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You Don’t Have to Be a Millionaire to Rent to Tenants

There’s a stereotype that you have to have a lot of money to be able to afford to rent to tenants – you have to be able to pay for anything that breaks at a moment’s notice and you have to be able to pay for any damages your tenants don’t fix. But here’s a little tip: You don’t have to be a millionaire. Here’s how:

Start small: You don’t need to buy a four-bedroom house to rent out. Look for condos or studio apartments if you don’t have the capital to get large houses. In cities anyway, condos and studios are more sought-after anyway! If you can live close to your rental as well, this is an added plus – that way you can spend less money on gas to get to and from the place when issues arise.

Ask more experienced landlords for their resources: They probably have years of advice just sitting in the back of their minds – try to tap into it! You can find these landlords by networking and joining apartment/housing/real estate associations around your area.

Buy to flip: This is a great solution for people wanting to get into the real estate game on the cheap – but only if they’re willing to stick it out and put in some hard work. Renovations can be costly as well, but if you can do most of the work yourself, you can cut back on a large amount of the cost.

Ask around for investments: You’d be surprised by how many people will invest in you if you are driven, responsible, and, most importantly, persistent. Once you start making a profit from your rental(s), you can pay your investors back or promise them a portion of your business.

Don’t be scared off when you hear stories about people spending $56 million dollars to buy places to rent. You do not have to be a millionaire to be a landlord – you just have to be smart, and willing to roll up your sleeves. Many people even turn their starter home into their first rental when they move into a bigger house. CAB Group has paired with many landlords that are just getting started to offer advice and property management when they’re not sure how to handle it. To see what all we can offer to you, check out our services (or give us a call)!

Importance of Having a Website for Your Properties

 

You want your rental to be rented, right? As much as you market your property as being the best rental in town, not very many people will believe you without a website. Websites can even offer your current renters the ability to pay online and submit maintenance requests if it has the capabilities, further honing your time management on what really needs to be done on your properties.

Show your professionalism: Having a website could be the deciding factor for a potential tenant. Websites show that you are up-to-date on modern trends, which translates to responsibility and professionalism within a landlord.

Ability to show pictures: What better way to really spotlight your property? Utilize your website to show off each feature of the rental via photos, slideshows, and videos.

Weed out the less dedicated: The people that are really looking for a rental will be able to go through your website and understand the immediate impression you are trying to make for your property. From there, you will get most of the more dedicated potential tenants, as people who aren’t really looking to rent won’t get past the first or second page of your site.

Keep a platform for reviews: Your site is a great place to highlight your best testimonials and reviews because potential tenants will find this incredibly helpful in finding out other’s past experiences at your property.

Property management companies have large websites built to handle a large audience. If you aren’t sure that you can tackle the hardship of maintaining a website on your own, talk to CAB Group about the management and upkeep of property listings on our own site – so you have more time to improve your properties!

Coping with the Stress of Moving

Summer is the most common time to move, which means you’re packing and lifting boxes during some of the hottest months of the year. Not only is moving stressful but combined with the heat it can be extremely hard on you. Be sure to pay attention to how your body (and mind) is feeling at this time, and know when you need to stop for a while:

 

  • Take breaks! Moving is no easy job, so it’s perfectly okay to take a break every now and again.
  • Color code your boxes for each room. This way you can keep everything in the right place so you’re not searching for things as soon as you get to your new home.
  • Unpack as soon as you can. It’s easy to feel defeated and unmotivated when your home doesn’t even feel like a home – so decorate and unpack quickly!
  • Get to know your neighbors. You never know – maybe they’ll be your new best friends!
  • Drive around the neighborhood. Get to know where everyone goes to hang out, where the best place to eat is, and where you can go to get away from people.
  • Be excited! This is a new, interesting place to explore – so get in a positive mindset before you even leave your old home!

 

We’d like to remind you to stay hydrated and eat healthy foods while moving, as you’re going to be spending a lot of extra energy during this time. Moving can be a very trying experience, but look on the bright side – you could be in your forever home! CAB Group loves to offer tips and tricks on moving around the New Jersey/New York area – so don’t hesitate to ask for help!

How to Handle Negative Tenant Reviews

With more people than ever before on the internet, keeping your reputation well-kept online has become increasingly important. When potential tenants don’t know of anyone living on your property, they turn to reviews for opinions. Whether it’s a very good or very bad review, the way you handle it will convey to other renters your respectability, responsibility, and charm.

 

  1. Do NOT argue with the reviewer. More common than not, a reviewer who has been slighted will make things seem worse than it actually was to get their point across. Never resort to “name-calling” or any form of banter, as this makes your company seem extremely disrespectful and unable to handle tenant issues.
  2. Ensure that the review was created by someone who actually lived at your property. Many times, people will create fake accounts just to make bad reviews for companies. If you notice that a reviewer has created hundreds of bad reviews, (or just seems spammy) report them to whatever search engine or website it is on.
  3. If you decide to reply to the review, (which we do recommend) calmly reply that you are sorry for their experience but recall your end of the facts. (This way, potential tenants can see what the actual issue was, and not blame your property.) If you can right a wrong, your tenant will be even more loyal – plus, you can ask them to either update their review or take it down.

