real estate

property management tips

7 Tips for Effective Property Management in 2022

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Property managers are jacks of all trades. From screening tenants to addressing concerns and managing maintenance, there are no two days alike in the life of a property manager.

The past year has introduced new challenges in areas like social distancing, sanitation, and higher delinquency rates for unpaid rent. Here are some property management tips in 2022 to help you navigate a post-COVID-19 world.

The information below might also be very useful to those property managers who run businesses around full-time rentals for vacationers, travelers, and those frequently using VRBO or Airbnb. We know the world has been shut down for a few years, but with new surveys showing that travelers and vacationers are back in the air and making their way to new cities across America, it’s important to prepare your rental for what could be the return of travel in 2022 and moving forward.

Communication is Key

selective focus photography of person using smartphone

Communication is a crucial skill for a good property manager. Your role is to communicate with tenants to keep them up to date with new policies and simply to create a sense of community.

Keeping lines of communication open also gives tenants an opportunity to express their concerns or submit complaints. Listening to concerns and suggestions for improvement is something that helps you provide more value for your tenants.

If there is one piece of property management advice in 2022 that you need to apply, it’s seeking new ways to communicate. Here are some options to explore:

  • Keep regular office hours so tenants know when and where they can find you.
  • Upgrade your bulletin board with a color-coded system to improve visibility.
  • Use social media to share updates and create a sense of community on digital platforms.
  • Create an email list or use text alerts to share important information.
  • Develop a set of best practices for handling conflicts and complaints.
  • Think about automating some communication. You can, for instance, use a digital platform to collect rent and send automated reminders.

Presentation is Everything

Tenants have different priorities in a post-COVID-19 world. You should prepare for new questions and concerns about things like cleaning, sanitation, and social distancing.

Remember that presentation is a key element for attracting new tenants and keeping current tenants satisfied. Look for ways to make the property look cleaner, and don’t hesitate to make sanitation efforts more visible to tenants.

Don’t neglect things like decor, art, or a fresh coat of paint to keep up with new home design trends and make units more appealing to potential tenants.

Get Your Listings Noticed

gray steel 3-door refrigerator near modular kitchen

Getting your listings noticed is one of the top property management tips in 2022. Here are some methods you can use to fill vacancies quickly:

  • Craft eye-catching titles that highlight the unique perks your property offers.
  • Hire a professional photographer to take high-quality photos of your property.
  • Keep your description short and straight to the point. Use bullet points and white space to help users who are on mobile read this content.
  • Update your listings to discuss new concerns and discuss the measures you’re taking to protect tenants from COVID-19.
  • Make your listing unique by using an engaging tone and letting your personality shine through.
  • Identify the best platforms for getting your listings in front of potential tenants. Ask how new tenants found your listing to get a better idea of which platforms generate the most leads.
  • You can create different versions of a listing and use A/B testing to see which title or which copy results in the most leads reaching out to you.

Create a Process for Screening Tenants

Screening tenants can reduce turnover and lower your delinquency rate. One of the most important property management tips in 2022 is to develop a well-documented process you can use to screen tenants.

Here are some of the steps to follow to screen tenants:

  • Ask the tenants to fill out an application. Include personal information, details about employment, and financial information.
  • Find out who will live with the applicant. These people are co-applicants and should pass a background check.
  • Obtain a written authorization to perform a background and credit check.
  • Ask for referrals, ideally from previous landlords. You should also contact the tenant’s employer.
  • Schedule an interview. Prepare a list of questions to get a better idea of the tenant’s personality and lifestyle.
  • It’s best to document this process so you can be consistent with the questions you ask. Fair Housing rules require you to treat every tenant equally.

Use Data for Better Property Management

graphs of performance analytics on a laptop screen

Data is a valuable tool for property management. It can give you better visibility over processes like marketing or customer satisfaction. Here are a few ideas for using data:

  • Invest in an analytics solution to monitor the results of your different marketing campaigns and calculate their ROI.
  • Track costs with accuracy. Reviewing costs linked to maintenance and other activities can help you spot areas where you could reduce spending.
  • You can use data to screen tenants. Look at some data points for tenants with the best longevity to figure out the ideal income requirement for your screening process.
  • Use qualitative data by creating a feedback survey. It’s a great way to assess whether tenants are satisfied with the property and identify areas that you need to improve.

It’s Time for a Skills Assessment

You’re no stranger to the fact that property managers need to possess a wide range of skills. With technology becoming more common in property management, it can be difficult to keep up with all the skills you need to master.

