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The 4 Stages of the Renter Life Cycle, and How to Get the Most out of Every Stage

Many property managers spend a lot of time attracting tenants. From taking the right photos to video tours, there are a lot of cool ways to attract tenants to your property. But, your job doesn’t start and end when your tenants sign a lease.

There are actually 4 stages to the renter life cycle, and it can really pay off in the long run to pay attention to each and every one.

  1. Courtship

As mentioned earlier, this is what many property managers spend the most time on. Taking pictures is important, but you should also show prospective renters additional benefits of your property.

Do you have any rent incentives or referral programs? Can you refer them to glowing testimonials of your business? For many renters, it’s more about the details than it is the trim in the kitchen.

  1. Move-in

How easy do you make it to move in? Are you willing to drop off the keys at the property? Do you partner with a truck rental business in the area to offer special deals to your renters?

  1. The first 30 days

Go above and beyond to make your renter feel like a rockstar those first 30 days. Deal with any concerns promptly, have a strong presence on property, and check in to see how they’re doing in their new home.

  1. Property changes

Most tenants don’t want to be bothered needlessly. After the first 30 days, send updates through email or text alerts, but avoid being too intrusive. If you want to go above and beyond, host a barbecue or send out special holiday thank-yous to your tenants.

Each stage takes a different approach, but by mastering each approach, you can find renters faster and keep them for longer. That will enable your property management business to be successful for many years to come.

3 Easy Tips for Decluttering Your Apartment

Living in an apartment can be extremely convenient. As a matter of fact, there’s a growing trend that involves downsize from owning a home to living in an apartment because there are so many benefits associated with living in a smaller space. However, if you aren’t careful, you could find yourself in a smaller space with tons of stuff. All that extra stuff will just make your apartment seem smaller than it actually is.

Looking to free up some space in your apartment? Here are 3 easy decluttering tips.

  1. Get rid of duplicates

How many pens do you have in your apartment? How many glasses? How many pairs of pants? A good chunk of the clutter in most spaces is due to duplicate items.

Pare down your utensils, toss all the mugs you don’t need, and donate pants you no longer wear. It’ll free up a lot of space all over your apartment.

  1. Toss one-use and novelty items

Still have that singing bass that your great aunt Myrtle gave you for Christmas? Or maybe it’s a salad spinner that you’ve never used.

If you haven’t used an item within the last six months, it’s usually a good idea to toss it.

  1. Replace or get rid of bulky items

How many dressers do you really need? Now that you’ve cleared some of the clutter, hopefully you can get rid of one!

In some cases, bulky items need to stick around, but they could use an upgrade. For example, save space by purchasing a collapsible laundry basket instead of using an old-fashioned plastic one.

Pest Control Tips for Bend Property Managers

It’s true that there’s a lot your tenants can do to prevent pests from taking over your property. They should keep a clean home and take the garbage out frequently. However, pest control is a joint effort. That means there are things you can do to help reduce the chances of your property getting overrun with creepy crawlies.

Here are a few pest control tips for Bend property managers that will help you prevent pest problems from developing in the first place.

Properly sealed window and door screens

Do your tenants have screens on their windows and doors? Screens are a quick and easy way to keep bugs from getting inside, but the screens themselves aren’t enough.

If your screens are old and they have holes or gaps, it’s time to replace them. A proper seal is important too. A screen isn’t going to keep flies and beetles out if there’s a huge crack around the window! Inspect your property for cracks and holes around windows and doors and fill them with the appropriate medium to reduce your chances of developing a pest problem.

Clean the gutters

Bend property managers have a lot on their mind. It’s easy to forget about the gutters. That is, until they start harboring mosquitoes and the calls start coming in.

Take the time to clean your gutters once or twice a year. This can prevent standing water, and it can also help you identify potential problems with your gutter system before they damage your foundation.

Go easy on the mulch

It’s true that mulch can greatly enhance the look of your property, but that doesn’t mean you should surround your property with the stuff. Mulch provides a warm, dark, and damp environment that’s perfect for creepy crawlies that are looking for a home.

Mulch the flower beds and around trees, but avoid putting mulch right up next to your foundation. Leave about 12 inches between the mulch and your building to discourage bugs from looking for a way in.

Take care of the trash

It’s amazing how quickly the garbage on your property can get out of hand. In just a few hours, broken garbage bags can litter the area outside compactors and dumpsters that are full. All that garbage is a magnet for insects.

Garbage cleanup should be part of your weekly routine. If your tenants are producing a lot of garbage, consider having another dumpster placed on the property.

Hire professional pest services

Even with these tips, pests can still find their way into your property. To stay on top of the problem, you should hire professional pest services.

A professional can come out to your property once a week or once a month and provide you with maintenance services both around and in your property. This is an especially good idea if your property is located near water or a wooded area. Your tenants will appreciate the fact that you’re on top of any potential pest problems before they develop.

Want to be proactive about taking care of pests, but fear you just don’t have the time? We can help! At Mountain View Property Management, we offer full-service property management support, which means we can help you develop and maintain a pest schedule.

