charlottesville: A Word to NEWBIE Property Managers..... - 12/30/19 07:00 AM
In these days of "multi-tasking" and providing "service above and beyond", let's not forget that PROPERTY MANAGEMENT is a specialty that requires expertise and education above and beyond general brokerage sales training.
It it not just pulling a few sheets from the lease pad in the front desk or getting sign-on authorization from your real estate forms provider, writing a lease, even just filling in the blanks, should be done with direction...from your broker, attorney or client under supervision of your broker.
If your property owner from your unsold listing has moved out of state and wants you to "manage" his home until it … (4 comments)

charlottesville: Nobody Likes Being Called a LIAR! Part Deux - 01/15/15 06:42 PM
During January and February, I take the time "refine" my resident handbook that accompanies my leases, my written material * cleaning instructions * as well as my move-in procedure.
My PRIOR move-in procedure including new front door mat (old one to the deck, back entry or garage), water bottles in the refrigerator, new toilet paper rolls on holders, air scent canisters on refrigerator and in the master bedroom closet and NEW clear shower curtain liners and rings on shower rods...these I usually put up while prepping the property for showing as I have a supply in my car and want the fold-lines to … (11 comments)

charlottesville: It's WAAAAY Too Early in the Rental Season to Get THIS Frustrated! - 01/12/15 05:27 AM
I already have a vew rental homes posted on my web site for occupancy this summer where I know that the residents will be leaving....and ALREADY rental prospects are getting frustrated with the VERY SLIM choices they have.
While I will certainly have more rental homes available after I send out my February rental increases, that will place my increase in inventory directly in line with the new "matches" to the UVa Medical School who need to secure their rental housing for move-in the last week of June.
So when rental prospects who really want a house are not … (2 comments)

charlottesville: NOBODY Likes Being Called a LIAR! Especially Us MAVENS - 01/07/15 04:50 AM
Nobody likes being called a when tenants of mine * who I served a 5-Day Pay Rent in Full or Quit notice yesterday * e-mailed me....
Hello Wallace,   I am quite sure that the latest date postmarked for the rent that has been sent to you has been the 5th of the month.  I always have the post office postmark it in my presence just to avoid any misunderstandings.  If you can demonstrate that I'm in error, we'll pay the $300 penalty without another word.     Respectfully yours, because my MAVEN wisdom … (30 comments)

charlottesville: Mr. Property Owner...NO....This is NO LONGER Your Property! - 01/05/15 12:03 AM
When property owners become rental property owners, they often forget that the property is NO LONGER THEIRS'.
YES....they can pay the mortgage, insurance, property taxes, maintenance and repair costs....and
YES....they can receive beneficial tax deductions against their income....and
YES....they may get some appreciation if they sell it in the future....and
YES....they may get some equity by having their mortgage payments subsidized by rental income; however,
THEY CAN NOT make appointments any time they want and expect their residents to stay home to 1) show their homes to real estate agents to get THREE CMAs; nor do … (23 comments)

charlottesville: Sorry....THAT Does Not Happen in MY WORLD! - 01/03/15 09:27 PM
Finding out when rental prospects are moving is one of the first questions I ask in my PRE-screening routine.
Prospects coming from a "migration site" like Zillow, Move/Realtor, Trulia (sorry ActiveRain) do not see when a rental property is available so they often go through the FRUSTRATING process of filing out an inquiry form thinking that someone will call them.

NOT IN MY WORLD!  I don't know where they are,  what time zone and if I call them and they don't answer we are in phone tag and they can then call me back AT ANY TIME with the … (3 comments)

charlottesville: 'Tis the $eason to Return Tenants' $ecurity Deposits..Do it like a PRO - 08/22/14 11:47 PM
‘Tis the season to return security deposits and while many DIY landlords cringe at the thought of their departing residents not agreeing with their depo$it return, professional property managers have “tips” for doing it RIGHT.
NUMBER 1:  Whether your business is an LLC or a corporation, name your attorney as the “registered agent” with your state corporation department. When looking for the proper person to serve court documents on, state web sites are the first stop.  If the registered agent is an attorney it tells the plaintiff/tenant 2 things...1) since the registered agent is an attorney, their suit probably won’t go … (22 comments)

charlottesville: Want a Home With NO PRIOR PET in Residence? GO BUY NEW CONSTRUCTION - 07/22/14 10:19 PM
Life continues to be a challenge for many passive-aggressive rental prospects new to the area's rental market.
A rental prospect contacted me this AM with questions that were easily answered on the property listings on my web site AND wanted my assurances that there had been no CATS at the properties. EVER? I wondered.

