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. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Sell Your Home Fast: 5 Expert Staging Tips

If you are planning to put your house on the market soon and selling your property quickly, you need to profoundly commit to marketing your home. To successfully market your home, you need to transform your home into a place that potential buyers can easily imagine as their own. Staging a home for sale is not a new concept, but it is a practice that has gained popularity with a more challenging market. Set the stage for success with these 5 expert tips for marketing and enhancing your home, and watch the results pour in.

1. Start With Your Floors

Before selling your home, ideally the floors should be freshly refinished throughout your home. At the bare minimum, all the floors should be thoroughly cleaned, and carpets should be steam cleaned. Beautiful homes are often overlooked by potential buyers who are distracted by shoddy hardwood floors and grimy tiles. If you cannot afford to invest in refinishing your hardwood floor, stylish area rugs strategically placed throughout your home can boost appeal.

2. Boost Curb Appeal

You never get a second chance at a first impression. If you want to sell your home quickly, ensuring your home looks attractive and well maintained before stepping inside is a necessity. Many potential buyers thinking of touring your home will often do a quick drive-by first, often deciding on the spot if the home is worth looking at. Ensure your home is enticing to potential buyers by following these tips:
  • Plant beautiful flowers and attractive greenery 
  • Power wash front windows
  • Repaint the porch and ensure the porch is in excellent condition
  • Hang easy-to-read house numbers
  • Refinish the walkway 
  • Mow the lawn, and reseed or add fresh mulch as necessary 
  • Power wash the siding and walkways

3. Get Your House Sparkling Clean

This is one of the easiest yet most overlooked staging tips which entices potential buyers. Every surface in your home should sparkle, from shining floors and gleaming windows, to meticulously cleaned counters and scrubbed grout. Hiring professional cleaners for a large home is often necessary.

Furthermore, all clutter needs to be cleared away. This step is not easy, and often requires utilizing offsite storage, but it is extremely important. Clean and luminous surfaces, floors, cupboards and closets create more space in the eyes of potential buyers. Clutter is unattractive and distracting; expert stagers recommend removing everything nonessential or unappealing.

4. Style Your Dining Room Table

The dining room is often overlooked when decorating a home. A large and empty dining room table often looks unappealing and dull. Oversize arrangements often appear excessively regal and proper, so try lining up a series of smaller arrangements down the center of the table instead. 

5. Choose Sophisticated Neutral Tones

Rich, mid-tone neutrals like Mocha and Beige are universally appealing and create a calm and inviting mood in any room. Expert stagers recommend ditching the bright and trendy colors for something more timeless and refined. Neutral tones make an elegant backdrop which beautifully pulls everything together.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Fire Safety Recommendations for Property Owners

Shut Your Bedroom Door Before Falling Asleep

Closing your bedroom door before sleeping at night can powerfully impact the spread of a potential fire by halting the spread of smoke and heat. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 25% of home fire deaths occur from fires that originate in sleeping rooms. Consequently, closing the door before sleeping at night can provide protection against fire danger. Furthermore, the Educational Messages Advisory Committee has stated that the combination of a closed bedroom door and an adequate smoke alarm system provides powerful protection during a fire. A closed bedroom door can slow the spread of heat, smoke, and fire. 

The Importance of Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms should always be installed inside and outside of bedrooms throughout your home. The U.S Fire Administration recommends following the recommended room locations suggested by the specific manufacturer of your smoke alarm system. The highly regarded alarm system company First Alert recommends installing a smoke alarm in every bedroom throughout your house, one on every level, and one at the top of each stairwell for adequate fire preparedness. It is also recommend that fire alarm systems are replaced at least every ten years. The National Fire Protection Association also recommends that tenants and homeowners know the age of installed smoke alarms, and information about the specific manufacturer. 

Property Management & Fire Education 

Property managers should always ensure their tenants are educated on proper fire procedures and precautions. A diligent property management company always protects the safety of tenants and educates tenants on fire safety knowledge. Professional property management companies provide tenants with fire safety recommendations, procedures, and tips, from fire safety professionals, along with providing properties with up-to-date fire alarm systems and fire protection devices.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Here's Why Apartment Sizes Are Rapidly Shrinking

Average apartment sizes have been rapidly and steadily shrinking the past few years. Recent research published by RCLO analyzes the basis for decreasing unit sizes and soaring renting costs.

Boston, in particular, is a city affected by the trend of decreasing unit sizes. Newly built studio and one-bedroom apartments across the country are seeing a decrease in average unit size and an increase in unit quantity.

Studies published by RCLO show that the average unit size between 2010 to 2016 was 917 square feet. The average size of apartment units from 2000 to 2009 was 988 square feet, therefore the average unit size has decreased by 7%. 

Unit size has been drastically decreasing across the country. RCLO studies surveyed the real estate market by region, and found the Midwest to face the largest percentage decrease. Out of the 20 markets studied, the only two markets which saw an increase in average unit size were San Diego, California, and Riverside, California. The rest of the markets analyzed, including Boston, saw an average unit size decrease by a whopping 25%.

What is the reasoning behind this drastic dive in unit sizes? There are several reasons for the decrease, starting with affordability. With rents rising faster than wages, many renters are forced to find more affordable, and less spacious dwellings. Renters are seeking more financial balance in their lives, and are compromising on larger living spaces and excess spending.

Another contributing factor towards the diminishing average unit size is the increasing quantity of studio and one-bedroom apartments, and the shrinking quantity of larger units. Two-bedroom units have been particularly decreasing in quantity, while there has been a heavy emphasis on constructing studio and one-bedroom units. From 2010 to 2016, two-bedroom units accounted for only 35% of newly developed units. This change is likely geared towards the millennial generation. Prime urban location is proving to be highly valuable to millennials, who are sacrificing spacious living spaces for unbeatable locations. By working, living, and socializing in the same area, millennials are saving precious time avoiding a long commute, and bringing more convenience and flexibility to their schedules.

The good news – property developers have been attempting to compensate for the decreasing unit size by providing tenants with more amenities, like gyms, movie theaters, and expansive communal lounges. Unit space may be decreasing in prime Boston locations, however these modern micro-units are providing renters with maximum convenience and deluxe amenities.