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buildium: Protecting Your Property Management Company Brand Name - 04/03/13 09:25 AM
By Linda Day Harrison, theBrokerList, Chicago, IL Whether you like it or not, online marketing is here to stay. Don't think that tomorrow you'll wake up and not have to deal with it or worry about it, like a fad. No such luck. Burying your head in the sand and hoping that it'll go away is not likely to help either. So what is a person to do who doesn't want to do anything, but deep down they know there are some minimum things they should be doing for the “greater good” of their company and future generations of that company? (1 comments)
buildium: The Janitor Did It - 03/28/13 04:35 AM
By Colin McCarthy, J.D., Robinson & Wood, San Jose, CA "The childish propensity to intermeddle was the characteristic which the [property possessor] should have taken reasonable precautions to guard against."* Sometimes the courts come up with lyrical gems that get right to the heart of the matter. Through pages and pages of drivel, more often than not there is one pithy sentence which sums up the whole case and rule. I often wonder why the esteemed appellate justices do not just give us the facts of the case and the one pithy sentence. The books would be a lot smaller and (1 comments)
buildium: How to Clean a Hoarder's House - 03/27/13 04:35 AM
A guest post by Sara Thompson, Gresham Sanitary Service, Gresham, Oregon You have probably seen these homes on TV, or maybe you’ve seen them in person. People known as “hoarders” compulsively accumulate any and all kinds of things in their homes until it is packed to the ceilings with their every possession. Hoarders usually have an inability to let go of unnecessary items and clean their environment. In some cases, hoarders' homes become dilapidated and dangerous. If you are managing such a property, this can present a serious problem, but with careful planning and consideration, your house can be habitable once (1 comments)
buildium: Serve But Be Insured - 03/21/13 08:44 AM
By Colin McCarthy, J.D., Robinson & Wood, San Jose, CA One of my practice areas is insurance coverage work. I represent people and help businesses work out issues with insurance companies regarding whether a particular lawsuit, loss, or claim is covered by insurance. For many people and businesses, insurance is a must and coverage is a matter of everyday life and business practice. Drive a car, get insurance. Own a home, get homeowners insurance. Run a business, purchase a CGL policy. Get business interruption coverage. A gray area is when we are not quite acting as a person or a business. (0 comments)
buildium: Why It's Okay to Outsource Your Property Management - 03/20/13 07:42 AM
A guest post by Brooke McDonald, Apple Valley Property Management, Minnesota As we all know, outsourcing is a risk that can turn out to either be the best decision you ever made or the worst thought to ever cross your mind. When it comes to property management, you have to decide: Am I willing to put the care of my rental property into the hands of a stranger? Will the investment be worth it? The stereotyped and semi-popular sitcom Outsourced didn’t last long on NBC, but it aired long enough to remind Americans of a poignant truth: Any kind of outsourcing (0 comments)
buildium: With Immunity Comes Responsibility - 03/14/13 06:57 AM
By Colin McCarthy, J.D., Robinson & Wood, San Jose, CA That's not the quote, is it? No that's right, it's not. The quote is "With great power comes great responsibility." Notwithstanding, we discussed the immunity provisions granted by the California Civil Code with respect to a volunteer director's conduct that might be considered a "tort." So what the legislature gives, it also gives duties. That's not the quote either. It's something about what the legislature gives it also takes away. My right hand does not know what the left is doing, either, by the way. But I digress. Are you still (1 comments)
buildium: When Property Management Goes Bad - 03/13/13 11:12 AM
By Steve Boudreault, Buildium, Boston, MA In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy are found guilty of assassinating the Chancellor of the Klingon High Council and are sent to the penal colony known as Rura Penthe. Upon arrival, the administrator of the facility informs the arriving prisoners, "Work well, and you will be treated well. Work badly, and you will die." This sentiment, paraphrased and without the threat of death, is a guiding principle of property management. If tenants behave themselves and follow the rules, the property manager can make their tenancy a pleasant one. If (2 comments)
