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Maintain Curb Appeal with Natural Pest Control

Landscaping is expensive to replace, so if your property’s shrubs and grass are suffering from an unknown blight, it’s possible you’ve got underground pests. They could be rodents that dig tunnels—moles, voles, and gophers—or wire worms or cutworms that eat new plantings at the base. Learn how to identify these pests, eliminate them, and prevent future expensive landscape damage.

Identify the Culprit

Digging rodents are seldom seen, but can be identified by the types of holes they dig. Voles and gophers actively eat your plants’ root systems, while moles are searching for the juicy grubs that live beneath the soil. Their expansive tunnel systems create lots of root damage. Wireworms are thin, reddish-brown worms about 1-1/2 inches long, and they come to the soil surface in early spring to feed. Cutworms feed on the tender stems of new, non-woody plants, and will eat them to the ground.

Develop a Plan, and Attack

Natural methods of combating these pests can take some time to work, but are non-toxic and won’t damage soil health. Also, they provide more humane methods of eliminating infestations that don’t involve trapping or killing the pests. Use smelly sprays and baits or even castor oil granules to eliminate these sensitive ground-dwellers, or go for their food source by eliminating grubs. Natural methods of controlling digging pests can benefit your soil for years to come, so investigate those options before you go chemical, or you could start a cycle of chemical dependency for your property’s lawn.

Plant damage can be prevented with a good organic program that creates healthy soil, combined with a healthy knowledge of how to protect tender plants from damage. Prevent cutworm damage, for example, by wrapping the stems of new transplants with cardboard or foil. Apply beneficial nematodes, compost and natural sugars 2-3 times a year to maintain soil health. When you realize there’s a pest problem at your property, act quickly to minimize damage by eliminating the insect or rodent responsible—it’s the one time you want your property to be as inhospitable as possible so those pesky residents find somewhere else to live.

Pest Control Experts

Need some help getting pests under control? Our professionals know a thing or two about it, as well as other methods for increasing curb appeal. Contact us today to learn more about how working with Class A Management can improve your maintenance and tenant recruiting/retention strategy. Call us at 817-284-1411 or send an email to info@classamgmt.com

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Improve Word of Mouth Marketing in 3 Steps

Word of mouth marketing is bigger than ever with the worldwide exchange of information and ideas at our fingertips. Taken from the 3 Pillars of Word-of-Mouth Marketing, here are three steps a property manager can take to improve the buzz surrounding rental properties.

Step 1: Ask For Positive Online Reviews

Potential renters trust their peers and friends more than they trust you as the property marketer, so online reviews are bigger than ever when it comes to gaining (or losing) conversions. If your management team knows of great renters (influencers) who are willing to publish reviews on independent review sites, make it policy that they ask for the reviews. The reviews you’re getting online are also an indication of how satisfied your tenants really are, so monitor them and provide feedback to make it a conversation.

Step 2: Seek Out Feedback

If you’re going to know what people are saying, shouldn’t you ask them? Incentive-based surveys are a great way to find out where your marketing dollars would be well-spent, and for renters who might not go out and post online reviews, quick, anonymous surveys could be a way to get their feedback. Online survey software can let you know who has completed a survey without jeopardizing anonymity. Offer discounts on rent or other perks to encourage participation.

Also, when potential renters first come in the door, find out where they heard about your property, and what led them to come in. Use social media metrics together with actual rental conversions to determine what works for every property, and continue to tailor your approach over time.

Step 3: Build Trust For Sustainable WOM Marketing

Trust is the cornerstone of relationship marketing. Truly sustainable marketing campaigns depend on gaining the trust and loyalty of the consumer, so get to know your audience and help them get to know you. Build a brand for your property that is engaging and personable. What you want to build is not just a marketing buzz, but a community of real people whose satisfaction with what your brand offers will keep them talking you up to all their friends. That’s what word-of-mouth marketing is all about.

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Do Renters Hate to Rent from You?

Do Renters Hate to Rent from You?

How well are you liked by your tenants? Do you provide nice little sign-on perks like 10% off first-month’s rent? How about at Christmas time? Are you the landlord that puts a discount coupon for the local burger joint in with the December newsletter or community update?

