The cherry on top for 2018 was giving back to the community. During Thanksgiving week we personally delivered and gave 20 families a full turkey dinner with all the fixings.
Our staff delivered turkey dinners to these families and put smiles on their faces which in turn warms our hearts. We love being able to give back. Throughout the year we also partnered with other agencies in the Inland Empire and Orange County areas to raise money for families in the communities. One event raised over $16,000 to give our troops and their families.
Regarding your investment properties, during 2018, we introduced pet rent on all new lease agreements, which is $35 per pet, per month. Charging pet rent is very common in apartments communities and is slowly becoming common practice within the single-family-home community. By charging pet rent, if you allow pets at your property, that’s an extra $70 per month (based on two pets) or $840 per year. We recommend that you put this extra money in a savings account and use it towards the rehab when the resident moves out. The average resident stays in a property for about 2.5 years, multiplied by $840 a year, which equates to an extra $2100!
We also implemented mandatory renter’s insurance on all lease renewals and new lease agreements. Residents must secure a $300K minimum liability policy before moving into the property or renewing their lease. Management One is listed as the additional insured, ensuring we will receive notice if there is a cancellation of their policy. A canceled policy is considered a breach of their lease agreement.
Requiring renter’s insurance is important as it protects you as well, and keeps your insurance rates from going up if it’s a resident that caused the claim. Since we put this policy in place, two properties have had floods that were caused by residents. Both residents had policies in place, making it much easier for the landlord's insurance to work with the resident’s insurance and restore the property quickly. In the past, when situations like this occurred, the landlord had to pay for the property to be restored and then collect back from the resident for the damages. A very time-consuming, often, unsuccessful process.
Wrapping up 2018
No pun intended...lol... we created a program that allows residents to pay their rent online quickly and efficiently. Before this new program, if residents wanted to pay their rent online, they had to pay a fee for an expedited service so that we would receive the rent within 24-48 hours. This fee was negative for most residents as I am sure you can understand. In turn, most residents paid for the standard processing which took up to five business days, delaying you receiving the rent as well. With this new program, residents can pay their rent online without an expedited fee, and we will receive the rent within 24-48 hours of the resident paying their rent online. What does this mean for you as the owner? Well, it means that you can receive the rent within 24-48 business hours of us receiving the rent, instead of waiting for five business days.
So What’s Coming In 2019?
We are consistently looking for ways to save you money and improve the care of your properties. One of the ways we will do this in 2019 is with our new Easy Filter Program. We will roll out this program during the first quarter; it will direct ship air filters specific to your property to the residents along with instructions on changing the filters.
There is no cost to you, the homeowner. The $10 per month fee to participate in this program will be paid by the residents and will be included as part of their monthly rental amount. During annual inspections (if you have this option in your agreement with Management One), our inspectors will make sure the filters have been installed and have not passed their expiration date.
Residents will receive new filters quarterly to their doorstep. Gone are the trips to the hardware store to purchase filters. No more hassle trying to figure out what filter size is needed. It will all be taken care of for them.
It’s simple! All they have to do is install the filters when they arrive. We all know how hot it is in So Cal and how often we use our AC’s and if you have ever had to replace any part of an AC unit or replace the whole unit you know how expensive it can be. But did you know that by changing out the AC filters on a regular basis you can extend the life of your unit by years? And who doesn’t want that?
We are continually looking for ways to improve your investment properties without busting your budget. This year we worked with our landscaping team to create better curb appeal using drought-tolerant landscaping. One way to do this is with the use of gold rocks. This cost-effective option gives both colors to the yard and helps to cut down on our resident water bills. This process has reduced the amount of grass needing water and therefore minimizes having to replace yards because residents are just not watering them as much as our hot So Cal weather requires. We will be rolling out an updated price list to all our vendors in 2019, and while most prices increased a little bit (we have not increased prices for three years), it was necessary to do this to keep up with the increased cost of materials that I am sure you have noticed as well. The price increases were needed to keep the good contractors we value. We have also added requirements for contractors to ensure the work they say is to be done is actually needed. Contractors are now required to take before and after pictures on every work order. This allows us to better monitor the jobs, without physically having to run out to every property. All invoices are proofed by our property inspectors to ensure the contractors are not overbilling for items. All these policies and procedures are designed to protect you and your property.
We are excited to see what the New Year has in store for us as a company and for you as a landlord. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!