Posts Tagged ‘Property Management’

Five Details That Make A Big Difference To Your Rental Property

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Shared post from AAOA | Source:

kitchen remodel

A rental property can be a wonderful investment, if someone is renting it. The good news is that there are things you as a property owner can do to help your occupancy rate stay high and your rental income coming in.

We’ve already shared ways you can increase your rental’s curb appeal (and why that matters) and ways to make a good first impression with your rental property. But there are some very simple things you can do to beat the competition and have the property people want to rent.

Keep it clean. Be sure your rental property is spotless when potential tenants come. No one wants to move into a place that is dirty. Also, a clean home will signal to renters that the property is well-tended to and in good shape. When a home is dirty, renters assume that the property is neglected. Always hire a professional cleaning company. Treat your home as the business that it is. Would you stay in a hotel room that was not professionally cleaned? Why should a tenant move in to a property not handled by a professional?

Have good lighting. Renters want to see themselves living in the home. If they can’t see anything because the place is dark, they won’t feel inspired. Your property should have updated lighting, be well-lit and inviting. While you may not be able to increase the amount of natural light your property receives, you can certainly invest in good lighting solutions throughout the home. Features like larger lights in bathrooms, kitchen pendant lights and under-counter lighting are wonderful. Security lighting outside can be important, too.

Make it inviting. Even if you are not able to use the latest in home décor (granite or stainless steel), consider newer laminate kitchen counters, updated lighting, framed mirrors in bathrooms, replacing stained or damaged vinyl, replacing ceiling fans, or putting on new switch plates. These tasks can create a warm and inviting space that will encourage tenants to move in. These are easy and inexpensive fixes that go a long way.

Consider what helps with day-to-day living. Tenants can be won over by the little things. Updated anything, like newer counters (they don’t have to be granite) or ceiling fans, or spaces such as outside sheds or shelving in garages or floored attics, can leave a big impression. Privacy in the backyard and larger patio spaces also matter to tenants. To determine what things you can offer to set your property apart, think of what details make your life better on a day-to-day basis.

Control the temperature. Especially during a hot Wilmington summer, the temperature of a property can be crucial. Ensure that all of your heating and cooling systems are functional and in good condition. Make sure your thermostat is updated and working properly. Make sure your air filters are clean and the house smells good. The heat or the air should be on to avoid things like mold growth in your vents during a hot humid summer.

Of course, the main rule to follow is to make your property feel like a place where you would want to live. By doing this in big ways and little ways, you can increase your income property’s earnings and occupancy rate.

If you want help getting started, contact us today. With decades of experience managing properties in the area, we know what Cape Fear renters are looking for and can help you maximize your property’s potential.

10 Growth Hacks for a More Profitable Property Management Business

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Shared post from Appfolio

businessman and buildings

It’s simple: in order to grow, you need more property owners. While there are some owners who think they can double as a landlord on their own, there are those who can’t and need help—they just don’t know how to select the right property manager.

Let’s explore 10 unique hacks guaranteed to expand your portfolio by attracting more property owners to your management company. It takes time to find new owners; so make them come to you.

Growth Hack #1 – Productized Rental Reports

It’s always important to know what similar properties in your area are renting for so you can stay competitive and successful. With these insights you’ll have the confidence to adjust rental prices to maximize your revenue and fill vacancies faster.

[AppFolio’s built-in rent comparison tool does this for you, saving you the research time!]

Growth Hack #2 – Content: Create Articles to Get Found by Owners

Why is content important? For so many reasons! Content comes in so many shapes and sizes: blog posts, videos, case studies, your website.

  • Blog articles show authority and knowledge
  • Video content can grab prospective renters’ attention
  • Your website can show what you can offer to renters and owners and build your online presence

Content in action

All of this content combined is hugely important because roughly 70% of searches on Google are long tail. Using long tail keywords in your URLs, content, page titles, and meta descriptions is a popular marketing technique and a way to build authority and an audience. You can use Google’s free Keyword Planner to find keywords that are relevant to your audience and get insight into what people are searching for. Incorporating these words and phrases into your content can be extremely valuable to your appearance in search engines. For example, property owners looking for new property managers might search “Best Property Manager in [input city here]”— so make sure you have content that answers that question on your website. Otherwise, you’ll lose out to the property manager that does.

