Friday, September 21, 2012

The Benefits and Disadvantages of Allowing Pets for Chicago Property Management Companies

As a Chicago property management company, it is sometimes your decision on whether or not to allow your tenants to have pets. While some property management companies already do allow this, others are have much tighter restrictions. Some Chicago propertymanagement companies are on the fence, asking the question if they need to say yes or no to allowing pets to join the tenants in their homes.

When the market is slow and landlords are in need of tenants, a lot of times the guidelines become looser and pets are allowed.  When the market is booming again usually restrictions crop up.  One reason many landlords open up the homes to pets is because the rental market is slow. You will tend to see more and more companies that allow pets with a deposit when tenants are hard to find.

From a positive perspective, allowing pets could keep tenants happy, encourage more new tenants, and can help separate a property management company apart from the competition.  Depending on your goals as a propertymanagement company, those pros of allowing pets could outweigh the cons.  From a negative perspective, allowing pets to join your tenants could lead to the rental property being damaged or destroyed, increased noise, and it can potentially be unsanitary if the tenants do not care for animals properly.  Not allowing tenants to have pets could also potentially narrow down your choices for new tenants.  It can really be a tough call. 

When Chicago property management companies start booming with more and more tenants, they can tighten up their guidelines and be more choosey.  This could mean bad news for renters who have their family pets. It reduces the homes they can find through Chicago property management firms.

One way a Chicago property management company can help renters is by accepting pets with precautions. By allowing pets in under your lease agreement, a Chicago property management company can give their tenants peace of mind that their family will be able to stick together, especially since many families consider pets to be family members.   

Propertymanagers can help to protect their owners and properties by putting some stipulations in the agreement about the pets. With guidelines in place, property managers can allow tenants to keep their pets by following a few simple guides to handling pets in the rental home. Be sure to talk with the tenant of the home to make sure they understand the restrictions.

For comments or questions on anything property management related, feel free to comment below or contact us.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tenant Relations

As a Chicago Property Manager, undoubtedly, one of the most important parts of the job is customer service.  All property managers should strive for smooth relationships with tenants.  It’s important that as a property manager you are always sharpening your customer service skills to attract new tenants, satisfy the needs of current tenants, and create positive buzz around yourself.  Tenants will talk, so give them something good to say about you and your property management service.

Being a property management company can be trying at times as occasionally property managers face delinquent payments, evictions, or other troubling circumstances.  Here are our tips on creating smooth, positive tenant relations:

(1) Documentation: Always create a paper trail because you will never know when you need it.  Even simple issues can end up badly without documentation to rely on.  Documenting is extra support for you and really for the tenant too.  Documentation should be done for rent checks and other payments (scan and file copies), maintenance checklists, copies of complaints filed by tenants, notices served/actions taken against tenants, and any police reports or legal documents.

(2) Address complaints quickly: In our opinion, the best way to show your tenants than you value them is to address any complaint they file promptly.  Encourage your tenants to come to you with any issue no matter how big or small.  Show them that you care and make them feel comfortable. With every complaint do some digging to understand the origin of the complaint and really investigate each story.  Be compassionate towards tenants and let them know what you are doing to fix the problem and let them know when the problem has been resolved.

(3) Hone customer service skills: Put on your customer service hat!  Great customer service is the best way to keep tenants happy.  Good customer service is a sure fire way to keep more and more tenants coming in the door as well.  Train your staff on good customer service and make sure to go over phone manners, in-person conversation and overall manners and courtesy.  Good customer service can be the defining point for keeping current tenants and getting new tenants. 

(4) Give tenants something to talk about:  Keeping tenants happy is a huge goal for property managers, so give tenants something to talk about.  Consider offering some kind of incentive program to keep current tenants happy and bring new tenants in.  Move-in specials, lower deposits, gift cards, a lease renewal special can all be viewed favorably in the eyes of tenants. 

(5) Be willing to take suggestions: As a property management company, one of your biggest jobs is keeping tenants happy, so be willing to take suggestions from tenants on ways to improve.  Suggestions from tenants are great because tenants know what a unit is missing that could make it more desirable to other tenants.  This becomes important when you are looking to take in new tenants.

If you’re looking for more tips on creating positive relationships with tenants, feel free to comment below or contact us.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Increase the Value of Your Rental Property

If you have been feeling like your rental property is not as aesthetically appealing as you would like for it to be, you have options.  Simple fixes and tweaks to your rental property can certainly enhance your property.  Whether you're a property management company, landlord, or tenant, simple fixes can greatly up your rental property's appeal no matter what your budget is.  Here are a couple changes you can make to increase the value of your rental property:


A fresh coat of paint can drastically change the look and feel of your rental property.  Painting can be a relatively inexpensive way to update a room.  Check close-out stores which typically have a decent selection of basic interior and exterior colors at lower than average prices.  To cut costs on painting, purchase flat or semi-glosses finishes over high-gloss.  High-gloss paints typically require more coats, which is not necessary for sprucing up your rental property.

New Windows:

If you have windows on your rental property that are in need of an update, consider installing storm windows over the pre-existing ones instead.  If you're a pretty handy renter, property management company, tenant or landlord you may be able to install the storm windows by screwing the tracks into the frame.  Aside from the windows themselves, you should also consider putting in some sort of blinds or window covers.  While some renters may not want window covers, they are easy to remove if unwanted.  When it comes to window covers there are quite a few options such as venetian blinds (which can be difficult to clean and tend to break easily) or stained-glass appliques (which provide privacy and go on and come off very easily).  You could always put up shades or curtains, which may be the best route.

Kitchen & Bathroom Remodel:

It is said that the kitchen and bathroom are the two most important rooms in a homeowners house.  Putting a little time and some money into a rental property's kitchen and bathroom can greatly increase the value of your rental property.  Again, close-out stores are excellent resources for discounted flooring and other material needed for a remodel.   If you are in need of some relatively new appliances and obviously don't want to break the bank, you could consider checking the scratch and dent departments. Scratch and dent departments feature brand new appliances sold at a hefty discount due to minimal damage, hence scratch and dent.  It's not a bad idea since you're getting a fully functioning appliance at a fraction of the cost.  Second-hand appliance stores may also be worth checking out.


Sometimes the best and cheapest way to beautiful a rental property is by giving it a good, top to bottom, cleaning.  Maybe the walls don't need fresh paint after all.  Perhaps they just need a good wipe down.  Over the years, dirt and debris can collect on your walls, so dingy paint may just be dingy from dust.  Your rental property will probably require deep cleaning and some parts of the property may require much deeper cleaning than other parts.  You may want to do a little research on great cleaning products that will really get the job done.


Beautify your rental property's outdoor space by doing some basic planting.  Doing a little landscaping will give your rental property great curb appeal and is worth some seasonal maintenance.  Don't let your rental property's yard be bare.  Flowers, such as Pansies, are great to plant as they can survive a frost.  Tulips and Day Lilies are cost effective and come back every year, which is great in terms on maintenance in the long run.  Put in plants that will enhance your rental property's outdoor beauty, but will require little effort in terms of maintenance.

Whether your the renter, or a property management company, tenant or landlord, lots of little improvements can be made to make a house look more like a home.  For more tips on improving your rental property, comment below or contact us.

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