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KPM…in a Nutshell

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read our blog.  I would like to take this opportunity to tell you a bit about Kahler Property Management, or KPM.

We are the leading (so we think) property management company in the beautiful Black Hills.  We have knowledge of and experience managing all types of rentals including:

  • Single Family
  • Duplex/Triplex
  • Small Multi-Family
  • Multi-Family Complex
  • HOA
  • Self-Storage Facilities
  • Mobile Home Parks
  • Commercial Office/Retail Space

We are an office of seven women…yes, I said seven women (we even get along…most of the time).  We work hard and enjoy each other’s company.  The occasional nerf gun fight keeps stress and attitudes in check.  Keep reading for an intro to the people that make up Team KPM.  I will not bore you with all of our achievements…you can check our website (www.kahlerpm.com) to read those.

Meet Team KPM

 

Tracy – Licensed Property Manager

  • Tracy has been the property manager for KPM since 1984. Her faith guides and defines her life…in and out of the office. Tracy spends her free time singing, traveling to warmer climates and being in nature.  Tracy has a love for all animals and will talk to, hold and pet any that will let her.  She wishes she had chosen a career field that would allow her to work in an animal sanctuary but settles for keeping the rest of us in line.  For the time being, Tracy and her husband’s home life revolves around a nine month old Balinese kitten names Simeon.  He is the craziest, most needy little guy ever but they love him to the moon and back.  Look for Simeon stories in the future.

Erin – Assistant Licensed Property Manager

  • I have been with KPM since 2005.  I have 2 beautiful children…3 if you count my husband.  Between our home remodel, running Littles to soccer, scouts and basketball; I enjoy cooking, crafting and reading a good book.  I also have an unhealthy obsession with Pinterest or, as my Husband calls it, his “honey do” list.

Debby – Accounting

  • Debby has been with us since 1987.  She is heavily involved with the Special Olympics and is a skilled bowler.  She organizes and teaches a youth bowling league and bowls at a state level.  Debby adores her 3 grandchildren and spends as much time with them as possible.  She is also the only one in the office that does not like cheese…we will not hold it against her but will tease her unmercifully.

Kathy – Maintenance Coordinator

  • Kathy joined our team in the fall of 2013.  All of her extra time and money has gone to the dogs…Literally.  Her 3 dogs train and compete in Obedience, Rally, Canine Freestyle, and Tricks.  She and her dogs have titles from the American Kennel Club in Rally, Obedience, Tricks and Therapy Dog Work.  Her dogs are most certainly better trained than my children.  When she gets an opportunity, Kathy, loves camping….with her dogs.

Ally – Assistant Maintenance Coordinator

  • Ally became a member of our team in February of 2015.  She spends most of her free time with her 3 kiddos.  After they are tucked in she enjoys binging on her favorite shows and engaging in “marriage counseling” by playing Call of Duty with her husband.  During the warm months, Ally enjoys landscaping and target practice.  She cannot resist a big bowl of Fruity Pebbles.

Candace – Administrative Assistant

  • Candace joined the team in 2016.  She loves spending time with her family, listening to music, playing games, camping and playing with their pets.  She is always quick to throw a movie quote or music lyric into any conversation.  The sound of her 4 children laughing is the highlight of her life.  Candace likes to dabble in photography and she will never say no to Italian food.

Alana – Administrative Assistant

  • Alana is the newest member of Team KPM and joined us in 2017. She is originally from Pierre, SD and moved to Rapid City to pursue her education in Business Management and Marketing.  She has a 5 month old son that keeps her on her toes.  When, and if, she ever recovers from the sleep deprivation of a baby she would like to continue with her hobbies of hiking, fishing, traveling and playing her guitar.

We hope you stick around and get to know more about our company and industry.  Drop a note if there is a specific topic that interests you!

 

Tracy, Candace, Erin, Ally, Alana, Kathy, Debbie

Written By: Erin Trojanowski

Kahler Property Management

 

Building Up Our Property Management Team

Kahler Property Management is comprised of 7 women.  We are all in different stages of our lives, all have unique personalities and all view life a little differently.  Surprisingly, there is very little drama in our office and we get along very well.

Our job is busy and, at times, stressful.  We work with owners, tenants, vendors, applicants and prospective tenants on a daily basis.  Unfortunately we cannot make everyone happy and we do have to deal with angry and/or mean people.

