Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Beautify Your Rental Property for Spring

As a Chicago property management company, and as Chicagoans in general, we typically get excited about this time of year with warmer spring weather coming our way.  With spring right around the corner there's no better time to spruce up your rental properties.  Landlords and property management companies are typically responsible for fixing up rental properties while on occasion residents will roll up their sleeves and beautify their rental themselves.  To prepare your rental property for the spring months consider a few of the following tips:

1- Add some flower boxes: If you're looking to beautify your rental and prepare for spring, why not get some flower boxes or even potted plants to give your rental a pop of color? If you don't have the time or ability to plant flowers, potted plants are an easy way to go.  Simply pick out your potted plant of choice, place it where you would like it to go outdoors and care for it over the course of spring and summer.  Flower boxes make for a nice touch outside of a rental property's windows and can be done relatively cheap.

2- Fix up trim: To make your rental property look like new again, fix up the trim surrounding windows and doorways.  If you have noticed your rental's trim having chips, scratches or yellowed paint a quick touch up is probably all that it needs.

3- New outdoor lighting fixtures: Perhaps your outdoor lighting fixtures are old or outdated, give them an update and invest in some new outdoor lighting fixtures.  Home improvement stores give plenty of options as far as the style and look of your outdoor lighting fixtures go.

4- Get crafty: There are tons of in-the-box types of outdoor features you can buy to spruce up your rental's outdoor space such as a pond in the box or a small bonfire pit.  Consider what you and your family typically do outside and choose features to add in from there.  The goal is to add ambiance and bring your outdoor space to life.

5- Purchase some outdoor furniture: If you have a little wiggle room with your budget this spring, invest in some great outdoor furniture.  If you can't afford brand new furniture, check out some resale shops and see what's available, you may be surprised.  Not all great furniture is brand new.  Consider fixing up some older furniture and making it look like new again with a fresh coat of paint or new outdoor-safe fabrics.  Furniture makes an outdoor space look cozy and inviting and is a surefire way to beautify your rental property for spring and even for summer.

Whether you are a landlord, property management company or tenant, there are some great ways to beautify your rental property to prepare for spring.  Have your own outdoor beauty tips you'd like to share?  Post a comment below.

Chicago Property Management Company
Chicago Property Management
Property Management

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Getting New Tenants

Finding and securing new tenants is a part of a property management company's lifeblood.  If you are new to property management or just aren't sure what the best methods are for securing new tenants, then consider the following tips:

1- Doing some research: Before embarking on a quest to find new tenants, we suggest that you do some research to help identify who your niche audience is for your rental property. What is about your rental property that makes it unique?  Perhaps your rental property is all about going green and you have made modifications to the property to make it extremely eco-friendly, then this gives you an advantage to attract the kind of renter who insists on having a home that takes the environment into consideration.  The point is, to be successful getting new tenants you must figure out what it is about your property that will attract tenants and what kind of tenants your property is attracting.

2- Make new social connections: Finding new tenants for a rental property is often about who you know that can help you fill your vacancies, so making new social connections will certainly help any property management company find new tenants.  Business networking events are a great way to meet new people and can help you meet professionals who work in a similar industry that may be able to help you find new tenants.  Joining apartment or housing associations in your property management company's area is another way to build some new connections.

3- Your internet presence: Creating relationships with people via the internet is a great way to build rapport between your property management company and current tenants.  It also provides you with a relatively easy way to attract new tenants.  So maybe your not social media-savvy, then enlist a property management company staff member of yours to do some social media work. What should you be posting about and doing on the internet as a property management company looking for new tenants?  We suggest updating your website if it is outdated and setting up social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and perhaps even Google+  if you have not done so yet.  Use your social media pages to post updates about your properties, property management company, and your community.  Social media profiles give you the power to attract new tenants rather easily.

4- Referrals:  People today may not trust ads, but they certainly see value in referrals and testimonials, which is something you should take to heart when looking for new tenants..  Seek referrals as often as you can from current and even previous tenants with whom you feel have had a good experience renting from you.  Referrals or testimonials are wonderful additions to social media pages, websites and online review sites.

