Archive by Author
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.
Posted on 10. Jun, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
I never heard of swamp coolers until I moved to Las Vegas, NV. As I was touring my friend’s new home, he explained that instead of air conditioning, his home was cooled by a swamp cooler. If you currently manage properties in the West or Southwest regions of the U.S., chances are you’re familiar with these evaporative cooling systems that are typically referred to as swamp coolers.
Posted on 15. May, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
If you’re just starting your own property management business, it’s important to identify what you bring to the table. Is it your expert customer service? Affordable fees? Years of property management experience? Whether you’re planning on managing multi-family units, rental homes, or commercial properties, the skills and experience you can identify and later offer potential customers plays a large part in building and retaining your customer base.
Posted on 03. May, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
Despite the warnings that are prevalent around the country, potential renters, property owners and managers continue to be scammed by Craigslist. These scams have evolved as the criminals have become more devious. Today, both renters and property managers are the frequent victims of these scams.
Posted on 23. Apr, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
Spring is finally here. If you’re in a cold climate, it’s likely you haven’t spent much time outside. But once the snow melts and the ground is visible again, you’ll likely spot some areas that have become weathered from the elements. With the last freeze likely over, now is the time to get outside and take a good long look at your properties.
Posted on 21. Mar, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
As property managers, we’re all aware of the multitude of issues that frequently arise with unreliable tenants. Late rental payments, disturbing the peace, illegal activity, and a general disregard for the property are all problems that typically arise in the property management industry.
Posted on 19. Mar, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
They’re the words that strike fear in most of us. “You’re being audited.” First, don’t panic. Many IRS audits are simple requests for information that you can provide by mail. Providing the information requested on a timely basis typically satisfies the IRS.
Posted on 06. Mar, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
You’ve done your homework. The condition of every unit or home you rent is carefully documented, with pictures to support your findings. The tenant lease clearly states what your tenant is responsible for, and they have read and agreed to the responsibilities listed. Your tenant signed off on the list, and any subsequent problems found during the walk-through were addressed and noted on both copies of the move-in sheet.
Posted on 20. Feb, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
Security Deposit processing continually challenges property managers across the country. In theory, this should be one of the easier things that property managers are required to do. The tenant provides management with a security deposit that will be held during the life of the tenancy.
Posted on 14. Feb, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
While there are several long term investments you can make to reduce your carbon footprint such as installing low flow toilets in each apartment, or xeriscaping the lawn to reduce water consumption, there are several easy, inexpensive things you can do to conserve energy and leave the environment just a little bit cleaner and your carbon footprint a little bit lighter.
Posted on 15. Jan, 2013 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
Leasing up your apartment community can be challenging in the best of time. But for smaller property management companies or those managing smaller properties, it can become even more difficult to compete with larger companies with a more robust marketing budget.
Posted on 28. Dec, 2012 by Mary Girsch-Bock.
With the exception of the retail sector, business is typically slow during the holidays, and the property management business is no exception. Leasing rates between mid-November and December 31st can be extremely slow for even the most visible properties, with the units that are vacant at the end of October statistically more likely to still be vacant at the end of the year.