Furnishing An Apartment Cheaply

Charlotte Property Rental
We have spoken previously about offering a furnished apartment, especially depending upon the life situation of the tenant that you are preparing to rent to. Many landlords automatically say no to this option, however there are a few ways that you can do this for little to no money on your part. Here are a couple of different things that you can do to get some nice furniture with no money and sometimes no effort.
1. Craigslist. Although you may not think so, you can get some wonderful stuff off of websites like Craigslist. Many of the people that I know have gotten most of their starting furniture off of this site and others like it. While some things are being sold for money, others are being given away for any number of reasons. You can filter things through and only look for free items. Many of these are free if you pick them up or a small amount of money if you want them delivered. This means that you can find something and have it delivered to wherever you are for a much lower amount than you could buy it in any store.
2. Thrift Stores. Although these require you to transport the items, you can always find some incredible things at your local thrift store. If I’m being honest, it is where quite a bit of my furniture came from when I first moved out on my own. You can also find appliances and other electronics and you can normally test them before you purchase, which is always a good thing.
3. Yard/Estate/Moving Sales. If you are looking for furniture for an apartment that you want to furnish, these are going to be your best friends. Many yard sales and moving sales will have items that you can just walk away with and you can also haggle with many of these numbers so you get some wonderful deals with these. Most of the people selling just want to get rid of their items, so they will do what they can to make that happen.
If you are looking to furnish an apartment before you rent it out, these are some of the best ways to get some cheap items that still work great. Even if you don’t want to purchase these things yourself, letting your tenant know can definitely help them out as well.

Apartment Safety During Travel

Charlotte Property Rental
Most people take their vacations during the summer, especially in August. Whether this is a short day trip down to the local water spot or a longer trip to a big destination, some things are the same. One of these things is the need for safety in the apartment while there is no one there. There are many ways that your tenant can ensure the safety of your rental property even while they are away. Here are a couple of things that you can ask your tenants to do if they are leaving on vacation.
1. Neighborhood Watch. It never hurts to ask a neighbor to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity while someone is away. This is great since it can be for something as short as a few hours or for a couple of weeks. It also may help to improve the relationships between your tenants if you have an apartment complex or their neighbors if you rent out a house. It never hurts to have an extra set of eyes keeping a watch for anything unsavory going on.
2. Mail Issues. If your resident is going to be gone for a couple of days, it is always a good idea to have them ask someone to hold onto their mail while they are gone. More than a day or two of mail is something that burglars look for to let them know that no one is home, so doing all you can to prevent that from being noticed is worth a shot.
3. Light Timers. If a criminal has been watching a house to rob it, they likely know the habits of those who live there. If they suddenly are not turning on lights at night, that may be a big tipoff that there is no one home. Supplying a cheap light timer or two for your tenant may make a world of difference in helping prevent your rental property from being a target of a burglary.
These are some of the most simple ways to help your tenant keep themselves, their possessions, and your investment safe. While some of your tenants may do these things automatically, it is never a bad idea to ask them even if just as a reminder. After all, once vacation time comes up, we are normally far away from home in our minds.

Cheaply Attracting Residents

Charlotte Property Rental
As someone who is currently looking for a new apartment, let me tell you now that we don’t really care how much money you spend getting your listing up in different locations. All we care about is finding that perfect fit for ourselves. This is something that you can use to your advantage. It means that you don’t have to shell out anything but some of your time to get that one wonderful resident that you have been searching high and low for. Here are a few places that you can post your listing for no more than a couple of dollars and some time.
1. Your Apartment/Home Itself. This is one of those tried and true methods that have been used time and time again. It may be hard to remember just how well we all got along without technology, but people were able to find apartments without computers just by driving around where they wanted to move. Getting a yard sign and putting your number, the bedroom numbers, and how much the rent is will always get at least a few calls and may just lead to that one perfect resident.
2. Craigslist. This is one that I have been looking at myself over the past few days. Although some people will be hesitant due to the dark past some Craigslist articles have, it really is a great resource for you to use when you are trying to find someone to get into your rental property. What’s really great about this is people can filter out what they don’t want so you know that almost every inquiry can lead to a potential client.
3. Social Media. Sites like Facebook and Instagram are made for more than just cats and pictures of food. More and more people have begun to post their listings for rentals and such on these websites for their friends and followers to see. Although it is a newer idea, it has shown wonderful results for some of those who have taken that leap.
Two out of these three options are completely free and the other is only as expensive as the materials that you use. I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure that you can get much cheaper than this. What low cost ways have you used to get your clients? Let us know!

