Today is Columbus Day. Depending on where you work, you may or may not have the day off. The stock markets are open (although bond markets are closed), and many employees of the government will not be working. However, our offices at GoldenWest Management will be open to respond to your questions and issues. ...continue reading
According to a report released by CoreLogic today, California and Nevada are among the nation leaders in home value appreciation. CoreLogic uses what it calls it's Home Price Index (HPI) to track home sales, and measure the change in value over time. The average gains were actually very good for California and Nevada in the August 2014 report:
Including distressed sales, the five states with the highest home price appreciation were: Michigan (+11.1 percent), California (+9.2 percent), Nevada (+9.2 percent), Maine (+9 percent) and West Virginia (+8.7 percent).
This should serve as uplifting news to landlords and property investors (and those currently looking to get into the market) in those states.
As a property management blog, we have found that some of our most popular posts are those that answer challenging property management questions. Over the past year or so, we've tried to identify those questions ahead of time, and write about them as much as possible. For example, we've written about squatter's rights, the grace period for rent due dates, and security deposit recovery to name just a few. However, we would now like to open up the floor to our audience for questions. Have a landlord, tenant, or property investment question for our property management experts in California, Arizona, and Nevada? ...continue reading
Property management is a challenging business where the property manager serves two different sets of customers with conflicting needs. As a marketer for a multi-state property manager, I have witnessed the razor-sharp line that a property manager has to walk in his place between the tenant and the landlord. At times, it can sometimes seem impossible to stay the course of this line, and I'll share my insight into why that is.
The business of property management is one where the landlord compensates the property manager to relieve them of the burden of owning investment property (a.k.a, managing tenants). The late night phone calls with repair requests, the destruction to property, the late payments, not to mention the screening of and securing decent tenants - these are all part of the burden that the property manager bears. The owner, usually, doesn't want to deal with the tenants, fixing up the property, or worry about collecting money. Usually, the property owner wants to make his investment by purchasing the property, and then simply collect checks by handing over the property to the property management company. In other words, they don't want to do the "dirty work". Despite this unenvious position, the property manager must do the bidding of the owner in order to get paid. If the owner feels that the service is not up to his standards, he can take his business to the next property manager in the area as switching costs are typically not that high. ...continue reading
Goldenwest Management has just been ranked in the top 3 property management companies in Vista, CA by Thumbtack, Inc. This is great to hear as our San Diego office is still so young compared with other management services in the area. Despite the newness of the office, this ranking shows that our service level in the San Diego area is viewed as top notch. The system that we use, and processes developed over time (not to mention the fantastic people we employ) from our Phoenix and Las Vegas offices have translated well into the Southern California market. Thank you, Thumbtack, and thank you to all of our wonderful clients! Feel free to checkout the listing below.
The first labor day was celebrated in 1882 in New York City. Back then, it was less of a celebration, and more of a demonstration for workers' rights. We can, in part, thank the founders of this movement for the 8 hour work day, child labor restrictions, and other advances in labor-related legislation. For more information on the Labor Day Holiday, checkout some Labor Day facts here, some Labor Day Opinion here, and/or Labor Day Origins here. Also, if you are curious about how the holiday weekend affects the rent grace period, checkout our article on the topic.
Happy Labor Day from the GWM family!
Let me open this post by highlighting the recent news coverage for Yelp. The most recent lawsuit against Yelp alleges fraudulent reviews and extortion practices by Yelp. This is on top of a class action lawsuit brought against Yelp in 2013 by a group claiming, among other things, that Yelp was pushing them to produce more reviews in order to maintain Elite status. Before going on, let me level set for those not familiar with Yelp. Founded in 2004 Yelp is an online community of business reviewers. The idea behind it is that any customer of a business can find a forum for expressing their views on a business, and have those reviews go public in real-time. The concept is great, and in an idealistic setting, seems like a very democratic and just system. However, in reality it is anything but.
Money could be Affecting Yelp's Reviews
Yelp is a business, and like any business, needs to make money. The main driver behind the business, now, is in business accounts. Through these accounts, Yelp offers enhanced business profiles, more photos, more videos, and better search rankings - all at a fairly substantial price for a small business. Regardless of the cost, this seems like a fairly obvious business offering. However, after that the value proposition dips into a very gray, if not black area, when it comes to ethical business practice. There are many that allege that Yelp is requiring these business accounts in order to suppress negative reviews (or even get positive reviews "recommended"). Others allege that the minute a business stops paying Yelp, that some of the reviews they earned through their payments to Yelp disappear. Others allege that people having nothing to do with a company have the ability to post "recommended" reviews on a company, having never actually done business with the company. Thus, competitors, or even paid agents could post poor reviews on the competition. All of these are very valid reasons to treat Yelp reviews with a grain of salt.
Is Yelp even Accurate?
Landlords beware. There is a bizarre and nerve-racking trend going on in certain states like California where squatters are taking advantage outdated laws to live rent-free. This little loophole in real estate law gained exposure in a recent incident involving an Airbnb landlord and tenant. In this particular case, an Airbnb tenant refused to leave a Palm Springs condo after his month long-lease. Not only did he refuse to leave, but he told the landlord via a text message that "he was legally occupying the condo" and threatened to press charges against the landlord. The dispute is ongoing, and according to the San Francisco Chronicle, the landlord, likely, have to pay thousands in legal fees and follow a 3-6 month eviction process in order to remove the squatter. Needless to say, this is a setback for the landlord, whom works as a physical therapist and owns just the one property in Palm Springs.
How to Prepare for Squatters
The 4th of July typically generates thoughts of fireworks and vacations. While this is something to celebrate, let's not forget the amazing courage and sacrifice, not only from our soldiers, but from our founders, politicians, and all of those that helped start our great nation. Thank you, also, to all of those that have helped us keep our independence along the way. From the Goldenwest Management family to yours, we wish a happy Independence Day!
Also note that our offices will be closed for the holiday, but if you have a property management emergency, please call our emergency hotline.
This is is the time of the year when we, in the southwest, have to be very careful of wildfires. The 4th of July fireworks celebrations make a difficult job even more difficult for Firefighters. If you are planning some backyard theatrics for Independence Day, please make sure that you plan for a safe celebration. There is a great article and infographic from Propertyware that lists some simple steps for fireworks safety. We have some of the key tips listed here, but feel free to check out their website for more details:
- Don't break the law - check to make sure that fireworks are even legal in your area.
- Make sure there is plenty of clearance - Don't light fireworks in a wooded area, near a fence, house, etc. Use common sense and make sure there is plenty of room to light without catching something on fire.
- Keep a source of water available just in case - Water hose, buckets, etc. are good things to have on hand
- Don't let children ignite fireworks alone - This is an activity that can easily go wrong. Make sure there is adult supervision at the least
- Don't pick up lit fireworks - If a firework doesn't ignite properly, don't try to touch it, stand over it, etc. Give it plenty of space and douse it with that water you have handy if you really think something went wrong with the ignition
We don't recommend anyone have home fireworks demonstrations, but if if you have to play with fireworks, use your common sense. Please don't turn a celebration into a tragedy. Best of luck and happy 4th of July!