Three Essential Steps for Turning Around a Problem Property

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Uncategorized

DienstenOur property is in really bad shape. Can you turn it around?

How would you respond to a prospective client who posed the above challenge?

Naturally, you’d probably have to ask a few questions to clarify exactly what the prospect meant by “bad shape” before you could provide detailed solutions. Whether you are struggling to turn around a property you currently own or manage or you’d like to be prepared if you’re ever faced with a difficult situation, here are a few challenges and possible solutions.

Vacancy Rates Are Higher Than Occupancy Numbers

This is a serious challenge, one that probably needs multiple solutions. The first step should be to explore what has your property upside down.

  • Are you constantly heading to court to start another eviction process?
  • Do a large percentage of your tenants pay late or skip out on the rent?
  • Is the property in a state of decline or disrepair?
  • Have you checked your reputation lately?
  • What is the number one complaint you hear from current (or former) tenants?

Screen for Better Occupancy Rates

Let’s start with eviction rates. A TransUnion SmartMove analysis showed resident evictions hit a five-year low in 2014, dropping slightly to 3.41 million. Industry experts suggest the drop indicates tenants today have better control over their finances than they did a few years ago. There are qualified residents out there. If your property struggles with slow-pay or no-pay residents, you may benefit from modifying your resident screening process.

The average cost of an eviction is about $1700. That can really curb your profit margin if you’re filing multiple cases every year. But, don’t make the mistake of thinking one eviction automatically disqualifies an applicant. Two thirds of the 66 million Americans who live from paycheck to paycheck are considered middle class, reporting an estimated net worth of more than $40,000. For these 25.5 million people, any unexpected life event like an accident, job loss or divorce can put their finances in a downward spiral overnight. Utilize your screening tools to help you make informed decisions based on job history, income, and past performance. Look for patterns more than single events.

Check Your Reputation

Managing your property reputation is critical today. One disgruntled customer can instantly spread their discontent around the digital landscape in seconds. Google your address, company name and the names of key personnel to find out what the Internet is telling people about your community. You should respond to any negative information online and if the complainer has a valid point, admit your mistakes and take immediate action to make sure your property doesn’t make the same mistake twice.

Banish the Bugs

It should go without saying, but here it goes. If you have a pest infestation, deal with it today. Seriously, right after you read this article, make a plan. Multifamily housing environments report more bed bug infestations and than other sector, including hotels, motels and other hospitality locations, according to a survey conducted by Orkin. Six percent of the survey respondents faced legal challenges stemming from the infestation. Pest control is an integral job for property managers. Not only do pest damage structures and landscaping, some pose health and safety risks for residents and staff.

Part of your job as a property manager is to talk to owners honestly and openly about issues preventing them from capturing the highest return on investment possible. Perhaps, it’s time to have a conversation about finances and property goals. Before you make that call schedule the meeting, make sure you know the challenges ahead and have solutions.

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AppFolio, Inc. develops Property Management Software that helps businesses improve their workflow so they save time and make more money. Appfolio submits articles & blogs including topics of Resident Retention, Improved Owner Communication, Time Management, and more.

Buy, Fix & Stay: How to Create Long-Term Wealth as a Landlord (Part 1)

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Uncategorized

social-investmentToday I want to give some focused attention to all my buy-and-hold, landlord investor friends out there. I know that I tend to share and post a lot about wholesaling and rehabbing around here, but as much as I enjoy these types of investing, the real long-term wealth is created by holding properties. And by the way, that’s what a true real-estate investor is. You knew that, right? ;- )

So this one goes out to all you Landlords to help you sharpen your skills. I’d like to give you a little peek inside my own mindset as I approach my investment strategies of buy, fix, and stay. My goal is to show you how to create long-term wealth as a landlord so you can start living life to the fullest.

So let’s go!

How to Build True Wealth

If you were to ask me what investment strategy is best for building true wealth I would quickly say, “Holding rentals, of course.” But I’d then quickly expand that by saying, “Holding rentals that have good debt structure, that have solid tenants who don’t bother me to fix their broken toilets.” (Isn’t that the nightmare we always hear about when it comes to rentals?)