We get together outside of the office for fun team building activities a couple times a year.  Occasionally we also plan an event for all of us and our families.  This helps us get through those stressful situations and work better together as a team.

Some outings we have done include:

 

Old MacDonald’s Farm

Canvas to Paint

Pactola Lake Day

Some fun things that we do during work hours is recognize each of us by taking each other to lunch on our birthdays.  We find a day that works with our busy schedule and close the office while we go to the restaurant of the birthday girl’s choice.  Boss’s day and Administrative Professionals day usually include a lunch outing as well.

For Christmas we plan a lunch and invite our extended team (maintenance techs, cleaning contractors, etc.) and all of our families.  As an office we take up a collection and use that money to donate to local charities.  We have volunteers at and donated to the Humane Society  and Wellfully, as well as other charitable causes.

Why do we do this?

 

These events help us all to decompress and relax.  That, in itself, gives us a better attitude for when the office is crazy busy and stressful.  Getting out of the office together provides us the opportunity to be goofy and have fun.  We laugh with each other…and at each other.

Through these activities our relationships are strengthened, in and out of the office.  An appreciation for the company and each other has been created and we have built friendships.  We are not just coworkers anymore and that creates a work environment where we are all appreciated and valued.

Written By: Erin Trojanowski

Kahler Property Management

Tenant Caused Maintenance in Rental Property

Having rental property or investment property means, sooner or later, you will have to deal with tenant caused maintenance.  In other words, your tenant will eventually do something that requires you to pay to replace or repair something in the homes.

Examples:

  • Frozen pipes caused by the tenant leaving the garden hose hooked to the outside spigot in freezing weather.
  • Clogged drains caused by hair.
  • Broken windows due to a good overhand throw.
  • Patching and painting the walls from holes found at move out.

The list goes on and on.  The question in everyone’s mind is…who is going to pay for it.

Generally, if the maintenance is a direct result of something the tenant did or did not do the tenant would be responsible for charges.  In order to charge the tenant you will need to have the work done, most likely pay for it, and provide an itemized receipt to the tenant.

Can you require the tenant to pay the bill immediately?  Yes, however, if asked, it is in your best interest to make a payment arrangement with the tenant.  Happy people are much easier to work with in the long run.

There are some gray areas when it comes down to who actually caused the damage and who should be financially responsible.  Can you, without a doubt, prove that the tenant is actually at fault?  The invoice from your maintenance technician must clearly state what caused the issue.  Also, it is imperative that your lease allows for you to hold the tenant financially responsible for tenant caused maintenance.

It is also important to point out that you cannot charge a tenant for normal wear and tear.  If the walls have not been painted in the last 6 years you will need to itemize the invoice.  The tenant’s would only be liable for patching the holes they created as the walls probably needed painting before they moved in.  This also holds true when replacing carpet.  It does not matter if the bleach stain was not there before they moved in unless the carpet was brand new.  You have to depreciate out the age of the carpet and can only charge the tenant for a portion of the replacement.

Written By: Erin Trojanowski

Kahler Property Management 

Spring in the Beautiful Black Hills

It’s finally starting to feel like Spring!!!  I just love the smell of rain and flowers in the air and watching the thunder storms rolling over the Black Hills.  Other things I love about spring is sleeping with the windows open and breaking out my flip flops.

I asked the gals in the office their thoughts on spring.

Tracy and Alana both agree that their favorite part of spring is blooming flowers.  Although, Alana countered that with “allergies.”

Candace also feels that pollen is a nasty side effect of the season but she loves the beauty of the colors and flowers blooming.  She and her kiddos love being outside and enjoying the weather then finishing the day with some ice cream.

Not all of us get warm fuzzies when we think of spring.  In fact, when I asked Kathy her thoughts she stated…

  • “I do not like the storms that come with spring. I don’t like the rain that comes with spring. Not that rain isn’t good for a lot of reasons, it makes for VERY dirty paws at our house J and, this is when a management company finds out if there are water issues with a property we were previously unaware of…..”

I made the mistake of asking her if there was anything she liked about spring…

  • ” About spring…..NO. Not really.  It’s the only buffer I have before it gets and stays hot and I am crabby for 2 months straight….So….I’d prefer snow and then 80+ degrees and then snow again. The world, however, does not revolve around me….so I try not to complain all summer and remain grateful for fall and winter.”

