Rental Housing Journal - Colorado - November 2013
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Dear Maintenance Men:Do you have a recommendation for exte-rior lighting that will make the property stand out from its neighbors?Jorden
Dear Jorden:We did a recent job involving half inch 120 volt LED rope light. The rope light was installed under the eaves and out of the way. From the ground the light appeared to ema-nate out from the eaves and down the walls. The light is indirect and made for a very interesting look. The side benefit of the rope light was not only did it look great; it shed light in all the dark corners around the building. LED rope light is more expensive than the incandescent rope light, however, it is economical in the long run, it has a long service life and the rope does not get hot or even warm to the touch. (We DO NOT recommend incandescent rope light.) LED Rope light comes in 150 foot rolls and with the proper recti-fier in place, up to 1200 feet can be used from one electrical source. The light comes in cool white, natural white and warm white along with a variety of colors. The rope light can be installed onto a plastic track to help keep it straight and to eliminate any drooping of the rope. Remember to pre-drill the track before installa-tion. LED rope light is perfect for under stairs, balconies and anywhere you need soft indirect light. Keep in mind, it does not throw light very far and will not light up a courtyard, it is mainly for aesthetics.
Dear Maintenance Men:We are preparing to gussy up our rent-al property by adding crown molding in each room. The quote I got from the contractor was astronomical! I want to teach my maintenance tech how to install crown molding, however after looking at molding how-to books and the internet, I am about to give up on the idea. It looks very complicated. Can you help? Ron
Dear Ron:We know what you mean; anyone who has installed crown molding for the first time knows the frustration. But it need not be! Crown molding truly is easy to install and yes, we said easy. Throw the book away; it only serves to show how smart the author is, but not very practical. We are going to describe a method that we learned long ago that absolutely simplified crown molding installa-tion.
The key is to cut the molding in the same position that it will be install on the ceiling and to make visual samples. It is important to make a set of sample pieces for refer-ence.
1A: Inside corner: cut two 12-inch pieces of molding to use as a sample. Place that sample up on the wall and ceiling for a visual. Now bring that sample to your saw and lay it to the left of the blade, against the vertical fence or backstop. Position the sample exactly in the same orientation or position as it was on the wall/ceiling. (The sample piece will not be flat against the fence; it will stick out just like it does on the wall.) Now position your saw blade in the 45-degree posi-tion and left of the center mark. Cut the right side of your sample piece and label it Right Hand Corner Inside.
1B: Take the second piece of sample molding you cut and position it exactly like the first piece, but to right side of the blade. Put your blade in the 45-degree position, but this time it will be to the
right of the center mark. Cut and label this piece Left Hand Corner Inside. Test your sam-ples in an inside corner where the wall meets the ceiling. The two pieces should form a 90-degree corner.
2A: Outside corners: cut two 12-inch pieces of molding to use as a sample. Place that sample up on the wall and ceiling for a visual. Now bring that sample to your saw and lay it to the left of the blade, against the vertical fence or backstop. Position the sample exactly in the same orientation or position as it was on the wall/ceiling. Set the blade at the 45-degree position and right of the center mark. Position the sample to the left of the blade. Cut and label Right Hand Outside Corner.
2B: For an outside left-hand corner, set the blade at the 45-degree position and left of the center mark. Position the sample to the right of the blade. After the cut, label the sample Left Hand Outside Corner. Test your sam-ples in an outside corner where the wall meets the ceiling. The two pieces should form a 90-degree corner.
The hard part is done; you now have sample cuts to refer to. After measuring the wall, place your mea-surements on the backside of the molding, the mark will be easier to see on the backside when cutting. (Hint: Mark the molding where the saw blade will first touch the work piece.) Cut a little long at first, and then trim with the saw until the molding fits. And dont forget to repeat to yourself caulking is my friend!. If the corner is not quite perfect, dont worry, caulk the cor-ners, and the mistakes disappear.
