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Archive for June, 2012

Landlords “ Beware of Rental Scams! – By Patricia A. Harris

Posted on 13. Jun, 2012 by .

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I recently received a phone call from one of our members who was questioning if she could withhold money from a deposit that was given to her to hold an apartment.  At the last minute, the tenants backed out of the lease to rent a different apartment.  I asked her to explain the situation to me and as the story unfolded, red flags went up immediately. [...]

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When it Comes to Managing Your Rental Property, There’s No Substitute for Knowledge – By Ted Loewenberg

Posted on 13. Jun, 2012 by .

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When it Comes to Managing Your Rental Property, There’s No Substitute for Knowledge
By Ted Loewenberg

A friend of mine, Betty, rented an illegal unit for 23 years and established a close friendship with the owner, Joanne.  During those many years, Betty spread out her belongings into places that were off limits to her, but Joanne said nothing.  Joanne said she didn’t get to the bank until after the middle of the month so raised no objections when Betty paid her rent after the fifth.  Betty wanted a cat and Joanne agreed.  Before long, Betty had three felines.  And when Betty moved her boyfriend in, Joanne failed to verify his creditworthiness or issue Betty a 6.14 notice.  Even the minimal terms and conditions detailed in her flimsy lease evaporated over the years because Joanne thought she was happy having a friend live there and contribute to her income. [...]

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How to Attract Generation Y Residents for Your Rental Properties – By Justin Allen

Posted on 13. Jun, 2012 by .

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How to Attract Generation Y Residents for Your Rental Properties
By Justin Allen

Believe it or not, there are up to 80 million people between the ages of 16 and 29 who will be filling your vacancies in the year ahead.  They are often called Generation Y, also known as the Echo Boomers.  They are the children of that other gigantic demographic, The Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964).
Born between 1981 and 1995, they’re already having a huge impact on entire segments of the economy.  And as the population ages, they will become the next dominant generation of Americans.  So whether you call them Echo Boomers, Generation Y or Millennials, they already comprise nearly a third of the U.S. population, and currently spend $180 billion a year of their own and their parents’ money.  They are a force to be reckoned with and not to be ignored. [...]

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The Divine Rightsof Carmen Trutanich – By Carol Knapp

Posted on 13. Jun, 2012 by .

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The Divine Rightsof Carmen Trutanich
By Carol Knapp

Apparently Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich¦NUCH* to friends¦feels he has the divine right of kings when it comes to the law.
Property owners have been getting das boot from der city for years with outrageous fees, fines surcharges and criminal liability for tenant destruction,    Kangaroo Court administrative hearings¦and even rent confiscation for missing building permits.  Historically, das boot was reserved for mom and pop housing providers while home owners and renters¦the largest voting blocs…were exempt.  However, I am happy to announce that the joy of das boot will be shared with the homeowners, too.  How?  Listen up: [...]

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Life Without Proposition 13 – By Jon Coupal

Posted on 13. Jun, 2012 by .

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Life Without Proposition 13
By Jon Coupal

In Sacramento, where the political class feels they can never get enough money from taxpayers, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has held another hearing on the evil Proposition 13, focusing on property tax protections for commercial property. But the intent is clear, as has been pointed out by taxpayer and small business advocate Joel Fox, the real target is all of Proposition 13. Ammiano’s star witness, economist Christopher Thornberg has been quoted as saying, I can’t think of one reason in the world that Prop. 13 should exist. And Ammiano, himself, has said about Proposition 13, If it takes an incremental approach, so be it ¦ my tendency is to want to nuke it. [...]

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Buy a House! – By Addison Wiggin and Samantha Buker

Posted on 13. Jun, 2012 by .

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Buy a House!
By Addison Wiggin and Samantha Buker

A little more than a year ago, a very successful professional investor declared, If you don’t own a home, buy one. If you own one home, buy another one, and if you own two homes, buy a third and lend your relatives the money to buy a home.
Since that declaration, house prices have continued drifting lower in most parts of the country. The Case-Shiller index of national home prices is down about 4% year over year. Even so, we’re betting this professional investor was merely early¦not wrong. US housing isn’t just cheap; it is the cheapest it has been in more than 40 years. And when one considers the possibility that inflation may rear its head soon, housing looks even cheaper still. [...]

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Vacancies: Time to Change Your Marketing Plan? – By Drew DeMasters

Posted on 13. Jun, 2012 by .

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Vacancies:  Time to Change Your Marketing Plan?
By Drew DeMasters

Have you have ever had too many qualified applicants for your rental properties?  So many you had to turn them away and even stop advertising?  I mean what a happy problem, right?  A landlord’s dream.
If this has ever happened to you, you probably wish for the good ol’ days to return.  More often, we have apartments or homes available and few good applicants in sight.  So our properties sit empty.  Week after week.  Month after month.

