Management & Maintenance

This department of Rental Housing Journal is your source for property management and maintenance information. Whether you're an independent landlord, portfolio manager, on-site community manager, leasing agent or apartment maintenance professional, the site is dedicated to bringing tips, best practices and information to help make your job easier and keep you up to date and educated.

property management apartment maintenance
Thu
15
Dec
The Editors's picture

2.4 – 5.4% Vacancy Rates

2.4 – 5.4% Vacancy Rates

2.4 – 5.4% Vacancy Rates

Has the Willamette Valley Rental Market Flattened Out?

The rental market in the Willamette Valley has been on one heck of a ride over the last few years. The Apartment Report recently came out and revealed vacancy rates as low as 2.4% in Gresham and as high as 5.4% in Northwest Portland, with Salem and Eugene coming in at 2.9% (historically, vacancy rates of 6-7% have been considered “normal”). 

In the Portland metro market specifically, we are seeing an average overall vacancy rate of 3.71% and rental rates of $1.47 per square foot per month. In the Salem market those figures are at 2.9% and $1.14; the Eugene market is at 2.94% and $1.16. However, these figures are very close to what they were at the beginning of 2016, so we are seeing signs that the rental market has officially started to level off. 

Thu
15
Dec
The Editors's picture

Dear Maintenance Men:  Water and Wax Removal

Dear Maintenance Men: 

Water and Wax Removal

By Jerry L’Ecuyer & Frank Alvarez

Dear Maintenance Men:

I have a bathroom sink that is slow draining. I have already snaked the drain and found no stoppage. When I remove the pop-up assembly and have an open drain, water whooshes down with no problem. However, with the pop-up in place, water backs up into the sink and drains very slowly.

Paul

Dear Paul:

Most bathroom sinks have an overflow hole near the top edge of the sink. This hole serves two purposes; 1: Acts as a safety drain to keep the sink from overflowing should the water rise above a certain level in the sink. 2: The overflow hole also serves as an air vent for the sink when the water levels are above the pop-up plug.  The overflow hole allows air to escape through the drain and the water to evacuate more efficiently.  

Tue
29
Nov
The Editors's picture

6 Key Insights To Millennial Apartment Renters

Millennial apartment renters want smart technology

Millennial apartment renters are willing to pay more for a “smart” apartment that is equipped with automated and remotely controlled devices, according to new research.

The nationwide-survey was conducted with Wakefield Research of 1,000 U.S. renters in multifamily dwellings and gives six key insights to Millennial renters:

Thu
17
Nov
The Editors's picture

Most Home Buyers Keep Their Options Open, Consider Renting Instead

Most Home Buyers Keep Their Options Open, Consider Renting Instead

Most Home Buyers Keep Their Options Open, Consider Renting Instead

In today's competitive housing market, most of those who moved recently considered both buying and renting while looking for a new place to live, according to the Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends.

It takes more than 10 weeks to find a new home to rent – and more than 12 weeks for those with low incomes or those searching in tight rental markets, according to an analysis of the Zillow Group Report and U.S. Census datai.  For home buyers, the search is longer – 17 weeks.

The Zillow Group Report, available for free in its entirety, surveyed more than 13,000 renters, homeowners, buyers and sellers about their home search, aspirations, and preferences.

Thu
17
Nov
The Editors's picture

Most Home Buyers Keep Their Options Open, Consider Renting Instead

Most Home Buyers Keep Their Options Open, Consider Renting Instead

Most Home Buyers Keep Their Options Open, Consider Renting Instead

In today's competitive housing market, most of those who moved recently considered both buying and renting while looking for a new place to live, according to the Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends.

It takes more than 10 weeks to find a new home to rent – and more than 12 weeks for those with low incomes or those searching in tight rental markets, according to an analysis of the Zillow Group Report and U.S. Census datai.  For home buyers, the search is longer – 17 weeks.

