Now that’s a title that should make all property managers very curious. Actually it’s the title of a webinar that was offered on Thursday May 9, 2013 and can be listened to at this link. These free webinars and podcasts should be a regular part of a property managers’ month. Searching for the tried-and-true practices of experienced property managers who know how to operate a successful business can save you a fortune in unnecessary mistakes, time and financial losses. Please read that sentence again and reconsider how important it is to invest time learning these secrets.
Having been a real estate investor and property manager myself, I know that we reach a point in our careers where it’s easy to become complacent and rest on our laurels. You know the old saying, “Just when you think you’ve figured it all out you set yourself up for a rude awakening.” Put another way, it’s the trap you don’t see that bites you, not the ones you’re used to looking for and dealing with. One mistake, one oversight of a local ordinance change or some other obscure regulation, can set you back for months. That’s why I also encourage property managers to keep up on the laws.
The battle cry of the summer swim season will soon be heard across the nation as recreation center and apartment community swimming pools begin to open their diving boards to the public and apartment residents over the Memorial Day weekend. Whether you’re a dedicated lap swimmer, a casual sunbather, or a parent looking for something to occupy your kids, chances are you’ll be spending a lot of time poolside over the next few months
But lurking within the clear and pristine waters of these epicenters of summer fun are hidden dangers that could make your residents sick.
National Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week
The week before Memorial Day marks the ninth annual National Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Prevention Week. Recreational water illnesses (RWIs) are caused by germs spread by swallowing, breathing in mists or aerosols of, or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools or hot tubs/spas. The theme for RWII Prevention Week 2013 is How We Swimmers Contaminate Pools, and for good reason as public health officials have been getting increasingly concerned over the public’s lackadaisical attitude towards personal hygiene and pools.
Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors: Broward County Single-Family Home Days on Market Dropped 34% during Past Year While Median Sales Price Increased 26%
The median price of an existing single-family home in Broward County rose 26.3 percent to $242,500 in March from $192,000 in March 2012 while there continues to be rising demand for housing, as indicated by the 34.8 percent decline in the number of days on market for single-family homes, according to statistics released today by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors® (GFLR), the largest professional Broward-based association of licensed real estate brokers and sales associates. The number of closed single-family home (SFH) sales increased 2 percent to 1,199 in March from 1,175 a year ago.
The median sales price of existing townhouse-condo increased year-over-year by 27.3 percent to $95,000 in March, up from $75,000 in March 2012.
“There continues to be a trend in the rising median home prices supported by growing demand for both single-family homes, condominiums and townhouses that are supported by declining housing inventory and fewer listings,” said Charles Bonfiglio, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors®. “With the summer home buying season approaching, homebuyers can expect to see higher listing prices compared to last year, and less time on market for more desirable homes.”
The inventory (active listings) of existing SFHs for sale in Broward County declined 24.5 percent to 4,226, compared to 5,595 in March 2012. The inventory of existing townhouses and condominiums for sale in Broward County decreased 8.9 percent to 6,089 listings from 6,687 listings in March 2012.
New SFH for-sale listings decreased 5.3 percent to 1,948 SFHs compared to 2,056 listings in March 2012. New townhouse-condo listings decreased 4.5 percent to 2,317 SFHs compared to 2,427 listings in March 2012.
The number of months supply of existing SFH inventory for sale – an indication of the absorption rate based on home sale volume – was 3.5 months for SFHs in March, compared to a 5.2 months supply of inventory in March 2012, a decline of 31.8 percent. Condominium and townhouse inventory declined 10.7 percent to 4.4 months from five months in March 2012.
The ratio of the original list price to the actual sales price increased 5.1 percent year-over-year, with sellers receiving 95.6 percent of their asking price for existing SFHs in March, compared to 91.0 percent in March 2012. Owners of townhouse-condominiums received 93.7 percent of their asking price in March, up 2.7 percent from a year ago.
New pending sales, which are single-family homes, townhouses and condominiums under contract but have not yet closed, were down 4.0 percent in March to 1,897 SFHs from 1,977 in March 2012. Townhouse-condominiums pending sales declined 6.8 percent in March to 2,178, compared to 2,337 in March 2012.
