It rarely happens that anyone moves into a new place and loves everything about it from day one. Every person has different needs and tastes that often need to be addressed when they move. Sometimes these are small, like hanging a couple of pictures or maybe placing a bookcase or two. Other times, however, there are large changes that need to be made. These can include adding a stair lift or changing out a bathroom tub or toilet to make it more accessible to someone with medical needs. No matter the size of these changes, you may need to talk to your landlord. While most landlords don’t have a problem with you hanging pictures or putting up new curtains, some don’t like new holes going into their walls. It is important to make sure that you ask what will and will not come out of a security deposit. For example, if you put up new permanent shelving you may be in trouble but simply putting a nail in the wall for a painting is okay. If you want to change out your shower head, you may want to ask if the landlord is okay with you leaving the new one when you move or if you should keep the original to put back in before you go. Each landlord is different, so never assume that the rules are the same from one to another. Some landlords are okay with you painting the walls as long as you paint them back before you leave while others don’t want to deal with different colors under the layers of white or beige. Although you may paint something on the wall, it might make it more difficult to sell to the next tenant if they don’t have the same taste in art as you. Even if you don’t think you’ll “get caught”, you should remember that it isn’t your home. If you wouldn’t want someone to do it to you, then definitely think twice before you do it yourself. Any change that you may want to make to an apartment should always go through your landlord. Although you don’t really need to ask permission every time you hang a new painting, it is a good idea to ask what is and is not okay when you move. As long as you have communication, you should be in the clear!
Something that will always help you to get new tenants or to keep those you have and like is to find new ways to keep them happy. While this isn’t always the easiest thing to do, there are certainly dozens of ways to accomplish this goal. Here are just a couple of ideas of what to offer your residents, especially if you have a full apartment building. Recycling is something that is growing in popularity, and thankfully. Recycling has been a conversation most of us have had for decades now, and it is always something that can make a difference. More and more, recycling plants are becoming accessible to everyone and even those who don’t have easy access to it are asking for it. While adding a recycling stop at your rental property may seem expensive, it normally isn’t going to set you back too much and it will make most people that you rent to very happy. I can personally say I would love it if my apartment complex offered recycling as well as garbage pickup. As it is, I have to save up my recyclables until I go to see my family again so I can dump it off with them because my town doesn’t have a drop off. Another service that will certainly entice many people to take your empty apartments is offering them free wifi connections. While internet can be expensive for a full building, it normally shows mostly in the installation fee. Once everything is in place, the monthly cost shouldn’t be too bad and you can certainly charge more to new tenants for this service. After all, this means they won’t have to pay for internet themselves which can cost anywhere from the price of a meal for two out to a few hundred dollars depending on your location and how good the connection is. Everyone needs internet now. This is something that people have mostly accepted and adapted to. After all, without internet you wouldn’t be reading this and I wouldn’t have a job. Therefore, I am fully for everyone having internet! In all seriousness, providing your residents with something like internet is almost like a necessity today. If you are looking for a way to improve your building, adding complementary wifi is certainly a good way to go.
New leases are always stressful for everyone involved. Now that January has rolled around again, a lot of people are re-evaluating their living conditions and may be looking to move. This means that you have some things to take into consideration. One of these things is the length of a lease. While most people only do a base of one year with the possibility to renew each year, you do have other options. You may decide to have a lease of any amount of time you want, but there are things that you need to weigh when figuring out what your resident’s lease length should be. Here are some ideas to consider when marketing your apartment. Someone in the military, for example, may not want to be locked into a full year’s lease. This may be a large commitment and they may not have the assurance that they won’t be moved before then. For people in this position, a month or six-month span may be all they can promise. A concern that we often hear with shortened leases is that people don’t care since they aren’t going to be there long but this simply isn’t true. Some people just don’t have jobs that allow them to stay in the same place for too long. When your lease is up is another thing that you might want to consider. While most places do sign into a full year, you might want the opportunity to have someone new in based on where in the year it is. If it is March but you prefer for people to move in during June for example, you can explain that any resident is up for re-evaluation at that point. If you like them, you can always renew their lease for a full year once you hit that month. If not, you will hopefully find someone else that will move in quickly once that time is up. When it comes to writing up a new lease, remember that you are in control. After all, you have the property that others need to use. It might be worth it to figure out a pattern that works for you in regard to leases. Always talk to a realtor to make sure that your ideas are valid. See what others in your area do and what would work best for you and let Talley do the rest!
