Some Cool Gifts for New Tenants

Talley Properties
There are few things more satisfying as a landlord than getting a new resident. Finally getting someone to move into your wonderful apartment is such a great feeling that it can be easy to get caught up with being excited for and about them. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it can be better for you to be prepared ahead of time for all of the little things that may get overlooked in the excitement of the signing of a lease and the move.
Creating a little welcome package is something that will certainly stick in the mind of any new tenant of yours. It marks you as a thoughtful landlord and as someone who really cares about them as a person. Depending on what you include in your welcome package, you may end up saving that person quite a bit of trouble as well. Moving is stressful, as I'm sure you know. It isn't difficult for certain things to slip your mind, even if those things are super important. If you have a care package waiting for them with certain essentials, it can make the difference between a typical move and a (mostly) calm one.
Don't worry when I say welcome package, I certainly don't mean you need to put everything in a little basket. Although that may be sweet, simply resting things on a counter or even on the floor can be perfectly fine. Think about things that you would be likely to forget when moving. Things like toilet paper are essential but are an often forgotten item when someone is changing their home. Leaving a new roll somewhere in the apartment, or even on the holder, can be something that is greatly appreciated. This is especially true if your resident has a long trip and doesn't think about their actions due to a bursting bladder.
Having some cleaning supplies in the apartment can always be helpful. Even if you have cleaned and scrubbed every inch of the place, some people simply prefer to do it themselves. Even if this isn't the case, moving can get messy so have some solutions for your new resident.
Food and drink is normally quite a mess the first night or two. Leave a gallon of water in the refrigerator and a couple of takeout or delivery menus in the kitchen. Maybe you can even score your new resident some coupons.
Anything you can do to help someone move is always appreciated. A care package is the perfect way of showing that you care about your new tenant.

Preparing For Disasters

Disasters
Disasters can strike at any time. This is why they are also known as emergencies. While it would be wonderful if we could schedule emergencies, this is certainly not the case. They never take a day off and always seem to strike at the worst possible times. This is why you always need to have a plan for when they do inevitably strike.
For a perfect example, I need to look no farther than myself. Christmas night I had returned home from visiting with family and was just starting to settle in to sleep when there was a knock on my door. I opened it to see my downstairs neighbor. After exchanging pleasantries, he asked me downstairs and into the bathroom which sits right below mine. Up in the corner was a large spot of water damage with a slight sheen along the wall. This was a surprise because there was absolutely no water anywhere in my bathroom that was visible. After some discussion, it turns out that this had been occurring for a couple of days. Well, after a call to the landlord was put in our building was filled with people trying to determine the source of this leak. Like I said, even on Christmas emergencies don't hold off.
Although it is impossible to prevent every kind of emergency, there is no reason to not have a contingency plan for when these types of things occur. Granted it can be difficult to immediately put these plans into motion depending on when the disaster strikes, such as Christmas night. Getting the situation dealt with as quickly as possible, however, should always be one of your top priorities. After you are certain that everyone is safe, trying to mitigate the disaster is normally an extremely difficult task.
Some disasters are simply too bizarre to try and plan for. It is not humanly possible to map out each and every single thing that could possibly go wrong so if something does occur that you don't have a plan for, don't panic. The only thing you can do is roll with what you're given. Ask around to see what other landlords and property owners have dealt with and see if you can add to your list of plans. We can only hope to be ready for when these disasters do strike.

Tenant Scams and How to Deal With Them

Talley Properties
It is a rare occurrence for someone to try and find new lodgings around this time of year. Although not unheard of, it is always strange for someone to try and find a new rental property around the holidays. This article is not meant to say that everyone who seems to be looking for a new place during these months is trying to scam you by any means. It simply states that a tenant will normally need a good reason to find new housing around now. Times like these are when references are important and should certainly be contacted.
Scamming can occur at any time of the year. The problem with scammers is that they are often people who seem reliable and trustworthy. It can be difficult to distinguish between someone who simply needs a place to live and someone who is trying to pull a fast one, so to speak. Thankfully, there are some things that you can do to try and prevent yourself from being a victim of rental scams.
Technology is a wonderful thing. Granted, it is a double edged sword in many situations but it can be an incredible tool to help you keep yourself safe. It is always a good idea to research anyone you are working with in regards to housing. Any time money is changing hands, you want to know as much as possible about the person on the other side of the check. Naturally you can't find out everything about someone just by looking at their twitter page, but there are other ways for you to look up any issues you may have to worry about.
Paying for a background check may seem excessive, however if you are concerned about someone it can be well worth the money you put out to see the return. Checking with past and present employers or landlords is always a good idea as well. This will give you an insight into their work ethic and how reliable they are. With the vast amount of ways that tenants can scam you, it is always something that should be in the back of your mind when renting to someone new. Not everyone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be cautious all the same.
We hope you never need to worry about having someone scam you. It truly is a horrible occurrence to fight back from. From us here at Talley, we wish you the best of luck.

