Property Management Advice and News

How Can a Professional Rental Property Management Company Benefit You if You are a Self Managing Landlord?

As a property owner who manages your own rental property or properties, you deserve a round of applause. Managing your own rental property or properties is no easy feat. You are organized, assertive, decisive, well versed about the market, and probably tired to the point of exhaustion. We understand that being a self-managing rental property owner is a massive job. You have to be everything to everyone at all times – handyman, coordinator, inspector, diplomat, and landlord. You can outsource some of the jobs, some of the time, but you are probably stuck with doing all the tasks a property manager has to do, most of the time. The thing that you have to realize is that you don’t have to do this alone. You can get help with managing your properties and you have a whole host of options for doing so. As mentioned earlier, you can outsource some tasks to service professionals – tasks like inspections, cleanups, or repairs. You can also enlist the help of a full-service property management company to do all things related to your property management business. They can help you manage your business so you can free up your time and resources for other worthy endeavors.

A little help please – the benefits of securing partial services
Sometimes you don’t need the full services of a property management company. Maybe you just need a hand here and there and can probably do away with managing the rest of the tasks on your own. Maybe you just need help with the leasing or the onboarding aspect. You have the option to avail of a property management company’s leasing only service.

Here’s how the “leasing only service” works:
The property management company can help you with the whole process of finding and on-boarding new tenants while you still maintain full control of day to day operations of your rental property. The service starts with looking for tenants and screening them, then the property management company starts the move in process with a move in inspection. Once that is done, they draft the documents and other legal agreements for the rental. They even provide the full accounting for all transactions for the property owners convenience. This takes eases the pressure off of the landlord during the most difficult time in the landlord-tenant relationship, the induction. The property management company takes care of the initial stages and leaves the landlord to maintain control over all other aspects of property management.

I need all the help I can get – the benefits of getting a full-service rental property management company
Your rental property is a long term source of income for you. It is understandable that you want to be involved in the daily management of your rental property. However, you might find yourself needing some help with managing your rental property for personal reasons. Maybe you recently built another rental property to expand your portfolio and would like to spend time establishing that. Maybe you are being called away from your rental property and have to leave it for a certain time. Maybe other pressing matters outside your rental business needs your attention. Whatever the reason is, you have the option to let a property management company take care of your rental property.

Here’s how the full-service rental property management works:
The property management company takes care of the onboarding process, starting from finding you tenants who are the perfect fit. Then they start the screening process, the move-in process, and the documentation process. Once everything is signed and the landlord-tenant relationship commences, the property management company also takes care of making sure that your tenants stay with your business. During this part, they are in constant communication with your tenants and are careful to maintain the harmonious relationship on your behalf. The property management company also takes care of the day to day operations like repairs, cleanup, inspection, maintenance, etc. These guys would have excellent local connections and would most certainly know the best in the industry. These connections might even translate to discounted rates from their go-to, favorite contractors. They also take care of reporting and accounting so that you don’t have to deal with those things.

As a landlord or property owner, you won’t be an expert at everything. You can learn how to be, but that won’t happen overnight. And there will always be people who can do a better job. Why not tap those resources so that you can concentrate on doing the things you are good at or those that you enjoy doing. The time you spend learning how to be an expert at all aspects of property management can be spent expanding your rental income and looking for new opportunities.

How to pick a good one:
So you’ve decided to use a property management company to take over partial or full services for your rental property. How do you know if you’ve picked a good one? Here are some pointers for you. Please feel free to add or take away from this checklist according to your requirements.

❏ Experience

❏ How many years have you been in the industry?
❏ Do you have your own property portfolio?
❏ Do you have testimonials or client success stories?

❏ Accreditation

❏ Do you have accreditation?
❏ Do you have a license?

❏ Knowledgebase

❏ How well do you know the local market?
❏ Do you have a set of go-to experts/connections/contractors that you always use and can vouch for?

❏ Fees and services

❏ How much do you charge?
❏ What services are included?

Spend equal to or even more time screening your property managers as you would potential renters. Although the above checklist does not include character, you should look at how well they are placed within the locale, look for reviews or any good (or bad) press, and check to see if they have pending investigations against them. Also, get a feel of how much dedication they put into their work.

Are you looking for the right property management company to handle your rental properties? Look no further. Here at Davis Property Management, we are committed to helping you grow your rental property business. As a full-service property management company with decades of experience in the industry, people come to us for our expert services. They trust us. See for yourself. Call us at 425-658-7471 to schedule a consultation.

What are Seattle Neighborhoods Like and Where do your Tenants Fit?

Seattle is growing ever more diverse as people from all walks of life settle in to build careers, learn, raise families, or enjoy their retirement. The Seattle housing scene has been enjoying steady growth and savvy investors are capitalizing on the knowledge that there will be no shortage of people looking for a place to call home.

Certain neighborhoods attract particular kinds of tenants. For example, young adults looking to study at uni will go for apartments or dorms close to colleges and universities. Entrepreneurs and techy, upwardly mobile millennials will look for condominiums or apartments that are closer to work or networking opportunities. Work at home parents, bootstrappers, and young families will need to be near schools and commercial places for convenience. Baby boomers and retirees will want to be where there are entertainment options or near peaceful getaways.

As a landlord or a property owner, you need to know which neighborhoods attract your target demographics in order to properly place them. The right fit is important when choosing tenants to live in your rental property.

Here’s a snapshot of the Seattle neighborhoods, what they are like, and who your prospective tenants could be:


● Bremerton is a city in Kitsap County and is home to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and the Bremerton Annex of Naval Base Kitsap. While Bainbridge is an island in western Washington state. It is home to Bloedel Reserve and the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. Both are connected to Seattle by a ferry.
● What is the neighborhood like? The neighborhood is artsy-craftsy with nature surrounding all fronts. It is the closest thing to rural America in a city as bright and booming as Seattle.
● Who lives there? Those who crave country feels without having to stay away from family or jobs in the city. Those who like nature trips and scenic ferry rides.


● Ballard is a hip waterfront neighborhood with trendy restaurants, indie shops, bars and craft breweries centered on historic Ballard Avenue. It is home to the Nordic Heritage Museum and the beachfront Golden Gardens Park with beautiful mountain views.
● What is the neighborhood like?
● Who lives there? This is the place to be for upwardly mobile singles. The trendy shops are a big draw The waterfront and the mountain view gives them the best of both worlds in terms of scenic views.

Capitol Hill

● This might arguably be the coolest neighborhood in all of Seattle. Capitol Hill is packed with nightlife and entertainment hubs and is home to Volunteer Park and Cal Anderson Park. Coffeehouses populate the area and not just the big brand names, but the prominent locally owned ones, too.
● What is the neighborhood like?
● Who lives there? Hip and trendy millennials as well as most of the LGBT community, many of whom have settled in this neighborhood as early as the 1960s.

Columbia City

● Columbia City is a diverse neighborhood in the southeastern area of Seattle, in the Rainier Valley district. It is home to a landmark-protected historic business district which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 as the Columbia City Historic District. For people who love festivals and events, the party happens in August during the Rainier Valley Heritage Parade and Summer Streets Party.
● What is the neighborhood like? People walk everywhere and the community is tight-knit and locally oriented. Music festivals and farmer’s markets are commonplace and there is a gaggle of community organizations to join.
● Who lives there? New to Seattle? This is a good place to start. Mid-income families and college grads could easily find homes here.


● Downtown is the central business district of Seattle, Washington and is home to skyscrapers overlooking Elliot Bay, the Central Waterfront with its giant Ferris wheel, and the Seattle Aquarium.
● What is the neighborhood like? Downtown Seattle is compact and easily walkable. Even though it is small, there is no shortage of sights to see with its historical attractions and world-class entertainment.
● Who lives there? Those who are attracted to high-end urban living can make a home in Downtown Seattle.


● The annexed city is situated along the Fremont Cut of the Lake Washington Ship Canal to the north of Queen Anne, the east of Ballard, the south of Phinney Ridge, and the southwest of Wallingford.
● What is the neighborhood like? This bohemian neighborhood is all about indie shops and hipster bars. There is even a gigantic Fremont Troll, lurking under the Aurora Bridge. This is the main technohub where tech giants such as Google have chosen to build their mothership/HQ.
● Who lives there? This area attracts tech workers who want to live closer to work. As such, an eclectic selection of eateries and commercial spaces are available here.

International District

● This is home to Asian-American communities with three distinct neighborhoods: Chinatown, Japantown, and Little Saigon. It is known for its ethnic Asian businesses and landmarks.
● What is the neighborhood like? It is the central hub for Asian culture. It is mainly a mix of people with Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Indian, and Taiwanese ancestry.
● Who lives there? People who are of Asian ancestry or those who are attracted to Asian festivals and Asian culture.

Pioneer Square

● What was once the heart of Seattle, Pioneer Square is located in the southwest corner of Downtown, Seattle. It gets its name from a small triangular plaza near the corner of First Avenue and Yesler Way, originally known as Pioneer Place. It is populated with late-1800s Romanesque Revival buildings, hip bars, art galleries, and coffee shops. It is home to Waterfall Garden Park and Occidental Square.
● What is the neighborhood like? It is an up and coming place eyed by a number of real estate developers. New apartments and condominiums are to be built in the next few years as it is a good alternative for the higher priced downtown area.
● Who lives there? Upwardly mobile singles and couples who like Renaissance Revival architecture and historic neighborhoods.

Queen Anne

● Queen Anne is in the more affluent part of the neighborhood, northwest of Downtown Seattle. It sits dab smack on the highest named hill in the city. It is home to the iconic Space Needle, with its observation deck, plus the Museum of Pop Culture and Chihuly Garden and Glass.
● What is the neighborhood like? This neighborhood is very diverse and draws everyone because of its many offerings. Upwardly mobile tech-savvy workers and well-heeled business people are drawn to the bustling downtown scene, while baby boomers are drawn to the residential aspect.
● Who lives there? Mostly young and single adults populate the area now.

University District

● This is a collective neighborhood comprised of schools and universities named aptly because it is where the University of Washington (UW) is located.
● What is the neighborhood like? It is a relatively self-contained neighborhood with budget-friendly options catering to students and university workers.
● Who lives there? Students enrolled in different universities, first-generation immigrants and mobile singles call this place home.

Davis Property Management has deep roots in the Seattle area and can help you market your property to tenants who could be the perfect fit for your rental property. Schedule a consultation with us today!

How do you protect your Seattle Property from water damage?

Seattle is known all over the world for the iconic Space Needle and for being the birthplace of Grunge music. It is also known for a cool and moderate climate and for having both access to beautiful forests and a bustling seaport. It has a lot of tourist hotspots, a thriving performing arts culture, and world-class musical history. Seattle’s skyline is among the most beautiful in the country. It draws the attention of investors because of its location and beautiful weather. One thing that most of the locals are not crazy about is the rain.

It’s always rainy in Seattle
Seattle has earned an international reputation for being a rainy city. There are more rainy days in Seattle than in London, which is another city well known for being rainy. Seattle has seen many more rainy days than any other U.S city. Seattle locals are used to this fact and actually embrace it. Why not? It is an amazing place to live in and the winters are milder than some places with notoriously unforgiving winters (looking at you, New York!) On the average, it rains about 150 days out of the 365 days in a year in Seattle. In fact, last year (2018) it rained 157 days out of 365 which is drier than 2017 (with a recorded 162 days of rain) and 2016 (with a recorded 172 days of rain).

To put this into perspective, the probability of rain in Seattle is 4 days out of every 10. Which means that if you own real estate in the area, it is more prone to water damage than anywhere else in the country. This is why protecting your property from water damage is extremely important. Left unaddressed, water can cause some serious issues in your property and may even cause structural damage.

The first line of defense

The first line of defense against water damage is a very well built drainage system. This doesn’t only include drains but also includes the roof and gutters as well as anything else that drains water away from your property. Have your property inspected by professionals. But if you don’t have time to do that if you want to make a preliminary inspection yourself, here’s a handy checklist of things to look out for:

Inspect the roof – do this before and after the rainy season. Yes. Seattle has a dry season. Summer and spring are usually sunny and dry.
Inspect for debris that could lead to roof damage – debris after a thunderstorm or a winter storm can cause tears, holes, and cracks on the roof of your property. Clear out the debris and inspect for damage so that you can address the damage accordingly.
Watch out for warped shingles – a roof shingle is a roof covering consisting of overlapping materials. If these come loose or become warped, it can cause water to leak into the property.
Clean the gutter – this is an often overlooked part of the inspection. Gutters do not clean themselves and if left uncleaned, can lead to damage to drain pipes, clogging, rusting, and very expensive repairs.
Inspect the drains – where does the water drain into? Does it flow away from the property? Or does it flow back into the foundation? If it does, it could undermine the foundation of your property and could lead to serious damage, so be careful.
Inspect the lawn or yard – this will give you a clue as to where the water drains to. Good drainage is essential to combat water damage so take note of areas where water has pooled or where the soil has eroded. “A saturated yard can eventually cause water to build back up around the foundation of the home, rendering your other work irrelevant,” says SFGate’s Homeguides.
Inspect the inside of your property – inspection is incomplete without inspecting the inside of your property. Take note of the walls, especially the load bearing ones that hold the foundation up. Start from the basement and work your way up. Look for water stains or signs of mold. Also check the windows for cracks, leaks, and molds. Speaking of molds, they can not only cause property damage by weakening structural walls, but they can also cause damage to health. Molds can cause respiratory damage and nasal congestion among others. The attic is notorious for harboring molds, so pay close attention to that part of your property. Molds can hide under insulation and cause health problems. Check chimneys and roof vents as well or any ingress where water can come in.
Check for signs of structural damage inside the property – floors can warp or buckle long after the water has dried out. It could indicate a leak or water seepage. Pipes may bear signs of water damage too. Check for stains and leaks, they usually show up discolored or bearing mold or algal growth.