Obviously, I caught Kathy on a bad day…Ally may have been a bit terrified after Kathy’s response and stated that she is excited about “getting the opportunity to share this smallish office with someone who loves spring that much!”

Spring has many meanings in our Property Management office, as I am sure it does to most people in the industry.  Our workload doubles, sometimes triples, during the spring and summer months.  It just makes us look forward to the cold snowy days of winter…some of us more than others!!!

 

Written By: Erin Trojanowski

Kahler Property Management

Tenants and Tempers

We know that there are times when it is difficult to deal with tenants.  Not just tenants but people in general can be less than respectful, in fact, downright mean when they feel that they are not being heard.  Especially when they are requesting or demanding that you do something, fix something, replace something…

Keeping a positive and respectful attitude can keep the waters calm

  • Take their requests seriously. Instead of just seeing dollar signs think about what their request will do for your property in the long run.
  • Remember that the tenant is paying you to live in your property. There are many other landlords offering the same thing and they can easily pay someone else.
  • Make sure the tenant knows that you hear them. If they feel they are being ignored tempers will flair.
  • Instead of just saying “NO” to all of the requests try to compromise. “I cannot replace the deck right now but I will have someone replace the rotting boards.”

Some people can be impossible to please but you must attempt to reach a middle ground.  When you hire a property manager, we can take that burden on.  We deal with tenants every day.  Understanding the laws and how those apply to homeowners, landlords and tenants gives us the knowledge to deal with tenants in a factual and respectful manner.

A good property manager is worth their weight in gold when it comes to having the knowledge and skills to handling these complex situations.  Remember, the sun is always shining somewhere.  If you are not up for dealing with tenants give KPM a call today.

Written By: Kathy Sjomeling and Erin Trojanowski

Kahler Property Management

What is a Security Deposit?

A security deposit, or damage deposit, is usually paid prior to a tenant taking possession of the rental home.  The deposit needs to be kept in a separate account from your general funds.  You need to check your local and state laws about accounting and deposits to ensure you are doing it correctly.

We require the deposit to be paid prior to approving an application.  At this point it is referred to as a hold deposit.  The deposit can be paid as early as when an applicant first submits their rental application.  Once paid, the deposit will hold the property for the applicant until they are approved

The amount can vary depending on the property but it is typically equal to one month’s rent.  Does it have to equal one month’s rent?  No, although some states require that the deposit does not exceed one month’s rent.

You need to consider your risk of loss before you decide to lower the amount required for a deposit.  These funds are used if there is tenant caused cleaning or maintenance needed in the property after your tenant has moved.  Security deposit funds can also be used to reimburse for any other costs incurred during the tenancy, as per the lease.

I am sure that you have that extensive move in inspection, complete with pictures, from before the tenants move in.  Remember, you read the blog on that a couple weeks ago?  Now you need to do an extensive move out inspection, complete with pictures.  Both inspections will be used to determine what damage the tenant is responsible for.

Some Items the Security Deposit Can Be Used For:

  • Cleaning of anything soiled by the tenant
  • Changing locks
  • *Painting
  • *Flooring
  • Removing trash/belongings inside and out.
  • Repairing holes in wall.
  • Replacing blinds

Things That You Cannot Use the Security Deposit For:

  • *Complete cost of replacing old flooring
  • *Complete cost of painting if paint was not fresh at move in
  • Any cleaning/maintenance that needed done prior to move in
  • Anything caused by normal wear and tear

In addition to the security deposit you may charge a separate deposit for other extenuating situations.  You can charge a pet deposit for animals in the home as long as the animals are not medically needed.  You may also charge a key deposit if there is a common area that tenants must access with a separate key.

Once a tenant vacates the premise you have a limited amount of time to refund or notify the tenants about their refund.  Check with your attorney to ensure that you are abiding by state and local law.

Written By: Erin Trojanowski

Kahler Property Management

Deferred Maintenance – Pay Now or Pay More Later

Deferred Maintenance, as defined by Wikipedia , is the practice of postponing maintenance activities such as repairs on both real property (i.e. infrastructure) and personal property (i.e. machinery) in order to save costs, meet budget funding levels, or realign available budget monies.

