Thursday, May 21, 2020

What to Do When Your Tenants Lose Their Jobs

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique and difficult challenges for us all. As more and more companies continue laying off employees, chances are good you'll have to contend with a tenant losing their job. While it's easy to jump to a worst-case scenario state of mind, remaining calm and supportive can go a long way in meeting tenants where they are. 

Talk with your tenants about their situations. Your first concern shouldn't be about how they'll pay the rent. Instead, express genuine empathy and give tenants some space to cope with their job loss. In many cases, tenants may have new opportunities that will leave them with plenty of cash to pay rent. 

Should a tenant miss a rental payment, communications should continue. Ask about their long-term plans and hopes for the future. If the tenant has been timely with their rent payments before and you'd like to extend them some grace, see if they can manage to pay a reduced rate. Even a month or two of reduced rent payments can be enough to help some tenants get back on their feet.

While the right path forward isn't always clear, operating with empathy and understanding can help guide your decisions as a landlord.



-- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Sunday, May 17, 2020

3 Housekeeping Myths You Need to Know About

Most of us don't spend much time thinking about our weekly chores. After years of doing laundry and dishes, we become experts in our own preferred cleaning methods. Believe it or not, though, common misconceptions about cleaning can bleed into our own methodologies. Learning more about these myths can help make your home easier to clean! Here are three of the most common misconceptions:

Myth 1: Vinegar is a Disinfectant

Vinegar is a surprisingly versatile tool to use in your efforts to clean your home, but if you're hoping to rid your space of germs, you're better off selecting another cleanser. Vinegar is great for stains and removing tacky gunk from surfaces, but it is no substitute for traditional disinfecting chemicals. When the task calls for a serious disinfectant, you'll want to use bleach.

Myth 2: Bleach Should be Used On All Surfaces

Though bleach is undeniably powerful, it can be harmful to certain surfaces in your home. Bleach can break down certain materials, and it's also potentially dangerous to use around children and pets. While bleach will remain a cleaning MVP, be sure you're using it safely!

Myth 3: Steam Cleaning Carpet Causes Mold Growth

Carpets sometimes smell stale right after they've been steam cleaned, but that doesn't necessarily mean you should expect mold to grow. Whether you hire professional cleaners or rent a wet vac and DIY your carpets, you'll probably notice a musty smell while they dry. There's no need to panic! As long as your carpet is properly ventilated, you don't run the risk of any extra mold growth.

-- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Leveraging Technology to Fill Vacancies Amidst COVID-19

Coronavirus-related closings have put much of the nation on hold. Restaurants, schools, and virtually every other kind of non-essential business have all seen serious disruptions. Many people assume that the stay at home orders around the country would mean putting their apartment search on hold. Thankfully, virtual options allow the rental hunt to continue. Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management encourages all landlords to consider extending virtual showings of their vacant rentals. 

Social distancing is hard when you're conducting tours in person. Even with masks and gloves, it's difficult to show off a rental property while maintaining six feet of space. By offering virtual tours, you keep both employees and prospective tenants healthy and happy. 

All good virtual tours begin with great photography. If you don't already have excellent photos of your rental online, consider reaching out to a local photographer for help. While some websites feature video footage and 360-degree virtual reality-style tours, you don't need all the bells and whistles to effectively market your rental. Instead, rely on clear communications about what you have to offer and back up those amenities with great photography.

Before you extend an invite on a virtual tour, it can be helpful to ask screening questions. The more information you know about a prospective tenant ahead of a tour - virtual or otherwise - the better. By understanding their needs, you can tailor your tour to their precise interests and needs, saving everyone valuable time!

-- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Non-Alcoholic Beer: The Next Big Trend?


Visit any bar in Germany and you'll find yourself awash in delicious options to sip. From Berliner Weisses to Hefeweizens to crisp ciders, there's no shortage of varieties to try. Many Americans may find themselves surprised by one German beer trend in particular though: non-alcoholic beers make up seven percent of the German market. By comparison, non-alcoholic pours comprise just half of one percent of the American beer market. 

The trend may spill onto American shores more quickly than you might expect. Non-alcoholic beers offer a similar flavor but fewer calories than traditional brews. They're driver-friendly, giving commuters a great option for enjoying a drink and getting home safely. Non-alcoholic pours are also hydrating. Instead of waking up with a hangover, you'll feel more refreshed than ever.

