Archive by Author
Posted on 25. Sep, 2014 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
Property managers often refer to their properties as communities, and rightfully so. But have you ever thought about strengthening that community?One of the things that apartment dwellers typically cite about living in an apartment is a sense of isolation. Often, renters are new to the area, or even the state, and would like to meet […]
Posted on 09. Sep, 2014 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
The Wall Street Journal recently noted that the share of new homes being built as rental apartments is at its highest level in four decades. While it certainly helps the economy, an increase in apartment homes can strike fear in the hearts of many property managers. After all, these newer units will likely boast state […]
Posted on 05. Aug, 2014 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
I understand that most of us are averse to change. Just the thought of changing a familiar product can make the most competent people break out into a cold sweat; even if that familiar product has resulted in more work and increased mistakes. Let’s take a quick look at some of the repercussions of Jill’s […]
Posted on 31. Jul, 2014 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
Once upon a time there was a woman we’ll call Jill. Jill worked in a fairly large property management company that handled both commercial and residential property management, so Jill was kept busy. When Jill became a property manager, she was trained on the company’s property management software. The software was adequate, but didn’t perform […]
Posted on 10. Jul, 2014 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
Often, when renting an apartment, tenants are overwhelmed by the amount of information they are given, from the initial apartment viewing, to filling out the application, to getting approved, to finally, moving in. While it’s important to let all prospective residents know and understand the rules they must abide by when moving into their new […]
Posted on 01. Jul, 2014 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
Years ago, while living in Las Vegas, a summer thunderstorm wreaked havoc on my apartment. Lightning eventually struck the roof of my loft, creating a fairly significant hole in the roof. Since it was late, I placed a bucket under the hole to catch the still-falling rain and called the management office to report the […]
Posted on 17. Jun, 2014 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
As important as it is for property managers to ensure that rent is received on a timely basis; rental collection is not just important to property managers. Surveys have shown that residents also want an easier way to pay rent. While many smaller management companies have continued to accept checks, many have done away with […]
Posted on 10. Jun, 2014 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
In older generations, renting an apartment was typically viewed as a temporary measure; with the ultimate goal being home ownership. A lot has changed since then. The epic housing melt-down has driven more renters into the market. And many young professionals are seeing apartments as a reflection of their tastes and personality, not as a […]
Posted on 05. Jun, 2014 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
We all know that in the property management arena, managers typically have one chance to make a good first impression on prospective residents. So the last thing managers want is a cluttered mess to be the first thing that applicants see. We all become immune to our surroundings, seeing only what we want to see. […]
Posted on 27. May, 2014 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
The term risk management can mean different things to different people. But in short, effective risk management is concerned with both the financial and human consequences of unforeseen events. To effectively manage their properties, managers should make a concerted effort to become better educated in risk management; starting with identifying possible risks at each property, […]
Posted on 06. May, 2014 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
It’s safe to say that property managers are constantly in search of ways to improve their properties. While some are obvious, others may not be quite so apparent. For instance, do you really know what your residents think of your clubhouse? Are they happy with property staff? Is staff response to complaints prompt or nonexistent? […]
Posted on 29. Apr, 2014 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
In June of last year, an Arizona property management company was shut down due to improper use of a trust fund account. During a routine audit, the account was found short of money, with further investigation revealing an unauthorized signer on the account, as well as the issuance of a monthly paycheck made from the […]
Posted on 19. Feb, 2014 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
First, let me confess that I love Excel. Having used Excel for years, I’m fully aware of its strengths, and will continue to use it to create spreadsheets, graphs, and tables. But for some unknown reason, there is a small group of property managers that continue to extol the benefits of using Excel as their primary accounting software.
Posted on 06. Jan, 2014 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
Did you know that a recent industry survey determined that 1 in 4 renters do not receive their security deposit back after vacating a rental unit? Though reasons varied, one statistic in the survey clearly stood out – nearly 36 percent of renters claimed that they never received a reason why their deposit was withheld. Their deposit simply wasn’t returned – an act that is illegal in almost every state.
Posted on 02. Dec, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
With one winter storm already recorded in the books; there’s no doubt that it’s getting cold. Today in the desert southwest it’s a balmy 27 degrees. Even a sub-tropical paradise is no longer immune to the effects of a winter storm. In a typical season, winter storms can wreak havoc, causing billions of dollars in damages.
Posted on 06. Nov, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
While most of us enjoy our job, and wouldn’t dream of trading it for another; there are some things that most property managers absolutely hate to do. While we love meeting new people and enjoy helping them find their perfect home, there are some things that go along with the job many of us hate doing.
Posted on 30. Oct, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
Admittedly, Halloween is one of my favorite days. While serving as the gateway to the upcoming holiday season, Halloween is a day when we can let our inner child out to play. Ghosts, goblins, witches (my personal favorite) and vampires are found everywhere you look. What a great way to spend the day.
Posted on 25. Sep, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
The number one job of the property manager is to lease. Whether it’s a unit in a multi-family complex or a single family home; the success of the property manager lies in large part in how quickly and how effectively they lease empty space. Today, there are more leasing tools available to property managers than ever before.
Posted on 16. Sep, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
Yes, technically it’s still summer, but we all know that Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer. While many regions of the U.S. will see warm temperatures well past Labor Day, it’s never too early to start preparing your properties for cooler temperatures. Getting a jump on seasonal preparations will also reduce the likelihood of being caught unprepared by an early winter storm.
Posted on 19. Aug, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
Completing a leasing agreement with your tenants is the single most important task that you will undertake. While completing a lease has likely become second nature to most property management professionals, you may want to take a little extra time and think about everything that needs to be in that lease; before it’s presented to your future tenants.
Posted on 13. Aug, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
Your landscaping is immaculate on your property. Your office and your staff offices are clutter free and welcoming. The chairs and sofas in your clubhouse are comfortable and stain free. Perhaps a batch of fresh-baked cookies sits in the reception area. Everything is in its place – right?
Posted on 10. Jul, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
Under the best of circumstances, being a property manager can be a stressful career choice. Throw a distressed property in a high-crime area into your portfolio, and that stress level can increase tremendously. While it won’t be easy, turning a crime-ridden property into a safe haven for grateful tenants and a money maker for your portfolio can be done.
Posted on 01. Jul, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
Even if you’re happy with your current internal processes and the tools you use, it never hurts to make a periodic assessment of those tools. While it’s fairly easy to tell when it’s time to upgrade your computer or replace your printer, it’s far more difficult (and painful), to determine when other parts of your business need upgrading.
Posted on 12. Jun, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
In my last post, I talked about the advantages and disadvantages of continuing to use swamp coolers in your properties. In fact, business is booming for many HVAC companies touting the advantages of converting evaporative cooling systems to conventional air conditioning systems.