Most Common Example of Deferred Maintenance

 

  • Windows
  • Peeling Paint
  • Missing Shingles
  • Furnace
  • Water Heater
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing

Atypical Examples of Deferred Maintenance

 

  • Leaking Faucets
  • Running Toilets
  • Furnace Filters
  • Frequent Sewer Back Up
  • Chimney Cleaning
  • Loud Appliances

Some of the examples listed above are high dollar items but are absolutely necessary.  The furnace needs to be functioning at all times in order to serve the tenants and protect the home.  By taking the time to ensure that all of the mechanical functions of the home are in proper working order you are protecting your investment.

There are definitely things you can do to extend the life of certain appliances/functions.  As a result of having the HVAC system serviced yearly, changing the furnace filter regularly and inspecting things like the roof, siding, decks, etc will help you catch small repairs before they become big replacements.

I know that it is expensive to have a property painted and a deck stained.  You may not be able to justify the cost if it doesn’t look “too bad.”  You think that this can wait a few years.  Well, a few years later there are most likely boards on the deck that have sustained too much water damage and now need to be replaced.  The siding on the home has also sustained more damage and now the entire structure needs to be scraped before it can be painted and there are several pieces of siding that need to be replaced.  By waiting you have doubled your work and your cost.

Keep in mind that your failure to do some of these maintenance items could result in the loss of a tenant.  Many people rent because they do not want the maintenance hassle or expense that comes with home ownership.  If those tenants are constantly dealing with leaky roofs or dripping faucets they will usually move once their lease is up.

Owning property comes with maintenance costs whether it be investment property or property for personal use.  A maintenance budget is a necessity!

Written By: Erin Trojanowski

Kahler Property Management

Getting Your Property “Rent Ready”

Now you have a vacant property.  You have been in the house so you know that some work needs to be done before you can rent it to someone new.  Several things need to be considered whenever a property needs turned.

Property Exterior:

The outside of the home is the first thing people see and sometimes determines whether or not you get a call for a showing.  Attractive “curb appeal” will easily double your calls for information.

You need to make sure that the lawn and surrounding areas are free from litter and trash.  Yes, all of those cigarette butts and dog piles need to be cleaned up.  Any bushes and trees should be trimmed and the lawn should be kept neat.

Make sure the decks and fences are in good repair.  When was the last time the decks and/or fences were stained?  Is the paint chipping on the house or trim?  The perfect time to start some of these big projects is while the property is vacant.

Property Interior:

The best comment you can get when you walk someone through your property is “this is so clean.”  If you are not hearing that, chances are, you need to do some cosmetic work.

At the very minimum, the house needs to be cleaned from top to bottom.  Yes, people will notice the dust on the baseboards and the cobwebs on the ceiling.  Any torn or ratty blinds really need to be replaced.  Now is a good time to consider replacing flooring and painting.  Just remember, anything that is old, dingy or dirty is going to stick out against fresh paint.

Finally, it is imperative that all mechanical functions of the house are in good working order.  Make sure that the furnace/AC works, the water heater works and does not leak and all kitchen appliances are functioning.  It is always a good idea to replace the furnace filter…then you are sure that the filter was new prior to tenants moving in.

This may seem like a lot but your hard work will pay off.  You will fill that vacancy faster than if you were to do nothing and you will be able to get a higher monthly payment.  Another bonus…if everything is clean and/or new when a tenant moves in you can require that they be financially responsible to leave the home that way!

Written By: Erin Trojanowski

Kahler Property Management

Service Animals and Assistance (Companion) Animals

You will come across a prospective tenant that has a service animal or assistance/companion animal.  Landlords cannot deny an application solely because of this.  Charging any additional deposits or fees associated with the animal is a violation of the law.  In addition, restricting the type or breed of the animal is prohibited.  Any of the above actions are a violation of the Federal Fair Housing Act that will, eventually, result in a very costly lawsuit.

In fact a service animal, companion animal and/or emotional support animal is a prescription not a pet.

Definitions

Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities per the ADA. 

Assistance animals are not pets.  It is an animal that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability according to HUD.

However, here’s what you can do…

Require proof of the need for the animal.