Growth Hack #3 – Lead Nurturing: Build Relationships through Value

  • 50% of leads are qualified but not ready to buy. (Source: Gleanster Research)
  • 69% say that creating relevance is the most effective method for lead nurturing. (Source: Ascend2)
  • Email marketing is proven to have 4,300% ROI (Source: Direct Marketing Association)

What do these stats mean? That you need to bring value to prospective leads. You can do this through producing high-quality and useful content in the form of customer videos, property walk-throughs, testimonials and reviews from happy renters, and more. Prove to your prospective owners why you’re a good investment and someone people like to work with.

Growth Hack #4 – Reputation: Attracting Owners to Your Business

Online brand reputation and reviews are very important to your growth and success as a property manager. A whopping 92% of customers read online reviews before making purchases. In fact, you can experience a 5-9% boost in revenue by increasing your overall Yelp Rating by just one star. But how can you improve your online reputation when there is such a negative vibe around online review sites? Ask for positive recommendations from your current residents who love your properties! The good reviews will stand out over the bad in the long run.

If you need more help building up your positive online reputation and responding to any negative commenters who are making your life difficult, check out our post: Hug Your Haters.

Growth Hack #5 – Pay Per Lead

One of the more controversial hacks in the list, Pay Per Lead (PPL) either works very well for your company, or doesn’t work at all. PPL refers to buying new unit leads from sites that sell these leads individually. The success of a Pay Per Lead campaign depends on your current marketing budget, ability to scale growth, and the number and quality of leasing agents you might have. PPL is more successful if you are willing to spend the money to wade through potential duds, but on average has a better conversion rate than most other marketing tactics.

Growth Hack #6 – Pay Per Click

A much less risky alternative than Pay Per Lead and a more widely applicable method for attracting new owners, Pay Per Click refers to paying for a top spot on page 1 of all Google searches related to your company in your area. Paying per click also means that you don’t pay a dime unless your site is visited from that link, guaranteeing that the person searching for you has an interest in your company. Dollar for dollar, this is also a cheaper alternative to buying portfolios from other PMs in your area—acquisition costs are usually about $1,200 a unit, where average Pay Per Click costs average $350 per unit.

pay per click

Growth Hack #7 – For Rent By Owners (FRBOs): Calling the Landlords in Your Area

Why is this important? One of the most successful ways to grow your business as a property manager is to build your network. People are afraid to pick up the phone these days, but don’t be. It’s valuable and there are ways to prepare for those phone calls. Have a script in place so you can practice it and get comfortable saying it—without it sounding like a script. Also, have a structured process in place for researching who you are going to reach out to, when you’ll reach out, and any follow up with them later.

Growth Hack #8 – Join Local Organizations

It’s important that you get to know the fellow owners in your area. Become a pillar in your community. The more people you know, the more relationships you can build. It’s all about networking!

Growth Hack #9 – Utilizing Video – Get Ahead of the Curve


YouTube is the 2nd most used search engine in the world. People love videos! Create short, digestible and fun videos that show off your properties (the atmosphere, style, services and amenities). Make people interested in working with you, e.g. be personable and welcoming. Check some examples of what other successful property managers in your area are doing on YouTube for inspiration.

Growth Hack #10 – Have a Growth Plan

As a property manager you need to optimize on what’s working for you. First, track the source of all your leads so you actually know what’s working (don’t guess!). If one of these strategies is more successful than the others, put your energy (and marketing dollars) into that particular strategy to make it work even better for you.

Ask yourself, how many properties am I looking to add to my portfolio in one year? Two years? In five years? Where do you see yourself? Are you managing residential, or commercial, or student housing, or HOA properties? A mix of all of the above? Set a goal for yourself and devise a plan to get there.

The post 10 Growth Hacks for a More Profitable Property Management Business appeared first on The Official AppFolio Blog.

appfolio Appfolio | Company Website | LinkedIn Connect |

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.

