Spring Cleaning Condo Properties, A Community Affair.

It’s that time of year again, we’re all coming out of winter hibernation and slowly venturing out. For condo managers and staff, it means spring cleaning condo properties. Admit it, you’re seeing neighbors you thought had moved, it’s like a whole new community! Along with spring comes an annual rite of passage, “Spring Cleaning”. Spring cleaning started years ago, when homes in the winter were heated with coal furnaces/fireplaces and illuminated with oil lamps which left soot and residue on everything. When spring came, the house was opened-up and emptied out to be thoroughly cleaned. (Origins of “Spring Cleaning”) I don’t know about you, but I’ve slacked up a bit. But spring cleaning shouldn’t be limited to just your home, spring cleaning condo properties helps you complete a few items on your annual check list.

Tip 1: Spring Cleaning Condo Properties

Paperwork makes the world go around and your association is probably drowning in it. Spring is a great time to archive association management records in that cabinet. By now, all important paperwork should be with the CPA for tax preparation. Add a discard tag to your boxes if you don’t already have that system in place. Discard tags tell you when a box can be shredded or if it is a permanent file. I can already hear you saying, “our records are electronic”; guess what, you still need to backup files and store them on a separate HD or flash drive for security.

Tip 2: Management by Walking Around

Once you’ve cleared out the paperwork, try a little MBWA (Management by Walking Around). When RISE does spring cleaning for our clients, this is one activity that can’t be forgotten. Managers learn more about the needs of the property by walking around and interacting with staff and home owners. Speaking of staff, take your maintenance, landscaping and office employees with you. Use the time to gather input and identify needs of the community.

Tip 3: Preventative Maintenance

Spring cleaning is also important for preventative maintenance. There are a few items that require upkeep before the hot Houston summer is upon us – air conditioners and pools. RISE knows when those brutal Texas summers are on the way, it is essential to use spring as a time to tune up. HVAC in each unit should receive a tuneup and maintenance check and filters should be replaced. Outside, confirm the A/C condenser is clear of leaves and debris so they can operate efficiently.

Spring is also an important time to set a date for the pool to open. Beforehand, a pool must be cleaned and inspected, both inside and out. Repairs should be made if needed and filtration, PH and chlorine systems tested and ready for non-stop summer operation.

Tip 4: Get Everyone Involved!

Spring cleaning condo properties is best done as a community wide event! Don’t make it feel like a hassle for residents. Instead, get everyone involved, have a community wide kick-off party and give DIY tips for styling your balcony or patio. Come up with a contest, such as, “Most Improved Balcony!”. Get a few local sponsors and pass out gift cards and food. Have the onsite manager talk about why Spring Cleaning a Condo is important and efforts residents and the association is taking for upkeep. When everything is done, celebrate your accomplishment with the opening of the pool or a community party.

Want ideas on spring cleaning condo properties, talk to my Houston friends at RISE, get info from people who live it every day, explore the RISE difference at www.riseamg.com or contact RISE at (713) 936-9200 or info@riseamg.com.

The Digital Condo Age, Tech Solutions to Age Old Problems.

Welcome to the new digital condo age; it’s the age of Alexa, Google Home, Amazon Key and smart home technology additions that can regulate temperatures, turn on/off lights and allow you to view your home from your phone while you’re away. The digital condo age can help provide solutions to age old problems like package management, energy conservation and security for condo management teams.

Gadgets for the Digital Condo Age

Let’s face it, most of us enjoy our gadgets and that’s good in the digital condo age. Alexa and Google Home devices are becoming more popular to voice control many of the functions in their homes. These devices interact with various smart home peripherals via Bluetooth or Wifi. In the digital condo age, Nest thermostats, doorbells with built in cameras and electronic locks are providing a new level of energy conservation and security. Products are flooding the market and the race in on; some devices will flourish, while other will flounder. Check out this smart socket introduced at the recent electronic consumers show (https://www.cepro.com/photo/new_smart_home_iot_devices_ces_2018_innovation_awards_winners/0).

Package Management in this Digital Age

Package management has long been a problem for management companies, but this digital age could provide some needed avenues for improvement. In the digital condo age here are some tips and suggestions that can be implemented to help: (https://www.advancedins.com/resolving-condo-association-package-management-issue/)

  1. Make sure tenants know where the liability for missing or mis-delivered packages that are not delivered directly to the management office lay. Even in the digital condo age, don’t take on a responsibility that is a liability.
  2. Consider installing package lockers as a capital improvement. Package lockers can provide an easy solution for deliveries to be secured. Amazon is currently working with communities to develop locker locations in a program known as Amazon HUB. (https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/99336:4:US)
  3. Another choice in the digital condo age for package management is the installation of smartlocks. Smartlocks can be used on a specific space for deliveries and accessed via key cards/codes for resident and package safety.

Amazon Key System

You may have residents who opt to use the Amazon Key System in the digital condo age. This system is not inexpensive coming in at almost $300 to set up. Then there’s the issue of someone you don’t know having access to your home while you’re not there. Some are comfortable with that, other’s, not so much. You can read more about how this works and the pros and cons in this article ( https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/10/amazon-key-unlocks-your-door-for-in-home-package-deliveries/).

