Monthly Archives: August 2013

Property Management Gem: Use technology to simplify things

Signing a CheckOnce renters have use your website as a tool in their Chico rental search, do they continue to use it as a tenant?

Maximize your Website
Embracing technology in your rental makes you more accessible to tenants. Instead of making a trip down to the office or having to wait on the phone, renters can use your website to submit requests and stay updated on repairs to the property.

You may has a website, but how often is it being used? Make your website a resource renters will use to stay updated. Everything you send renters in the mailbox, via e-mail, or post in your elevator should all be accessible on your site. Have a portion of your site be dedicated to your tenants so they’ll be informed about all the updates in your building. This can include the maintenance calendar, online versions of your newsletter, a running Twitter stream, or a comments box where tenants can submit questions or concerns. Don’t forget to post your contact information and in-office hours as well so renters can get a hold of you. Our tenants love to text, so we encourage them to text us. Many are in class, or at work, where a voice call isn’t as easy.

Making your rental tools available online can help you run your property more efficiently, turning maintenance requests and rent payments into one-stop shop where tenants can take care of everything apartment-related.

Give Tenants the Option of Paying Rent Online
Encourage on-time payments with different payment methods. Many qualified renters are busy and overloaded. Offering an online rent payment system that’s fast, convenient and secure also means you don’t need to knock on doors each month for rent. Busy tenants won’t suffer from last minute late fees with online payments. We offer credit card, automatic eft, over the phone check payment and good old fashion check, however we discourage it.

Chico renters rely on smartphones and the internet these days, make it possible for them to submit maintenance concerns at their convenience. Give renters a peace of mind by letting them know the online payment option is safe – they’re submitting financial information, so their account safety should be a priority and safe from any scams. Set up a form on your website with secure log-in accounts where your residents can submit payments. There are lots of companies, such as PayYourRent, RentPayment, or RentMatic that will work with you to set up an e-payment
system. Do your shopping with a few different rent payment services and see what works best for your tenants.

Use Social Media
Continue to grow relationships with renters through interacting with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. A social media presence will establish credibility and reputation, as well as help renters get a feel for you before they decide to apply. Renters probably already have accounts on social media, so it’ll make yourself more accessible and convenient keep up with. Update your accounts consistently and use them to engage with your residents and community. Encourage renters to follow you on Facebook or Twitter to receive updates or reminders on when rent is due, upcoming maintenance, or events in your building.

Have other questions? Give us a call we are always happy to help with Chico property management questions.

Property Management Gem: Streamline the Rental Process

For-RentApartment and rental house searching in Chico is a pain for most renters because it costs time, effort, and does not always produce concrete results. Understand this and make it your mission to simplify the process and close the deal faster so renters can get back to doing other things.

Know Where Renters’ Priorities Are
Renters are looking at so many listings during their search, yours can easily blend in be quickly forgotten. Finding out what renters’ priorities are during their apartment search will give you a priority when you’re writing titles and descriptions for your vacancies. Studies show that renters are most concerned about the quality of the building and location when looking for their next home. Amenities and rent rank lower on the list, so renters are willing to pay for a nice apartment, good commute, and great service, even if your asking rents are higher.

Funnel in the Most Qualified Listings
Vague listings mean you’ll have to work harder to zone in on the most qualified leads. Make this easier on yourself by publishing detailed listings. Include photos of the exterior and common areas, and a diagram of the unit’s layout. We found that when renters look at a rental property, they’re most concerned about the amount of space and layout. Give them the information they want to see so your inbox won’t be cluttered with indecisive renters asking for more information.

Use Technology to Close the Deal
Renters are using the internet and their smartphones to find your business and browse listings. Once they’re ready to sign their lease and take care of the paperwork, is your system fast and easy to use? Paper rental documents take up time and resources. Quit spending time managing your documents and wasting storage space by using online applications. You’ll be able to speed up the application process, save time, reduce the wait process, and track your renters’ progress. We found that most renters prefer to fill out applications online when they apply for their apartment. With a digital leasing program, you’ll be able to spend less time managing paperwork and more time focusing on taking care of your renters.

Be Reachable
Once your listing has caught a renter’s 
eye, make sure it’s easy for them to respond. Have different ways renters can contact you, such as e-mail, lead forms, a phone number, or an address where they can visit the rental property. Make sure your contact information is posted clearly on each page of your website and in each listing so renters can reach out to you immediately to let you know they’re interested. In the renters we surveyed, most prefer to express interest in a rental property by management. Having the trust and respect of your residents means lower turnover and more cooperative tenants.

