Here are the 8 Things you Should Consider Before Hiring a Local Property Manager

Property Management

Owning a rental apartment is an excellent investment that is likely to give you high returns. Real estate is one of the best sectors to invest your hard-earned money. Rental investments guarantee a steady source of income to property owners across the world. However, in order to get high returns from rental properties, you have to keep them tidy and well-maintained. Your tenants should not complain due to lack of excellent services. As a property owner, these maintenance tasks are hard to handle. Additionally, they are time-consuming. Therefore, you need to hire a competent property manager to relieve you from the burden of management. Working with a local manager is the best option because your tenants will get him or her easily. The professional will give you sufficient time to manage other businesses and enjoy the benefits provided by your rental property. This guide provides 8 essential things you need to observe before hiring a Local property manager.

1. Experience 
Experience is the first thing that you should consider before hiring a property manager in your locality. You should not entrust a semiskilled person with your property worth millions of dollars. Therefore, you need to hire a professional who has specialized experience in your type of building. Before hiring the manager, you need to check the applicants’ levels of experience and education backgrounds. Proper evaluation of their credentials will enable you to select a competent property manager who will maximize your benefits from your investment.

2. Marketing Strategies Used to Attract Tenants 
The purpose of investing in rental property is to gain profit. However, you cannot get returns without reliable tenants. Therefore, you need to hire the right local manager who will bring more long-term clients to your apartment. For instance, you need to get a property manager who has an excellent marketing plan that will attract tenants. It is advisable to evaluate the professional’s objectives and marketing strategies before signing any contract.

3. License and Insurance 
You should also consider insurance and license before hiring a property manager. For instance, you need to employ a professional who comes from a licensed and insured company. Before signing the hiring agreement, you need to ensure that the manager meets these requirements. Licensed property managers offer the best services to safeguard the image of their company.

4. Management Fee 
After hiring the property manager, he or she will take a certain percentage of the total rent. In order to make good profits from your rental investments, you need to hire a manager who charges a reasonable amount of money for his or her services. Nevertheless, you should not go for the cheapest property management company in your region. The quality of services should guide you to avoid disappointing your tenants.

5. Routine Inspection and Maintenance Plan 
You have to consider how regularly the manager will be inspecting your property. It is advisable to inspect your rental investment routinely. Additionally, a competent local manager should ensure that your building is kept in an excellent condition. Proper maintenance will attract serious and long-term tenants.

6. Transparency in Accounting 
You should hire a local manager who will be transparent with your finances. Therefore, when hiring the professional, you should make sure that you can access your accounting on 24/7 basis. Hiring a trustworthy property manager will decrease the risks of losses or fraud.

7. Distance Between the Manager and the Property 
The manager should not stay miles away from your property. You need to consider the distance between the professional’s office and your building. A local professional staying near your apartment will give your tenants high-quality services. Additionally, the manager will inspect your investment regularly and perform the necessary repairs and maintenance.

8. The Number of Properties Managed by the Professional 
You should not hire a property manager who manages many apartments. He or she will not take your apartment as a priority. You need to work with a professional who is not fully engaged in other activities. Your manager should give considerable attention to your apartment and communicate with you regularly to update you about its condition.

In conclusion, you need to understand that tenancy laws are complicated. Therefore, before hiring a property manager, you need to ensure that he or she has what it takes to represent you before the judges in court if needed. You need to choose your property manager well to help you increase returns on your investment.

How to Increase the Appearance of Your Home

There are many simple ways that you can decorate your home without spending a lot of money. Some of them are actually so simple that you may shun yourself for not thinking of them. As many people always say, “Home is where the heart is”, so you might as well make your home look good and increase the appearance of your home. These tips are useful whether you are looking to rent your property, or to sell.

1. There’s nothing quite like shiny windows. Just like many retail stores, you need to have high standards when it comes to the cleanliness of your windows, inside and out. This is one of the first things someone would look at when making their first impression of your house. You want the passerby to look at your windows and see their reflection. You want them to be able to see you through the window without trying. That’s kind of extreme since you might not want people looking into your house, but the point still stands. Clean windows help make a first impression positive. Best window cleaners are ones that won’t streak when they dry, so think of a product that has high quality.

2. A swept path to your house makes it much easier for any sort of visitor to approach your home without tracking dirt of grass into your home. This is something so simple and so easy to do that it’s a surprise why it is being talked about, but seriously, you don’t want your front walk to look like part of your yard. This also includes pulling any overgrown weeds that are trying to break up your relationship between you and a clean front walk.

3. Lighter color paint and/or siding tend to pick up a lot of dirt. Approximately once every 6 months you should use a cleaning agent and a garden hose to keep the paint or the siding on your home looking fresh and new. This is a huge factor on the appearance of your home. If your home looks grimy and dirty on the outside then it is hard to make a positive impression of the home.

4. Some people rant and rave about their grass and lawn, this is because it is a major factor in the appearance of your property. If the grass is cut short and green, it makes your yard look very fresh and well taken care of. You may even consider adding shrubs or flowers to the edges of your home and paths. Adding a little bit of contrast to the grass in your yard brings in that much more attention.

