A question that arises frequently among property managers is, “How can I be sure I’m treating all rental prospects equally?”
The initial telephone interview with a prospective resident sets the stage for the landlord/tenant relationship. Your responses and behavior at this critical stage are the first indication the prospect has of your professionalism. And, for you, it’s your first opportunity to make a connection with the prospect. These moments will either make or break the rental transaction. Many fair housing complaints are filed in response to prospects’ perceptions of how they were treated at the very earliest stages of the relationship.
What’s the big deal?
As a housing provider (property manager, leasing agent, owner…), when it comes to fair housing and our dealings with the public, lack of consistency can have dire consequences. One of the errors most often made by property managers, leasing agents, owners, and other housing providers is to assume the prospect’s needs. We may think we have his/her best interests in mind, but making assumptions about the kind of housing the consumer wants can lead to trouble.
For example, a man in a wheelchair enters your office. As a landlord, you might immediately assume he wouldn’t be interested in renting anything but a single-level home, or an apartment on the ground floor. You only tell him about the “suitable” properties, saving him the trouble of having to tell you he’s not interested in 2-story homes. A claim is filed, and you learn that, although the prospect used a mobility device the day he visited your office, he only needs it on his”bad” days. At other times, he is perfectly capable of getting around with the aid of no more than a cane. And, to him, a bedroom above the primary living area of the home is #1 on his list of desired features. Your well-intentioned omission of the two-story houses on your vacancy list was interpreted as an effort to limit his housing choice because of his disability.
Your assumption, no matter how well-meaning, demonstrates what’s commonly known as “steering.” If a prospect feels you are steering him/her to a particular area of town, or certain buildings in your community, based on his mental or physical disability, his race, the fact he has children under 18 in the home, his skin color, birthplace, religion, or gender, he has standing to file a fair housing compliant against you.
The surest way to avoid making such an error is to have a predetermined list of questions you ask every prospect prior to showing a property. The benefits of this approach are twofold. First, you avoid the possibility of making inaccurate assumptions about your prospects’ needs and wants in housing, saving time for you both. Secondly, you greatly reduce the risk of offending your prospective tenant and embarrassing yourself by relying on preconceived notions based on stereotype.
Here’s a start on a few interview questions…
- My name is Judy. What is your name?
- May I have your telephone number?
- How soon are you planning to move?
- How many bedrooms do you need?
- Number of bathrooms?
- Do you require a garage?
- What area of town are you interested in?
- How many people will be occupying the property?
- What is your desired rental price range?
- Do you have any pets?
- Are you locally employed?
- Do you have local landlord references?
- Do you prefer a one-or two-story home?
- Do you need a fenced yard?
- What other requirements in a rental property do you have?
People love to talk about themselves…
You will find that during this interview process, the prospect will provide you with a great deal of information, expanding on his answers to the questions you ask. At this early stage of the process, you will often be able to determine whether or not the prospect is able to qualify financially to rent from your company. It is an efficient and fair way to conduct business with your rental prospects.
Using a script like this also cuts down on the “no-shows” for scheduled rental viewings. Once it is clear to both you and the prospect that a particular property may be a perfect fit, the prospect is more likely to show up for a scheduled showing. Your total showing/leasing ratio will improve greatly with this practice, too.
Develop a form for this process, and keep a telephone log of your conversations. If a fair housing claim is ever filed against you, this documentation will serve as evidence of your fairness and consistency in handling rental calls from prospects.
Certification Committee a few years ago,
I’ve had many NARPM members ask,
“What do I have to do to get my designation?”
With most of them, after a few
minutes’ discussion, I am able to say
“You’ve already done all the work — just
fill out the paperwork and you’ve got it.” As
a NARPM member, you, like these fellow
members, are already probably involved in
your profession, your community, and in
NARPM, and you simply need to do the
paperwork. Take the 10 easy steps below,
and earn the designation you deserve!
Apply for your designation by mail or
online at www.narpm.org. You’ll receive a
letter back from Headquarters congratulating
you on starting the designation process and
assigning you a mentor. The designation
checklist will also be enclosed.
Start saving everything. Your designation file
should contain your application, your
congratulatory letter and your checklist. Go
ahead and read the checklist; do you have
other paperwork for the file? Have you taken
some of the classes? How will you document
Call your mentor. Mentors are PPM or
MPM® designees who volunteer to help
candidates through the designation process.
Your mentor is your personal trainer; he or
she looks forward to helping you decide
how you’ll prove you took that class or
served as chapter secretary four years ago.
Touch base with them as soon as possible. If
you can’t reach your mentor, call Mentor
Chair Valarie Bethel-Dobson for assistance.
Now is also the time to request recommendations
from your clients. You will receive
several forms from Headquarters; make
copies and send out more than you need.
Enclose a self-addressed envelope for your
clients to return the completed form. Ask
each to sign across the sealed flap before
mailing it back to you. When the recommendations
arrive, put them in your file — do
not open them.
Get involved. Serve as an officer or committee
member for your local or state chapter;
help out at state or regional conferences;
offer help to your local rental housing association
or Board of Realtors; offer to teach a
class at a community college. There are
endless ways you can get, serve, and earn
points for your designation. If you can’t
think of any, call your mentor for help. Ask
for letters detailing your service from the
chairs/president/whoever was in charge; put
them in your file.
Take the designation classes and the ethics
class. If you haven’t already taken any of the
NARPM classes, I think you’ll be surprised
and delighted to discover how great they are.
In addition, the Education Committee is
working to get them approved for the
continuing education credits required by
most states for licensing. As always, though,
you’ll learn new ways to excel as a property
manager, both from the great class material
and from brainstorming and networking
with fellow NARPM members.
Save copies of your certificates in your file;
frame the originals for your office walls.
Attend conventions, midyear conferences,
and state or regional conferences. Not only
will you learn and get points for your designation;
you’ll have a great time. You and
your company will benefit from your
involvement. You will soon become addicted
The Newsletter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers May 2001
of this Issue!