Unless she is going to find a new INVESTOR OWNED property that has never been lived in/had pets in and is willing live with the "out gassing" of the new carpet, I could never advise anyone that there had been NO CAT … (11 comments)

charlottesville: YES! Schools are IMPORTANT.....Even When Selecting a Rental Home - 07/21/14 08:50 PM
YES! Schools are IMPORTANT!
Although they rarely mention SCHOOLS in the "reality" real estate shows, the REALITY is that they are really important.
In our area, a new townhouse project started about 5 years ago was going to feed elementary and middle school children to a highly ranked county school compound because another, larger rental housing complex was going to be built that would feed into a NEWER elementary school in a more sparcely populated area of the county.

When the second project did not materialize, the NEW residents to the first complex found that children had to go … (8 comments)

charlottesville: I KNOW Because I am SMARTER than Zillow! - 07/21/14 05:44 AM
Rental prospects who have become familar with Zillow are now advising me that the rental rates on my homes for lease are TOO HIGH (NEVER that they are too low).
Although they should know that these Zestimates are rarely indicative of the actual RENTAL value of the property, they want to use it as an argument for me lowering the rent.

Unfortunately, Zillow does not have one thing that I have - I KNOW what the property is worth on the rental market * this time of the rental season to the # of rental prospects in the prospect … (11 comments)

charlottesville: Want to do Rental Leasing....UN-learn What You Know about Writing Ads! - 07/04/14 12:03 AM
I have local property management friends who are taking on UNsold listing for property management as the homeowners leave the area.
They think nothing of taking the MLS property description and using it in their web advertising for the property FOR RENT.
In my experience, I have never had a rental prospect ask if the home had trey ceilings, chair railings, 9' ceilings OR crown molding...yet, I keep seeing this irrelevant information in rental property ads on Craigslist and other rental web sites.

Rental prospects DO WANT TO KNOW if the property has a GARAGE, a FENCED YARD … (13 comments)

charlottesville: SmartPhone Property Manager (Landlord)#6...YES! I have a Bluetooth! - 06/28/14 10:09 PM
At  last, both of my cars have that I have my latest "dog car", both of my cars have bluetooth so that each car can now be "paired" with my cel phone....YEAH!

In addition to being HANDS-FREE, the phone system in my cars (both Lexus) actually extends the range of my cel phone coverage.  Where I used to have dropped cel phone calls, the calls now continue to be connected and clear.
NO MORE MESSY EAR BUDS to have to charge and that get lost!  DOUBLE YEAH!
NOW that I have this technology whipped...I am on to … (10 comments)

charlottesville: Landlords....Be CAREFUL What Car You Drive to Your Rental Properties - 06/26/14 09:23 PM
This article from the Contra Costa Times (SF Bay Area of CA) shows the CONTINUAL perception that Landlords are RICH.
CA Landlord Drives Mercedes to Collect Rent$
The second paragraph points out that the Marin County (very RICH) retired architect drives to his Port Richmond (very POOR) rental properties in a Mercedes.....can I get a little Janis Joplin here! while the 74 year old retired Marin architect can certainly drive whatever car he wants for FUN....maybe he should have a 10 year old “beater” truck with good tires and locking doors to go collect his rent in … (25 comments)