  • Require paperwork outlining the need for the animal.   Additionally, this paperwork should be completed by a Heath Care Provider.  You do not need to take their word.  Your paperwork must be approved by an attorney who has extensive Fair Housing knowledge.  In fact, certain questions cannot, legally, be asked.

Require an animal agreement.

  • Your agreement must clearly emphasize your expectations of the tenant when caring for the animal.  Always include  policies concerning waste disposal, noise, leash requirements, etc.

Periodic inspections.

  • Periodic inspections determine if the tenant and the animal are in compliance with the animal agreement.

Finally, educate yourself and stay up to date with the Federal Fair Housing Laws.

Written By: Erin Trojanowski

Kahler Property Management

Pets in Rental Property

Owners are concerned about the damage to their rental property that pets can cause, whereas tenants feel as though their pets are part of their family.  It is difficult to a decision when it comes to allowing pets into your investment property.

Nothing beats an old school pro vs. con list right?

 

PROS of allowing pets

 

CONS of allowing pets

 

  • Opportunity to lease for higher rent
  • Damage caused by pets
  • Listing will reach and apply to more prospects
  • Disturbances – barking, running loose, etc.
  • Responsible pet owners usually make responsible tenants
  • Liability if a pet bites a person or attacks another pet
  • Difficulty finding a rental that allows pets can lead to longer                          term tenants
  • If you let one tenant have a pet you have to let them all
  • Increase income by implementing “pet rent”
  • Loss of future tenants due to allergies (sorry, I am reaching here to make the columns even)

 

You mean I get more monthly rent if my property will allow pets???  YES!

Not only can you collect a monthly “pet rent” you can sometimes start at a higher monthly rate.  In many areas it is hard for a tenant to find a rental that will take their pets and are willing to pay more rent.  These tenants could also become long term because the search for a pet friendly home is so difficult.

I know you are concerned about damage to the property.  Yes…it does happen but there are a few things you can do to minimize this damage.

  • Create and implement a pet addendum that clearly outlines your expectations of the tenants as pet owners.
  • Perform frequent inspections.
  • Collect a pet deposit along with an extra pet rent. This deposit and rent can be used after move out if there are any damages.

Remember that Service/Companion/Assistance animals do not fall under the term “pets.”  More to come on this soon!

Ultimately it is your decision to allow pets in your investment property.

Written By: Erin Trojanowski

Kahler Property Management

The Pets of Property Managers

So…if you haven’t guessed by now Kahler Property Management is an office full of animal people!!!  Currently, I do not have a pet at home.  We lost Guinness; my 90 lb., 14 year old, Chesapeake Retriever a while ago.  Someday, when life slows down a bit, we will have another dog.

I asked the gals in the office what trick/task they wished their pet could do and why?

 

Alana wishes her dog, Shadow, could do laundry so she did not fall behind.  “It would definitely lighten the load,” she says!

Shadow

Nevada, Lego and Myles make up Kathy’s pack.  “If I could teach a dog one trick, it’d be to drive :).  Then, the dogs could help run errands, drive each other to classes, etc.  Probably Nevada, I wouldn’t trust the other two to drive :).”

Lego, Nevada and Myles

Handsome Myles

Miss Nevada

 

Candace’s response: “I think it would be neat if Murphy could do his calling of being a hunting dog, as Poodles were originally bred as a hunting dog/retriever.  Or whimsically, I sure wish he could cook dinner and clean the house!”

Murph

Athena is Ally’s dog.  She is a Labrador mix. “The trick I wish my dog would learn is to stay.”

Athena

With a bit of help and some yummy treats Kathy could probably help Ally accomplish this one :).

Debby would like to teach a dog to pick up toys that are laying around the house.  “With three grandkids over, the house ends up looking like a tornado hit and I am constantly picking up after my grandchildren.  Would be nice if I had a dog that would follow them and do that!  Of course, I suppose, I could just get the kids to do that!”

Simeon is Tracy’s crazy cat. “We are working on sitting and shaking.  May try teaching him to smile!  Not sure how that will work.  Has anyone ever tried that with a cat!?!  If I was really honest about this training thing…..I would say that right now we are mostly just trying to get him to not be so crazy!!!”

Simeon

Written By: KPM

Kahler Property Management

Avoiding Past Due Rent

Collecting rent is one of the most important aspect of being a Landlord; for some, it is THE most important aspect!  If the rent is not paid you are not getting paid making your investment less than profitable.

