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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!

What Not to Ask Potential Tenants

As a property owner, you probably have a list of things you like to ask your potential tenants when they express interest in your property. You want to know the basics – who they are, can they pay rent, when they want to move in, etc. However, there are some things you shouldn’t ask.

Anything concerning ethnicity, religion, disabilities, or children should not be asked. Asking about any of things, according to the Fair Housing Act, could be construed as a discriminatory practice. It’s important to stay consistent with the questions you ask so as not to be favoring one potential tenant over another. Even something as simple as “do you go to church around here?” can be seen as discrimination against people that are a different religion. You can easily be taken to court and sued for this, so we recommend sticking to a predetermined set of questions you would like to ask and being conscious of what you are asking when straying from that list.

Family questions toes the line of being discriminatory as well, so tread carefully with asking anything about family. If asking about family history or the tenant’s national origin, these are grounds for discrimination. If you are worried that you will say something wrong, let the tenants ask questions. You do not have to be the only one asking things – in fact, the potential tenants probably have plenty of questions to ask you.

As long as you have plenty of information and back up questions, nothing should go wrong when you are talking to your tenants. Trust us, there are plenty more questions you can ask than ones you can’t. If you are still nervous about giving tours of your property, or just simply don’t have the time to, contact CAB Group to see how we can help you manage and maintain your property!

How to Give the Best Tour of Your Rental Property

Landlord showing property to tenant

No matter how many pictures, videos, or testimonials you put on your website about how amazing your rental property is, you’re still going to have to give physical tours of it. To some property owners, this could be the worst part of the leasing process – you might not be very good at public speaking, or maybe you just feel awkward about the whole thing. We’ve come up with a few tips to help you rock your tour, whether this is your first, or your 9,000th!

#1: Triple Check the Property.

You don’t want to be showing your rental property and have any unexpected surprises waiting for you. You want your property to be spotless and pest free when showing it (and while people are living there), so doing a check up right before the tour will give you peace of mind knowing everything is in its place and in working condition.

#2: Dress Up.

Prospective tenants don’t want to see their potential landlord wearing sweatpants and a stained t-shirt. Look the part of a property manager – you’re trying to make an impression that convinces these people you are a respectable and responsible landlord. This includes smelling nice, hair styled, and clean, professional outfit.

#3: Be Nice.

No one wants to talk to someone that’s being crabby or antisocial. Make it a point to call them by their names and ask them a few questions to get to know them. After all, if they end up becoming your tenants, you will want to have a relationship base already formed!

#4: Be Prepared.

Know the answers to the questions you know they’re going to ask. Also know the dates of any major changes that have happened to the property. Be prepared with information on what is located around your property as well as what school district it’s in and any local attractions to highlight. To make this easier, you might come prepared with a small packet of this information.

#5: Rinse and Repeat.

The odds of you giving just one tour for your vacant rental property and them signing the lease is slim to none. Most rental property owners must give many tours before they find the perfect tenants. However, it’s important to realize that just because you’ve done this tour multiple times, to potential tenants this is their first time every seeing your beautiful property – so treat them as such!

It’s easy to get into a rut of giving tours and answering the same questions, but to get great new tenants you have to be willing to keep up this cycle! And for those of you about to give your first tour of your property, don’t be nervous. You’ll be a pro in no time! If you’re more worried about the time aspect of giving tours, consider hiring a property management company to take care of tours for you! A company like C.A.B. Group can maintain your property and highlight its best features so you have the time to do other things.

Renting to Retirees

With the ease that comes with renting, more and more retirees are turning to this option rather than staying in their houses. Older generations are not wanting to have to deal with the hassles of maintaining their own property, and many find that renting is cheaper anyway. In New Jersey, the most popular towns for retirees are Allenhurst, Saddle River, and Englewood Cliffs (click here to see the whole list). There is a growing market for property owners as Baby Boomers are retiring, so to help you gear towards renting to them we’ve compiled a few tips:

Accessibility is key: Not too many steps, wheelchair accessibility, and large showers are extremely good selling points for retirees. They don’t want to have to stress about getting up and down flights of stairs or being able to get in and out of a high-walled bathtub. If you’re worried that your properties won’t appeal to retirees, think of adding some mobility features.