If structured the right way, owning rentals can be a fun and profitable business venture. There’s no better time than right now to build up your rental portfolio, since real estate prices are at an all-time low.

Plus there are many potential tenants out there who used to be home owners but fell victim to the housing collapse. These tenants are searching for quality rentals in good areas. Market rents are high enough that, for the first time in years, investors are getting positive cash flow while their tenants are helping to pay down the mortgage.

Savvy investors realize that the key to being a successful landlord is buying solid properties, in good areas, with good debt financing, and creating a workable system to either, manage their own rentals, or else outsource the management to a quality property manager.

With that being said, in this first training segment, I’m going to cover:

How to choose the best property for a buy, fix, stay strategy
The exact locations where you should–and should not–buy
How to manage your properties effortlessly (and never unclog a sink or toilet!)
Instantly tell whether a property is better to wholesale or keep as a rental.

Property Types
(1) Single-Family Houses

Property type will ultimately determine the risk factor of profit potential of the properties that you buy and hold. Eighty per cent of the properties purchased for investment or retail purposes are single-family houses. Investors and home owners alike will buy single family houses because it’s easy to wrap your brain around.

They are the easiest to rent
There’s plenty of inventory
Historically, they appreciate the greatest
However, one of the problems with single-family house rentals is if the tenant stops paying then there’s no income coming in.

(2) Duplexes

Duplexes are a great investment if bought in the right areas. Home owners and investors like to buy duplexes. Home owners will buy a duplex and rent out the other side, or an investor will buy a duplex because it appreciates like a single-family home, but if one side is empty and the other side is still occupied, the property still produces some income.

(3) Fourplexes

In today’s market, fourplexes are a great investment because of increased cash flow opportunity and affordability. They have just enough doors to bring in a good cash flow income without becoming a management nightmare.

(4) Apartment Buildings

When we start talking about larger units, like apartment buildings, or commercial buildings, I know that beginning and inexperienced investors dream of owning apartment buildings. But it’s important to understand that the more units you add, the greater the potential for management issues. Once you get above forty units, you will need to consider on-site property management.

Which Market Segment?
(1) Working Class Neighborhood

What market segment should you focus on to get the best rentals? That depends on your current capital and your long-range goals. In working class neighborhoods, where I spend about 60% of my time and effort, you’ll find hard-working people – many of them tradesmen who are raising their families.

In some cases, you’ll find multi-generations of family members living in a single house all chipping in toward the rent. Also in working class neighborhoods, you’ll find many government-assisted Section-8 tenants. Placing your rental into the Section-8 rental pool is always a good idea.

At this point I think it’s important to clarify what I mean by a working class neighborhood. I am not talking about war zones. If you are scared to be in the neighborhood at night, I would not suggest that you own a rental in that area.

I’m talking about older homes in the $30k to $70k price range. I like to own rentals – or rent-to-own – in working class neighborhoods because of affordability, the ability to get good monthly cash flow, and the hope of future appreciation.

With proper screening, tenants in lower-income neighborhoods typically stay put in the rentals for a long time. I have a lot of great tenants in working-class neighborhoods.

(2) Middle-Income Neighborhoods

Middle-income neighborhoods are more stable with 50% to 75% of the residents actually owning their own homes. I spend about 30% of my time buying income-producing properties in these neighborhoods. Obviously, they have a higher acquisition cost. Here you will typically find two-income families simply trying to raise their families in a stable and safe environment. They offer nicer houses that attract both home owners and renters. The vacancy rates are lower because of the desirability of the neighborhood. Overall, expect lower monthly cash flow as compared to working class neighborhoods, but they offer greater future appreciation.

(3) Upper Income Neighborhoods

Upper income neighborhoods have much nicer homes. However, if you’re looking to buy a large portfolio of buy-and-stay investment properties, these neighborhoods should not be your main focus. I have owned rentals in upper-income areas, but I normally do rent-to-own in this market segment. I don’t suggest you begin here if you’re new to the business.