President’s Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
To Change a Mind, Change a Heart . . . . 3
Creating a Value–Added Service –
The Annual Property Survey: Part II . . . 4
What are you Waiting For? . . . . . . . . . . . 6
When in Doubt, Don’t Throw it Out . . . . 6
Computer Source . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Rented Sight Unseen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Meet Your National Board. . . . . . . . . . . 10
NARPM Road Show — Chapter Six . . . 11
Welcome New NARPM Members . . . . . 12
Fair Housing Corner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
You Make the Ethics Call . . . . . . . . . . . 14
New PPM for May . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
PPM/MPM® Education Schedule. . . . . . 15
“Rocky’s” Maintenance Corner . . . . . . 16
Ten Steps To Designation
By Penny Patterson, MPM ®,Certification Chair
The Mission of NARPM is to
increase the professionalism
and ethics of residential
property managers. continued on page 7
May Is Certification Month
Hello Fellow Property Managers,
I hope this letter finds you enjoying spring and the sun shining on you
bringing good health and happiness. The month of May has been
proclaimed National NARPM Certification Month.
We salute our members who have achieved designations or work for a
company with a professional certification. To the Professional
Property Managers (PPMs), Master Property Managers (MPM®s), and
Certified Residential Management Companies (CRMC®s), we
commend you for taking the time and dedication to join other professional
designees. Encourage others to take that step. If you are a PPM,
take the next step to become an MPM®. If you are an MPM®, begin
working towards your CRMC®.
Now is the time to focus on ways you can step forward to advance your knowledge and enhance
your business. Earning a designation means you care enough to take the time to reach a higher
level of professionalism as a property manager. Your clients and colleagues will view you as a
professional in our industry. By proudly displaying your designation, you will show others that
you are an expert and that their interests are your highest priority. A designation demonstrates a
commitment to adhering to a stringent code of ethics and standard of professionalism such that
you will be considered a true professional.
If you have not obtained a designation, make the investment and commitment now to cross the
stage in Kansas City at the 13th Annual Convention & Trade Show, and become part of the growing
NARPM professionals who proudly display a designation after their name.
A special thanks to the entire Certification Committee, headed by Penny Patterson, MPM®
(National Certification Chair) and Valerie Bethel Dopson, MPM®, (National Certification Vice-
Chair), for their encouragement to others and the extra push you gave to those who needed it.
Your excitement and enthusiasm to help others obtain their designation is invigorating. Keep up
the great work!
Thank you for taking the time to be the BEST! I look forward to proudly shaking the hands of
the newest designees.
Melissa Prandi, MPM®
Your National President
The Residential Resource is a publication of the National Association of Residential Property Managers, P.O. Box 140647, Austin, TX
78714-0647; 800/782-3452. ©2001. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is allowed only upon permission from the
publisher. Opinions of the authors are not necessarily those of NARPM. Any legal matters or advice mentioned herein should be discussed
with an attorney, accountant, or other professional before use in a particular state or situation. NARPM does not endorse any advertising
in this publication. All readers are responsible for their own investigation and use of any products advertised in the Residential Resource.
NARPM members receive the Residential Resource as part of the annual dues; subscriptions are available for $195. Items for publication
cannot be returned. Articles can be submitted by sending a Word attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Address changes may be
forwarded to the NARPM National Headquarters at the address listed above. The Publisher & Editor reserve the right to edit or refuse all
publications for content and selection.
P.O. Box 140647
Austin, TX 78754-0647
Exec. Director: Roy Bohrer
Exec. Assistant: Sherri Beck CPS
Melissa Prandi, MPM®
Michael Mengden, MPM®
Christopher Hermanski, MPM®
Andrea Caldwell, MPM®
Peter Meer, MPM®
Raymond Scarabosio, MPM®
Marc Banner, PPM
Wallace Gibson, MPM®, CPM®, GRI
Sylvia Hill, MPM®
Karen Hull, MPM®
Elizabeth Mowry, PPM
Thomas Stokes, MPM®, CPM®, CCIM, CAPS
Rose Thomas, MPM®
Marcy Walsh, PPM
New Member Chair
Penny Patterson, MPM®
Erika Green, MPM®
Chapter Membership Support Chair
Rick Ebert, MPM®
Jean Storms, MPM®
Long Range Planning Chair
To thrive in the residential property management business, a
property manager must have the business equivalent of a
marathon runner’s endurance. Endurance, most simply the
capacity to keep doing a really good job day after day, involves
many aspects of our characters. But perhaps, of all these aspects,
none is tested more often, nor more keenly, than the
It is just not easy, day after day, to tolerate the deeply
entrenched ill-will and distrust some tenants hold
toward landlords in general, but express to us as
individuals. These tenants (who may have
had a bad experience or simply adopted
the attitude from legend) muster enough
restraint to get through the application
and lease signing process with what
appears to be a respectful attitude
towards the management company
(landlord) and the lease. However,
attitudes change all too quickly, as
most of us know, when there is a problem
that is that tenant’s responsibility
under the lease. For emotional and/or
pragmatic reasons, such tenants vehemently
believe that curing every problem is the responsibility
of the landlord. It is suddenly as though the
lease agreement never existed. Ironically, these same tenants
closely scrutinize landlords and expect adherence to landlord
lease responsibilities—down to minute detail. The landlord is
considered the evil enemy simply for trying to enforce the written
lease agreement, voluntarily read and signed by that same
Of course, this unfair perception of and general attitude toward
landlords is largely unjustified and grossly unfair, but even
NARPM members—the cream of the crop—face this ugly
stereotype everyday. This attitude from tenants hurts and can
even be debilitating. Sometimes it causes us to lose the heart we
need to function well. Ironically, it is the tremendous goodness
of the NARPM landlords that I know, and knowledge of the
many charitable accomplishments of NARPM’s leaders and
members, that helps me keep bouncing back from these indiscriminate
blows to the psyche. In fact, this general goodness
goes further by inspiring me to work toward changing this
damaging perception of landlords, one tenant at a time, and to
encourage others to do the same.
Both individually and through our chapter efforts, NARPM
members already give back to their community, their religious
institutions, and thereby to the greater good. When I was president
and had the honor of traveling to different chapters, it was
always refreshing to hear about the special community service
projects so many of the chapters were involved in. From painting
low-income homes to providing toys for abused children,
there was rarely even a holiday party that wasn’t a charitable
As most of you know, charitable giving is not only your money,
but also your time. One of the most wonderful (and often satisfying)
contributions of time I have ever made was working with
the local tenant’s association preparing tenants on what questions
to ask potential landlords. There I was, dropping my
defenses, and allowing those tenants to look the “enemy”
straight in the eye—allowing them to realize—this
man is a landlord, this man is not the enemy,
there are good landlords. Chapters will be
well rewarded by sharing their expertise
with the public whenever possible—
educating tenants about picking good
landlords and similar useful advice.
NARPM members must rise above
the general perception of the industry
to a higher, more professional
plane. One of the most important
things we can work toward is educating
tenants to seek out landlords with
good reputations in the community and in
the extension of that community.