Just give us a call or fill out our online form to learn more today!

2 Surprising Rental Performance Metrics That You Probably Aren’t Tracking

If you want your business to be successful, there are lots of things you have to keep track of. You probably understand the importance of tracking your occupancy rate, and you may even document your turnover rate, but there are probably a few performance metrics you’re overlooking.

 

Here are 2 surprising rental performance metrics that you probably aren’t tracking, but you should be!

  1. Rent-ready costs

Tenants move out. It’s just a fact of the property management world, but do you know how much it costs to get your property in rent-ready condition? Even if all the cleaning and repairs are done in-house, time is money.

You should track the cost of cleaning supplies, repairs, materials, and the time it takes to complete the turn. By tracking these expenses, you may be able to find a few ways to cut costs. It could also make you realize you should be spending more time on tenant retention.

  1. Average days it takes to lease an apartment

It’s a lot easier not to think about all the money you’re losing sitting on an empty apartment. But, it’s an important metric to track.

Every day your apartment sits empty, it loses money. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should lower the price of the unit to get it rented more quickly. Instead, track the average number of days it takes compared to the average in your area for similar properties to determine if your advertising, leasing strategy, or pricing needs to change.

Tracking rental performance metrics can greatly enhance your business, but it takes time. If you’d rather leave crunching the numbers to someone else, give Mountain View Property Management a call. We’d be happy to help!

Renting an Apartment—Important Documents to Bring

Renting an apartment can be exciting! It can also be stressful. You have to know where to look to find the best apartments in your area. Then, you have to know what kind of rental you’re looking for. Even after you’ve found the perfect apartment, your job isn’t done. You still have to sign a lease!

Some property managers are pickier than others. No matter what they’re looking for in a new tenant, there are a few things you’ll want to make sure you bring along when it’s time to sign a lease.

Must-bring documents

It’s a good bet that you’ll need to have the following documents when you’re ready to sign a lease:

  • A government-issued ID, like a driver’s license or passport
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your checkbook

It’s important for the landlord to have a copy of your picture ID for their records. Your Social Security number allows them to run a background check. Having your checkbook handy means you can pay for the deposit to hold the apartment.

Documents you might need

Every landlord or property manager is a little bit different. Here are a few things you might want to bring along just in case:

  • Contact information for references
  • Recent bank statements, or last year’s tax return
  • Proof of employment

Some landlords want to verify that you pay your rent by contacting your previous landlords. Bank statements and proof of employment are often needed for income driven housing and niche communities.

Not sure what to bring? Just ask! The landlord or property manager would be happy to tell you what to bring when renting an apartment.

3 Photo Mistakes You’re Making When Taking Pictures of Your Rental Property

You probably already understand the importance of taking pictures of your rental property. If you don’t, it’s time to start taking pictures now! It’s so important because most people won’t even give your rental property the time of day if they can’t see what it looks like.

Any pictures are better than no pictures at all, but you can increase interest in your rental property if you avoid these 3 mistakes when photographing an apartment or rental home.

  1. Not using the right camera or settings

It’s true that cell phone cameras have come a long way in the last few years, but that doesn’t mean your particular phone is up to the challenge of taking high-quality pictures.

Unless you have one of the newest cell phone models that features a professional-grade camera, use a regular camera instead. Then, make sure you’re using the right settings. Skip the flash and take photos using natural light. Taking the time to learn about the modes on a camera is a good idea too.

  1. Taking pictures of the wrong features

What you take a picture of is important. There’s no need for a closeup of the cabinets in the kitchen or a small sliding closet in the bedroom. Instead, focus on large shots of rooms and special features, like a walk-in closet.

  1. Not enough, or too many, photos

The number of photos you take matters. Only posting one or two photos isn’t going to get the job done, but that doesn’t mean tenants want to scroll through 50 pictures! Instead, upload 10-15 of your best shots.

By avoiding these mistakes, you can increase the interest in your rental property, which will ultimately help you fill it faster.

How a Central Oregon Property Management Company Can Help You Make More Mo

There’s no doubt that a Central Oregon property management company can make life easier. The trouble is, hiring one is expensive! Or is it?

It’s true that you’ll be paying your Central Oregon property management company, but they’ll actually end up saving you money. Here’s how:

Correctly identify market rent

There’s an art to establishing and raising rental prices. It’s an art form that takes knowledge, skill, and practice. Unfortunately, most landlords don’t have the resources or knowledge to price their rentals appropriately. Usually that means they’re underpriced.

A professional Central Oregon property management company knows how to price rental properties perfectly. That means you’ll ultimately get more money when the rent checks start to roll in at the end of the month.

Save money on evictions

It’s true that a professional property manager will make sure you get your rent on time, which results in more money, but they can help you save on evictions too.

How long will a tenant go without paying? If you hire a property manager for the job, the eviction process is usually timelier than when a landlord does it on their own. A timely eviction enables you to flip the apartment quicker and fill it with a tenant who is willing to pay on time, resulting in more money.

That’s not all. A Central Oregon property management company can help you save on maintenance, marketing, and more! To learn more about all the ways a property manager can help you make more money, give us a call today.