It’s time to perform a thorough assessment of your skills. Be honest with yourself and list the things you’re good at. Identify the areas where developing your skills would be useful and think about outsourcing some tasks so you can focus on the things you do best.

Document Everything

You need to develop an effective system for documenting all your activities. Documenting everything can come in handy in situations like legal proceedings, and having well-documented processes will make you more reactive when you need to adapt to a changing situation.

We recommend creating a detailed maintenance plan, a roadmap for growth, a tenant screening process, a tenant transfer policy, and a framework for dealing with delinquent tenants and evictions.

 If there are important tips for property management we learned from 2020, it’s that you need to turn sanitation into a well-documented process and have a go-to plan for possible future lockdowns.

Final Thoughts

These property management tips in 2022 will help you keep up with new trends and adapt to the new expectations and concerns of your tenants.

why real estate agents fail

9 Tips to Put Your Realtor Career Back on Track

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If you’re a successful MN Realtor, you may not often ask why real estate agents fail. If your career has stalled, however, check out these nine tips to help you get back on track.

Don’t Get Complacent

Failing Realtor Easy Job

First, we have to warn you to be aware of how your market works. Did you know that 93 percent of real estate deals are done by on seven percent of your colleagues? In other words, you may be one of the large group of agents that are fighting for seven percent of the business. Don’t ever think that times are so good that you will always have enough business, because a bad economy can knock you down in a hurry. To be better positioned for a downturn, and to help you be the best you can be, follow these guidelines:

Back to Basics

You don’t have a “normal” job — you have a lifestyle. While a new study from GoodHire showed that Real Estate pros might be most unhappy with their bosses, we urge you to remember, you are kind of like your own boss when it comes to real estate and selling roles.

You have to learn how to use the best productivity apps to get things in motion and carve things out for yourself. Plus, it’s all about you, and if prospective clients don’t like you for any reason, they will go elsewhere. Cultivate and develop your personal brand and realize that it’s your job to make clients happy; while you’re in it for the money, that money will flow faster if you put your clients’ needs first. Treat your clients right and you won’t need to spend your spare time taking paid online surveys for extra bucks.

Remember — this can be one of the greatest careers on earth (just click play below and find out why).

It IS Your Job

So your contract says the clients have to prepare for an open house, and when you get there, you see a mess in the kitchen with a load of dirty dishes. Great Realtors step in and fix the issue without lecturing the client or referring back to the contract. Do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Respect the Big Picture

A string of unclosed deals doesn’t mean you are a failure. If you really want to know why real estate agents fail, one reason is that that they become mired in a few deals that have not closed. Your next listing will turn out better!

You Can’t Cancel

Clients can cancel meetings, but you can’t. Always be where you say you are going to be, and don’t be late. Client-facing time is invaluable, so don’t waste any opportunities.

Don’t Over Promise

A Realtor had a lead on a condo listing. He told the client, “OK, I’ll be there with my maintenance guy and my lead painter. We’ll tell you exactly what you need to do to get your unit ready for sale.” When the Realtor met the client at the property, the agent was alone, and said, “Sorry, my guys were stuck on another job and couldn’t make it.” No client wants to hear the words, Well, what had happened was…” This Realtor instantly lost his credibility.

Learn How Marketing Works Today

Real Estate Marketing

You can’t just read an AdWords article and expect to be able to do a proper AdWords campaign. Learn what your Facebook page needs to look like in order to be effective. Do you know what social media really consists of? Do you have an up-to-date website? If you move slowly in a fast-paced world, you’ll quickly find out why real estate agents fail.

Be Available

Some clients like to talk by phone. Others prefer email. Some like to text. Some use platforms like Slack to instant message. Can you do all of this stuff correctly and efficiently?

Know Your Market

Real Estate Market Trends

That’s a no-brainer, right? Check this out: You just sold a big suburban home for a wealthy client, but they have a campus-area four-family that they want to get out of. You took the listing, but frankly, you know nothing about that area of town. If you don’t want to be on the list of why real estate agents fail, make sure you do your homework quickly and learn that neighborhood, or you may be a one hit wonder.

All businesses and careers have rough patches. Make sure you can get through bad times by getting back to the basics and ensuring that you are consistent  and well-liked by your clients. And remember, just as good times don’t last forever, a period of slower sales will improve if you are diligent.

Home Warranties Issues and How to Avoid Them

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The most common complaints about home warranties consist of delays and denials. Many paying homeowners are unsatisfied because they do not seem to get what they are paying for. Frustration often takes over. Delays and denials for home warranty repairs cause discomfort to a family because of a malfunctioning home system. What are the causes of these setbacks? What could you do to avoid these common home warranty complaints?

