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Property Management Blog

Vacancy Survey 4th Q 2014

Andrea Mayer, RMP® - Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Every quarter, the professional members of the SW Idaho Chapter of NARPM (National Association of Residential Property Managers) combine our data in a survey, to help gain perspective on rental rates, as well as vacancies.  If you are a current client of CPM, your investment property's data is included here. This is the most current information, for the 4th quarter of 2014.I am pleased to share the data, and I hope you find it useful. The last page spells it all out in an easy to understand summary.

For more information on pricing, trends and other industry information, please contact Andrea Mayer, 208-283-5663 or andrea@cpmidaho.com

Sayonara "Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act"

Andrea Mayer, RMP® - Friday, December 05, 2014

The federally mandated "Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act" officially comes to a close at the end of this month, 12/31/14. As of 1/1/2015, the law will go back to the way it was, meaning most likely the lease will be terminated by the completion of the foreclosure and the resident must vacate, unless a new deal is struck with the lender or buyer. 

The PTFA originated in 2009 after the foreclosure crisis, and was put into place to help residents stay in their homes and honor their lease agreements during a time of foreclosure. The exceptions were that if a new buyer was going to occupy the home or if the tenant had either a month to month tenancy or no lease at all ("at will tenancy"). I saw first hand how this Act helped residents of this firm, the time to find new housing. It truly did a lot to help those in a difficult situation. 

Hopefully with the expiration of this Act, we will help to close out a stressful chapter in our nation's history. Onward and forward! Remember, if you are having trouble paying your mortgage, call your lender! There are many programs out there to help. If you are a tenant in a rental that you have recently heard is in default, contact your property manager or landlord immediately!



There's a new professional in town!

Andrea Mayer, RMP® - Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Well, not exactly. It's still me, but I have an official new title now, Andrea Mayer, RMP®. Through NARPM® I have earned my Residential Management Professional designation. And I'm thrilled to share the news.

NARPM® designations are earned with a combination of property management experience, industry education and service to the association through volunteer activities.

The idea behind the designation, is to set myself apart from other property managers. The education and experience I have received in earning my RMP® adds a credibility and confidence that is directly passed on to my clients and customers.  

In order to earn this distinguished title, quite a bit was expected of me. My first item of business was to give back to our local chapter. I served on the Board of the SW Idaho Chapter of NARPM®, for two years, and I will be gearing up for my third year, come January 2015. 

I was also required to have 100 unit years of experience, complete 18 hours of course work, attend Regional Conventions, earn elective points, as well as have an article published in the NARPM® magazine, The Residential Resource. Since I am a former bill collector and quality assurance agent, my article was on Using Good Phone Etiquette and handling difficult calls. It took a lot of hard work and time to accomplish this goal, but I am very proud to be forging ahead in NARPM® and making a name for myself and my company. 

My Top Five Favorite Boise Restaurants

Andrea Mayer, RMP® - Friday, September 12, 2014

As a long time Boise resident (and long time eater), I have sampled much of the local fare. Boise is rich in talented chefs, cool restaurants and belly filling entrees. I'm sharing few of my faves, which hopefully you, too, will enjoy. My list consists of local businesses and all offer vegetarian & vegan options!  It tried to put them in order, but after much consideration (and scribbling), I just couldn't! So here you are, in no particular order....

Casa Mexico, located at Five Mile and Fairview. Mmmm. These guys know how to make delicious Mexican food. I used to get the cheese quesadilla, which was fantastic, and now I order the vegetarian taco bowl, which is HUGE. But my favorite item there is their salsa. Hands down, this is some of the best salsa in Boise, and I would know! Plus, you can order it to go! Very reasonably priced and the staff is very kind and attentive. 

Sockeye Grill and Brewery, located at Cole and Ustick. As every Westender knows, this is the place to be. The Sockeye's food is consistently excellent. I have enjoyed their delicious salmon, burritos, rice bowls and stir-fry. My husband orders the French Dip. And we always wash it down with our favorite beer, Woolybugger Wheat, brewed right there on site. You could fill a growler there before it was cool. 

Idaho Pizza Company, multiple locations. Pizza done right, consistently. Go for the lunch special where you can get all you can eat or a mini pizza and salad bar plus drink all for about $6. They also make a great hot sandwich. 