The Right Way to Hire Maintenance Staff for Your Rental Property

One of the biggest challenges for any rental property owner is keeping up with maintenance. Not only do you have to make repairs when they’re needed, you have to do regular upkeep on the roof, lawn, and more. That’s a lot of work if you’re trying to do it all on your own!

Whether you have maintenance experience or not, you may decide it’s time to hire someone to help. Just make sure you hire the right person for the job.

Pay a decent wage

It’s easy to try and cut corners by starting your maintenance employee at a low rate, but it’s a bad idea. The lower the wage, the less skilled the labor is likely to be. You’ll save in the long run by hiring a skilled and qualified maintenance tech who really knows their stuff. In order to attract them to your job, and keep them, you have to be willing to pay them a decent wage.

Determine the level of help you need

Hiring a maintenance person for your rental property is not an all or nothing endeavor. You can hire someone full-time or just part-time, depending on your needs and your budget.

Another option is to hire your own contractor. That way, you’re only paying for the extra help when you need it.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of hiring your own maintenance staff for your rental property, there’s another option—hire a property management company! If you’d rather have someone else take care of your maintenance needs, call Mountain View Property Management today!

The Best Way for Bend Property Managers to Deal With Overnight Guests

Bend property managers go to a lot of trouble to create a clear lease that outlines the expectations of each tenant. The trouble is, your tenant may not be the only one staying in that unit. It isn’t uncommon for tenants to invite friends and family to stay with them in their apartment.

It’s true that in most cases this isn’t a problem, but there are plenty of horror stories out there about Bend property managers being left in the dust because of a visitor or a new boyfriend who overstayed their welcome.

Is there anything you can do about it?

Include overnight guests in the lease

The best way to prevent future problems is to include information about what is and isn’t acceptable in the lease. Be as clear as possible.

For example, most property managers won’t mind letting tenants have a visitor stay with them for a few nights, but long-term guests are a no-no. You might state that one or two guests can stay for 7 consecutive nights, but anyone staying longer than that needs special permission from you.

The information you include in the lease is completely up to you. If you’re uncomfortable with 7 days, make it two or three. Just make sure that whatever you decide complies with local and state laws.

Address subletting

Subletting is a completely different situation than a simple guest. Sometimes tenants are unable to stay for the duration of their lease, which means they have to find someone to take over the lease for them. This can spell disaster if you aren’t informed. Make sure you outline your expectations for subletting in the lease.

Don’t forget to address temporary paying guests! Airbnb is becoming quite popular. Many Bend property managers are completely forbidding this type of sublease. Whether you’re fine with it or not, it needs to be outlined in the lease as well.

Take action quickly

Even with a lease that details the expectations for guests and subletting, you may find that a tenant has disregarded the rules. You may be tempted to sit back and see how things play out, but that’s just asking for trouble.

You need to take action quickly. It doesn’t have to be overly confrontational or negative. As soon as you find out someone else is staying in the unit, ask your tenant about it. You may find out that they’re having a family member stay from out of state, which shouldn’t cause any long-lasting problems.

If you discover that the new “tenant” is a boyfriend or girlfriend, ask the guest to fill out a lease of their own. Sometimes even just reminding the tenant of the details in the lease agreement is enough to help them make sure their guest finds a new place to live.

Be tough if you have to be

For every story of a positive resolution, there’s a negative one as well. Because you don’t have any control over the types of guests that your tenants invite to stay overnight, you may end up being unpleasantly surprised to hear about noise, damage, and more.

Deliver a written warning to your tenant for each violation. If the problem isn’t solved, begin the eviction process. Your other tenants, and your property, will thank you.

You don’t have to deal with unwelcome overnight guests on your own. Keep your property safe and comfortable by allowing our Bend property managers to help. Just give us a call today!

 

 

Going on Vacation When You Live in a Bend Apartment

It’s easy to get excited to go on vacation, which usually means leaving home in a hurry. This can be disastrous no matter where you live, but it can be especially troublesome if you live in a Bend apartment.

Here are a few tips that will provide you with greater peace of mind while you’re having fun away from home.

Tell your landlord

If you live in a Bend apartment or a rental home, make sure you check in with your landlord. Different property managers have different policies for how long you can be gone without a formal notification. Check your lease if you have it handy, but it’s always safer to err on the side of caution and ask your landlord what information he needs from you before you leave.

Adjust the thermostat

There’s no reason to keep your apartment overly comfortable if no one will be living there while you’re gone. Plan to keep your thermostat around 80 degrees in the summer and 60 degrees in the winter. If the weather is supposed to be nice, you may be able to turn off the thermostat altogether.

Unplug electronics

Did you know your electronics use energy, even if they’re turned off? In addition, plugged in appliances can be a fire hazard, especially if they’re plugged into power strips. It’s best to unplug everything in your Bend apartment before you leave.

Don’t forget to have a friend or family member stop by and check in on things while you’re gone! With these tips, you can make sure you come home to an apartment where everything is exactly as you left it.

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