How to Handle Complaints

Charlotte Property Rental
The two extreme seasons are when people tend to complain the most. In the winter people complain about the cold and in the summer they complain about the heat. Personally I prefer the winter most of the time because you can always put on more clothes or burrow under more blankets to get warm. However during the summer there is only so much you can do to get cool. However, you may soon see a spike in complaints among your residents dealing with many things, not just the weather. Here are some things you can do to help deal with those complaints.
1. Listen. Some people, especially those that are older and don’t have much family around, just need to complain or talk and feel like someone is listening. While it may be hard to distinguish who is doing this and who is complaining to get real results, it is always important to listen to people no matter how ridiculous the complaint.
2. Try To Fix It. If it is a complaint that needs to be attended to, make sure that you do all you can to fix it quickly. For example, my complex has had three broken washers for around two months now. They just started talking about getting them fixed this week. If it is possible, try to attend to the issue as quickly as possible.
3. Follow Up. No matter what the complaint was, follow up with the person who contacted you after a week or two to see how they are doing. Ask if things have gotten better or if there is anything else that can be done. Even if there is nothing that you can fix or help with, it is always nice to know that someone is offering. Just be sure that if you do offer, you will be okay with following through with a request.
While dealing with people who complain a lot, you can get tired and frustrated very easily. Unfortunately this is something you will have to deal with as a landlord. The only way that you will not have to be contacted with these complaints is if you hire us to take on that role. We would be more than happy to take that weight off of you if you choose. We want you to enjoy your summer as well!

Great Relationships

Charlotte Property Rental

If you have any experience in any field, you will know that people talk. Whether good or bad, people will talk about others on an extremely regular basis. This is especially true of tenants about their landlords. While it is true that normally you will hear more negative things than positive, many times if a landlord is good the tenant will tell everyone else about it. There are few things as valuable to a rental property owner as a good reputation. Here are some ideas about how to have a good relationship with your tenant.

                  One of the things that I like most about my apartment’s super is that he always checks in on me. While he doesn’t need to do this, he will always make a point of saying hi to me if we are both outside and makes sure everything is okay. He is extremely nice and always asks if I need help with whatever I am doing. Even as a landlord if you are not on the premises, you can do this. When you receive the monthly rent check, you can message your tenant and make sure everything is going okay. Now, I’m not saying you have to check on their aunt’s cousin’s sister’s dog, but checking in is something that is always nice to do. After all, they are giving you a decent amount of money every month so there’s nothing wrong with asking if they need anything every now and then.

                  A friend of mine has been raving about their landlord for months because of the cute things she does. Every major holiday, she makes small magnets or signs and gives them to all of her tenants. Each year it is something different but each year is just as creative as the last. They are normally small and didn’t cost much to make, but knowing that the time and thought went into the projects is something that my friend really does appreciate.

                  Having a good relationship with your tenant isn’t hard to do. It can also be extremely beneficial if you need to find another tenant for a different apartment, as your current residents will likely give you a glowing review to their friends. Never underestimate the power of reaching out every now and then.

