property management: If I Could Save Time In A Bottle.... - 04/01/15 12:32 PM
The first thing that I'd like to do is...
 
???
 
We all know that ol' Jim Croce song and let's face it, we all wish we had more time.  More time to be with those we love, more time to get more work done, more time to take more adventures. Time is a gift!!  And in the business of helping people, if there was something you could do to help create more time for your clients, wouldn't you want to?  Is there really such a gift as more time?
I believe the answer is a big YES!  This week … (1 comments)

property management: Can A City Seize A Homeowner's Property? - 03/17/15 12:42 PM

A Seattle, Washington, landlord was in the news again for his "slumlording" but this time it appears the city has had enough of his negligent Land- Lording with public health and safety violations and is set to seize a portion of his rental portfolio, bulldoze the houses and turn it into a city park.  
The landlord owes the city $3.3 million in legal judgments, fines and interest related to housing-code violations.  I can't help but wonder why they are in the rental business if they obviously don't like the job and now are going to lose their investment? 
I work with … (1 comments)

property management: Quick-Fix For Carpet Stains - 03/04/15 11:17 AM
Let's face it, dirty carpet is not attractive and replacing carpeting can be cost prohibitive.  What if your carpet cleaning vendor isn't available when you need him?  
I am the queen of "ooopsy!" when it comes to walking, talking and carrying a beverage.  That could be why I might actually also be an expert on how to get spills and spots out of carpet.  I owe a lot of credit for this skill-set to my days of property management.  Tenants + Carpet = Stains.  But Stains + Budget ╪ Carpet Replacement and from there was born the need to find creative ways … (3 comments)

property management: Color Psychology In The Home - 02/17/15 10:26 AM

 
 
 
 
Have you ever walked into a home or business and said to yourself "E-GADS!"  or "Ho-Hummm."  While hot pink walls will throw my senses for a loop and probably make me want to leave sooner than later, classic white with beige furniture makes me feel sad for the occupants.   Sad because how on earth can you get inspired to do anything but fall asleep in a room void of color?!  I know, it's safe.  Safe feels, well, safe.   In the business of selling, we want a call to action, not a call to run or fall … (3 comments)

property management: I'm Not Prejudice, But.... - 02/09/15 12:37 PM
It no longer surprises me when I hear this.  I still cringe inside - because it's usually followed with some horrible story attached to a particular ethnicity, religion or various orientation - but I am not surprised.   People discriminate every day.  We all recognize differences between one thing and another.  That's a skill we developed as we grew from a babbling babe. Back then, the skill was useful for "this dog is friendly and won't bite my face off like this one."  As an adult, you've moved beyond those basic discriminating skills and use the tool for forming judgments or sensible conclusions.
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property management: Video Release Party! - 01/20/15 02:11 PM
With the New Year, we decided to roll out a new Rentec Direct company logo and begin refreshing our customer video library.  I was reticent at first to the logo change, fearing it would hurt our brand recognition, however we've found no negative effects and to the contrary, are enjoying new SEO perks that come with new online material.  More exposure =  reaching more potential customers!  Today I'm excited to have completed a fresh Product Overview video and I'm ready for a party (to celebrate not hearing my voice replay over and over through edits)!!

Next up?  Training videos for our customers! … (2 comments)

property management: Meeeooooww-velous! Those Arsty-Fartsy Types! - 01/19/15 11:22 AM
It's Monday. The weather is a bit gloomy here in Grants Pass, Oregon, home of Rentec Direct.  The coffee pot is empty and I'm hungry and it's not yet lunchtime.  Oh, first world problems... :)
Luckily, I found a great little gem online that brightened-up and kick-started my day.  Nothing makes me happier than seeing people follow their bliss and daily labors of love.   In this case, a man with Aspergers who has a serious love of cats, has transformed his home to satisfy both his talents and love of furry roommates.

While he has gone and ruined his … (0 comments)

property management: Thank You For Calling, But Stop Calling - 12/10/14 11:25 AM
I'm taken back.
I just left a message for someone who had an office voice mail greeting that said...
"Thank you for calling.  Please leave a message. And don't call back 7 times in a row and leave a message as it will not get us to call you back any quicker. And don't give your rent payment to Henry, Jose or anyone else.  No one is going to come pick it up for you. You have to bring it to our office or you're late."
That was for real.  Someone is frustrated, for sure and most likely chasing his tail to keep up with … (5 comments)

property management: 2B or NOT2B... a landord? - 12/02/14 02:37 PM
Last week over the holidays, old friends came to visit and while indulging in endless turkey and pumpkin pie, I asked how things were going with their rentals.  They rolled their eyes and said "Just terrible!"  Things haven't changed much for them.  Deadbeats trashing their houses, evictions, unauthorized tenants living in the house, possible meth-cooking and failure to pay.  They even had one tenant last month who threatened them and they had to have the sheriff assist in the lock-out after the eviction as they feared for their safety.   I didn't roll my eyes back... on the outside, that is. … (4 comments)

property management: The Love Boat Or The Titanic? A Tenant Love Affair - 11/13/14 10:19 AM
New love is like Springtime - everything fresh and promising.  Birds Singing, sun warming your skin, grass greening.  As flowers are blooming, no one wants to think of winter, right?  Yet as any good gardener knows, you should always be planning for the change of season.  And that holds true for the world of property management.  An ounce of prevention... or a little Tenant Screening... can save you headaches and heartbreak down the road.
I have a friend of a friend- let's call her Ophelia - who moved into a beautiful rental home last year with a couple she met.  They hit … (17 comments)

property management: Legal Marijuana In Oregon Rental Homes - 11/05/14 11:19 AM
There's a lot abuzz here in Oregon today after our state became the third in the country to legalize recreational cannabis use and sales. (Alaska looks to be fourth in line and D.C. has just legalized personal growing and use.) 
While scanning the internet this morning, there were images of people smoking cigar-sized joints on the sidewalks in celebration of the 56% YES vote.  Cigar-sized...
After the smoke settles today (ba-da-bum-bum) Landlords and Property Managers and real estate professionals will no doubt need to re-think how they plan to handle their rules and regulations & selling guidelines on their properties as it relates to … (5 comments)

property management: Overlooking Dangerous Chemical Contamination? - 10/15/14 10:16 AM