Despite these goods attempts, tenants may still hate renting from you, especially if you don’t:

  • Provide a nice place to live. Tenants have the right to reasonable expectations when it comes to their rental property. According to NOLO, “Under most state and local laws, landlords must offer and maintain housing that satisfies basic habitability requirements, such as adequate weatherproofing, available heat, water, and electricity, and clean, sanitary, and structurally safe premises.”
  • Acknowledge needs in a timely manner. Since tenants have the right to the reasonable expectations outlined above, you, as the property owner or manager, are under obligation to keep things maintained. This typically means a 24-hour response time or less for emergencies and 2-3 days for everything else. Ignoring or ‘putting off’ a tenant’s request is one of the quickest ways to make it off the “liked” list.
  • Offer security. In the same vein as bullets #1 and #2, is the expectation of security and safety. NOLO says: “Landlords in most states have some degree of legal responsibility to protect their tenants from would-be assailants and thieves and from the criminal acts of fellow tenants. Landlords must also protect the neighborhood from their tenants’ illegal activities, such as drug dealing. These legal duties stem from building codes, ordinances, statutes, and, most frequently, court decisions.”
  • Respect all tenants. While it may seem unnecessary to even say it, tenants want to be treated with respect. They want open communication, they want to be acknowledged and they want to feel like more than just the means to your end. As such, they want to be spoken to nicely.

The Tenant Relations Experts

We love tenants and make every effort to help ensure those living in our properties do so because they love us back. See what a difference Class A Management can make. Contact us today at 817-284-1411 or send an email to info@classamgmt.com.

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7 Tips for Making Property Management Transitions

7 Tips for Making Property Management Transitions

Whether you’ve ever made the decision to transition away from one property management company to another, you can be sure that it’s something done regularly. The relationship between owner and manager can be a contentious one; resulting in turnover as needs and provisions change and conflict. All the more reason to have a thorough vetting process from the beginning.

However, if and when you find yourself faced with the need to make such a transition, it’s important to have an effective plan in place. Here are 7 tips to building one:

  1. Have a plan. You need a strategy. You need to know what you’re looking for, why you’re leaving the current company, and how the new company is going to get you there. You then need to write it down and get your staff on board with the change. This includes letting them in on the timeline and the selection process, as appropriate.
  2. Onboard the incoming team. Your timeline must include adequate time to onboard the incoming company. They need to be aware of your business and marketing plan, your brand strategy, and your communications plan. Essentially, you need time to get them up to speed on how to accurately manage and represent your brand.
  3. Inform outgoing team. This is the hard part. Yet, it’s only business, and they’re aware of the possibilities (especially so if there has been ripples in the water). Be upfront with all information and make sure to go about the process as outlined in the contract with that firm.
  4. Encourage collaboration. Introduce the incoming with outgoing team and foster a collaborative relationship so the two can transition all back- and front-end office processes and seamless as possible.
  5. Communicate with tenants, clearly and often. As soon as the details have been nailed down, begin communicating the change with tenants. Use multiple channels, be clear, and be consistent in delivery. Have a process to answer questions and address concerns and be ready for backlash. No one likes change and some tenants may fight it. Have a strategy to address this challenge and follow-through.
  6. Meet and greet. As soon as the new team is ready to begin, plan an event where they can meet the tenants. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Even drinks and cookies during a 2-hour window in the leasing office will suffice. An allotted time for face-to-face is important, however.
  7. Monitor performance. All that’s left is to stay on top of things with regular surveying of the new management, as well as tenants. Ask for regular reporting and analytics, and make sure to stay involved with back office operations so you’re alerted early of any potential issues.

Ready to make the transition to Class A Management? Our professionals will help ensure it’s smooth and easy on everyone involved. See what a difference it can be to work with our tram of trained and certified property managers. Call us at 817-284-1411, or send an email to info@classamgmt.com.

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Infographic: How to Choose the Best Property Management Team

How to Choose the Best Property Management Team
If hiring a property management company is on your list of action items, you need assurance that your needs are aligned with the PM company;s offerings. Gaining this assurance begins with asking the right questions during the vetting process.
The following infographic was created by the bright minds at First Residential to provide tips on choosing the right HOA management firm, but the questions are right-in for guiding your PM selection process as well.

How to Choose the Best Property Management Company to Fit Your Needs

From Visually.
See what a difference it can be to work with our tram of trained and certified property managers. Call us at 817-284-1411, or send an email to info@classamgmt.com.