the type of transaction that you will be doing.
You do not have to go through a lot of trouble to find the right real estate agent. All you need to do is keep a few things in mind and it is certain that you will find one that can help you with any transaction you do. Whether you are buying or selling a home, the right agent is essential to your success so keep an eye out for the red flags.