New Year...New Me

New Year
New Year, new me. That's what all of us are hearing from all different parts of the internet and those we know. Perhaps even you are saying this. Now believe me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a new year's resolution. I don't want you to think that I'm making fun of bettering yourself. I personally never found the point of a resolution, but that doesn't mean I don't respect those who do, especially if you are able to stick to it.
The fun thing about resolutions is that it doesn't have to be about just yourself. In fact, quite a few people I know take the new year to better their properties. Even if sprucing a place up is impractical due to the winter months, making your plans to do so is always a good idea. Styles and trends change so much that it can be hard to keep up. If you keep pushing it off, it can easily become a job that seems daunting and almost impossible. However, if you revisit your décor even just once a year it can seem like a nice, quick and easy task.
If you believe that your building has no issues in regards to how it looks cosmetically, perhaps taking a quick look at all of the internal workings around this time of the year would be useful. Make sure that your electrical work is up to code, be sure that the visible plumbing is nice and tight, and double check that all of the flooring is safe, be it carpet or hard wood. Look at the caulking in the windows and around the sink and tub. If it could use a cleaning or be redone, take some time to do that. These are simple things that will need to be done from time to time.
If it has been a few years since your space has had its last coat of paint, think about refreshing it. This is especially true if the building is friendly to smokers or if pets are allowed. A fresh coat of paint can help to make any apartment look well kept.
Think of what your rental property would have on their New Year's resolution list if it were a person. If possible, pull a few of these from time to time and help it along. After all, buildings can't do it on their own.

Cheers to Property Owners

Talley Properties
To the fulfilment of the American dream. Be it a house or a piece of real estate, the returns from ownership are seemingly guaranteed. Real estate, for instance, has appreciated 5% per year post the second world war.
A place to call your own
With home ownership comes the freedom from monthly rent, coupled with the freedom to do what you wish to your house. On the fly renovations, the stability and security that elicits from having your own place to call home and belonging to a community. Not to mention the renting or leasing option to earn you extra income. There seems to be every reason to be a property owner.
To buy or not to buy
While the above sounds rosy for current property owners, the smile quickly fades off potential buyers or investors. Down payment for any real estate or property transaction involves huge amounts of money, dealing hefty blows to one's pockets. Nevertheless, it is required before anything can be in your name. that aside, monthly mortgage payments leave little in terms of spending money. Brave all these storms and voila!
Consistent Benefit
But with property acquisition comes the huge responsibility of property management. Ensuring your hard earned investment is in fact beneficial to you several years down the line. Up to a certain point after which you may of course decide to sell. But you're not there yet. Question is, how can you consistently profit off your property?
Additional costs like up keep expenses to keep the house in shape, property taxes, utilities and property taxes all come into play. And soon, for some more than others, ownership may become a burden, especially with the possibility of foreclosure. Why not have someone else do all the worrying for you?
Property managers
Knowing about their existence and knowing how they can actually help are different things. Depending on the agreed on managerial contract, different managers take on different aspects of handling residential, commercial or industrial properties.
Should you want to sell your property, property managers meet prospective buyers, handle the negotiations and legal requirements.
In case you opt to rent out your property, the firm has the duty to find and screen tenants. This includes marketing the property to fill any vacancies, sorting through potential tenants including background checks. This will lead to selection of the right tenants.
Property managers also handle lease agreements and handle any complaints pertaining to the property.
Talley properties
Talley Properties, Inc. is a property management firm serving the Charlotte real estate industry. Talley Properties is focused on midrange to high end residential and commercial property management since 1980. Since its founding it strives to provide full service management to investors of all types. It does not matter if you're just starting in the property management market or a seasoned investor, Talley Properties can assist you with ALL aspects of property management from property purchase to day to day management operations.
For all property owners and potential property owners residing in or around North Carolina, let Talley Properties do all the heavy lifting for you.

