How to Prevent Property Damage from Weather

property damage

Mother nature is a beautiful beacon of life and all its splendor… for the most part. Sometimes, though, she can be quite the destructive force to the domestic world.

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, windstorms, earthquakes, or blizzards, chances are you’re aware of how costly a storm can be to your house. In 2016, citizens of the United States collectively experienced over 1 billion dollars in property damage caused by storms.

Short of living in a mobile home and evading any oncoming threats, there’s not much you can do to avoid an oncoming storm. However, there are methods you can start today to help reduce property damage from a storm.

Check out our tips below so you’re prepared before the next storm hits.

Hail Storms

  • Cover all windows and other glass fixtures to prevent breaking
  • Install heavy duty shingles to prevent wear and tear from hail
  • Brings all flower pots and other lawn ornaments inside or under cover
  • Move vehicles into a garage or other coverage to prevent damage

High Wind and Tornadoes

  • Rocks and gravel can become volatile during high winds, consider shredded bark or mulch instead
  • Install impact-resistant shutters over your windows for any airborne objects
  • Make sure your gutters and other lightweight fixtures are properly secured so they don’t blow away
  • Keep trees and other plants well-trimmed in case of any broken limbs being blown about
  • Secure all outdoor furniture and fixtures to the ground, or move them indoors

Rain Storms

  • Clean out your gutters of leaves and other debris so there’s proper drainage
  • Inspect for any cracks in your foundation and seal them
  • Make sure your yard is properly graded so water flows away from your house
  • Install weather stripping around your doors and windows to prevent leaks

Earthquakes

  • Secure belongings and furniture with proper fasteners
  • Install latches on drawers and cabinets
  • Keep hazardous chemicals separated and in sturdy places
  • Have a fire extinguisher handy in case of a sudden fire

Freezing Weather

  • Insulate water pipes to prevent freezing
  • Inspect heating elements like furnaces and woodstoves for proper use
  • Have a plan for snow removal from your roof to prevent collapse
  • Maintain and clean out your gutters for proper drainage
  • Keep tree branches trimmed so they don’t break from snow buildup
  • Using fall mulch will ensure your plants and trees remain healthy when the temperatures drop

Property Damage: Plan Ahead Now

Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Using the methods above, you can prevent and reduce serious property damage from your home.

More importantly, it’s vital to have an emergency plan in place for you and your family in the event of a dangerous storm. Make sure everyone in your household is aware of the safest places to go during a storm, and have an emergency kit ready for any occasion.

If storms become a constant threat where you live, maybe it’s time to consider moving. Contact us now if you need help selling your old place or finding a new home. We have the best real estate agents that are here to help.

How to Deal with Bad Tenants

bad tenants

So, you’re on the receiving end of bad tenants?

Overall, most tenants are agreeable and trustworthy and will be respectful towards you and your property. Unfortunately, there is the chance that in your time as a property owner, you may encounter some trouble.

Read on for some advice on how to deal with bad tenants, as well as how to prevent any future problems with tenants from hell.

Bad Tenants = A Landlord’s Worst Nightmare

Tenant difficulty can come about for a variety of different reasons. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common reasons.

When The Going Gets Tough

Some tenants may fall on hard times and simply won’t be able to cover rent. Whether this is due to redundancy, or the breakdown of a relationship between tenants.

It’s unfortunate, but in these situations, you need to try and be as understanding as possible. While it may seem the obvious solution here is to find a new tenant, in some instances, it can make good business sense to prolong the tenancy.

In doing this, you can limit the risk of an extended void period as well as the extra costs, both financial and timely, of advertising and tenant referencing.

This is something worth considering if you are dealing with a tenant with whom you have built a good rapport. If they otherwise have a good track record, don’t be afraid to give some tenants the benefit of the doubt.

Unforeseen circumstances like job loss can happen to anybody. Just don’t let yourself get walked over. Being firm but understanding is best.

Professional Bad Tenants

Some tenants have no concept of what it means to be responsible. This may just be carelessness or lack of communication on their part. However, in some cases, this can be due to what is commonly known as ‘Professional bad tenants.’

These serial nightmare tenants will go from one property to the next and dupe landlords with fake referencing.

