Sunday, December 10, 2017

Top Market Trends Impacting Your Boston Real Estate Business

As the final month of the year is reaching an end, it's time to regroup and strategize your company's business objectives and strategy for 2018. Before strategizing an updated business approach, it is imperative to study and understand the latest market trends in Boston real estate. By taking market trends into consideration when constructing marketing and management approaches, you will fare exceedingly better than real estate companies that did not apply researching methods to their own business approach. Here are the latest regional and national real estate trends for rental and job growth, occupancy, and more.

1. The Millennial Take Over

Millennials continue to make up the largest portion of the population, and are most likely the largest demographic of renters. Consider changing your company's technology and marketing plans to target millennials, who value efficiency and flexibility. Our previous blog post, "6 Ways To Attract College Students To Fill Your Apartment Vacancy", holds detailed and valuable information on both attracting, satisfying, and retaining millennial renters.

2. Mobile Technology is Here to Stay

Mobile technology has powerfully revolutionized the real estate industry, allowing potential renters to quickly locate properties and schedule apartment showings instantaneously. Mobile technology has become standard in the rental industry, and continues to hold power: studies show 84% of renters use mobile phones during their apartment search process. Taking the time and resources to properly integrate mobile-friendly features on your real estate company's website has the power to attract renters, and fill vacancies swiftly.

3. U.S Job Growth Continues to Soar

As U.S job growth continues to soar, the demand for rentals continues to climb. Property managers should remain aware that the U.S economy has added more than 150,000 jobs for the second month in December, and the employment rate has dropped to 4.3%.

While numerous market trends exist, property managers should especially take these specific trends into consideration when adjusting their market strategy for 2018. As the millennial generation continues to grow and seek out rentals, tweak your strategy to specifically target the millennial generation, with specific amenities and features marketed towards them. Furthermore, carefully study the job growth and Boston's rental property supply. Retaining this knowledge and applying these marketing trends to your 2018 strategy will open up successful business opportunities for 2018.

Monday, November 13, 2017

How to Make Your Boston Property Listings Stand Out Online

Marketing property listings online has become increasingly important, as more and more potential tenants and buyers search for future new homes on their mobile devices. Whether potential tenants are using a mobile browser, a laptop, or phone application, analyze how this approach will affect your property listings. To truly make your property rise above thousands of other listings, optimize your advertisements to a mobile format and focus on high quality advertisements.

Include Professional Photographs

Taking the time to ensure professional pictures of your property listings will give you a high advantage and make your properties stand out from the crowd. Many people scrolling through properties on mobile devices don't want to waste time reading, and only stop scrolling when they see an attractive picture which catches their interest. By taking professional pictures of your property, your listing is likely to attract more attention compared to real estate companies posting blurry cellphone pictures. Professional, beautiful photos are your first chance to make a good impression on potential buyers or renters. When taking professional photos, do your best to prepare the photos with professional staging techniques. Ensure the property is sparkling clean and free of distracting clutter before taking professional photographs.

Feature the Floor Plan

You can make your property stand out from thousands of similar properties online by featuring the floor plan. Many property listings skip over this important feature, so it may give your management company a competitive lead.

Incorporate Professional Video 

To gain a highly competitive advantage, consider shooting professional videos of the apartment or home. A very small percentage of property managers take the time to shoot and upload high quality video tours of their property listings, therefore you will gain a strong competitive edge. 

Create Detailed and Luring Descriptions

Unnecessary details and long paragraphs can distract from your property's appealing features and discourage potential buyers. Craft concise and compelling descriptions, and avoid verbose details. People are extremely busy and want to know the most important features of the property without spending long periods of time reading through extraneous copy. Also, consider using bulleted lists to get your points across in an organized and concise manner. Breaking down your information into bulleted points will allow potential tenants and buyers to quickly scan for the imperative information they are searching for.

Avoid Unprofessional Sales Slang

Don't use common sales language that can cheapen your property and it's amenities. Avoid seedy sales language and inferior slang. Renters and buyers want to feel comfortable while browsing for properties that they are working with professional and serious property management companies.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Halloween Safety Tips for Property Managers

Halloween is fast approaching, and property managers should ensure the properties they manage are kept safe and are running smoothly. To ensure that all residents enjoy a safe and happy holiday, read the following Halloween preparation tips.