Should you read home warranty reviews before you sign up?

kitchen house area

Possible Cause of a Home Warranty Repair Delay

Calling your home warranty provider about a system breakdown in your home may result in a delay. A warranty company’s job is to connect the client to a local service technician to perform the repairs or replacements. The warranty plans provide financial protection and access to licensed professionals during unexpected repair and replacement costs.

During an emergency home warranty call, the warranty provider works with the customer to find an available and capable technician. That way, the technician can diagnose and focus on the breakdown right away. The provider can authorize the customer to find the technician outside its network if the company cannot find a technician within an appropriate time frame. Delays can happen if both provider and client cannot find a technician in the area. This can be a problem for expedite or emergency cases.

Possible Cause of a Home Warranty Claim Denial

Knowing why your home warranty claim was denied is the first thing you need to do. You can start this by reading the terms of your contract. This will determine which systems and appliances your plan protects. Denial is firm if the item does not have coverage. Below are the possible causes of your home warranty claim denial:

  1. Exceeding coverage cap

Coverage cap is the limit your providers set on the amount they will cover. Your warranty company can deny your claim if the amount the provider will pay goes above the limit.

  1. Incorrect installation

A home warranty provider can deny your claim if the installation of the home system or appliance was poor. The company can deny your claim if the installation violates safety codes. Damage to the system or appliance beyond natural wear and tear can also cause your provider to reject your claim.

  1. Insufficient maintenance

Your provider may also deny your home warranty claim if there is an appliance or system with inadequate maintenance. That is why regular system and appliance checks are necessary. The technician will inspect the system or appliance during maintenance checks. The maintenance logs must be updated each time. The provider will deny the claim if the appliance is not working properly or not working at all.

How to Avoid the Refusal of Your Home Warranty Claim

Reading the terms, conditions, inclusions, and exclusions of your preferred plan can help you prepare well for your home warranty purchase. Knowing the requirements for extending your warranty coverage is also important. Reading and understanding everything can prevent confusion and unexpected surprises. Below are some of the main considerations you should remember:

  •   The standard 24/7 assistance may take up to about 48 hours to get in touch with a service technician. See if your provider offers online claim filing. This is a convenient way to file your claim using the online forms.
  •   Keep service and maintenance records accessible. Saving your home inspection report can help as well.
  •   File your claim as soon as the appliance or home system breaks down. The cause must be normal wear and tear. Never try DIY replacements or repairs.
  •   Finding out your provider’s coverage limit or cap will spark awareness if your provider does deny your home warranty claim.

Appealing for a Home Warranty Claim Refusal

You can appeal your refused warranty claim online. Calling your provider’s hotline can also start your appeal process. The company can help you complete your documents. Your provider can send the paperwork to your home address if the company does not have online links.

Avoiding a Home Warranty Claim Refusal or Delay Can Help You Maximize Your Plan

The goals of a home warranty coverage are to help you care for your home and save you from financial problems. Knowing your plan’s conditions, inclusions, and exclusions can prevent its denial. Learning how to find licensed repair technicians in your area can prevent any delay in your home warranty service. Completing your paperwork and understanding the plan you chose can help you get the most out of your home warranty.

Sources:

https://www.abc15.com/news/let-joe-know/how-long-is-too-long-to-wait-for-a-home-warranty-repair-even-when-its-considered-an-emergency

https://www.homewarrantyreviews.com/guides/guide-to-filing-successful-home-warranty-claims/

https://www.angi.com/articles/home-warranty-companies-rack-complaints.htm

https://blog.reviewhomewarranties.com/home-warranty-claim-rejection-and-how-to-avoid-it/

https://abc11.com/broken-hvac-units-troubleshooter-abc11-diane-wilson/1464437/

Why Are Bed Bugs a Serious Problem?

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Bed bugs are pests, but they do not harm the structure of a home. Even so, they can still transfer harmful diseases. These insects are successful because they are too small to notice. Have you ever wondered why bed bugs are a serious problem to your health, furniture, and lifestyle?

blue bed and mattress with pillows

A home overwhelmed with bed bugs will need the help of an exterminator. Knowing about the bed bug exterminator cost in your area will help you save for and schedule a treatment. Trained and experienced pest control professionals know how to handle a bed bug infestation. They have the right chemicals that can eliminate bed bugs but keep your household safe.

Bed Bug Infestation

The eggs of bed bugs are about the size of pinheads. They are pearly white when less than five days old. These eggs develop an eye spot if they are already more than five days old. The average lifespan of bed bugs is about six to 24 months. These minute insects feed every three days or even every week. They can also survive for months to about a year without any food supply.