5- Make yourself the expert: Show what you know and make yourself into the expert in regards to property management and renting properties.  Making yourself the expert will show prospective tenants that you know what you are doing and that they would most likely have a good experience renting with you since you know what you're doing.  Establishing trust with prospective tenants is one of the best ways to get them to rent from you.  Write articles and submit them to relevant blogs or industry publications.  Speak at local colleges.  Do whatever you can to show what you know to help attract new tenants.

Have your own tips on attracting new tenants?  Feel free to leave us a comment below or contact us.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Keeping Tenants From Becoming Dissatisfied

As a Chicago property management company we strive to make our tenant's renting experience with us a pleasant one.  Renting should be a positive experience and a lot of times the way a landlord or property management company deals with situations will dictate how a tenant feels about their renting experience. Difficult or disgruntled tenants are typically not difficult immediately upon moving in, but a lot of times they can become difficult if their living experience is less than desirable.  How does a landlord or property management company handle dealing with difficult tenants and most importantly, how does a landlord or property management company keep tenants from becoming difficult tenants? Here are a few of our tips on keeping tenants from becoming dissatisfied:

1- Always stay professional: When a tenant comes to you, their landlord or property management company, with an issue they are looking to you for advice and for help.  Every issue a tenant brings your way is another chance you have as a property management company to truly shine and show your professionalism.  Conduct yourself and your business in a professional manner at all costs necessary giving tenants wonderful customer care and service.

2- Empathize with tenants: Tenants want to feel like their landlord and property management company understand their issues and concerns.  Empathizing with tenants gives you as the landlord or property management company a better perspective and understanding of what the tenant is feeling in regards to an issue they are facing.  Tenants want to know that their landlord or property management company understands their issues and concerns and is willing to help.

3- Do what you say you are going to do: When a tenant goes to their landlord or property management company with an issue, they expect a resolution for the issue.  They don't expect you to fix the issue in a week, two months or a year from now, they are usually looking for an immediate fix.  Maybe you can't jump on the issue right away and fix it, but you can give your tenant an estimate as to when you will be able to fix the issue. What you say you are going to do and what you actually do need to follow one another closely.  Promising a tenant something and never doing it is a surefire way to make a tenant angry.

4- Resolve issues: When a tenant presents you with an issue, figure out what kind of outcome the tenant is looking for and do your best to get as close as you can to their picture perfect resolution. When you think you have come up with a good solution for the tenant's issue, ask them what they think about your resolution plan and do your best to resolve the issue.

5- Getting past the issue: Once an issue with a tenant has been dealt with and resolved, do your best to move forward from the issue.  There's no sense dwelling on an issue or an unpleasant experience with a tenant, in fact dwelling may make the relationship between you and the tenant worse in the long run.  You best bet is to move forward from the issue and let go of any negative thoughts or feelings to ensure that you can work with the tenant in the future.

Looking for tips on keeping tenants from becoming dissatisfied or have a few tips of your own?  Feel free to leave us comments below or contact us.

Chicago Property Management Company
Chicago Property Management 
Property Management Company

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Reasons Why Residents Renew the Lease or Not Renew the Lease

As a Chicago property management company, we know that a big part of the longevity of a property management company is the tenants a property management company has.  For years property management companies have been striving to find creative ways to maintain tenants.  Whether it was incentive programs, resident events or rental perks, it has been done, but has it worked?  Have incentive programs, resident events and rental perks really kept tenants occupying their space?  Not necessarily.  Sure it has probably worked for some, but not for all.  What makes or breaks whether a tenant renews the lease?  And what causes tenants not to renew the lease?  Here are a couple reasons why tenants renew or not renew the lease:

1- Safety of the building: Who doesn't want to feel safe in the place that they live or work?  One of the key factors facing whether a tenant renews the lease or not has to do with the safety of the rental space.  Studies show that if tenants feel their building or space is safe they are more likely to renew the lease. Safety can come in the form of a doorman in the building or a well-lit building or area.  Outside of typical security features, tenants also want to see that the space they are renting is as safe as possible.  The windows should be relatively new and have a solid locking system.  The door should have a good locking system, which may mean the door requires not just a key, but perhaps utilizes a chain as well.  On the flip side, if a tenant feels that the rental they have been occupying is not safe they will probably look elsewhere to take up residence.