Collecting Rent

Rent
One of the most important things for landlords to do is collect the rent at the end, or beginning, of the month. Every landlord has a different way of doing this, and now that technology has progressed even farther, there are dozens of possible routes to take to get this done. Here are some ideas if you are tired of the same old rent collection routine.
1. Mail It In. Some landlords prefer to have the rent check mailed in to them every week. There could be a multitude of reasons for that, but it is a tried and true method that rarely goes wrong.
2. Credit/Debit Card. Instead of having your tenant write out a rent check every month, some landlords instead use a card swiping technology such as Square to collect the payments. This means that everything is electronic and there is no paper waste. If the resident wishes, however, they may be emailed a receipt for their own records.
3. Online Banking. Some landlords prefer to have everything done online. A few days before the rent is due, the tenant will go online and transfer the funds into an account that was set up specially for them which the landlord also has access to. In their leisure, then, the landlord will withdraw the money from this account and place it in their own. This may also house the security deposit so that the tenant can see, but not access, the money that is there. This way everyone knows when the money goes in and a check or card cannot bounce or cause overdraft fees.
4. Use Talley. This is our personal favorite technique for collecting the rent. If you are located in the Charlotte North Carolina area, using Talley is going to be your best bet for collecting the rent. You don't need to worry about keeping track of everyone's payments since we do all of that for you. We have a firm policy and you can always be sure that the payments will get to you in a timely fashion.
While any of these tactics are going to work for you, we believe your best choice is to contact Talley Property Management and allow us to collect the rent for you. We have a set schedule of rent being due on the first of every month and late after the fifth. This takes the concern off of your shoulders and allows you to worry about all the other things in your life.

Aging Residents

Rental Property
We are all getting older. In the time you took to read that, you have grown older, even if it is by an infinitesimal amount. Now that the so called "Baby Boomer" generation is beginning to grow into senior citizens, we are seeing more and more people turn 65 and up every year. This is both a good thing and a difficult thing. I say difficult because this means more and more people that may be looking into renting an apartment or property from you will have certain requirements. This may be for them, for their family, or for people they commonly have over. How can you make your residences more friendly for those who may not move as well as they once did?
One of the first things you can do is widen doorways. Doorways, especially in older buildings, are often not wheelchair or walker friendly. This can present a major problem for basic mobility around the house. Also, if there is a lip at the doorway, try removing them. Trying to get a wheelchair up and over them may not be difficult when someone is pushing your chair, but if a person must do it themselves it can prove to be a difficult and sometimes dangerous task.
Another thing you can do is modify or get rid of any stairs you have. If you are renting out a two floor home, look into the installation of a chair lift. If there is a specific resident that is asking for this, you may even be able to split the cost with them depending on the situation. If your floor plan has two or three stairs to get from one room to another, contact a contractor and see if there is anything that can be done to make them more handicap accessible. It is a lot of work, but it should help you in the long run.
With the size of senior citizens growing, it's no surprise that more and more are looking for places to settle. You will likely have a leg up on other property owners if you make sure that your location will accommodate the needs of those who are beginning to grow older. Ask around and see what else may be useful to you when trying to make your apartment more accessible.

Renter Complaints

Talley Properties
Nothing in this world is ever perfect. Unfortunately, this does include your renter and their feelings about the rental property. While many of these complaints will be about maintenance issues, which there should be a clause about in the lease, there will always be at least one tenant that complains about something else that is "wrong" with the property. Here are some of the most common complaints and how to deal with them.
1. Noise. Noise is just about the biggest complaint next to maintenance issues. This noise can be coming from anywhere. It may be someone else's pets, a neighbor being too loud late into the night, or even a normal neighborhood noise that they were unaware of before moving in. While these complaints can be a problem for both ends, there are some things you cannot solve. The best way to handle this complaint is either speak to the other tenants that may be involved, or offer to add insulation or soundproofing material to dampen the noise.
2. Pest Complaints. No matter how clean the property is, there is always the possibility of pests entering the home. This chance increases if it is a ground level or lower apartment, if the area is damp, and the time of year. Many mice and other critters try to find warmth around the winter time and somehow find their way in. This is a very serious complaint and should be dealt with swiftly and without argument. Don't spend time trying to get your tenant to use home remedies to get rid of pests, simply call an exterminator. Although they may be expensive, the costs of repairs to the apartment or your reputation as a landlord are worth a lot more.
3. Keys. You'd be surprised how often keys are an issue when someone is moving in. Always keep an extra set of keys on hand just in case something doesn't work right. Also, always be sure to change and secure the locks when someone new moves in, as it is very likely that the previous tenants made copies of the keys when they lived there.
Many complaints are things that you can easily deal with or have already accounted for in the lease. Unfortunately, no one can think of everything and so there will always be some snag that comes up. These are three of the most common, and we hope that this helps you when you do have to deal with them.

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