NARPM chapters and their members frequently
donate monies through their 50/50 raffles and help one another
in times of crisis. During the recent Seattle earthquake how
many of us were thinking of our friends and the properties they
manage and what we could do to help? It has often been
suggested that NARPM members should set up management
swat teams to go into markets devastated by natural disaster to
assist other members. I’m sure there were many that helped
through this recent disaster in Seattle.
Similar efforts—directed at the general public—are what will
ultimately make a difference in the public’s perception of landlords
and management companies. Giving, in all its many forms,
returns dividends far greater and more lasting than any utility
stock. Consider new ways for your chapter to continue to give
back to your communities, and keep up the good work you’re
already doing. Maybe at our national convention in Kansas City
we can consider giving a community service award to the chapter
most innovative in its charitable activities. In any case, the
best reward is what giving does for your own heart and the
hearts of those to whom you extend a hand. Changing hearts
may be the best way to change minds.
Mark Kreditor, MPM® is Broker/President of Get There First Realty,
CRMC®. He is active as the annual fund raising campaign chairman at
his children’s school and is on the marketing committee of a $50
million capital campaign going on in his community. He loves to raise
money through 50/50 raffle sales at every NARPM event he attends.
To Change a Mind, Change a Heart
By Mark Kreditor, MPM®
Creating a Value-added Service — The Annual
Property Survey: Part II
By “Rocky” Maxwell, MPM®
The majority of Property Managers have no organized way to
provide clients with an annual property survey. This is the
second article of a three-part article dealing with the following
areas in setting up this valuable, value-added service to
your Property Management business.
B. Developing an Organized Process for
Scheduling Annual Surveys
1. Strategy for setting time of surveys:
• Initially at new account set up to establish a
beginning written and photo history of property
• Annual anniversary date of owner’s contract to
• Lease renewal time
• New tenant Make-Ready/Move-In
• Inspection schedule based on certain number of
properties; monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or
annually are all acceptable timing schedules
• Allow enough time for owner to bid/review/approve/
complete/pay for maintenance repairs and renovations
to maximize year end-tax benefits for owner
2. Properties that have been added to your clientele
within six (6) months and all properties that have
undergone a move-out inspection within six (6)
months of Annual Survey should be rescheduled until
12 months have expired since last survey.
3. Request the Property Management bookkeeper run
property reports for all active and inactive properties
since the last Annual Survey and update the survey
schedule. This should be kept updated throughout the
year to have an accurate list of properties to inspect.
4. Note on the schedule any properties that have alarm
systems or gated entry communities. The Property
Manager should have current code and keys as
needed in addition to entry keys.
5. Copies of the survey schedule routes are to be given to
each inspection staff member for their review and to
indicate changes they may want.
6. Maximum number of surveys per day depends on
proximity to each other, weather, number in survey
team (recommend 2). One person should be able to
handle 6 to 9 properties per day and two people from
10 to 15 properties per day.
7. Plan on three (3) days a week doing surveys and two
(2) days in the office for other work, if you plan on
completing all surveys at one time each year. If you
have a portfolio of 100 properties the following schedule
should be fairly accurate.
• 100 properties or less, 20 properties have had
surveys within last six months equal 80 properties at
an average of 8 properties a day you can complete
24 surveys in one 3-day week and all 80 properties
in approximately 3 weeks.
• Plan on 3-5% reschedule due to bad keys, animals,
and miscellaneous problems.
8. Mail survey notification letter to tenants one week
prior to surveys. If given longer notice than one week,
they may forget you are coming.
• It is not necessary to file copy of letter in tenant file
but make a sample copy for each inspection day,
should tenants have convenient loss of memory and
want to reschedule.
9. Allow enough time (two weeks) to have outside printers
reproduce your survey check list. You should
make up enough copies for all your surveys, even if
you do them over an extended period of time.
10. The day before each survey, have the following materials
ready for the Property Manager conducting the
• Copy of day’s survey schedule
• Sample copy of tenant letter for that day
• Any needed keys to the properties
• Maps with properties highlighted, plus magnifier
• Any notes from Maintenance Department for special
• 9V batteries for smoke detector replacement
• Door knob messages and “Completed Survey”
message to tenant
• Current tenant list
• Sharp pencils
• 1-2 rolls of camera film
• Flash light
• Post it flags (yellow)
• Hole punch tool to check for dry rot and smoke
detectors (i.e. 3-foot dowel)
11. At the end of each Survey day:
• Collect all above items from the person conducting
the day’s survey
• Put away all keys
• Repeat process of Item #10 for each new day
12. Upon receiving the completed survey worksheet:
• Check reports for any notes affecting schedule, key
status, etc., and make corrections for the following
• Make two copies (one to Maintenance Department
for the processing of needed work orders and one to
the office file)
• Send the original to the owner, which will serve as a
report of the overall condition of his/her property.
13. The following tasks should be done on a regular basis
to avoid any backlog for work needed prior to scheduling
the next annual property survey.
• The Thomas Guide map book is to be updated by
highlighting any new properties. Be sure that a copy
of all properties to be inspected is included in the
map package given to the staff conducting the
• It is helpful for the secretary to keep her personal
property survey notebook current at all times.
14. Written report to bookkeeping noting (a) property
owners NOT being billed for a survey and (b) any
tenant back charges.
15. Schedule meeting to review/update next year’s
“Rocky” Maxwell, MPM®, CPM®, GRI is President of H.M.S.
Development, Inc., CRMC®. H.M.S. is a full-service Real Estate
Company and licensed Building Contractor with a specialty in renovation
and construction. He has built, renovated, and remodeled over
2500 homes, apartments, and commercial buildings in California and
Texas. He served as NARPM National President for the 1992/93 term.
He is the senior instructor of the MPM® designation course, Operating
a Maintenance Company.
Ad not avaiable for online
Deadlines for Residential Resource
July ……………………….May 15, 2001
August ……………………June 15, 2001
September/October ….August 15, 2001
November ………………September 15, 2001
December ………………October 15, 2001
If you are interested in writing an article, please e-mail an attachment
of your article in Word format to email@example.com or send a
Word file on 3 1/2″ diskette to P.O. Box 140647, Austin, TX 78714-0647.
All articles are subject to editing & approval of subject matter.
Ad not available for
With another National Conference just around the corner, certification
mentors are looking forward to their candidates being
presented with their new designations — to us, it’s a proud
moment, like having a child graduate from college.