2- Quality maintenance: Quality maintenance services are probably the most pivotal reason why a tenant will renew the lease or not renew the lease.  Quality maintenance services typically revolve around service requests.  Service requests should be fulfilled in the correct order that they come in to the office.  Whether the service request comes in the form or an email, call or the resident stopping by the main office, the resident has a need they are looking to have filled by the landlord or property management company.  This is when the office team needs to step in and provide quality maintenance services.  How the office team handles the requests and fills the need of the tenant will make or break the tenant's satisfaction with the building, landlord and property management company.  To prepare, the staff should be familiar with most common issues associated with the rental property and know what questions to ask tenants regarding the problem or issue they are experiencing.  Most office staff should be able to verbally walk the tenant through solving the issue and if need be get the tenant the proper help to fix the issue.  Tenants simply want to know that their issue will be resolved in a timely, efficient matter and that the landlord, staff and property management company supports them and will get the issue solved.  Odds are if tenants feel they are receiving quality maintenance services and care from the property management company, landlord and staff they will want to continue renting their space instead of looking elsewhere.

3- Good customer service: Customer service is key to keeping tenants satisfied and renting.  Similar to receiving quality maintenance services, tenants want to feel that they can approach their landlord, property management company and building staff with any comment or questions, so the lines of communication need to continually stay open.  Tenants want to feel like they're appreciated and that the landlord, building staff and property management company care.  Giving quality customer service to tenants is another way to ensure that a resident will renew the lease, rather than not renew the lease due to poor customer service.

A major part of whether a tenant renews their lease or does not renew their leases hinges around how safe they feel their rental space and building are, quality maintenance and good customer service.  This means a property management company, landlord and staff need to stay on top of the ball and make sure all tenants are being cared for properly.  If you have comments or questions on anything property management related, feel free to comment below or contact us.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Property Management Pest Control Tips

Property management companies, landlords and tenants are all looking to avoid the same thing from happening to their property-- an insect invasion.  As a Chicago property management company, we know how important it is to keep insects out of all of our properties.  Whether you're a condo management company, retail management company, or an industrial property management company, it is important to take precautions to keep bugs out.  Here are a few tips on keeping insects out of your properties:

1- Clean out the gutters:  When was the last time you cleaned out your property's gutters?  If you know it has been awhile, consider doing a thorough cleaning of your property's gutters.  Mosquitos look for standing, stagnant water as that is where they breed, so keeping the gutters clean leaves no where for them to lay their eggs keeping them away from your property.

2- Utilize screens: If you are a tenant with a property that currently does not utilize screens for your doors and windows, we recommend speaking with your property management company or landlord to see if they would install some screens for the doors and windows.  Screens let air in, but help to keep bugs out.

3- Sealing cracks:  Sealing any cracks around windows and doors is another great way to prevent bugs from invading your property.  Do a thorough inspection of your property's windows and doors and see if there are any cracks that need to be filled in.  Roaches and other bugs are good at squeezing through cracks and small openings, so make sure all of the points of entrance are filled in.

4- Be careful where you put mulch:  Try to keep mulch at least 12-15 inches away from the foundation of your property.  Mulch can harbor mosquitos, ants and other bugs, which gives easy access to the inside of your property.  Keeping mulch away from the foundation will make it harder for insects to enter your property.

5- Take out trash frequently: It may seem like a no-brainer, but trash is a big contributor to insect issues for any home or property, so take out the trash frequently.  Make sure bags are tied tightly and any containers used should be cleaned out throughly and often.

If you are a property manager, property management company or tenant looking for more tips on keeping insects out of your properties?  Feel free to leave a comment below or contact us.