If you own investment property for any length of time you are going to run into late payments and/or, the dreaded, no payment at some point in time.

Here are some tips to ensure timely rent payments:

  • Make sure your lease clearly outlines due dates and grace periods.
  • Implement and enforce a structured late fee.
  • Ask residents to have their rent automatically deducted from their bank account.
  • Have multiple options for automatic payments such as ACH debit and online bill pay.
  • Create and utilize clear eviction plan.
  • BE CONSISTENT!

Consistency is key!  If you allow a resident to continually make late payments you are setting a precedence and are increasing the odds of that resident taking advantage of you.

That being said, you do not need to be heartless.  Things happen!  If your longtime resident comes to you and asked if they can make their payment in two installments this month, I am not telling you that you cannot work with them.  Everyone deserves one “get out of jail free” card just don’t let it become a habit.

Make sure that you have a clear eviction policy in the event your tenants fail to pay the rent.  You will need to have the correct forms and a way to get the eviction served.  It is best to seek legal advice if you are doing your first eviction to make sure that you follow all local, state and federal laws.

If you have found yourself in any of the above mentioned situations before or don’t think you will be able to put your foot down when faced with late payments you should consider hiring a property manager.  Give KPM a call today.

Written By: Erin Trojanowski

Kahler Property Management

My Tenants are Moving, Now What?

Your tenant of 4 years has given you the dreaded 30 day notice.  You are probably asking yourself where to start.

What will need to be done in the home prior to homing a new tenant?

A pre-inspection can help you determine if any major items will need to be completed, repaired or replaced.

Can I raise the rent?

A market analysis plus your pre-inspection can help you determine rental rates.  You will need to consider any upgrades you plan to do to the home.

When do I start marketing?

You have a couple options here…

  1. Start advertising the property right away in hopes of having a tenant lined up to take over occupancy.

As long as your lease allows for showings, you can list the property ASAP and start showing, however, there are a few factors to keep in mind when listing a home that is already occupied.  First, you definitely want the maximum exposure that advertising 30 days prior to availability will give you.  Listing early can reduce your financial loss by affording the opportunity to have a new tenant lined up upon vacancy.

Some drawbacks include juggling your showing schedule to accommodate your calendar, your current tenant’s calendar and the prospects calendar.

  1. Wait until the tenant has vacated and you have turned the property then advertise.

One advantage to waiting is that you will know exactly what you need/want to do to the home and how much time it will take you before moving in new residents.

You now know that your investment property will be vacant in 30 days.  Now is a great time to give us a call to discuss management and to get a full market analysis.

Written By: Erin Trojanowski

www.kahlerpm.com 

Marketing Your Rental Property

In order to fill your vacancy you need to concentrate on effectively marketing the property.

The graph below depicts where people find our listings, as a result, scheduling a showing.  We ask each prospect where they found us.  You can see the internet is a very powerful marketing tool.  The old standby methods like yard signs and personal referrals are still especially important.  Furthermore, because of our name and reputation we are most often the first contactt.

We work hard to ensure that your home is located at the forefront when it comes to the search for a rental home in the area.  We continue to improve our marketing strategy as new technology becomes available.

Yard Sign: Yard signs are an especially relevant part of marketing your property.  People see a sign resulting in a call for more information.  Neighbors pass on information to their friends resulting in a call for a showing.

Craig’s List: KPM runs an advertisement for all available rentals on Craig’s List.  Listings are updated often to guarantee each listing is located at the top of the page.

Paper Listing: Paper listings are available in our office and are mailed to numerous businesses and organizations in the Rapid City area.  This is done once a week.

Online:  Additionally, we will list your home on our website.

Our website syndicates listings to over 50 websites giving your property maximum exposure.

 

Finally, a few of the websites where our listings are found:

· Abodo.com                                   · Apartmentlist.com                                 · Callithome.com                                    · Homefinder.com

· Hotpads.com                               · zillow.com                                                · Locanto.com                                         · Placebee.com

· Rentalads.com                            · Apartment.com                                       · Homehippo.com                                  · Rentjungle.com

· Trovits.com                                 · Houserentals.com                                   · Livelovely.com                                     · Rentmls.com

· Trulia.com                                   · Zumper.com                                            · Apartmenthunterz.com                      · Everyrent.com

· Homes.com                                 · Housingblock.com                                 · Realtor.com                                           · Renthop.com

· Rentnice.com                              · Walkscore.com

 

Written By: Erin Trojanowski

www.kahlerpm.com

Maintenance…What’s Stuck in Your Garbage Disposal??