Summer Season Property Maintenance To-Do List

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Shared post from Appfolio

maintenance tools 1

Summer is almost here; and it’s a popular time for renters to move in and out of apartments. If you’re busy welcoming new renters, performing move-out inspections in vacant units, and trying to get apartments rented property maintenance can fall by the wayside until things calm down. Yet your renters deserve clean and well-groomed common areas. Make sure your apartments look their best all summer long by adding these summer season maintenance tasks to your to-do list.

Property Exterior Summer Maintenance Tasks

Focus your energy on keeping your property exterior looking great in summer, when outdoor areas will see increased usage.

Put outdoor lighting in place: Long summer nights entice renters to stay outdoors in common areas. To help them get back inside safely, make sure that you have outdoor lighting illuminating pathways and doorways. Solar lighting is an energy-efficient, modern option that requires little maintenance once installed.

Trim grass: For comfort and protection from pests, keep grass trimmed regularly. Set a reminder in your calendar so you remember to mow the lawn every two weeks (or on the schedule of your choice), or contract out to a landscaping company if you prefer not to do this yourself.

Perform a garden/common areas landscaping cleanup: Late spring and early summer is a perfect time to trim back plants, trees, and shrubs. Don’t forget to weed paths and walkways, where little plants can spring up in cracks and make your property look shoddy.

Mulch garden beds: Flowers, trees, and shrubs get thirsty during summer heat. Adding 2-3 inches of mulch to garden beds helps the soil retain water for longer. Plants will look better during long, hot summer days; you will also conserve water usage and reduce utility costs through this eco-friendly landscaping tip.

Wash and repair deck and patio spaces: Outdoor common spaces like decks and patios will see heavy use in summer. Check all of these common spaces now, and make any repairs that are necessary (such as repainting or replacing a loose deck board). Then clean all common areas to remove dust, dirt, and grime. To help keep these areas tidy and reduce the amount you’ll need to clean up after renters, install trash cans on decks and patios.

Clean window wells and gutters: To ensure that rain can flow freely, clean out window wells and gutters seasonally, including as part of summer landscaping. Remove leaves, dirt, waste, and debris.

Property Interior Summer Maintenance Tasks

Tackle these tasks to keep interior common areas pleasant in summer.

Have air conditioners serviced: Whether you have window air conditioners in common areas or enjoy central air conditioning, summertime will place a big demand on your AC. Be prepared by having your air conditioning serviced by a reputable HVAC company. This way, you can make repairs or replacements so your units will work properly when it matters most.

Address gaps in windows, doors, and walls: Summer is prime pest season. These critters get inside through holes in windows, screens, doors, and walls. Get ahead of the pests by sealing cracks in windows and doors using caulk or expandable foam. If you notice that screens have rips, repair them to minimize your work mitigating pest problems later on.

Test smoke and CO2 alarms: Test unit smoke and CO2 alarms several times a year. By adding this to your seasonal property maintenance list, you can help keep residents safe.

Have interior carpets and furniture cleaned: After wet, muddy spring weather passes, treat interior carpets to a deep cleaning. Hallways will look brighter when carpets are cleaned. Many residents will breathe easier when mold, dust, pollen, and other allergens are removed from common area carpets. At the same time, clean interior furniture. Regular cleaning of furniture can forestall furniture replacement and keep your apartment looking its best.

When you are able to keep up with summer maintenance, fall clean up won’t be as time-consuming and you’ll feel less stressed as a result. Property Managers, what other tips do you have for keeping your properties well-groomed all summer long?

appfolio Appfolio | Company Website | LinkedIn Connect |

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.

You might also enjoy:

Hot Apartment Marketing Ideas for Summer

The Importance Of Preventive Maintenance On Properties

The post Summer Season Property Maintenance To-Do List appeared first on The Official AppFolio Blog.

A Quick Check Up on the 2016 Property Management Industry

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

It’s always smart to prepare for changes in the real estate market, but busy property managers may find that keeping up with the demands of their rental units leaves them with little time to follow industry trends. Take a few minutes to check in with regional and national forecasts for 2016 to make the right decisions and keep your property full all year long.