Acquisition Sources

So where do you find these treasures which will help you build true wealth? Here are six main acquisition sources that I use to find rental properties.

(1) Active Listings

You can use the MLS, but you’ll need a real estate agent to help. Or you can get your real estate license and then you can research and make offers on short sales, bank-owned houses, and traditional houses on your own.

I typically offer forty to sixty cents on the dollar depending on the home and location. I always offer less than I know they are willing to pay, and then I negotiate my way into the deal that I really want.

(2) Motivated Homeowners

These are homeowners who find me from my online or off line marketing. The goal is to be able to identify the seller who is so distressed the he must sell right now. Or they own a home that’s distressed and it’s way too much work for them to handle.

In this area, the better you become at building marketing systems and funnels, the more profitable you’ll be as an investor. Generate a ton of leads and then be able to quickly identify homeowners who absolutely have to sell.

(3) Foreclosure Auctions

Over the last few years, I have become an expert at buying foreclosures at the auctions. I’ve purchased well over 100 deeply discounted houses this way.

Create a system that allows you to do your research, then go out and bid on multiple properties every single day. These auctions are fast-paced, cash-only business. The risks are high. You need to know what you’re doing.

Visit your local auction and watch and learn. See who the players are. Interact with those you meet. Learn how the process works in your state. Perhaps you can partner with someone who is already bidding on and buying houses. This is a good way to become comfortable bidding then go do it on your own.


This is a website where investors can bid on government-owned houses. You’ll need a real estate agent who has a registered NAID number in order to bid. But once you jump that hurdle, making offers is as easy as pushing a few keys on your computer.

Each day I make an offer on every HUD home in my state for around 60% to 70% of the list price. Every once in a while, one of my offers is accepted. From there I decide if I want to keep it as a rental, or wholesale it to another investor for a quick buck.

(5) Hard Money Lenders

Local hard money lenders will often have repossessed homes from non-performing loans that they placed. These lenders are in the business of making loans and earning from the interest on those loans. Generally, they don’t want to own real estate.

It’s a good idea to build relationships with several of these lenders in your area so they call you first when they get into a situation and have to take back a property and get their capital back.

(6) Real Estate Bird Dogs

A bird dog is a person who will go out and uncover good deals, but doesn’t have the resources to acquire properties. I spend the time to develop my bird dogs within my own network, and teach them exactly what I’m looking for. Then I send them out to bring the deals to me on a silver platter.

Together these six acquisitions should be more than enough if you focus on quick ways to acquire deals.

Now you have a few basic guidelines in how to choose a good rental property, and where to find them. In Part II of Buy, Fix & Stay, we’ll take a look at how to analyze and then fund your investment property.

About Cody Sperber
As a veteran of the armed forces (NAVY), Cody learned that ethics, honor, and commitment can tell a lot about a person. After being released with an honorary discharge, he attended ASU, receiving a degree in Finance (Magna Cum Laude). Cody then received his real estate license 3 years after he first began investing in real estate because he was tired of working with horrible Realtors that were just trying to make a quick commission.

Cody began focusing on different strategies to help clients Avoid Foreclosure. Cody worked with underwater owners arranging short sales. This led to the development of his Reverse Short Sale Secret. Cody continues to buy and sell millions of dollars worth of real estate every year. In addition he has created a series of free real estate investor training tools for new investors.

Cody trains and mentors a handful of dedicated investors. When it comes to succeeding in real estate investing, Cody grows daily and helps others to do the same. Cody breaks the silence on methodologies that have launched successful real estate investing careers. He explains the top four ways to amass real wealth using real estate whether you are a new or a seasoned investor. His approach is sound and his presentation is clear and concise.

Cody Sperber is recognized as one of the young guns of real estate investing. He thrives on encouraging and educating fellow investors. Cody Sperber’s philosophy is to give you all you need to be successful before he ever requires anything on your part more than the commitment to learn.