5. Speaking of contrast, this last concept applies to the interior of your home. This may require a little more work than the others, but it can boost visual aesthetics by a long shot. Professionals would agree that a sense of contrast between some of the interior decorating or colors of paint in the house is simply visually appealing. This can greatly increase the appearance of your home by bringing even more visual interest. Even cleaning old leather furniture can bring a fresh look into the property.

5 Ways to Get More Leads Into Your Business

If you are running a small business, you probably already know how hard it can be to market that business effectively. In fact, most business owners would easily admit that marketing is their single most difficult task. In addition, it frequently takes them away from their true passion, which is running the business of their choice. However, it is something that must be done if you plan on being successful and keeping the business open for any length of time whatsoever. Below are five ways that you can generate new leads and keep customers coming to you, even if you are running your business entirely online.
1) Use Blog Posts
Blog posts are designed to do one thing and that is to keep people interested in what you are doing. You can make that post about virtually anything as long as it has something to do with the goods or services that you are selling. Explain why somebody needs to buy a particular item or why you provide top quality services when compared to others. Discuss special community events and how you are supporting them, making sure to include items about your business. Essentially, a good blog post keeps your business relevant and because it is relatively short, it is something that you can write everyday without taking up too much of your valuable time.

2) Make Good Use of Article Writing

Articles are similar to blog posts but they have a tendency to be a little more formal and show up in places that most blog posts never would. You might choose to have articles written that are informative and educational, yet tie directly into your business and you can have them appear all over the Internet, sometimes even on authoritative sites about a particular subject matter. This makes your business synonymous with a particular good or service and brings more people through the proper channels so you can keep doing what you love.

3) Use Social Media

If you really want to have as much business as you can handle, don’t forget to make use of social media on a daily basis. Create posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, along with anything else that holds your interest. Using these social media platforms is likely to help you achieve a much higher customer base than virtually anything else you might do online.

4) Have a Website

Obviously, if you’re going to have involvement with social media, article writing and blog posts, you need a website to direct it all to. Make sure that the website is easy to use and up to date and don’t hesitate to direct everyone to it in all of your other postings.

5) Take Advantage of SEO Techniques

If you are running a business, there is a good chance that you don’t have time to learn about search engine optimization, or SEO. You can make use of an SEO agency Canberra and get the results that you want without having to take the time to do it yourself. When you take advantage of SEO techniques, your business shows up at the top of page rankings when someone is looking for something related to that particular area and that means that you get more business.

As you can see, there are a lot of different areas involved in marketing and business. However, by making good use of an agency that is capable of using these techniques, you can end up having more business than you know what to do with, which is the dream of practically every small business owner out there. If you want to know more, visit or

How to Hire the Right Employees

In their book Start Your Own Business, the Staff of Entrepreneur Media Inc. guides you through the critical steps to starting your business, then supports you in surviving the first three years as a business owner. In this edited excerpt, the authors offer tips on finding the right employees for your new business.

The employees you hire can make or break your business. While you may be tempted to hire the first person who walks in the door “just to get it over with,” doing so can be a fatal error. A small company can’t afford to carry dead wood on staff, so start smart by taking time to figure out your staffing needs before you even begin looking for job candidates.

Begin by understanding the requirements of the job being filled. What kind of personality, experience, and education are needed? To determine these attributes, sit down and do a job analysis covering the following areas:

  • The physical/mental tasks involved (ranging from judging, planning, and managing to cleaning, lifting, and welding)
  • How the job will be done (the methods and equipment used)
  • The reason the job exists (including an explanation of job goals and how they relate to other positions in the company)
  • The qualifications needed (training, knowledge, skills, and personality traits)

If you’re having trouble, one good way to get information for a job analysis is to talk to employees and supervisors at other companies that have similar positions.

Next comes the job description. This is basically an outline of how the job fits into the company. It should point out in broad terms the job’s goals, responsibilities, and duties. First, write down the job title and whom that person will report to. Next, develop a job statement or summary describing the position’s major and minor duties. Finally, define how the job relates to other positions in the company. Which are subordinate and which are of equal responsibility and authority?

For a one-person business hiring its first employee, Richard White says, these steps may seem unnecessary, but remember, you are laying the foundation for your personnel policy, which will be essential as your company grows. Keeping detailed records from the time you hire your first employee will make things a lot easier when you hire your 50th.

The job specification describes the personal requirements you expect from the employee. Like the job description, it includes the job title, whom the person reports to, and a summary of the position. However, it also lists any educational requirements, desired experience, and specialized skills or knowledge required. Include salary range and benefits. Finish by listing any physical or other special requirements associated with the job, as well as any occupational hazards.

Writing the job description and job specifications will also help you determine whether you need a part- or full-time employee, whether the person should be permanent or temporary, and whether you could use an independent contractor to fill the position (more on all these options later).