2016 National and Regional Vacancy Rates

2015 was a good year for real estate, and 2016 is poised to be another. Expect to see vacancy rates dip even lower nationwide, with rents remaining strong. This is good news for property managers in much of the U.S. and tough news for renters. Tenants looking for a good deal will have a difficult time. Compared to 2008, when there was a supply of vacant new construction apartments in need of filling, there are far fewer vacancies to drive rent prices down.

While vacancy rates are low nationwide, some cities may have higher vacancy rates at present. New York City, for example, is seeing an increase in new construction that is driving the city’s vacancy rate up. To stay competitive amidst the wider stock of open units, landlords in the five boroughs area will need to put the brakes on rent increases. If this trend spills over into other metro markets, it could cool the rental market nationwide.

Low oil prices can also have a negative effect on some markets, namely Houston. As oil prices remains stagnant and drilling is on hold in oil-rich states, many who worked in the industry face job cuts that threaten their livelihood. Property managers in affected metro markets may need to keep rents stable or be extra attentive to renters to keep units occupied despite the sector slump.

Urban vs. Suburban Rental Stock

Along with Millennials, who are committed to renting either by personal preference or an inability to quality for a mortgage of their own, expect Boomers to sell off the suburban empty nest and seek to move closer to the city for the full live/work/play experience.

While the suburbs do have a higher vacancy rate, reduced rental unit supply in urban areas along with high costs of rent will help drive some renters out to the suburbs. Look for renewed interest in suburban homes among renters who want more value for their dollar. If you manage units in the city as well as in the suburbs just outside, this renewed interest in the suburbs is good news.

Expect these rental patterns to hold through 2016. Savvy property managers can add value to their rental units and incentivize tenants to continue to pay premium rents by creating an attractive and elegant common area that creates community in the apartment complex.

How Property Managers Can Stay Ahead in 2016

Busy property managers who are still doing things by hand should consider 2016 the year to invest in effective property management software. Such software can help property managers save time, stay on top of vacancies, easily advertise units, quickly screen tenants, and handle tenant applications.

Since low vacancies mean that maximum profit is gleaned from every rental unit, 2016 is a good year to invest in infrastructure and maintenance. If property owners have been putting off needed repairs to common areas, or you know that the building’s HVAC systems are old and inefficient, suggest spending money modernizing the apartment. These improvements are easily offset by the income from rental units, and help to make the apartment or condo complex more attractive in down cycles as well.

Owner-managers who seek additional real estate holdings should invest in multifamily units, which offer a greater return on investment than single family homes. In the second half of 2015, demand for multifamily units was strong and Freddie Mac forecasts that this demand will remain strong into the foreseeable future.

We always want you to stay up on the trends, so don’t miss our upcoming webinar (3/24) with Axiometrics. Register Today.

What other regional or national trends are you watching for 2016? Let us know in the comments!

The post A Quick Check Up on the 2016 Property Management Industry appeared first on The Official AppFolio Blog.

Landlord Quick Tip: Pros and Cons of Furnished Rentals

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

FurnishedApartmentSeasoned landlords know that all tenants are different.

Some like to settle into rentals for years and often stay in the same neighborhood even after they move. Other tenants might prefer short-term rentals and the flexibility it can provide.

Depending on the type of renters you are trying to attract, furnished units can either help — or hurt — your investment.

A month-to-month lease with a furnished apartment is often very attractive to the right tenant — someone who likes to move often and doesn’t like having to haul furniture from rental to rental. A furnished room is very convenient to a renter who travels light or doesn’t have a lot of extra money to spend. They might be sleeping on an air mattress in an empty studio and would be quite happy to upgrade to a dwelling that has, say, a couch or bed. If nothing else, furnishing rentals also can keep some tenants from dragging those dumpster or thrift store couches that may contain roaches or bed bugs into your clean, unfurnished apartment.

Don’t assume that renters seeking furnished are all the drifter type; some renters may own a home elsewhere and are looking for something convenient for work or an extended vacation, and are perfectly acceptable tenants. These tenants may even pay a little more, especially for summer rentals. But chances are they are uncommitted for the long-term.