For you and your tenant’s peace of mind, make sure that your property is safe and free of water damage. Avoid expensive repairs by being vigilant and diligent about after storm inspections. Putting off routine inspections may prove to be more costly in the long run. Sometimes, the water dries out leaving no signs of leaks or cracks. This makes it hard to spot and therefore, repair. Property owners may have a hard time repairing the property once the damage grows bigger, so it is best to address problems right away. Seattle is a beautiful city. Don’t let the rains dampen your spirits or your income earning potential.

Constant rains mean constant inspection. We understand that this can be difficult if you are managing several properties or if you are living away from your property. There are so many things that an amateur inspector can miss if they don’t know what to look for. Your best bet is to seek help from professionals. They have specialized tools that can help accurately assess water damage. If you need help with maintenance and regular inspections, we can help you! Schedule a consultation with Davis Property Management today. Call us at 425-658-7471 and we can help you coordinate regular property inspections and more!

3 Ways to keep your Seattle Rental Property safe for Tenants

When you ask people where in the world they feel most safe, they would tell you that, inside their homes is where they feel the safest. Feeling safe is a very important factor for good health and well-being. Where we live, the quality of our neighborhood, and how safe we feel in our homes can influence our state of mind. After all, home is supposed to be a safe haven, a place where we can relax, unwind, rest, and recharge.

As a rental property owner, you contribute greatly to a tenant’s sense of safety and security. Prospective tenants consider the safety of the neighborhood and the property of utmost importance, because what use is a beautiful condominium, apartment, or townhouse if it is situated in an area where crime and break-ins are common.

It is not just about the safety of the neighborhood, but also the safety of the property. Did you know that the number one reason people die in their homes is due to gases, chemical, and toxic substances? Not only is structural safety important but apparently, ventilation is important as well. Other common injuries that happen at home are falls, fires and burns, and natural incidents. Tenants want to feel that they are safe in their homes They don’t want to feel like the floors or the roofs are going to give out at any moment. They don’t want to worry about the pipes bursting or the smoke alarms failing. They want to feel safe from pest infestation or molds. That means properties need to be well maintained and in good condition. Property repairs and maintenance is a must.

Managing Seattle’s Wet Weather
Seattle has a reputation for being a “rainy city”, having more rainy days than sunny ones. It experiences its heaviest rainfall during November, December, and January. In November, Seattle particularly experiences its highest average rainfall, more than any other large US city. In fact, Seattle is one of the 5 rainiest major cities in the US. One of the challenges that most property owners face are the issues brought about by Seattle’s generally wet weather. Heavy rains can cause flooding around areas where drainage is not optimal. Heavy rains can also cause roofs to leak. Even sudden drizzles can cause damage to properties with leaky foundations and cracked pipes. The wet weather also does not help with drying out the moisture that can accumulate behind walls, attics, and basements. Mold can cause serious health issues. Landlords would have to periodically check for leaks and look for signs of water damage.

Safety Inspection and Periodic Maintenance
Properties get damaged through wear and tear or even simply old age. The older your property is, the more it requires periodic maintenance and regular safety inspections. Forces of nature, like heavy rains or storms, most common in the area, can cause damage to your property. Branches can put a hole through the roof or cracks in the windows. It is best to conduct seasonal inspections to check for damages after heavy rains or storms. Also, don’t forget to conduct moving in and moving out inspections, to ensure that tenants who are moving in are safe in your rental property. There’s more to think about than Seattle’s wet weather and how water can damage a property. There’s also the usual safety considerations like fireproofing and health and safety checks.

Here’s an example of a typical home inspection checklist, for a quick DIY home safety inspection:

● Check the batteries of smoke alarms and smoke detectors – these typically need to be replaced once or twice a year. Smoke alarms should be on every floor of the property, including the basement and attic.
● Have a fire escape plan – every tenant unit should have access to the fire escape and must know the evacuation procedure in case of fire or earthquake (very important for apartment buildings with elevators).
● Have fire extinguishers – these should be replaced once a year (check the expiration date). It is recommended to have one multipurpose fire extinguisher for every 600 square feet of living space. When using it, remember to PASS:

○ Pull the pin.
○ Aim at the base of the fire.
○ Squeeze the handle.
○ Sweep from side to side until the fire is out.

● Electrical wiring inspection – make sure that wirings or electrical cords are not frayed.
● Routinely check furnaces and/or chimneys – make sure they are not blocked or obstructed.

Property owners can also install safety features like deadbolts, gates, and security cameras in unit doors and around the property. You can encourage tenants to reinforce these safety features by having them add their own. Some features like window alarms, electronic keypads, home alarms, or even motion sensors can reinforce security in their rental homes. If the tenets have small children, encourage them to install window guards or baby gates.

A List of your Go-To Guys
As a property owner, you should have a list of your most trusted contractors, inspectors, and fix-it guys who are available for you to call on when a major storm (or any emergency) hits. You are also responsible for scheduling inspections and making plans for repairs and replacements should the need arise. You can source these yourself, most people have 2 or 3 guys they can count on for repairs. But, when it comes to specialized repairs and big repair or maintenance projects, it is best to enlist the help of professionals. This will save property owners time and money.

A property management company like Davis Property Management can help you with all the requirements you need to keep your tenants safe. We can help you set up inspections, repairs, and maintenance with our most trusted and professional team of regular contractors who are already doing an excellent job with servicing our existing clients. Not only can we help you find the perfect tenant for your property, but we can also help you move them in and help take care of maintaining your property. Schedule a consultation with us, today!

5 reasons regular rental property inspections are important for rental properties

Most landlords don’t live in their rental property buildings. After all, they probably start out as already owning houses and then, after a while, choose to build rental properties in another location to increase their income and build their real estate portfolio. Some of the seasoned ones have several rental properties in the same area in order to manage them easier or in different areas with the help of administrators or property managers.

Even though most landlords don’t live in their rental property buildings, it is very important to conduct regular and routine property inspections. This will ensure that your property is being well cared for by the tenants living in it. You can also ask your property manager to do the regular inspections.

Why do you need to do regular property inspections on your rental property?

1. To make sure that your tenants are following the agreed upon rules
First of all, make sure that you include in the contract the agreed upon expectation on conduct and care of your property. Not all tenants are alike, so make sure to have a set of agreed-upon rules or set of expectations. If this is a family neighborhood, you can put in the agreement that the tenants are expected to keep noise to a minimum, especially after a set time (like 9pm) to avoid inconveniencing the other neighbors. You can also stipulate that the care of rental unit lawns or front and/or backyard should be up to the tenants. While it is expected that the tenants go through careful screening by the landlords, even the very best tenants may suddenly have challenges, become busy, or careless. To give the tenants incentive to keep the rental property in tip-top shape, you should let them know as a landlord that there will be regular property inspections. Strive to keep them within a regular schedule, say every month or every other month at a specific time so that the tenants can prepare for the site visit.

2. To make sure that, as a landlord, you are meeting your tenants’ needs
The landlord-tenant agreement is a two-way agreement. You also need to make sure that you are keeping up your end of the bargain by ensuring that the property you are renting out is clean, safe and a conducive place to live in. Regular property inspections can help you find issues that may cause problems later if left unaddressed. For example, Seattle rental properties are prone to leaks and water damage since it is a relatively rainy city. Property inspections can be a good forum to open issues with tenants with regard to repairs.

3. To prevent serious problems down the line
Rental property problems emerge with just the normal wear and tear of everyday life. By doing a regular rental property inspection, you can catch these problems before they become serious money draining ones. The weather can cause minor damages to your rental property that can turn into bigger issues. A small leak in the rainy season can grow to be a huge problem that results to busted pipes, water damage, property flooding, or growth of molds if left unaddressed. Try to look for damage that is to be repaired by tenants (unhinged doors, broken windows, torn baseboards, etc.) and damage/issues that you are responsible for fixing (leaking roof, clogged outside drains, irregular garbage collection, etc.).

4. To give you clues about your tenants’ behavior
A property inspection can give you clues about how each tenant uses your rental property. God forbid, they are using it for illegal activity. You can discover if your tenants are involved in criminal activity or drug use from the clues you find during your property inspection. Tenants who have problems with hoarding will eventually be obvious over time, their stuff might spill over to common areas which can be a great inconvenience to other neighbors. You can catch these early on with routine inspections.

5. To facilitate landlord-tenant communication
You may be a landlord who lives in or close to your rental property, or you may be a landlord who lives further away and thus, rely on property management company to coordinate your regular rental property inspections. Whatever the case may be, regular rental property inspections open a venue for tenants to communicate their needs to the landlord, and for landlords to reiterate their rules to the tenants. Both can work towards making improvements and ensuring that the rental property is a safe and healthy place to live in.

How to time your rental property inspections
Local laws state that your tenants should be informed at least 24 hours before you conduct a property inspection. You should also let them know the length, purpose, and timing of the visit. Make sure that your tenant or a representative is present when you conduct the inspection, and never enter the premises without informing your tenant. It is up to the landlord to decide the regularity of the visits. Some are diligent and do monthly rental property checks with the help of a property management company, while some landlords are okay with bi-annual inspections. However, often you time it, it is of utmost importance to do regular property inspections to make sure that your rental property does not fall into neglect.

If you are a landlord who manages a lot of other properties or a landlord living further from your rental property, you will need help scheduling and coordinating regular rental property checks. It is best to look for a local property management company who knows the area. Not only can they help you with regular inspections, they can also help you get connected with expert local contractors who can address repairs right away. If you need a local expert who can organize regular rental property inspections as well as help you manage your rental properties, give us a call at Davis Property Management, and we’ll help you with your property management needs.

How can you manage your Seattle rental when you live overseas?

You probably fell in love with Seattle at first sight. And who wouldn’t? Seattle has a cool and moderate climate with noteworthy views, a bustling seaport, lots of tourist hotspots, a thriving performing arts culture, and world-class musical history. It also helps that the Seattle skyline is among the most beautiful in the country and that it is surrounded by seas, rivers, forests, lakes, and fields. It has a congenial and laid back vibe, descriptive of the typical west coast culture.

You probably thought “this is it, this is where I’ll live for the rest of my life!” You were probably one of the pioneers of buying property in this area. With all the tech giants moving in, company acquisitions going on, and land developments populating the area, you would have taken advantage of the prices and thought to snag a piece of land to build your dream home and real estate rental portfolio there.

But for some reason, you need to move and leave the property you built behind. Life could have taken you to different shores and you found yourself studying or working out of the country. Or maybe you have opportunities elsewhere that have led you to leave your Seattle property. Whether this is temporary or not, you need someone to keep a very watchful eye on your property and make sure that it does not become an idle asset. You have to make sure that the property you left is making an income. Your best bet is to rent it out.

Reasons why Seattle properties are sitting idle:

● Some people build homes there in the hopes of turning it into a vacation home. They want a place with a good view and a great climate, to enjoy summer nights or even cold winter mornings. Most of the year though, their vacation homes are vacant.
● Some people are part of the global workforce and their jobs take them to other parts of the world where they are needed. They find homes in other parts of the country (or the world) but keep a place in Seattle to call home. When they are out on assignment, their homes are vacant.
● Some people actually live in a different part of the country but took advantage of the housing market boom and bought property in Seattle in the hopes of turning it into a rental home. These people have invested in real estate in the area and are hoping to grow their portfolio. Unfortunately, they are too far away to manage the property and look for buyers or tenants. These properties now sit vacant.

Why own property in Seattle?
Owning property in Seattle is a very wise investment. The city is growing and there is an influx of young, career-oriented workers looking for a place to stay. Seattle also draws in young families with one or both parents starting out in high-income tech jobs. Seattle is also a big draw for business savvy professionals who are building their start-ups. Here they can find a community of like-minded people who can help them build their business. Seattle has a lot of private and public schools and draws a lot of students looking to complete their degrees. Surprisingly, Seattle also draws retirees who are drawn to the bustling grassroots culture of performing arts, music, and entertainment. In the next 5 years, these retirees are poised to hold 70% of US disposable income, according to Marketing Charts. Seattle draws a diverse crowd who are interested in the culture, the climate, and career opportunities. There is no shortage of people looking for a place to rent.