Area around your property: Retirees want to be able to have close access to the things they like to do, and the most common places they frequent. Centered areas close to hospitals, grocery stores, and local restaurants will give your property the convenience factor they’re looking for.

Your reputation: Older generations will not want to make any immediate decisions. They will want to read your reviews and ask others about their experience with your property. Be prepared to meet with them more than once to cover all of their questions. This is an important step in creating a trusting relationship you want to have with them.

Using a property management company like CAB Group can greatly increase your chances of appealing to retirees because we have experience in adding mobility solutions to properties, handling maintenance issues quickly, and know what retired tenants are looking for in a property. If you are interested in letting us take care of your properties and tenants, give us a call today!

Spotlight on CAB Group Owner Candace Ritz

Candace Ritz doesn’t just spend her time working on CAB Group-related business. In her spare time, she does a lot of volunteering – so much that you might consider it her second job!

After a visit to South Africa, Candace learned about the significant effect wildlife conservation had on community

development there. She was inspired by the sense of community and genuine concern for protecting the surrounding area’s wildlife and land. After her visit, she decided to become involved and make a difference. She set out to leave a “legacy gift” for an organization called African Wildlife Foundation, an organization that focuses on wildlife conservation, land and habitat protection, community empowerment, and economic development. As her gift to the foundation, Candace has made AWF a beneficiary in her Will.

Not only does she actively help with AWF, Candace also volunteers for animal rescues around the world. To help raise money for various animal sanctuaries and wildlife areas, she has also begun a new venture selling greeting cards as a fun way to fundraise online. (Once it’s up and running, check it out: www.furkidsince.com)

While many people are perfectly content with staying busy at one job, Candace has tackled multiple jobs, volunteering programs, and other opportunities to help the world’s wildlife. If you were inspired by Candace’s story, check out AWF’s website to see how you can help!

What to Do After Your Property Floods

Flooding can be an extremely infuriating nuisance for property owners in New Jersey and surrounding areas. For most, escaping flooding is impossible – all properties are subject to it to some extent. As an owner, it can get overwhelming when multiple properties flood at the same time, so we’ve compiled some tips on how to handle it and what you should check to make sure your property hasn’t been permanently damaged.

One of the first things you should do when entering your property for the first time after a flood is to shut off all electric and water sources. You never know when a spark will fly and standing in flood waters when that happens is not a good idea. Also, be sure not to touch anything with your bare skin – you don’t know what is in the floodwater, so protect yourself. Try to open all windows and doors to start airing out the property.

Inform your insurance company of the flooding and be sure to take pictures before attempting to fix or clean anything. When you can, start getting water out of the property (you can do this through pumps, using buckets, or hiring a company to do it for you). Once the water is out, you can actually start to see where the damage lies. Inspect drywall, carpet, flooring, appliances, outlets, windows/doors, and overall structural stability.

Cleaning up after the flood is the most time-consuming part – go through each part of the property to either throw things out or repair them. Drywall will probably have to be replaced, as well as carpet if it was not allowed to dry out within 48 hours of being flooded. If the property hasn’t been able to dry out, you will most likely have a problem with molding as well. Have a professional come in to check on electricity and plumbing to ensure they are safe to use.

While it is extremely hard to prevent flooding when in a high-risk area, there are some things you can do to minimize the damage that might occur. Consider raising electrical outlets above expected floodwater levels, move appliances upstairs, install backflow valves on sewer systems, and use sandbags outside the property.

Flooding could cause damage to electricity, plumbing, and even structural issues so it’s important to assess the property as soon as it is safe to do so. Getting caught up in multiple property’s flooding issues can quickly overwhelm owners, so hiring a property management team with experience with New Jersey flooding can be incredibly helpful. C.A.B. Group has been involved in real estate building, development, and property management throughout New Jersey and it’s surrounding areas for over a decade.

Creating a Stress-Free Relationship with Your Tenants

Your relationship with your tenants can be make or break for profits. If your tenants aren’t happy with this relationship, they most likely won’t stay past one lease term. They could also damage the property, leave early, or something worse. On the other hand, if you can have a stable, good relationship with them, they’re more likely to recommend you to others and to stay at your property for longer. As a property owner, you can feel stressed when you don’t feel like you’re on the same page as your tenants. As a tenant, they can feel stressed when they think their landlord doesn’t care about them. If you think that the relationship with your tenant could be improved, we’ve got some tips you can use!