An apartment with basic appliances is a good draw, but many tenants are going to be dubious about moving into a furnished rental. Most will already have a full set of furniture, and won’t want to get rid of it or pay to rent a storage unit in addition to the lease with you. Many renters shy away from ads for furnished out of fear that furnished rentals will cost more, or require a higher damage deposit to cover the cost of the furnishings.

It’s true that if a tenant damages or stains a piece of furniture, it will look dirty and unattractive to the next tenant. Once you go down that path, you might find yourself having to constantly re-furnish the dwelling as often as you paint the walls. You can’t assume the risk that the previous damage deposit will cover all your costs. Furthermore, tenants are often picky and may not agree with your decorating tastes.

One look at the bland sturdy neutral furnishings may send them running to another rental. Perhaps the idea of a slightly used mattress makes them squeamish.

Your decision to go furnished or not will greatly impact the type of tenants you attract.

If you prefer a higher priced, short-term lease, than furnished may be the way to go. If you want long-term nesters then an empty, clean, well-maintained dwelling should suffice.

In the end the decision should be based on what is the most profitable for you.

logo_aaoa American Apartment Owners Association | Company Website |

Rental property management can be very demanding. Our job is to make this day-to-day property management process smoother. AAOA provides a host of services ranging from tenant screening to landlord rental application forms and contractor directory to apartment financing. 

How To Attract Property Management Contracts Beyond Local Prospects

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

business networking

Extending your property management circles to entice remote property owners can be fruitful when approached correctly. Remember, property owners are looking for someone they can trust to oversee their vested interests as well as help them improve the rental value of their rental properties regardless of locale. Property owners that live elsewhere are looking for someone they can trust to have their backs even though they aren’t nearby to oversee your every move.

When approaching these potential clients for business, keep in mind that less-than-stellar management companies may have disappointed them in the past. Show them that you are that special management company or supervisor that surpasses these challenges by actively seeking out their business and advertising beyond just local boundaries. These property management tips will help you reach possible owners outside your local market.

Print Medium Speaks Volumes

Don’t hesitate to promote your business with a banner, billboard, or print ad that declares, “I’m a property manager looking out for your interests, regardless of where you live!” Whether you are an online promoter, a print ad advocate or a supporter of both, utilize what the means you have available. If you live in a metropolitan area with mass transportation, take advantage of print ads, sign up for taxicab promotions, and those with larger budgets can strive for buses and mass transit ad space. Others can can look for low-cost print space in local registries and free publications.

Utilize Professional Marketing and Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media sites are all attention grabbers for those who stay apprised of current events in the neighborhood and the community. Use your web presence to establish your authority on local events, and don’t hesitate to hire professionals or utilize an online management service to keep this goal on track. Take time to read and respond to online reviews of your property, and if those things have gotten out of control, consider hiring a reputation management expert for assistance.

Professional Networking About Your Expectations

Yes, blogging and sharing what you expect from tenants can attract new property management clients. If you expect superior behavior from your residents, then what would a property owner expect from you? Expecting the same isn’t asking for too much, so utilize your professional network to promote these successes and your demand for tenant excellence.

A Brief Summary of Tips for Landing Remote Property Management Clients

As you’re trying to gain notice from new clients from a distance, keep these tips in mind.

  • Offer the same level of service you give to local property owners to remote clients.
  • Agree to a risk-free trial term.
  • Provide regular updates and occupancy stats to owners.
  • Be prepared to DWIT – Do Whatever it Takes

From newbies to old-school pros, these tips for expanding in the property management scene beyond your local area can help take your business to the next level of success.

appfolio Appfolio | Company Website | LinkedIn Connect |

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.

6 Contractor Warning Signs for Landlords

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

HVAC-Preventative-MaintenanceAt some point, every landlord need to hire a contractor, so it’s important to be able to spot contractor warning signs to help determine who the best candidate is. Whether it’s a simple update or a whole remodel, you depend on outside service experts to help keep your rentals in top condition.

Deciding on which contractor to hire can be a stressful decision, so take the time to get familiar with several contractor warning signs so that you can sift through the bids and get the one who will really be worth it. There are too many bad contractors and contractor scams out there to risk your real estate investment to just anyone.