The challenge
Now, here’s the challenge. If you own property in Seattle but don’t live there for whatever reason, you will be faced with managing a property from far away. Shuttling back and forth to your place of residence to manage your Seattle property will be a huge waste of time, money, and other resources. If you decide to rent out your property, you would not be able to address urgent renter issues right away. Issues such as contractor meeting, emergency repairs, weather damage assessments, and property checks will be a pain to manage from afar. While prospective tenant interviews can be conducted over the phone, you wouldn’t be able to walk them through your property properly if they want to have a look around before they commit to a lease. That could spell the difference between a rented out house or a vacant and idle asset.

Not only is a vacant property an income loss, but it is also an insurance issue. Vacant properties can fall to issues of vandalism, theft, storm damage, flooding, etc on the onset. If you are living overseas, you would not be able to address these issues right away. A property vacant for more than a month also voids the insurance, so whatever damage it occurs when you’re not around (like break-ins or broken glass windows), you are most likely to pay for. It is very hard to do all of this from overseas, or from afar. The best way to go about managing the day to day logistics of your rental property is to hire a local property management company to manage your property in real time.

Your Seattle rental property is an investment, not a liability
You made the right choice of investing in a Seattle property. It is a beautiful place that would fetch a good price. The challenge is to be able to actually rent it out. A vacant property is a liability, but not when the property is rented. It then turns into a smart investment. All you have to do is to hire a good property management company that could match you up with the perfect tenant and ensure that all your properties remain rented. You don’t even have to worry about tenants placement walkthroughs, collecting rent, urgent repairs, and emergency checks. A good property management company will take care of all of that for you.

If you are looking for an excellent rental property management company to take care of your Seattle property, look no further. Here at Davis Property Management, we will take care of your Seattle rental property for oy. We have extensive knowledge of the Seattle area and have the best rental property managers in the business. Schedule a consultation with us today and call 425-658-7471 so that we can get started in helping you turn your Seattle rental property into a smart income-generating investment.

How to Target the Millennial’s Market with Amenities that they Find Attractive

The millennials are the predominant up and coming generation. They are born between the years 1981 to 1996 with some definitions extending to 2001. Naturally, those who are born earlier in this generation are the ones who are dominating the workforce and the consumer markets. Today, they would be in their mid-thirties. They are unique in such a way that their lifestyles are geared towards having more options and having the flexibility to relocate and follow their careers rather than settling in one location for a single job. Those born later in the generation are still in school and do not really need to look for a permanent home when they pursue higher education. Thus, they tend to choose to rent rather than homeownership.

The Washington real estate market is a magnet for millennials since Washington is home to 6 state universities and over 20 private colleges and universities. It is also the newest techno hub, with tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Facebook making its home in the Seattle and Bellevue areas. Washington is one of the wealthiest states and offers a liberal progressive lifestyle while ranking among the best for life expectancy and low unemployment making it a very attractive neighborhood for millennials.

Millennials consist mostly of young students, young workers or entrepreneurs, and young families. They are a diverse group with different preferences. However, one thing is most certain – millennials want flexibility.

Being less formal than the previous generations who lean more towards structure, millennials prefer open plans that fit a flexible lifestyle. Here are some amenities that they might find attractive:

1. Open plan spaces – open plan space makes it easier for millennials to customize their space according to how they use it. It can be customised for casual entertaining when they have a few guests over, for providing a small family room where small children can play, for providing a crafts room for hobbies or small business crafts, or even creating a space for a small home office for millennials who work from home or run their own businesses.

2. Flexible spaces – millennials love multipurpose things and homes should have at least a space that could serve multiple purposes. For example, a patio or balcony can be used as a place to entertain guests the living room can be converted into a small office space, the kitchen can also be the dining area with the help of fold-out tables and smart shelving.

3. Low maintenance – the reason why millennials and other generations opt for smaller homes and rental properties is because they don’t want to maintain a large house. Baby boomers downsize into smaller homes because it is too much work to maintain a yard or clean three floors worth of floors. Millennials want the ability to run an efficient household with simpler cleaning requirements. They are conscious of waste and would like to save on electricity and water use. Most are trying to reduce carbon footprint and need their homes to be energy efficient.

4. Feel of the neighborhood – as earlier mentioned, Washington is among one of the wealthier neighborhoods in all of the US, with superb access to transportation facilities, travel destinations, unis, and work opportunities. The area of Seattle alone draws in more millennials every year due to the fact that it is home to the largest tech companies in the country. The neighborhood is important to millennials as most of them do not own a car (probably due to environmental concerns) and would to settle into a place where they can commute using public transportation or ride shares easily to work. Some would even prefer walking or biking to the office. Another attractive aspect for millennials is if the property is near stores or entertainment hubs like movie houses.

As a landlord or property manager, you can make your property more attractive to the millennial market by having the following:

● An open plan layout – if you are renting out or selling a condominium, townhome, or single family home, you should consider an open plan layout, at least for the family area (which includes living room, dining room, and kitchen). That way, your prospective tenants or home buyers can customize their own space. Just make sure that the provisions for lighting, electric outlets, sinks, and air conditioning or heating are there. Flexibility in a space is important to millennials, so make sure they can envision using the space for multiple purposes like entertaining, office work, or a side business.

● Smart shelving and storage – most millennials prefer smaller homes, so smart storage is a must. Make sure that there are plenty of storage options and that the shelves are built in unobtrusive places. Secret or hidden storage is a plus so that tenants or home buyers have a place where they can store away their seasonal gear, athletic or sports equipment, kids toys, or seasonal decorations.

● Low maintenance homes – as a landlord, you might want to consider installing tiles or hardwood floors as these are so much easier to clean than carpeted floors, and millennials are always looking for low maintenance easy to manage homes. You might also want to put in a small garden patch along a walkway or at the front (or back) of the property. Millennials are into growing their own food and since they can not plant a garden inside a condominium or apartment, they would appreciate having a small garden in which they could grow their own plants and maybe form a community of gardening enthusiasts. Also, since rental properties are relatively small, a small gym or an entertainment room within the rental compound could be a welcome addition to the usual amenities.

Are you a millennial looking for the perfect rental property with the right amenities? Are you a property owner looking to match with the perfect tenant? At Davis Property Management can match you up with your dream home or the perfect tenant. Take the hassle out of the scouting process by scheduling a consultation with us today!

How Rental Property Management Can Help Make it Easy for you to Rent Out your Property

Here’s a secret of the rich. All of them have multiple income streams that they slowly (or quickly) built on their way up. It’s a good mentality to have actually, not putting all your eggs in one basket. It’s how you create financial security and freedom. Don’t we all want that for ourselves? So, the question now is how and where to start.

How about starting with property investment? If you’re one of the lucky people who have vacant properties or vacation homes stashed away somewhere, it’s time to get serious about generating income from that untapped asset. Sure, you’d like to keep it so that your family can somehow turn it into the vacation home of your dreams. Or maybe it started out as an investment property but promptly forgot about it, after all, out of sight out of mind, right?

People buy investment properties but don’t convert them into income generating assets right away for a number of reasons. They tell themselves that they’ll put it out on the market once repairs are done, renovation is finished, the economy is more stable, or when there’s a new president. In the meantime, the investment property turns into an idle asset that just sits there instead of being able to bring in more money.

Did you know that idle or underused properties cost you big money?
When you get down to the basics, a property that is unused is a property at risk. That investment property you bought in the hopes of turning it into an income generating stream has fallen to the wayside and will not be back in your line of sight unless something goes wrong with it. What could possibly go wrong with an unused property, you ask? Well for starters, even unused properties need maintenance. The roofs could leak. The windows might need repairs. The hedges could engulf the property. And it’s not just the usual wear and tear that you have to look out for. An unused property can be at risk for break-ins.

Renting out your idle property isn’t just a way to get more income. It is actually a great way to ensure that the property is well cared for. Renting it out turns a potential liability into a working asset.

Here’s how a rental property management company can help
Investment property owners need to get out of their own way and leverage the help of professionals. A good rental property management company can make sure that your rental property becomes an asset to the neighborhood and the community. They can make sure that your property gets ready to be put in the market. They can match you up with tenants that will enjoy living in your rental property. They can take care of applications and background checks and make sure that the tenants you get are trustworthy and able to fulfill their part of the contract. A great rental property management company will be able to take care of tenant interaction. They’ll be there to take the panicked calls of tenants with burst pipes. They work with excellent vendors that they can call in anytime there is an emergency. They’ll make sure that repairs are done and safety measures are in place. They can give your property the personal attention it needs in order for it to be a star asset to your financial portfolio. When you’re stuck and don’t know where to start with converting your investment property into an income generating rental property, they can come in with their expertise and advise you on how to start. They could be a valuable guide. They can help you kickstart your rental property business. They can take the hassle out of managing the rental process. You will still make the big decisions, but you can leave it to them to manage the day to day aspects of running the rental property as a business.

The services that a good rental property management company provides can be very valuable to you
So what exactly can a rental property management company do for you? Let’s start at helping you get your property market ready. It’s not just about putting on a fresh coat of paint and screwing in some lighting fixtures. It is about getting advice on how to price in a competitive rental market. It’s about helping you get your legal documents ready. It’s about helping you get the inspections and certifications out of the way. It’s about helping you advertise your property on listing sites.

Next comes tenant intake. Rental property management companies can help you find tenants and match you up with perfect ones. They can help you with screening. They can help your tenants with the move in (or, eventually, the move out) process. They can help you with rental property maintenance and regular inspections. Some good rental property management companies can also help you track history, expenses, and help you do auditing and accounting. They are also the tenants first line of contact – you won’t even have to deal with leaks or lights yourself. When a tenant calls for emergency repairs, they’re there.

How to know if the rental property management company is the real deal

● Look at their track record and their history.
● Have they been around long enough to know what they’re talking about? Older companies have an edge here, BUT most of the new companies are started by people who have been in the business long enough to learn the ropes. So don’t discount anybody. Look for certifications and history.
● Who are their clients? Are they satisfied clients? Any company worth their salt would come highly recommended by satisfied clients. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small pond or a big pool of clients. You should always look for good reviews.
● How are their customer service and data management? Work with a company who treats all their clients well, not just as numbers for their business. Look for a company that values privacy since they will be dealing with sensitive and personal information once you hand over management of your rental property to them.

At Davis Property Management, we are the real deal. We can help you turn your idle property into a positive and star performing asset. Learn more about how we can take care of you and your rental property. Schedule a consultation with us today.

What Do Apartment Renters Want?

Following the trend in increasing mortgage rates, more people are looking to rent than to buy homes. That is true for all areas of the United States and not only in Washington…and with good reason. In the more popular areas like Bellevue and Seattle, home prices average at $858,000 in Bellevue while those in Seattle are priced at approx. $630,000. The people who choose to buy single-family homes or residential properties are few and far in between. This is why over the past couple of years, the rental property market has enjoyed steady success.

The increase in the number of renters has steadily outpaced the increase in homeowners with renters in 23 million, and homeowners less than 700K. As of today, growth in the homeownership space has remained virtually unchanged. More people are renting now more than any point in the history of the property market. There is such a huge diversity far from the usual “college students putting themselves through school.” Apartment renters could be young professionals who share the cost of an upscale apartment with three other roommates. Apartment renters could be a small family whose credit is keeping them from buying their own home. Apartment renters could be a retired couple who finds relief in being free from maintaining a big house and a yard. Apartment renters are millennials entering the housing market but not buying houses at the same rate as older generations. Apartment renters are baby boomers who are now retired and downsizing. With renters being such a huge and diversified target market, how can we know for sure what apartment renters want?

Architecture and Design
According to the modern interior design firm, Sensory Six, the most important things that people look for in an apartment are space and storage. There is a dichotomy. While space is at a premium in apartments, the small space is one of the reasons why renters might have been drawn to that apartment. House and lots are tough to maintain but give its inhabitants room for storage and space to entertain. Renters would most likely choose an apartment that incorporates smart storage. A place to put seasonal decor, sports equipment, books, and toys would be very valuable for people who are looking to move to a smaller space. Flexible spaces that can convert to multipurpose rooms are also a big plus. Tenants would be grateful for a space to entertain small groups, even if it’s just a balcony.

Renters are also drawn to spaces that feel well thought of and intentionally put together. You might want to invest in landscaping or hall lights that add unique details to the rental property. You can also add details to the walls and floorings of each unit, such as tiles that won’t break the bank but will make your rental property stand out instead of opting for stark white walls. This will make your rental property stand out.

A sense of community
Apartment living may not offer a huge yard with picket fences that has always been the American dream, but there is always a way to enjoy the same feeling. Having a community garden, a pool, or a kid’s playground within the apartment premises will give tenants a sense of community and still get the feeling of having a good old backyard to play in, cool down, socialize, entertain, or plant in. Prospective renters would appreciate these little shared spaces even though they are outside of the proverbial home. Who knows, they might form a gardening club or a fitness club. Parents might also be able to find playdates for their kids when they interact with other parents on the playground you have provided within the apartment complex.