MFT BBQ and Vegan Food, at the Curtis Rd Exit. **UPDATE, MFT is now BBQ 4 Life and has moved to the Vista Village** While I haven't had their BBQ'd meat, I definitely have eaten a lot of their vegan food and oh boy, is it good! MFT stands for My Family Tradition. A brother/wife/sister team started out as a food truck. They became so successful quickly, they opened a store front. The restaurant is certainly nothing fancy - it's the old Sunshine Feed Store, for Pete's sake. The decor is awful, but its easily overlooked when you dig in. I recommend the Tempeh sandwich with their country beans. My son likes the vegan mac and cheese and the PB&J. 

Kyotos, Fairview and Curtis. OK, so I might have lied earlier when I said I couldn't put them in order because I'm pretty sure Kyoto's is my favorite. We have celebrated many a birthdays, anniversary's around their Tepanyaki grills. The chefs put on a great show, all with fire, jokes and shrimp flipping, which easily entertains all ages. The portion sizes are quite ample, there is usually enough to take home. 

Now go fill your belly!


Preparing Mentally and Physically to Rent Your Home

Web Admin - Monday, August 18, 2014

Today's renters are more savvy than yesteryears and the expectations and stakes are higher. The old mindset that, "It's just a rental, so anything goes", is not only disrespectful to your future renter, but an archaic thought, that will have you loosing potential applicants. Many folks today are renting by choice and some have been for decades. Others have been longtime homeowners and either may be entering the rental market due to circumstance or by choice. Either way, today's renter pool is more educated, so homeowners need come prepared.

Let's start outside with curb appeal. If you were driving up to the house for the first time, would you be enticed to take a look inside? How do the grounds look? What type of expectation are you as the owner setting for future care? It's obvious that you want a green, weed free lawn. Also pay special attention to flowerbeds, shrubs and trees. Let's get those oil stains out of the driveway. Let's make sure the exterior is free of debris such as, leaves, cobwebs, etc. Fix anything in need of repair, such as leaning or rotted fence posts and anything that appears weathered and old. Be sure to have your property manager hire a lawn crew to keep the lawn looking it's best during the vacancy. Many people still drive through areas of town they'd like to live in, making a first impression is a golden opportunity.

Once inside a vacant home, people's eyes are drawn immediately to flaws. Let's try to minimize them. Homes with fresh paint and clean carpets leave people to contemplate the floor plan, rather than what kind of Landlord owns the home. Homes should also be professionally cleaned. Did you pull out the oven and fridge to clean behind it? What about on top of those high plant shelves? A professional cleaner will know to do so.

How does it smell? Don't let that smell you hope no one is going to notice waste anyone's time. There are many a-people out there with sensitive noses who can smell pets and mildew that are long gone, but it's just enough to ruin a deal. This is why a professional clean followed by a carpet cleaning is so important. Your renter will be expected to clean the carpets when they move out, so it's a fair trade -
Love those bold paint colors on your wall? Well don't expect everyone else to. Colors are personal and since you aren't living there, you should try to appeal to as many people as you can - and you do that with neutral colors. Try shades of sand, beige and tan, with white trim. When you do have white walls, try to avoid having the trim work the same shade. You want there to be a break in color.

Let's talk risk. Do all your bedrooms have smoke detectors? They need to, it's code and a requirement of CPM. Do you have GFCI outlets in your bathrooms and kitchens? You should. Outlets trip for a reason, safety! How are the handrails, the stairs, the floorboards? Also, think about the last time you had your dryer vent and chimney cleaned. Preventative maintenance can keep you (and me) out of court. Anything else around the house that is in need of repair? Most of these things are simple fixes, and if they aren't then we should re-evaluate.

Many first time landlords are shocked to hear me say that I want to change their locks. New occupants have a right to know that the only people with a key to their home is their professional property manager and them. There are horror stories that include people with keys getting out of jail only to let themselves into a house that is no longer occupied by their loved ones. The thought of someone having access to your home is frightening. Your renter should feel and be safe.

Lastly, you need to take any emotional attachment out of the house. If you lived in a house that you are now turning into a rental, you need to draw a line in the sand. You are a landlord now. You are running a business that comes with risks and rewards. You cannot expect to make rational decisions when emotions are involved. Not everyone is going to love the house the way you did. And that's OK. Remember, you are working on not being emotionally attached. Blunt advice coming - but renters don't care that you laid that hardwood floor yourself, refinished the tub yourself or your granddaddy built the home with his bare hands. Besides, most people with good credit and references seldom cause much damage. So with good screening in place, your confidence should be raised. But you must expect that each year that goes by, there is going to be wear and tear on any home. There isn't much that can be done that isn't fixable.

Hiring a professional property manager to help navigate you through state and federal laws, bizarre circumstances and tenant expectations is a wise business decision - and, another write off!

Contributed by Andrea Mayer


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