 

In a perfect world, landlords would know exactly what tenants needed and would be able to fix issues immediately. Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in. It’s important to realize that you can’t please everyone – but you can try your best. With the ones you can’t please, be sure to explain why you couldn’t make them happy and offer something to make up for it. Keeping those good relationships with your tenants will help to prevent bad reviews (plus, you can encourage your good tenants to leave positive reviews for you!).

A property management company does more than just managing the property – they also manage your online reputation. CAB Group not only works to resolve property issues as soon as possible, we also make it a point to check on all review platforms online. Your reputation is what precedes you – so let us take care of it!

Month-to-Month Leases or Long-Term Leases

A lot of features and options are what influences the decision of your tenants to pick your rental. What do you offer that other rentals in the area don’t offer? How can you stand out and get the best quality tenants? One way to do this is to offer flexible lease terms. However, you need to consider the pros and cons of each kind:

Month-to-month lease:

Pros:

  • Can easily get rid of a difficult tenant at the month mark
  • You can “try out” different types of tenants to see who you want to live there
  • You can change the rent amount to compensate for the turnover rate

Cons:

  • Might not get the most stable of tenants
  • You must constantly be looking to fill a vacancy in case your tenant leaves
  • It may be hard to find tenants willing to deal with a month-to-month lease

12-month lease:

Pros:

  • There is a stableness to your tenants – you don’t have to worry about vacancies quite as often
  • Less time cleaning up after tenants move out
  • Build a relationship with your tenants

Cons:

  • You can’t get rid of your difficult tenant for a much longer time
  • Can’t fluctuate rent once your tenant has signed the lease
  • Higher chance of damage happening to the property by the tenant

You might also consider a combination of these leases as well. For example, if you have a tenant that would like to move out two months after her 12-month lease is up, but has nowhere to stay in between that time, you can offer a slightly higher rate for her to live in your rental until then. Working with your tenant’s schedules and being understanding to their situations will follow your business for a long time. A good reputation will lend to more/better quality renters.

With years of experience dealing with rentals across the New Jersey and New York area, CAB Group can offer you advice on what type of lease would be the best for your rental. Just give us a call!

Best New York & New Jersey Vacation Rental Areas

What kind of company would we be if we didn’t highlight our birthplace every once in a while? While we are completely biased, we think the New Jersey & New York area are the best in the U.S. Since there are so many people that come to visit for vacation every year, we must not be the only ones that think that either! Investing in vacation rentals around these areas is a great investment – and if you do it right, you can quickly turn a profit. Here’s where we think the best potential is for investing:

New York City

This one should be pretty obvious. While competition is definitely high to get property around this city, it will be utilized by tourists and people on vacation almost constantly. If you aren’t able to keep up with a high turnover rate of renters, consider hiring a property management company that can (like us!).

Long Island

With picturesque beaches and historical sites scattered throughout the area, this is a big tourist attraction. Vacationers looking to relax and stay away from the city will scour Long Island for available rentals!

Atlantic City

Being one of the most entertaining cities in New Jersey means it earns a spot on our list of best vacation rental areas to invest in. There are tons of activities and areas to explore in this city, making it very attractive to vacationers.

Ocean City

As a big family beach-side attraction, Ocean City should definitely be on your list of places to check out in terms of investing. To take advantage of this area, search for some larger condos or apartments to rent out to vacationers because of its appeal to families.

Investing in vacation rentals is a great way to earn a profit relatively quickly – especially when you barely have to do anything to get it! CAB Group offers property management services to investors that don’t have the time or resources to keep up with their investments. With years of experience managing and maintaining rental properties across the New York and New Jersey area, we know how to appeal to vacationers to keep your rental filled.

Best Vacation Rental Investments in the U.S.

Making the decision to invest in vacation rentals can seem like a scary thing – there’s a lot of risk in it, but a potential for a lot of profit. For some investors, getting into the vacation rental game comes natural to them. For others, just thinking of jumping in to this category is stressful and confusing. Whatever type of investor you are, we’d like to give you just a few helpful hints on some of the best places you can invest in vacation rentals:

  • It’s no secret that Florida is a highly trafficked state. When you think of beaches, you think of the white sand and blue ocean on this coast. The crazy amounts of vacations taken in this state mean great potential for vacation rentals. Think of investing in rentals around cities like Miami, Destin, Orlando, Clearwater, or Tampa!
  • Known for nightlife and big cities, there are plenty of areas in this state that would be perfect for vacation rentals. Focus on the “touristy” areas to maximize profit potential and target audience reach. Think Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc. While these areas will have higher price tags, the long-term gains (as long as you do everything else right!) will make up for it.
  • Around national parks. We understand this is pretty broad, but many people love visiting national parks – but would rather not camp out within the park. Aim for rentals near the park but not directly in the middle of a city to maximize profits here.
  • New Jersey/New York area. You didn’t think we’d forget our hometown did you? With people coming from all over the country to visit New Jersey’s shore cities and New York’s bustling, lively areas, investing in rentals here should almost be a no-brainer! (Plus, we’re here, so it couldn’t get much better!)