charlottesville: Adventures in HVAC Condensate Lines....I Knew THIS Would Happen - 06/25/14 09:37 PM
I’m on my SECOND adventure in AC condensate lines this summer.
Tenant wants RECONSIDERATION of $ervice Call
My first episode happened when my tenant’s DOG food ended up in the townhouse condensate line because of a MOUSE.
My current episode is the HOA notifying my property owner that his condo’s condensate line is leaking into the garage of the unit below.
No problemo....I wanted to initiate using my HVAC vendor to service this unit so I will take them a key and the tenant’s contact information this AM.
I had offered 2X since February to have … (4 comments)

charlottesville: Sorry Mr. Tenant...Using That Carpet Cleaning Coupon is Going to CO$T! - 06/24/14 09:11 AM
Each year at move-out time, some of my departing residents demonstrate why I need to refine my check-out cleaning instructions annually.
Although I provide the names of my PREFERRED service providers for house cleaning, carpet cleaning and yard work, every year some residents what to color outside the box and try to save $ by using a coupon that comes in the BLUE envelope.

I inspected a home on Saturday and when I entered, I realized that the AC was turned off and I then realized that the carpet had not been cleaned, or if it had been, it was … (7 comments)

charlottesville: I'll Consider a Rent Reduction....What is your Credit Score? - 06/23/14 03:16 AM
With the local rental market for single family homes getting VERY tight....rental prospects are having to look outside of their housing budget for suitable housing.

We have lots of new apartments and townhouses for rent in our area; however, few single family homes are available because...1) many that would be in the rental pool are now for sale; and 2) people with GREAT CREDIT are more desirable rental prospects than those who have to rent UP to get what they need for their family.
Frequently, even before they view the property, rental prospects want to know if the rent … (6 comments)

charlottesville: Here...Let Me Do That For You! - 06/18/14 11:50 PM

I have several new properties where the owners are relocating elsewhere and moving out of their home which I will be managing.  This will be a very hectic time for them so taking as much of a load off of them is a benefit for us all.
In my initial property presentation, my frequent comment is that “I Can Do That For You!”   I can:
1) have repairs and painting done so that the property shows BEST in photos and rental prospect viewings;
2) have the property cleaned PROFESSIONALLY after move-out so that the first renters … (3 comments)

charlottesville: Not ALL Tenants are JERKS! Some can Admit their Mistake and Apologize - 06/17/14 07:18 AM
I have been called many things - impatient, arrogant, condescending... but I am always able to admit when I am wrong. Please accept my heartfelt apology for my assumption that our cooling issue was some sort of intentional oversight or what have you. I was tired, sore, and hot and if I am honest, really cranky. Not that it makes my behavior excusable, it had just been a long couple of days. 
The house is blissfully cool and I just set up a regular maintenance appointment with AirFlow. I appreciate all that you do and in the future will … (9 comments)

charlottesville: SmartPhone Property Manager (Landlord) #5 - TEXT when you VACANT! - 06/16/14 10:46 PM
I am in HEAVY move-out mode with approximately 15 residents moving between NOW and the end of July.
I have changed my move-out procedure as I experienced residents wanting to get “checked-out” at odd times over the last couple of years.
ENTER my paraphrase The Eagles in Hotel California....You can check-out any time you like....just text me!  Yes, I am now requiring that residents leave their keys, garage opener(s) and forwarding address on a size #10 envelope ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER and that they TEXT me that they have left the property.

It eliminates (1) them having … (4 comments)

charlottesville: I WANTED to rent a HOUSE...How did I End Up in an APARTMENT? - 06/09/14 01:49 AM
This is happening more NOW that there are fewer rental single family homes in the area.
Rental prospects just don’t realize that they need to come to the area to view rental homes late Wednesday afternoon and PRE-schedule viewings Thursday, Friday and sign their lease on Saturday and return home on Sunday.

If they come during the weekend ONLY, they may only be able to view large apartment complexes with on-site staff to show them model units.
Even prospects that think that a real estate agent can get them into rental homes are finding they wasted a trip … (3 comments)

Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer  (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.)

Wallace S. Gibson, CPM


Charlottesville, VA

More about me…

Gibson Management Group, Ltd.

Office: (434) 825-1933

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