Best Markets for Buying Rentals

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Uncategorized

real-estate-marketRealtyTrac, the nation’s leading source for comprehensive housing data, just released its Q2 2014 Residential Property Rental Report, which ranks the best markets for buying residential rental properties along with the best markets for renting to baby boomers and the best markets for renting to millennials.

For the report, RealtyTrac analyzed median sales prices for residential property and average fair market rents for three bedroom properties in 370 U.S. counties with a combined population of 186 million people — 60 percent of the total U.S. population.

Rental returns were calculated using annual gross rental yields: the average fair market rent of three-bedroom homes in the county, annualized, and divided by the median sales price of residential properties in the county.

The 370-county analysis found that investors buying U.S. residential rental property in the second quarter of 2014 are getting an average annual return of 9.97 percent, down from an average annual return of 10.60 percent a year ago.

Median home prices in the 370 counties analyzed in the report increased more than 7 percent on average in the second quarter of 2014 compared to a year ago, while average fair market rents for three-bedroom homes increased an average of less than 1 percent.

“Home prices have increased at a faster pace than fair market rents in most counties over the past year, eroding the average returns available to investors buying rental properties,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Even so, an average annual return of nearly 10 percent across all the counties we analyzed nationwide is still solid, and investors holding on to rental property for the long term will also typically benefit from home price appreciation on top of the annual returns from rental income.

“Investors leveraging demographic trends will often be able to amplify rental returns and home price appreciation, particularly when it comes to trends in the baby boomer and millennial generations, which combined account for approximately 147 million people — more than 60 percent of the U.S. adult population,” Blomquist continued. “Many individuals in both of those demographic groups are in the midst of major life changes that will often involve changes in housing, something that smart real estate investors should take into consideration when deciding when and where to buy or sell.”

Top 25 overall markets for buying rental properties

RealtyTrac factored in unemployment rates along with annual gross rental yields to select the 25 best markets for buying residential property rentals. Counties in the top 25 all had unemployment rates of 4.5 percent or lower in April 2014 — well below the national average of 6.3 percent — and had an annual gross rental yield of 9 percent or higher.

The three best markets for buying residential property rentals were Anderson County, S.C. in the Anderson metro area (15.33 percent annual gross rental yield); Woodbury County, Ia., in the Sioux City metro area (13.02 percent); and Pickens County, S.C., in the Greenville-Maudline-Easley metro area (13.00 percent).

Other metro areas with counties in the top 25 best markets for buying residential property rentals were Gainesville, Fla., Washington D.C., Columbia, S.C., Pittsburgh, Pa., Columbus, Ohio, Charleston, S.C. and Omaha, Neb.

“We have not had the apartment building development that we really need leading to a decreased supply in available rentals, which is causing rental rates to increase,” said Sheldon Detrick, CEO of Prudential Detrick/Alliance Realty, covering the Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla. markets, both of which had counties in the top 25 best markets for buying residential property rentals. “We are also noticing that the new qualified mortgage rules are restricting many first time home buyers from being able to qualify, which is adding to the demand for rental properties.”

Top 25 markets for renting to baby boomers

RealtyTrac combined demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau with the annual gross rental yield data to identify the 25 best markets for renting to the baby boomer population — those born between 1945 and 1964. All 25 counties on the list saw an increase of at least 10 percent in the baby boomer demographic between 2007 (looking at the population aged 43 to 62 at that time) and 2013 (looking at the population aged between 49 and 68 at that time) and had a baby boomer population that represented at least 24 percent of the total population in 2013.

Annual gross rental yields for the top 25 baby boomer rental markets ranged from 5.50 percent in Placer County, Calif., in the Sacramento metro area up to 20.93 percent in Pasco County, Fla., in the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg metro area. Pasco County was joined by 15 other Florida counties in 12 other Florida metro areas in the top 25.

Other metro areas with counties in the top 25 for renting to baby boomers were Lake Havasu City-Kingman, Ariz., Wilmington, N.C., Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, Ala., Prescott, Ariz., Asheville, N.C., Seaford, Del., Bend, Ore., and Hilton Head, S.C.