These pests can thrive in shelters, hotels, dormitories, apartments, and homes. You can also find them on ships, trains, and buses. They are so small that they can get into even the cleanest of homes. Bed bugs can hitchhike and live in your closet, mattresses, boxes, and furniture. These pests are common in households whose members travel all the time or entertain guests.

The Problem With Bed Bugs

Having bed bugs in your home can be annoying, irritating, and hazardous to your health. These pests may not target the structures of your home, but they can interfere with your lifestyle. You need the expertise of exterminators if bed bugs are causing serious problems already. Here are some of the significant issues that you can face during a bed bug infestation:

  1. Inadequate sleep

A severe bed bug infestation can cause severe itching and bites. This can lead to insufficient sleep. Even the thought of crawling insects on your skin will keep you up all night. This can leave you mentally and physically exhausted the next day. Insufficient sleep can result in appetite loss, lack of concentration, accidents, and heart diseases. It can cause family conflict and even low productivity.

  1. Secondary infection

Bites from bed bugs tend to be itchy. They can lead to a strong urge to scratch until the itchiness fades. These pests often bite while you are asleep in the middle of the night. You scratch the itch unconsciously. Fresh wounds then appear in the morning.

Tiny open wounds may not be that much of a problem, but the infection caused by bacteria can be problematic. The wounds can expand without any treatment. The redness around the wound, tenderness, and swelling are symptoms of a bacterial infection of the skin. This can even lead to boils, cellulitis, and impetigo.

  1. Stress and anxiety

It is not mentally healthy if you live in a household taken over by bed bugs. This can be frustrating and stressful. The home is supposed to be your sanctuary and place of rest. Constant bites and damage to the curtains or bedsheets can be disturbing. This stressful environment can lead to anxiety. Emotional and mental distress can lead to health issues and bad habits.

You can develop various infections, high blood pressure, and increased heart rate without the help of professional exterminators. Stress and anxiety can affect your digestion and state of mind. Any disturbance in the digestive system affects the immune system. This then leads to the onset of harmful conditions. This is why many people look for remedies for stress symptoms, such as by consuming delta 8 gummies and other THC products that help to relax them. 

  1. Allergic reactions

Bed bug bites can trigger allergic reactions in some people. This could lead to life-threatening episodes. Anaphylactic shock may occur in people who have extreme allergies to insect bites. Tightness of the chest, wheezing, throat constriction, itchy lips, and tongue swelling will need medical attention right away.

A Bed Bug Infestation Can Lead to Serious Problems Without Professional Help

Bed bugs do not cause significant structural damage to your home. They do affect your health and lifestyle on a deeper level. You can suffer from severe mental and emotional disturbances. These will then trigger physical disorders. Seeking the help of trained and experienced bed bug exterminators will help prevent these disorders from worsening into life-threatening conditions.

NNN Leases vs. Full Service Gross Leases

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Even if you’re just getting started in residential real estate, it can’t hurt to understand a bit of the commercial side as well.

And if you’re looking to get into a new lease or interested in getting started with commercial real estate investing, then you should know how different lease structures can affect you. Understanding the amount of management required in each lease structure is vital for new investors to know how “passive” each opportunity is. The level of management you want to deal with depends on which structure you go with, whether or not the building is full of tenants. Maintaining and managing the property can be expensive and timely, so how can you know which structure can work best for you?

This page will give you a brief introduction to these two lease structures and help you understand how each one can work for you and your desired level of risk and return. By breaking down the two structures, you’ll see the positives and negatives of both. 

What’s the difference?

green and white wooden board

The main difference between these leases is who pays for the commercial property’s common areas and maintenance expenses. This includes covering the maintenance and expenses for lobbies, parking lots, elevators, and more. In addition, the amount of management over the property depends on which one you choose. 

What is a Full Service Gross Lease?

red and blue love neon light signage

In this lease, the tenant has a monthly rental amount paid to the landlord, and the landlord pays for all of the property’s expenses. Usually, in this model, the base rent for tenants is higher, so the landlord can use the additional money on common area maintenance and other expenses. 

Pros: For the investor/landlord, rent rates are higher, which can translate to increased profit for you. However, there is a clear definition of who is responsible for extra expenses and maintenance of the property for the tenant. 

Cons for the tenant: Ultimately, the central unappealing aspect of this structure is the increased cost. Generally, rent payments in this model are usually higher than ones in a NNN lease. 

Cons for the investor/landlord: If taxes, premiums, or other costs go up, those costs need to be covered by you. Since the rent payments are determined by the lease, a landlord cannot immediately raise rent to meet the increased expenses. 

