Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Celebrate Mother's Day with Your Residents

Spring has officially sprung, bringing with it warmer temperatures, longer days and the beginning of a busy season of celebrations. Father's Day, college graduations and Easter all make the Spring months some of the most fun times of the year. Mother's Day, in particular, stands out as an opportunity to form relationships with your tenants. Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management recommends that landlords and property managers take extra care to celebrate the mothers in your community.

By encouraging a sense of community amidst your tenants, you increase the odds of them staying put for another year. Resident events are the perfect way to build on the relationships you already have and nurture new ones. Thankfully, these events don't need to be expensive or over-the-top. Start with a simple reminder to your tenants that you care about them and their families. 

One way to do just that? Consider offering flowers for moms on Mother's Day. Partner with a local farmer's market to buy stems in bulk. You'd be surprised at how affordable such a single daisy can be, and the impact on your tenants lasts far longer than the flower itself. Send an email out to tenants letting them know that they're welcome to pick up a stem for their moms on their way by the office, and you'll have a crowd in no time!

Want to engage families with little ones? Set up a rotating craft station in your office for kids to enjoy while their parents stop in to pay rent, pick up a package or say hello. They'll love the chance to create a homemade Mother's Day card! This kind of arts and craft station is a great way to appeal to prospective tenants who stop by with their children, too. 

If you're ready to go all out on your Mother's Day community celebration, consider hosting a brunch for tenants. Everybody loves breakfast, so why not offer pastries, juice, coffee and fruit for the taking? Whether you offer this celebration to those who RSVP or for anyone stopping in, it's a fun and delicious way to honor moms. 

- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Friday, April 5, 2019

Local Flavor: 3 Gilroy Restaurants Worth Trying


Gilroy is famous the world over for its annual garlic festival. While garlic is certainly one of the city's mainstay ingredients, chefs throughout Gilroy are experimenting with flavors and techniques that are sure to delight diners. Cal Bay Property Management's Scott Safadi recommends trying these delicious restaurants the next time you're in the area. We have current vacancies in Gilroy, so consider these restaurants the sign you need to make the move to town!

OD's Kitchen
28 Martin St

Start your day at OD's, a local favorite for breakfast and brunch. Nosh on fluffy pancakes, veggie omelets and avocado toast, or indulge with the Kitchen Sink. It's a massive platter of crunchy potatoes, grilled peppers and onion mixed together with diced ham. If that's not enough to tempt you, biscuits and gravy are served alongside, making this one of the most delectable meals in all of Gilroy.

Garlic City Cafe
7461 Monterey St.

For lunch, head to Garlic City Cafe for a taste of the city's garlic obsession. From garlic soup to garlic fries and beyond, the menu is filled with endless variations on Gilroy's favorite ingredient. Hidden away in a shopping center near the outlets, Garlic City Cafe has a menu that's as diverse and inventive as it is delicious. The calamari steak sandwich served with garlic fries is a favorite here, as is the garlic chicken sandwich. 

Il Vigneto
One Cordevalle Rd, San Martin

For a romantic evening out, head to Gilroy's neighboring town San Martin. Il Vigneto is perhaps the crowning jewel of this delicious region, with a menu chock full of delectable options. Comparisons to Tuscany are easy to understand as you nosh on pan seared verlasso salmon, mole encrusted steak and orange glazed jidori chicken. Sit on the gorgeous patio with a few glasses of wine, and you'll feel like you've been transported to Italy!

- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Why Your Property Needs an Energy Audit

Property Condition Assessments can give you a comprehensive look at what systems are working as intended, which need repaired and which will need replaced in the near future. The out of pocket costs associated with such an assessment can actually save property managers in the long run. Cal Bay Property Management's Scott Safadi recommends beginning with an energy audit.

Energy audits can reveal improvements that should be made in order to save you serious cash. A building naturally becomes less efficient as it ages. This often leads to tenant complaints and higher operating costs. An energy audit can give you an idea of whether or not you should work to retrofit your property with better energy systems.

Construction of new buildings has led to a more efficient California, with builders factoring environmental impacts into their plans. Existing structures can benefit from upgrades that will make them competitive with modern buildings. To know what to upgrade, though, it's best to start with an energy audit.

The audit should include a review of your property's energy consumption. Auditors will look over your electric and gas bills to see where your energy is going. They'll also take a look to see where your property is drawing in fresh air. They'll determine whether or not the air is compromising the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems. 

Insulation inspection is another aspect of an energy audit. Because insulation is such a cost-effective way to improve a structure's energy efficiency, auditors will a thorough visual evaluation of your existing insulation. They may also break out thermal imaging equipment to determine if there are any trouble areas.

If you're hoping to invest in your property and save some cash in the long run, an energy audit is a worthy endeavor.

- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Outdoor Amenities to Install This Spring

For many rental properties, outdoor space is something of an oxymoron. While some units may feature small balconies or common areas to use in warmer weather, many fail to offer any sort of amenities outside at all. While this may not seem like a make-or-break decision, a lack of outdoor amenities could lead apartment hunters to opt for your competitors instead. Cal Bay Property Management's Scott Safadi advises all rental professionals to consider these easy additions to their outdoor offerings this spring:

Picnic Tables
If you have any sort of green space at your rental property, a picnic table or two can go a long way to charm new and existing tenants. Though certainly not the fanciest amenity, it's an affordable and easy way to encourage guests to get outside. Bonus points if you include space for dog owners to walk their pets nearby!