If you haven’t yet turned in your application for a NARPM designation,
do it today! Many times, we discover someone is taking
the required courses and working on his/her designation, but
hasn’t submitted his/her Application for Candidacy. What are you
When you submit your application, you will be assigned a certification
mentor to be your “coach and training partner.” We help
you evaluate where you are, give you ideas for your points when
you get stuck, and provide motivation to keep candidates on track
to complete designation requirements. You don’t have to go at it
alone; we are here and ready to help. A lot of candidates already
have what they need to earn their designations — they just need
to assemble everything and turn it in!
The NARPM National Convention will be here before you know
it. Thinking about getting your PPM, MPM®, or CRMC® designation?
Already working on it but haven’t completed your
application? What are you waiting for? Do it today!
As a NARPM member, you’ve already taken the first step to
becoming more professional at what you do as a property
manager. Take it to the next level…earn your NARPM designation
and really find out how those little letters following your
name give you even more creditability when prospecting in your
marketplace. It’s true; it works!
As a PPM mentor, I know that NARPM members sometimes wait
a year or two before they start pursuing their designations. Or
they start taking classes and trying to accumulate points before
they submit their Application for Candidacy. When you become a
candidate, you’ll have a Certification Mentor assigned to help
you, motivate you, and answer questions for you along the way.
For whatever reasons, if you haven’t become a Designation
Candidate yet (even if you’re even “thinking” about getting a
designation in the future), make a NARPM folder and retain
everything you do in it. Specifically, save your Convention and
Midyear name badges and registration letters, your PPM/MPM®
Course completion certificates, and Ethics class registration. If
you are serving on a local or national committee, get a letter from
the Chair or another officer verifying your service and save it.
When you start adding up your certification points, it will be an
easy task if you keep everything in one place.
Better yet, complete your certification packet and get your designation
wrapped up in time for Convention and make “those little
letters” start working for you in a big way.
What Are You Waiting
By Greg A. Fedro, PPM
When In Doubt, Don’t
Throw it Out!
By Greg A. Fedro, PPM
Ad not available for online issue
to meeting with your NARPM family at
least two or three times a year. In New
Orleans last year, it was my great pleasure
to take my two youngest children who are
both proud NARPM members. In the past,
my staff joked that everything in the office
changed upon my return from convention.
After New Orleans, we all wanted to
change everything. Save your registration
letter or your badge from convention in
While you are at convention, join one of
the national committees. Your help will be
welcomed. Remember, NARPM is an
association of volunteers; so volunteer!
Besides, you’ll get lots of points for your
designation. If you do volunteer, ask the
chair for a letter detailing your involvement.
Put it in your file. By now, you
should know several NARPM members
with designations. Ask them if they will
agree to recommend you for your designation.
Usually, they’ll be honored. Give
them the recommendation forms; when
you get them back, put them in your file.
Now it’s time to start putting your paperwork
together. Make a copy of your
checklist so you can scribble notes right on
it; save the original for your package. Fill
it out. If you have everything, type a nice
cover letter to the Certification Committee
detailing how you complied with the
requirements in the checklist. Call your
mentor; then fax or e-mail your cover
letter and checklist (typewritten if possible).
Give your mentor a little time to read
your letter, then call them and go over the
letter and checklist number by number. If
anything is missing, or if you can’t quite
figure out how to document something,
your mentor will help.
If both you and your mentor think that it is
complete, make three copies of everything
(one for your files), put the original in a
nice folder and mail the package to
Headquarters. Include a nice picture of
yourself for PPM and for MPM®. Be sure
to send it so it arrives at least one month
prior to the next Board meeting. When
Headquarters receives your package, they
send the original to the Committee Chair, a
copy to an auditor, and they keep one
copy. If your package is tentatively
approved by the auditor (the Board still
has final approval), you’ll receive a letter
You will receive your plaque and pin from
the National President and the
Certification Chair at a special
Certification Luncheon at the next convention
or midyear. Your photo and your
designation package will be displayed at
NARPM’s Board of Recognition.
After writing out all these steps, I realize
the process appears like more work than it
is—honest! I hope you’ll just do it.
National President Melissa Prandi, MPM®
and I would really love to meet you on the
stage in Kansas City.
Penny Patterson, MPM® is a President and
Designated Broker of Double Z, Inc., in
Tacoma, Wash. She is currently the Chair of the
National Certification Committee.
continued from page 1
It’s 2001, we are living in the future, and we all realize the value
of the connected world that the Internet has brought us into. We
use the Internet for e-mail, for our own Web sites, to view other
Web sites, to download documents, to share information, and
much more. Most of us use a phone line to connect to the
Internet, but there is an array of new options we are being
bombarded with. What are the differences in Internet connections?
What is DSL? What are the pros and cons of a high-speed
Internet connection? Let’s take a look at these questions.
Your Hub — The Internet Service Provider
The Internet Service Provider (ISP) is a gateway to the Internet.
Think of your ISP as a hub — once you get to the hub, you can
go to any Web site or e-mail address you wish. Some common
ISPs are Earthlink/Mindspring, MSN, and AOL. If you are going
to connect to the Internet, you need to do it through an ISP, no
matter what type of connection you have.
Two Computers Talking — Connecting to the ISP
Traditionally, we have connected to the ISP, or hub, by “dial-up.”
This means we tell our computer to dial the phone number of the
ISP’s computer, and they talk to each other over the phone line.
They convert 1s and 0s to sound and send the sounds back and
forth over the phone line, which our computer converts into text
and graphics. The drawback to traditional dial-up service is the
limited amount of sound that can be transmitted over a phone
line. We can only get a certain number of 1s and 0s across a
phone line at any time, hence the slow performance of the dial-up
Breaking the Sound Barrier — Communicating in Digits
To overcome the speed limitation of converting digits to sound,
then back to digits, (called modulating/demodulating, from the
source of the word “modem”) modern technology has created a
system that allows two computers to talk to each other directly in
1s and 0s. This means we can now send the digits across the line
as fast as their little legs will carry them! We can replace our
phone line with a dedicated cable that will carry digits as digits,
and not as sound. This dedicated cable is called a T-span, and is
referred to by its capacity (T1 and T3 are popular). If we don’t
feel like running a cable from our house or office to the office of
our ISP, we can use the airwaves and send the digits via satellite,
radio waves, or microwaves, much like wireless phones.