Good Contractors Are Critical To Success

When you find a good contractor, it’s amazing how smoothly things can go. If you are working with a contractor that isn’t so capable, you can lose time, money and even jeopardize your investment with safety issues.

Most landlords and property owners are familiar with the important steps of process of asking a potential contractor for a portfolio and a list of references. However, there are other factors you examine to determine if a potential contractor is one you should hire or one you should steer clear of.

Here are 6 contractor warning signs to look for when hiring someone to work on your rental property.

1. No license, registration or insurance

It may seem obvious to stick with someone who has all the proper credentials, but many people are tempted by the low rates of someone claiming to be an expert contractor who just “hasn’t gotten around to renewing their license.” Other scenarios that property owners might encounter often involve a friend or relative with experience who say they will do the job for a bargain price.

Never hire a contractor that doesn’t have proper certification. This enables you to stay on the right side of the law and to protect your investment financially.

2. Unusual payment arrangements

Most professional contractors have an outline for a payment plan, depending on the size of the project. For small to medium jobs, they need some form of payment up front to start purchasing materials and the balance is paid upon completion. For large jobs, contractors generally require a down payment and then set up regular progress payments or draws after that.

Beware of contractors who only want to be paid in cash or who ask for large payments up front, especially if it accompanies a lowball offer. Property owners all across the country tell too many horror stories of paying contractors up front only to see their money, and the contractor, disappear.

3. High pressure sales tactics

A good contractor should be content to be judged on past work and recommendations from previous customers without resorting to aggressive sales pitches or putting pressure on potential clients. While some people are just naturally assertive when it comes to sales, it could also signal desperation, such as the business is struggling and isn’t landing many clients. If you feel like a contractor is simply trying too hard to secure a job with you, follow your instincts and keep looking.

4. Mismatched skills

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a good contractor in one area of specialization automatically makes him good for just any project. If a contractor has years of experience in kitchen remodeling and no real bathroom remodeling experience, you are taking a risk in trusting an extensive project with someone who may not be as familiar with the requirements and potential issues of a particular job.

Make sure the contractor you hire has experience in the exact project you want, along with plenty of satisfied customers. Do your research and ask for examples of work and references from past clients who had work done that is similar in scope and cost to what you want.

5. Sketchy paperwork

Contractors who are confident in their skills and abilities are not afraid to put things down on paper. If a contractor doesn’t have a basic written contract to start with, that’s a red flag. Reluctance to commit to a schedule in writing is another warning sign.

Failure to provide a list of materials and supplies should also raise concerns, because accurate records are extremely important in this line of work. You should be able to ask for examples of materials lists from previous jobs similar to yours, and if the contractor is reluctant to provide those, he may not be the best choice.

6. Communication barriers

A great contractor can still be hard to get along with, especially if your communication styles are not a match. Communicating with your contractor is a key part of ensuring that each project goes smoothly, so if there is a failure to communicate on the most basic level, chances are things won’t improve down the road. Observe whether the contractor does an equal amount of listening as he does sharing information and opinions with you.

Steer Clear of Shortcuts

Too many property owners become the victims of unethical or dishonest contractors, and still others succumb to the temptation of letting someone they know act as their contractor. Whether it’s to save money or save time, choosing a contractor that isn’t right for you can have long-term repercussions. If you don’t pay attention to the warning signs, you’ll always hire the wrong contractor for your project.

What methods do you use to screen and hire contractors for your rental properties? Are you aware of any other contractor warning signs? Please share this article and let us know your strategies in the comments below.

StephenMichaelWhite Stephen M. White | Company Website | LinkedIn Connect |

Stephen Michael White is the founder and CEO of RentPrep, a tenant screening company that gives landlords the tools and resources to get better tenants. Stephen is a frequent speaker for real estate and landlord associations around the country, passing along the knowledge he’s gained working with thousands of landlords, investors and property managers since 2007.  

Considering 24 Hour Security for Your Multi-Unit Properties

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Surveillance_camerasWhether you own or serve as the property management company for a multi-unit housing complex, adding a security patrol to your agenda may be something to consider as an extra precaution or to add peace of mind value to your property.

