You might relish getting the be-jeebers scared out of you this time of year, but operating an apartment community shouldn’t be such a bloodcurdling thing.
In many instances, just the thought of reaching full occupancy and dealing with the day-to-day business of maintaining such a huge asset can spin the heads and cross the eyes of onsite managers. And just when they think they’ve outmaneuvered those zombies giving chase, there is plenty more out there to send a shiver up their spines.
With Halloween just a day or so away, we’ve discovered there are a few frightening things that could stand in the way of effective property management. And the last thing anyone wants is a ghostly experience while trying meet expectations from investors.
So, beware of these alarming things and ward off evil by positioning your property for success:
Scary Lease Prospects
Lurking behind some lease prospects is pretty scary information, like poor credit histories and criminal backgrounds. Take the time to check out those who want to lease your property and do so in accordance with Fair Housing laws. A good background check goes a long way, and understanding all FHA laws can help avoid a costly lawsuit.
Unsavory Characters in the Neighborhood
Drugs in the Neighborhood – A tell-tale sign that illegal activity is going on in the neighborhood is shoes hanging from overhead electrical or phone lines, or laying on the front porch for a long time. They may be particularly large so they can be seen. These aren’t shoes left by fat-footed werewolves, but a sign that drugs are being sold nearby.
Invasions of Bed Bugs and Other Pests
Bed bugs and other pests can be a huge nuisance to property owners. Pests like termites are more noticeable than bed bugs, which may exist in a unit without detection until a resident complains. Work closely you’re your pest control vendor to keep problems at bay. Frequent preventative treatments and inspections will often keep creepy crawlers away.
A website that does little to engage prospective residents and be a useful lease-up tool is simply terrifying. That website that you employed a couple of years ago may well be out of date, as consumer shopping habits have changed significantly. Consult with an industry web professional to get the most out of your bandwidth and avoid driving people away.
Jolting Electrical Charges
This is a two-fold recipe for terror. First, an improperly trained maintenance technician can get the charge of his or her life when working around electrical equipment. It’s a good idea to adequately train your maintenance team to help prevent electrical accidents. Secondly, high electricity costs attributed to not closely watching utility bills can be equally shocking. If you’re not energy benchmarking, start today. Help is available through energy benchmarking and tracking software.
Curb appeal is everything to a property, and a landscape that looks like demons have been at play is a sure way to drive off potential residents, even existing ones. Case in point: Leaves will be falling soon, and that means the grounds can look cluttered if left unattended. Stay ahead of Mother Nature and maintain a clean, healthy landscape.
Beware of the “Ids”, self-absorbed workers who only are interested in taking care of their most basic needs – food, water, shelter – through a paycheck. They may not have bloodshot eyes, look disheveled and speak in tongues, but they could be walking through your halls, usually a result of a bad hire. Choosing the best applicant based on track record doesn’t always mean you’ve found the right person. When interviewing job candidates, keep the culture of your company in mind and how the interviewee may fit.
It’s a fact. Some properties are haunted. The reasons for their spookiness are varied and may involve a horrifying experience or other paranormal event. Unexplained noises, chilly drafts of air, smells and even a nervous or obsessed pet may mean an apartment or common area is haunted. Ridding evil spirits may require an exorcism or something even more drastic, like hosing down the place with green goo (that’s not legal advice because we couldn’t tell you where to find green goo).
You may or may not be able to control whether your property is or becomes haunted. But there are things you can get a firm grip on to keep it from being a place that scares away potential and existing residents.