The impact of the Digital Condo Age

It remains to be seen what new rules or amended rules may need to be put in place to accommodate the digital condo age. For instance, with the Amazon Key System, what is the liability to have delivery people going past the management office, wondering around looking for an individual unit they are delivering to? Who pays for the installation of digital options and once installed, what becomes the property of the unit?

Want to more about the digital condo age and how to manage the challenges it can provide, check out RISE at www.riseamg.com or contact RISE at (713) 936-9200 or info@riseamg.com.

Post Hurricane Demand for Houston Condos

If you’re looking for the calm after the storm, you probably won’t find it just yet. Post hurricane, the real estate market in Houston is changing. Depending on whether you are an owner, property manager or buyer, it could be positive or negative. Housing prices have increased along with rent in areas that didn’t flood.

Condo Buyers In Houston Ask New Questions

For Houston property managers, Hurricane Harvey is also affecting questions during showings. Here’s a list of 10 questions you’re likely to encounter and a possible response.

Thinking about high rise condo living… Houston high rise association management companies weigh in.

Downtown workers are flocking to high rise condo living, but Houston high rise association management companies caution you; not everyone is cut out for this lifestyle. If you are one of the lucky ones that is, it can be a fun and active lifestyle.

The pro, the cons from Houston high rise association management, RISE

RISE is one of the premiere Houston high rise association management companies. I reached out to them for the pro and cons of high rise condo living.

It starts with HOA dues according to RISE. HOA dues tend to be a little more, but, your amenities may replace many of your now homes expenses. All Houston high rise association management says consider savings like yard care, pool maintenance, trash service, gym memberships and the list goes on. Compare apples to apples.

Are you a hoarder? If you are, the lack of storage in high rise condo living will rule it out quickly for you. Houston high rise association management says limited space is why high-rise living is ideal for the young homeowner starting out or the older individual who is retiring and downsizing.

Can’t imagine living without your furry friend? Houston high rise association management encourages you to make certain pets are welcome. Mot high rise condo living comes with heavy restrictions on pets to just not allowing them at all.

When we talk about rules, Houston high rise association management company RISE says noise restriction are usually extensive. Do sleep days and work nights? Do you have a kicking stereo or home theatre system that you love to blast…you might want to reconsider; condo high rise living may not be your best option.

Parking is another area that needs to be considered according to Houston high rise association management company RISE. Most one-bedroom condos come with one parking space due to limited parking. They may have additional spaces you can lease, however if they don’t and you’re a two-vehicle family, high rise condo living might not be for you.

The bottom line from Houston high rise association management company, RISE

Do your homework; that’s what my friends from RISE say. Look at your lifestyle and what you are willing to change if you are making the move from a traditional single-family home or duplex. Don’t forget to ask about the financial condition of any condominium property you are considering; if you’re not sure what to look for, contact RISE (713) 936-9200 or info@riseamg.com. RISE sets the standard when it comes to Houston high rise association management.

FEMA will repay hotel stays for displaced individuals and families

You must take the following steps to be eligible for repayment:

1. Go to Disaster Assistance and register for assistance.
2. Once you are registered, keep all receipts.
3. Use the following phone number to process hotel payments: 800-621-3362

Hurricane Harvey clean up volunteers

Volunteers at covered bridge. Helping hundreds of people get back into their homes after Hurricane Harvey

Scheduled Water Release from Major Houston Dams

There are concerns about the scheduled water releases from major House Dams in an effort to help prevent uncontrollable flooding in the Houston-metropolitan area cause by torrential rain from Tropical Strom Harvey, the Army Corps of Engineers begins to release water from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs. Rise Association Management Group prepares for what might be in store for some of their condominium communities located within the vicinity of Buffalo Bayou.

Houston officials project thousands of residents to be impacted by this scheduled release. The map below provides an overview of anticipated water levels.

Many of Rise’s communities are located within this area and are expected to encounter unprecedented flooding. Owners from Marlborough Square Townhomes, located just south of Buffalo Bayou on Wilcrest Drive, are keeping a close eye on the scheduled water release.

Rise Association Management Group will be ready to dispatch a recovery team to this community if water levels reach historic levels.

For more information visit the news report on ABC NEWS

 

 

Just a site visit tells the story… Self managed, or professionally run by a condo management group.

Do you think by just visiting a condo property you can tell if it is self-managed by owners or run by a professional condo management group? If you answered yes, I think you are absolutely right!

A realtor friend was telling me about a series of visits she made to various condominium properties all over town with a potential buyer. She explained how she could tell if a property is self-managed or managed by a professional condo management group almost immediately upon pulling in the parking lot. Now granted, she’s a realtor, so she probably has a level of expertise that most people don’t have, but she said, her clients’ normally have the same ability by the end of a few showings and normally pick the condominiums that have that professional condo management group. Why?