One option to consider, if budget permits, is hiring off-duty police officers for 24-hour security; however, for this particular piece we will take a look at employing licensed and trained security personnel for evening or full-time patrols rather than formal police officers.

The Real Purpose of Residential Security Patrols

Whether considering a single night watchman or several patrol officers or stationary guards, the main emphasis should always be on establishing a perimeter of non-forceful deterrence. The goal is to make criminals think twice with the mere presence of security personnel, who should ultimately rely on municipal police for backup and action when and if it becomes necessary to protect the property.

You’ll only want to hire security when it’s called for. For example, if crime is higher on weekends or evenings, a force during those hours may be all that’s necessary. This is a consideration that may be taken to residents themselves through a survey, general meeting, and those with HOA boards already have a sounding board with the authority to approve such expenditures.

Determining the Functions of Your Security Force

While visibility of security is vital to its efficacy, so is the credibility that residents hold in your security personnel. This means that the security persons must be able to get police help promptly, must be adept at their job, and make those rounds so that they are clearly and regularly seen by both residents and mischievous eyes. Although the use of force must be minimal, these individuals must be able to exhibit the ability to defend themselves if and when necessary.

Security personnel can essentially perform three basic functions for your housing complex: patrolling, monitoring the electronic alarms and/or surveillance systems, and stationary guarding. Clearly patrolling may involve vertical patrols of interior hallways, lobbies, elevators, and the like while regular perimeter checks outdoors may also be necessary. Stationary guards may serve at the entrance of gated communities or serve dually as a monitor of any alarm systems and visual camera security. Determine how many patrollers you’ll need to handle your target tasks and budget appropriately.

Types of Security Services for Property Management Companies

Unless you’re considering police protection or thinking about establishing a resident patrol program, (an increasingly popular and rather effective option in resident owned complexes with HOAs) there are basically two options to consider: management controlled forces and contract guard services.

Management Controlled Security – Members of these forces are paid by the property management company who will retain the final say in supervising, hiring, and the firing of the security personnel.

Contract Guard Services – Unfortunately, these contracts are often purchased through agencies who retain hiring, firing, and supervising rights. These contracts will need to be cancelled if the services don’t live up to your standards and are less easily managed than controlled security forces.

You Can’t Go Wrong by Protecting Residents and the Property

Establishing set security personnel to keep an eye on things around the neighborhood can increase resident and owner confidence and dissuades potential criminal offenders from even making a move in your community. With this in mind, it could be time you consider 24-hour security, or evening patrols, to help keep your property and residents safe.

appfolio Appfolio | Company Website | LinkedIn Connect |

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.

People ARE Strategic!

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

business-peopleWhen I was a kid I was a huge fan of the television show Tour of Duty which chronicled the life of a platoon of American soldiers in the Vietnam War. The show made no attempt to glamorize war, to justify the war or even to provide an explanation of why our nation was there in the first place; it’s goal was simply to tell the story of the often forgotten people who were charged with fighting it.

In one episode the men of Bravo Company were assigned the task of relocating villagers to a new village that was considered more “secure.” Some of these people had lived their entire lives in that village and were now being forced to leave the only life they knew. The journey to the new village would take a few days as they all crossed miles of jungle.

In the middle of the relocation process the soldiers came under enemy attack. When the fighting seemed heaviest and escape seemed remote, the men received an order to save their lives by “leaving the villagers” where they were and to get out. The young lieutenant turned off the radio, told his men the radio was “broken” (so the order couldn’t be confirmed) and the soldiers finished their mission of getting the villagers to their new home safely.

Reality Check

When the men arrived at the village, one of the higher officers ripped the men a new one for their “stunt” of turning the radio off and disregarding the order to ditch the villagers. The colonel said something like, “You don’t risk your life for something of no strategic value!” To which one of the privates in the platoon replied,“People are strategic … sucka…!”

The colonel demanded to know who said that and one by one, the men of the platoon said “I did, sir!” and they all closed ranks, looking at the colonel (with a ton of disdain) as the show faded out.

Love it!!