In short, meeting tenants where they are with technology, property search and more is what will set you up for maximum success. Looking for help with Chico property management?

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Property Management Gem: Tenants Want a Relationship With You

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Don’t be the person your renters recognize because you come around once a month to collect rent. Even if there aren’t any problems in your building to take care of, let renters know that you’re there for them. Send them birthday cards, newsletters, or hold events in your rental community.

Part of being a great property management team is being there and interacting with your tenants, even when they don’t need you. Hold events. 77 percent of renters we surveyed would like the property management company to host events to strengthen the residential community. Whether it’s a barbecue in the common area, movie night, or pool party, organizing and hosting events shows tenants you care about their well-being and happiness. It puts you in a casual setting where you can meet your residents, chat informally, and get to know them. Throwing apartment events not only makes your community a fun place to live, but allows you to build a good relationship with your tenants so they’ll see you as someone they can approach when there’s a problem in their unit.

Establish a sense of community with a newsletter
You don’t need to be knocking on doors to let renters know you’re
there. Put together a short newsletter each month with events, maintenance updates, seasonal property care tips, and contact information. Make it fun by including fun facts about the members of your PM team, or highlighting a tenant or one of their pets. Include your social media handles as well so residents can get updates online.

It a simple concept, but harder to implement than you may think. Looking for professional property management help in Chico?

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How Much Do and Should You Value Happy Tenants?

happy tenantsTenant retention is one of the most cost-effective strategies Chico property managers and rental property owners can implement. Think about it: a good tenant is your unofficial business partner. As long as they’re satisfied with the unit and property, you will benefit from uninterrupted rent payments.

Alternatively, tenant turnover is costly. Recruiting new occupants involves spending money on marketing while losing money on a vacant unit. The profit you lose during the turnover period could be altogether avoided if you focus on retention. By maintaining your property and fostering tenant satisfaction, residents are encouraged to remain in the unit, giving you steady cash flow and maximized profits.

Obstacles to managing a property are expenses largely beyond your control: property maintenance, utilities, property taxes, mortgage payments, insurance, and HOA fees. When modest rent increases are not leaving you with enough profit after paying these bills, an effective way to improve your property’s financial performance is to reduce tenant churn, or the cost of turnover.

By looking at the economics behind tenant retention and applying strategies to reduce turnover you can have a positive impact on your profits, operating budget, and long-term success as a Chico rental property owner.

Tenant Retention: Why Does it Matter?
At the moment, all your units are full (they should be right?). You’re done with your job until you receive a work order for repairs or a tenant moves out, right? Wrong. It’s great to revel in the great feeling of having 100% occupancy, but your job doesn’t end there – now your goal is to convince tenants to stay in your units.

Save time and money. Encouraging residents to stay with you is worth your time because each occupied unit is equal to one less listing to market on Craigslist, a steady stream of rent payments to your account, and so on. The cost and effort that goes into filling a vacancy adds up!
Stop losing money and operate with an optimal budget by retaining tenants. You’ll spend less money and time on marketing and turnover maintenance, which translates to reduced costs and increased income.

Focus on great service. Over 60% of resident turnover is controllable, with staff (or in this case you!) performance the largest determining factor in why a tenant moves out. To reach your tenant retention goal, your residents need to be satisfied with their current living situation. As a Chico property owner, there’s a lot you can do to leverage your service for better retention and occupancy rates. It’s important to be up-to-date on your tenants’ perceptions and concerns. Know where their priorities lie and respond to them with top-notch customer service, since your financial situation depends on their satisfaction.

Retention means greater profit. Studies have shown that on average, a retained resident is worth almost $900 each year on top of rent payments. Each time a resident moves out, a unit is vacant for an average of 1.5 months. If the tenant retains their lease, the property saves $1,350 as well as the additional costs that would go to marketing the
vacancy.

In order to implement a better tenant retention strategy, it’s important to know exactly how much a tenant is worth to your business. This may seem like a daunting task, but in actuality, you already have all the information you need at your fingertips (in your financial records). Read on — we’ll show you how to look at your numbers, and how reducing resident churn will help you put your

balance in the green. Check back for more on this.

Need help? We love Chico Property Management and do it well.