We’re about halfway through the summer season, and if you’re like us, you’re ready to hit the road for a summer vacation with your family. Property managers can often struggle to find the time to take their vacation days, with maintenance duties, new tenants to woo and leases to renew. Without delegating, you’d probably never take a day off! Which is why the art and skill of delegation is so critical if you’re going to head out of town this summer. Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management has tips property managers need before they take time off this season.
Cal Bay Property Management’s Scott Safadi says yes. We live in a visual world and more emphasis is placed on images than ever before. Platforms like Twitter can be a great way to share news and engage with potential tenants, Instagram requires you to put your money where your mouth is — metaphorically speaking, of course!
When neighbors are noisy, apartment life can be hell. Virtually all of us have experienced the frustration that comes with loud neighbors. From sports fans shouting at their favorite team playing on television to dogs barking to late night parties, these intrusions can be truly infuriating. A good landlord knows that soundproofing walls will go a long way to prevent conflict between tenants. But how to go about soundproofing? Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management has four tips for you. Follow them and you’ll be on your way to peace and quiet in your community!
- Check your heat ducts and vents. Sound waves travel like water, and the waves are constantly looking for the path of least resistance. When voices and other noises travel though duct work, though, they can become amplified by the hollow metal space. Acoustical insulation can help keep this echoing effect to a minimum. Landlords should also consider replacing duct work near vents with lined duct work and lined grills.
- Install thick carpet and carpet pads. Many downstairs neighbors grow frustrated by the footfalls of the residents above them. Even if the tenant isn’t stomping around, thin carpets and hardwood floors carry every small sound. Consider investing in thick carpets and carpet pads to help mask the sounds.
- Install fiberglass insulation. Though not a quick, easy or cheap option, this insulation can help save on energy bills on top of limit the sounds that travel between rental units.
- Install pre-built doors and windows designed for soundproofing. While this sounds like quite the investment, the specialized soundproof equipment can go a long way to prevent tenant conflict for years after the initial installation process.
If you’re not in a place where you can afford a bunch of soundproofing upgrades right now, it can help to talk with noisy tenants. Many times, they don’t even realize they’re being overly loud. There are many ways tenants can help to soundproof their own spaces, too. Pictures, tapestries and draperies can help absorb noise coming from an apartment. For extra sensitive tenants tired of hearing from their neighbors, suggest a white, pink or brown noise machine for their apartment. Though these devices can get expensive at the high end of the market, a simple bluetooth speaker and an iPhone app are all you need to start blocking out noisy neighbors!
— Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management
Your resume is often synonymous with your first impression: when it lands on a hiring manager’s desk, your fate lies in how well you come across on paper. Good or bad, thick or thin, your resume reflects your work history, your skill set and your education. A lot about your background is revealed before you ever set foot in the office for an interview.
It might sound strange, but applying this idea to your tenants could come in handy. Property managers have conducted background checks on applicants for years, but asking for a resume isn’t standard operating procedure. Property managers may, however, benefit from asking for pet resumes. Given the increasing numbers of dog bite insurance claims — they accounted for more than one third of all homeowner liability pay outs in 2014 — understanding a pooch’s past could come in handy.
Pet friendly communities are different than pet tolerant ones. Even if you believe pets to be a welcome addition to your community, there’s no denying the inherent dangers associated with allowing animals in your rentals. Not only is there the increased risk of property damage to consider, there’s the very real possibility that a dog might bite or seriously attack someone while on your property. And though the pet owner would be primarily responsible for damages, property owners have been found liable in some cases.
That’s where the pet resume comes in. You don’t need to ask for a literal resume. Instead, ask your potential new tenant about the dog’s background. Ask how long they’ve had the dog, what breed it is, where they adopted the dog from and if it has a violent history. If you’re nervous about asking such a direct question regarding the pup’s propensity for violence, consider asking instead about the dog’s temperament. Understanding how vocal, energetic and friendly the dog is will help you get an idea of what kind of pet you’d be allowing on your property.
Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management recommends leaning into these discussions, as uncomfortable as they may be. It’s better to get the full picture of the dog’s history and likelihood for violence before you allow it on your property. Consider asking about the dog’s grooming needs, too. While you might not need to know the details of Fido’s trims and baths, the answer can reveal a lot about the level of care a dog owner provides.
– Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management