The Best of Both Worlds — Digital Subscriber Line
About 10 years ago, some extremely bright men asked a question,
“If people already have a phone cable running from their
house or business to a central station, why can’t we just use that
cable to send the 1s and 0s to their destination, instead of
installing a separate dedicated cable?” That question brought
about the invention of Digital Subscriber Line, or DSL. DSL
splits your phone line into two sections — one handles the voice
connection while the other handles the data. This means that with
one phone line and no special installation, you can transmit and
receive data at high speeds.
The Good News — What Is So Great About DSL?
• DSL doesn’t require or tie up a separate phone line.
• It is always on — you don’t have to dial a phone number and
wait for it to connect.
• It is fast — downloading at speeds up to 20 times faster than
• It doesn’t interfere with caller ID or other telephone line features.
• It is easy to connect to a router, allowing multiple computers to
share the same connection.
• And it’s cheap, often the same price as a dial-up connection
when the cost of a phone line is factored in.
The Bad News — What is Wrong with DSL?
If it’s so great, why doesn’t everybody have it? There are still a
few drawbacks to DSL.
Those 1s and 0s travel fast, but they don’t like to travel far. If
your house or business is more than about 15,000 feet from the
central switching station (or central office), the digits will die
before they finish their journey. Until more central offices install
DSL switching equipment, it will not be available to everybody.
DSL providers move at the speed of molasses in January in
Minnesota. Even though the connection is fast, the installation
teams tend to drive turtles around town, resulting in installation
turnaround times that are often in excess of two months.
It requires a special modem. While many providers will give
away this modem for free as a sign-up incentive to new members,
you could find yourself paying $150 – $300 for the modem.
It is always on — while this is fantastic, it also opens your
computer to the possibility of hackers getting in. This can be
overcome through the use of a firewall, which can be a box
installed near your computer or a software program installed on
Most DSL users agree the benefits far outweigh the detriments.
Many users, new to DSL, have been found doing victory dances
on their desks. And, although I’m sure someone out there doesn’t
like his or her enhanced speed and connectivity, this computer
guy has never heard of a DSL user going back to using dial-up.
Next month we’ll talk about various types and speeds of DSL,
cost of DSL, how to choose a DSL provider, how to eliminate
risks of an “always on” connection, and alternatives if DSL is not
available in your area.
Mike Anderson of HomeRentals.net prepares this column. If you
have a question you would like answered, e-mail him at
Connecting to the Internet
By Mr. Internet
Rented Sight Unseen
By Wallace S. Gibson, CPM®, MPM®
A property manager returned from a trip in September and
found a letter on her desk from a brand new tenant accusing
her of fraud and misrepresentation. He was complaining that
the garage in the house he had leased “sight unseen” did not
have a double car garage “big enough” for his large vehicles.
Within months, the property manager was in eviction court
after the tenant moved to a nearby apartment complex with
no garage facilities for residents.
As more rental residents switch jobs, move across country,
and sell their homes earlier than expected, they will no
longer have the luxury of frequent visits to an area to organize
their relocation efforts. Often, they have less than a week
to secure jobs, enroll children in schools, and find suitable
housing. Of these three tasks, the first two seem to take
precedence in their schedule trip so they are renting their new
residences through the eyes of surrogates, on realtor recommendations,
or “sight unseen.”
For the last year, between residents, I have been taking interior
photos of my properties and posting then on the Web.
Prospects calling on upcoming rental availabilities can access
these interior photos from my Web site at their leisure. For
my postings on large sites like YAHOO! Classifieds and
RentConnection, I have posted a composite of the exterior
and three interior photos so that prospects can get a better
understanding of the size and quality of the property in addition
to accessing area amenities, schools, and neighborhood
This summer I showed country rental properties to a prospect
relocating to the area with his girlfriend for her new job. He
walked through my vacant country property, cell phone in
hand and guided his girlfriend to the interior property photos
on the Web as she sat in their home in Florida. After a 10-
minute conversation, he said they wanted to rent the house.
Another pitfall is renting to prospects through surrogates,
family, or “their friendly realtor.” When dealing with these
situations, it is best to control the information provided to the
distant rental prospect — either via Web site listing information
with photos, e-mail, or fax correspondence. With this
procedure, written documentation is available as to the information
provided to the prospect prior to their lease signing.
Keeping copies of the Web listings, promotional flyers, and
MLS listing data in your property file will make it easier to
document the information provided should this be questioned
in the future.
As in the case with tenant with the “vintage cars,” the ultimate
outcome rested on the wording of the lease signed by
the tenant whereby he agreed to take the property and there
was no stipulation as to the length or size of the property’s
With these situations in mind, some “caveat emptor” wording
for these situations might be in order. One NARPM member
has a “Sight Unseen” Addendum that the residents sign in
addition to the lease document.
The TENANTS acknowledge and agree that it is their own
decision to lease the subject property without first previewing
the premises. Should the TENANTS fail to take occupancy
of the property, TENANTS understand that they may forfeit
their security deposit and they will be held responsible for
the terms of the lease and payment of the rent until the occupancy
of a new tenant. It is further understood that the
LEASE is not conditioned on any repairs or improvements
other than what the OWNER/AGENT is required to do per
said lease agreement.
Prior to utilizing such wording, it is recommended that you
verify that your state statutes allow for the forfeiture of all or
a portion of the tenant’s deposit to cover your advertising and
rerenting costs as well as your releasing fees.
With a little bit of advance planning on our part, we should
be able to facilitate prospects’ busy schedules and eliminate
some of the risk involved with renting properties — “a sight
Wallace S. Gibson is the owner of Landlord Tenant Services and
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. in Charlottesville, VA. She has
over 30 years of residential and commercial property management
experience. She holds the professional designations of Certified
Property Manager (CPM®) from the Institute of Real Estate
Management (IREM) and the Master Property Manager (MPM®)
designation awarded by the National Association of Residential
Property Managers (NARPM). She is the 1999-2000 Chairperson of
the Virginia Association of Realtors Property Management Advisory
Council and as well as being the NARPM’s 1999-2000 Legislative
Chair. Wallace currently serves as a NARPM director.
March 2001 New Members
Sponsoring Member Sponsored Member
Marc Banner Lyle Sall
Tara Chamberlain Pamela McNab-Syvertson
Judith Cook Royal Kuckhoff
Lawanda Corbett Richard Wolf
John Dovano Connie Hodgin
Francine Ferri Ralph Lee
Elzabeth Morgan Gerry Gregory
Jim Pickett Lindsey Green
Theresa Reed Marge Bendure
Rexiene Reynolds Larry Leedy
Susan Scribner Sam Harris
Nancy Speek Barbara Kameck
Ellen Webster Sylvia Gauthier
Ted White Dru Lassley
Listing By Services
Marwest Access Controls, Inc.
