The Feud of Perm and Sprinkle

>> Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Once upon a time, there were two stores tucked away in a beautiful shopping center located in a desirable Southern California city.

One of the stores catered to those looking for a cold sugary treat.
The other store catered to those who were looking to enhance their appearance.

The owner of the cold sugary treat store went by the name Sprinkle(for the purpose of this blog only).

The owner of the enhancing beautification store went by Perm(see parethesis above)

Now Perm, who had resided in her store for quite some time, was not happy when Sprinkle moved in.
It annoyed her that Sprinkle's customers would stand and eat in front of her store, even if some of Sprinkle's customers were Perm's customers as well.
Sprinkle did not like Perm, because she would yell at his customers when they would eat in front of her store.

The poor shopping center manager, let's call her Patience, had the pleasure of recieving weekly, sometimes daily, complaints from Perm about Sprinkle, and from Sprinkle about Perm.

Not happy with Patience. Perm decided to take matters into her own hands.
She stopped paying the rent until Patience agreed to kick-out Sprinkle and his prosperous business that brought many new customers to the shopping center.
Which makes perfect sense, because if you want someone ELSE to get kicked-out, not paying YOUR rent is the fastest way to make that happen.

When Perm was served court papers, she realized that her approach, while genius, was not going to work in this situation.
So, naturally, she did what any sane person would do next.

She peed in Sprinkle's mailslot.

How Perm accomplished this is a technicality that Patience doesn't want to know.



Apartment Websites, a Pixelated Palm Tree and a Sponsored Post

>> Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I once had an idea to create a website for the property I was managing. When I broached the subject of entering the 21st century, my boss gave me the green light and free creative range to create a website. I have a degree in Liberal Arts(like every third person in this country), so, you know, I was deeply qualified as a website designer. And you've seen my artistic abilities, right? 

So, I gave it go. I bought a website and got to work. I had dreams of tenants being able to pay rent online, virtual tours, perspective tenants filling out applications before they even set foot on the property, and perhaps some cool background music(I can be my own worst enemy at times). Well, way too many days, hours and headaches later...I had a page with a pixelated palm tree, two enlarged pics of of a studio apartment, contact info and a link to our ad on craiglist. 

Nothing says RENT HERE like this...

Accompanied by some Kenny G. 

It was awe inspiring I tell you. Don't bother googling the site, when my year of ownership was up, I happily declined to renew it. 

With that said, I am sure a lot of managers find themselves in the same boat. Which is why I'd like to introduce you to Jacquelyn Marie Trimper, an account manager at Rentbot, to share some insights into an apartment website. So, you know, perhaps you don't have to go with a pixelated palm tree--unless that's what screams Welcome Home to you. 

by Jacquelyn Marie Trimper

Apartment websites suck. There, I said it, and you know its true. The majority of apartment websites are about as high quality as your local Ma and Pa restaurant. You know, the ones that have a downloadable menu that wont actually download.

Yet, just about everyone shops for their next apartment online—94% of people in fact. In an industry where more leases and lower delinquencies are by definition what keep apartment owners and managers in business, why are managers displaying their property online in the suckiest of ways?

The biggest mistake

I should start by telling you that only a few short years ago, I was a property manager. Ive experienced first hand the mayhem that is property management: the never-ending complaints; the demands from corporate to get more leases while not spending any money; the slaving away your weekend to show units to prospects who are “just seeing whats out there.” Its a never-ending job with a lot of responsibilities and very few “thank-yous.”

I think one of the biggest mistakes that apartment managers make is not allowing the propertys website to help them with all of their responsibilities. Many apartment managers find themselves making up for what their websites lack and are even embarrassed to refer prospects and residents to their propertys site. Continue reading


I Ain't Payin My Rent

>> Thursday, October 30, 2014

This story comes from a friend.

She manages a 157 unit complex. For over a month they were getting hit hard by a graffiti artists.
Someone was tagging up the laundry rooms, all the a/c boxes, picnic tables etc.
The problem got so bad that her owner, who is also an attorney, wrote a letter to ALL tenants asking for their help in finding out who the culprit was.
He also threatened that any tenant caught defacing the property would be evicted, no exceptions.

The following day the manager found a note in her rent box that read...

"Dear (managers name spelled terribly wrong, but in this person's defense, she has a common name spelled with two silent letters in it),

I ain't paying no rent this month because you are a racist. Threatening to evict us cuz of our graffiti is *&^%$&-up and illegal. Just so you know it is gonna get a lot worse."

Then they signed it, with their first name, last name and apartment number.


Not sure how the eviction of someone defacing private property is racist.
I'm also wondering if this tenant knew he was writing a letter of confession.

Regardless, he was served the eviction papers that day.


Fire Alarm Checks

>> Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Preforming fire alarm tests in each unit serves two purposes.
One) To make sure the alarm works, obviously.
Two) To check out what condition the apartment is in, obviously.

Going door-to-door, stepping over tenants dirty clothes, and getting on my tip-toes, using the end of a pencil to push a button, only to be deafen by a LOUD ear piecing beep--is not my idea of fun.
But, what I discover during my checks is almost always worth the ringing I hear in my ears for the next two days.

I was nearing my last apartment.
I knocked on the door, twice, hard.
No one answered.
I cracked the door, made my presence known, loudly, before I stepped in.
I closed the door behind me, and walked over to the fire alarm.
As I reaching up, a cat appeared from the hallway and curled himself around my leg.

I called the tenant.

Me: "I see you have a cat."
Tenant: "I don't have a cat."

Fact: I am not blind. 

I came to a door and there posted was a note from the tenant that read

"You do NOT have my permission to enter this apartment. My fire alarm works great. DO NOT ENTER."

I gave more than twenty-four hour notice, and I was legally allowed to enter.
I walked in.
I figured this tenant must be a bachelor as all he had in his apartment was a bed, a desk with a large TV, and a chair.
Well that, and about two months worth of fast food wrappers scattered across his floor.
It appeared that he didn't own a trashcan.
I stepped through the trash and into the hallway where his fire alarm was supposed to be.
It was missing.
I then spotted it on the counter.
I picked it up, and noticed that he had removed the batteries.

I replaced the batteries, and then left him a note on his door saying that he needed to clean up his apartment.

Kinda hard for the fire alarm to work when it doesn't have batteries.

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