1. Keep Pathways Clean and Well-Lit

Free walking paths from leaves and other debris, to ensure trick or treaters can see where they are going and safety navigate your pathway. In addition to cleaning your walkways, consider adding lights to ensure trick or treaters can clearly navigate your pathway without any trips or accidental falls.

2. Keep Pets Indoors

The frantic high energy of Halloween combined with children running around creates an uneasy situation for most pets. While many pets may feel calm amongst trick or treaters going from door to door, it is best to keep pets inside to lower the risk of pets behaving erratically and potentially harming someone. Property managers should advise residents to keep pets indoors on Halloween night.

3. Check Smoke Detectors

Check smoke detectors prior to Halloween to ensure the detectors are working property, and replace batteries as needed. Residents tend to burn more decorative candles around Halloween, and with candles comes the risk of accidental fires. Furthermore, property managers should recommend flameless candles to their residents. Flameless candles accomplish the ultimate goal of illuminating apartment decorations without the risk of fire.

4. Test Door Locks

Property managers should recommend their residents check their door locks are working properly prior to Halloween night. Halloween brings high frantic energy and a higher volume of people walking around, thus your residents should take extra preventive measures to ensure their belongings are kept safe. Property managers should also make an effort to make any vacant apartment units on their property appear "lived in", to discourage break-ins. 

5. Remind Renters of Property Rules

Holidays can bring excess amounts of people in apartment units due to parties and get-togethers. Property managers should take the time to remind residents of property rules and regulations, to ensure an enjoyable and safe Halloween for all residents. Send out a notice reminding residents of trick or treating hours, and outlining applicable property rules such as noise level regulations and visitor regulations. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

How Property Owners are Using Mobile Technology to Attract Residents

Mobile technology continues to evolve across the globe, affecting all aspects of life, including complex business operations. Mobile technology tools have the power to transform the way real estate companies conduct business, and new survey results show companies are starting to discover real value through incorporating social business tools into daily operations. Mobile technology includes activities building connections between customers, employees, and information through property management software, social media engagement, and mobile technology infrastructures. The power of mobile technology is revolutionizing the real estate industry, placing importance on communicating with customers and employees through different social media outlets and software infrastructures.

Innovative property managers recognize the power of mobile technology to attract new residents and build stronger relationships with current residents. Mobile technology advancements make it possible to engage with residents throughout the entire leasing process. When choosing a mobile technology infrastructure for your property management company, find a diverse property management software compatible with various operating systems and devices. Find a property management software which is employing the newest technology, and stay up to date on software updates to support all types of users and their various devices. 

Implementing mobile technology will improve connectivity among potential residents, which leads to increased engagement and improved conversion numbers. To attract potential residents, implement mobile advertisements, coupons, and online invitations to open houses. Furthermore, pursue mobile leasing application options with online signing features to swiftly close deals. 

Properties should be marketing as technology driven communities, where paying rent online and submitting maintenance requests is a simple online process. Implementing text alerts and mobile access to resident portals encourages residents to pay rent promptly, and saves residents valuable time. 

Mobile technology produces higher performance ratings and productivity among employees as well. Incorporating mobile applications into annual inspections encourages workflow efficiency and improves overall organization among employees. 

Globally, mobile technology is improving business operations, and leveraging the power of mobile technology into your real estate management improves success and workplace productiveness. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

7 Ways To Prepare Your Home For Fall

The weather is getting cooler and the days are getting shorter as fall is quickly approaching. Now is the time to complete any late summer maintenance projects and prepare your home for fall. Follow our easy steps to properly prepare your home for colder days ahead.

1. Turn off Outdoor Plumbing Systems

Outdoor faucets and sprinkler systsems should be properly drained and covered, to protect them from freezing temperatures approaching.

2. Fix Cracks in Asphalt and Concrete

Depending on where you live, these may be the last few weeks of the year where the weather will be warm and sunny enough to permit driveway repairs and concrete crack maintenance. This will improve the exterior beauty of your home.

2. Plant Bulbs for Spring-Booming Flowers

A beautiful sign of Spring approaching is when tulips and daffodils start vibrantly booming. As soon as the soil has cooled down in October, plant bulbs, and your yard will be blooming in beauty next Spring. Ideally, select a spot to plant bulbs in your yard that the sun fully hits during the day. 

