When it Comes to Embezzlement, Property Management is Risky Business:
d. Annually, we hire a 3rd party person to perform a full audit of our books.
e. Vendor invoices are verified, before a payables clerk processes them and our bookkeeper performs the final check before signing the checks.
f. All bank reconciliations are done outside of our accounting department.
3. We require owner reserves so that we have the funds to pay bills between the time rents are received and proceeds are released to the owner.
4. First Rate Property Management's books are kept on a complete different set of books and software.
Vacancy is down; NARPM 2011 rent and vacancy report:
Below are two graphs. One shows vacancies from 2006 to 2011 and the other shows average rents for that same time period. Although vacancies are way down, rents have remained relatively flat. One would expect that the rent amounts would be the inverse to the vacancy graph, meaning as vacancy decreases sharply, so would rent. Why is this? For one, I think that after almost a decade of the market being a tenant market, property managers have been slow or cautious to adjust. Additionally, with today's technology, researching and comparing rents can be done within minutes. As a management company, we subscribe to a number of services that go out and find these on-line listings, create an average and some upper and lower control limits so that we can maximize our rents, yet reduce our chances of the property sitting for a month to get that absolute highest rent. Tenants basically do the same thing, but they look at the lowest rent and don't necessarily make adjustments for improvements and other factors that may make one property higher rent than another. I guess you could call it "PRICELINE" for rentals, but just not quite a formal. It’s too bad Boise property managers don't use the MLS as it certainly could help other property managers in analyzing comps and determine a more fair market rent to ask. And lastly, I believe that the supply of rentals has been slowly increasing to keep up with that demand, therefore not allowing that sharp increase in rents one would expect with such low vacancies. Nonetheless, I do however still believe that we will see slight rent increases in 2012.
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