Safety First!

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In our business as property managers, we recognize the importance of providing our tenants with a safe property in which to live or do business. If it’s within our control and area of responsibility, we eliminate obvious safety hazards, as an important aspect of our overall risk-management strategy.

 

Yet, how often do we consider our own safety?

 

The times I have felt most vulnerable as a property manager were when I was showing a vacant home or commercial space. Taking advice from experts in the field, I realized the necessity of developing a pre-screening checklist. That checklist gives me the opportunity to not only eliminate the prospects who are clearly unqualified to rent the home (or lease the space), but to learn a bit about these callers, before arranging a showing. My checklist includes such questions such as, “How soon do you need to move (or relocate your business)?” “How long have you lived here (or how long in business)?” and “Do you have any credit issues of which we should be aware?” These questions help set the stage for a successful first meeting.

 

Do you confirm the identity of the person you are meeting, before you meet?

 

Just about every article available on this topic speaks to the importance of meeting a prospect at your office, first. Do you actually do that? Or, is it more likely, you meet at the vacant property? At minimum, please get the prospect’s photo identification before you meet. With the ease of today’s technology, asking a prospect to text you a photo of his/her driver’s license is not a burdensome request.

 

Alternatively, you might wish to employ a widely-popular method of showing vacant properties – an access-controlled (self-showing) lockbox system. Companies such as Rently and ShowMojo can verify your prospects’ identity, schedule controlled self-guided showings, and follow up immediately on calls and inquiries. These systems relieve you of not only the safety risk, but the hassle of no-shows, and lost time in the showing process. Of course, not all properties lend themselves to using such a system.

 

A few tips for your safety, outside the showing process…

 

  • Accept your rent payments electronically, rather than by personal delivery. And, “no cash” is a wise policy to adopt.
  • Make sure lines of communication with your clients and customers are wide open, and potential conflicts are resolved in a swift, calm manner.
  • You may, as I often do, work from your home. That’s great – it allows for a much more flexible wardrobe! Just be sure to never provide your home address to owners, tenants, or vendors. Use a P.O. Box for your mail, or the physical address of your office.
  • Got speed dial? Use it. Make sure it includes at least 1 member of your office staff, a family member, and police or fire departments.
  • Watch what you share on social media. Just because your Facebook page is set for optimum privacy, doesn’t mean it’s private. Think before you post, and limit the amount of personal information you share.

 

There are so many more great tips out there for those of us who work in this industry. Perhaps, you have some tips you’d like to share? If so, please comment on this post, or email me! judy@judycook.biz. We may include them in a future article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Updated Class Schedule for Reno NV

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Wandbild_eines_SeiltänzersIn response to numerous requests for a CE class in Property Management, I’m pleased to announce we’ve just scheduled “Risk Reduction Strategies for Property Managers” to be held in Reno on November 13th. Ticor Academy, a division of Ticor Title is sponsoring the course. (Thanks Ticor Team!) Please contact Ticor Academy for more information and registration. General details of the class are here.

Hope to see you in November!

Warm regards,

Judy

 

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Owner: “Why Can’t I Talk to My Own Tenant?”

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Owner/Tenant Conversations

A common frustration among property managers all over the country is the difficulty posed when owner/clients start communicating directly with their tenants. From the owner’s perspective, it’s difficult for them to understand why this would be a problem. After all, it’s their rental property! The tenants are their tenants, right?

 

“Just because I have retained a professional property manager, shouldn’t mean I can’t interact with my own tenants.”  This is what our owners often believe, and it’s one of the most damaging beliefs they can hold.

Continue reading “Owner: “Why Can’t I Talk to My Own Tenant?””

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Best wishes for a wonderful year ahead!

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As this amazing year draws quickly to an end, I’m reminded of all the rich experiences, fascinating people, and fun times I enjoyed in 2012.

 

Thank you, Lisa Betts, my awesome booking agent. Thank you for taking a chance on me, and providing me with so many great opportunities to share best practices and experiences with fellow property managers all over the country, this past year.

 

Thank you, too, to all the wonderful property managers I had the great pleasure to meet  along the way. From Nevada to Virginia, New Jersey to Wyoming… Continue reading “Best wishes for a wonderful year ahead!”

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It’s Official! I’ve Gone National!

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Who would have thought this might happen? After some 20+ years of facilitating property management classes and workshops throughout Nevada, and consulting with some of the finest property managers in the industry, I’ve been picked up by one of the most well-respected national booking agents in the country, BettsWorks, Inc. Yep, I’m taking this show on the road!  Continue reading “It’s Official! I’ve Gone National!”

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