3. Clean the Fireplace and Chimney

Clean out the fireplace and ensure the flue is operating correctly, and that the doors and shield are secure. If necessary, have the chimney professionally swept to ensure complete cleanliness.

4. Complete a Home Safety Check

Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and Carbon Dioxide monitors for safety precaution. Construct a family safety plan, or review the one already set in place. Assemble emergency preparedness kits so your family is prepared for winter power outages.

5. Build a Mudroom

Now is the proper time to assemble and stock an entryway that will serve as a "mudroom" area for freezing and damp weather, even if your home does not include a dedicated mudroom area. Place a durable indoor rug to ensure the floor is properly protected. Consider assembling a shoe rack, coat rack, or a storage bench for your dedicated mudroom area.

6. Clean Your Windows

Bring as much natural light into you home as you can before the colder and darker months approach. To emphasize natural light, vigorously clean your blinds and windows using powerful cleaning solutions. Consider adding lamps to darker places in your home to ensure a comfortable and cozy atmosphere. 

7. Properly Insulate Your Home

As fall approaches, it is important to keep the warm air inside your home and the cold air outside your home. Carefully check your doors and windows for weather stripping. To properly check weather stripping, place a piece of paper in the entryway and shut the door. The paper should be unable to slide back and forth easily. If it does, consider investing in new weather stripping to protect your home from the cold weather approaching. Also, now is the right time to re-caulk around doors and windows as necessary. 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

5 Simple Ways to Boost Resident Retention in the New Year

Keeping residents satisfied and improving resident retention is an immensely important part of property management. Although many residents leave the area entirely or look for a house to buy when their lease expires, there is still a substantial amount of residents who want to be long-term renters. By treating residents properly and keeping them satisfied, you can highly increase lease renewal rates. Discover 5 simple ways for property managers to increase resident retention in 2018.

1. Embrace Technology

As society becomes increasingly dependent on technology and rapid responses, property managers must adapt to technology's growing prevalence. Allow residents to text, leave messages, and contact property managers through your website. Consider optimizing your property management website for mobile, since most residents contact property managers through cellular devices. By adapting to technology while still offering older methods for residents who don't desire change, you will give your residents both flexibility and options.

2. Keep Your Staff Consistent

It's not always possible to retain every employee, however property management companies which maintain a robust staff tend to draw higher retention rates. Residents become comfortable with property managers, and excess change can cause discomfort and confusion. When residents feel confident about their property manager, their entire living experience will improve.

3. Keep Properties Exceptionally Maintained

Residents are more likely to renew their lease when their rental is exceptionally maintained and sparkling clean. When property managers apply increased effort into maintaining rental properties, residents feel confident they are living in a safe, clean, and comfortable environment. Producing a beautiful and safeguarded place to live increases the property management's chances to retain long-term residents.

4. Be Responsive

Residents expect rapid responses to issues, and desire a property management company willing to assist them instantaneously and address their concerns. Even if a property management company is unable to make a requested change for a resident, giving them respect and acknowledging their concerns will increase chances of higher resident retention rates. Property managers should be responsive by quickly answering phone calls and messages, and ensuring maintenance requests are quickly handled. 

5. Keep Residents Updated

Ensure residents are always informed about any property maintenance or construction being done in or around the property. Send out newsletters, emails, and text messages, to keep residents properly informed and up-to-date. When residents are consistently informed about important changes or property construction, they will feel more comfortable and at ease in their living environment.

Monday, September 11, 2017

5 Qualities of Highly Successful Property Managers

The following habits, qualities, and characteristics are shared by highly successful property managers everywhere, but they don't appear by accident or luck. These are developed habits built by years of dedication, and deliberate purpose.

1. Willpower

Successful property managers have the ability to see their projects through completion. The greatest property managers have stayed focused on their goals and been consistent in their efforts. Strong property managers do not procrastinate and allow distractions that prevent them from achieving their purpose. They stay completely focused and assert strong willpower towards successful achievement.

2. Humility

Humility is the key quality and component of their personality. Successful property managers are not driven by their egos and do not care about always being right. Although they strive for success and achievement, their primary concern is not attaining affluence or power. Their humility allows them to passionately strive toward making a positive contribution to society. Their main concern is keeping their clients and residents satisfied, and receiving satisfaction from contributing towards the happiness and safety of others.