What is an NNN Lease?

Unlike the gross lease, this rent structure bundles the standard rent payment for the tenant with calculated percentages of the property taxes, building insurance, and building maintenance expenses. The calculated percentage of the additional expenses is outlined in the lease agreement and is usually based on the amount of square footage the tenant leases. These leases are common in bank branches, drug stores, and quick service restaurants because of how easily a majority of the responsibility can be passed on to the business owner or tenant. 

Pros: For the tenant, this means by only paying your share, you can usually see lower rent payments. For the investor/landlord, passing on rising expenses and maintenance costs to the tenant can increase the net income you could make. 

Cons for the investor/landlord: With this model, the landlord can have a more challenging time managing the property. It can be difficult to reconcile your actual expenses and those that are recovered by the tenant. 

Cons for the tenant: Even though rent can start low, you can potentially expect your rent to increase if expenses rise. In some cases, covering your share of the operating costs of your building/property can leave you with higher rent prices than a standard full-service gross lease. 

What you need to know before signing

person in orange long sleeve shirt writing on white paper

Whether you’re signing a new lease or getting started in real estate investing, there’s a lot you need to consider before signing. No one option is wrong, but both have their appeals. For the tenant, a Full Service Gross Lease can be an appealing option because of its simplicity and that the rent payment will be the same until your lease ends. The bulk of the responsibility falls upon the landlord in this structure. Depending on the amount of involvement you want in maintaining your property, full-service gross leases won’t be very passive income. 

For a more passive approach, NNN leases tend to pass off some of the burden to the tenant. This structure tends to be more popular among investors since they are considered to be low-touch assets. That means that while the tenant covers most if not all of the costs, you can pursue other investment opportunities. 

If you want to read more about real estate investing and lease structures, consider checking out First National Realty Partners’ blog on the subject.

3 Ways to (Instantly) Boost the Value of Your Home

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When you own your home, you’ll want to do everything you can to keep your property well-maintained. By doing so, you’ll protect your investment and hopefully prevent its value from declining. However, there are things you can do to increase the value of your property too. If you want to maximize the value of your home, take a look at these top tips now:

Real Estate, Home, House, Single Family Home

Extend the Property

When you extend a property, you gain extra square footage, which should automatically increase the value of your home. From a straightforward attic conversion to an extensive, two-story addition, there are numerous options available. Furthermore, extending a property can be cheaper than you think. By using the existing structure to draw up plans, experienced contractors can minimize the amount of work involved to help you keep costs down. 

Enhance Curb Appeal

How your property looks has a major impact on its resale. While real estate investors may not be too concerned with curb appeal, potential homeowners or tenants will be swayed by appearances. To ensure you’re making the most of your property, landscape gardens, pave driveways and paint the exterior of your home at regular intervals. 

It’s important to remember, however, that you are usually held responsible for any repairs which are needed following work that’s been carried out on your property. If heavy equipment or vehicles cause pavement damage while accessing your property, you may need to pay to have this repaired. Fortunately, this isn’t an unusual problem and one that can typically be fixed quickly, easily and cost-effectively. 

Redesign Your Kitchen and/or Bathroom

When it comes to selling a home, it’s the kitchen and bathroom that really make an impact on potential buyers. If you’re going to redecorate or redesign any part of your property prior to putting it up for sale, these are the two areas you’ll want to consider first. 

Although there are buyers who will consider purchasing a property that’s in need of repair, selling your home without completing any outstanding work can substantially reduce its value. By repairing water leaks or replacing damaged shower trays, for example, you can restore your home and ensure you get a fair price for your property. 

When to Reinvest in Your Home

If you’re thinking about selling your home in the near future, then you may want to make strategic changes now in order to enhance its value. However, even if you’re not planning to sell any time soon, it’s still worth keeping the value of your home in mind. When you decide what changes to make to your property, always consider the impact potential modifications will have on its value. 

There’s a good chance that your home is your most valuable asset, so you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure it retains its value in the future. By keeping it well-maintained, ensuring it’s aesthetically pleasing and making repairs when they’re needed, you’ll be well on the way to boosting the value of your home. 

improving home air quality

How to Improve Air Quality in Your Home

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The air quality of your home is more important than many people realize. If you have young children, the quality of the air in your home can affect their health and physical and mental development.

landscape of grass field under blue sky

Read our guide to find out what you can do to improve the air quality in your home and protect your family.

Keep it Clean

House cleaning and domestic chores can be a real pain. It feels like a job that never ends as there is always something that needs to be done to keep your home clean and tidy.

