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8 Questions to Ask a Prospective Property Management Agency



Prospective Property Management Agency

Ever since the year 2019, property rentals are up by 3.7 percent. As rentals soar, you may want to consider hiring a manager through a property management agency.

Not only do these professionals help you find quality properties, but they can scout for trustworthy tenants. Both of those assets can benefit you as a landlord. After deciding to hire a property manager, the next step is finding a reputable company you can trust.

To do this, you must ask a series of questions and consider several factors to ensure you make the right choice. Want to know all about hiring a property manager? If so, keep reading our informative guide. 

1. What Are Your Credentials? 

Each state has its own set of rules and regulations for property managers. Along with those rules, the licensing and credentials vary.

So, credentials may change depending on your location. Take some time to hop online and use your web browser to see what your state requires of a property manager.

Some areas do not require a full license, while others will. That said, it would be to your benefit to inquire about a license anyway.

Even if your state doesn’t require it, the company may. That would show that the property management business takes its role seriously and hires only the most qualified employees. 

2. Do You Have References?

The next question you want to ask is whether they have any references to give you. Reputable property management agencies will be more than happy to detail a list of numbers from past or current clients.

You can go ahead and call those people up to see what they have to say about their experience with the company. However, if they do not have any references, you can always perform research by yourself.

Get online and type in the property management company’s name. Look at websites like Trustpilot, Google Reviews, Angie’s List, and Glassdoor. You want to use a few different review websites.

The reason for this is because one website will not give you a well-rounded view of the company. Instead, read reviews, both good and bad, from every review site you can.

That way, you can pinpoint recurring issues or positive traits across the board. You can also ask your colleagues whether they use the same company or not.

As a landlord, you probably know others in the business. Inquire about whether they use the company and if they enjoyed their experience with their property manager. 

3. Do You Have a Portfolio?

Ask if you can see a portfolio that details their experience with finding homes and tenants. Sometimes, they will showcase this portfolio online. So, before you call, check their website to see if they list a portfolio.

If not, that isn’t a bad sign. Some people do not include a portfolio on the web, but they are more than happy to send it to you.

Once you get the portfolio, take your time to flip through it. You want to see what types of homes they manage and how well the managers work with the tenants. 

4. Is Your Team Familiar With the Market Trends? 

There are trends that people follow on the market. People determine these trends by basing them on what styles and features people look for when renting a home.

For instance, what exterior paint color is popular these days? For a while, it was a light grey. People from all over wanted to rent a home that color. So, when you call the company up, ask them about current trends.

Listen closely to their answers to see if they are up-to-date with current events involving the housing market. The market is an ever-evolving system, so you want a property manager who can keep up with the times. That way, they can find available spaces that are stylish and will draw prospective tenant’s attention. 

5. How Will You Determine Clients?

The next thing you need to know is how they source their clients. What goes into their application process? You do not want a manager who will allow anyone to rent a space.

Instead, ask how they determine what clients to approve. They should have a system and credentials. For instance, the property manager should do a full background check on every party looking to rent the space.

After that, they need to check their credit scores to ensure the prospective renters are legitimate. The last thing you want is for someone to skip out on the rent.

Be sure that their application and the rental process are as detailed as possible. That way, you can ensure good tenants. 

6. How Will You Collect Rent? 

Again, a property manager should be up-to-date with the latest technology and solutions software. The days of collecting physical money are over.

Ask the company what software they use for monthly rent payments. By implementing an online rent payment system, you make it easier for your tenants to pay their fees. 

7. How Will You Handle Maintenance?

Everyone will need maintenance at some point. How your property manager handles those requests will determine your tenant’s happiness.

Some managers do not respond to requests, or they take their time to fix the problem. To ensure satisfied tenants will re-sign their lease, get a property manager who fixes maintenance issues on time. 

8. How Are You Different From Everyone Else? 

What makes the property management company unique? There are thousands of businesses out there.

So, why should you hire a manager from this company? Any outstanding business will tell you why they differ from everyone else in terms of customer service, quality of rental properties, and tenants. 

More on Hiring a Property Management Agency and Real Estate Tips 

As you can tell, there are several questions you should ask before settling on a property management agency. You always want to ensure they have a large staff size and a portfolio for you to peruse and check out.

Remember, the best quality property management will tell you all the ins and outs of their company. We hope this article helps you decide on what management company to choose.

Did you enjoy our post? If so, we invite you to continue reading the rest of our blog for more real estate tips and tricks! 

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Security Guide: Keeping Your Business Safe Online and Off



Security Guide

In all fields and sizes of businesses, one thing that has proved to be a massive concern among business owners is theft, both online and offline. The effects of cyber hacking and fraud can be detrimental to the growth of a business, as it affects not only your profits but also how safe and confident your staff and clients feel when interacting with your brand.