 After reading this week about a bizarre hazardous waste discovery in an Idaho apartment complex, I got to thinking about the various dangerous activities that can get overlooked in Property Management, leaving tenants, neighbors and homeowners at risk.  While most illegal and dangerous behaviors by tenants are purposely done discretely, being observant and inquisitive is a property manager's best defense.
The article in the Idaho Press Tribune reported " Low-level radioactive material is being cleaned from a Boise apartment, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is investigating why the two people who lived there had it...two occupants for unknown reasons were trying to separate … (0 comments)

property management: What Does Hawaii, Maine, Oregon & Texas Have In Common? - 10/03/14 12:13 PM
Actually, you'll want to throw Montana and New Hampshire in the mix as well when making your guess. 
So, the answer is that the residents of these states came out on top in a recent Gallup poll of "least likely to relocate to another state."  Yep, if they would have asked me, I would have concurred.  Oregonian, through and through.  How does your state and your personal opinion fit into this?  And what about your customer base?  Are you at risk for a mass exodus in your properties? What factors do you feel play into this for your location?

 
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property management: Feelin' HOT! HOT! HOT!! - 07/01/14 04:13 PM

It's a hot one here in sunny Southern Oregon, home of Rentec Direct, and with the 4th of July holiday upon us, we wanted to remind everyone to be careful out there in the heat!  
Last year on the 4th, my young daughter got heat stroke and was violently ill, and had we been more aware of the signs of heat stroke, we could have saved her two miserable days. We were lucky, however, as many people die each year from avoidable heat stroke.  In our circumstance, we were all out for a hike in the mid-day heat, but … (3 comments)

property management: Spite Houses & Love Lost - 06/23/14 05:02 PM
Monday at Rentec Direct has been a pretty smooth ride and it tends to be that way this time of the month as most landlords and Property Managers are in the small lull before End-of and First-of the month activities kick in, so I had a bit of a "coffee break" today at my desk...
While checking out some interesting websites about homes, I came across an article about "Spite Houses", a term I had never heard of and was thoroughly entertained by the snarky term given to houses owned by obsessed and irritated land owners.  
"A spite house is a building constructed or … (6 comments)

property management: Why Have A Wear & Tear Policy? - 06/09/14 12:33 PM
Whether you manage 10 or 1,000 units, how you handle turnover costs will predict in part the financial success or pains of your property management business.  

When I first started managing rental properties, our lease agreement had a generalized clause for damage liability.  It was pretty straightforward - if you break it, you buy it. However, after a slew of turnovers one month, I realized that these costs - mainly carpet & window blind cleaning, painting and house cleaning -  were destroying our bottom line. We decided we needed to be more aggressive on charging tenants for these costs
After one particularly … (1 comments)

property management: Turn-Over Costs Breaking The Bank - 06/05/14 11:10 AM

Sure, we all know that having to re-hab a trashed rental home can be very expensive and hopefully you're collecting sufficient security deposits and doing what you can through tenant screening to avoid the notorious tenants who repeatedly destroy rental homes (HINT: never skip running credit, criminal, eviction & rental history verification and if you need a new resource, check in with our team at Rentec Direct.)
But say you have done your home-work and you have good tenants living in your rental.  Do you realize you are still at financial risk?  Turnover costs - no matter when they occur - … (2 comments)

property management: Property Management & Professional Boundaries - 06/03/14 12:28 PM
As I was sitting around the outdoor farm table last night - with empty dinner plates and glasses of wine half drunk  - it occurred to me that I might have skirted my professional rule of "don't mix business with pleasure."  Well, it's someone else's rule, but one that sits in the back of my mind, like a little mosquito, buzzzzing annoyingly, while I wait for it to land and take a little of my blood.  
In my scenario, after a few months of getting to know our farm-intern who resides on our property, I realized that we have moved … (2 comments)

property management: Housing Discrimination- How Is This Still Happening? - 05/19/14 02:09 PM
Unfortunately, I realize that there will always be people who are hateful. And I suppose the housing industry offers no exception to this reality.  However, all vile comments against the hater aside, this hate is illegal.  After almost 50 years since the Fair Housing act was written into our civil rights at the urging of President Johnson, you would have thought all Landlords and property managers across the county would have gotten the message that discrimination in housing opportunities is not only illegal, it's risky business.  Being a bigot and mean person on the inside is vile, but an active mean bigot in … (0 comments)

property management: Helping Your Customers Help Themselves - 05/07/14 01:27 PM
Because Rentec Direct offers strictly web-based software, customers do not meet our support staff face-to-face, unlike many professionals in the housing business.  At Rentec Direct, we have to connect with our customer either on the phone, through email or on the web.  Most housing experts get the chance to look their customers in the eye and begin to forge trust. Think of how many people, though, are sitting in their PJ's at night, surfing the net, dying to find their dream home or the person who is going to guide them to that front door?  They are making many decisions about … (0 comments)