» Property Management

  • Heat waves
    By admin on July 25, 2005 | 4 Comments4 Comments  Comments

    Warning: gzinflate() [function.gzinflate]: data error in /home/property/public_html/wp-includes/http.php on line 1787

    Welcome to the property management blog, our window on the world of property management.

    If you believe the patterns that the weather watchers are reporting, then the heat waves that are searing the nation will become more prevelant in the next few years. How will this effect your properties and how you manage them? Will it mean more r-rating installed? Will it mean more zeriscaping and less landscaping? Will it change how you manage your HVAC systems?

    Let’s face it. A few days of a hundred plus degrees one can withstand if some AC and cool water is available. But after several days or a few weeks of it, people just wear down. Systems and equipment wear down. The service people who try to keep the cooling units working wear down. The power grid gets overworked and people stress themselves out.

    I don’t care if youare in a part of the country that is dry and hot. This kind of heat is powerful and oppressive.

    What sort of big picture initiatives are you involved in that will help you run your properties more efficiently and help your tenants survive in a better fashion should these heat waves become routine? If there was a way to store the heat to use in the winter to heat your proeprties, that would be a great thing. If there was a way to difuse the heat or turn it into energy to use to cool buildings, wouldn’t that be something? Maybe this sounds like I have a little heat stroke myself, but we have always come up with a solution when a situation became difficult enough. I’m curious to see what you are working on. Let me know.

    bye for now, Tron

    [Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post 

  • Improvise
    By admin on July 7, 2005 | 2 Comments2 Comments  Comments

    Warning: gzinflate() [function.gzinflate]: data error in /home/property/public_html/wp-includes/http.php on line 1787

    Welcome to the property management blog, where we watch the property management game.

    I am still watching tradesmen finishing out the face-lift on our building. The dry-waller who is working in my office ran into a few complications today, because his substrate was not what he had hoped for. So I got to watch him improvise and work out a way to prepare for the final finish without ideal circumstance. Isn’t this what we usually do anyway?

    We set up a project or work on a strategy and find that we are lacking either, resources, momentum or even a substrate. Then we have to improvise. It is amazing to see how property managers, maintenance technicians, leasing agents and executives manage to get from point A to point B by improvising and inveting along the way. Sometimes we make “it” happen by ignoring the obstacles and just moving forward in spite of them. The building we are housed in is a great example. It has been updated and renovated many times, each time for a slightly different use or to give a different image. Each time the end result is successful, although the process and the details are not always pretty or predicatable.

    The gym teacher I had in the third grade used to get in trouble with parents because he would wait until you were not paying attention and then throw a ball at you and yell “Think fast!” A few parents thought this was mean. He knew it helped us with quick thinking and quick reactions. His intention was to get a good basketball and football team. He didn’t realize that it also helps when your management strategies are wavering and you need to improvise.

    bye for now,

    [Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post 

  • For the kids
    By admin on June 29, 2005 | 2 Comments2 Comments  Comments

    Warning: gzinflate() [function.gzinflate]: data error in /home/property/public_html/wp-includes/http.php on line 1787

    Welcome to the property management blog, our diary of the property management world.

    Today I drove by an apartment community that used to be pretty run down. I had employees who lived there and they were always a little nervous about things happening there. I looked at it today, because I noticed they spread new mulch on the playground. There used to be a plain and ugly driveway that wound past the entrance. It was replaced a few years ago with a grassy area and a new play ground. It is nicely fenced-in, so parents can feel as if their kids are relatively safe there.

    This was a part of a major improvement that a new ownership group undertook. They felt, rightly so, that a renovated, updated and child friendly community would attract and keep better tenants, have less crime and therefore be a more profitable property.

    It has not only worked out for the owners. It has worked out for the whole city. And it has worked out for the kids. They now have a nice place to play close to their apartments.

    I realize it is an expensive undertaking to turn a property around. I know it doesn’t always work. But it has to be worth it from all angles. Whay aren’t people doing more of these?

    bye for now,

    [Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post 

  • Profitable meal
    By admin on June 28, 2005 | No Comments  Comments

    Warning: gzinflate() [function.gzinflate]: data error in /home/property/public_html/wp-includes/http.php on line 1787

    Lunch in Newport Beach

    If you are responsible for keeping your properties rented up, you’ll want to come and have lunch with me in Orange County California on July 12th. I will be hosting a lunch at 11:30 AM at the Balboa Bay Club. Seating is very limited. So RSVP ASAP.

