Sunday, March 21, 2010


Rental Coupons?

A friend of mine who still works in property management told me she is doing rental coupons for all of her lease renewals. This is turning out to be a paper work nightmare for her, but she has hundreds of apartments and is offer several different coupons. I think on a smaller scale this could be a good idea.
Basically she is sending out coupons for $100 off a months rent, no late fee, $250 off a months rent, etc. The coupons are only valid if the tenant renews their lease within a certain time frame. The coupons can be used only once and during a certain time span as well.
Personally I like the idea of one coupon per tenant so there is less to keep track of. One thing to be think about is can you afford it if all of your tenants were to use their coupon at the same time? I am fortunate that my tenants have been paying on time recently, but if you have a chronic late payer you could offer them two late payments without a penalty. Just make sure that they tell you in advance when they are going to be late, in order to use the offer, and still set a deadline for the late payment like the 15th of the month.
I think this is the year when landlords are going to have to be creative and flexible when it comes to tenant relations and retention.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Commercial Real Estate

Many rental buildings would not be considered commercial real estate. If it is 2-4 unit and you live in one then the building would actually qualify for residential loan status and if you don't live there is would still be considered residential investment property. If you own a building with 5 or more units or the building has a storefront then it is considered commercial and you would need commercial financing.
Commercial values have dropped on average 43% since their peak in 2007 and will continue to fall for at least a while longer (according to Moody's Investor Service). Moody's also predicts that multi-family building will hit bottom in late 2010 or early 2011. There are also predictions that rental rates will continue to stall until 2011 because of unemployment. When employment numbers start to improve so will rental rates. Watch the employments numbers and then you will know when you can start increasing rents again.

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