Be open and friendly. This is probably the easiest way to encourage your tenants to see you as a person and not only as their landlord. Make sure you give an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding so your relationship with your tenants can thrive and they can feel that they can talk to you about anything.

Have a good middleman. Your property management company is critical in developing this relationship. As the crew that your tenant will be seeing quite often, your property management company should be experienced and professional in whatever they are doing on the property. Having a trustworthy team to lean on to fix any issues is critical for tenants.

Have a quick maintenance turnaround. Your tenants don’t want to deal with property issues for longer than they need to. If you do have a property management team, they should have a routine for dealing with property maintenance problems to keep your tenants satisfied.

Because it’s National Stress Awareness Month, this is the perfect time to really get to thinking about what is stressing you out as a property owner. For many owners, the work overload is one of the primary factors of stress in investing. To combat this stress, think of delegating your work. A property management company like C.A.B. Group can be extremely helpful in cutting down on the burden of caring for your property!

How to Move a Tenant in Properly

While we have already written about how to move a tenant out, moving a tenant in can be completely different. Especially if the property has been vacant for quite some time, there are some things you want to check on before your new tenant moves in. Having a clean, well-groomed property can give your tenants a good start to your renting relationship.

  • While this should be a no-brainer, take your time deep-cleaning the property before you move your new tenants in. Hire a professional cleaner if you feel you won’t be able to do all you can, or if you don’t have the time. Make sure the floors are polished, carpet is shampooed, appliances are scrubbed clean, and vents have been wiped down. Don’t just focus on the things on the surface – really do your best at getting everything within reach.
  • Get health and safety inspections done. If you have had to do any major remodeling or fixing before the new tenant moves in, it’s a good idea to get your property inspected to ensure it is perfectly safe to live in. Check on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they in working condition. You could have certain laws governing how often the property is inspected, so be sure to ask your local officials.
  • Go back over your lease agreement. If anything has been changed or if you wish to update anything within your lease, now is the time to do it! You don’t want to bring your tenant in to sign the lease and realize that it still mentions a chimney that you’ve gotten rid of 5 years ago.
  • Prepare new keys, codes, etc. As a property owner, you want to provide a safe and secure environment for your tenants. As new tenants, you want to know that your landlord cares about your safety and is willing to switch locks on the property, so you know other previous tenants can’t get in.

Having a routine move-in checklist is important to your credibility as a property owner. If you have an established way of handling new tenants, there’s less of a chance for something to go wrong. If you’d like for a professional, credible, and experienced property management company that has a systemized way of moving tenants in and out of properties, contact C.A.B. Group!

Questions to Ask a Property Management Company

Landlords and owners can get tired quickly from caring for their properties – either by stretching themselves too thin, realizing that they’re not as handy as they once thought, or simply not having the time to be fixing a hole in the drywall. Searching for a property management company is a daunting task though. There are a lot of options to choose from, each with so many different perks. Across the board, however, there are certain questions you will want to ask each property management company to ensure you are all on the same page.

  • Ask for their management history, as well as references. For a professional company, this should be easy to provide. However, don’t be afraid to really research the details they provide for accuracy and call on their references to back them up.
  • Ask for proof of licensure and to see their certifications. It’s important for property management companies to be licensed so that if they do anything wrong, you are not held responsible. Property management companies should be up-to-date on any certifications and licenses that are needed for your area, so check your local laws for this.
  • Ask them what makes them special. This will give them time to highlight what they believe are the best features they offer – sometimes, this could be your deciding factor between two companies. For example, if one company highlights their great communication with tenants, while another emphasizes their modern rental software and quick property maintenance issue solving qualities, you would probably go with the latter.
  • Ask them how well they know the area (AKA: How big is their business?). While there are perks for hiring national property management companies, many times it is better to hire more local businesses. Companies like C.A.B. with a radius spanning New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia will have a better understanding of what people like in the area and have their own roots and ties to the places around the property, whereas a national company will only be able to provide a generalized understanding of your tenants.

Before ever making a decision, always meet your property management company in person. Nothing will tell you more than coming face-to-face with someone. This type of interaction can tell you how they will act towards others (your tenants), how timely they are (how responsive they will be to problems), and overall how well they communicate with people (extremely important for the face of your property).

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