It is incredibly important to do, however, if you want to improve the air quality in your home. Dust and dirt are the primary air contaminants in any space, and the rooms in your home are no different. Try implementing a cleaning schedule in your home to make sure you stay on top of all of the chores. This can be great if you have children, as you can give them regular tasks to complete to help them maintain the home they live in and improve the air quality, which will benefit them the most.

Add Plants that Naturally Purify the Air

Plants can be very useful if you want to improve the air quality of a space and deal with odors. They can also add color and texture to your decor.

Not every plant offers these benefits. Flowers can actually decrease the air quality of a space by contaminating it with pollen, which can affect people with allergies and asthma, and by attracting insects or pests that can cause further problems. A great plant for air purification is Aloe Vera, which is also easy to maintain and very fashionable at the moment as it is a succulent plant. 

green leafed plant on clear glass vase filled with water

The leaves of the Aloe Vera plant have a large surface area, and so they absorb a lot of carbon dioxide from the air and release a large amount of oxygen for their size. They also have natural antibacterial properties, which is why it is used so much in hand soaps and natural cleansers, and this helps clean the air in the spaces they inhabit.

Invest in Air Purifiers and Fresh Filters

Air purifiers are a great addition to the home if you are suffering from poor air quality or struggling to deal with odors. 

A small air purifier is quite capable of purifying the air in any room or even a kitchen space and can give you the extra boost you need to get better quality air in the home. If you have air conditioning in your home, you should check your filters and replace them regularly. These can become blocked with contaminants over time and these particles will find their way around your home. Taking this simple step can improve the air quality in your home massively.

Clean Furniture and Fabrics Regularly

The furniture in our homes, such as sofas, chairs, and mattresses, can become magnets for dust, dirt, and contaminants. Regularly cleaning these furniture items should be one of your household chores if you want to improve your air quality.

Steam cleaning and vacuuming can be very effective at combatting this. You should also take some time to investigate what your home furnishings are made from. Some sofas and mattresses, particularly older ones, have been made with materials that can degrade over time and release toxins into the air. There are some modern mattresses available that are made from non-toxic materials and work at improving air quality while you sleep! Check what your mattress is made from and make sure you are getting the best possible air quality while you rest.

By taking just a few of these steps, you can make a massive improvement to the quality of the air in your home and reduce the number of airborne contaminants that can affect the health of you and your family.

Curb Appeal Upgrades for 2020 Sellers

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Are you looking at selling your home? Or are you simply wanting to do renovations? Whatever the case, we all like to have an attractive curb appeal. Everybody likes to have a nice front yard. Having an attractive curb appeal and a nice front yard are what will help homeowners to attract potential buyers. It will also help real estate agents to sell your home for you.

white and black house near to pond

Improving the curb appeal of your home is not as hard as you might think. In this article, we will have a look at how to Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Home, whether you are selling your home in New York, Michigan or in Canadian regions like luxury North Vancouver homes. We hope these ideas will inspire you to give them a go.

Give The Front Porch a Fresh Coat of Paint

Giving the front porch a fresh coat of paint will hide any noticeable wear and tare that may be lurking on your house. It will also make it look as though you care about the appearance of your house rather than let it age and look run down. Why not get creative with whatever design you decide to use. You could even get adventurous with the color of paint that you select as well. If you are not sure on what paint color to use, you can call in a professional to help you with this. Don’t be afraid to get second opinions before going ahead with painting.

Front Yard

The front yard is one of the first things that people see when they drive or walk past our homes. It can leave a good impression or it can leave a bad impression of your home and property. Giving your front yard a makeover is well worth the effort. From plants, to landscape lighting, to perfect symmetry, these can all drastically improve your front yard.

Planting Bed, Plants, Potted Plants and Flowers

Consider planting a variety of plants, potted plants, flowers and perhaps even a planting bed in your front yard. There are so many options that you can choose from so why not get creative in this. Again, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion from someone professional if you don’t know much about gardening. Whether you have a small yard or a large yard, you can be sure that there will be something suitable to plant in them. You never know, you may soon fall in love with your new gardens and find yourself out in them every day.

Bird Feeders

Bird feeders make for fantastic decorations. From small bird feeders to large bird feeders, you can place them anywhere in any yard.

If you have a love for birds and they do not come to your home, then this could be one way to attract them. Just be sure to investigate the right type of bird feeder you need that also keeps away insects and pesky rodents like squirrels from eating all of the bird seed you put out.

Bird feeders can also come with water fountains that can be filled with water. The rain can also fill these feeders up. This will allow the birds to come and drink from your bird feeder and enjoy the yard that you have created.