Make no mistake, this is one of the worst-case scenarios you can face when it comes to bad tenants.

Know Your Rights

Being landed with bad tenants is rotten luck. Still, you need to familiarize yourself with the rights you have as a property manager if you want to get anywhere.

Before eviction, a landlord can proceed to court once they have issued the problem tenants with one of these notices:

  • Unconditional Quit Notice
  • Pay Rent or Quit Notice
  • Cure or Quit Notice

Eviction procedures vary from state to state, but mostly the basic fundamentals are similar. Be sure to do your research on what these are in your state before proceeding.

Prevention Is Key

Identifying troublesome tenants early on is an important thing to do. It’s important to develop a system to weed out the bad ones.

Make sure to get everything in writing should any problems arise, and use certified mail for important notices. Good communication is crucial to a good landlord-tenant relationship.

Do Your Homework

When it comes to tenants, don’t be afraid to dig further back for references. The more information you have, the better equipped you are to make the right decision when it comes to choosing tenants.

Request copies of previous tenancy agreements, utility bills etc. This way, you can put together the pieces and determine whether or not they are trustworthy.

On top of this, it also means that should they abscond on money at a later date, you have the information you need to help track them down.

Meeting in person is also a good way to judge character. Trust your gut instincts. If you get bad vibes, just say no.

Deposits and Inventories

Keep an inventory of your property so you can assess potential damage or loss. Also, never accept a tenant without a deposit first. Hard cash in your bank account is the best assurance to protect yourself from loss of income.

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Learn How to Become a Property Manager With These Tips

how to become a property manager

Are you looking for tips on how to become a property manager?

If you’re interested in real estate, but would also like to apply your organizational and managerial skills to the job, this is the career for you.

As a property manager, you’ll have a wide range of responsibilities. You’ll advertise properties, screen potential tenants, check properties for maintenance, make contracts, and deal with finances.

Being proactive, solving emerging problems easily, and focusing on the customer’s needs are some of the main skills you’ll need for this job.

At the same time, you need to work well under pressure, be flexible and follow procedures.

Keep reading to discover the steps you can take to become a property manager and build a successful career.

Get Certified

You’re not required to hold a specific certificate to become a property manager. But when you apply for jobs, this will show potential employers that you’ve made an effort to learn all about the profession.

On the plus side, you’ll also have hands-on knowledge about the field that some of your non-certified competitors may not have.

And if you don’t have any form of qualification, some employers may offer you to obtain one on the job.

Demonstrate Your Experience

Sometimes, having first-hand experience in managing properties is more important than having a certificate with zero experience.

This job comes with a lot of tasks, all of which require a different level of preparedness.

For instance, you’ll need to draw up legal contracts and rental agreements. So you can use your experience as an office assistant to demonstrate that. Also, if you’ve worked in customer service, you’ll gain points for being customer-oriented.

You can show you’re qualified for this job by outlining various skills and experience from previous positions.

Consider Your Competencies

If you want to impress a potential employer and land a job as a property manager, you have to demonstrate your competencies.

To manage finances, for example, you need to show your accounting abilities. Or, when a property needs maintenance, you need to be proactive and solve problems quickly and effectively.

And at the end of the day, you need to know how to communicate with the customers and meet their needs.

Even if you don’t have a lot of experience or certifications, knowing how to highlight your abilities is a step forward.

Be Unique

Once you’ve figured out how to become a property manager, you need something that’ll set you apart from others in your field.

For example, in your resume, write examples of situations where you gained the skills needed for the job.

These don’t need to be in the field of property management. For instance, talk about how you successfully resolved a conflict between employees, or how you managed a team of several people and achieved great results.

Now You Know How to Become A Property Manager

If you’re an organized, self-motivated and hard-working person, property management may be a great career choice for you.

Need to learn more about properties and real estate? Check out our blog or contact us if you have any questions.

Top Tips For Finding the Perfect Phoenix Property Manager

When searching for a property manager in Phoenix, Arizona it’s important to consider a several things to ensure you are making the right choice. Essentially you are interviewing someone for the job of looking after your property when you decide you no longer cannot. A good property manager can save you lots of time, effort and money. However, a poor property manager can neglect you property, source it with bad tenants and even create housing violations in your name. The reasons to hire a property manager differ from one owner to another. Regardless of why you have decided to hire a property manager, here are some quick tips to get the most bang for your buck.