Rental Advisor, Inc.
Rental Properties USA, Inc.
Sears Contract Sales
Peachtree Business Products
Home Claim Services
Geo. F. Brown & Sons, Inc
Law Offices of DeMartini & Walker
Law Offices of Heist & Weisse, P.A.
Home Management Network
Convenience Living LLC
Old Forest Software, Inc.
CMS Inc. (PROMAS)
Instant Software, Inc.
Property Automation Software Corp.
Winning Edge Software Solutions
Yardi Systems, Inc.
National Credit Reporting
Rent History, Inc.
For more affiliate information, please
visit the NARPM Web site
Meet Your National Board
Tom Stokes, MPM®, Publications Chair
1. How did you get started in the property management
My grandfather grew up in rural south Georgia and worked for
the federal government during the great depression trying to help
farmers keep their government backed mortgages from being
foreclosed. In the late 1930s he settled in Atlanta and after World
War II he saw the opportunity to build housing in the northern
suburbs. That led to my parents being involved in investment real
estate. I graduated from Emory with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics/
computer science and English literature and expected to teach school, which I
did for a couple of years. But while doing that, I earned an MBA from Georgia State
University and decided I really needed to be working in the “for profit” sector.
Eventually my father and aunt recruited me into the management organization of the
family business. After working for them for awhile, I formed a partnership with my
long-time peer in the industry, John Mangham, and my cousin Jim LaVallee.
2. In what extra-curricular activities are you involved?
I enjoy community theater and occasionally teach continuing education classes for the
local community college.
3. What did you want to do when you grew up?
Teach school, write, and work with computers.
4. What is your perceived greatest strength?
The ability to stay calm in stressful situations and imagine the possibilities of any situation.
5. What is the size of your company and what services does it provide?
Our company has 23 employees, and we provide commercial and multifamily property
management, as well as home leasing and management services. We also have a fully
licensed maintenance division.
6. How has NARPM impacted your business?
NARPM has been a source of motivation. My partner John Mangham first introduced
me to NARPM in the early 1990s when Rob Fowler was the chapter president and the
national meetings were a few dozen people. It’s been a source of great encouragement
and knowledge for our business and a promoter of the industry within our city.
7. What future goals do you want to attain in the industry?
I want our firm to be recognized as Atlanta’s most experienced and respected leasing
and property management company.
,Tom Stokes is the President and Managing Broker of EpiCity. His expertise with personnel, automation
and telephony assists the firm in engaging the highest levels of technology available to property
management. Mr. Stokes oversees the operation and management of several office, industrial, and
self-storage properties, as well as a portfolio of multifamily properties and 200-plus single-family
He holds the Certified Property Manager ® designation awarded by the Institute of Real Estate
Management; the Certified Apartment Property Supervisor designation from the National Apartment
Association; the Certified Commercial Investment Member designation from the Commercial
Investment Real Estate Institute; and the Master Property Manager designation from the National
Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). Mr. Stokes is currently President of the
Atlanta Chapter of NARPM and he is a member of the Association’s National Board of Directors
where he has served as Chairman of the Publications and Marketing Committees.
Mr. Stokes received a master’s in business administration from Georgia State University with a
concentration in Management and a bachelor’s degree from Emory University with majors in
Computer Science/Mathematics and English Literature. He has taught business and computer classes
as adjunct professor of Oglethorpe University. Mr. Stokes is a third-generation native of Atlanta. He
and his wife, Helena, and their son, Thomas, reside in Chamblee, GA.
Have you seen us yet? The Road Show has been pulling into so
many towns across the United States that surely you have at
least heard our whistle as we came by. It sounds a little like this:
Share the Vision! Share the Vision! Share the Vision!
NARPM has made it so easy this year to grow our membership
that you should be taking
advantage of the benefits
that are there for the
If you are a chapter leader,
contact us to schedule a
chapter revitalization meeting.
If you are a chapter
member, invite five new
members into your group and get your dues free next year. If
you are someone thinking of joining, you get all your dues back
in the first year of your membership by coming to the convention
($100 discount off the registration) and taking a certification
course ($100 off the cost of the class).
And now onto what has been happening since you last heard
from us. Kansas City is still bubbling over with the effects of
our new chapter meeting there on April 25, 2001, and gearing up
for the national convention to come to town! Central Oregon is
geared up to become another car hooked to the train very soon.
Savannah, Georgia, is another NARPM hot spot being guided
with expert advice by Chapter of
the Year, Atlanta!
And the sky is shining in Las
Vegas from the very successful
NARPM event recently held there.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, was thrilled to
have the Road Show touch down
there, and the route continues on.
The Membership Committee continues to grow as more
members are joining the committee every day. Be a part of this
expanding effort and contact Chair Andrea G. Caldwell, MPM®
at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408/978-8100. And be on the lookout for
the NARPM Road Show — coming soon to a town near you!
NARPM Road Show — Chapter Six
By Andrea G. Caldwell, MPM®
Ad not available for online issue
Welcome New NARPM
The following is a list of new members from March 1, 2001,
to March 31, 2001
Protocol Property Management/GOLD LLC
1633 Birchwood Avnue, Ste. 101
Bellingham, WA 98225
Douglas Realty, Inc.
4821 Coronado Parkway
Cape Coral, FL 33904
All Star Properties, LLC
1425 S Noland Road
Independence, MO 64055
VRP Leasing & Property
1600 Tamiami Trail
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
100 Vineyards Blvd.
Naples, FL 34119
El Paso, TX 79936
Callahan Real Estate, Inc.
4206 N Division
N Little Rock, AR 72118
Deborah Glomb Realty
3850 SE 58th Avenue
Ocala, FL 34480
Action Now Property Management
PO Box 4642
Rolling Bay, WA 98061
St. Pete, FL 33707
R. Sam Harris
Harris Property Group
1401 Sea Gull Court
Panta Gorda, FL 33950
Chip Realty, Inc.
106 W Campbell Avenue
Campbell, CA 95008
Higgins North and Associates, LLC
PO Box 399
Higgins Lake, MI 48627
Premier Realty Associates, Inc.
1777 Tamiami Trail #406
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
Brat Resort Properties
PO Box 8327
Incline Village, NV 89452
Sacramento Delta Prty. Mgmt., Inc. CRMC®
910 Florin Road
Sacramento, CA 95831
AA Associates Realty, Inc.
