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 … (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 … (15 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 … (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 … (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 … (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)

property management: Subleasing Nightmare & Neighbor Wars - 02/19/14 12:24 PM
Just down the road from my home, a subleasing debacle is underway.  
The Story  
Long-time local family owns a local business that flourishes due to community support.  They also happen to own extensive acreage of pristine farm land that borders two valley river basins .  The land-owners are not farmers but see the value of the land they own and decide to lease it out to a local farmer.  Within 24-hours of a facebook post, a neighborly war breaks out.  So what's the uproar all about?
Appearantly the Lessee (the farmer) told the Lessor (the land owner) that he … (0 comments)

property management: Relationships 1.. 2.. 3... - 02/03/14 05:24 PM
I watched this artsy video today and I wanted to share it with y'all as it's such a clear and simple message about how to foster the relationships we all seek and depend on to be happy.   Without relationships, we are mere commodities to be used and discarded, and who likes that?  
Wishing you all successful relationships, on and off the clock!

 
Janell K. is a member of Rentec Direct, a web-based property management software solution, offering tools to Landlords and professional Property Managers, including tenant screening. 
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property management: Contractor Disasters - 01/29/14 11:07 AM
I just got off the phone with a property manager who uses our property management software and she was fit to be tied over a contractor she was working with on a house she manages. I could feel the heat of her anger through the phone! Appearantly the contractor she hired started a roof tear-off (cause it was showing signs of leaking) and then got pulled to another job.  Oh, and the roof was off.  Oh, and it's winter.  Yikes!!!
These photos were taken from a beach-house my husband "patched" up."  He basically had to rebuild the home from the foundation … (1 comments)

property management: Criminal Background - 01/20/14 03:58 PM

I spend a good portion of my workday talking to customers about the importance of tenant screening and helping them to establish easy access to credit reports and public records & criminal background reports on prospective tenants.  While it's only one small part of a Landlord or Property Manager's tasks, it's a crucial one.
Most people I come in contact with are in agreement that obtaining a credit score on somone can offer you a fair glimpse into the likelihood that they will pay their rent on time.  However, there are always a couple folks each week that tell me … (4 comments)

property management: Use A Psychic For Background Checks? - 11/14/13 10:58 AM
Considering renting your home to someone and want to be sure the person you're renting to will be a solid, dependable tenant?  Instead of using a reliable tenant screening service that can offer you an indepth look at credit, criminal and eviction history, why not hire a psychic? A palm-reader?  Or maybe a tarrot card reader?  And then take it a bit further and hire that psychic to manage your property so they can predict when things are going to go wrong.  With trained professionals in property management available to hire, this seems like a far better solution.  Right?!?!

I just … (3 comments)

property management: Wordless - 09/17/13 02:24 PM
I've given myself a challenge for the next 30 days and that is to only share with others things that speak of happiness and joy.  My thinking is that there is enough apathy, sarcasm, critisism, sadness, fear, anger and judgement in the world and I'd rather work to counter it.  There's plenty of discussion about how once you put something on the internet, it's there forever, so you should be careful.  I believe the same applies to the things you put out into the world.  
A friend shared this with me and its ripple was delightful.  Enjoy and pass it … (17 comments)

property management: Renter Russian Roulette - 09/03/13 04:19 PM
While visiting my old home-town and a friend of mine this summer, we started yacking about her rental units, the housing market, and how things have changed over the past 10 years.  Through our casual conversation I find out that she stopped doing any tenant screening on her applicants because “everyone has terrible credit nowadays, so what’s the point?!?”   She adds in “if they can pay the 1st month’s rent and deposit, I move ‘em in.”   
 
Because she’s a friend, and not a customer of our property management software, I said “Well, I don’t know, maybe the point is … (7 comments)