An attractive lifestyle
Offer an attractive lifestyle to prospective tenants by adding an entertainment hub or a fitness center to the apartment complex. It doesn’t have to be a big gym or a movie house. A nice multipurpose room with a big TV can serve as a movie room or double up as a meeting place for official apartment business. A small gym with basic equipment or a few yoga mats can serve as the fitness center where tenants can squeeze in a quick workout. You might want to add a garden path or walkway so that the older tenants could do some brisk walking and light exercises. This would prove attractive to prospective tenants especially if the theater or the gym is a long way off from the apartment complex.

Well maintained
Apartment complexes that are well maintained will always be fully occupied. Tenants want to feel that they are well taken cared of in their rental homes. Keep an eye out for things that need repair and maintenance, especially outside the rental units. These can easily slip and won’t be reported by tenants because they are more likely to report repairs needed inside their apartments. Hall lights, locks, paint, and other outside installations should always be maintained. If you keep your rental property well maintained, tenant attrition will not be a problem.

Apartments that offer a little bit of something for everyone will always stand out from the rest. Be prepared to accommodate a diverse line up of tenants, each with a different need. All of which are looking for a safe and beautiful place to call their own. Property owners don’t need exquisite architecture or an interior design degree, they don’t even have to splurge on high tech or expensive additions. If they can put together an apartment complex that incorporates the things that renters find attractive across all demographics, then they are sure to fill vacancies in no time. Just make sure that the apartment complex is a safe, well maintained, cohesive place that tenants can be proud of.

At Davis Property Management, we can help you plan and create the best possible rental property and also help you find the best tenants. Learn more about how we can help you. Schedule a consultation with us today.

What you need to know about Amazon’s HQ2 search and the massive expansion project in Seattle suburb

Nothing travels faster than light, except for gossip. True enough, in the real estate industry, news travels fast, and we’ve heard a very plausible prediction from Redfin that “Amazon’s Big Plans for Bellevue Could Spur the Seattle Suburb Back Into a Real Estate Frenzy”. With the tech giant confirming reports that it will open a huge, shiny, new office in Bellevue, this doesn’t seem like “gossip fodder’” anymore. Where once they have remained quiet, Amazon is now open about leasing spaces in Bellevue and subleasing their acquired space in Seattle, which prompts people to think that Amazon is scaling back in its hometown and looking for space somewhere else. So fasten your seatbelts Bellevue, WA and get ready for changes brought about by Amazon’s dominant presence.

For many years, Seattle has always welcomed and rightfully capitalized on Amazon’s breakneck expansion projects that take up massive office spaces in the central business hub. Amazon has been buying office spaces left and right. It currently occupies a whopping 12 million square feet of office space in Seattle. This, in turn, has made the commercial real estate market in Seattle a hot industry. With Amazon committing to leasing the towering Rainier Square in Downtown Seattle, it looked like Amazon was preparing for Seattle domination.

According to GeekWire, Amazon scooped up at least 800,000 square feet of office space every year, from 2013 to 2017. At that point, it didn’t look like Amazon was going to slow down. But Amazon hasn’t snapped up any other office space recently. What is going on?

Amazon has signed up to lease 722,000 square feet of Rainier Square’s office space. But word around the industry is that they’re reconsidering their position. Amazon is now thinking of subleasing all 300 floors with Apple, Dropbox, and Oracle as possible tenants. All this sensational news is going on while Amazon is embroiled in a not so secret, nasty tax battle with the City Council prompting them to be on the lookout for HQ2. Right now, interest in Seattle is beginning to wane and Amazon is now shifting its sights somewhere else to satisfy its growing demand for office space – just across the lake to be exact.

Across the lake, onward to new things
Bellevue, Washington sits across Lake Washington with a population of 144,444 according to the most recent census (2017). As it is, it is already a more expensive city than Seattle with home prices averaging $858,000 versus Seattle’s $630,000. And for good reason, it has top-notch schools, a good mix of urban and suburban lifestyles, and an amazing view of lake and mountains (hence the name “belle vue” which means beautiful view in French). Like the rest of the industry, the Bellevue housing market had home prices dropping in recent years. Home prices dropped to 6.2 percent last year. Industry leaders know this is no cause for alarm, and with news of Amazon moving into the area, things could get frenzied really fast.

Movements within the city turn it into a formidable tech hub
Bellevue may be the original birthplace of Amazon but a few other tech giants have been growing roots in the city too. In fact, Facebook has leased a couple of buildings in downtown Bellevue that sum up to 85,000 square feet with another 338,000 square foot building underway. It has another building in Redmond in the works that will serve as their new centerpiece office building. Google may not have been in Bellevue for long but has had a long presence in the Kirkland Campus. It has recently come into Bellevue with a lease on One [email protected], an 80,000 square foot building, with plans to get another 30,000 square feet of space. Microsoft, T-Mobile, and Expedie all have HQs in the city, and they’re staying put. All that plus, Amazon’s apparent lease on 1 million square foot of office space which will house about 7,000 employees with plans to snag up more office space in the future.

What could this mean for stakeholders?
Bellevue could soon become the giant tech hub that Seattle is. An exodus of young and/or upwardly mobile buyers would be heavily considering this area if they are looking to live close to work. Increased millennial homeownership could be a growing trend in this market with tech hubs offering high paying jobs and attracting top talent around the world. This could keep real estate prices rising, even if the rest of the market does not bounce back. The growth of these tech hubs can help insulate the real estate market from fluctuating conditions.

With this evident real estate buying frenzy brought about by growing tech hubs, Bellevue is primed to be a hot, hot, hot real estate market which could be very well worth your time investing on. The market is primed for growth and opportunity where people are looking for something different – not just their parent’s home or their grandparents’ home. With the kind of demographics being drawn in by these tech companies, you could bet that modern construction and high tech, green homes could potentially be the next big thing.

Now could be the best time to buy investment properties in the area. Investing in rental properties could see you getting your return on investment in just a few short years. And don’t overlook the massive potential of investing in commercial spaces. Tech hubs are grabbing them up left and right. There’s no better time to get your foot in the door if you plan on investing in real estate.

At Davis Property Management, we can help you plan your next move and even help you grow and manage your business. We have a wide range of services that can help you grow your investment portfolio and experts who can give you sound advice. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Maximizing Rental Income: The Process, Success, and Pitfalls

Are you a property owner who is seriously interested in maximizing your rental income and improving your financial portfolio? You probably are. And you’re probably reading this because you want to learn how to maximize your rental income. All property owners go into this business in order to grow their rental property portfolio and improve their overall success in the rental property business. While there is no clear cut manual or guaranteed guidelines to follow that can promise you a sure win, you can increase your chances by growing your business portfolio. A quick tip is to start off by investing in new properties while managing and maintaining your existing tenants and properties. How do you build success? Read on for some quick tips to simplify rental property management and maximizing your rental income.

How do you keep growing?
In order to grow your rental portfolio, you must be able to generate ongoing income from your rental properties. In this case, diversity and scale are the keys for driving continuous growth. Property Hawk advises that “Investing in a large portfolio with multiple selections of houses and flats is the key to maximizing a landlords potential property profit.” To put that into perspective, if you have 2 rental units and one of them is empty, that means half of your portfolio is not generating income. Whereas, if you have one hundred rental units and one of them is empty, a very small percentage of your rental units is not earning income.

When you are starting to grow your rental property portfolio, it is best to take the snowball approach where, like a snowball, you start off small and snowball into something bigger as you gain momentum. What you do is to take any income and savings (like tax deductions, savings on repairs, etc.) from your first rental property investment and then put that towards getting a new rental property investment. Keep repeating this process until you achieve your goal. Each time you get a new rental property, your income grows a bit more and buying the next new rental property would be easier.

A tip for building a rental property management portfolio
A good way to be able to be able to acquire a larger number of rental properties in one go is to invest in multi-family rentals. Of course, this will be a more expensive investment right off the bat. But if you have the resources to pull this off, you will get more rental units to start with. In an article from Vertical Rent, they explain that “You cannot possibly get this type of return with a house and you also can’t possibly acquire so many rental properties so quickly unless you go with this type of a strategy.” After all, if you start with this strategy, you already start off having all your rental properties in the same location, having the same landscaping and maintenance needs, and with the same needs for exterior renovation.

Another tip from them is to invest in older properties that just need a facelift as they have a huge potential to give you the best return on your investment. Go for well maintained but basic properties or well maintained, attractive properties.

Over the past couple of years, the rental property market has enjoyed success and rental prices have increased quickly, with players enjoying a healthy return on investment. According to the 2016 US Census, the number of renters has increased by more than 23 million, and that of homeowners by less than 700K. Right now, the growth of renters outpaces the growth homeownership, which has remained virtually unchanged. The rental property market is booming right now, with more and more people deciding to rent instead of buy. If you plan on this course, you are sure to have an eager market.

Key performance indicators for your rental property portfolio
In order to measure your progress and know that you’re improving, you have to define your key performance indicators. Here’s a good KPI guideline from Landlord Journal. You can create your customized set of key performance indicators from these:

● Losses from lack of rental income. You need to know who’s not paying, what units are vacant, and what percentage of your properties suffer from these problems each month.
● Turnover. How often in a year will your rental units turn over? Each new tenant comes with a cost, and you need to keep this low.
● Time spent finding new tenants and getting ready for those tenants. How much downtime do you have in your rental units? This is the time that you may not be getting rent.
● Cost to maintain each unit.

Take a close look at these KPIs to determine the true cost of each of your rental units and also to determine any areas that should be of concern. For example, a rental unit that proves difficult to rent out may need a closer examination. You can factor the vacancy cost into your rent, advertise aggressively, or decide to invest in a different property that would be easier to rent.

Get help from a property management company
Buying multiple investment properties right away isn’t an option that is available to everyone. First off, you would need to have the funds to pull that off. Most people start small and snowball from there. Then they get to a point where they have enough rental properties to ensure their financial success.

You’re probably here because you’re serious about maximizing your rental income and growing your financial investment. You’re here to learn the tips and tricks of the trade. Aside from reading property management articles that are available on the web, you also have the option to enlist the help of property management companies. By working with a trusted and competent company, you can leave the persnickety details of management to your preferred property management company. Details, like finding new tenants, doing background checks, progressing applications, collecting rent, and maintaining your rental properties, can be left to your property management team. In the meantime, you can concentrate on building a strong investment portfolio.

At Davis Property Management, we can help you grow your rental property business and maximize your rental income. We also have a wide range of services to fit your needs and make building your investment portfolio simple and enjoyable, too. Call us today.

The Future of Property Management

For an area that has more rainy days than sunny ones, things are looking bright on our side of the world. This region is the latest go-to destination for techno hubs and start-ups and is pitted to be the next Silicon Valley. More and more people are moving here as job bases expand and new (or even existing) companies plant their roots in the area. With the inflow of people moving to the area, you would think that home buying would be at an all-time high, wouldn’t you?

Well, the truth is that less people are buying homes. There are fewer homes to buy that are in within the range of singles or new families. Few are interested in purchasing. Most of the people who are interested in purchasing are already buying their second home or are interested in moving to a bigger place. The people with that kind of purchasing power are far and few in between. And that’s not just a trend here but in most areas of the US as well following the trend of increasing mortgage rates. So what’s in store for the future of property management if less people are buying homes?

The answer lies in the rental property market. If you’re an investor, this is where you can make a killing. Over the past couple of years, the rental property market has enjoyed a competitive edge and rental prices have increased quickly, with players enjoying a healthy return on investment. In fact, according to the 2016 US Census, the number of renters has increased by more than 23 million, and that of homeowners by less than 700K. Right now, the growth of renters outpaces the growth homeownership, which has remained virtually unchanged. If you are a landlord or planning on being one, this puts you in a beneficial position.

The rental property market is very closely linked to consumer finances and lifestyle. Some of the key influencers on whether or not a person chooses to rent instead of buy are: financial capability, career paths, and lifestyle trends. How do these things come into play? Take for example a person whose priority is to follow a career path, he would probably choose to rent in order to keep himself open for office transfers or job relocations. Young and upwardly mobile families are also choosing to rent instead of purchasing a single-family home. This is because higher interest on mortgage make potential house buyers do a double take and reconsider making a home purchase.

More people are renting now more than any point in the history of the property market. Plus, there is such a wide diversity in renters. Meaning it is no longer a narrow market and other demographics can be targeted by rental listings.

● Renters aren’t just college students putting themselves through school.
● Renters could be young professionals with three other roommates.
● Renters could be a family whose credit is keeping them from buying their own home.
● Renters could be a retired couple who finds that maintaining a home is getting to be too costly.
● Renters are millennials entering the housing market but not buying houses at the same rate as older generations.
● Renters are baby boomers who are now retired and downsizing.