Track Record: Determine how much experience is worth to you. A property manager with a long history of success, few complaints and many satisfied building owners, is a good place to start. However, a long track record doesn’t always equate to success. A young energetic and growing property management firm might just work hard to get and retain your business.

Qualifications: Check the credentials of everyone you interview. Ambition and the desire to make clients happy has the ability to impress just as much as a wealth of experience. However, one thing that must be there is the qualifications of the property management company and its individual managers. Be certain they have been professionally trained to take on the role as your next property manager. Experience is one thing, training is another.

Maintenance: Check the track record of the company’s maintenance affiliations. Phoenix property managers have a wide array of choice in maintenance companies, contractors and repair services. The last thing you want is for your tenants to wait days for repairs. A quality maintenance team addresses problems quickly before they become a crisis.

Tenant History: As a landlord you value nothing more than good, honest and reliable tenants. The type that treat your property as if it was their own. Look closely at the tenant-client history of these property managers. Tenant retention means satisfied renters in many cases. This also means the property manager is keeping the property in good shape and maintaining it enough to make tenants stay. A good renter will appreciate this type of effort leading to on-time payments and longevity.

References: Just as you did when you applied for a job, references are worth their weight in gold. Talk to other property owners in Phoenix and see who they use. Interview them and ask questions about price, services, reliability and track record. Get the information straight from the client themselves. You are more likely to get an honest assessment of the property manager in many cases. Never underestimate references in your search for a property manager in the Phoenix area because there are many companies competing for your business.

Cost: In the world of property management many Phoenix-based companies will charge a fee ranging from 5 percent to as much as 20 percent per month. Be wary of what services you are paying for and compare multiple quotes. You can easily overpay for less services than that of another company who might provide you more for your fee. Stack up and compare, then decide which services are worth more for your property’s particular needs.

What You Need to Know About Property Management Fees

property management fees

A poorly run and badly kept building is no good to anyone. Which is why property owners hire property management companies. And that is why renters will have to pay property management fees.

But some property owners don’t see a management company as an asset, they see it as an expense. So they don’t really see where their property management fees go.

Let’s take a closer look to show you the real value you’re getting.

Property Management Fees Pay For: Occupancy

Your property management’s job isn’t to simply look after the building. They’re there to make sure it is as marketable and attractive as humanly possible for your would-be renters.

You may think of them in just the custodial sense. You’re paying someone to answer the call when a tenant’s toilet is running, or someone to make sure the grass out front is always kept neat.

It goes way beyond that. They do everything from screening your new applicants to evicting the bad ones, and everything in between.

Property Management Fees Pay For: Legal Protection

You may not have thought of this one. In many cases landlord/tenant laws are dicey and there is a lot of misinformation out there. Your management company’s job is also to be experts in these laws, so they can stay out of the courtroom.

Do you have the time or inclination to become an expert in:

  • Rent collection and payment arrangements
  • The eviction process
  • Move in and out inspections and best practices
  • Lease writing and enforcement
  • Security deposits and other fees

Probably not. So your property management fees can pay for themselves right there.

Property Management Fees Pay For: A Buffer Between You and Tenants

First and foremost, you get a professional bad guy and scapegoat. So much of running a building is like being a parent and constantly saying no to things. No, you can’t have another extension on your rent. No, you can’t smoke in your apartment.

You’re faceless to the tenants and don’t even exist. Most tenants will likely assume the property management company owns the building.

This is especially attractive to property owners that live far away (or another town) from their property.

Property Management Fees Pay For: Assurance Rent Gets Paid

Do you have time to chase people down and make them pay their rent? No, of course not. That is nobody’s favorite part of owning a building, but it’s a service included in your Property Management Fees.

Your property management team is in charge of setting and enforcing rent collection practices and ensuring you’re not being taken advantage of.

They will also handle the eviction process when rent goes uncollected. As we mentioned in a previous section, they’re experts in doing it 100% within the law.

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