Storage Space
Though not technically outdoor, storage space can be incredibly appealing to tenants who have too much furniture for their apartment. These spaces can be rented out for additional pricing each month, or offered as a bonus amenity for each resident. While not many property managers have access to the kind of space necessary to invest in this kind of upgrade, it's worth serious consideration.

Security
Whether in the form of a fence, tall hedges, security cameras or actual security guards, increased security can help you stand out from the crowd. Gated entry, security patrols, and other safety systems can offer real peace of mind for your tenants. Even if crime isn't a big problem in your neighborhood, the mere presence of additional security can discourage breaking the law on your property.

These are just a handful of ways to boost your standing in a crowded rental market. As temperatures grow warmer, consider investing in these outdoor amenities!

- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Five Reasons to Move to Mountain View

SIlicon Valley is home to a wide array of cities, but none quite compare to the beauty that is Mountain View. A community of just over 80,000 residents, the town is perhaps best known as the home of Google headquarters. Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management urges people to look beyond the big name tech companies associated with the area and learn about all the wonderful things Mountain View has to offer! Here are five to spark your inspiration:

A Cyclists' Paradise
Mountain View features a bike share program with four other Silicon Valley cities, making it easier than ever to catch a ride. Use the bikes on the area's cultivated bike paths that wind all throughout the Bay Area!

A Shopper's Dream
Castro Street is at the heart of Mountain View and is packed with adorable boutiques. Shop the day away before enjoying delicious sushi or Mexican food (Castro Street has plenty of both!) The site of many a summer street festival, this is the place to be no matter what you're into!

Music for All
Speaking of summer, Mountain View hosts an annual concert series each year once temperatures warm up. Grab a blanket, a folding chair and a picnic and you're sure to have a blast enjoying the sights and sounds of the city.

Known for Art and Wine
Mountain View is also home to the annual Mountain View Art and Wine festival. Consistently ranked among the best festivals in the country, this local favorite is one to write home about. With over 600 artists exhibiting their work, there's truly a style for everyone.

A City of Readers
Mountain View is home to several independent bookstores, including Books Inc., a two-story mecca for readers. Need a book that's out of print? Book Buyers is your store, with over 300,000 out of print titles for sale.

What reasons do you love Mountain View?

- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Beyond Craigslist: Where to Advertise Your Vacancies Online

Craigslist has ruled the online real estate world for years. Straight-forward, easy to use and free, it's understandably appealing to both landlords and prospective tenants. It's not, however, the only great online tool for advertising vacancies. Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management recommends posting across several sites for best results. Give one of these platforms a shot the next time you have a vacancy to fill!

Zillow
Though primarily used for selling homes, Zillow is gaining in popularity amongst renters, too. An interactive map makes it easy for users to hone in on specific neighborhoods, and beautiful photos make it hard to resist clicking through for more details. Users can sort by the number of bedrooms and bathrooms they're looking for, as well as quickly compare rentals side by side.

Hotpads
Based on an interactive map like Zillow, Hotpads is another platform all property owners should be posting vacancies to. Pet owners will especially love that they can search for pet friendly properties right from their very first click. Mutli-family properties can stand above the rest on sites like Hotpads.

Rentdigs
Love analytics? Rentdigs is the tool for you. List your rental there and you'll be able see how frequently your post is being viewed. You can also quickly and easily communicate with prospective tenants, right within the platform. What could be easier?

Your website
Think this is a no brainer? You'd be surprised at how many property managers fail to list vacancies on their own site! Though it takes some finesse, adding and updating vacancies pays off in a big way. Not sure how to make these changes yourself? Hire a freelance web designer to get you set up and show you the ropes. 

Facebook
Did you know that more people use Facebook as a search engine than they do Google? With that in mind, you'd be crazy not to post your vacancies on the social media giant. Because everyone is already on Facebook, it makes sense for you to be there too! The ease of access will appeal to many prospective tenants, allowing you to quickly and easily share updates to followers. 

No matter where you decide to post, using quality photographs, honest but enticing language and updating regularly will get you far! 

- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Organizing a Holiday Food Drive in Your Community

For many, Christmas is a time for giving rather than receiving. Though little ones may be focused on getting everything on their wish lists, others see the winter holidays as an excuse to donate their time and money to causes in which they believe. Whether you're spending time at a local soup kitchen or donating to your favorite charity, Christmas is the ideal time to share a little of your wealth with the less fortunate. 

Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management encourages property managers and landlords to involve their tenants in this spirit of giving. Organizing a canned food drive is an easy and fun way to give back to others. Of course, it's important to pair with a local organization before you begin collecting anything and everything in your tenants' cupboards. Contact local food pantries and homeless shelters for guidance on how you can help. They will often give out lists of the most needed items to help guide your food drive.

How do you go about collecting food from your tenants? The easiest way to do so is to put out a sign and box in your community's office encouraging folks to donate. When tenants come in to pick up packages or drop off their rent checks, point out the effort and ask them to contribute if they can. While this is indeed the path of least resistance, many will find their contributions lacking. Out of sight often means out of mind, and for the tenants who don't have cause to stop by the office, they may miss the opportunity to contribute.

A more festive option is to promote a holiday caroling event for the community. Post signs and share info about the event online ahead of time, encouraging folks to contribute their voices and their canned goods. Then go door to door collecting food while serenading your tenants! While this may sound fun for some, it is important to know your audience. This is a great tactic for communities with lots of families, but some tenants may be turned off by the soliciting at the door.

However you decide to give back, do so in a way that benefits the needy and brings your community together!

- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

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