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7 Moving Tips for First-time Renters

7 Moving Tips for First-time Renters

If you’re moving into your first rental property soon, here are some tips you may find helpful:

  1. Moving day—It may seem like a silly point to make, but you do need to call the property manager ahead of time to verify the move-in date. There may be issues with former tenant evacuations, repairs, or other unforeseen events; so always call a week and then at least 1 day ahead of time to make sure everything is still on schedule for your arrival.
  2. Utilities – Some apartments and even single-family rentals may include certain utility payments. It’s your responsibility to know what those may be, and then to make sure service is up and going for those utilities not included on the day of your move-in. Contact the property manager about this if written instructions are not provided in the lease or on the property’s website. There are almost always guidelines for the take-over process on new accounts.
  3. Renters Insurance—Regardless of your numerous other to-do items, securing renters insurance should be a top priority before you ever move a thing into the property. It’s possible to find very reasonable rates, and the coverage you’ll have for stolen or damaged material items cannot be beat. Hesitant? You better check with your soon-to-be landlord. He or she may make it a requirement; in which case, proof of coverage will be required upon move-in.
  4. Furniture—How many rooms do you need to furnish and what would you like to put in them? A bed, table, a couple of chairs, and TV are the basics and you can easily find these items on buy-sell-trade sites, Goodwill, or garage sales if money is a concern. You can also go the rental route, but understand that this often ends up costing much more in the long-run.
  5. Moving timeframe—The day before move-in (or sooner), call your soon-to-be landlord and go over everything once more to ensure you’ve got your checklist down where the property is concerned. This should include asking about move-in times as many properties may limit the hours of day move-ins are allowed to occur, for the convenience, security, and consideration of other tenants.
  6. Coordinate mail delivery—It’s not necessary these days to make a physical trip to the post office. You can simply go online and fill-out the change of address form. These can take several days, so make sure you handle this up-front and note your exact move-out/move-in dates.
  7. Schedule movers—Whether you’re taking the DIY route or hiring professional movers, this is a task you should coordinate with plenty of lead-time. Professional movers tend to book early, and your friends will likely be more willing to help if you give them some notice (and the promise of a bribe).

Still looking for the perfect first-rental? Class A Management has a number of properties throughout Texas and Kansas. Just visit www.classamanagement.com for a current list of properties, or call 817-295-5959.

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Why Your Marketing Needs a Floorplan

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but in 2D, prospective renters will be challenged to get the full depth of what the property or unit has to offer. And, while videos are highly recommended for their “touring” ability, it’s the good old fashioned floorplan that gives prospects full scope of what they’re looking for.

To get the most from your floorplans, they should:

  • Be realistic and to scale
  • Contain all rooms and features
  • Include square footage – demonstrating wall lengths, etc.
  • Be constructed for each and every option

The best news is that you don’t have to hunt down a designer with CAD skills. These days, floorplans, like everything else, have been taken online. Now, with a simple Google search, you can find a number of apps and services that either provide floorplans at reasonable costs, or allow you to create your own. Here are some of our top recommendations:

  1. Floorplanner – This is our personal favorite and the one we’ve used on a number of occasions. For a simple pricing structure, you can create your own full-color plans online, and then download for immediate use.
  2. Room Sketcher – With this option, you can create your own or use their service to create one for you. Pricing is a bit more than Floorplanner and uses credits instead of per-plan.
  3. Gliffy – This easy-to-use online platform has simplified and affordable pricing with the ability to tap into unlimited storage space and unlimited diagrams every month. Its primary limitation in comparison with aforementioned products/services is in its shape options, which are elementary and not custom to floorplans (kitchens, TV nooks, bookcases), but diagrams in general.

If the thought of creating one more marketing tool has you feeling woozy, leave the worry to us. Call Class A Management today at 817-295-5959, or send us an email to .

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7 Lease Violations You Can Unknowingly Commit

As a renter, how often have you taken the time to thoroughly read through a lease before you sign it? If you’re among the greater percentage, you probably skim the text for dollar signs to gain an understanding of potential gains and losses, but otherwise assume you understand the parameters it sets forth.

Yet, in so doing, you’re legally binding yourself to an agreement you may not fully understand. And, this is the situation many renters find themselves, especially when it comes to lease violations they didn’t even know existed. Following are 7 examples.