    I will be sharing some success stories from our clients. The internal upside in your property is in your phone calls. You can rent to more of the people that are already calling you.


    Thanks for reading the self storage blog.

    [Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post 

  • Little changes can be catastrophic
    By admin on June 21, 2005 | 2 Comments2 Comments  Comments

    Warning: gzinflate() [function.gzinflate]: data error in /home/property/public_html/wp-includes/http.php on line 1787

    Welcome to the property management blog, where we keep a diary of our involvement in the property management game.

    The building where our offices and call center are located is getting a face lift. One of the things we are doing is moving the water spigots for the automatic watering hoses that keep our flower boxes looking good. The guys in charge of the construction project warned me to make sure the water shut-off valve is turned off before the first freezes come this fall. The water line runs right behind the new wall and if it freezes and bursts, we might ruin all the new facing that is being put on. I know this, because the water shut-off valve ended up in my office, because my office is the closest to that side of the wall where the old water lines where. So I am curious to see if I forget to turn off the water line, or if everyone else who has an interest forgets to remind me to turn off the water line.

    This may seem like a silly thing to write about, but how many small changes make a big difference? And how many of theses small changes are factored in to the day to day management of a property, to make sure that a small change does not end up causing a huge catastrophe.

    It is easy to create changes and to re-do things in a renovation. But do you have someone on the porject making sure that everyone who needs to be aware of changes can and will take them into consideration?

    bye for now,

    [Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post 

  • Generations of customers
    By admin on June 20, 2005 | 62 Comments62 Comments  Comments

    Warning: gzinflate() [function.gzinflate]: data error in /home/property/public_html/wp-includes/http.php on line 1787

    Welcome to the property managemnet blog, where we look at issues that impact rental property ownership and management groups.

    We all wonder about customer churn. How do we get more of them? How do we keep more of them?

    I got one heck of a sweet Father’s Day present. I am famous for driving older cars that were paid for many years ago. I just love not having a car payment and not caring if I get dinged in a parking lot. Well my wife decided if I am determined to drive an old “junker”, I should at least drive one we can look cool in. So she stumbled upon a 1970 Chevy Impala convertible that a guy in town was tired of having in his garage. It is in relatively nice condition, but I am sure it will become a project. It is very cool.

    I called our insurance agent, Terry Critten, to tell him we have a new car to add to the policy. He was friends with my wife’s parents and did all of their auto and home policies. When my wife and I married, I switched all my policies over to Terry. She already had hers with him. When my kids get big enough to start driving, we will get them started as Terry’s customers, too.

    When I called Terry, he took the time to visit with me about personal matters and he took the time to ask some extra questions to make sure he could get me the best coverage for my situation at the best rates available to him. He does this for all his customers. I know this because I have been in his office and heard him on the phone with other clients. And I know other people who use him.

    I get offers all the time…in the mail, by email and through media advertising to save money by switching my auto and home insurance policies. I would not switch to save 10%. I would not switch to save 20%. If someone offerred me to save more than 20%, I would be afraid that the service and the coverage would be so sub-standard, that I would be very angry with myself. And if I switched to save a few dollars, I would feel as if I would be telling Terry that all his help and friednship was worthless. That would be very disrespectful and rude of me to do. I don’t think you get get me to switch from Terry for any reason. How is that for a testimonial?

    Isn’t it interesting that I did not mention the company he works for. He works for one of the biggest ones. But he also works for me. I even have to look at my statements or my insurance cards to remember which company he works for, because there are two big ones with State in their names and I have a hard time keeping them apart in my mind. Terry is with State Farm. State Farm and others have managed to instill the value of personal customer service and great customer relations into their sales force, while offering top notch support to ther agents. They have the best of both worlds. You get a local person who you think is working for you. He gets the support and leverage of a large, well-oiled machine. The thing is that Terry works for State Farm and not for the others. So State Farm gets my money.