Here’s why rental homes have the potential to be the next big thing:

Technology for the win
What we have now that we didn’t have then is a host of advanced technological tools and systems that have greatly improved the visibility and accessibility of rental home listings to potential tenants and has greatly improved the ease of marketing and maintenance to homeowners. For example, there are apps that make advertising vacancies easy as pie for homeowners. They need not go the traditional route and publish their listings on print ads and billboards. They can sign up to an app, post their listings, and just pay a fee to promote their property or properties. In addition, once their listings are occupied, homeowners and landlords can easily address maintenance, housekeeping, security, and repairs very easily with a quick phone call, apps, or other online support channels.

On the other hand, tenants can very easily find listings of nearby places or destination areas with the click of a button or through mobile apps. This eliminates the need to commute and see the site for themselves. Potential renters can take a virtual tour of the property without having to take time out and travel which saves a lot of time and money. And if they decide that they like the place, they can just pack up and move in (pending approval of application, of course)

Nowadays, the whole process of renting can be made easier through the use of mobile apps and online platforms. Prospective renters and property owners can complete the entire process of leasing using a standardized process from their mobile devices. This means that both the property owner and the potential renter are verified before they sign any rental contract. What’s more, they do not have to keep repeating this process every time a renter applies for a new home or a property owner verifies a new application.

Another benefit of using a mobile platform is that it reaches a larger audience. This means listings can be viewed from anywhere in the world at any time. This also means that property owners can access a larger audience base with the potential to increase their occupancy rate.

With so many benefits afforded by mobile apps and online platforms, the rental market has so much potential to emerge as the dominant segment in the future of property management. Do you want to tap into this market and explore its income-generating potential? At Davis Property Management, we can give you sound advice about the rental property market. We can help renters find the best value property and property owners get the best placements. We have a wide range of services to fit your need. Call us today.

Commercial Office Space Expected Trends for 2019

One of the most overlooked assets in the real estate industry is commercial office spaces. If you’re thinking of investing in real estate, you don’t have to be focused on looking for residential properties to sell or rent out all the time. You can have the very same income growth potential by renting out commercial office spaces.

There is big market potential for this since more and more startups are setting up headquarters in the Washington area. There is also an exodus of companies coming from the California area that want a change of scenery and to take advantage of Washington’s competitive market prices.

Like any other investment opportunity, commercial office spaces are driven by the complexities of the market. The market soup of macroeconomics and supply and demand trends tend to push and pull on how these assets perform. The growth of white collar jobs, the exodus of startups and tech hubs, the developments in the local community and the improvement in the regional economy all play a role in asset performance. The Washington area has been enjoying a surge in recent years due to being the next silicon valley.

Here’s what we can expect in the commercial office space area in 2019:

Finding Opportunity in the Opportunity Zones
The Opportunity Zone program, created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to leverage private capital to improve distressed areas across the US can be a game changer. says “ Under the program, investors can invest unrealized capital gains in an Opportunity Fund that in turn finances residential or commercial development, or even business enterprises, within the designated Opportunity Zone census tracts. The longer investors leave their money in the fund, the more tax forgiveness they get.”

Investors are waiting for the final say from the Dept. of Treasury and the IRS regarding the Opportunity Program. This could impact development activity that could lead to a boom in investments in the commercial office space market.

High Demand from E-Commerce Players will continue to drive the Industrial Boom
In 2018, Industrial real estate demand has soared to new heights. That trend is expected to continue in 2019.

There is a big market demand for logistic properties and has been proven to be a lucrative addition to the commercial property portfolio. This is driven by the need for big bulk warehouse facilities in areas near ports and motorway networks.

Major construction projects will affect commercial property prices
Construction is booming in the area and there are a lot of infrastructure projects to be excited about. These are some of the key infrastructure projects to watch out for.

● A $392 million, thirty-eight storey 2+U tower, several blocks east of Pike Place Market
● Google’s 322,000 square foot campus expansion with the first two blocks to be completed next year, and a third block reported to be ready in 2021.
● Facebook’s $246 million project of two structures called the Arbor Blocks. They are six stories each and total 384,000 square feet, along with 4,100 square feet of retail.
● Bellevue Square Expansion – Puget Sound Business Journal reports a planned Bellevue Square Expansion project in 2019. The construction project will add two towers – a combined hotel and apartment building and a dedicated luxury apartment building.
● A $128 million four skyscraper Elev8 project – Stanford Hotels acquired controlling interest in this 4 skyscraper project in the rezoned area of NE 8th St between 108th and 110th. On this site will rise two 40-story towers one would be 351 luxury condominiums for sale and one would be 448 apartments for rent with retail at the base of both. Then in a second phase, a 3rd residential tower and an office building.
● Vulcan Real Estate’s massive half block, 600-foot tall office development to start in early 2020. It will have 937,000 square feet of office space.
● Onni Group of Cos. plans to develop an 850,000 square feet three tower mixed-use project in 106th Ave. NE.
● Fanna group of Cos’ 18 storey mixed-use tower building with 420,000 square feet of office space is in “pre-application” status.
● Wright, Runstad & Co, and Shorenstein 36 acre mixed-use project – with Facebook reportedly considering leasing Block 16, a 316,000 square feet space

Once these projects are completed, they could generate jobs that could drive the demand for commercial office spaces.

If you’re looking investing in commercial office spaces, here are some tips to make your property stand out:

1. Tailor your office space to cater to your target niche. If your target is start-up companies or tech companies, you might want to equip your office rental space with provisions for high-speed internet and high-quality technology. You could also provide tenants with a choice of an open floor plan of one with offices, cubicles or partitions. If your target is a retail store, you might want to equip your commercial space with provisions for a storefront or even a balcony or foyer for alfresco dining or working outdoors.
2. Keep the community in mind. If your commercial office space is in a residential area, you might also be able to rent out your space to community groups or local club for their weekly meetings and get-togethers.
3. Keep tenants wellness in mind. The prevailing trend is green workspaces, so try to incorporate natural light, a garden, walkways, and a footpath or bike path.
4. Consider the activities of your target market and plan your commercial office space accordingly.
5. Equip your commercial office space well so that you don’t have to spend time or money renovating, maintaining, re-organizing, or repairing your commercial office space.

At Davis Property Management, we can give you sound advice about the commercial property market. Both newbie investors and veterans will appreciate our knowledge of the commercial rental property market. We can help you understand it better. Choose from a range of services from our offerings to help you get started with property management. Talk with us about your real estate needs. Connect with us today.

Understanding your rights as a tenant (Landlord Tenant Laws)

In a perfectly balanced real estate market there would be enough demand from buyers or renters to equal the supply from sellers. However, these are precarious times, and demand won’t always equal supply. Depending on how wide the gap is, the market could skew to favor either buyers/tenants or owners/landlords. Some markets have a wide discrepancy in terms of demand and supply. And this could affect leasing strategies. For example, some owners might see themselves shortchanged in an effort to fill their rental vacancies. On the other hand, tenants could also find themselves bound by unreasonable terms in high demand real estate rental markets. This is why it is essential to understand the rules and regulations governing leasing in order to be fair to both parties.

The laws are in place in order for all people to enjoy safety, security and freedom to live as they see fit without infringing on other people rights.

As a landlord, you want to make sure that your investment property will not be vandalized, left to fall into dilapidation, or used for criminal activity. As a tenant, you would want to be able to be secure in the knowledge that your rental home is a safe haven for you and your family – that it is not infested, ill-maintained, or be uninhabitable. Both would want to be safe, secure, and make sure that they get what they are paying for. It is important to know your rights as a landlord or as a tenant in order to have the safety and security that the law affords.

For the sake of fairness, we will take a look at how the law affects both tenant and landlord. We started by taking a look at the rights of owners or landlords. Let us now dive into understanding the rights of a tenant. Here’s what you need to know about your rights as a tenant:

At the Federal Level:
The same laws that apply to landlords or owners, govern tenants and prospective buyers. Tenants or real estate buyers in the US need to refer to the Fair Housing Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Tenants or prospective buyers should be able to enjoy the right to buy, rent, or negotiate for a property regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability status as stated in the Fair Housing Act. It extends beyond leasing to include advertising, preventing landlords from marketing their properties to a protected class.

While landlords can exercise discretion when screening and choosing new tenants, factors such as a potential tenant’s race or gender shall not be taken against them when applying for tenancy. The Fair Credit Reporting Act outlines the different procedures in which a landlord may use a tenant’s credit history for screening purposes. Under this act, a landlord has to get an applicant’s permission in order to run a credit report, provide information on the credit reporting agency used, and inform the applicant if the information contained on the credit report was the basis for denial or adverse action.

As always, it is best to familiarise yourself with these laws especially if you are a potential tenant or buyer. Ignorance of the law excuses no one.

At the State level:
Laws would differ from state to state but only slightly. Generally, state laws would outline practical matters such as (but not limited to) tenant’s rights and responsibilities and a landlords’ rights and responsibilities, lease terms and conditions, lease termination rules, handling of evictions, fees and charges, deposits, and legal handling, among others.

Most property managers are familiar with state landlord-tenant laws. Would be tenants (and buyers) should brush up on these laws in order to know their rights and what they are legally entitled to. If you are a tenant, you can brush up on your knowledge of the state laws here.

Your rights as a Tenant:
Tenants rights relate mostly to protecting their health, safety, and security in their rented home. For example, tenants have to make sure that there are no unfair provisions or anything that would endanger their health, safety, and peace of mind in their lease contract.

You have the right to a fair screening – The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin, familial status, or color. It requires landlords to provide the applicant with the name and address of the credit reporting agency should the landlord decide to reject an application.

You have the right to examine your lease contract – Read your lease agreement very, very carefully. If you can go over it with a lawyer, then better. Do not sign anything you have not read. Most landlords are flexible with their terms and can make certain concessions if you negotiate with them. Explain your point calmly so that you can come to an agreement. You can walk away if the terms are something you can’t live with.

You have the right to guard your privacy – The landlord may own the whole property, but they have no right to enter your unit without verbal or written permission. A landlord must inform you 24 hours prior to entering your unit and would have to state the reason for entering your home. An exception would be emergency cases such as a gas leak or life or death situations.

You have the right to request (insist) repairs – If problems such as a leaking roof, faulty electrical wiring, sanitation issues, structural faults, or bad drainage (among other things) is a problem, you must insist on having them repaired. These things can affect the health, safety, and quality of life of the property inhabitants and must be swiftly addressed before they cause harm to the tenants.

You have the right to protect yourself – Tenants must always feel safe in their home so should you feel the need to install window locks, bolts, cameras, or screens – you should do so. Most landlords are prudent enough to install safety features (like locks, gates, cameras, or intercoms) to ensure the protection of their tenants and their rental property. It is up to you if you want to reinforce those safety measures.

Understanding your rights as an owner (Landlord Tenant Laws)

Like any other market, the real estate market has fallen into inconsistency – especially in the previous years where prices have swung however which way. But the good thing is that, right now it is once again beginning to stabilise, with the help of certain market pressures that ease the fears of all stakeholders. Real estate markets can skew one way or the other, depending on location. Sometimes the market favours tenants and sometimes the market favours landlords. In a perfect market there will be a good balance between the two.

There are laws in place to help achieve a good real estate market balance. It can be found within the Landlord Tenant Law. The law is established in order to protect both parties and not just one. This is essential for a harmonious landlord tenant relationship.

As a tenant, you would want to be able to live peacefully and securely in your rental home without having to worry that your rental home might be infested, ill maintained, or be uninhabitable. As a landlord, you would want your investment property to not be abused, fall into dilapidation, or used for illegal purposes. Both would want to be safe, secure, and get good value for their investment. It is important to know your rights as a landlord or as a tenant in order to have the safety and security that the law affords.

For the sake of fairness, we will take a look at how the law affects both tenant and landlord. Let’s first start with understanding the rights of a landlord or property owner. Here’s what you need to know about your rights as a landlord or owner:

At the Federal level:
At the federal level landlords and property managers are affected by the Fair Housing Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The Fair Housing Act is a federal law that states that it is unlawful to refuse to sell, rent to, or negotiate with any person because of that person’s inclusion in a protected class. Discrimination due to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability is prohibited. It extends beyond leasing to include advertising, preventing landlords from marketing their properties to certain groups of people.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a federal law created to promote the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information contained in the files of consumer reporting agencies. It outlines the different procedures in which a landlord may use a tenant’s credit history for screening purposes. Under this act, a landlord has to get an applicant’s permission in order to run a credit report, provide information on the credit reporting agency used, and inform the applicant if information contained on the credit report was the basis for denial or adverse action.

It is best to familiarise yourself with these laws especially if you are a property owner, landlord, or property manager. Ignorance of the law excuses no one.

At the State level:
While laws would differ slightly by state, most laws at the state level are grounded on rules governing practical matters. Matters like a tenant’s rights and responsibilities and a landlords’ rights and responsibilities, lease terms and conditions, lease termination rules, handling of evictions, fees and charges, deposits, and legal handling are included in laws at the state level.

