Recent Census Bureau data reveals that only 1 in 10 Americans moved between 2015 and 2016, marking the lowest level of renters or homeowners to relocate since the agency started keeping track of data in 1948, a trend exacerbated by the housing crash — which led Americans to be cautious and cling to their homes and rentals.
Yale Law School professor David Schleicher said homeownership subsidies, more land-use restrictions, the increased use of occupational licensing and municipal bankruptcies are the main culprits, Construction Dive reports. Schleicher said relocation subsidies targeting residents trapped in poor areas could help create more movers.
While the overall mover rate is low, more affordable regions of the country, like parts of the South, Midwest and Rust Belt, experienced increases in migration. According to Realtor.com, smaller markets, including Denver, Nashville and Orlando, are likely to see housing demand grow this year.
A great property manager can be hard to come by. In today’s fast-paced, social-media centric society, consumers and renters crave and demand instant gratification – they are ephemeral.
That being said, property managers must constantly be on their toes and ready to take on anything! Not only must they be ready to draw in and lease to rent-ready prospects, but they must also always roll with the punches in order to satisfy current renters. Leaky toilet at midnight? Be prepared for a call. Can’t find the mailbox key. Better be on it. Locked out of your apartment? Must be prepared! Property managers deal with these scenarios (among thousands of others) on a daily basis.
Here are five tips to being a great property manager that you and your team should keep in mind:
Communication is KEY! Property managers deal with tons of people (at all hours of the day) from all walks of life. Some may speak different languages, have different personalities, different needs and different backgrounds. Therefore, those in property management need to have impeccable communication skills. Staying calm and speaking in a professional manner is a top priority. A lot of times, this includes PATIENCE. Residents must always be kept in the loop on things like office closures, maintenance, payments, etc. Additionally – property managers must keep said communication timely. When a work order is submitted, the resident should be notified immediately that their work order has been received and that the issue is being worked on. When a parking lot is being worked on, residents should know of any alternative routes to take ASAP. These are just examples, of course, but the list goes on and on. Keep in mind, that with communication comes listening. Sometimes, the best thing a property manager can do for a current or prospective renter is ensure them that their voice is being heard and that the community is doing everything possible to make their living situation a comfortable one.
Property managers often have to deal with questions, comments, complaints and concerns from dozens of renters and prospects daily. Not only must property managers make sure their current renters are happy, make sure the rents are coming in on time and make sure that work orders are being fulfilled, but they must also work on bringing in NEW renters as well. Organization comes in handy on a daily basis through things like lease expirations and renewals, background checks, security deposits, invoices, etc. A skilled property manager must be organized, and make sure they are hiring organized staff members as well! If you are impatient, anxious, edgy or bad with tight deadlines and daily interaction with “customers” aka your residents, you may want to reconsider your future as a property manager. Do you think you have what it takes?
3. People Person
One of the best gauges of the level of quality of a property manager is the way they interact with people. This does not mean just their renters. This means current renters, prospective renters, renters moving out, maintenance, vendors, other staff, lifeguards, towing companies, plumbers, carpenters, etc. Managing an apartment community is a large undertaking, and men/women that do not have a happy, approachable, “can-do” attitude will find it hard to not only retain residents, but to draw new ones in. A personable property manager must be able to handle the fast-paced nature of community management and make the process of signing a lease and moving in an easy one. Let’s face it – moving is a drag and a hassle. When people move into an apartment, the last thing they want to deal with is an unhelpful property manager with a sour attitude. That said, go the extra mile to make your renters feel welcome! Perhaps a gift basket with community “swag” when they move in? Maybe a couple of take-out menus from your favorite local restaurants? At the end of the day, a “people person” property manager is always easier to work with than a grouch!
Think about it. What are all property managers typically doing the first week of every month? Handling other people’s money! They collect rents, security deposits, and more. Property managers need to have the utmost understanding that the renters come first. They must always act with the highest level of integrity. As a property manager, they a lot of complaints are heard daily. While it may sometimes be easier to dance around the issue, a property manager needs to always be up front with the renter – even if it’s something the renter doesn’t want to hear. The washing machine can’t be fixed until Tuesday? Tell them ASAP so they can make other plans. The rent check won’t be deposited for another day? Let them know. Not being 100% truthful with renters can lead to mistrust and lower resident retention rates.
