Mowing the grass and watering at your rental properties can potentially consume a large part of your budget and resources. This is another example that, “Less is more.” Here are some smart ways to save time and money, increase your property values, and improve the return on your valuable real estate investments.
1. Reduce the size of the lawn. Consider reducing the total square footage of grass that must be maintained during the growing season. Depending on the area of the county where you manage rental properties, the lawn mowing season can extend from 6 months to year-round. By decreasing the size of the lawn you can save several hours of work — and expense — over the entire season on every property. Some ways to reduce lawn size:
Add a large bed filled with shrubs and top with gravel or mulch. Pick low-maintenance varieties suitable to your area. Avoid fast-growing or messy plants. Lay gravel or mulch over landscaping fabric to complete the job.
Hardscaping: Install a patio area. In addition to adding value to your property, it will reduce the lawn by that much more square footage. Economical and practical patio surfaces include concrete, large stone or brick pavers, and crushed stone.
2. . This landscaping technique is designed to save water and reduce damage to plants in the event of a drought. In some parts of the country where annual rainfall is scant, it is an absolute necessity. For others with more rain it is still an excellent way to plant a low-maintenance landscape that is also environmentally friendly.
It can be as simple as switching to a type of lawn grass that requires less water. But it usually involves replacing part of the lawn with beds of some of these types of plants:
Ornamental grasses: purple fountain grass, pampas grass, Mexican feather grass, blue oat grass, and others.
Succulents: hens and chicks, aloe vera, Autumn Joy sedum, many other sedums, and cacti in warmer zones.
Native wildflowers: check which thrive in your area.
3. Trim up the edges. Keep the lawn and the ground cover plants in their place. Create neat borders to help speed up the mowing. Also keep in mind the path that the mower must take and aim to make it flow as simply as possible. Avoid complicated bed shapes or spacing and erratic edging.
4. Plant appropriate ground covers. Again, seek out the ones that are appropriate for your area and that will not be invasive. Planting a compact, low-growing ground cover will accomplish three things: it will cut down on lawn maintenance, it will crowd out weeds, and will eliminate the need to spread mulch every year — saving you more time and money.
5. Pile on the mulch. Sometimes this is the simplest solution. Here are a few mulching options:
Bark mulch. This is the byproduct of tree trimming and is sold by the bag or scoop load. It can be colored and ranges in texture from fine to very coarse. The disadvantage to bark mulch is that it usually needs refreshed every year, adding expense.
Stone mulch. Very suitable for many types of plantings and areas of the country. The wide variety of colors, sizes, and shapes of stone give you many affordable options. A big advantage of stones over bark mulch is they do not need replaced, so once they’re placed your work is finished.
Rubber mulch. Made from ground up tires and other rubber products, keeping some of these materials out of landfills. It does not decompose,is effective at keeping areas weed-free, and does not attract insects.
At PropertyManagementPros.com we want to help you succeed and reach your goals with your real estate investing. Contact us today to find out more about our services.
The age of paper and pens are long gone. Smart business owners are moving to digital inspections to streamline operations and increase sales.
Here are some of the reasons why digital inspections are the need of the hour.
• Customers prefer service providers who are digitally connected instead of cumbersome paperwork that is difficult to keep track of. Digital signatures and receipts are now preferred increasingly by businesses and customers to save time and resources.
• Digital inspections do away with illegible handwritten notes that can be confusing.
• Communication is improved with photos, videos, and images. An actual picture of a property or a vehicle repair gives the customers real time information that is relevant to them.
• Digital inspections make it easy and convenient to store digital records of transactions and retrieve them as needed.
The Basics of Investing in your local Rental Market
Renting your property is a massive, but lucrative endeavor for investors or homeowners. In this article, we’ll talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of real estate rental investing.
Rentals are increasingly being preferred over owning according to real estate reports from Truvia. From a 36.1% share of households that rented in 2006, the numbers were up to 41.1% in 2014, this starts a consistent trend that we will continue to see of years to come. Concomitantly, the number of house owners declined in this period, according to this same report. Among those who rented, the Millennials formed the majority of the group. More than 70% of Millennials were preferring to rent housing in 2014. The trends also indicate that more affluent and middle-class Americans are shifting over to renting rather than owning a home. This is where a company like Property Management Pros comes into play, to help investors and homeowners succeed.
The National Multifamily Housing Council figures state almost 30% of American households are rentals and the age group of most of those who rent are around 30 years of age and below.
Average rentals in different cities
As per the Census ACS survey, the median gross rent for homes in 2015 was $959 while the average was $1,021 in the same year. But this doesn’t show the whole picture, very large rental growths were seen in Columbus Ohio with a 39% increase in rentals in 2015 as compared to 2010. The other cities where rentals have grown phenomenally include Cleveland, Jacksonville, Bluffton, Northern Virginia, and Washington D.C. If you live in Orlando or Bluffton as well, you can leverage the boom in rentals. The smallest increase is seen in Las Vegas with just a 3.8% jump, owing largely due to the housing crisis. But the rental averages vary not only from year to year but location wise as well.
A recent study by the department of numbers revealed the average rent in Columbus was over $860 per month and in Cleveland, the average is $740 for a single family living space. In Orlando, the averages hover around $1,100 for a single family home.
So, if you are deciding on renting out and looking to earn the most money out of it, your location could be the major force to help you succeed or blunder.
The best way to earn more rentals is to have more property to rent out. But if that is not an option, here are some tips:
Make sure there is 100% occupancy: Post ads and contact agents as soon as you know your tenant is vacating. If you live in locations that have a high demand for rentals, you will probably find a tenant before your property is vacated. If your area is not in great demand, the earlier you advertise, the more you benefit. Or better still, ask your current tenant to recommend anyone for renting. Each month of vacant property costs about 8% of annual revenue, so it is important to move quickly. This process can be long and dawning but the higher the rental rate of your property, the more profits you will yield!
Increase the rental amount: Search the database to find if you are charging as per the market trends. If not, bring the rentals up to speed. It is good to have a clause in the rental agreement to factor in an annual increase in rentals. Finding and placing high-quality tenants with good backgrounds and income can help you increase the rental rate, but finding those individuals isn’t always the easiest task.
Try to find tenants who can maintain the property: Maintaining the rental property always incurs more expenditure every time a tenant leaves. If you can find a tenant who agrees to tend to all maintenance issues but with a slightly less rental, it could be a better deal in the long run. Tenants who respect your property or even improve it are great, but those are far and few in between.
So what do I do now?
You know what you need to find, but you also know it might be incredibly difficult! Using a Property Management service such as PropertyManagementPros.com will take all of the work out of being a landlord. For a very small monthly payment, we can find, place and manage your new high-quality tenants and help you maintain and profit from your property for years to come!
We’re proud to announce that Simple Inspector has partnered with Property Management Pros! We at Property Management Pros work hard to offer the best possible value to all of our licensee’s, that’s why we a are offering all Property Management Pros locations 75% off select packages of Simple Inspector.
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You’ve been asking, and we are proud to announce that we are officially opening Tallahassee Property Management Pros & Gainesville Property Management Pros. Go ahead and check these awesome new locations and make them part of the Property Management Pros Family!
You’ve been asking, and we are proud to announce that we are officially opening Akron Property Management Pros & Canton Property Management Pros. Go ahead and check out these awesome new locations and make them part of the Property Management Pros Family!
We want to extend a warm welcome to our new pros Doug Furra & John Henry has joined the Property Management Pros Team and opened his independent office in Dallas
PropertyManagementPros.com Provided 211 Leads! Added 40 New Properties Under Management! Listed $11,435,000 of New Real Estate to Sell.