Monthly CirCulation to More than 7,000 apartMent owners, property Managers, on-site & MaintenanCe personnel
Continued on page 3
Get Social With Rental Housing Journals
By Jerry L'Ecuyer & Frank Alvarez
as Market Tightens Across Front Range
Dear Maintenance Men:Apartment Vacancies Hit 18 Year Low
Apartment vacancy rates across Colorados Front Range remained low dur-ing the third quarter, with northern Colorados markets reporting occu-pancy rates of more than 97 percent in most submarkets and Greeley hit-ting near an all-time low in vacancy.
According to a report released Wednesday by the Colorado Division of Housing, the vacancy rate was 2.8 percent in the Fort Collins-Loveland area and only 1.3 percent in Greeley, which was the lowest vacancy rate reported in Greeley since 1995.
The vacancy rate fell, year over year, in Colorado Springs and in Pueblo, signaling growing demand for apartments in all Colorado met-ros except Grand Junction.
As usual, employment is a ma-jor driver in all metros, as is the fact that new multifamily construction has only recently begun to pick up in Greeley.
In Colorado Springs, the vacancy rate fell to 5.4 percent from last years third-quarter rate of 6.1 percent, and in Pueblo, the rate fell to 9.3 percent during the third quarter from 15.8 percent a year earlier. Grand Junc-tions vacancy rate remained rela-tively high at 7.8 percent reflecting a shrinking labor force and flat em-ployment totals over the past year in that metro area.
The metro Denver vacancy rate, measured in a separate survey, was 4.4 percent, up from 4.3 percent dur-ing the third quarter of 2012.
The average rent increased, year over year, in all metros except Grand Junction from the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of 2013.
The largest increase was found in Colorado Springs where the average rent rose 5.4 percent, year over year,
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November 2013 - Vol. 5 Issue 11Rental Housing Journal Colorado
DENVER METRO COLORADO SPRINGS BOULDER
COLORADOProfessional Publishing, Inc www.RentalHousingJournal.com
COLORADODENVER COLORADO SPRINGS BOULDER
Continued on page 2
2 Rental Housing journal Colorado November 2013
Vacancies Hit 18 Year Low ...continued from front page
with Greeleys average rent increas-ing 5.1 percent over the same period.
Although vacancies are quite low there, we did see rent growth flat-ten out in the Fort Collins-Loveland area, McMaken said. Thats one of the few metros where weve seen a significant amount of new construc-tion in recent years, so new supply is helping a little to moderate rents.
COLORADO Ron Spraggins, CCIMCEO/FounderCommonwealthColorado Springs, Colorado [email protected](719)685-4300
D&Z What Were You Thinking MomentsHello Property Management
Industry! So, as 2013 comes to a close and we prepare for a prosper-ous 2014, the goal should be to mini-mize those What Were You Thinking Moments.
Budgets are complete, the cold weather and holidays are coming. The office will be filled with deliver-ies of residents boxes with bows, complaints of appliances not work-ing to prepare the holiday feast, slip-pery stairways, walkways and resi-dents trying to heat their apartments with space heaters. Then you have New Years Eve and the day after, with remnants of sparklers (Fire Hazard) and recycling, guests sleep-ing it off at the pool, you know the drill. This is a What Were You Thinking Moment waiting to hap-pen!
Dana and Zach, through years of experience navigating the end of the year blues while preparing to start the new year off with great success, have prepared a special holiday property wish list of things you hope
will not happen; complete with help-ful suggestions. This is a great way to provide your residents with help-ful and needed information to have a wonderful holiday season!