buildium: Insurance and Immunity for HOA - 03/07/13 11:23 AM
By Colin McCarthy, J.D., Robinson & Wood, San Jose, CA I like insurance law. Not many people do, but I do. But then again, I like heavy metal and not many people like that either. (Their loss. And my hearing loss. I digress). I like insurance law because it feels good to help policyholders obtain insurance coverage, and I am also rewarded when the insurance contract is upheld to enforce the mutual agreement of the parties -- insurance coverage is denied because there was no agreement to cover a particular loss. I work with both policyholders and insurance companies and I (1 comments)
buildium: Simple SEO for Property Management Sites - 03/06/13 09:32 AM
A guest post by Joe Dawson, PrintingPeach.ca, Toronto, Ontario, Canada If you run your own property management company's website, you have likely heard of search engine optimization (SEO). One popular scheme that low-rent SEO companies use is to add blog comments or send unsolicited emails to website owners claiming that they can get your site hundreds or thousands more visitors every day by optimizing your page for search engines. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true ... So what is SEO and why does it matter to you? SEO determines how search engines categorize you in terms of what (0 comments)
buildium: United We Stand, Separate Interests We Sue? - 02/28/13 07:32 AM
By Colin McCarthy, J.D., Robinson & Wood, San Jose, CA Continuing my theme of misquoted quotes and special rules for HOAs, let's talk about the individual unit owners. The HOA can be sued for issues in the common areas that lead to injuries or damage. What about the person who owns the unit near the common area? Doesn't he also -- as a tenant in common of the condominium project -- own an interest in that common area? Can he be sued as well? Ordinary principals of duty would suggest he could be. Take the prior case example about the unit (3 comments)
buildium: Don't Quote Cookie-Cutter Services! Part II - 02/20/13 09:52 AM
By Linda Day Harrison, theBrokerList, Chicago, IL I came to the conclusion very early in discussions with potential new property management clients that an initial drive-by, preliminary meeting with the owner, if possible, and compiling facts about the property on my own internal “Real Property Inventory Profile” was the best approach for me to take in determining the information necessary. Keep in mind, this approach is only necessary with local owners who were typically comprised of a partnership of local individuals or related persons who pool funds to invest in real estate. If the potential prospect is an institutional-grade client, the (1 comments)
buildium: Condominiums, Covenants, and Restrictions - 02/14/13 10:12 AM
By Colin McCarthy, J.D., Robinson & Wood, San Jose, CA Everyone has their own story or has heard the stories. Those living in condominium complexes cannot so much as hang a Christmas decoration outside their unit without the blessing of the HOA or the CCRs. Everything outside the four interior walls is the condo owner's and everything outside is a "common area." The ins and outs of who can do what and who is responsible for what is subject to precise analysis of the CCRs and HOA established rules and regulations for each particular complex. But the general gist is that the (0 comments)
buildium: Don’t Quote Cookie-Cutter Services! Part I - 02/13/13 08:23 AM
By Linda Day Harrison, theBrokerList, Chicago, IL When I was on the front line, running a full-service real estate firm, I would be the point person on all new business calls. The first question from a potential client would almost always be "How much will you charge to manage my property?" Or "What percent will you charge to manage my property?" It was a frustrating position to be in, but one that was easily answered: "There's no fixed quote to manage your property." Of course, the argument would be that they called several other management companies and were quoted X or (0 comments)
buildium: Danger in the Basement? Rent It Out - 02/07/13 08:26 AM
By Colin McCarthy, J.D., Robinson & Wood, San Jose, CA So in American Horror Story, after some certain traumatic events occur and the building's history is uncovered, the protagonists STILL don't move out of the house. The writers are nuanced enough to know that the audience will ask the question "Why do they not move out now?" So they actually attack this head on. Money problems prevent both an immediate move-out and obstruct a potential sale. So because I like to think I am still more nuanced than the newly nuanced writers, I counter with: "Why don't you just rent the place out?" (1 comments)