3. Curiosity

One habitual quality of successful property managers is curiosity. By nature or self-discipline, property managers possess an extraordinary amount of curiosity. As observant professionals, property managers always look for better and more innovative ways to accomplish their goals. Successful property managers do not hesitate to ask questions, undertake research, and search for more efficient solutions.

4. Drive

Highly successful property managers possess an ambitious and driven personality, with an innate desire to achieve success. They are preoccupied with growing and improving, and avoid distractions. They are obsessed with achieving objectives, and go above and beyond to satisfy their clients and residents needs. They will go to seminars, conduct research, join associations, and dedicate themselves to discovering innovative solutions. Successful property managers stay focused on their goals, and stay consistent in their efforts to achieve.

5. Communication

Powerful communications skills are necessary to becoming a successful property manager. Highly successful property managers communicate thoroughly, clearly, and efficiently with both clients and residents. They work to communicate and pay attention to the communicators around them. Most important, successful property managers hear what isn't being said, and discover solutions before problems arise. Clients and residents feel comfortable and secure when communicating with a diligent, comprehensive property manager. When communication is present, trust and respect follow.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

4 Ways to Upgrade Your Properties to Attract More Renters

When planning to upgrade your rental properties, maintaining low costs is usually a large consideration. Using the highest quality materials for the lowest price allows excess profitability and enormous benefits. Luckily, there are numerous ways to upgrade and enhance your existing renal properties in an affordable manner, which still brings in new tenants and immense resident satisfaction.

1. Replace Old Doors

Doors tend to become damaged fairy quickly, especially in rental properties. The majority of real estate investors ignore the damage entirely, or repair the damage inadequately with touch-up paint. Replacing old doors with brand new ones dramatically increases the visual appeal of a rental unit, for an affordable price.

2. Add Kitchen Backsplashes

Backsplashes bring both value and powerful visual appeal to your rental properties. Backsplashes are both durable and easy to maintain. Be careful when choosing a backsplash however; trendy backsplashes can look outdated and unappealing in the future.

When choosing a backsplash, find an affordable look which is both timeless and classic. Avoid trendy, bright colors and patterns. Neutral colored tiled and white subway tiles are both enduring in style and elegance. Frosted turquoise or lime green tiles might be trendy now, however these colors will outdate your property in the near future, and discourage rental tenants. Neutral tiles bring both elegance and tranquility to the ambiance of your kitchen.

3. Install Wood Flooring

Replace all carpets with gleaming hardwood floors. Carpets are never a good option for rental properties. Carpets quickly show damage, and appear dingy after minimal wear and tear.  Replace all carpets with gleaming hardwood floors. Wood flooring is more affordable and easier to maintain. Rental tenants typically prefer wood floors, since they are universally attractive and give the tenant freedom to decorate the apartment with rugs. Wood flooring is also highly cost effective; wood flooring rarely needs to be replaced, and fairy easy to fix when necessary.

4. Upgrade Bathroom Fixtures

Upgrade bathroom fixtures to give your rental property a taste of elegance, and your tenants a mini spa experience. Invest in modern bathroom fixtures and install timeless ceramic tiles. Install a glass shower to give your tenants a luxurious, enjoyable atmosphere.

Monday, August 28, 2017

6 Ways to Attract College Students to Fill Your Apartment Vacancies

The millennial generation makes up a large portion of the growing number of college students in America. To successfully fill open vacancies in your apartment building, you must first know what millennials are searching for, and exceed their expectations. Although millennials often have different standards and ideals compared to other apartment tenants, they can be attracted by updating your real estate marketing approach. 

1. Produce Flexibility and Quick Maintenance 

Most of the millennial generation is composed of long-term renters who are not prepared or qualified to purchase property anytime soon. These short-term renters expect instantaneous service and flexibility when renting property. Millennials desire flexibility in their living arrangements, in case they decide to transfer colleges, or move for a relationship or job. Consider alternatives to a 12 month lease agreement if you intend on attracting and satisfying the millennial generation.

2. Location, Location, Location!

If you are a property owner and want to attract the growing millennial and college student population, choosing the right location is the key to success. This generation desires flexibility, and saving time on commuting towards popular restaurants, colleges, bars, and shopping centers gives them more time to enjoy life. Millennials prefer to be near prominent restaurants, cafes, gyms, grocery stores, college campuses, and other places they can unwind, be social, and entertain themselves.