Danas listRemove the headache of the sea-
son for you and your residents by reminding them of best practices on the following:
1. All property staff should know all of this information as well as emergency shut off locations.
2. Office Hours including holiday hours, when the resident can pick up packages and what they will need for verification
3. Rubbish & Recycling informa-tion Remind residents of trash & recycling pick up days and if there will be additional pick-ups for trees and extra holiday recy-cling
4. Prepare Residents for Emergency What to do in an emergency during business and after hours. Incidents that can occur during the cold or inclement weather
Emergency procedures and phone numbers, even if you think the resident has them, include:
Fire & Rescue for non-life threatening
Office and after hour contact
Instructions if no response in predetermined time
Home office contact
In case of a weather related power outage, have your electrical providers phone number available and remind residents not to use their
stoves, or space heaters that do not automatically shut off if tipped over. Avoid candles and make certain they have working flashlights and bat-teries
5. Hazards to Report for safety
Property lighting outages
Standing water that could freeze
6. Ventilation and moisture preven-tion suggestions due to cold out-side weather & heated apart-ments
Fans in bathrooms
Wipe down window conden-sation
7. Holidays Each holiday pres-ents its own harmful potential, we live with many on our prop-erties and it is important to remind them of the following for a safe holiday season.
Keep holiday trees watered, a dry tree is a fire hazard
New Years Eve present noise, sparklers (Fire hazard) remind residents to remem-ber the quiet enjoyment for all residents
Parking is usually a head-ache over the holidays with visiting family and friends. Remind your residents the parking rules and guest parking
Zachs List8. Security- remember that even
though you may feel safe and trust your neighbors always be diligent and smart. When unloading packages or groceries close and lock your car even if its a quick trip in and out.
9. Unplug your Christmas lights at night, these little bulbs can get very hot and have a tendency to be in contact with flammable materials such as paper, needles, wood, and carpet.
10. I am a big believer in AAA road service. If your car battery dies or you find yourself on the side of a road, you will have someone to call for help to get you and your car home safely. If you this is not an option for you, a pair jumper cables and a tow rope should be stored in your truck so that if a Good Samaritan is around to give assistance, you will have the right items. Dont forget water, flashlights, batteries and a blan-
THINK This Holiday Season
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RENTAL HOUSING JOURNAL COLORADO
Continued on page 4
Rental Housing journal Colorado November 2013 3
Dear Maintenance Men ...continued from front page
The holidays are a time of giv-ing and also a time of thanks. To give to those, through ges-tures large and small, and thank oth-ers for their friendship, hard work, and good service. This holiday season I have decided to gift my ten-
ants for their continued support and service.
Many landlords may consider this notion an absurd waste of money and that is certainly their preroga-tive. But, I look at gifting the resi-dents differently. I see this gesture as similar to a tip or a bonus. You tip for good service even though youve already paid for the meal. Most of us appreciate bonuses this time of year in our paycheck even though we
have already performed the job that is expected of us. So, in addition to providing a nice place to live, why not give them a thank you for helping pay your mortgage, insur-ance, and property taxes?
Im not talking about going in the red here. I have in mind a very cor-porate-like holiday card with a nice handwritten note inside. Included in these generic cards will be a gift card of no more than $10-$20 each for a
local restaurant, coffee shop, or gro-cery store for which I will hand deliver. Hand delivered I said! Here is an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the outside of your property unan-nounced. Just because youre doing something nice for the tenants does not mean you quit being a landlord.
Now because I manage a small operation, this level of spending on my residents is feasible. For those of
Be A Giving Landlord
Also caulk the top and bottom rails of the molding and it will look like an expert did the installation. Good Luck.
Dear Maintenance men:I am aware of having a disaster pre-paredness kit for my family, however, what do I do for my apartment build-ing? Jason
Dear Jason:A quick list of what should be in your family disaster preparedness kit: Flashlight with batteries, canned goods, a Gallon of water per person, a knife, Meds and blankets at mini-mum. Now this works ok for a fam-ily, but may not be appropriate for an apartment building. The residents may very well shelter in place dur-ing a disaster and be fine. What may be in danger is your property! Start with a bit of preventive disaster maintenance.