While the benefits are obvious, the drawbacks are numerous. Though American beer culture has become elevated in the last ten years, with more focus on flavor and ingredients than ever before, consumers still look forward to getting a buzz on. Older drinkers may appreciate the hydrating qualities of a non-alcoholic beer, but younger consumers may not be as health-conscious. Still, the trend is worth keeping an eye on!

-- Scott Safadi, Shared Palate

Thursday, April 23, 2020

House Plants 101: Five Easy-to-Grow Varieties

Not everyone was born with a green thumb. While some people are natural gardeners, many of us struggle to keep even the most basic of succulents alive. If you're eager to bring a little nature indoors this season, it's worth exploring some low-maintenance houseplant options. You'd be surprised at how easy it can be to keep plants thriving!

Here are a few varieties worth trying:

ZZ Plants

Perhaps the lowest-maintenance plant in existence, the ZZ plant won't mind if you ignore it completely for months at a time. Its dark green leaves provide a pretty contrast to white walls, and it's happy in just about any kind of light. The only downside? It takes a long, long time to grow!

Pothos

This gorgeous plant only looks high maintenance! Striking green leaves and a fast-growing nature makes Pothos plants easy to love. Just be sure to keep them far from prying kittens and pups who might be tempted to take a bite - they're poisonous to cats and dogs.

Air Plants

These spidery plants look alien to the untrained eye. They grow without soil, making them one of the most unique options out there. Spritz them with water once a week and you'll have them thriving in no time!

African Violets

For a pretty pop of color, try the African Violet on for size. Easy to care for and gorgeously bright purple, this house plant is low-key and beautiful. What a combination!

Peace Lily

For a big, bold statement plant, look no farther than a peace lily. Though they need a lot of light, these stunning plants require very little once they're placed in a sunny corner. Just be careful if you've got pets at home, as this one is also toxic to animals!

-- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Beer by Mail: Top Picks for Delivery

The world is a strange place right now. We're all adjusting to working from home, doing more with less, and spending less time out and about. It comes as no surprise that many of us are turning to our favorite foods and drinks to comfort ourselves during these uncertain times. Unfortunately, regular grocery runs are more complicated than ever, and trips to our favorite breweries are downright out of the question.

The good news? There are a number of beer delivery services rising to the occasion. The next time you find yourself craving a cold one, look to these options. You'll be relaxing with your favorite pour in no time!

Craftshack
For the last five years, Craftshack has been offering the widest selection of craft beer online. Their small team of beer experts works hard to offer the most in-demand pours to customers across the country. While shipping can be expensive, ordering large quantities makes the splurge a little easier to bear.

Tavour
This online retailer markets themselves as the Netflix for beer lovers, and it's not hard to see why. The subscription-based service allows users to fill up a box for shipment over time, giving you some flexibility to add or change your delivery. It's a great way to try new kinds of beer without committing to a full six-pack.

Drizly
Need your beer delivered fast? Try Drizly, a service that promises beer delivery in under an hour. They work with liquor stores in your area to fulfill orders, so supplies can be limited. Still, in your hour of need, Drizly is the company you'll want to turn to!

-- Scott Safadi, Shared Palate

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Online Classes to Hone Your Beer Expertise in Quarantine



At first glance, you might look around and think it's a bad time to be a beer fan. Breweries are closed to the public and bars are shuttered, too. Bottle shops and taprooms are frequently being labeled inessential during social distancing measures. While there are plenty of reasons to fret, don't let beer be one of them! Now is the time to embrace the wonderful world of online beer content. 

If you've ever wanted to learn more about the craft beer world, consider signing up for Beer 101. It's a fantastic look behind the curtain of the modern beer business. Whether you work in the industry, want to hone your professional recommendations, or just learn more about your favorite drinks, this course is a great place to start. 

More intrigued by the chemistry behind beer? edX has you covered. Their Science of Beer course is a comprehensive look at how beer is brewed, what impact it has on our health, and the role the supply chain plays on our consumption. It's an in-depth perspective typically reserved for industry experts!

Maybe you're eager to take your knowledge to a professional level. Now is the perfect time to study for a new career. Check out the Cicerone Certification Program, an online beer education course that helps qualify professional beer servers for the profession. There's truly never been a better time to explore new passions, so why not add a new certification to your resume? 

-- Scott Safadi, Shared Palate LLC

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