How Community Involvement Pays Off Big for Property Managers

Giving back to the community is something we’d all like to do more of. But with busy schedules and so little free time, it can be hard to volunteer in the ways we might want. Giving back to the community shouldn’t be limited to just volunteering your time, though. It might sound counterintuitive, but donating your money could pay dividends. How? Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management recommends rolling up your sleeves and getting to know your community.
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or property managers looking to get involved, community involvement can be a great form of philanthropy and also a potentially great way to market yourself. Consider the businesses who sponsor Little League baseball teams. Their company name and logo are often displayed on the back of every jersey at every game the team plays. That’s an invaluable marketing opportunity.
Of course, the “soft” benefits of community involvement shouldn’t be discounted, either. Giving back to your community can make you feel more connected and involved! If you want to play a more active role in a baseball team sponsorship, consider hosting an end-of-year barbecue or pool party. Put faces to names, get to know parents — you never know who they might refer to check out your property!
– Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Mold Prevention Tips to Share with Your Tenants

It’s summertime, and humidity is creeping in. No matter the season, though, you and your tenants should stay alert to the potential for mold to creep in along with that humidity. Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management recommends sharing these tips with your tenants this summer and beyond!
Dry wet areas
 
Mold grows where moisture is present, so do your part to clean up wet areas when they occur. A leaky pipe or flooded basement can quickly grow moldy, but so can wet laundry and used towels. Clean up after your shower and move your laundry when it’s done being washed!
Monitor humidity indoors
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends keeping your home between 30 and 60 percent humidity. This is a comfortable level and one that prevents mold from growing. So how do you monitor your humidity indoors? You can purchase a moisture monitor at your local hardware store.
Ventilate moist rooms
 
Proper ventilation is key for mold prevention. Make sure there are fans installed in your bathrooms and be sure to turn them on when you shower or take a bath. Any room with water – your kitchen, your laundry room, even your basement – needs fresh air and ventilation.
– Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Pricing Your Property: Is the Rent Too High?

Apartment pricing is a bit like the old story of Goldilocks and the three bears: finding
the spot that’s “just right” can feel impossible. As a landlord, you’ve got to cover your costs and make a profit, but price your property too high, and you risk your unit sitting empty, waiting for a tenant who can afford it.
How will you know if your price is too high? Generally, if you haven’t received any inquiries after three days of publicly listing the rental, you’re probably charging too high a price. Ev
en if folks do come to take a look at your property, if they’re not filling out applications, chances are good they can’t afford to live there.
Your price can be too low, too. If you get lots of inquiries and prospective tenants insisting you take their deposit to hold their spot, it can be a sign that your price is too good.
So how do you know what price is right for your property? Do your research! Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management recommends checking out similar units around town and comparing amenities, location and lease lengths. By understanding where you stand in the marketplace, you’ll have a better idea of how much to charge for your property’s rent.
– Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

5 Amenities You Aren’t Promoting (But Should Be!)

When it comes to attracting new tenants, it’s easy to believe that having flashy new amenities is necessary. And while they certainly don’t hurt, flashy amenities aren’t everything. In fact, there’s a lot property managers can promote about their current community without needing to do any upgrades. That’s what Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management recommends – starting with the basics and promoting them like the true assets they are to your property.
Start with outdoor space. It should be an extension of the unit you’re renting. Whether it’s a small backyard, patio or even a balcony, make sure you’re photographing it and including it in your ads.
Next, emphasize your location. Even if you’re not in the trendiest part of town, there are definite pros to living in your area. Include hot spots in your listings – mention the Whole Foods nearby, or the gym conveniently down the street. Nobody wants to travel far for their daily errands, so a prime location can beat even the shiniest new amenity.
Don’t forget to mention your community’s safety features. A peephole, smart lock technology and break-proof windows can provide prospective tenants peace of mind about moving to your neck of the woods.
– Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Designing Your Bark Park

Pet lovers will flock to communities that offer their dogs great amenities, and a dog park is quickly becoming a must-have feature for successful properties. The good news? If you’ve got a spare area of grass to devote to dogs, you’re halfway to a new, highly-sought after amenity! Here are some things to consider:
Location is key
You’ll want to position your bark park in a central location, where all residents can easily access it. The nice thing about dog parks is that they don’t need to be on a perfectly flat piece of the property, so if you’ve got a hilly spot you’re not doing much with, consider placing the park there!
Fencing design
Dog park fences should be at least five feet tall in order to keep pups safe and contained within the area. The gate design is critical, too – consider adding a double gate system allowing pets and their owners to separate themselves to get leashed up again before departing the park.
Rules
Public areas of your community need rules. Reminders to pet owners to clean up after their pet, pay close attention while they visit the park and to keep aggressive dogs away from others are all good reminders. One rule you should always include? Warnings that owners – and not the property – are responsible for keeping their dogs safe.
– Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

When to Worry About Airbnb

The sharing economy has grown tremendously in the last decade. With apps like Uber and Lyft dominating the transportation industry, folks are growing more accustomed to trusting their business to strangers. And with the rise of Airbnb, it’s more affordable than ever for people to travel. Not everyone loves Airbnb, though. For property managers, the unauthorized subletting of your property is inherently problematic.
If you own property in a touristy area, chances are good one or more of your tenants will turn to Airbnb to make some extra cash. Peer-to-peer renting has plenty of drawbacks and almost no positives for the landlord. While Airbnb does provide $1 million in liability protections for hosts, it’s limited to very specific types of damages. If an Airbnb guest becomes ill because of mold in your apartment, you could be held liable for their medical bills.
There’s also no telling how Airbnb guests might disrupt your community. Even if your tenant lucks out with Airbnb guests who are mostly quiet and polite, it only takes one bad incident to annoy neighbors.
When it comes to Airbnb: just say no. Make sure to include clauses prohibiting subletting in your lease. You’ll want all the protections you can against a tenant who wants to get into hosting!
– Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Insider Tips for Filling Vacancies

There’s no denying it: vacancies are a pain. They’re a drain on your income and and hassle to fill. But solving this problem isn’t rocket science – you just have to understand a few insider tips from experienced property managers like Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management.
A quick and easy way to promote vacant apartments is to list all vacancies on your website as soon as you know about them. Folks can’t apply for apartments they don’t know are vacant!
It also helps to offer some kind of friends and family incentive bonus. Renting to friends of current tenants is a great way to build community and find reliable tenants. Consider offering your current tenants gift cards, discounted rent or even cold hard cash in exchange for referrals. Of course, the key is to only provide these bonuses if and when the new tenant has signed their 12-month lease!
Another easy way to win over prospective tenants? Print colorful, appealing flyers and post them in high traffic areas like bus stops, metro stations and cafes. This low cost option might surprise you with its effectiveness – there’s just no replacing good old-fashioned advertising!
– Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management