Stopping the Revolving Door: How to Hire & Retain Top Talent

Written by Buildings Maintenance & Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By: Paul Endress

Every year, valuable employees leave companies for reasons no one really understands—not even the departing employees. In fact, when asked why they quit, many employees simply state: “I didn’t like the job.” This leaves many business owners, managers, and HR professionals scratching their heads, as they believe it’s impossible for anyone to pinpoint what constitutes “like.” In reality, what makes people like their job is something you can control, although it’s also something most companies don’t focus on.

Making the Case for Payment Reminders

Written by Buildings Maintenance & Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Five Ideas to Help Turn Late Payers into Gold

By: Nick Frantz

Every month, whether I have a balance or not, I get an email reminding me that my credit card payment is due in 10 days. I’ve never been late with a payment, so initially I wondered, “Why did they send this?” When I recognized that it was part of a proactive strategy to ensure on-time payment, I understood.

On a list of traits that make up the ideal tenant, “pays on time, every time” has to be right up there at the top. These tenants are gold.  But there will always be tenants who are habitually late payers.  And dealing with tenants who cross the line from late to delinquent can be costly and tough to resolve.

With an always-growing to-do list and staff stretched in all directions, how do you get the best bang for your buck when it comes to cultivating high-value, on-time payers?

Commercial Property Licensing Laws

Written by Buildings Maintenance & Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Commercial Property Licensing Laws

By: Flavia Berys, Esq.

Commercial real estate owners often hire third-party property management companies to handle the leasing and operation of office, industrial, multi-family or other commercial properties located in California.  Others choose to self-manage by having an employee or officer of the owner entity perform these functions.

How Much Freer Can You Get?

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Five Ways to Achieve a Competitive Advantage Without Lowering Your Fees
By: Bill Gager


In today’s marketplace, developing and maintaining an objective advantage over the competition can seem next to impossible. Why? Because from a customer’s perspective, similar product and service offerings are basically the same.  For example, consider life insurance policies. To the consumer, all $250,000; twenty-year term life insurance policies offer identical coverage. So how do they decide between Company A’s policy, Company B’s policy, and Company C’s policy? Well, if they view product A, product B, and product C as all having the same value, then the only thing they look at to differentiate the three is the price.

Conversion to and Formation of LLCs

Written by Jordan on . Posted in Blog

By D. Michael Trainotti

Over years, I have had the experience of converting corporations (either S Corps or Corps) to a limited liability company (LLC).  The reasons are to achieve better asset protection from outside creditors and have less ongoing documentation (avoiding corporate minutes) but not to be considered to have liquidated for income tax purposes.

I have also converted general and limited partnerships to LLCs.  Conversion is a formless matter under California law that does not impact your business operations or how you hold your assets, if you still want to be tax as you currently are.

Some of my clients decided during the formation of a new business venture to be taxed as an S Corporation in order to take care of favorable tax treatment, but want from an operational standpoint to be an LLC compared to operating as a corporation as mentioned above.  Generally, LLCs are taxed as partnerships and more often than not that is the preferable choice, especially if you own real estate.

Due Diligence

Written by Jordan on . Posted in Blog

By Bradley Luster

If you have been in any Real Estate transaction or plan to be, as a Buyer you are afforded a Due Diligence period. But what exactly is a Due Diligence period?

“Due” according to Webster’s dictionary means “Meeting special requirements”; and “Diligence” again according to Webster’s means “Marked by painstaking effort”.

A Due Diligence Period is a defined period in time for which the Buyer shall perform studies into the physical and material aspects of the Real Estate being sold and/or bought to determine if the Buyer wants to proceed with the purchase. Most Due Diligence periods commence upon the opening date of escrow and conclude on an agreed upon time sometime thereafter.

In many of my transactions, I am representing the Seller and it is then that I try to put a different spin on the words of Due Diligence. I ask my Seller’s to perform specific studies that by my experience determine what a Buyer may want. For example, I usually suggest that owners perform a Phase I environmental study for their property. It can cost from $1,500-$3,000 or more pending the property, size, etc…

The Need for Building Waterproofing

Written by Jordan on . Posted in Blog

By Raider Painting & Coating

If a routine inspection of the facility shows disturbing signs of water intrusion, facility managers must take the necessary steps to mitigate the problem.  Water damage can weaken the structural integrity of the building, threaten the health and safety of building occupants, and expose the facility to the risk of building code violations.