People Are Your Biggest Asset

I just did two corporate training events for clients on both coasts over the past few weeks. (In fact I’m on an airplane right now coming back home from one of them!) And I can tell you that both companies are intensely committed to their people; and not just to train them so that they’ll make their companies more money (which of course, is a goal…and a good one!) but because they were genuinely interested in helping their people succeed.

I could tell the difference. Big time. 

The people I interacted with and spent time with all seemed excited, engaged and really into what they were doing. I met someone today who was with his company for 20 years! And when he spoke of the people he worked with and worked for, he glowed.

How much do you think his company has made from his efforts, just by investing in him both as a person and an employee?

People Are the Difference

Did you watch the Super Bowl this past February? The Seattle Seahawks beat up the Denver Broncos in a way I think few people imagined. Were the Seahawks just that much better from a personnel perspective? I don’t think so—but I think the Seahawks were more inspired.

Inspired people do inspiring work. Uninspired people do uninspired work.

Which one would you rather have?

And you can’t inspire (most) people with only a spreadsheet, new software or a bunch of fancy algorithms and analytics. You inspire people by engaging and pursuing their hearts. You may think that’s a bunch of “feel good” fluff but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s true. I encourage you to try it…and when you do, you’ll experience that people really ARE strategic…and can be YOUR secret weapon.

RA picture 1A Rommel Anacan | Company Website | LinkedIn Connect |

Rommel is the president of The Relationship Difference; a corporate training, motivational speaking and consulting firm.  He is a multi-family housing veteran, having worked at all levels of the industry from onsite to corporate, where he developed a reputation for solving common industry challenges in an uncommon way.


Should You Require Residents to Have Renters Insurance?

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

RentersInsuranceRequiring residents to carry renters insurance is one of the most valuable property management levers that you have at your disposal. Unfortunately, a recent Insurance Information Institute (III) poll indicates a major discrepancy in the number of homeowners that have insurance at 96 percent compared to an estimated 35 percent of tenants who had renters insurance in 2013.

Inform and Empower Residents by Encouraging Renters Insurance

We all know that most anything can occur anytime – so why is there so much tenant hesitancy to invest in renters insurance? The core of the quandary is likely lack of knowledge on behalf of the tenant, many of whom believe that the contents of their abode are covered by your property insurance policy, which, as property managers know, is not the case.

Here are the facts. Your owner’s policy covers the structure but not renters’ possessions and, if the unit becomes uninhabitable, you aren’t responsible to provide a accommodations. Another simple fact is that renters insurance is actually fairly inexpensive. Arm yourself with accurate and current info, so you know how to approach potential residents about the importance of protecting their interests with proper coverage.

The Cost of Losing Everything

Certainly, those precious keepsakes, photos, and mementos can never truly be replaced, but a little cash replacement value can go a long way when all of a tenant’s belongings are lost due to a fire, windstorm, or other unpredictable act of nature. Furnishings, bedding, and incidentals such as medications and clothing are replaceable through renters policies, but coverage limitations will depend on the policy type the tenant chooses. Print up this handy Renters Insurance Checklist from the III, and offer it to new and potential tenants during the application process, because the cost of losing everything is incalculable.

Dispelling the Myth that Renters Insurance is Expensive

Many tenants often don’t want the hassle of one more bill, but renters insurance can be had for less than $200 per year nationwide according to estimates from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Discounts are available for many reasons including renters combining multiple policies, having good credit, being a senior or active military, and for having a long-term relationship with an insurer.

As a property manager and owner, you can do your part to foster insurance discounts for yourself and your tenants by providing:

  • Security Systems
  • Smoke Detectors
  • Deadbolt Locks
  • Ample Exterior Lighting
  • Property Security

Renters Insurance Benefits are Immediate Following a Disaster

Renters policies also provide displaced tenants with funds to cover temporary living arrangements and associated expenses. Today, most reliable insurers can make almost immediate arrangements to offer a stipend for a hotel or temporary housing arrangements for policyholders, which can be a huge burden on any family. Without renters insurance coverage, they may be out on the streets – something many people just don’t have the foresight to consider when opting out of renters insurance.

Don’t make renters insurance optional, – require your tenants to purchase coverage – or at least highly encourage them to do so.

appfolio Appfolio | Company Website | LinkedIn Connect |

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.