Markets in the top 25 for renting to baby boomers with the biggest increase in baby boomer population between 2007 and 2013 were Brunswick County, N.C., in the Wilmington metro area (49.7 percent increase), Charlotte County, Fla., in the Punta Gorda metro area (34.3 percent increase), Beaufort County, S.C., in the Hilton Head Island-Beaufort metro area (33.9 percent increase), Sussex County, Del., in the Seaford metro area (31.0 percent increase), and Citrus County, Fla., in the Homosassa Springs metro area (28 percent increase).

Top 50 markets for renting to millennials

RealtyTrac also identified the 50 best markets for renting residential property to the millennial population — those born between 1977 and 1992. All 50 counties on the list saw an increase of at least 10 percent in the millennial demographic between 2007 (looking at the population aged 15 to 30 at that time) and 2013 (looking at the population between 21 and 36 at that time) and had a millennial population that represented at least 24 percent of the total population in 2013.Annual gross rental yields for the top 50 millennial rental markets ranged from 5.53 percent in Charleston County, S.C., up to 21.32 percent in Baltimore City, Md.

Along with Baltimore, the top five markets for renting to millennials were Philadelphia County, Pa. (20.78 percent annual gross rental yield), Duval County, Fla., in the Jacksonville metro area (14.95 percent), Cumberland County, N.C., in the Fayetteville metro area (13.43 percent), and Newport News City, Va., in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metro area (13.20 percent).

Markets in the top 50 for renting to millennials with the biggest percentage change in the millennial population from 2007 to 2013 were Orleans Parish, La., in the New Orleans metro area (71.2 percent increase), Denver County, Colo., (57.5 percent increase), Montgomery County, Tenn., in the Clarksville metro area (46.3 percent increase), Hudson County, N.J. in the New York metro area (44.3 percent increase), and Multnomah County, Ore., in the Portland metro area (41 percent increase). All five of these markets had annual gross rental yields of 6 percent or higher.

Best markets for rental returns with no unemployment filter

Based solely on the annual gross rental yield, counties with the best returns on rentals were Wayne County, Mich., in the Detroit metro area (28.39 percent annual gross rental yield); Clayton County, Ga., in the Atlanta metro area (27.39 percent); and Saginaw County, Mich., in the Saginaw metro area (26.28 percent).

Other counties with gross rental yields among the top 10 highest were Genesee County, Mich. (21.39 percent), Baltimore City, Md. (21.32 percent), Pasco County, Fla. (20.93 percent), Sumter County, S.C. (20.84 percent), Philadelphia County, Pa., (20.78 percent), Bibb County, Ga. (20.52 percent), and Winnebago County, Ill. (19.26 percent).

Report methodology:
The RealtyTrac Residential Property Rental Report provides annual gross rental yields for 370 counties nationwide with a population of at least 100,000 and where there were at least 40 residential property sales in April 2014. The gross rental yields are calculated using median sales prices of residential property from RealtyTrac sales deed data along with fair market rents for three-bedroom properties from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In states where the full price is not required to be recorded on the sales deed (non-disclosure states of Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming), RealtyTrac uses median list prices from properties listed on the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Demographic data used in the report is from the U.S. Census bureau, and unemployment data used in the report is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
RealtyTrac is a leading supplier of U.S. real estate data, with nationwide parcel-level records for more than 125 million U.S. parcels that include property characteristics, tax assessor data, sales and mortgage deed records, Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) and 20 million active and historical default, foreclosure auction and bank-owned properties. RealtyTrac’s housing data and foreclosure reports are relied on by many federal government agencies, numerous state housing and banking departments, investment funds as well as millions of real estate professionals and consumers, to help evaluate housing trends and make informed decisions about real estate.

For more information, visit

Report License
The RealtyTrac U.S. Residential & Foreclosure Sales report is the result of a proprietary evaluation of information compiled by RealtyTrac; the report and any of the information in whole or in part can only be quoted, copied, published, re-published, distributed and/or re-distributed or used in any manner if the user specifically references RealtyTrac as the source for said report and/or any of the information set forth within the report.