Writing the ad

Use the job specification and description to write an ad that will attract candidates to your company. The best way to avoid wasting time on interviews with people who do not meet your needs is to write an ad that will lure qualified candidates and discourage others. Consider this example:

Interior designer seeks inside/outside salesperson. Flooring, drapes (extensive measuring), furniture, etc. In-home consultations. Excellent salary and commission. PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE A NECESSITY. San Francisco Bay Area. Send resume to G. Green at P.O. Box 5409, San Francisco, CA 90842.

This job description is designed to attract a flexible salesperson and eliminate those who lack the confidence to work on commission. The advertiser asks for expertise in “extensive measuring,” the skill he has had the most difficulty finding. The job location should be included to weed out applicants who don’t live in the area or aren’t willing to commute or relocate. Finally, the capitalized “PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE A NECESSITY” underscores that he will hire only candidates with previous experience.

To write a similarly targeted ad for your business, look at your job specifications and pull out the top four or five skills that are most essential to the job. Don’t, however, list requirements other than educational or experience-related ones in the ad. Nor should you request specific personality traits (such as outgoing, detail-oriented) since people are likely to come in and imitate those characteristics when they don’t really possess them. Instead, you should focus on telling the applicants about the excitement and challenge of the job, the salary, what they will get out of it, and what it will be like working for you.

Finally, specify how applicants should contact you.

Recruiting employees

The obvious first choice for recruiting employees is the classified ad section of your local newspaper, both in the printed and online versions. Place your ad in the Sunday or weekend edition of the largest-circulation local papers.

Beyond this, however, there are plenty of other places to recruit good employees. Here are some ideas:

Tap into your personal and professional network. Tell everyone you know—friends, neighbors, professional associates, customers, vendors, colleagues from associations—that you have a job opening. Someone might know of the perfect candidate.

Contact school placement offices. List your openings with trade and vocational schools, colleges, and universities. Check with your local school board to see if high schools in your area have job training and placement programs.

Post notices at senior citizen centers. Retirees who need extra income or a productive way to fill their time can make excellent employees.

Use an employment agency. Private and government-sponsored agencies can help with locating and screening applicants. Often their fees are more than justified by the amount of time and money you save.

List your opening with an appropriate job bank. Many professional associations have job banks for their members. Contact groups related to your industry, even if they are outside your local area, and ask them to alert their members to your staffing needs.

Use industry publications. Trade association newsletters and industry publications often have classified ad sections where members can advertise job openings. This is a very effective way to attract skilled people in your industry.

Go online. There are a variety of online job banks and databases that allow employers to list openings. These databases can be searched by potential employees from all over the country. And don’t forget LinkedIn, an international professional networking site, where you can post jobs and find candidates through the site’s automated talent matching system.

Easy Accounting Tips For Small Businesses

We have the smartest and most clever accountant in the world. So we asked him to give us some accounting tips for small businesses just starting out. Here’s what he wrote. It’s solid advice from an accountant who saves us tons of money. If you want a referal to our personal accountant just let me know in the comments.

Accounting Tips

  • KISS. Keep it simple starting out. The simplest form of entity for running your first business is called a sole proprietorship. This form of ownership requires NO special communication or filings to the Internal Revenue Service until you start paying employees.
  • As a sole proprietor you are the owner/entity which might require only to acquire an occupational license if your county or municipality mandates one. As the owner, you are also liable to remit all state or city tax collections on retail or wholesale sales your business collects. Service businesses and most cross state sales are exempt from state tax collections.
  • If you are concerned about personal liability as a sole proprietorship then do the cheapest and simplest thing which is to buy a personal liability umbrella policy. The best way to avoid liability is to learn your trade well and keep accurate records on LessAccounting.
  • Concentrate on building your business not communicating with the IRS. As a sole proprietor, the IRS will not even know you exsist until after you file your first personal income tax return. This return will include a Schedule C which communicates all of the sales and expenses you recorded in LessAccounting on your business. These sales and expenses do not have to be in a separate bank account as mandated by the LLC or Incorporation format. The sole proprietor losses offset your day job’s income to provide a possible tax refund.
  • Over 90% of small businesses fail or change ownership within the first five years. Plan your business to thrive but if it fails under a sole proprietor you simply stop doing business. No communication or special forms with the IRS, no additional taxes to get your investment returned and no high accounting fees to close out your entity. Simply file a final Schedule C with your next personal return. KISS.
  • How do you get paid as a sole proprietorship? Simply take the money out as a draw. No payroll taxes or quarterly forms needed. Most startups lose money for the first several years, so keep your day job to pay your living expenses.
  • Know that a “write off” doesn’t mean that expenses is free, it only means you can save paying some taxes on that income if you spend it for certain purposes. Small Business Tax Tips… What You Can And Cannot Deduct.
  • After you pass the five year hurdle, then you can talk with a CPA about another entity type that might save you taxes. Again a simple bookkeeping entry transfers all of the business assets from the sole proprietorship into the new entity without any tax penalties. Then quit your day job to celebrate your new livelyhood.

General Small Business Tips And Advice