Most property managers are familiar with state landlord-tenant laws. Property owners/landlords should brush up on these laws in order to know their rights and what they are legally entitled to. If you are a landlord, you can brush up on your knowledge of the state laws here.

Your rights as an Owner:
Landlords rights, pertain mainly to the protection of their income investment. For example, the standard requirement of a monthly payment for rent, security deposits, fees (maintenance or association dues), and other items that are detailed in the lease agreement (like utility bills) – are all part of your rights as a property owner.

● You have the right to screen your applicants carefully – A landlord may screen applicants based on credit history, employment history, and income to determine their payment capability and if they will be a good fit. Keep in mind the premises of the Fair Housing Act which prohibits discrimination and requires landlords to provide the applicant with the name and address of the credit reporting agency should they decide to reject an application.

● You have the right to put your agreement in writing – A landlord can and should specify the rental agreement terms in a contract. The contract has to include the names of the tenants, the length of the tenancy, the amount of the security deposit, the party responsible for specific repairs, whether pets may live in the rental unit, and the amount of rent. Other terms that have been agreed upon can be included in this contract (e.g. forms of payments accepted, grace periods, due dates, fees, etc.)

● You have the right to inspect your property regularly – This is to prevent dangerous conditions and illegal activity in the premises. Landlords have to be sure that their property is not being used for any criminal activity and that it remains a safe and secure place for all tenants. Things that need to be repaired should be addressed right away otherwise there could be an oversight of health and safety regulations. Most states permit landlords to enter a rental unit for repairs, inspections, to show a prospective tenant, or in cases of emergency. In all cases, except in an emergency, the landlord has to notify (verbal or written) the tenant of their intent to enter, 24 hours before the visit.

● You have the right to make repairs and improvements as you see fit – It is your property and should you choose to install security cameras, a pool, gates, or anything that you deem will increase your property’s rental value or ensure the security of your property, you can do so.

● You have the right to evict tenants – Landlords have the right to evict tenants, but it must be for cause (such as nonpayment of rent).

Professional Property Management – Services and Fees

So you’re seriously looking into the prospect of owning a brand spanking new property (or even entertaining the thought of purchasing an old one that you can easily flip) and that thought would naturally get you excited about the possibilities and the income it could generate for you. It is an exciting thought, isn’t it? Now, you’re thinking to yourself: How do I do this? Would this be easy to do? Should I get some help and hire a professional property management company or should I just do it myself?

Not all property owners need to hire a professional property manager. However, there are benefits to hiring a property manager that can be extremely helpful, especially for first-time landlords. Here are a few things to consider when getting help from a professional property management company:

Proximity to your home – the farther your property is away from your home, the harder it could be to manage.
Number of units – your responsibilities increase with the number of units you own. The more tenants you have, the more issues you could potentially encounter.
Your experience – the idea of just winging it and learning as you go can be careless and your mistakes can be very expensive. Hiring a pro can help you make better and more practical decisions.
Time – ask yourself if you have the time to manage your property all by yourself. If you have a full-time job, managing a property by yourself would not be feasible as it would entail a lot of time and attention.

First-time landlords would need all the help they can get. And even if you’re no longer new to the game, you can admit that a few extra helping hands would definitely make your life easier. Good property management companies are not hard to find – but you must do your research very carefully. Some would boast of extremely low fees and certifications, but have hidden fees or couldn’t deliver.

After careful consideration, the next thing you have to ask yourself is if you can afford a property manager and if the cost is worth it. For you to be able to answer that, you have to know how much it costs to hire a property manager and what services should you expect.

Depending on the company you hire, they can either charge you a flat rate where you pay a specific amount every month regardless of how much your property earns. Or they could charge a percentage rate where they get a percent commission from your total earnings for the month.

The major services offered by a good property management group would be a combination of tenant placement and property management. Tenant placement is when the company finds a qualified tenant for the property. Property management is when the manager is tasked to enforce the terms of the lease, manage the operations from day to day. There are companies that only do one of each and there are companies that do both. The latter is pricier but more efficient in the long run since it is more streamlined due to the company being involved at the onset of the process.

Services vary depending on the company you hire. But if you’re looking to find an overview of the cost, here are some of the basic services that you can expect to find:

Tenant Placement fees or Finder fees – this is basically how much it will cost for the company to find tenants for your property. They could be flat rate or commission based, too. And they vary between companies.
Property Management fees – this is basically how much it will cost for the company to enforce the terms of the lease and manage your day to day operations. You can expect these services:
Tenant move in – the company will be responsible for going over and enforcing the terms of the lease, inspecting the property before the tenants move in, scheduling the details of a tenant’s move in, and collecting tenant fees like the first month’s rent and a security deposit.
Collection – the company will be responsible for collecting rent and fees such as late payments and other miscellaneous fees. They should also take care of bookkeeping and monthly or year-end reports.
Evictions – the company will be responsible for eviction related activities like initiating eviction procedures by initiating paperwork and sending out an eviction notice, representing the owner or landlord in court, and coordinating with law enforcement to evict a tenant and their belonging, if necessary.
Maintenance and Renovations – the company will be responsible for maintaining the property including indoor and outdoor areas. They could also suggest items for renovation or remodeling. This could mean taking care of the landscape, snow, or trash for outdoor care. Indoor care could include routine inspection and coordinating house/unit repairs, clean up, and maintenance work. They might also suggest areas that need renovation if they think it will maximize the income generated from the property. For example, provisions for a garden plot or covered parking can improve the marketability of the property to help entice more tenants.
Tenant move out – the company will be responsible for tenant move out arrangements like unit inspection, return of security deposit, and aftercare activities such as unit cleaning, repairs, re-keying, and preparing the property for new tenants.

Other services would include:

Legal Services – adhering to all local, state and federal laws and advising the owner/landlord about these laws or referring them to a qualified attorney.
Inspections – adhering to safety codes and providing regular inspections or coordinating mandated building inspections.
Accounting – some property management companies provide accounting services as well to make it easier for the owner to understand and execute tax-related activities.

Look for a company who has your best interest in mind. One that is aligned with your goals and your vision. Take your time researching and getting good recommendations. Scour the internet for good reviews and success stories. Your diligence will pay off when you find the perfect fit for your property management needs.

How to Get the Highest ROI for Your Property

Investing in property is no longer as scary as you think. Many people think that property investment is something that can only be done by professionals or with the help of (expensive) property management companies. The biggest hurdle of any investor is not knowing where to start. But in this digital age, there are a lot of available resources online to help serious buyers to get started. In fact, there are many resources that would teach you how to invest in property. And if you’re really serious you can also hire a property consultant or property management company to teach you the ropes. Or you can also check back on this blog from time to time as we share tips and tricks of the trade in property investment.

Investing in property is the surest way to make a millionaire. According to Fortune Magazine, property investment makes more millionaires than any other asset class. 97% of all wealth was either created or held in property. You can actually do this exercise to see if it’s true: how many people do you know or know of, got their first million from the stock market, bonds, art, jewelry, commodities, or mutual funds? How many people do you know of, got their first million from investing in real estate? Probably more than the first batch of people, right?

Property investment, when done correctly, can be a big money-making venture. But, like all other investments, there are risks involved. Make sure you do your homework when you’re planning to embark on this business. Before you dip your foot into this lucrative pool, first, you have to know the basics.

With any business venture, the goal is to make a profit. Nobody goes into it just to gain experience and not make money in return. All investors have one target: to maximize ROI or Return on Investment. But what exactly is an ROI? An ROI is the measure of the efficiency of an investment. Simply put, it is what you get by dividing the return you get from the investment by its cost.

Here’s the formula:

Here’s how the formula works:
Let’s say for example that you bought a house with cash for $110,000 and spent another $20,000 on repairs and improvements. Your total investment cost is now $130,000. You rent the house for $1,400 a month, or $16,800 gross annually, and have no more repairs over the following year. Your ROI would look like this: $16,800 ÷ $130,000 = 12.9%

How can you maximize your ROI? Here are some tips:

1. Meticulously inspect and prepare your property.
No one will buy or rent your property if it is dirty, unsafe, or dilapidated. Make sure that the property is clean. Check for any sort of infestation, make sure that there are garbage bins, investigate smells, check for leaks and drafts. Make sure your property is safe. Install safety features like gates, locks, deadbolts, or cameras. Even intercom buzzers help. Make sure your property is repaired and in order. Fresh paint helps. Inspect the roof and drains, circuits, and plumbing Make sure your property is ready for sale or for rent. You can reduce maintenance cost in the long run if you prepare your property properly. Be sure to hire an efficient and trusted contractor for repairing, building, or cleaning.

2. Learn how to market your property.
This is one of the most important steps in maximizing your ROI. There are different strategies that you can use to market your property. You can go for print ads, get a broker, or list your property on high traffic listing websites. You can choose different combinations of these strategies but you should always plan to have your property listed on a website. The internet is the first place that potential buyers and renters go to, to look for properties – so online marketing is a must.

Aside from the description of your property, your listing should also contain:

● A description of the neighborhood- is it safe? Is it near schools, markets, groceries, cafes? Is there good public transportation? Is it near offices?
● An introduction to the lifestyle – this means that you would have to describe what the vibe of the place is. Is the property in the CBD? Is it near a beach? Is it in a suburban area? Is it an academic community? People are usually drawn to places that fit their lifestyle. So take this into consideration when crafting your marketing plan.

3. If you are renting your property out, screen your tenant carefully.
This is the way to avoid headaches in the long run. Choosing the right tenants is important for maximising your ROI. Go through the whole screening process – credit check, income and employment verification, criminal check, rental history, reference check, etc. You are likely to avoid non payments, property damage, and turnovers if you have quality tenants at the get go. Establish good communication with your tenants to ensure relationship success.

4. Treat your investment property like a business.
You got it to generate income anyway, so treat it like a business. Don’t just say yes to the first tenants that come along. Avoid letting relatives, friends, or colleagues rent your property out. It will be difficult to establish a tenant – landlord relationship with them and imposing rules might prove difficult. Non paying tenants will decrease your ROI so collect rent on time and enforce lease terms. Make your expectations clear.

5. Inspect your property regularly
If you are renting it out, it is just prudent to conduct regular property inspections. First of all, this will let you know if anything is in need of repair. Make sure your property is well maintained because the longer small repairs linger, the more costly they become. It is less expensive to address minor problems than to put them off for another time to grow into major ones. Roof leaks start out as drips. Flooding starts out as clogs. You will be able to find these small repairs with regular checks.

Why you should buy an investment property?

Let’s face it. People are scared now, more than ever, to invest in property – and with good reason. The real estate market has seen a lot of realtors get burned in the previous volatile economy. With such a large investment needed to buy property, buying and selling houses has been a largely difficult feat.

However, there is hope. The market is starting to bounce back and is beginning to balance out again. Unlike during the past years where we’ve seen unpredictability and vulnerability to slight market pressures, we are seeing a real estate market that is starting to stabilize.

Everyone should give it a go if they’re truly interested. Real estate is generally an excellent investment option and can generate, good, long term, passive income for you. There are a lot of sexy aspects to it, like being able to triple your investment, and there are some dark aspects to it too, like encountering difficulties in selling.

Buying an investment property is just one strategy to growing your investment portfolio and building wealth. If you play it out carefully, buying an investment property could be a very lucrative decision for you. You can add it to your other wealth building strategies if you’re also into stocks and bonds and diversifying your holdings.

If you’re seriously interested in buying an investment property and just need a slight push towards the right direction, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some reasons you should buy an investment property.

1. It might be easier than you think
Sure, there is a ton of paperwork to fill out initially, and a hundred thousand copies of documents to produce before you can secure a property (okay, exaggerating but you do get the idea) but other than that, there are no complicated steps to take. Once you have the funds and finances sorted out, the rest can as easy (or as hard) for you depending on how well you do your homework. Applying due diligence in researching the right property and getting it correctly inspected and evaluated could mean ownership for you in no time. As with any investment strategy, you have to be sure you’ve covered all your bases first by doing careful research. The key words are “careful research”. Spend time doing it.

2. Easy to understand
Unlike the share market with its complicated, technical terminologies and 60-page prospectus, the property market is a relatively easy asset to understand. The basic strategies are simple and easy to understand and wrap your head around as well. Concepts like capital growth, cash flow, and yields are some of the terms that you need to wrap your head around, and they’re not that hard. Probably, the most complicated aspect is understanding the mortgage where you have to learn how different loan types work. A good broker or property manager can help with this. But the rest of the strategies are simple- and simple strategies are those that are proven to work.

3. You control your investment
Investing in a property is not like investing in other types of investment like shares. With property investments, you have full control over where to buy, how to buy, and where to sell. In the share market, for example, there are a lot of ‘moving parts” that can influence the value of your investment. Things like politics, emotions, or even news can have different degrees of impact on share value.