Rental Standards To Use in This Tough Economy

Written by Jordan on . Posted in Uncategorized

By Robert A. Machado

Last month I discussed five important standards to use to qualify your tenants.  These standards work just fine the majority of the time and using them will be your first and best step in protecting your property and your cash flow.

The five standards are:

  1. Household income must gross three times the monthly rent.
  2. Credit must be 80% perfect with at least two lines of credit reported.
  3. Rental or ownership must be positive the past 2 years.
  4. No more than two persons per bedroom plus one additional for the property.
  5. No more than one pet and no dangerous breeds (breeds could be listed).

Do I have Insurance for This?

Written by Jordan on . Posted in Uncategorized

By Michael O’Neill

Let’s be honest, its human nature to think a severe claim will never happen to you.  Nobody wants to picture themselves on the evening news watching their investment property or home go up in flames.  But whether it’s a tree toppling over in a windstorm, a faulty electrical system causing a fire, or a tenant’s family member slipping on ice in an apartment’s stairwell; you need the proper insurance coverage in place to protect the assets you’ve worked so hard to accrue.

Picture this scenario:  You’re jarred awake in the middle of the night by one of those dreaded late night phone calls- it’s your apartment complex- there’s a fire- and the authorities are on the scene.  You throw on your clothes and drive out to the property, only to find the tenants on the street watching the structure glowing, smoldering, and smoking in the darkness.   Of course, you’ve never read your insurance policy.  The policy has been in force since you bought the property- and you’ve always assumed that your insurance agent has kept the policy up to date.  You leave a message with your insurance agent.  Ultimately, a few days later you find out:

  • There isn’t coverage to remove the charred rubble.
  • The insurance carrier will only pay for 70% of the structure’s replacement cost.
  • The insurance carrier won’t pay the increased cost to build the new structure up to the current building codes.
  • Even more shocking, the policy does not have coverage for the loss of rental income that you will incur during the rebuilding process!

Broadband Talk

Written by Jordan on . Posted in Uncategorized

By Morgan Fussell

Dear property owner:

How has the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) issued Order > FCC 07-189 Announcement  > Kevin J. Martin Statement banning exclusivity clauses for the provision of video services to apartment complexes, condominium associations and other qualifying multiple dwelling units made an effect on “video choice” for your communities?  Ending this monopolistic practice by cable providers was designed to create new service options for your residents.  However, many have found that some corporate telecom attorneys’ have responded with very well written  agreements that can often times continue to hand cuff “video choice”.  With this said,  before signing or renewing a contract with a cable, telephone or satellite company, you should do your best to evaluate all your options. You must assess your service needs and clearly understand all known options during your decision making process.  You need to know a few things like:  Where is my agreement, do you understand the language, is the agreement the most current agreement, do I have agreements with more than one provider, can the telephone company provide video to my community? New service options for your communities may now exist that were not permissible prior to the FCC Order.  This FCC Order may have an impact on your current agreements, even if they have not yet expired or are not due to expire in the near future!  Your communities now have the option to bring in more than one provider for video services, offering more choice and selection for your residents. Local, State and Federal Regulations are ever changing. Therefore, conducting research on all providers in your market and the types and levels of service they can provide often pays dividends with tenant satisfaction, increasing incremental cash flow and savings. Making the right move with video providers will increase NOI for your property!

When The Rent Is Unpaid, Act Immediately!

Written by Jordan on . Posted in Uncategorized

By: GARY LINK, Attorney at Law

Although the legal process of evicting a tenant in California for non-payment of rent is among the most streamlined of legal proceedings, the beginning of that process is often delayed by the hesitancy of the landlord in serving a “Three Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit” upon the tenant.

When a tenant has not paid the rent when due, landlords are confronted with a difficult decision as to whether a “Three Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit” should be served immediately or at a later, more suitable or convenient date. For instance, landlords are justifiably concerned that serving the notice immediately may alienate the tenant or otherwise create unwanted and unwarranted disputes about the tenancy; whereas, waiting to serve the notice until later may allow the problem to dissipate or just “go away” by the tenant voluntarily paying at a later time.