Signs of Waterproofing Problems

Commercial building waterproofing contractors can accurately detect waterproofing system failures through a comprehensive inspection.  But facility managers will be able to spot waterproofing problems through these visible signs:

1.  Wet basement walls and floors.  A sign of continuous moisture seepage coming from above or below ground.

2.  Molds and fungi growth.  Microorganism colonies in certain areas of the building mean a source of moisture is feeding their growth.

3.  Rot.  Wooden or concrete materials are decaying, a sign that the presence of moisture is changing the room temperature and humidity.

What To Do With Tenant’s Abandoned Property

Written by Jordan on . Posted in Blog

By Craig Sunada, Esq

It is common for a tenant to leave personal property in the premises after vacating.  Depending on the facts of the situation, the landlord must follow one of three procedures in order to avoid potential liability to the former tenant or owner of the property.  This article will provide a brief overview of California law governing disposition of such property.

In all situations, the landlord must act reasonably. This means that the landlord should store the property safely until its final disposition.  At all times, the landlord must also act based on his or her “reasonable belief”.  “Reasonable belief” is as the actual knowledge or belief that a prudent person would have, given the facts then known by that person.  Generally, the landlord need not make an investigation to determine the owner of abandoned property unless he or she has specific information indicating that such investigation would “more probably than not reveal pertinent information” and the cost of the investigation is reasonable in light of the value of the property.  Also, “self-help” should be avoided, meaning that the landlord should not take or convert the property without following the applicable procedure.

Exploring e-Payments for Your Property

Written by Jordan on . Posted in Blog

By Mike Corbera


Greetings Readers!  This is the first article of an ongoing series on technology and how it impacts your property management business.   The goal of this recurring column will be to explore new technologies, products and services that can increase efficiency and profits – ultimately helping to improve your business.  We will also explore the tenant perspective on new technologies to help understand and improve the customer experience in your property business.  Some anticipated topics will include: Social Media, Internet Services, and Property Management Software.  I encourage all readers to submit ideas or suggestions for future topics to me at  By way of brief background, I am a former business lawyer (don’t hold it against me) turned technology geek and internet entrepreneur.  Over the past 15 years I have focused on building companies that focus on using the internet and other technologies to grow and improve the way organizations operate.  I am currently CEO at Revo Payments, a company that builds software for a variety of industries, including property management.  I look forward to sharing information and establishing a forum for learning together.   So without further ado, let’s get started with our first topic:  Exploring e-Payments for Your Property.

Just as in other competitive industries, property management firms employ new technologies with the goal of saving money, increasing cash flow, and improving customer service.  Forward-thinking property management firms have embraced electronic payment systems for security deposits, special fees, and rent payments with great success.   The benefits are many, including:  faster cash flow, lower payment handling expenses, increased reporting accuracy, reduced delinquencies, and happier customers.


Expert Roundtable Series – Best Practices for Lead Management

Written by Jordan on . Posted in Blog

By: Houston Neal

In the latest of our Expert Roundtable Series, we report on best practices for managing leads. We interviewed three experts in the multifamily housing market to learn about the technologies and procedures they use for successful lead management. Among our experts are executives from Gables Residential and Archstone – both are ranked in the Top 50 Apartment Managers report from the National Multifamily Housing Council. Let’s meet our experts:

Donald Davidoff is Group Vice President, Strategic Systems for Archstone, a large privately held multi-family housing developer and operator. His teams manage Archstone’s entire marketing platform, which includes ecommerce, field marketing, creative services and corporate communication. He also pioneered Archstone’s industry-leading business process management solution to automate key forms and processes resulting in a “less paper-full” office.

Lynette Hegeman is Vice President of Marketing for Gables Residential. In this role, Hegeman oversees the development and execution of general marketing, internet marketing, public relations and advertising. With 19 years of experience in marketing, sales management and real estate development with companies such as Intrawest, Hilton Hotels Corporation and Preferred Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, she leverages her experience to further establish Gables as a leader in the multi-family industry.

Tracy Guillen is the owner of Esquire Property Management. She has many years of experience providing Ventura County property management services to real estate investors in Ventura County. Tracy is passionate about the real estate business and takes a personal interest in this field as she actively owns, sells, buys, and manages her own property management portfolio in Ventura, Oxnard, & Camarillo. Her affiliations include: California Broker’s License, California State Bar Association and the California Apartment Association.

Lead management is a critical component for any property management company serious about marketing. In a study from the Aberdeen Group, 90% of companies using automated lead management had average yearly revenue growth of 59%. So without a strategic and organized process for vetting prospective tenants, you may be leaving money at the curb.

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