buildium: How to Select the Best Tenant for Your Rental Property - 02/06/13 08:12 AM
A guest post by Sara Thompson, Webfor, Vancouver, WA You bought your investment property to make money over time, and with the right tenant, it can. Selecting a tenant is the most important aspect of managing your investment property. An undesirable tenant can turn your owner experience into a nightmare if they damage the property, fail to pay rent on time or at all, or cost you when you have no choice but to evict them. The situation can get ugly fast. So, let’s discuss how you can be sure to rent your property to the best possible tenant. Eliminate the (0 comments)
buildium: Don't Look Under the Gazebo! - 01/31/13 08:46 AM
By Colin McCarthy, J.D., Robinson & Wood, San Jose, CA So let's talk American Horror Story and the liability of prior owners for dangerous conditions. Our favorite fun subjects, right? Before things got too silly, there's an episode where [spoiler alert] somebody dies and gets buried under the gazebo. This being a horror show, the victim is not content stay under the gazebo. Said victim gets out and causes all sorts of mayhem, including injuries and some pretty serious property damage. Would you stop throwing stuff around? If you, dear reader, saw a great investment opportunity in this property and bought (1 comments)
buildium: Do You Have a Super Bowl-Caliber Property Management Team? - 01/30/13 09:07 AM
By Steve Boudreault, Buildium, Boston, MA It all comes down to Sunday. The journey that started back in September for the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers ends at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Nawlins, with one team going home with the championship and the glory, and one team just going home. Ostensibly, the two teams in the Super Bowl are the two best teams in football. But how do you quantify "best"? One could make a case for the Atlanta Falcons, who were undefeated for the bulk of the season and shared the best record in the NFL with the (0 comments)
buildium: I'm Glad I Sold That Money Pit - 01/24/13 08:15 AM
By Colin McCarthy, J.D., Robinson & Wood, San Jose, CA So my wife and I recently started binge watching American Horror Story on Netflix. It stars that Dylan McDreamy from those '90s WB teen dramas, and the wife of the coach on Friday Night Lights, Connie Britton. She is great, as usual. He is able to muster tears at the drop of the hat, as usual. But like most horror films/series that involve strange happenings in a house, these two characters never get out of a house that they so obviously should have never bought in the first place. And then when, [spoiler alert] you know, they (1 comments)
buildium: The Hassles of Property Management in a Dyson Sphere - 01/23/13 09:47 AM
By Steve Boudreault, Buildium, Boston, MA As of this morning, the population of this little blue ball we call home was 7,061,514,434. And that doesn't even take into account the number of babies born in the time it took to write that first sentence. As anyone who takes public transportation in the morning can tell you, this planet is packed. Most of the preeminent scientists of our day -- including the renowned Stephen Hawking -- agree that the future of humanity doesn't rest here on Earth. It's the old adage of keeping all your eggs in one basket: there's too much (1 comments)
buildium: An Exciting 2013 Awaits - 01/17/13 08:52 AM
By Colin McCarthy, J.D., Robinson & Wood, San Jose, CA I saw and liked the latest James Bond flick. I say latest and not "new" because I realize it was released last year and by now everyone is discussing Django Unchained. I will be ready to discuss that film in six months, when I have time to see it. Skyfall was good, but something about it bugged me. In discussing it with my brother and reading some reviews after the fact, it occurred to me: it wasn't any fun. It was so serious! Who wants to see a drunk, depressed James (0 comments)
All things property management is a one stop destination for folks interested in learning more about managing real estate. Broken down into a variety of targeted columns, the information that you are looking for is easily accessible — from investing tips and best practices in The Intelligent Investor to the real-life dilemmas of property managers in Stories from the Front Lines. We’ve brought on contributing writers from across the country to share their respective expertise with you, whether you’re a landlord, a professional property manager, or an association board member. Your feedback, participation, and comments will help us deliver the information you need most. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in contributing.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.