Although it is a troublesome decision to make, I recommend that the “Three Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit” be served upon the tenant right away! There are few reasons for delay.

California Bussinesses are Under Attack

Written by Jordan on . Posted in Uncategorized

By: Matthew Swift

In March, 2010 the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a study showing
California’s lawsuit climate as one of the four worst in the nation, this completes
a minimum of eight consecutive years in which California has hovered between
44th and 46th place in this study, a fact that has lead to a significant impact in the
state’s business community. In a separate study, also released in 2010, the U.S.
Chamber Institute for Legal Reform ranked California 46th in the nation for “legal

While there are no Federal or State regulatory agencies that enforce Title 3 of the
Americans with Disabilities Act, it can be enforced through a lawsuit (Section 308
of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act), and in California that means the right
to sue for the ADA improvements necessary to remove any physical barriers to
accessibility, monetary damages for each violation cited, and all associated legal
fees. California is one of only two states in the country that provide for monetary
compensation, and in a move that is likely to lead to even more lawsuits filed
under the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and California’s disabled access
laws, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled on June 12th, 2009 that
plaintiffs do not have to prove “intentional discrimination” to recover the
$4,000.00 minimum statutory damages, per occurrence, under California’s Unruh
Civil Rights Act.

Keeping the Grass Green on Your Property

Written by Jordan on . Posted in Uncategorized

By: Aldon Bolanos

One of the newer and more difficult issues to surface recently is the tenant who is licensed to carry, consume, and even cultivate and grow medicinal marijuana.  Landlords who are surprised when their property is being used as a marijuana farm are doubly surprised when they encounter difficulty in compelling the tenant to refrain from engaging what is seemingly unlawful activity.  This article focuses on the state of the law and strategies for dealing with tenants who possess and cultivate marijuana lawfully under California law.

First, the law:  The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 provides immunity from prosecution under California’s drug laws for anyone who possesses or cultivates marijuana with the approval of a licensed physician.  However, this directly conflicts with the federal Controlled Substances Act, which makes the manufacture, distribution, or possession of marijuana a criminal offense.

Expert Roundtable Series – Best Practices for Lead Management

Written by Jordan on . Posted in Uncategorized

By: Houston Neal

In the latest of our Expert Roundtable Series, we report on best practices for managing leads. We interviewed three experts in the multifamily housing market to learn about the technologies and procedures they use for successful lead management. Among our experts are executives from Gables Residential and Archstone – both are ranked in the Top 50 Apartment Managers report from the National Multifamily Housing Council. Let’s meet our experts:

Donald Davidoff is Group Vice President, Strategic Systems for Archstone, a large privately held multi-family housing developer and operator. His teams manage Archstone’s entire marketing platform, which includes ecommerce, field marketing, creative services and corporate communication. He also pioneered Archstone’s industry-leading business process management solution to automate key forms and processes resulting in a “less paper-full” office.


Lynette Hegeman is Vice President of Marketing for Gables Residential. In this role, Hegeman oversees the development and execution of general marketing, internet marketing, public relations and advertising. With 19 years of experience in marketing, sales management and real estate development with companies such as Intrawest, Hilton Hotels Corporation and Preferred Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, she leverages her experience to further establish Gables as a leader in the multi-family industry.


Tracy Guillen is the owner of Esquire Property Management. She has many years of experience providing Ventura County property management services to real estate investors in Ventura County. Tracy is passionate about the real estate business and takes a personal interest in this field as she actively owns, sells, buys, and manages her own property management portfolio in Ventura, Oxnard, & Camarillo. Her affiliations include: California Broker’s License, California State Bar Association and the California Apartment Association.

Lead management is a critical component for any property management company serious about marketing. In a study from the Aberdeen Group, 90% of companies using automated lead management had average yearly revenue growth of 59%. So without a strategic and organized process for vetting prospective tenants, you may be leaving money at the curb.