831 Cape Coral Parkway, E
Cape Coral, FL 33904
Reynolds Realty Inc.
5350 E 46th Street, Ste. 147
Tulsa, OK 74135
Marwest Access Controls, Inc.
8774 Sepulveda Blvd., Ste. 1
North Hills, CA 91343
Central Property Management
190 N Westmonte Drive, Ste. 100
Altamonte Springs, FL 32812
Better Living, Inc.
PO Box 26247
Prescott Valley, AZ 86312
Residential Property Management, Inc.
10 S Cole Road
Boise, ID 83709
Premier Realty Assocites, Inc.
1777 Tamiami Trail, Ste. 406
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
Incline Vacation Rentals
940 Tahoe Blvd.
Incline Village, NV 89451
Sacramento Delta Prty. Mgmt., Inc. CRMC®
910 Florin Road, Ste. 100
Sacramento, CA 95831
El Paso, TX 79936
Radcliffe Realty Group LLC
220 N Market Street
Frederick, MD 21701
We can do the same for apartment renting.
On www.viva.com, just describe
you’re looking for, and we’ll do the rest.
Our menu is more extensive than ever,
so you can find your ideal apartment
fast. Act now to get $100 when you
So, what’s four letters across, to make
apartment hunting easier?
SHOULD BE SO EASY.
1. An animal that barks.
RENT PAIN FREE
Fair Housing Corner
This is the second of a regular series on fair housing issues.
Because fair housing is such an important aspect of our business,
we invite you to submit your questions, comments, and
concerns for review in upcoming issues. Simply e-mail Judy
Cook (email@example.com) with your questions and
watch future issues of Residential Resource for the
A question that arises frequently among property managers
is, “How can I be sure I’m treating all rental prospects
equally?” The initial interview with a prospective resident
sets the stage for the rental
relationship. Your responses
and behavior at this critical
stage of the relationship are the
first indication the prospect has
of your professionalism and
will either “make or break” the
rental transaction. Many fair
housing complaints are filed at
this stage of the relationship.
Why does this happen?
One of the errors most often
made by property managers is
to assume the customer’s needs.
For example, a person in a
wheelchair enters your office.
You might immediately assume
the prospect is not interested in renting anything but a singlelevel
home. This is not necessarily the case, and could be a
dangerous assumption. Another example would be to assume
someone of a particular ethnic background would prefer renting
in a neighborhood where there is a high concentration of
that particular ethnicity.
The surest way to avoid these errors is to have a predetermined
list of questions you ask every prospect prior to
showing a property. The benefits of this approach are twofold.
First, you avoid the possibility of making inaccurate
assumptions that could result in a claim of discrimination.
Second, you save valuable time for both yourself and your
prospect. After conducting a standard interview, you are
well-equipped to determine whether any properties in your
inventory will suit the prospect’s needs.
In the numerous fair housing training sessions I have facilitated,
a popular project has been to develop the “needs
assessment” form. You might consider brainstorming with
your office staff, or your local NARPM® chapter members,
on additions to the basic questions that follow.
1. My name is Judy. What is your name?
2. May I have your telephone number?
3. How soon are you planning to move?
4. How many bedrooms do you need?
5. Number of bathrooms?
6. Do you require a garage?
7. What area of town are you interested in?
8. How many people will be occupying the
9. What is your desired rental price
10. Do you have any pets?
11. Are you locally employed?
12. Do you have local landlord
13. Do you have any ‘special needs’?
14. Do you prefer a one-or two-story
15. Do you need a fenced yard?
16. What other requirements in a
rental property do you have?
You will find that during this interview
process, the prospect will provide you
with a great deal of information, expanding
on his answers to the questions you
ask. At this early stage of the process,
you will often be able to determine whether or not the
prospect is able to qualify financially to rent from your
company. It is an efficient and fair way to handle your rental
prospects. It also cuts down on the “no-shows” for scheduled
rental viewings. Once it is clear to both you and the prospect
that a particular property may be a perfect fit, the prospect is
more likely to show up as scheduled for viewing.
Develop a form for this process, and keep the completed
forms in a chronological file. If a fair housing claim is ever
filed against you, this documentation will serve as evidence
of your fairness and consistency in handling rental calls from
Next month, we’ll discuss drafting, communicating, and enforcing
rules and regulations for your renters. If you have a particular
question or concern in the area of fair housing, we encourage
you to share it with the NARPM® membership. E-mail Judy
Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.
Letting the Prospect Define the Limitations
By Judy Cook
Prospect A, who has dark hair and is of Hispanic descent, inquires
of Property Manager B, the manager of a 30-unit apartment
complex, about upcoming availability of a rental unit. Property
Manager B tells her that they have no vacancies and that none are
expected in the near future. Prospect A leaves her name and telephone
number with Property Manager B who agrees to call her if a
unit should become available. Not hearing from Property Manager
B for a long period, and during the summer season when one
would normally expect vacancies to occur, Prospect A again visits
the apartment complex. Again, Property Manager B states that they
do not have any vacancies and none should be expected.
Sensing something is amiss, Prospect B enlists the aid of a fair
complected Hispanic with blond hair, Prospect C. Prospect C visits
the apartment complex and inquires of Property Manager A about
the availability of a vacancy. Property Manager A states that they
have had a few vacancies the past few months and gives Prospect C
an application form to complete for an existing vacancy. Prospect C
then telephones Prospect B about the vacancy. Prospect B goes to
the apartment complex a few hours after the telephone call only to
be told by Property Manager A that there are no vacancies.
Prospect B files an ethics complaint charging discrimination.
Property Manager A denies that there was an available unit to rent
and claims that the application for rental was given to Prospect C in
How do these kinds of comments and actions reflect upon our
industry. What would you do differently, if anything? Would the
property manager’s actions and comments be an ethics violation?
You Made the Call:
Rick Ebert, MPM®, is with Austin Landmark Property Svs., CRMC®,
in Austin, TX.
Property Manager’s Source
You Make the Ethics Call
By Rick Ebert, MPM®
Article 2 states: “The Property Manager shall not discriminate in
the rental, lease, or negotiation for real property based upon race,
color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, or handicap, and
shall comply with all federal, state, and local laws concerning
By Penny Patterson, MPM®, Certification Chair
As you learned in April’s Resource, the PPM designation was
challenged and must be replaced. We have been given until the end
of 2001 to decide on our new designation. This is great news as we
will have time to thoroughly research the replacement before
going forward. Let’s hope we have some word within the next few
months about whether our preliminary choices will be challenged.