STEP 1 “ Put a For Rent sign on the building
STEP 2 “ Run an ad in the newspaper
STEP 3 “ Another ad in the local apartment guide
STEP 4 “ Offer 1st Month FREE

Is this your marketing plan?  Wonder why what used to work doesn’t anymore?  Why does it take longer to fill vacancies?  One word: change.  What do the economy, the weather, your competitors and consumer behavior all have in common?  Constant change.  ‘s a situation hardly unique to landlords and property managers.
Think of a different industry.  Think of Ford Motor Company.  Ford saw huge sales declines in the past few years.  At the brink of bankruptcy in 2008, what they had been doing clearly wasn’t working anymore.  Why?  Consumer demand shifted away from the models that Ford produced.  The company had largely stopped meeting the needs of its customers.   When a business loses its way and sales falter, it can often be traced back to losing sight of the customer.  Ford’s new CEO, Alan Mulally responded by cutting unprofitable models from their lineup and redesigning some of their most popular models.  And Ford is back in a big way with record sales growth and increasing market share.

But what about a recession like the one we’re climbing out of now?  There too.  Change demands that we respond to consumer needs differently.  Abandon what doesn’t work.  Explore and adapt new strategies to restore what’s been lost.  So what does this mean for us landlords?  Three things. Don’t be surprised.  In fact, anticipate it.  Relationships evolve, including those with your residents.  Needs change.  Remember the Boy Scout motto: Be prepared.

Communicate With Your Residents
Find out where they are spending their time.  Maybe you know where they work.  What about where they like to hang out or relax?  You need to be there, reaching others with a strong, relevant offer.  People are spending more and more time online.  Think how you can turn that into an opportunity.

¢    Try advertising your properties on Craigslist.
¢    Try a Google Adwords campaign.
¢    Put together some helpful tips or a checklist for prospective residents to use in their apartment search.
¢    Keep an eye out for garage sales.  They can sometimes be an early indicator that the residents are thinking of moving.  What if you could be first-to-market and schedule a tour with them for one of your properties?
¢    Put on an Open House to showcase your available property and invite the neighbors and your other residents over.  Word-of-mouth can build from there.

Provide Value
Get your name out into where your market is.  Don’t think of it as branding.  Think of it as solving problems.  Meeting needs.  That’s how you start to make a connection and attract new residents.

Discover your Unique Selling Proposition
What sets you apart from the many other apartments, houses and condos in your market?  Armed with a host of resources available online, today’s renter is in control like never before.  Play to that.  Put yourself in their shoes.  Think back to when you were younger, before kids, looking after work and on weekends to rent your first, or second, or third place.  Have it in your mind?  THAT is your customer.  Now go get ˜em.

Drew DeMasters is a landlord, author and award-winning marketing strategist with nearly two decades in the rental business.  Download your FREE report ’30 Ways to Fill Vacancies FAST’ at www.landlordmarketingsecrets.com. His book is also available in e-book format on the Kindle, iPad and Nook.  Winner of a 2009 Echo Award from the Direct Marketing Association, DeMasters holds an MBA in Marketing from the University of Missouri “ Kansas City.  He can be reached at ddemasters@landlordmarketingsecrets.com.

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Why Many Apartment Markets Have More Good Years Ahead – By Patrick Simons

Posted on 13. Jun, 2012 by .

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Why Many Apartment Markets Have
More Good Years Ahead
By Patrick Simons

Is a glut of new apartments inevitable?  Should you be worried about all the proposed projects you’re hearing about?  Are we seeing signs of irrational exuberance in the rental housing industry?
We do a lot of forecasting for clients based on detailed supply-demand analysis.  Sometimes, our forecast for a particular submarket raises a caution flag for a client.  Sometimes, our forecast comes in just about where a client expected.  But oftentimes, recently, our clients have been pleasantly surprised with forecasts projecting better stability and growth in a particular submarket than they had anticipated.
These better-than-expected forecasts are primarily due to two factors: [...]

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MRLANDLORD.COM Tips on Management: 19 Top Tips When Buying Property That You Plan to Hold and Rent

Posted on 13. Jun, 2012 by .

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MRLANDLORD.COM Tips on Management
19 Top Tips When Buying Property That You Plan to Hold and Rent

1) Buy what RENTS!  A great buy in the wrong part of town is NOT a great buy!

2) LOCATION!  The prettiest rental in the wrong neighborhood will never have as much potential as the ugliest house in the right neighborhood.

3) ALL profit is decided at purchase.  Pay too much and the rent or resale will not be profitable.  Pay way under market and you can reduce rents if needed.  [...]

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Benefits of Transferring Your Rental Property to a Living Trust – By, Michael K. Elson, Attorney

Posted on 13. Jun, 2012 by .

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Benefits of Transferring Your Rental Property to a Living Trust
By, Michael K. Elson, Attorney

There are many significant benefits to transferring your rental property and other assets to a living trust.  The obvious benefits are that you will select the executor, or rather successor trustee, of your estate, and you will decide who the beneficiaries are and exactly what assets they will receive.  However, there are many other important consequences to consider. [...]

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