I am sure you can imagine we take maintenance calls at all hours of the day.  Weekend and evening emergency calls come to our emergency pager.  Therefore we can get a plumber to your house at 2:00 AM when the sewer is backing up into the basement.

We have had some pretty outrageous calls for service from teeth stuck in sink drain to action figures flushed down the toilet.  It makes no difference what is stuck in the disposal, the call requires a maintenance technician.  Each call that comes in also comes with different circumstances:

What you need to consider prior to giving out the work order:

  • Does the tenant require an appointment?
  • Can the technician enter the home with a key?
  • Does the call require immediate assistance?
  • Will the repairs displace the tenants for an extended period of time?
  • Is it a one person job? Does is require a team?
  • Is a general technician capable or does the job require specialized maintenance?

A good working relationship with professional technicians is imperative. This includes general handymen and painters to HVAC companies and plumbers.  The odds of the furnace malfunctioning are always higher at 5:00 PM on Friday than at noon on Monday right?

It really doesn’t matter if the work is considered routine maintenance or emergency maintenance.  These relationships help you accomplish your maintenance goals in a timely manner thus protecting your property and making your tenants happy.  You can’t forget about turning properties between tenants…after all, time is money.

Written by: Erin Trojanowski

Kahler Property Management

Isn’t Technology Great

I would like to talk about scheduling showings for a moment.  Here at Kahler Property Management scheduling and showing are the most important aspects of leasing your property.  Scheduling and showing are also the most time consuming aspects of leasing your property.

How can you make sure that you do not miss out on that perfect tenant if you cannot answer your phone and make that appointment?  You can ensure that you do not miss an opportunity by utilizing online scheduling.

People that are looking for a home to lease are just like you and I.  They have jobs that may keep them from searching during normal business hours.  They have families that they need to be with.  There are always other obligations that may keep them from calling you during the hours you are available.

Kahler Property Management is the leading property management company in our area to utilize online scheduling software for showings. 

Prospective residents can schedule a showing after that emergency grocery store run or at 9:00 PM once the kiddos are finally asleep.  It is now possible for people to schedule a showing at any of our properties 24/7.

Written By: Erin Trojanowski

Kahler Property Management

KPM Move Update

Finally!  We are getting down to crunch time as our move is happening this week.  Therefore, today we are busy moving all of our large office furniture.  Tomorrow is our official moving day.  We will be closed in order for us to get all systems in place…including a new digital phone system.

Please update your mailing address for Kahler Property Management to

2040 W Main St, Ste 110

Rapid City, SD  57702.

The painted ceiling tracks and new ceiling tile look great! Walls are painted with an updated color scheme.  The bathroom and break room are in and functioning.  The conference room table is ordered and all of the flooring has been replaced.  This new office looks amazing, hence, our excitement to get in and get settled.

HUGE “THANK YOU” TO OUR MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS!

You all worked evenings and weekends to make this remodel happen.  Because of your hard work we were able to accomplish this move in such a short amount of time.  We appreciate all of the hard work that you put in every day ensuring that our maintenance needs are met!  Consequently, KPM could not run without you.

Wednesday, March 21st, we will officially open the doors and do business out of the new space.  Some things will still need to be done, however, we are on our way.  Finally, in the weeks to come we will be getting new blinds, signage and other little things to make the space complete.

Our maintenance techs, friends and family rock!  Thanks for all of the muscle!

In addition, our current space is for lease.  It is a great space and, because of this, it will afford it’s new tenants plenty of room to grow.  You can check out the listing here.  Call or visit us online for a showing today!

Written By: Erin Trojanowski

www.kahlerpm.com 

Of Course I have a Lease!

I know, I know…you can find a great lease on dozens of websites that you can use free of charge.  That agreement may look great but are you sure that it is an enforceable document?