Did you notice that the MPM® designation and the CRMC® designation
are now printed with the trademark insignia? When the new
designation is chosen, it will be registered and trademarked as
well. By registering the replacement and obtaining a trademark on
it, we can be sure that our association will never have to change
our designations again.
Interested In Sponsoring
Opportunities are available to chapters
that would like to further
member education, promote certification,
and increase their chapter
funds by sponsoring a Certification
class. However, it takes time to plan
a class — so give your chapter five
to six months lead time if you wish
to sponsor one of these events.
Please find out more by calling Sylvia
Hill at 408/997-7100 or e-mailing her
at email@example.com. Sylvia can
provide you with the details you need
to make a Certification class a
PPM Classes Preregistration* On-site†
Member $195 $225
Nonmember $250 $280
MPM® Classes Preregistration* On-site†
Member $395 $450
Nonmember $450 $505
* To receive the preregistration price payment must be
postmarked, faxed, or e-mailed 30 days prior to the
† Attendees must pay the on-site fee when registering onsite
or sending payment in less than 30 days prior to the
• On-site registration begins at 8:00 am. Class
hours are 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.
• PPM classes qualify for 6 hours of NARPM
• MPM® classes qualify for 12 hours of
• All materials will be given to students on the
day of the class.
• All attendees are required to make their
individual hotel reservations.
Cancellations must be received in writing. If
cancellation notice is receive at least 30 days prior
to the class, a full refund will be issued less a $25
processing fee. If cancellation notice is received
less than 30 days before the class, a 50% refund
will be issued. No refunds will be made on the
day of class; however, the registration fee can be
applied to a later class with a $25 transfer fee.
Due to low registration, a class may be cancelled
with 15 days prior notice. Registration fee would
be credited to a future class.
(Please print or type)
Telephone __________________________________ Fax ________________________________
Name of class Class Date Cost
__________________________________ ________________________________ $ __________
__________________________________ ________________________________ $ __________
__________________________________ ________________________________ $ __________
Total $ __________
Method of Payment
n I have enclosed a check for $__________ Ck/M.O. #____________ Date_______________
n Please charge my credit card in the amount of $__________ as follows:
n VISA n MasterCard n Discover n American Express
Card Number _________________________________________________ Exp. Date___________
Name of Cardholder _______________________________________________________________
Billing Address ___________________________________________________________________
I authorize Association Headquarters to charge my credit card. I understand that my billing statement will read “Association Headquarters.”
2001 PPM/MPM® Certification Classes
PPM/MPM® Class Registration
1. MAIL your form with payment to NARPM,
P.O. Box 140647, Austin, TX 78714-0647.
2. FAX your form with credit card payment to
512/454-3036. Please do not mail the original.
Two Easy Ways to Register
Date Location Class Instructor
May 14 Orlando, FARPM Conf. PPM Maintenance Kit Garren, MPM®
May 15-16 Orlando, FARPM Conf. MPM® Risk Management David Holt, MPM®
May 15 Orlando, FARPM Conf. PPM Technology Jean Storms, MPM®
May 16 Orlando, FARPM Conf. PPM Marketing Fred Richter, MPM®
June 18 Ft. Worth, TX PPM Marketing Mark Kreditor, MPM®
June 18-19 Ft. Worth, TX MPM®PP&ER Sally Backus, MPM®
June 19 Ft. Worth, TX PPM Operations Mark Kreditor, MPM®
June 20 Ft. Worth, TX PPM Maintenance Kit Garren, MPM®
June 21 Atlanta, GA PPM Tenancy Wallace Gibson, MPM®
June 23 Oakland, CA PPM Marketing Ray Scarabosio, MPM®
To register for classes, complete the registration form and mail or fax with payment to
NARPM Headquarters. For more information call Headquarters at 800/782-3452.
P.O. Box 140647
Austin, TX 78714-0647
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
PERMIT NO. 2714
“Rocky’s” Maintenance Corner
Bathroom walls that break out in dark, rash
like stains are most likely suffering from
mildew. Take the following steps to prevent
mildew from gaining a foothold in your
Improve ventilation with a properly-sized exhaust fan.
Humidity from steamy showers causes most mildew. A wallor
ceiling-mounted exhaust fan, located as close to the shower
as possible, will help keep your bath dry. The fan should
move a minimum of 1.07 cubic feet of air per minute (CFM)
for each square foot of bathroom floor space.
Paint new walls, or repaint old ones, with mildew-proof paint.
Premium brands, which often offer warranties promising five
years of no mildew, are formulated with special resins that
contain none of the organic foods that mildew spores feed on.
Before you paint over mildewed areas, kill growth by cleaning
the surface with a solution of two cups bleach to two
gallons of water, followed by a clean water rinse.
To protect wall coverings, paste lining paper to the surface
before hanging patterned wallpaper. Apply the lining paper
with mildew proof pastes and adhesives.
Grout around tile with an epoxy based grout. Unlike cement
based grout, epoxy formulations cure to a hard, smooth
surface that is impervious to mildew.
Seal cement-based grout with acrylic sealer. Use a small
roller or foam brush to spread the sealer on the grout lines.
Apply the sealer 72 hours after grouting, and repeat annually
to maintain protective barrier.
Caulk around sinks, tubs, and showers with mildew resistant
products. Even mildew resistant caulk may need to be
The use of common baking soda in Home Maintenance areas
is often overlooked, but it is environmentally friendly, affordable,
and available. Try the following tips in your home or
Before the carpet layers put new carpet down, sprinkle a box
of baking soda over the floor — but not on hardwood floors
— or the pad to be covered by the carpet. Don’t let the
carpet people sweep it up before laying the carpet — it will
freshen the room and neutralize the odors. Distribute the
baking soda evenly with a flour sifter or shaker.
Add a small amount of baking soda to your vacuum bag to
fight the dirt smell that vacuums can sometimes get.
Use a paste of baking soda and water to remove black scuff
marks from linoleum floors.
“Rocky” Maxwell, MPM®, CPM®, GRI, is President of H.M.S.
Development, Inc., CRMC®. H.M.S. is a full-service Real Estate
Company and licensed Building Contractor with a specialty in renovation
and construction. He has built, renovated, and remodeled over 2500
homes, apartments, and commercial buildings in California and Texas.
He served as NARPM National President for the 1992/93 term. He is
the senior instructor of the MPM® designation course, Operating a
Mildew’s and Don’ts
By “Rocky” Maxwell, MPM®
It’s Not Just for Baking II…
By “Rocky” Maxwell, MPM®