Jan 19 2017

Ways to avoid turnover in a rental business

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If you are a landlord, then you know that turnover is an expensive issue, one which should be avoided as much as possible.  Of course, renters come and go over time, but there are ways you can minimize the risk or frequency of it happening.  Below are ways to avoid turnover in your rental business.

Keep in Touch With Your Tenants

One of the best ways to prevent turnover is to keep in touch with your tenants.  Just like a good manager at a restaurant, a good landlord will check in with tenants to make sure they are enjoying their time and if they need assistance with anything.  When was the last time you went to a restaurant and the restaurant manager stopped by?  You may remember him or her wanting to know if you loved the food, the wine, and perhaps you need more napkins.  They see what you need before you need it, and offer their help.  

Likewise, a landlord should send a short and sweet email every so often to make sure they are happy.  Not all tenants will be outspoken about what they need.  On the other hand, it is possible that your tenant has a small list of things they need fixed or complaints about the neighbors, but they have never made the time to bring it up to you.  Make sure you let them know that you are available if they need assistance.  Your hospitality will keep them happy and make an impression that you care about their well-being.  You never know—your involvement can be the difference between them leaving or staying when the lease ends.

Keep up with Maintenance

If you are aware of any maintenance issues, be prompt about fixing them.  Be aware of any preexisting conditions of your rental that may need frequent inspection, and let your tenants know if you need to check on the state of that condition.  Be sure that your tenant is aware if this is a reality of the property, and allow them ample notice when you need to stop by.  

In addition, if your tenant notifies you of a broken fixture or appliance, make sure you repair it quickly.  It may be wise to have a network of plumbers, carpet cleaners, installers, and repair people available so that you can take care of these issues immediately.  Alternatively, you may be able to make repairs yourself.  If this is the case, you still need to be timely and invest appropriately so that your tenants know you care about their experience.

Update Amenities

Near the end of the lease, you may want to update an amenity such as windows.  Tell this to your tenants and they may be encouraged to stay.  Some tenants are always looking for the next best thing at the end of their leases, so it is best to let them know that you are always trying to improve the grounds, even in a small way.  Depending on the upgrade or renovation you are proposing, you may also have the opportunity to raise the rent to make up for costs.  This is something to consider when researching rent price and updating as needed to make your rental competitive.

Ask Questions to Potential Candidates

Before the candidates even move in, you should ask them questions when they visit the property for a showing.  If they are serious about applying, that may be the perfect time to get to know their future intentions before they turn in their papers.  Find out why they are moving and how quickly they want to move in.  Chances are that if they are looking to move quickly, they may have run into trouble.  It is possible they were evicted or that they foreclosed on a home.  

While this is not always grounds to reject a tenant, it is something to consider when looking for a long-term tenant.  While there are no guarantees, you will get a sense as to the reliability of your tenants fulfilling the lease.  Be confident in your decision after you run a credit check, check their criminal history, and any indication of eviction.  

Keeping tenants is easy with these simple rules. When you have a great tenant, make sure they stay by offering competitive rent prices, providing great service, and making your property enticing.

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Dec 02 2016

How to Find the Perfect Agent to Save Money on Your Insurance

The following is a guest post

Everybody needs to find ways to save in today’s economy, and that includes reducing the premiums you pay for your auto, home and life insurance coverage. If you have your healthcare policies, you need to cut the premiums on those as well. You might think that you’ll save money by shopping around for different carriers on your own, but you’d be better suited to discuss all of your insurance needs with an expert. He or she can find discounts you never knew about.

Do a Little Homework First

You’ll want to do a little homework before selecting the local insurance agent with whom you will work. Review your current policies to determine what coverage you have, and then find an agent in your neighborhood that specializes in this coverage. For example, if you own your own business and have a general and liability policy, you’ll want an agent who specializes in both personal and business insurance. You’re looking for an expert in what you need.

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of possible agents, contact each one and ask for client references. Speak with the agent’s customers to ensure that they are satisfied with the service they receive from him or her and the office staff. You should also research each agency online to see if there are any complaints on your local and state’s insurance authority websites and on popular review sites. These are places where people speak out, and the information can be invaluable.

Make Certain He or She Works in Your Area

With so many national companies advertising on television, it might seem odd to focus your search on a local insurance agent, but that is exactly what you should do. Where you live affects the types of coverage you’ll need, and you’ll want to work with someone who knows the neighborhood to get you the best savings. For example, if you live in Los Angeles, a Miami agent won’t understand the best earthquake policy; if you live in Miami, a Los Angeles agent is ill suited to get you hurricane coverage.

They Should Know Their Stuff

You might think working with someone who has 15-plus years in the insurance industry is a sure bet he or she will save you money, but you might be wrong. In this industry, years to do not mean a thing. What you want to see is that your agent knows his or her insurance products like the back of his or her hand and knows how to save you money with them. It doesn’t matter if they’ve been in business for one year or 100 years. They need to know their stuff.

Many people believe that getting their insurance directly from the insurance company rather than through an agent will save them money, but this is not necessarily true. Work with someone who is an expert in the industry. You’ll be surprised how much you will save on all of your insurance coverage. These people work directly with their contacts at the various carriers. Their primary goal is to get you the best deals on your insurance policies, whatever your personal or business needs may be.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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