3. Get Connected on Social Media

The average millennial spends 12 hours a day consuming media, often multiple forms at once. What this research means for property managers is important. Today, most businesses spend their marketing budgets, even those geared toward social media, primarily on sending out advertising messages. Integrating advertising and technology is becoming necessary to stay relevant and successful. Keep tenants updated on your apartment complex with social media posts. Furthermore, consider employing a social media manager to publish valuable real estate content on your social media platforms, to attract the attention of college students and millennials searching for a new apartment rental. Building an online community for your apartment complex will allow renters to quickly communicate any questions or concerns. 

4. Modernize Your Apartment Technology 

Create an engaging, modern website to advertise your open units and give detailed descriptions of your apartment rentals. This will attract renters, while also showing them your modern approach to property management. Furthermore, allow renters to apply online and pay rent electronically, and let renters make maintenance requests online. Whenever possible, utilize the millennial preferred commutation methods of email and text message. 

5. Bring Efficiency to Your Apartment Complex

Along with flexibility and fast service, the millennial generation appreciates efficiency when searching for the right living arrangements. To bring more efficiency to your apartment units, use compact fluorescent or LED lights in common areas, upgrade units with energy-efficient appliances, offer recycling services on site, and use programmable thermostats in common areas to maintain low expenses. Other creative ways to bring efficiency to your apartment complex include insulting your property to reduce cold drafts and low utility bills, and adopt solar panels, wind power, or another source of renewable energy.

6. Create Community-Oriented Activities 

Many college students come from different states and countries, and will appreciate feeling a sense of community in their condominium association. To make your rental properties more community-oriented, introduce community parties, move-nights, and social hours. Documents photos from the events to post online and engage with renters through social media channels. Also try introducing a virtual bulletin on your real estate property's website, where residents can engage and connect with each other. Show photos of community events, amenities, and local events on your website.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

5 Creative Ways to Decorate Your Boston Rental

Renting provides many advantages over homeownership, including the affordability factor. You are not responsible for paying the repairs, maintenance, or other issues that arise. You are also not responsible for property taxes, insurance, and other potential unforeseen expenses. One of the downsides of renting however, are the strict regulations regarding your freedom in altering the design aesthetic of your home. Many landlords prohibit tenants from altering their rental property, especially if it involves architectual details, paint, or other design experiments which cannot easily be detached when your lease expires. It's still possible to have a creative and fun experience decorating your rental, while appeasing your landlord's property regulations. Discover five creative and temporary ways to decorate your rental property, while staying on good terms with your landlord.

1. Personalize Light Fixtures

Unique and contemporary light fixtures add personality to any room. If you want your rental to appear more stylish, feel free to swap your builder grader light fixtures for a more appealing option. Try installing a luxurious chandelier, vintage fixture, or modern sky lights. Just remember to store the old light fixture in a safe place, and have the original light fixture installed again before moving out.

2. The Crowning Moment

The lack of crown molding next to the ceilings, baseboards, and around the windows of an apartment can make the property look incredibly drab and characterless. Design experts recommend purchasing beautiful molding which fits your style preferences, and install it using Velcro with adhesive backing. Installing crown molding around doorways and windows instantly gives the space a polished look. 

3. Window Decor

Apartments with standard mini blinds often give the property a bland and routine appearance. The great news is, it's very easy to pop those standard blinds out of their brackets and replace them with elegant Roman shades or honeycomb blinds. Another alternative to drab blinds, is covering them with elegant curtains. Design experts recommend getting a tension rod to mount inside the window frame to prevent drilling a hole in the wall. There are endless amount of stylish curtain options, include long Parisian curtains which drape elegantly on the floorboards.

4. Garden Wall

Beautiful plant walls are an overlooked trend used universally. Although plant walls offer a dramatic change in the design aesthetic of your home, they do not require you to make any large-scale changes to your rental unit. Popular style plant walls include shelves full of leafy greens, hanging plants on ropes and pullies, or a wall of succulents planted in salvaged frames.

5. Renter-Friendly Wallpaper

If your rental walls are bland and unappealing, design experts recommend decorating with removable wallpaper. As removable wallpaper is becoming more popular, the designs are becoming even more refined and affordable.