It’s crucial as a business owner to keep both your physical and digital assets as secure as possible. After all, you worked extra hard to build all these and more from scratch. Consider this article as your security guide, where we take you through a few tips that’ll protect all your business assets.

Your physical space shouldn’t be attractive for theft.

One way to curb crime in a physical space is to put adequate security measures in place. This might include CCTV, remote sensing, and the use of an environmental monitoring system. Such a system uses sensor networks to pick up a change in activities or the general atmosphere of your space. These systems use their temperature sensors and humidity sensors to check the air temperature of your space. They also have sensors for movement, with the ability to alert you digitally when something doesn’t seem right. Other ways to spruce up your space against crime include using both outdoor and indoor light and the installation of security locks.

Digitize your money.

If your business comes into contact with lots of money daily, it’s advisable to encourage digital transactions. Some enterprises use mail checks online, direct deposits, money orders, and many more to help reduce the use of physical cash. Your business can adopt the debit card system and have a savings account where all monies are instantly transferred into.

If you require clients to provide personal information, offer them a safe space for such activities. You wouldn’t like to divulge the digits of your social security number to a stranger, and neither will your customers. If you decide to go the digital way, consider using an online check writer and a credit card for payments, amongst others.

Use a firewall.

Security for businesses surpasses the physical. When protecting online data, one thing to consider is the use of firewalls. Investing in antispyware, anti-phishing and antivirus software goes a long way to reduce the chances of identity theft for your business. Also, it helps keep all the personal information of employees and clients secure.

Teach your staff about security.

There’s no point in putting endless security measures in place when your employees can’t work with them. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to alert staff and train them on the best ways to maintain these safety measures. If you have an environmental monitoring system, teach your workers to adjust the sensor settings, like changing the humidity, temperature control, risk assessment of environmental data, and any other unique applications, like energy consumption.

Your training sessions must be periodic and consistent if you want to experience the best possible output. Whenever you have new workers, don’t forget to introduce them to the current security systems in place.

Study data regulations.

With data, there’s a lot we’re still learning, thanks to its daily evolution. However, one thing that has come to stay is data privacy rules and their relevance to the safety of businesses. If you wish to improve your data privacy, you’ll need to have all the information regarding data regulations.

The first thing to do is acquire the services of a data-privacy strategist. This person can take accountability for all things data in your business due to their knowledge in data privacy. Monitor data daily and speak up when you notice something isn’t going as it should.

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5 Questions to Ask a Contractor Before Hiring Them



Questions to Ask a Contractor Before Hiring Them

Contractors are gaining a lot more work over the pandemic, the contractor’s construction market is reaching $180 billion. There are things you should know about hiring a contractor to remodel your house.

Before hiring, you should ask them these 5 important questions. These 5 questions will give you all the ins and outs of hiring a contractor for your next construction project.

Hire a Contractor

Sometimes homeowners are wishing to remodel a home but don’t know the first thing about hiring a professional. Interior designer renovations require proper planning. In these circumstances, you may need to hire a contracting team.

To renovate you must source the correct materials and hire the right people for the job. Sometimes, you need a knowledgeable contractor to oversee the entirety of the project.

This can include a complete house remodel or a smaller renovation for something like a guest bath. There are plenty of issues you need to consider before hiring the right person for the job. A cost certified contractor can allow you to expedite the job process.

What exactly does a general contractor do? These individuals are responsible for providing all of the materials, labor, services, and equipment for a job. The general contractor then hires all independent contractors for portions of the work.

1. Personal Recommendations

Always ask a general contractor for a personal recommendation. Online referrals are not always the most reliable source of connecting with a future contractor.

It might prove difficult if you are blindly looking for service professionals via an online service. The highest-rated ones near you can suffer from commercial saturation and not deliver quality work.

Ask friends and family to see which contractors were successful in their projects. There’s a greater chance of finding a reliable contractor once you see their complete professional work.

2. Ask for Credentials

Any potential offer to work should follow a check of the contractor’s credentials. Ask if they are licensed, bonded, and insured. You can go online and check if the contractor has a physical address.

The contractor’s state license board regulates the construction industry. Every state has its terms and conditions. Check online for your state or county’s license board.

An abbreviation next to your contractor’s name can represent certifications from different national trade organizations. This can indicate whether the individual contractor or the contracting company belongs to a certain organization.

3. Pricing & Design

You must understand that price reflects the quality. The lowest bid might suggest that the contractor is using cheap materials. It can also foreshadow a contractor that is not keen on their craftsmanship.

The lowest bidder may desperately want a project and cannot satisfy higher expectations. If you select the cheapest bid, prepare yourself to pay more down the line.