The Zillow Group Report, available for free in its entirety, surveyed more than 13,000 renters, homeowners, buyers and sellers about their home search, aspirations, and preferences.

Thu
17
Nov
The Editors's picture

Dear Maintenance Men - Plumbing, Pest Preventing Primer and Paint

Dear Maintenance Men - Plumbing, Pest Preventing Primer and Paint

Dear Maintenance Men

Plumbing, Pest Preventing Primer and Paint

Dear maintenance men,

I own a 16 unit apartment building built in the late 1960s.  The property is in good shape and we try to address maintenance issue as soon as they develop.  However, the drains lines are starting to get the best of us.  For the past three years I have been experiencing clog after clog and now my main line appears to be blocked once again.  Other than the obvious (the pipes are old) what can be contributing to my problem?

Charles

Dear Charles:

You are not alone. Plumbing issues and rooter service is the largest line item expense as compared to other trades at any apartment building regardless of age. With plumbing and drains, it is best to be proactive rather than reactive.  The difference in approach can save you thousands of dollars a year. In order to begin a proactive approach we will recommend the following:  

Thu
17
Nov
The Editors's picture

Top Tips for Real Estate Investing

Top Tips for Real Estate Investing

Top Tips for Real Estate Investing

Trends and Data Surrounding the U.S. Real Estate Market and What it Takes to Become a Successful Owner and Investor

By Michael Monteiro, CEO and Co-Founder, Buildium

Maybe it was passing by the For Sale sign in your favorite vacation town, flipping through the new listings in your Sunday paper or receiving a property passed down through the family—there are countless ways and reasons that real estate investors enter the market. But once that purchase goes through and all the papers are signed, what are you supposed to do next? I know from experience it can be daunting to figure out what your first step should be, how to get a rental ready for the market and how to then expand the business.

Thu
17
Nov
The Editors's picture

Four Questions to Consider When Deciding to Buy or Rent Tools

Four Questions to Consider When Deciding to Buy or Rent Tools

Four Questions to Consider When Deciding to Buy or Rent Tools

By Tony English, Senior Tool Rental Merchant, The Home Depot

Maintenance expenses are one of the largest controllable elements for a property manager’s operating budget, and you have to factor in both labor and equipment. One of the most important considerations for managing equipment costs is deciding whether to buy or rent necessary tools. 

In addition to the upfront vs. rental costs of the products, there are a lot of factors to consider when deciding to rent or buy. Equipment may be required on a seasonal or ongoing basis and used for small- or large-scale projects. Ask the following questions to help determine what’s best for you and your maintenance staff.

How frequently will we use it?

Tue
08
Nov
The Editors's picture

How Much Do Property Managers Charge And How?

property management fees charged as a percent of rent

Property managers across the country in a recent survey were asked, “How do you charge in property management fees? As a percentage of rent or as a flat fee?”

The survey was done earlier this year in June.

“This is the first time the question has ever been asked at NARPM, normally we do not address the fee question,” said Gail Phillips, executive director of the National Association of Residential Property Managers who participated in the survey with Buildium.com.

The majority charge as a percentage of rent. And in the survey 82 percent said they charge as a percent of rent each month. Another 13 percent charge a flat fee each month. Then, another seven percent do not charge at all. The no charge for property management could be  because they may be handling their own property and thus their own property management or they could be in a Home Owners Association (HOA).

Mon
31
Oct
John Triplett's picture

What Is The No.1 Challenge Faced By Property Managers?

property managers survey

6 Findings About Property Managers In New Study

Property managers face many challenges from growing their portfolio, to keeping their business profitable and many more.

This new survey from sheds some light on some specific problems and what property managers have to say.

And by the way, 95% of them love their jobs as property managers.

By John Triplett

Rental Housing Journal

A new survey of property managers shows six major findings in the research from 1,500 property managers around the country.

The survey was done from June 6, 2016 to July 7, 2016 by Buildium.com and the National Association of Property Managers, with property managers across the country responding to the survey called the State of the Property Management Industry.

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