I usually only blog about real estate or business related topics but I have to tell everyone the amazing experience we have with this site, 99Designs.ca. We are in the process of refreshing some of our branding. The site enables people who need one off design work done and completed quickly and cheap. It is very simple to use. You start a new contest, you fill in one page of information and enter your credit card. Within hours designs start flowing in from people around the world. We had 50 different designs within 24 hours, within 4 days we had over 300. As the designs come in your rate them and provide feedback on what you liked or didn’t. The designers respond to the feedback with changes. You keep doing this for 4 days.
After 4 days you select up to 6 designers you want to work with. Then the same process starts again for three days with the 6 designers, you rate and give feedback. After the 3 days you select a winner. The electrical files and the rights are sent to you and the winning designer gets their money.
For a new logo and business card, it is going to cost $649.
What they are not is great for setting a company brand or building a whole web site, especially if you not very technical. They are great for one off items.
The next time I have marketing piece or need new website landing page, I will definitely be using them.
Recently we have been working with a lot our long term owners on preparing their properties for sale. I keep having the same conversation over and over so I thought it might be time to blog about it.
My owners are shocked to hear that their realtor is telling them that before selling they need to replace carpet, appliances and paint the whole place. This is usually when I get an upset owner yelling at me that I didn’t take care of his/her property.
For every owner I tell them the same thing, there is a difference between rent ready and sale ready. When I rent a property, a small burn mark on the carpet, some nicks on the lino, marks on the walls, older appliances, older cabinets are completely okay for renting the unit to the next tenant. Buyers would not put up with most of this. They want new carpet and lino, newer appliances and cabinets or at least a price reduction for compensation.
Some owners ask why I haven't upgraded these items over time, I explain that I could have and it would have made my life easier to rent the units but that would have either been a cash call from them or no owner payments for a couple of months depending on the costs. They quickly see why I didn't.
This is a rule applies to major of rental properties but not all. On higher end houses those tenants want near perfect places, similar to a buyer and in turn they also keep the properties the same.
For the shorter term owners that need to hold their home for a couple of years while they work out of country or until the market improves, I always tell my owners that we will charge the renter for any damages but wear and tear is not chargable. Expect that you may need to paint the high traffic areas.
By the time I explain all of this most owners are happy and ask me to coordinate the needed upgrades to sell their place for top dollar.
Back in November 2011, we switched account software from Yardi Genesis to Rent Manager. Rent Manager had many features we were very excited about but too many to implement immediately. The features around the website especially the web portal was especially exciting. We implemented the web portal within months of moving to Rent Manager, it was a common request from our owners and I think it is the feature we get the most comments on. If you are one of our owners and want access contact us and we will send you your password.
We recently implemented another web feature, online rental vacancies. The vacancy list now pulls the list of available properties directly from Rent Manager. In the past we had a separate spreadsheet that would update the website and at times it was forgotten about especially if when we had lots of turn around that month. With the new system as soon as we receive notice from a tenant, the website updates itself.
Have a look for yourself. http://www.magnumpm.ca/forrent/
There are still more features in Rent Manager that we are learning to use and will be implementing in the future. Stay tuned.
I am very proud of my team(current and past) and everything they do for our owners. They truly try to do the best job for our owners they possible can and I think the owners can see that. It really shows when I see that on average our owners stay with us for over 10 years and 17% of our owners have been with Magnum for over 25 years. That is the same year that Calgary hosted the Winter Olympics.
How many companies are you still doing business with for over 25 years? Let alone how many businesses are still in business after 25 years?
Thank you for the support.
A potential client contacted us and asked a variety of questions most of which are pretty standard but she asked one question we haven't heard before. How long do the tenants rent from you? We knew we had some really long term tenants but what was the average, no one knew.
With the help of our property management software we were able to pull data from 2006 to current. Province wide including past and current tenants lease with us for 2.5 years. If you look at just current tenants that lease with us, that average does up to 3.4 years.
We also did the calculation by city
*All numbers are in years