3/19/2018 Found Objects
When you walk into a house, what’s the first thing you notice? Do you find yourself washed away in alluring aromas wafting from the kitchen? Are your eyes drawn to naturally filtered light, or do you find the uneven or peeling paint? Does a background melody draw you in? In the business of real estate, I’ve noticed an overwhelming personal trend in EVERY property I walk through. I don’t notice the things- I notice the “feel.” Every home has a story- and I’m always driven to discover what it is.
We have been on countless rehab projects over the span of our careers. I realize that, as investors and property managers, we must keep our eye on the bottom line. Experts say you should never get attached to properties- they’re simply investments. But if I’m being honest, I won’t take on properties that I don’t feel good about. For me, this always amounts to more than just numbers. Sure, numbers don’t lie, but neither does my gut reaction to the four walls that surround me!
As I walk through a property, I try to envision who walked through the door a generation before me. Was there a set of paws or claws that clip-clopped along the tile entry floor to greet visitors? Head toward the kitchen and I imagine what mealtime might have looked like. Did they roll out Valentine’s sugar cookies and decorate them on this countertop? Which bedroom was home to the teenager, full of angst and dirty sock smell?
Every now and again, your imagination gets a tangible clue to help guide your plot line. We’ve been gifted some pretty amazing tokens from earlier residents. Perhaps these items are forgotten, lost, or perhaps cast off, but equally amazing in the stories they might tell!
Take, for example, my most unique find: a kids’ .22 caliber rifle with a Christmas tree carved in the side. My husband found this gift completely dismantled and hidden behind the trusses of our personal residence during a remodel. On one hand- what a find! On another- why was this hidden away? What secrets did it hold? Perhaps these mementos act more as twists in the plot lines. Regardless, like a good book, I find them impossible to get enough of and keep digging for more.
Who’s fingers held this “Walking Liberty” coin before being dropped under the cement patio? What child pulled this helicopter toy behind them across the now gorgeous again hardwood floors we found it hidden under?
What is the greatest thing you’ve discovered in your remodels? What story does it tell you? Have you ever had resolution to your curiosities? I’d love to take a break from the day to day property managing to hear your experiences. Connect with me today!
Mom-and-Pop: YES, it matters!
1/16/2018 Family Owned and Operated- what’s the big deal??
Make no mistake, Cohesion Properties is a family owned and run business. We use the term “mom-n-pop” frequently and with pride. It isn’t unusual for at least one of our three boys to be in tow when we conduct our property drive-bys, or to “help” us source the supplies we need at a hardware store. But isn’t this a distraction? Does the company we sometimes keep with the boys put a ding in our professionalism? Resoundingly, NO.
Family Businesses pose a very unique opportunity that other organizations lack. We have the reasons for our work right in front of us. We have instant solidarity to the mission and vision because it means the success of our livelihood as well as bottom line. Why else should this matter to you, our property owners? Here are a handful of benefits you might not have considered in your search for a property manager!
We’re incredibly efficient: If we discuss an idea over the dinner table one night, we’re able to start implementing ideas the next morning. We don’t need to wait for a staff meeting next week, or schedule an appointment with the boss once they return from a conference. This means ACTION.
We have Integrity: In a family run business we simply MUST talk openly and honestly about policies or procedures. We model values and principles in every interaction and treat people with respect.
We lack drama: “Save the drama for your momma?” Nope! There is no room for undercutting or typical office politics in a mom-and-pop shop. The focus is always on the task at hand without exceptions.
Curious to read more? Check out additional reasons family businesses like ours should be your priority!
One week left before your time is up- have you been naughty or nice this year? Unfortunately, too many people fall victim to other people’s not-so-nice choices around this holiday season. Don’t be one of them! Here are some ways to avoid becoming a target of thieves!
Check your exterior lights! Do the light bulbs need to be changed? Have you forgotten to leave them on? What better time of year than now, the darkest, to put up some extra strings of holiday lights!
Put interior lamps, radios on a timer! A simple thing to do to make it look like you’re home is setting a basic timer. Program these easy to find devices for random hours throughout the day and night.
Shovel your snowy walkways and drives! Was there a light dusting of snow while you were leaving town? Ask a neighbor or friend to come clear some areas and stomp around on your entryway. A clean, unmarked doorway is a HUGE red flag that no one is home!
Mind your packages and deliveries! A package left overnight is a telltale sign that someone could nab the contents- or worse- because you aren’t there to prevent theft! Ask someone to intercept these goodies for you!
Cancel the paper, hold your mail! If you find it difficult to find someone to help you manage your deliveries, you can always ask USPS to hold you mail for you until you safely return!
Secure ALL entries to your property! You may think your bedroom balcony access is high enough, or that your back patio is ultra private. Or perhaps you never lock the door leading from the garage to the house? Are you sure that you’ve latched and secured all windows? Now is the time. A thief will be more creative than we think in finding ways to access your home.
Best Wishes for a wonderful holiday season to ALL of our owners, tenants, vendors, and investors alike!
The rental market continues to be really aggressive. In both Ada and Canyon Counties, we’re seeing the trend of rising costs and plummeting vacancies. Great for investors, but a bummer for tenants. It’s rough out there, folks! Here are the numbers- take a peek for yourself. Survey credits: NARPM, SW Idaho Chapter.
Scroll down for old newsletter links~
May (green thumb tips)
April (gardening incentive program and renters’ insurance info)
March (theme: spring into action!)
February (theme: household hacks and clever tricks)