We understand it can be hard to invest in a rental when you aren’t physically close to it. For example, an investor might find a great deal on a 2-bedroom condo in Miami, Florida, but they live in Sacramento, California. They end up passing on the opportunity because they have no clue how to maintain a property they can’t physically see. But guess what? This is where a property management company like CAB Group comes in handy! Leave all the cleaning, property maintenance, and tenant turnover up to us while you rake in the profits.

Summer Rental Maintenance Checklist

As a landlord, you want to keep your property in tip-top shape. However, we all know that some renters are less than ideal when it comes to taking care of it for you. Summer, especially, can be extremely hard on your property. While each property is different, there are some things most people want to be sure they do before the worst of the summer weather hits.

  • Check the air conditioning. Our air conditioners are basically our best friends in the summer. To make sure your tenants can combat the humid, muggy air through this season, have the air conditioner serviced early in the summer so you can take care of any issues it might have.
  • Have pest control come out. All kinds of creepy crawlies come out when it starts heating up, so get a preventative spray throughout the property. Keep a pest control company on retainer that you can trust so if any issues come up, you can have them quickly resolved.
  • Do a quick inspection of the property. Now is a great time to check up on your tenants and make sure they aren’t doing anything to damage your property. Make sure to ensure smoke detectors are working properly, that there are no cracks or holes in walls, and flooring is not damaged. To cut costs on air conditioning, feel for drafts around windows and doors so you can get them replaced if needed.
  • Have the property professionally cleaned. Dust and dirt can hide issues within a property, so pay attention to how the property looks after they’ve cleaned as well. Keeping your rental clean also helps ensure the longevity of the property and shows your tenants you care what goes on within its walls.

Don’t let the summer heat keep you from maintaining your property. Hiring a professional property management company like C.A.B. Group eliminates the hassle and large amount of time it takes to go through everything you need to do for your rental. We have experience working with New Jersey and New York area cleaning and maintenance companies for the properties we manage to ensure they get the best possible care. To see how we can help manage your property this summer, give us a call!

How to Highlight Your Property’s Best Features

You want your rental property to stand out from other properties. While you believe your property has more to offer potential tenants, you might be having a hard time conveying that to them. By “putting your best foot forward,” you can show people what makes your rental stand out from the crowd. To keep your property filled, focus on the best features when showing off your property.

  • Know your target tenants’ wants and needs. Marketing your property to different target audiences will greatly influence what features you highlight. For example, if you were to be targeting seniors ages 60+, you would focus more on the accessibility and location features your property provides. If you were targeting young families, you would focus more on the size of the backyard and the proximity to local schools.
  • Pictures are everything. Hire a professional photographer to take high quality images of your property’s specific features for promotional documents and your website. Seeing low quality pictures gives an amateur, unprofessional feel to your property, which is exactly what you don’t That photographer is worth the investment in the amount of better leads that you will receive. Have them focus on taking images of what your renters are interested in – the pool in the backyard, the newly renovated kitchen, the large master bedroom with walk-in closets, etc. Your website should have a comprehensive gallery of your property – enough to capture potential tenants’ interests.
  • Know what’s awesome about your property in the first place. No one is going to get excited about the hallway closet – the master bathroom, on the other hand, would be good to focus on. Instead of talking about the crawl space, promote the spacious living room and the amazing skylight. You might think that everything about your property is great, but the reality is that potential tenants won’t think the same. Boost your chances of converting potentials to actual renters by realizing that difference.

Marketing your rental property is hard stuff – we know. But with so many years of experience, C.A.B. Group almost has it down to a science. We can offer many more services than just filling vacancies; things like property maintenance (landscaping, pressure washing, painting, and more!) and property construction are regular days for us. To see how we can help you manage your property, give us a call today!

Making Your Rental Feel Like Home

Congrats! You’ve finally moved in and are starting on the long road to unpacking. In the midst of all the mess, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to make those white walls feel like home. It takes more than just hanging up a few picture frames to make a rental really feel yours, so we’ve come up with some of our favorite ways to add that “homey” touch:

  • Temporary wallpaper. Most landlords do not allow tenants to paint the walls of their rental home, but we’ve got the perfect solution. Temporary wallpaper is just that – temporary! Slap it on the walls to add color and personality, and then take it down when you’re ready for something new or you’re ready to move out (all without damaging the walls).
  • Use throw rugs. Rugs can tie a room together as well as add a splash of color. They can cover up unsightly floors and spruce up your living room.
  • Add your own lighting. You can get cute lamps and other fixtures for cheap at discount and antique stores to change the ambience in different rooms of the rental. No one feels at home in a dark, dreary room – light it up!
  • Bring out the personal touches! Everyone has a home décor personality and now is the time to let it shine! Use knick knacks, mementos, and props to get rid of the blank spaces in your home.

While some property owners allow certain changes to their rentals, you should always check with your landlord before making any upgrades. To make your rental feel like home, get creative with your decorations and don’t be afraid to let a little color and light in!

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