Front Porch and Front Door

The front porch and front door are just as important as the front yard. This is the first place that people step on to before coming into your home. If you want to attract people in to your home, then the front porch should be designed to be attractive. It should also be kept neat, clean and tidy. Choose an attractive paint color and design for the front porch and front door. They should blend in well with each other. The door itself can also have its own special and unique design.

Install Window Boxes

If suitable, window boxes can also be installed on to the front porch of your home. These will allow you to have even more room for plants, flowers or herbs in them giving you more space to bring nature into you front porch. It is not as hard as you might think to install window boxes on to the front porch of your home.

Outdoor Lighting

We all need to see where we are going if outside after dark. Outdoor lighting also needs to be considered. Not only for the front yard also for the backyard. The lighting could simply be under your porches, or it could also be included in other areas of the yard. From large lights, to small lights, to lanterns and fairy lights. There is a wide range of outdoor lighting that you can choose from to help make your yards and porches attractive. As Garage is important too, you can also buy Garage doors online to enhance the beauty of the backyard.

Home Buyers

If you are going to be selling your home, you want to be sure to attract home buyers. You will not attract home buyers if you do not make the necessary home improvements to your home. You can be sure that real estate agents will know what they are looking for if you want them to sell your home for you. They will also be able to tell you what you need to do to make your home look appealing. The home’s curb appeal really has to be attractive enough for potential buyers.

Preparing your home for sale, requires time and effort. Don’t be afraid to start as early as possible. Do as much research as you can for design ideas. Don’t be afraid to go to professionals for help. They will be able to give you the best advice possible as to how you can Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Home.

You can be sure that by doing all of the above will help you to boost your home’s curb appeal. You might even find yourself pleasantly surprised as to just how quickly you will be able to sell your home by making the necessary home improvements. Preparing your home in this way will be well worth the time and effort that you put into it.

For more information about using a Realtor to sell your house, check out the info below from our friends at Homelight.

When To Contact a Realtor to Sell Your House
Provided by When To Contact a Realtor to Sell Your House

pipes and plumbing

Should A Landlord Take Care Of Pipes And Plumbing?

1000 500 Sam Radbil

Say you’ve invested in real estate and rented out your property to a tenant and one day you get a message that there are a broken pipe and plumbing issues in your renter’s home. If you’re new to being a landlord, you might be wondering to yourself if that responsibility falls under you, or if your tenant has to maintain upkeep.

white and red wooden house miniature on brown table

Being a landlord is no easy feat as there are a plethora of property management responsibilities that fall on your shoulders. To help, this guide will provide you with some insight into what you should do if a situation like the above were to occur. That way, you’d be more prepared to handle various circumstances and avoid unnecessary issues with your tenants. 

What does the law say?  

While this can vary in different countries and states, it’s generally dictated that it’s the landlord’s responsibility to repair both the pipes and the plumbing in a rental unit, while providing proper maintenance to ensure that they’re in tip-top shape. This obligation falls under two theories of the lease requiring it, and something is known as the “implied warranty of habitability.” 

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What happens if it has been violated?  

With a lease, it’s usually either a written or verbal agreement where the renter agrees to pay a stipulated amount of money for the rent to obtain the premise in a habitable condition. In the UK this is referred to as a tenancy agreement. In the US, many call it a lease agreement. 

red and blue love neon light signage

If the home that they’re renting is not maintained in the condition which is agreed upon – such as clogged waste disposal or improper plumbing, then this is considered a violation of the lease. With that, the occupant can choose to enforce it against you, as they’re not getting what they paid for. 

As for the second theory, it essentially refers to the rental unit needing to be safely habitable. This includes not having mold in the home to having working plumbing. For this particular theory, however, you don’t have to fix anything minor such as a drip. However, if there are larger plumbing issues that are affecting both the habitability and health of the occupant, then it must be addressed immediately. 

If not, the individual renting the unit can choose to pay rent into escrow until repairs have been completed. This not only pertains to plumbing, but also other issues like spaces within the property – such as the kitchen and bathroom not being properly maintained. In this instance, you should help in remodeling the space and convert it into something that’s aesthetically-pleasing and most importantly, safe. 

What if something serious happens? 

While one can hope it never happens, sometimes a massive leak can occur – resulting in the damage of belongings. In such a scenario, you would have violated a duty in maintenance which can be considered as legally negligent. When this occurs, you would need to pay for any losses which could encapsulate property damage, and any additional costs and expenses incurred. 

water coming out from gray pipe

It doesn’t just all fall on you though, the tenant also has to act responsibly and notify you early to alleviate the condition. If the water leak or plumbing issue occurred even with proper maintenance, or the occupant did something to cause the problem, then you’d be able to avoid responsibility altogether.  