  1. You bought a new car or borrowed your friend’s car while yours is in the shop. Most leases require tenants to register all vehicles with the leasing office. Neglecting to do so is a violation and can result in a fine or towing. Yes, even when just borrowing.
  2. You support your favorite presidential candidate with a campaign sign in your window. While political slants aren’t against the rule, going against property uniformity may be. Look closely and you may find that your property has a rule against placing anything in or around the unit that keeps it from looking like others.
  3. You decide to grill steaks out on the patio. If using an electric grill, you’re probably okay; but open flames are a big no-no near building or overhangs and can result in fines or worse.
  4. You leave town for a couple of weeks for a much-needed vacation. Indignant that your property may have a rule against getting away? Consider it a way to protect yourself and your belongings. Landlords will most often want to know if you’ll be away for extended periods of time. They will be more alert to your unit, watching it while you’re way. You may have to sign an agreement that he/she can enter while you’re away in the event of an emergency.
  5. You let a friend spend the night…with her new kitten. If your property has a “no pets” policy, it covers even one-night stays. You could wind up facing a hefty fine even with the best of intentions.
  6. You let a friend spend the night…for the whole month while she’s searching for her own apartment. You must be the nicest person on Earth. Yet, your lease likely specifies how long a guest is considered such before they are considered a needs-to-be-paying tenant (which causes rent to spike).
  7. You find a great bundle and sign up for satellite TV. Attaching a dish to the owner’s property is usually not allowed, and it’s not the satellite company’s job to know it. Imagine having to pay to have the dish removed, then being stuck in a contract for satellite TV you can’t even watch. Check your lease.

Class A Management has a number of properties throughout Texas and the surrounding areas. Call 817-295-5959 for more information or send an email to .

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5 Things to do Before Signing a Lease

5 Things to do Before Signing a Lease

Think you know all there is to renting an apartment? It may be so, but the good folks over at Rent.com want to make sure you’re well prepared when going into any rental transaction. To that end, they’ve put together the following very colorful infographic detailing the 5 things to do before signing a lease.

5 Things to do before signing a lease

Ready to put your skills to the test? Class A Management manages properties throughout Texas and neighboring states. Visit our properties online by clicking here. To contact us, call 817-295-5959 or send us an email to .

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How Well Do You Know the Competition?

Do You Know the Competition

You better believe every tenant who visits your website, calls your phones, or walks across the threshold of your leasing office is doing the same thing with at least a handful of other properties. They are using social media, searching the Internet, watching video tours on YouTube, and talking to everyone they trust about referrals. They know the ins and outs of your competition. The question is: Do you?

To know your competition is to understand how your own property is positioned in the market and how prospects are bound to view your offering. So, to say it’s a paramount effort is an understatement.

Need some assistance? Following are 4 tips to help you “keep tabs”:

  • Keyword searching—At least on a weekly basis, it’s a good idea to do a keyword search for your company name, as well as general searches for “[neighborhood name] apartments” and “[city name] apartments.” This will tell you if other properties are coming up in searches for your property’s name, and how your property stacks up against the competition in general keyword searches.
  • Website trolling—One of the best things about the Internet is how easy it makes it to get your hands on the type of information that once was quite hard to come by. Now, by only using a few minutes out of your schedule a month, you can stay updated on the announcements, prices, amenities, and more of your competitors.
  • Google alerting—Did you know that you can set up an alert using Google Alerts that will notify you by email any time a keyword of your choosing is posted online? Simply enter your property’s name as well as the names of your biggest competitors, and you’ll stay updated on any of them receives a mention—good or bad.
  • Secret shopping—Even with the ease of research provided by the Internet, it’s sometimes necessary to get out and actually pound the pavement by having secret shoppers visit the competition to experience the actual sales pitch.

The most important thing to remember is that your property does not operate in a silo. It’s affected directly by what the competition does and does not do, and you need to fully understand those factors on a continuous basis in order to compete effectively.

Need some additional help? The professionals at Class A Management would appreciate the opportunity to help ensure you’re always “in the know” and your property is positioned accordingly. Contact us at 817-295-5959 or by email to .