Closed short sales for SFHs were down 7.5 percent in March to 272, compared to 294 a year ago. The median sales price of a short sale SFH in March was $173,000, compared to $143,750 a year ago, an increase of 20.3 percent. Closed foreclosure sales dropped 41.4 percent to 139 in March, compared to 237 in March 2012. The median sales price of SFH foreclosures increased 5 percent to $136,500 in March, compared to $130,000 a year ago.
Closed short sales for townhouses and condos were down 24.9 percent in March to 226, compared to 301 closed short sales a year ago. The median sales price of a short sale of townhomes and condos in March was $81,000, compared to $73,300 a year ago, an increase of 10.5 percent. Closed foreclosure sales dropped 20.5 percent to 237 in March, compared to 298 in March 2012, with the median price increasing 13.2 percent to $75,000 from a year ago.
Source: Greater Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Association
What’s the best way to generate ancillary income at a multifamily community? The tried-and-true methods come to mind, such as telecommunications and submetering. But the buck doesn’t stop there.
“Some of the more traditional avenues [to generate income] include: application fees, late fees, one-time pet fees, monthly pet fees and non-refundable move-in fees,” says Mike Brewer, vice president of operations at M Brewer Group.
“I think the chief reason why these are effective is that they are largely universal across the nation with both small and large operators,” adds Brewer. “The amounts may vary, but the practice of charging is commonplace in the eyes of the renter.”
Scott Rawley, national account manager at Multifamily Ancillary Group, agrees that property managers should look beyond the basics. “When most people in the multifamily industry think about ancillary income, they really only consider the site-generated items,” he says. “These types of services work because they are measurable and able to be tracked. That being said, a successful program is not one that just gathers the most dollars. A part of a truly good ancillary services program should also be cost reduction.”
Sometimes the owners of rental properties are too trusting for their own good. You, as the property manager, undoubtedly know what I’m referring to. But that’s why the owner hires you to begin with. They don’t want to have to deal directly with the resident-tenant, right?
For this article I wanted to share a true story that demonstrates why it’s imperative to protect your clients from situations where the resident says something like, “We don’t need it in writing. I have great references and my word is as good as any document.”
In this story it was the Property Manager’s idea that in special circumstances an arrangement between an owner and a tenant was a workable idea. Arrangements and special circumstances are the issue in the following story, which I think you’ll agree sounds more like a nightmare.
“My father’s property manager presented him with a tenant who was willing to make repairs on a property in exchange for a reduction in rent for a period of 12 months. This wasn’t my father’s first experience with such an arrangement and he knew this was a risky venture however the Property Manager assured him that this was a good deal and that the tenant had done work for him in the past and he felt confident that [the] tenant was able to meet Dad’s requirement’s. Dad agreed to this arrangement based on the manager’s recommendation. My Father agreed to pay for all materials necessary to clean, paint, and to make some cosmetic repairs to the home and the tenant agreed to provide all the labor in exchange for the discount. I’m sure you can already guess what happened but I’ll fill you in anyway. The tenant proceeded to gut the house, removing everything he felt needed to be replaced. I was able to stop him before he yanked out all the kitchen cabinets. When I went into the house I saw that he had taken out chunks of drywall so he could search for mold. I later found out that the property manager had given back the funds (first month’s rent and deposit) so the tenant could purchase supplies as well as paying for labor of two people he had hired to do some of the cleanup work. After three weeks of waiting for work to be completed I decided to have a discussion this with the property manager, which didn’t go well. [The manager said] ‘Either we go through with the deal or he would quit. My dad decided to stop the madness … so the Property Manager quit. He did, however, agree to pay for replacing all the drywall, a small token compared to the condition [of] the house now. He also left us dealing with the tenant who wants to continue with the arrangement or he wants his deposit and rent back. Oh and to make matters worse, there’s nothing in writing about the arrangement other than the standard lease agreement.”
Read more: http://www.propertymanager.com/2013/03/in-writing-and-in-the-lease/