Wednesday, January 18, 2017

4 Tips to Handle Renter Complaints

No matter the industry, handling customer complaints is a critical part of the customer service experience. But what's the best strategy for managing complaints from your tenants? Here are four quick tips:

1. Document the complaint. Big or small, a complaint should be recorded so that it isn't forgotten. No tenant wants to be put on the back burner and forgotten!

2. Investigate the complaint quickly and thoroughly. Whether you're looking into a maintenance issue or a noise complaint, it pays to solve problems quickly. Nip minor issues in the bud before they grow.

3. Assign complaints a level of importance. When you're documenting these complaints, it's a good idea to rank them on a scale of priority. After all, you can't be everywhere at once - and juggling too many complaints at once is a recipe for disaster.

4. Provide written responses to all complaints. Handling complaints in person or via telephone are good options, but it's also smart to follow up any discussion with written acknowledgment of the problem at hand.

- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Prepping Tenants for a Successful Move-Out

So your tenant has given notice they're moving out. Your focus is likely on finding a new resident to fill the vacancy - as it should be. But spending some time making sure your tenant has a successful move-out could be more valuable than you might expect. Here are a few ways to assist them in the process:

  • List out everything that affects their security deposit. If you require tenants to clean their carpets before moving out, make sure you tell them in writing
  • Give them a checklist of things to take care of before they bid adieu to your community. This can include chores but also errands like paying utility bills.
  • Work out a timeframe. A date for move-out is a good start, but you'll want to have a set time in mind for that day clarified. Otherwise, you could find yourself with procrastinating tenants working until midnight to move out.
Why bother with these steps? If you've ever witnessed an unsuccessful move-out, you'll know why these tips are so important. Unprepared tenants often leave late, take things that don't belong to them, and get upset when they are charged for things they've damaged. Do your due diligence and prepare for push back!

- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Top 3 Things Millennials Look for in an Apartment

Millennials get a bad rap for being unreliable, rootless and cheap. But no generation should be painted with such a broad brush. After all, you can't avoid renting to everyone born between the years of 1983 and 2000. So what is it that millennials want most in rental units?

High-speed internet and WIFI. Millennials are a digital generation - they were practically born with iPods in their hands! Embrace the technology and ensure your tenants have access to fast internet. Including it in their monthly rent is a great way to keep everyone happy.

Dog parks. Everyone loves a pup, especially millennials. Dog parks are a must for millennials looking to exercise their dogs and even meet new people. Don't look at dog parks as an amenity just for pets - it can be a great place for building a social community.

Upgraded fitness centers. With a focus on health, millennials are constantly searching for a way to stay in shape. Treadmills and free weights just aren't going to cut it these days. Instead, expand your gym's offerings by including more machines and maybe even a group fitness class or two.

Laundry. Nobody likes hauling their dirty clothes across town to the laundromat. If your units don't include washers and dryers, partner with a local laundromat to offer laundry services to residents.

- Scott Safadi

Thursday, December 29, 2016

New Year, New Revenue Streams for Your Property

Are you maximizing the income from your rental property? Most landlords aren't. Make a plan for 2017 to be your most profitable year ever with one of these new revenue streams.

Laundry There's nothing more annoying than hauling your clothes to the laundromat once a week. If your units don't include washers and dryers, considering leasing them out to your tenants. Another option: work with a local laundry vendor to offer coin operated machines in a common area.

Vending machines Most apartment complexes have a soda machine or two, but there's so much more you could be offering your residents. There's nothing more convenient than running to the office when you run out of toiletries, coffee, laundry detergent or over-the-counter medications. 

Storage space At Cal Bay Property Management, we understand the value of convenience. When residents are moving into a new unit, they often find themselves with more furniture than they have room for. Why send them off property for a storage unit when you can offer them a more conveniently located spot? 

No matter how you decide to explore new revenue streams, we encourage you to think outside the box in 2017!

- Scott Safadi

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Attract the Best Tenants with These Three Tips

At Cal Bay Property Management, we know from experience that there is nothing quite as valuable as a high quality, reliable tenant. After all, your goal isn't just to collect a rent check each month. A successful property manager has longevity in mind when selecting new residents. But how do you ensure you're attracting the best possible tenants to your property? Check out our tips:

1. Identify your ideal tenant and market to them. You don't want just anyone living in your property. If you move a family with young children into your glamorous new property with loud nightclubs nearby, there's a good chance those tenants will be gone in a year. Instead, identify exactly the type of person who would benefit most from living in your community - and tailor your marketing to them.

2. Show your property like you're selling it. This should be a given, but you'd be surprised at how many property managers fail to fix up a unit before showing it. A clean, well-lit and comfy atmosphere will get you much farther than a take-it-or-leave-it space.

3. Charge an application fee. This is a great way to quickly test your future tenant's financial reliability. A bounced check can save you a year of headaches if it prevents you from renting to the wrong kind of tenant! 

- Scott Safadi

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

What Residents Want: Survey Results

At Cal Bay Property Management, we're always on the hunt for what residents really want out of their rental experience. The National Multifamily Housing Council recently published the results of a survey asking apartment residents what they really want in a property. The results - gathered from more than 12,000 residents - might surprise you. Here are some of the top requests:

Soundproof Walls

This request will come as no surprise to any property manager who has had to deal with raucous residents. No longer willing to chance living next door to rowdy neighbors, 88 percent of the residents surveyed listed soundproof walls as a highly desired feature.

Walk-in Closet

Apartment living can be tight, so this request makes a lot of sense. More surprising was the revelation that residents expect to pay an additional $49 per month for this feature.


Unsurprisingly, residents aren't big fans of communal laundry rooms. Indeed, 87 percent of survey takers listed in-unit washing machines and dryers as highly desirable. Other most-wanted appliances included microwaves, refrigerators with ice dispensers and garbage disposals.

- Scott Safadi 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Scott Safadi: Titles Every Landlord Needs to Read

Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the game, every landlord can benefit from the wisdom of industry experts. Here are some of my go-to favorites:

Landlording, Leigh Robinson

Don't let the1976 publication date fool you - this book should be on the bookshelf of any good landlord. Considered to be the gold standard industry-wide, this title features virtually everything you might need to know about landlording principles.

Every Landlord's Legal Guide, Marcia Steward

Think you don't need much legal knowledge as a landlord? Think again. While you might not need to study for the bar, having a solid understanding of basic rules and regulations for the industry. This guide will come in handy anytime you're in doubt about your responsibilities and rights, which might happen more than you'd think!

The Landlord's Troubleshooter, Robert Irwin

Marketed to new landlords, this has bailed more than a few people out of landlord-tenant conundrums. With nearly 300 pages of content, you're sure to find your problem addressed.
- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management


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