Seasonal Safety Measures Part III

Charlotte Property Rental
The summer is a great time to get outside, soak up some of that Vitamin D that your body likely didn’t get enough of during the winter, and make some new friends. A lot of that time spent outside will likely be around the home, so if you own or manage an apartment building or complex, there are a few things you may want to think about getting so your residents can enjoy the outdoors while still being safe. Here are a couple of things you can get that may help them.
1. Big Umbrellas. If you have a common area where people can gather, you may want to think about getting a small table or two with some large umbrellas so they can sit down, eat, chat, and enjoy the fresh air without having to worry about the sun so much. While they should be reminded that sunscreen is the best way to protect your skin outside, the shade will almost certainly be welcomed with open arms.
2. Grass. Keeping the grass cut during the summer is something extremely important, especially this year. Ticks are supposed to be even more numerous and dangerous than usual this summer and they love to hide in the tall grass. While keeping it cut won’t get rid of them completely, it does cut down on the chance of someone getting bit and developing Lymes Disease. As someone who developed this a few years ago, let me assure you it is not something you want to deal with or watch anyone else go through either.
3. Poison Ivy. Poison Ivy is the bane of many people. While almost everyone will develop an extremely itchy rash, some people are actually deathly allergic to it. It can be very dangerous for children and the elderly to get, as their skin isn’t as tough as other people’s. Remember to always keep an eye out for it and get rid of it immediately if spotted.
While we want to make sure that everyone has a great summer, we also know just how much work goes into doing that for other people. Naturally you don’t need to follow any of these suggestions, but they will likely benefit both your residents and yourself when others hear about how great you are with safety. We hope you have an exciting summer!

Season Safety Measures Part II

Charlotte Property Rental
Summer safety is something that cannot be ignored. While we know that you are always concerned about the safety of your rental property and those who live in it, you cannot be expected to think of everything. Let that be our job. We have written a few articles so far on different safety tips that you may not have thought of before but here are a couple more ideas for your benefit. Let’s do our best to keep everyone healthy!
1. Water. One of the best things to do during the summer to help beat the heat is play around in some water. While this is fine if your complex or house has a pool, there are other ways for people to cool off. This normally involves a hose. While hoses can be great, especially if they are hooked up to a water sprinkler, there is always a small concern about them. Make sure that any outlets that may be on the outside of the buildings are properly covered so to prevent accidental electrical fires. Also, if there ends up being a puddle somewhere, do your best to put up wet floor signs if it is inside so people are more careful when walking around.
2. Cooking. Cooking in the summer is very often a chore. I know I just hate standing in front of my oven when it’s in the 90’s because of the heat both inside and out. When the outside heat gets to a certain point, it may be difficult to tell the difference between the ambient temperature and if there is heat coming from a stove. Remind your residents to check their ovens just in case they forgot to turn them off or in case they have pets that can turn the knobs. This goes for grilling as well, as that can be dangerous depending on the propane tank.
While these two tips may seem like common knowledge, not everyone is perfect. I know there have been a couple of times that I’ve walked into a kitchen to find the stove or oven still on when someone could have sworn they turned it off. Issuing these reminders can only help those who live in your rental property, so don’t feel shy about sending them out. We want everyone to stay safe, so let’s work together toward that goal!

Season Safety Measures for Your Apartment

Charlotte Property Rental
There are fewer places we feel safe than at home. We create sanctuaries for ourselves, areas that reflect who we are and how we feel, even when we are away from the rest of the world. These areas are our refuge. We are able to come home and feel like all is right with the world. At least, that is the hope. So what happens when you realize that your home is not safe? Well, if you are the owner of an apartment building which offers this refuge to others, hopefully this is something that you check up on often. The safety of your buildings and your tenants should always be your number one priority. While we know how stressful it can be to take this kind of responsibility for others, we also know how terrifying it can be for your tenants to hand over their safety into your hands. This is why we wanted to remind you of a couple of things that you may want to check on in regards to safety during the warmer months of the year.
1. Check The Pipes. Winter can wreak absolute havoc on pipes, no matter what their age. Even if you haven’t heard of any complaints with a lack of hot water or water pressure issues from your tenants, it is always a good idea to double check all of the visible pipes once the weather begins to warm up again. After all, it is always better to catch a leak or a hole in a pipe when it is super small than when the entire basement has flooded out and no one can take a shower.
2. Check The Roof. Ice and snow can really mess up a roof, especially if it is already an older one. March winds can also cause some problems with shingles if there was already a small problem. Climb up on the roof if it is safe for you to do so, or hire someone you can trust to give you an idea of anything that may need to be done to keep your tenant’s heads nice and dry.
These are two of the simple things that you can do once the weather begins to warm up to keep your tenants safe. What are some of the things that you like to do to ensure the safety of your buildings around this time of the year?

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