One of the most exciting things to see as a kid is one of the worst things to see as an adult. I don’t know about you, but the older I get the more I dislike seeing snow outside my window. Sure, it’s lovely and it wouldn’t feel like the holidays without it, but goodness do I hate having to move it. Shoveling has become the bane of my existence and I would much rather pass a $20 to a neighbor kid than do it myself for free. Unfortunately, if you own an apartment building or complex with a parking lot and/or roads, you don’t exactly have such an easy way out. Getting snow removed in a timely fashion is one of the most important and infuriating tasks that you will likely have set to you during the winter. You need to be able to balance between making sure that the snow has stopped so you don’t have to have everything cleared twice with the time of the day that the snow is occurring. If all snow happened during the night and was done by around three in the morning so you could call someone and have it cleared in time for everyone to go to work, it wouldn’t be so bad. Unfortunately this rarely happens. Calling a plow company can bring its own issues, especially if you have waited a little too long to call them. It may take hours for them to arrive and if your residents need to move their cars, this can present not only logistical issues but may also result in cranky residents that were pulled out of their warm beds only to have to sit somewhere else for hours while you try and have the snow taken care of. You also have to figure out where to put all of it so that it doesn’t impede anyone, which is always a difficult task. Having a set snow removal protocol is extremely important if you own an apartment building or complex. Make sure that each year, everyone gets a paper or email which explains what this is so that everyone can be on the same page. Hopefully the snow removal process will go smoothly and soon everyone will be able to enjoy how it looks on the trees and not on the ground.
There is an ongoing discussion when it comes to apartment complexes and other large buildings regarding garbage pickup. Although most places understand that they need to have a place that their residents can dump their trash, many people wonder if they should provide recycling receptacles as well. While this is something that someone who knows the location must decide, we want to help you out with some thoughts when it comes to keeping things out of landfills that could be better used (or reused) in other places. One of the main reasons that most rental property owners do not want to offer a recycling option is the price. While it is a bit more expensive than just having the garbage, many places that offer both will give you a bundle sort of deal so that you can get them at a reduced rate. This is also true if you are able to have fewer recycling pickups than garbage pickups, which most places are. For example, my apartment complex picks up the garbage twice a week as opposed to the recycling which is only picked up twice a month. While this can cause a bit of an issue around holidays when lots of large boxes are being tossed into the bins, it is normally more than enough and it does save the complex some money. Another issue that many owners find is that people don’t seem to know (or care) about how recycling works. It is important that everyone realizes what bins are meant for garbage and what ones are meant for recycling. Most plants that recycle will either turn away trucks that are full of garbage or charge extra fines for having to separate the contents. This is expensive for the complex either way and it can discourage a lot of owners from continuing a recycling program. Make sure to post literature about what can and cannot be recycled and take extra action if needed. Recycling is something that can really help out the environment and apartment complexes if used correctly. If you aren’t sure how to get started, we always suggest going to the library or getting online and doing some research of your own first. Ask around and see if there is any interest in getting a recycling bin for your residents. It certainly couldn’t hurt and you just might make a difference in the community!