4. If you value stability, investment properties might be the way to go
These are uncertain times and every investment is a volatile investment. That said, the property investment market is still less volatile than stocks or mutual funds. The share market offers no guarantees. You won’t be able to predict the value of your shares in 5, 15, or 25 years. Share markets could change within minutes and if the company you invested in crashes and stocks go down in flames, you lose 100% of your investment. However, in the property investment market, even if your property declined by 50% over the next 25 years, your steady investment could still have doubled within that time. You can foresee the movement of the property market in 12 or 24-month increments and still have an idea about how well it will perform by gauging which direction market pressure will be pushing it.

Do you fear price drops? If you think about it, these are not real losses unless you actually sell the property instead of renting it out. If the property generates good cash flow, you can sustain your investment property until the price recovers from the drop.

5. It pays itself off with a little help from your “friends”
By friends, I mean accountants and tenants. Worried about a mortgage? Your tenants will be paying down your mortgage as you sit back and relax while watching your investment property grow in value. Worried about other fees? You can have deductible expenses claimed legally with the help of a good accountant. They can help you improve your cash flow and reduce your tax expenses by thousands of dollars if they can meticulously find deductible claims.

6. Food, shelter, clothing
Food, shelter, and clothing are three of the immediate basic needs necessary for long term physical wellbeing. These are non-negotiables and even if different agencies have different definitions of “basic” human needs, these three will always remain on that list. If you notice, shelter is on there. That means there will never come a time, in our lifetime, when people will not need housing. People always need a place to live, and they are always moving around. You won’t be surprised to find that people are willing to forego certain luxuries, like a second car or an expensive piece of tech, just to have enough money for rent or mortgage. We all need a roof over our heads.

7. More money
Fortune Magazine found that 97% of all wealth was either created or held in property. Property investment makes more millionaires than any other asset class. Here’s something to think about: off the top of your head, how many people do you know who have invested in stock market, bonds, art, jewelry, commodities, or mutual funds that have become millionaires? Now, how many do you know have become millionaires investing in real estate? Probably more, right?

Bellevue Market

The Bellevue market manages to keep a coveted place in the top 10 housing markets in the last quarter of 2018, securing the last spot. According to VeroForecast reports, the Bellevue Market will enjoy a 9.3% appreciation rate over a 12-month prediction. It is one of the four Washington markets that made it to the list.

These are the 2018 last quarter rankings, according to VeroForecast:

1. Bremerton-Silverdale, Washington, 11.7%
2. Boise City-Nampa, Idaho, 11.2%
3. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nevada, 10.8%
4. Bellingham, Washington, 10.6%
5. Olympia, Washington, 10.3%
6. Carson City, Nevada, 10.1%
7. Reno-Sparks, Nevada, 10%
8. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, California, 9.6%
9. Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, Colorado, 9.5%
10. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington, 9.3%

Neutral market
Bellevue remains a steadily performing market, remaining a neutral market to buyers and sellers. According to Zillow, Bellevue home values have increased to a modest 3.7% in 2018 and is predicted to increase by 0.8% within the following year. The average home valuation value is $916,400. As of November 2018, the average listing price of homes (includes single family, condominium, and townhomes) is at $938,000 with an average sale price of $847,300. The average price of homes per square foot in Bellevue is $190 higher (at $466 per square foot) compared to the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metro average of $276.

Key points:

● Home buyers have more inventory to choose from
● Demand exceeds supply – growing population and rising income could be a factor
● New zoning regulations allow towers to rise up to 600 feet tall.
● For the first time in more than 30 years, the zoning code has been updated. The recent passage of the Downtown Livability Initiative by the City Council allows for significantly taller buildings and a greater variety of uses.
● As of November 2018, the average rent is at $2,227 per month for the whole Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metro.
● As of November 2018, the average rent is at $2,810 in Bellevue, $583 higher than the whole metro’s average rent.


● 56.5% of homes are owned
● 43.5% are rented
● People between the ages of 25 and 44 make up the largest age group, this group comprises 30.8% of the population.


● The economy continues to be very strong with heavy investment from commercial construction continuing to boost expectations.
● A growing tech economy downtown is influencing a thriving office market.
● Amazon’s long-term lease on Expedia’s current Bellevue HQ and other tech headquarters still spurs on an influx of employees and has had a multiplier effect on the job market.


● While home buyers have more inventory to choose from, first time buyers still don’t have enough affordable inventory – that is not any likely to change in 2019.
Construction boom results in more competition.

Key infrastructure to watch:

● Bellevue Square Expansion – Puget Sound Business Journal reports a planned Bellevue Square Expansion project in 2019. The construction project will add two towers – a combined hotel and apartment building and a dedicated luxury apartment building.
● A $128 million four skyscraper Elev8 project – Stanford Hotels acquired controlling interest in this 4 skyscraper project in the rezoned area of NE 8th St between 108th and 110th. On this site will rise two 40-story towers one would be 351 luxury condominiums for sale and one would be 448 apartments for rent with retail at the base of both. Then in a second phase, a 3rd residential tower and an office building.
● Vulcan Real Estate’s massive half block, 600-foot tall office development to start in early 2020. It will have 937,000 square feet of office space.
● Onni Group of Cos. plans to develop an 850,000 square feet three tower mixed-use project in 106th Ave NE.
● Fanna group of Cos’ 18 storey mixed-use tower building with 420,000 square feet of office space is in “pre-application” status.
● Wright, Runstad & Co, and Shorenstein’s 36-acre mixed-use project – with Facebook reportedly considering leasing Block 16, a 316,000 square feet space.

What’s in store for investors in Bellevue?
The real estate market continues to improve for buyers with an excess in inventory driving a light drop in interest rates and a slow down in price increase. This significant increase in inventory is relative to the record low inventory last year. It is a long way to go from the inventory needed for a truly balanced market. Buyers have the advantage of having more choices and less competition but sellers who price well within current market values will continue to see a strong interest.

Rental market:
The 2018 median rent price in Bellevue is $2,688, which is higher than the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metro median of $2,250. The average size of an apartment is 879 square feet, with studios averaging 439 square feet, one BR apartment averaging 702 square feet and 2 BR apartment averaging 1,018 square feet.

As with areas with active construction projects, the construction boom could slow down the growth of the rental market. More people still own houses (56.5%) in Bellevue instead of rent (43.5%) with more married people owning rather than renting. This could be due to the fact that millennials, who dominate the Bellevue population and have formerly put off making big life decisions, such as marriage/partnering, having children, buying a house, etc., are now older and have started making those choices.

Real estate prices are still expected to increase in 2019 but more slowly than they did this year. This could be said about the whole nation in general. Bellevue is among the most expensive real estate markets in the Eastside, the other is Sammamish. However, a recent trend is starting to develop where sellers have been reducing their list prices. This coupled with a regional seasonal dip means that home buyers have gained some negotiating ability and a whole lot more inventory to choose from.


Seattle Market

Like a star player rallying for the win at crunch time, Seattle’s property market manages to rack up modest gains in the last quarter of the year. This is according to an October 2018 report published by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (MLS) – a property listing service that covers the entire Seattle metro area along with the rest of the Pacific Northwest. As of October 4, 2018, “A new report from Northwest MLS shows double-digit increases in inventory in several of the 23 counties it serves, led by a 78 percent year-over-year gain in King County.”

This positive trend is something to look forward to, but the market remains constrained as housing analyst report the supply to be 4 to 6 months well below the balanced market. However, analysts remain confident that the Seattle housing market’s outlook remains sunny, despite its drab weather. Silicon Valley expansion has done a lot to boost the property market as well. With more than 80 companies around the world setting up outposts in Seattle, the consistent growth of the tech ecosystem has brought new opportunities to the area driving the growth of the market.

Key points:

● Home buyers have more inventory to choose from
● Demand exceeds supply
Seattle led the nation in home prices increases for nearly two years – but this has recently changed
● Median rent is at approx. $2,000 per month for the whole metro
● Growing population and rising income could be a factor
● West Coast properties are hot and Seattle and Las Vegas are predicted to be the next hottest markets.


Single-family homes make up 63.63% of the inventory
Condominiums and townhomes contribute 26.74%
● The rest are multi-family homes, mobile homes, and land for sale


● Average annual home appreciation is at 4.30%, making Seattle among the top 10% locations in the country with rising home appreciation rates
● Tech giants are influencing the real estate market
● Businesses are making an exodus from California to Seattle to take advantage of a growing skilled labor market, better business regulations, and lower income tax.
● Google expanded its Seattle campus – It is adding a 12 story office building with 23,000 square feet of retail space, bringing its campus size to a massive 930,000 square feet.
● Facebook is on a hiring spree within the area – their virtual reality division, Oculus, is rapidly growing and jobs are being generated by this expansion.
● Two of the fastest growing startups, Rover (an online marketplace for people to buy and sell pet care services) and Outreach (makers of Sales Engagement Platform software), have acquired new venture deals from their most recent round of funding and are establishing new leases in the area.
Seattle still remains a prolific rental market due to its large student population


Construction boom results in more competition.
● Rental growth has stalled due to an unprecedented rise in construction projects and a historic number of apartment openings over the past few years.
Landlords are having difficulties filling out vacancies and have resulted in giving away perks to entice tenants.

Key infrastructure to watch:

● A $392 million, thirty-eight story 2+U tower, several blocks east of Pike Place Market
● Google’s 322,000 square foot campus expansion with the first two blocks to be completed next year and a third block reported being ready in 2021.
● Facebook’s $246 million projects of two structures called the Arbor Blocks. They are six stories each and total 384,000 square feet, along with 4,100 square feet of retail.

What’s in store for investors in Seattle?
Both brokers and buyers have had difficulty buying and selling in the Seattle Market after six years of steep price growth have pushed prices to steeply rising unaffordable levels. However, in the past 3 months alone, market prices have decreased by 3.3%.
Now, the average house costs $750,000 – this is down $80,000 from the record highs set earlier this year.

Rental market
The increase in construction projects around the metro could be causing the freeze in the growth of the rental market. A lot of apartments are sitting empty around the metro. This is especially true for the more expensive units which are getting a lot less interest compared to more affordable units (as is always the case). There’s a slow rent growth trending all over the nation, and Seattle is no exception.

Seattle has a vast rental market. In fact, over half of the population rent instead of own. This might be due to the fact that Seattle is slowly becoming tech central. More and more tech giants are expanding and setting up offices in the area luring more Millennials into the housing market. And they prefer to rent rather than own, to afford the freedom to move around. The tech industry has locked down and grown roots in Seattle and is spurring expansions, new business, and job generation. This results to an influx of employees with high paying jobs that drive the demand for rental properties in Seattle.

Seattle has more than a dozen four-year colleges that contribute to a strong rental market. Landlords can cater to students but are still able to rent out their properties to employed young adults after these students move out.

According to Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner, the Seattle housing market will remain strong. This is due, in no small part, to younger buyers entering the market. He says “Buyers today are overqualified. They’re putting down larger down payments, and they’re not defaulting on their mortgages.”

Meanwhile, established homeowners are looking to downsize but are staying put due to lack of affordable options. This trend has led to reduced property turnovers, restricting the tight supply, which eventually leads to affordability.

Still, home prices are expected to grow, but they won’t be steep double-digit jumps like most investors are used to by now.



Deferred or Proactive Maintenance Approaches

Putting things off until the last minute is, oftentimes, a really bad idea. Things that are swept under the rug have a habit of piling up and causing more problems later on.

The same is true in real estate. In the business of premier property management, maintenance and property managers should be very careful in planning their budget in order to have ample allocation for ongoing repairs. Otherwise, they face a steady and progressive deterioration of their properties. Putting off repairs may cost more in the long run compared to regular and proactive maintenance.

However, there are a few instances where scheduled maintenance rotations aren’t followed – NOT to be skipped over, just postponed until they can be addressed. The practice of postponing maintenance activities, such as repairs on both real property (infrastructure) and personal property (equipment and systems) in order to save money, meet budget funding levels, or realign available budget funds is called deferred maintenance.

There could be a lot of reasons for deferred maintenance. The most common reason is cost. With a limited budget, more pressing repairs are often addressed first and things listed in the regular maintenance rotation could be deferred in favor of an immediate issue.

Investment properties are rarely a case of build and forget. It is mostly a case of build and actively look after. No one wants to keep an eye out on HVAC or roofing. It’s boring and would need to be maintained day in and day out. However, little things like these need to be prioritized if the goal is to keep long-term costs down.

While deferred maintenance is a good approach when you’re pressed for time and money, taking a proactive approach is more prudent when it comes to maintaining your property. The key is to take a simple proactive approach to maintenance. Don’t try to do all things at once. Space them out over a period of time so as not to burden the maintenance budget.

Keep it simple with these 2 steps: Essential Care and Condition Monitoring.

● Essential Care
Essential care involves all the steps taken to ensure the prevention of deterioration, malfunction, failures, and other issues. Task like changing out air filters, cleaning gutters, giving your property a deep cleaning etc. fall under essential care. Basically, they are the things you do in order to keep your rental or commercial property safe, marketable, and in tip-top shape.