Make sure to reference designs and request a budget for the parts and labor. If the contractor is familiar with working on these projects that can give you a rough estimate of the job.

Request a line item description of all the materials necessary for the job. A good contractor or construction crew can make cheap materials look like a million dollars. It’s okay to hire a skilled unlicensed contractor.

If not, you may have to prepare money for mistakes later on down the road. Allow multiple bids to build before selecting the right choice, which should land somewhere in the middle price range.

4. Home Improvement Contract

Your contractor should understand how to develop a home improvement contract. This should include detailed time frames and line itemizations for specialty materials.

It should also include the total cost of materials and payment arrangements. In addition, it should include the contractor’s license number, project description, and information of all parties.

Be cautious, the contractor should provide a specific timeline for the duration of the project. A contractor can have an overload of work and may not fulfill your desired timeline. Make sure your contractor can abide by your schedule.

Keep track of all project-related content. This includes payments, receipts, and all contact information. All payments should break down into different increments.

Never pay full payments upfront, even 50% is too much for partial contract work. A typical retainer fee should never exceed 15%-20% of the overall project cost.

5. Budget & Project Expectations

Be realistic about the project budget. Break the project down into multiple phases and see what you can prioritize with your contractor. If you’re on a budget, you might want to spread your cost over time.

When undergoing project management, you may experience delays. A contractor needs to communicate why and how they cannot fulfill the budget. But, most projects can accumulate to double the original pricing and time.

Check to see if they can acquire the correct permits. Your contractor needs to understand what regulations they need to follow for the remodeling project.

Your contract or architect is responsible for applying for all necessary permits. Any homeowner should know what is going on behind the scenes regarding property rights and remodel restrictions. Permits may take a longer time to acquire depending on the job.

Finding a Reliable Contractor 

Communication with your contractor or architect is key to completing your project. Expect a contract to increase in price if a contracting team discovers issues with the property.

Always consult with many contractors before selecting the right one. Once you discover the right contractor you can break into your dream job. 

Follow our blog for more information on hiring a contractor and fulfilling your dream remodel!

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4 Tips for Starting Your Own CBD Line



CBD Line

Given how quickly the CBD industry has become profitable, it’s no surprise that many entrepreneurs are looking for a way to get involved. Even with record profits rolling in, starting a CBD line can be tricky, especially since the market is slowly becoming more competitive. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can give yourself the edge over other brands if you’re savvy and willing to put in the work.

It all starts with being holistic about the way you create a business plan. Think beyond your products and don’t neglect the logistics of getting them from inventory to the hands of your customers. If you’re considering a foray into the cannabis business, read on for four great tips on how to start your own CBD line.

1. Educate yourself about the industry.

If you’ve never worked in the cannabis industry before, you have plenty to learn before you launch your own brand. Researching other successful brands is a good place to start. You can look up “CBD oil near me” if you want to take a look at some examples of successful businesses in your area. You should also make sure you’re aware of the local laws in your area, as the restrictions on CBD can vary depending on where you are.

2. Develop quality products.

There’s no replacement for delivering a high-quality product to your customers. When it comes to CBD, there’s incredible diversity in terms of what you can focus on. Smokeable flower and CBD oil are two of the most popular options, but you can find CBD edibles, CBD beauty products, and even CBD-infused dog treats.

It’s also important to make sure your products are labeled well and remind customers who haven’t tried cannabis before to consider speaking to their doctor first. Their doctor can help them determine if cannabis will impact any of their health conditions or interact with medications they may be taking.

3. Invest in retail software.

Whether you have a brick-and-mortar storefront or operate in the digital space, you’ll still need point-of-sale (POS) software to handle things like inventory management, sales transactions, and product information storage. A quick search for “point of sale software free download full version” will point you in the right direction if you’re looking for a low-cost way to get started. You may not realize it, but having a sale system that functions efficiently makes a big difference in the experience customers have while shopping.

4. Market yourself creatively.

While large social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are allowing ads for CBD products, within certain parameters, there are still a number of websites that restrict content related to cannabis products. That can make it harder for cannabis businesses to market themselves. You can still make use of non-promotional social media posts and other forms of viral marketing. You should also reach out to popular cannabis blogs and websites and offer them free samples if they’ll post a review of your products.

The CBD industry is proving to be a lucrative one, but there are still unique challenges that face CBD business owners. It’s essential to start from the development of quality products and design the rest of your business plan around them. This means you should spend plenty of time researching the industry and how your products will be manufactured, stored, and delivered well before you begin the process of creating your brand.

Once you have a product line, you’ll need effective software, a distribution system, and a creative marketing campaign to build an audience. If all this sounds complicated, that’s because it is. However, given how quickly the industry is expanding, it’s worth putting in the work to get in now.

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