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.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Property Management Newsletters

As a Chicago property management company, we strive to keep our tenants constantly in the loop.  Most property management companies work hard to do the same.  One of the best methods for helping tenants stay in the loop is through the use of a property management newsletter.  Newsletters are a great way to get information out to tenants in a regular and proactive manner.  Rather than having tenants searching for information about your property management company online, a newsletter puts the information you want them to read right in front of them.  No more having to go look online when the information they need is delivered straight to them.  Newsletters can be quite effective when they are done right.  So what kinds of information in a property management company's newsletter?  Here are a few tips on what to include in your property management newsletter:

1- Information that helps you market your property management company:  A property management company newsletter is a great way to market your property management company.  It is the perfect vehicle to show off your logo and branding.  A newsletter is a great way to get your company's name in front of a large group of people, which will include your current tenants and even potential tenants.  Whether you're a property management company, a condo property management company, or retail property management company, marketing is a part of how you spread the word about your company.

2- Tenant and company information: As we mentioned before, keeping tenants informed is essential when it comes to helping your property management company run smoothly.  Communication is always the key to being successful.  A property management company newsletter provides a great place to post your company and even tenant information.  When a tenant picks up a property management company newsletter they are expecting to see information the property management company and some information on tenants as well, so let them in on what you know.

3- Guest articles: Your property management newsletter should have some pizazz or area of interest, so featuring some guest articles written by tenants or staff could be a cool feature for your property management newsletter.  As much as a property management company newsletter should contain important information for tenants, it should also have a feature that is entertaining to keep tenants reading.

4- Announcements: If you have something you want to announce to your clients, a property management newsletter is a great place to do so.  A section of a property management company newsletter should be a feature spot just for announcements.  The newsletter makes for an easy way to send out an announcement.

5- Reminders: Sticking a calendar inside your property management company newsletter could make for a great spot to list reminders for your tenants.  Instead of sticking a post-it note on tenant's door, a newsletter makes for a professional way to give tenants reminders.

Looking for more tips on creating a property management newsletter?  Feel free to leave us a comment below or contact us.