Professional condo management group; the visual difference and why

A professional condo management group makes a definite difference in the aesthetics of your property from a physical aspect. Here’s just few of the differences:

  • Daily maintenance – A condo management group will have a team of people who are responsible for the daily look of your property. They make sure the pool and the area around the pool are clean; they make sure grass is cut and bushes/plants are properly trimmed and cared for. They make sure common areas are clean, well-lit and cared for. When utilizing self-management, normally a maintenance person is hired with limited supervision, so, things don’t always get done when then should or how they should-after all, they’re just one person.
  • Regular extended maintenance – Does the trim on your condominium property look faded and worn? Were you swarmed by bees at the entrance to your door? These are regular extended maintenance items that a condo management group has scheduled, so they never become a problem. Again, with self-management these things are hired out or that one maintenance guy is still trying to fit it into his schedule. The sad thing is, left undone, items like this can become major expense items. Which brings us to the next item…
  • Supervision and identification of capital improvements – Most self-managed properties do not have the expertise nor the people to keep up with reserve funds, capital improvement projects and long range planning. By five years in the property is showing sign of wear that are physical and expensive to repair or replace. Condo management is a full-time job, best handled by a professional condo management group.

But there’s a mental difference too…

Oddly enough, my friend also claims you can tell the difference by talking to the people or sometimes by just observing them. Not just the staff, the tenants too!

In properties that are self-managed, you will hear people openly discussing their unhappiness at how this is being done, or isn’t being done. In fact, in some communities where there is turmoil of neighbor pitted against neighbor, you can literally feel the tension as you encounter these people on the sidewalk. Heaven forbid they get a hold of the realtor’s client and tell them how they really feel. (Yes, that has happened). A professional condo management group is neutral; so, they are the barrier that keeps neighbors happy. Residents have a place to take their concerns regarding maintenance, and they know they will be addressed. Click here for another resource and view on the topic.

Staff at self-managed properties while still friendly, many times don’t have the level of expertise to handle the difficult questions a potential buyer or resident might have. When utilizing a professional condo management group like RISE in Houston, you don’t have this problem; there is always someone there to answer the questions correctly and efficiently.

Make your site visit a positive one by utilizing experts in the condominium management group business like RISE in Houston. See a professional condominium management group can increase the face value of your property, explore RISE by visiting www.riseamg.com or request a quote by contacting RISE at (713) 936-9200 or info@riseamg.com. Condominium management that increases your value and living experience daily.

Condominium and townhouse management services, specialist or generalist? A look at a specialized condominium and townhouse management services might change your mind.

It’s funny, Wiki defines property management such as condominium and townhouse management services as follows:

Property management is the operation, control, and oversight of real estate as used in its most broad terms. Management indicates a need to be cared for, monitored and accountability given for its useful life and condition. This is much akin to the role of management in any business.

Property management is also the management of personal property, equipment, tooling, and physical capital assets that are acquired and used to build, repair, and maintain end item deliverables. Property management involves the processes, systems, and manpower required to manage the life cycle of all acquired property as defined above including acquisition, control, accountability, responsibility, maintenance, utilization, and disposition.

That’s great for a generalist in property management, but not for someone who is a specialist in condominium and townhouse management services. Ask yourself if your condominium and townhouse management services is really doing all of that.

But Wiki doesn’t stop there, it talks about roles; roles essential in condominium and townhouse management services

So, what does Wiki say the roles are in property management by a condominium and townhouse management services group?

1. The full and proper screening or testing of an applicant’s credit, criminal history, rental history and ability to pay.

2. Lease contracting or accepting rent using legal documents approved for the area in which the property is located.

3. Mitigation and remediation regarding any maintenance issues, generally within a budget, with prior or conveyed consent via a Limited Power of Attorney legally agreed to by the property owner.

4. Maintaining necessary records for tax and legal purposes.

A little vague huh? In fact, realistically, this doesn’t come close to outlining all the services you expect from your condominium and townhouse management services group, does it? But it may be all you are getting if you are using a generalist for your condominium and townhouse management services.

What should you expect from a condominium and townhouse management services group?

First, you should expect everything above, but not delivered by one or two individuals trying to be all and wear all the hats, resulting in a limited knowledge in anything in particular. Look for a professional condominium and townhouse management services group like RISE. This simple secret is what sets RISE literally above all the rest:

CONTENT KNOWLEDGE IN ALL AREAS BY INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE SPECIALIST IN THEIR AREA OF EXPERTISE RELATING TO CONDOMINIUM AND TOWNHOUSE MANAGEMENT SERVICES!

Wow, what a concept! RISE will not send the maintenance guy to represent you in a civil case in court; they won’t have a customer service representative do your tax return. Very simply, RISE has tooled their company for your success by staffing with every known professional needed to effectively and efficiently act as a condominium and townhouse management services group. Why would you want a generalist when you can have RISE, the specialist?

Want to know more about comprehensive condominium and townhome management services by a specialist, explore RISE today by visiting www.riseamg.com or request a quote by contacting RISE at (713) 936-9200 or info@riseamg.com. RISE, the condominium and townhouse management services group that increases your condominium/townhome value and living experience daily.