Having a reliable property manager takes the burden off of a lot of people – the staff, the property owners, the renters, the prospects, etc. When a tenant asks something of a property manager or needs help with a certain issue, they should feel confident that their property manager is taking their struggle into consideration. This can be anything from a missing trash can, a broken lock, a bug problem, a noisy neighbor, etc. Property managers must come through for their residents and should be viewed as someone who can quickly and effectively problem solve. Now, the world isn’t perfect and problems aren’t always easily resolved. However, as long as a renter knows that you, as their property manager, are in their corner and working your hardest to make their stay at your property a happy one, then you have done the best you can!
These five qualities, among others, are staple traits of a great property manager. Moving into an apartment is, let’s be honest here, never the most fun and can make for a very stressful time in someone’s life. Working with a quality property manager can make the experience so much more positive – maybe even fun! An organized, honest, reliable, personable property manager with good communication skills is pure gold!
What is the magic formula for a successful property management team? Like any other workplace, a property management office functions much more efficiently when employees function as a team with each member contributing their particular talent and expertise. The Bev Roberts Rentals family functions as a true team, because they share a love of leasing and property management. They believe that working together as a family gives them an advantage over their competitors and has been the key to their continued success. #HappyHolidays
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When your landlord tells you it’s time to inspect the rental property, do you panic?
If you’ve turned the property into the next potential candidate for Hoarding: Buried Alive, or if you’re using the property as a grow house for weed, you probably should panic because your landlord could, and probably will, evict you for breaking the lease terms.
But don’t worry. If you haven’t damaged anything and the place is in the same shape as when you moved in, your landlord won’t want to ask you leave, and in fact, will probably want to renew your lease at lease renewal time.
Some tenants think that landlords only want to inspect a rental property so they can discover something, anything, in an effort to keep the security deposit.
But don’t worry about that, either. Most landlords aren’t looking for a way to get out of returning your security deposit when they inspect a rental property. They are merely keeping tabs on their investment.
When landlords inspect a rental property, they are merely keeping tabs on their investment.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look regarding rental property inspections, why they happen, and what you can expect.
Most landlords do a move-in inspection with you and a move-out inspection with (or without) you. They do that to determine whether you left the place in the same condition as when you got it, taking into consideration normal wear and tear.
But it’s a good idea for landlords to check on their property before the year is out, during the lease term. That way, if there is a problem, the landlord can take care of it before it worsens.
Here are some examples of what landlords are looking for:
- What if you secretly brought in a pet to get out of paying pet rent?
- What if you moved someone else in?
- What if there’s a maintenance issue, such as an overloaded circuit, that you weren’t aware was problematic?
The only way your landlord would find out these and other issues, issues they have a right to know about, is by performing an inspection.
One, Two, or Three Times a Year is Normal
Some landlords don’t do inspections at all. This is a bad idea. Maybe your landlord is uncomfortable telling you they want to do an inspection. Or maybe your landlord doesn’t realize the importance of conducting routine inspections. Whatever the case, you can’t count on your landlord never inspecting the rental property.
Some landlords are just the opposite, wrongly believing they can enter the property anytime they like to check out their place. Note to tenants: they can’t! You have what’s known in the law as “the right to quiet enjoyment.” That means your landlord can come over only for specific reasons and can’t come over excessively.
Read your lease to see whether an inspection is specified in the lease. Landlords often inspect once a year, but some inspect a rental property twice a year or quarterly. Whatever the case, you are entitled to get notice, usually 24 or 48 hours in advance, before your landlord comes by to do the inspection.
What You Might Hear from Your Landlord
There are some common issues your landlord might find during an inspection:
- If you have hardwood floors and aren’t maintaining them properly, such as using a wet mop on them, your landlord might notice how dull the floors are looking. They will probably give you instructions on how to care for hardwood floors.
- If there is evidence of a pest infestation, your landlord will want to get an exterminator to come out ASAP. The longer a pest infestation is allowed to go on, the worse it gets. Your landlord will probably tell you to let them know if that happens again.
- If there are holes in the doors or walls, your landlord will probably tell you to fix them. If you don’t, you can expect a deduction from your security deposit.
- If the lawn is your responsibility per the lease, and you aren’t maintaining it, the landlord might do one of two things. They might go over what is expected of you, and then do a follow-up inspection. Or they might hire someone to regularly mow the lawn and deduct the cost from your security deposit.
If you don’t want to risk losing out on getting any of your security deposit back, you should take care of the place as if you owned it. If there are maintenance issues, notify your landlord right away, so they can fix them.
Landlords are allowed to drive by, walk by, or bicycle by their property anytime they like. They can’t go on the property during these drive-by inspections or disturb you in any way. They can just check to see whether everything looks good from the outside.
The property you’re renting from someone is a big investment for them. Regular inspections, along with tenant screenings, are the best tools landlords have to protect their investment.