1: Locate the main water shut-off valve and any minor shut-off valves. Make sure the valves are
in working order. If they are gate valves, it might be time to upgrade them to ball valves. old gate valves are notorious for breaking valve stems at the moment you need them to work.
2: Locate and clearly mark the main electrical panel.
3: Locate and mark the main sewer clean-out. Run a mainline snake or hydro jet at least once a year. (A Friday evening main back-up is a disaster.)
4: Locate and mark the main gas or fuel oil shut-off valve.
5: Write down and post this infor-mation in a public area of your apartment building, including emergency phone numbers and how to get hold of management. Alternatively; Post this informa-tion on the inside of a kitchen cabinet door in each rental unit.
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Please call: Buffalo Maintenance, Inc for maintenance work or
consultation. JLE Property Management, Inc
for management service or consultation
Frankie Alvarez at 714 956-8371 Jerry LEcuyer at 714 778-0480
CA contractor lic: #797645, EPA Real Estate lic. #: 01460075
Certified Renovation Company Websites: www.
BuffaloMaintenance.com & www.ContactJLE.com
Continued on page 4
RENTAL HOUSING JOURNAL COLORADO
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Rental Housing Journal Colorado
The statements and representations made in advertising and news articles contained in this publication are those of the advertiser and authors and as such do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Professional Publishing, Inc. The inclusion of advertising in this publi-cations does not, in any way, comport an endorsement of or support for the prod-ucts or services offered. Metro Apartment Manager is produced monthly and is published by Professional Publishing Inc. PO Box 6244 Beaverton, OR 97007. (503) 221-1260 - (800) 398-6751 2013 All rights reserved.
4 Rental Housing journal Colorado November 2013
you who may be managing hun-dreds of units, a charitable donation in the name of your tenants, or a generous coupon towards a holiday ham may make greater sense for your business. As long as youre gifting to others from a place of gen-eral goodwill, then the actual gift is secondary. And, who knows, the gesture may just be reciprocated whether its through a thank you note, a small gift, or the continued care of your rental property. Some small gifts may be tax deductible, so check with your accountant
Giving to others without expecta-tions can make us feel good. Weve all heard of paying it forward. So, why not make a small investment in others who help us throughout the year? A nice card and a little some-thing to brighten their season is a small price to pay. I think that there is still something very important about interpersonal relationships, especially around the holidays.
Katie Poole Hussa is a Licensed Property Manager, Continuing
Education Provider and Principal at Smart Property Management in
Portland, OR. She can be reached with questions or comments at [email protected]
Be A Giving Landlord ...continued from page 3 ket, hopefully you wont need
any of these items, but just in case.
11. Stay alert to those who take advantage of folks this of time of year when most of us are in a giving mood. Take your time and do some research to be sure that those who claim to be help-ing others and not just them-selves.
12. Charge your cell phone and keep a mobile charger with you that you can use in your car or other power source. We are so con-nected to our phones, but all the browsing, GPS directions, down-loading coupons, and seasonal event pictures can suck the life out of your battery, leaving you in a lurch late at night when you may need to make a real emer-gency call.
13. Lastly be respectful of others. We tend to get going crazy and add stress to our days and many times the mass of people moving at different speeds throughout the city can cause us to be real Grinchs. Also, keep in mind that not everyone celebrates the season or have the same reli-gious beliefs, so, just enjoy your familys tradition whatever that maybe and be kind and courte-ous to others.
Have a safe and wonderful Holiday season and a prosperous New Year!
Happy Holidays see you next year!
Dana & Zach
Dana Brown and Zach Howell have been working and training Managers
and Maintenance staff in the property management industry for 20 + years.
They are excited to give back and share the crazy stories that can only happen
in our industry. We would love it if you would share your stories and WHAT WERE YOU THINKING moments with us as well as questions that you
need answers to. Dana can be reached at: [email protected] Zach
can be reached at: [email protected]
THINK This Holiday Season ...continued from page 2
Charlie Shelton [email protected]
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