● Condition Monitoring
Task involving the detection and prevention of failures are part of condition monitoring. It means checking after the condition of your residential or commercial property in order to keep your assets in working condition. These involve tasks like periodic roof inspections, checking electrical circuits, testing water pressure, checking for leaks, etc. More often than not, these tasks involve specialized tools or equipment.

For example, in checking for water pressure, you will need a pressure gauge. In checking electrical equipment, you might need circuit testers, continuity testers, etc. depending on what electrical appliance you’re testing.

Ideally, this approach would involve an 80/20 planning maintenance ratio – with 80% of the maintenance planned and 20% on unexpected repairs or last-minute additions.

Proactive maintenance does involve a significant investment in time (planning, executing) and money (budget). But this approach costs less in the long run compared to repairs done after an asset failure as a result of deferred maintenance. In most things in life, taking the proactive route instead of a reactive one always ends in a better result. Instead of waiting for an issue or an accident to happen, it is best to take measures to prevent them in the first place.

If you have deferred maintenance work for a while, now is as good a time as any to get back on track. Here’s a sample checklist of how your proactive maintenance approach might look like for an apartment or condominium rental property.

Identify and document all deferred maintenance needs of the property.

❏ Check the exterior of the property for visible issues such as falling gutters or crack in the roof, windows, or walls that can cause water damage.
❏ Test your sump pump – otherwise you might find yourself in a waterlogged room.
❏ Check your water pressure – or risk buster pipes and fixtures.
❏ Drain sediments from the water heater – or risk damage and a shorter lifespan for your heater.
❏ Check for infestation – insects, bugs, mice, or other furry stowaways can cause damage to property and chew through wires.
❏ Clean your vents – otherwise you might be faced with complaints about “weird smells” or worse, health complaints.
❏ Check ground-fault circuit interrupters – or risk having appliances short circuit and cause a fire.
❏ Test smoke alarms and fire extinguishers – to make sure that you can put out a small fire in case of emergencies.
❏ Check for overgrown branches that might get snagged on electrical power lines.

Allocate resources towards maintenance and upgrades.
This step is where you need to draft a budget and a maintenance schedule. You also need to assign personnel and consider the season/weather. The point is to schedule maintenance well before you an issue occurs. For example, there’s no point in doing work on windows and roof during the rainy season as the water will undo any sealing and waterproofing work.

Prioritize ongoing issues.
Document issues that are ongoing and plan on addressing those first. For example, if the tenants are constantly complaining about the AC, plan to work on that first or consider an upgrade or replacement.

Follow up and execute preventive maintenance measures.
Prevention is better than cure. Also, practicality should take precedence over aesthetics. A huge tree may look pretty in front of your store and might even provide shade for your commercial property. But if the branches grow towards a power line and the roots break the storefront ground, then you should have that immediately trimmed or cut down. Make sure to get a professional to do it, or risk having a tree fall over you or over some cars parked under it.

Renters Rights

Nothing says “adulting 101” as well as moving out of your parent’s house and getting your own place. You leave the comforts of the family home and embark on a journey towards being self-sufficient. Your first apartment was probably a shared one, with a couple of roommates with whom you can split the rent. During your first move, you probably didn’t know anything about your rights as a renter except for what was told by your landlord during your first meeting. But over the years, as you move from apartment to apartment, you’ve come to realize that there’s more to being a renter than what your roomies or your landlord told you.

As you grow older, you get more serious about the rental properties you pick. By the time you progress in your career and get a promotion, you’ve probably moved into a newer apartment or a condominium with the ultimate goal of owning real estate for yourself. You’re probably starting to scout for residential properties to buy a townhome or single-family home.

But until you save enough money for a house, you’re renting. That’s a practical thing to do considering that people are more mobile now and renting makes it easier to move around. More and more people are opting to rent. As per the 2016 US Census, the number of renters has increased by more than 23 million, and that of homeowners by less than 700K.

As you move around from one rental property to another, there are a couple of things you should know. Being armed with information about renters rights would make it easier for you to understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. This information can help you find the best property to rent, be able to help you understand and negotiate lease terms, be more flexible with the rental agreement, and know how to request for repairs and maintenance in your rental apartment.

The rental agreement
As part of your new tenant-landlord relationship, the landlord should provide you with a copy of the rental agreement. Each of the tenants should have their own copy of the signed agreement. So if you’re sharing an apartment with 2 other people, all 3 of you should have copies.

There are 3 types of rental agreements. They are:

Month to month lease: Month-to-month lease agreements are for an indefinite amount of time. There are no specific time limits and the tenancy goes on until you choose to vacate the property or the landlord decides to terminate the tenancy (with a 20 days notice before the rent is due). In some areas, like Seattle, landlords are required to give more notice and restricts termination of tenancy to 18 reasons.) These month to month agreements can be verbal or written. Washington State allows verbal agreements as legal. But if you pay any deposit or non-refundable fees, the rental agreement has to be in writing to clearly state the conditions and portion of your money which is refundable.

One way lease: They are a month to month agreements in which a landlord charges a fee or waives the deposit if a tenant vacates the property before a prescribed number of months. This is illegal in some cities, like Seattle, as they only benefit the landlord.

Fixed term lease: These are rental agreements that are set for a specific period of time. They must absolutely be in writing. The most common term is a one year lease. These leases restrict the landlord from charging fees, increasing the rent, or changing any rules during the fixed lease term. Tenants must follow the conditions of the lease for the duration of the term or incur penalties. The lease expires at the end of the term unless renewed.

A landlord can’t put in just any rules they want in a rental agreement. Some terms are often self-serving to the landlord and might even be illegal, so read the agreement carefully.

 Here are some prohibited provisions to watch out for in your lease agreement:

● Anything that waives any right that the Landlord – Tenant Act gives you.
● Makes you waive your right to defend yourself in court against the landlord
● Limits the landlords’ liability for things they would normally be responsible for
● Excuses the landlord from making repairs
● Lets the landlord enter your property without notice
● Makes you pay for damages that aren’t your fault.
● Makes you pay for the landlords’ lawyer fees if an argument goes to court, even if you win.
● Lets your landlord take your things if you’re behind on rent.

For a harmonious relationship, the landlord and tenant must work together to come up with a mutual agreement that satisfies both parties. There are certain things that keep the relationship mutually beneficial.

Landlords obligations
A landlord must provide safe, clean, and secure living conditions for the tenant including:

❏ Keeping the premises fit for human habitation and keeping common areas reasonably clean and safe
❏ Controlling insects, rodents and other pests
❏ Maintaining roof, walls, and foundation and keeping the unit weather tight
❏ Maintaining electrical, plumbing, heating and other equipment and appliances supplied by the owner
❏ Providing adequate containers for garbage and arranging for garbage pickup
❏ When responsible for providing heat in rental units, from September through June maintaining daytime (7:00 a.m.-10:30 p.m.) temperatures at 68℉ or above and nighttime temperatures at not less than 58℉
❏ In non-transient accommodations, providing keys to a unit and building entrance doors and, in most cases, changing the lock mechanism and keys upon a change of tenants
❏ Installing smoke detectors and instructing tenants in their maintenance and operation

However, landlords are not required to make cosmetic repairs after each tenancy.

Tenant obligations
Tenants have to maintain the property in a safe and clean manner, including:

❏ Properly disposing of garbage
❏ Exercising care in use of electrical and plumbing
❏ fixtures
❏ Promptly repairing any damage caused by them or their guests
❏ Granting reasonable access for inspection, maintenance, repair, and pest control
❏ Maintaining smoke detectors in good working order
❏ Refraining from storing dangerous materials on the premises

You can see more details and examples here.
Remember, a lease is a legally binding contract. So, please read everything carefully before signing.

How AppFolio makes lives easier for owners and renters

Everyone wants a place to call home. Our houses are symbolic of ourselves. We move into homes and we painstakingly fill it with things that bring us convenience, security, comfort, and joy. We pepper it with our personality. Leaving all of that is a hard situation to be in.

While most people would want to stay in one place to grow roots in the community, not everyone has that luxury. Life changes can compel people to move around.

All of us have moved around at one point in our lives, and for a number of reasons – studies, work, marriage, among some. But it’s not the “moving to another place” that we dread. It’s the major life disruption that moving brings about. It means sifting through all the things we’ve accumulated over the years and choosing whether to keep them or to let them go. It means saying goodbye to old familiar faces and places and looking forward to finding new ones.

The USA has always been a nation of homeowners. A single-family home has always been the American dream and one of the tops goals of newlyweds. But that is slowly changing. The idea of owning a house is suddenly losing its appeal probably due, in no small part, to the housing crisis of 2000. Here are a few fun facts according to data from the U.S. Census:

● Up until 2016, homeowners outnumber renters two-to-one.
● The number of renters has increased by more than 23 million, and that of homeowners by less than 700K.
● Right now, the growth of renters outpaces the growth homeownership, which has remained virtually unchanged.
● Renters now dominate 42 out of 100 of the most populous cities in the US.

In this big old world, there’s lots of space to move around. And a lot of people are now embracing that. The market for rental properties is booming…and steadily growing. The real estate market needs all the help it can get.

What do renters want?

A renters goal is to make moving in and staying as efficient and as comfortable as possible.

Moving has gained notoriety for being one of life’s most stressful events. It’s right there on the list of top life stressors, along with career changes, divorce, and illness. So, it makes perfect sense that renters would want to make the moving process as easy and efficient as possible. They want to find the best fit rental home in the least amount of time and effort.

The old way
The old way involves a lot of legwork. It involves sorting through dozens of residential properties and finding one within their budget, travelling to the area, and setting up meetings with property managers in order to visit the listed sites. It involves a lot of interviews. It involves looking over policies, insurance, documents, and contracts. It involves a lot of negotiating. All of which require a lot of time, resources, and coffee. And that’s just the beginning.

Once the lease is signed, staying at the apartment is another story altogether. Tenants would now have to navigate rent payments, maintenance requests, insurances, and contracts.

Sixty per cent of renters move in, knowing fully well that they would be relocating again in the next 12 months. If there was an easier way of doing this process all over again without having to go through the whole thing step by step, wouldn’t they take it?

What do owners want?

A property owner’s goal is to ensure that their properties are filled as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

For property owners, seeing their investment property vacant can be a painful experience. Each day of vacancy equates to a loss. Owners still have to pay for property management, marketing, tax, and maintenance of idle properties even if these properties are unoccupied. If they see their properties vacant for long, it could result in a financial hit that is hard enough to contemplate selling the property. That’s why owners don’t want to see their properties idle. They want to see a fairly regular return on their investment.

The old way
The old way involves a lot of meetings, interviews, and negotiations. These steps are essential in order to save owners from a host of headaches in the long run. However, his process takes a lot of paperwork and time away from being able to successfully market vacancies and carefully manage rented ones.

How can we make lives easier for both owners and renters? We find them a happy place – a place where both parties can keep track of their assets without having to go through the trouble of double entries, repeat submissions and applications, screenings, and interviews. That happy place is a cloud-based software called Appfolio.

The new way
Prospective residents and property owners can complete the entire process of leasing from their mobile devices with the help of Appfolio. Appfolio automates the whole process from application to leasing to renting for both would be renters and property owners. From any high-quality third-party listing sites, renters can view and virtually visit property listings with just a touch of the screen. Once they find a listing they like, they can send in an application and pay application fees straight from Appfolio. They can also submit themselves to a credit and background check from the comfort of their homes.

Appfolio has built-in screening features that publish results instantly. This step saves time and money for both renter and owner as it does away with forms and incidental fees. There’s no need to wait long for results. Approved renters can sign the lease agreement right away. The information provided by the would-be renter is automatically merged into the lease agreement. Everything is available in the cloud and can be easily accessed for future reference. It’s a seamless start to a solid relationship between both parties.

With Appfolio, everything is mobile – applications, leasing, payments, and inspections. Both renters and owners can do away with paperwork since they have access to an online portal. Renters can access lease renewals, addenda, payment history, policies, and maintenance requests immediately. Owners can get access to pertinent documents, reports, and financial statements. They also get a summary of the state of all their property listings, including which ones are occupied, vacant, and in need of repairs. By having this information at a glance, owners get to maximize their investment by being able to plan ahead.

Both parties have access to Appfolio’s built-in two-way texting feature to send personalized messages. It’s easy and convenient. It’s one of those things that’ll make you say “thank God for technology!”

Rental Home Prices Skyrocket in Bellevue, While Seattle Market Levels

Written By: Gabriel Rubinov

For many years now, the City of Seattle has been known to be a desirable place to live by many local and out-of-state residents, but today we see a fascinating shift in the real estate market conditions to the Eastside areas. Home and rental prices for properties in Bellevue have risen dramatically over the last year due to major economic development and corporate growth. According to recent data, Bellevue has been leading the market when compared to other local cities at $2,083 for an average rent rate.

Read more