WHY

  • This document protects your legal rights AND the legal rights of your Tenants.  Make sure it is written in accordance with current local, state and federal laws. A well written, LEGAL lease will make a world of difference:

A clear agreement will clearly outline the landlord’s rights and responsibilities as well as the tenant’s rights and responsibilities.

Some items to include in the Lease:

  • Beginning and ending dates
  • Rent amount
  • Security deposit information
  • Due dates
  • Where to make payments
  • Late fee schedule
  • Inspection procedure
  • Notice procedures
  • Utility responsibilities
  • Pet/Smoking policy
  • Maintenance procedures
  • Insurance responsibilities
  • Move out expectations
  • Renewal procedure
  • Military clause

Expectations as far as cleanliness, yard care, parking, etc all need to be outlined in the lease.  I could keep going but you get the just of it.  It is much easier to outline responsibilities in the beginning rather than arguing about it later.

The document needs to be a working document that is updated and current as times and laws change.  This rental agreement will become very important if you ever end up in court with a current or previous tenant.  Your case is only as strong as your lease.

The agreement must be clear and concise.  Go over the document with your tenants.  Be sure that everyone understands the agreement, after all, this is a legally binding document.

If you doubt the legality/validity of your lease, you need to consult a local attorney.  Make any necessary revisions.  Remember, you cannot enforce something that is not in your lease.  You also want to have your bases covered if you ever go to court.

Written By: Erin Trojanowski

www.kahlerpm.com

WE’RE MOVING!!!

I AM SO EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THAT WE ARE MOVING!!!  Sorry, I could not help the shouty capitals…I am just so excited and I am finally getting a window in my office!

KPM is moving into a larger space to accommodate YOU!  We have been in our current location since 2007.  At that time there were only 4 members of our team.  Today, Team KPM is made up of 7 of us…8 if you include our summer help.  We have the pleasure of working with a local school teacher in the summer.  He does showings for us during our most busy time ensuring that we can get people in to look at our listings.

The way I see it…we have doubled our staff!!!

The space we are moving into does not look like much now but we are painting, updating all flooring, and adding our own touch.  Some of us with KPM have been able to expedite the process by doing some of the tear out.  We have removed the old drop down ceiling tiles and taken out the cove base.  We’ll leave the rest up to the professionals.

Check out our “before” pictures!

These pictures where taken after the initial tear out was completed.

These pictures were taken midway through painting.

We, I should say the other members of Team KPM, have chosen carpet, wall color, cove base, etc.  We have a color scheme and are working towards a comfortable, professional office feel.  DISCLAIMER: all color choices (which look amazing) are credited to the other members of Team KPM because, honestly, I am not very good at that stuff!

In our new space we will have room to grow…so exciting!  Please check back for updated pictures towards the end of March…really, this process takes time.  I am excited to meet with you in our new conference room!

Inspections

At Kahler Property Mangement, we complete a very detailed move in inspection which gives us, in writing, the condition of the property when the tenants move in.  Detailed, meaning, right down to the light bulbs in each fixture and if they are working.

Move In Inspection

Our goal when we take over a property is that it has to be clean, carpets have been professionally cleaned, and everything be in working order.  This needs to be done before the tenants move in.  Reasoning for this is maintaining the condition of your property.  The move in inspection is detailed.  It usually contains several written pages of details down to a scuff on the wall to a dusty light globe.  Photos are taken in each room and become part of the move in inspection for each new tenant.

Periodic Inspections

The periodic inspection gives us an opportunity to ensure that the tenants are taking care of your property.  It also affords us the opportunity to note any small issues that could become bigger issues, if not taken care of.  With these, or any of the inspections, we will let an owner know if we see an issue that must be taken care of to avoid major problems in the future.

Examples:

  • cracks in concrete that are changing
  • large trees that could damage house/property if not trimmed professionally
  • caulking around tubs and sinks
  • making sure smoke detectors are in working condition

Move Out Inspection

The move out inspection is completed using the written move in inspection; hence the reason for the detail on the move in inspection.  We strive to make sure the property is left in the same condition, taking normal wear and tear in consideration, as it was in at the move in inspection.  If tenants fail to leave the property in the condition it was given to them, we coordinate making that happen. We will do whatever maintenance/cleaning that needs to be done.

Written By: Kathy Sjomeling (Maintenance Coordinator)

www.kahlerpm.com

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