    How is it in your company? Do your site managers and leasing agents have great personal relationships with your tenants? Do your tenants feel as if they are renting from a faceless, heartless entity, or do they feel as if they are renting from your property managers? Give your people the tools and skills and support needed so they can build up the level of personal interaction and service needed to create three generations of cusotmer loyalty. The payoff is big. And the payoff is very long term.

    bye for now,

    [Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post 

  • Will you be in Orange County?
    By admin on June 14, 2005 | No Comments  Comments

    Warning: gzinflate() [function.gzinflate]: data error in /home/property/public_html/wp-includes/http.php on line 1787

    If you will be in Orange COunty California in mid July, cmoe join me for lunch.

    Here are the details…

    Have Lunch and Boost your Profits.

    Rent more space without increasing your expenses

    Find the internal upside in your property…it’s in your phone calls!

    Join PhoneSmart director Tron Jordheim for lunch at
    The Balboa Bay Club’s First Cabin Restaurant
    In Newport Beach, CA. Tuesday July 12 at 11:30 am.

    There is no cost to you. All you will spend is your time.

    Seating is very limited. RSVP by July 1, 2005.

    Current and future clients are all welcome.

    For more information on the Balboa Bay Club

    For more information on PhoneSmart

    Your Profit Partner
    Call center
    Secret Shopping
    Sales Training

    [Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post 

  • The generation mix…the resurgence of clans?
    By admin on May 20, 2005 | 2 Comments2 Comments  Comments

    Warning: gzinflate() [function.gzinflate]: data error in /home/property/public_html/wp-includes/http.php on line 1787

    Welcome to the property management blog, where we look at the property management industry for items of interest.

    Two trends many of you are probably already taking note of are
    1. The in-law suite is gaining in popularity. More and more developers are builing in-law suites into the larger apartment communities, because renters like them.
    2. Younger people are not moving out of their parents’ homes. They stay to finish school, to get their careers started, to save money to get their own “Thing” going.

    We assume that the mom/dad/kids/dog family group that we idolized in the 50s and 60s has long passed into legend for the most part. But when the trends I mentioned above merge, do we have a new trend? “The re-emergence of clans”

    A clan is a group of related individuals, related by blood, interest or circumstance who work and or live together. We see groups of immigrants join up in a clan-like structure to live together in a owned or rented home in order for all of them to get their feet on the ground in America.

    Maybe the next trend is for the blended family of a mine-yours-ours couple also has a 25 year old kid and a 69 year old in-law living with them. Many cultures in many countries have lived like this forever to be able to meet all the challenges of space, income, childcare and providing for future stability.

    What are property management insiders doing about this? Are you seeing this trend take shape already? Do you already have a name for it? Are you designing units to meet the particular needs of a clan group? I’d like to know your thoughts on this.

    Bye for now, Tron

    [Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post 

  • Brainstorm resource
    By admin on May 19, 2005 | 73 Comments73 Comments  Comments

    Warning: gzinflate() [function.gzinflate]: data error in /home/property/public_html/wp-includes/http.php on line 1787

    Welcome to the property management blog, where we share our views and opinions on running apartments, commercial and retail space.

    We are still at the Brainstorming session in Orlando. Today was the day to talk to people in the trade show area, or resource room, as the brainstromers call it. I find from talking to people that they all have the same problem that we can solve. Leasing agents and customer service staff at the properties are letting rentals slip away by missing phone calls or by answering a phone calll when they are not able to focus their complete attention on the call. People are also talking about the lack of sales and closing skills at the property level.

    So there is a real need for an off-site sales force like ours, where we can talk to the rental inquiries the property cannot…and turn those calls into appoinments and showings. There is a need for our secret shopper service to help proeprty staff do better on the phone and ask for the business.

    It will be interesting to see how many of our leads turn into new customers and how many new customers turn into clients and fans. I’m sure I’ll let you know.

    bye for now, Tron

    [Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post 

  • staying ahead
    By admin on May 9, 2005 | 3 Comments3 Comments  Comments

    Warning: gzinflate() [function.gzinflate]: data error in /home/property/public_html/wp-includes/http.php on line 1787

    Anticipating your tenants’ needs is great way to let them know they are renting in a great place. You have a pretty good idea from your experience in property management of from being a tenant somewhere, what sort of situations people run into. Try to spend a part of your day doing preventative building maintenance and preventative customer care. It will help you avert big problems down the road and will give your tenants very little reason to move out.
    Bye for now, Tron

    [Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post