Summing up

The best thing to do is to avoid such a situation from happening at all. While accidents do happen sometimes, it’s your obligation as a landlord to minimize such incidents. Before renting out your property, check that there are no maintenance issues and that all repairs have been made. After the property has been rented out, the tenant should also be made aware that if anything urgent were to happen such as a burst pipe or electrical problems, the occupant needs to alert you immediately.  

It’s a two-way relationship between you and whoever you’re renting to. Just as you’re making an effort to provide them with a comfortable living space, they should also help with maintaining the premise and common areas. With proper communication and both parties doing their part, it can reduce confusion and prevent any misunderstandings down the line.

managing rental properties

How the Right Tools are Saving Landlords Thousands Each Year

1000 500 Sam Radbil

Running a rental is like running any other business.

It requires attention to detail, careful accounting, and lean business practices. Having the right tools can mean the difference between profit and loss. There are numerous expenses that landlords need to keep track of, for example, in order to make the most of their deductions in their tax return. 

In this article, we explore how you can employ tools across the management of your real estate portfolio to save both time and money. 

Reduce Unnecessary Overheads

The first step that any financial advisor, any wealth-building blog or book will tell you is to cut your expenses, spend less so that you have more to invest. When thinking about improving the profitability of a rental portfolio this comes down to carefully scrutinizing your expenses and determining methods for reducing overheads.

If you cover utilities, for example, you might look for a new energy provider. One key expense for landlords is property managers. Often they take upwards of 10% of the monthly revenue plus expenses and additional costs for things like finding tenants. For some, the time they save is worth the price, however, if you are looking to cut overheads there are numerous tools on the market designed to allow landlords to self-manage, cutting their monthly management costs by a factor of ten or more.

Automate Tasks

Time is money, as they say. As your portfolio grows it will begin to consume more and more of your time. Whether it’s responding to requests from tenants, chasing up late rent payments, or managing your books, it can quickly add stress and take you away from those tasks which will actually help you build wealth.

The right tools will allow you to automate or simplify time-consuming tasks while simultaneously ensuring you maintain high professional standards across your rental portfolio management even as you’re reducing time and overall management costs.

Track Expenses as they Happen

Another reason to take a more hands-on approach when managing your portfolio is the additional tax benefits. Landlords can deduct up to $25,000 worth of expenses against their income each year. To take full advantage of the tax benefits, whether it’s mileage, tools and maintenance expenses, or depreciation, you need to ensure that you carefully and accurately track every deductible expense.  

When you use a property management app, you can quickly update your accounts on the go, digitize and store receipts in the app, organize emails to your tenants, set reminders so you never forget important appointments, and more.

Ultimately, what this means is you avoid the massive accounting tasks at the end of the month (or year) and you ensure you never miss a deductible expense.

Reduce Legal Fees

There are legal implications that come with owning and renting out a property. The most obvious example is of course evictions. They are an unfortunate reality for landlords. Even the best tenants, if hit by hard times may not be able to pay their rent. In this scenario, if you don’t have all the proper legal documentation you could be in for an expensive legal battle.

white and black knit cap

Your lease agreement, for example, needs to clearly stipulate everything from rent amount and due date to your policies on smoking and pets, and clearly outline your policies around subletting. Beyond that, there are inspection forms, notices, eviction forms, rent increase forms, transfer of title documents. 

Everything you do as a landlord should be done in compliance with the law – ignorance is no excuse. The right tools and services will inform and educate while offering cost-effective solutions to creating or obtaining legal documentation. That in the long run could save you thousands in fees.

For example, make sure you’re in compliance by adding fire door signs at your properties, this can help save you from a lot of trouble.

Refinancing Options

Refinancing your properties at the right time can be a great way to save money or find additional funds for further growth. For example, mortgage rates hit record lows in falling below 3% in 2020 and many landlords leapt at the opportunity to secure better interest rates.

person holding paper near pen and calculator

When it comes to refinancing you need to make sure you have all the data and documentation ready to prove the rental income is dependable – to essentially prove that you are a good investment for the bank. Documents you need will include an up to date profit and loss statement. This is where an effective income and expense tracker comes in.

Final Words

A landlord’s profits can be tenuous.

Taxes, fees, maintenance costs, vacancies, and missed rent payments can all see those profits disappear as though into thin air. Managing these expenses and staying on top of them using an effective property management software like Landlord Studio and taking relevant precautions will help you mitigate risks and ensure profitability.

Additionally, it is absolutely essential for a landlord to understand and take full advantage of the tax advantages which come with being a landlord.