Now that the holidays are approaching, a lot of people are beginning to think about travel. If a person’s job allows, you will generally see people leave for at least four or five days in a row around this time of the year. This is a time to get to see family and get away from a lot of the stress that we have in our daily lives. Unfortunately, it is also a time when people can get swept up in the feeling of the season and forget little things that should be done before they leave. Here are some things to remind your residents of if they are leaving for an extended period of time. 1. Lock Your Doors And Windows. One of the biggest problems that we see around this time of the year is people breaking into homes. Always remind your residents to lock their apartment up tight no matter how long they will be gone, but especially if it is for more than a few hours. The last thing they, and you, want is to come back from a nice trip to find everything ransacked and things stolen. 2. Forward/Hold Mail. Depending on how long someone is going to be gone, you will want them to have their mail taken care of. One of the biggest tips that someone is not home is a buildup of mail and newspapers that are left outside. If they will be gone more than three days, they can submit a form online which allows the post office to hold their mail until they come back. If they will be gone for longer than 30 days, the local post office must be contacted. If your resident doesn’t want to hold their mail, always suggest having a trusted neighbor or friend come and pick it up instead. 3. Pets. If your resident has pets, make sure that there will either be someone coming to take care of them or that they are being placed in a kennel while they are away. It isn’t fair to you or the animal to be left alone for extended periods of time in the apartment. Sometimes with the hustle and bustle of the season, some things get forgotten. These are a few things that you should always make sure that your residents think of before they leave town.
One of the biggest things in any industry is knowing what your clients want. This is true of everything from cosmetology to high fashion and from cell phone design to high tech computer development. Even the most random thing that you can think of needs to keep an eye on trends to be able to effectively sell their product. Housing and apartments are no different in the grand scheme of things. Even if you are renting, you need to realize that you are technically selling someone on the idea of temporarily buying your home. As such, you need to keep up with all of the current trends as well. Housing goes through a lot of trends in a very short amount of time. Think back to the 1970s when wallpaper was still all the rage. Can you picture the kitchen of a 1970’s home? There was often wallpaper even on the ceiling and it was generally brown and very busy. Many people would say that we “thankfully” got out of that phase in home decorating, but now wallpaper is making a comeback. While we most likely won’t see the same designs again, there is something to be said for the fact that more and more people are looking to cover their walls in something other than paint. Keeping an eye on these trends is something that every property owner who is looking to rent really needs to do. While some people may be fine living in an area that hasn’t been updated in a while as long as it is sturdy, cosmetic differences can cause others to want to look elsewhere. If even an old coat of paint can discourage some people from moving into an apartment, imagine what it would do to them if nothing has changed in over 40 years. The good thing is that most of these trends are simply cosmetic. It may take a little bit of time and money to fix your rental property up, but at least most trends don’t require you to tear half of your home apart before renting it back out. It is also worth saying that what goes around comes around and you never know quite what will come back. Who knows, maybe those pink and blue bathroom tiles from the 1960s will come back into style next.
October is generally known as a bit of a down month. You are coming out of the summer months when there is so much more to do outside and yet you haven’t really hit the time where you are starting to think about Thanksgiving and all of the holidays at the end of the year. For many people, October is just a stretch of time where we have to wait until the more popular holidays occur. However there are plenty of things to do during this month. If you like to plan activities for people in your apartment complex, here are some ideas for you to have for those gatherings. 1. Pumpkin Carving. I don’t know about you, but for me there are few things as fun to do when the weather turns colder than carving out a pumpkin. A group of friends and I normally like to get together and paint or carve our pumpkins out. This can be a great time for a group of residents, especially if they have smaller children. 2. Apple Picking. If you like to have a group get out of the house, then apple picking is generally the way to go. Post fliers saying what you are planning to do and the date and ask people to RSVP so that you can get a head count. Most places will offer you a group discounted rate if you call ahead with a certain number. You may even be able to find a place that does hay rides and corn mazes for people who may not be large fans of apples. 3. Decorating. In almost any group, you will find at least one person who likes to decorate places for different holidays. You may be able to have a group of people help you decorate common areas of the complex if you provide food and drinks as well. There are dozens of things to do with groups in the fall and these are only three of the most popular ones. You can always post suggestion fliers around as well to see what your residents would be interested in doing during October, if anything. Sometimes it’s good to just take a month and relax before a busy time like the holiday season. See what works for your complex and let us know what you think the best activities are.